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.

AFL

Pies tear apart paper Tigers

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

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

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

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

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

Hawks just so efficient

West Coast's Beau Waters battles with Hawthorn's Jack Gunston at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

Jake Niall Jarryd Roughead and Jack Gunston boot five goals apiece to lift their side to victory over West Coast.

AFL

Dees hang on in thriller

Vice-like grip: Bulldogs ruckman Will Minson takes a strong mark in front of Jack Fitzpatrick.

Jake Niall Melbourne's second win of 2013 involves three quarters from a team that seemed transformed.

Roos find new way to fall just short

That's got to hurt: Carlton's Andrew McInnes and North's Aaron Black collide.

Jake Niall North Melbourne never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

AFL

Hawks feast on Bombers

Essendon's Michael Hibberd makes a grab for Hawthorn's Brian Lake.

Jake Niall Hawthorn withstands an early challenge from Essendon to romp home by 56 points.

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AFL

Hawthorn top of the class

Collingwood's Lachlan Keeffe and Hawthorn's Lance Franklin in a trial of strength at the MCG.

Jake Niall Lance Franklin returns from injury to kick four goals in a convincing 35-point win at the MCG.

AFL

Bombers fling the Blues

Crunch: Essendon's Brendon Goddard crashes into Carlton's Ed Curnow as he gets a kick away at the MCG on Saturday night.

Jake Niall Essendon stuns Carlton, coming from behind to snatch a six-point victory.

AFL

The actuarial logic of the Ross adjuster

Nick Riewoldt drops a mark under pressure.

Jake Niall St Kilda gives its retiring trio a fitting send-off by scoring a 71-point win over Fremantle.

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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.

Blues find winning form

Perched nicely: Carlton's Chris Yarran climbs on the back of Adelaide defender Ben Rutten at the MCG.

Jake Niall Carlton gets second win of the season, withstanding a belated challenge from Adelaide.

Classy Cats leaders of pack

Geelong's Joel Selwood is pushed off the ball by Essendon's Heath Hocking.

Jake Niall As of Friday evening, Geelong's claims to leadership of the competition cannot be disputed.

AFL

Jobe slaughters Tigers

Gotcha: Jobe Watson stops Tiger Brett Deledio in his tracks.

Jake Niall Tigers slaughtered by Essendon's superior ball usage and defensive skills.

AFL

Dons do the improbable

Gotcha: Essendon’s Joe Daniher tackles Carlton’s Lachie Henderson during their clash at the MCG

Jake Niall Carlton-Essendon games have a knack for the unexpected, for comebacks, upsets and stunning individual performances. This one, which had seemed headed for an unexceptional outcome, was no exception.

AFL

Stop tinkering: Judd

Carlton footballer Chris Judd.

Jake Niall Dual Brownlow medallist Chris Judd says the AFL's new rule interpretations have made it far harder for players to play ''instinctive'' footy, adding there is excessive tinkering with the rules.

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