Jake Niall

Jake Niall

Jake Niall is a senior sports writer at 'The Age' specialising mainly in coverage of the AFL. He writes a weekly column for 'The Sunday Age' and has been on staff with 'The Age' or 'Sunday Age' since 1995. Jake, who combines original news with commentary, match-based writing, features and analysis, has won a number of awards, including the Alf Brown award for the best performer in AFL media in 2012, the Melbourne Press Club's 2007 Quill award for best sports story in any medium and a Walkley award, shared with colleagues Richard Baker, Nick McKenzie, Caroline Wilson and John Silvester, for best coverage of a major issue (Essendon scandal) in 2013.

North tunes up with victory over improved Dees

Jake Niall If North defeated Melbourne in this low profile encounter, the Roos would play Essendon next week.

Richmond keeps finals dream alive with win over Essendon

Cale Hooker of Essendon and Jack Riewoldt of Richmond have eyes only for the ball.

Jake Niall Richmond's late charge for the AFL finals has survived an almighty challenge from Essendon.

AFL

Hawks edge Swans after a gripping contest

Close combatants: Josh Gibson and Lance Franklin.

Jake Niall In a season supposedly beset with underwhelming footy, Hawthorn and Sydney produced what was surely the season's highest calibre game, in a contest between teams that will surely meet again at the...

AFL

Tigers roar against Giants to keep slim finals hopes alive

Rhys Palmer of the Giants takes a big hit from Nathan Gordon of the Tigers at the MCG on Saturday.

Jake Niall In this competition, five consecutive wins almost invariably place a team inside the top eight, or somewhere near it.

AFL

Fremantle strangles the Dees

Nathan Fyfe of the Dockers and Max Gawn of the Demons compete for the ball.

Jake Niall This Darwinian struggle between Demons and Dockers was about survival, not of the fittest, but of the most miserly. The winner would be the one who yielded the least.

AFL

Lance Franklin fires late as Swans notch up ninth straight win

Richmond's Nathan Foley is tackled by Sydney's Nick Malceski during Friday's round 14 match.

Jake Niall AFL premiership favourites Sydney survived a scare from struggling Richmond to post an 11-point win at the MCG on Friday night for their ninth consecutive victory.

AFL

Carlton coach Mick Malthouse blasts umpiring non-calls

Mick Malthouse

Jake Niall Carlton coach Mick Malthouse has questioned three umpiring decisions - including a last minute incident involving Geelong runner Nigel Lappin and Mitch Robinson - in the wake of Carlton's unlucky...

AFL

Geelong lucky to get past Carlton after a hard slog

Geelong's Steven Motlop prevents Kade Simpson and Sam Rowe getting to the ball.

Jake Niall In one of the better matches of 2014, Joel Selwood managed to break from a stoppage with barely a minute left and convert a long angle shot to snatch the lead - and the result - for a Geelong side...

AFL

Tigers atone for past sins with win over Blues

Richmond v Carlton AFL round 2 MCG , Richmonds Dustin Martin celebrates the sealing  goal
Photo Pat Scala The Age
Thursday the 27th of March 2014

Jake Niall The script was the same. It was all set up for another humiliation. We could all see it coming, as the Blues gradually whittled down the lead.

AFL

Hawthorn win is one for the ages

Step ahead: Hawk Luke Breust gets his kick away under pressure.

Jake Niall Have the Hawks ever played a better half than the opening two quarters of this grand final ''replay''?

AFL

Pies tear apart paper Tigers

Steely resolve: Steele Sidebottom beats Nathan Gordon.

Jake Niall This match was viewed as consequential, not so much for the winner, but for the loser. At 2-2 after four rounds, a team is respectable. At 1-3, you're in the bunker.

AFL

Tigers shirked contests says skipper Trent Cotchin

Trent Cotchin leads Richmond from the field after the Collingwood loss.

Jake Niall Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin has singled out instances when players shirked contests as a factor in the Tigers' disappointing loss to Collingwood, saying that some players ''weren't willing to go''...

AFL

Collingwood surge has lasting effect

Dane Swan

Jake Niall Few games of football have encapsulated the modern game's capacity for 180-degree momentum swings more than this one.

AFL

Push comes to shove: AFL admits mistakes

Umpiring boss Wayne Campbell.

Jake Niall The AFL has acknowledged that the umpires have not paid enough frees for pushes in the back over the past couple of rounds.

AFL

Ruthless Hawks give St Kilda a football education

Saints v Hawks

Jake Niall Hawthorn destroyed St Kilda by a record 145 points, but lost stars Sam Mitchell and Brian Lake to injury at the MCG.

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AFL

Port Adelaide survives scare to beat Melbourne by 20 points

Port Adelaide players celebrating the win.

Jake Niall Port Adelaide have posted a 20-point win over Melbourne in Alice Springs, fighting hard to avoid what would have been the AFL season's greatest boilover.

AFL

Pull your heads in, coaches tell players

Jake Niall dinkus

Jake Niall The AFL says it has received strong backing from coaches for the introduction of the rule that discourages players from leading with their head to draw free kicks.

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AFL

Ruthless Hawks tame lame Lions

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 13:  Dayle Garlett of the Hawks runs with the ball during the round one AFL NAB Cup match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium on February 13, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Jake Niall Some games are decided in the opening 15 or 20 minutes. Hawthorn's pre-season opener against the Lions was rendered a training drill when the teams were selected.

AFL

Flick... Cats turn off the Power

Hands off: Geelong's Harry Taylor pushes past Angus Monfries.

Jake Niall Brave Port Adelaide gives it everything but eventually Geelong's finals experience proves the difference.

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AFL

Hawthorn revival almost too late

hawks

Jake Niall Hawthorn comes back from a seemingly hopeless position to beat the Cats for the first time since the 2008 AFL grand final and reach this year's decider.