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.

How Hawthorn left Collingwood in the dust

Jake Niall Why Hawthorn has opened a gap on its rival

How Hawthorn goes over and above in search of 'the edge'

Jake Niall dinkus

Jake Niall Watching Hawthorn train, you won't necessarily notice it, because your eyes are invariably drawn to Cyril Rioli, Luke Hodge and Jarryd Roughead.

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

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

Hawks' forward 'trinity' must fire

Cyril Rioli.

Jake Niall In the preliminary final, the Hawks prevailed narrowly over the cursing Cats, despite the failure of their forward 'trinity' to produce goals.

Comments 43

AFL

Hawks' flag built on grand designs

Luke Hodge , John Kennedy and Alastair Clarkson

Jake Niall When Lance Franklin finally tells Hawthorn his plans for next year, the shock will only come if he informs the club that he's staying.

Comments 41

AFL

Clearly, it's Buckley at the wheel

Jake Niall dinkus

Jake Niall In Nathan Buckley's first season, he was driving a car that had been assembled and successfully steered by Mick Malthouse.

Hawthorn too Buddy dependent

Lance Franklin

Jake Niall Lance Franklin was certainly Hawthorn's most potent player in the grand final.

Comments 126

The journey

Jake-Niall-sport-dinks

Jake Niall Free agency is changing the AFL trading road map, it could be a difficult path for some.

Paying the price

Jake Niall on the Hawks

Jake Niall Now the shoe's on the other foot and the Hawks are grand final losers, expect a robust response.

Comments 24

AFL

From steeplechase to the ruck: Cats eye Blicavs for round one

Mark Blicavs.

Jake Niall Geelong says injuries and the lack of conditioning for all recognised rucks could force it to play Mark Blicavs - the 198 centimetre convert from athletics who took up football last year after...

AFL

Happy Roughead extends contract

Hawthorn footballer Jarryd Roughead.

Jake Niall EXCLUSIVE Hawthorn's versatile forward/utility becomes latest Hawk to commit for the long-term.

AFL

Tall forwards are finding speed a killer

Carlton's Robert Warnock and Shaun Hampson spoil each other.

Jake Niall Carlton's worst loss of 2013 came when it played three ruckmen/forwards against the straggling Saints in round seven.

Coaches unhappy with interchange rule

Geelong coach Chris Scott at quarter-time at the MCG.

Jake Niall Interchange rule that results in free and automatic 50-metre penalty criticised.

Football

Favourite Magpie set to retain spot

Alan Didak

Jake Niall The late-season prodigal return of Alan Didak is set to continue with the forward set to hold his place in Collingwood's 22.

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.

Bombers losing grip on finals

Flying Hawk: Cyril Rioli leaps over Courtenay Dempsey last night.

Emma Quayle and Jake Niall Essendon's grip on the top-eight spot it has held all season becomes shakier.

Hawks three times better

It's mine: Travis Cloke makes a desperate attempt to stop Josh Gibson from breaking free.

Jake Niall On the ladder, Hawthorn and Collingwood were only one game apart. In reality, the distance was several goals.

Free Don

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Jake Niall Free agency could bring players to Essendon as the club looks to a brighter future.

Football

Crucial move makes Rioli a trump card

Celebration: Cyril Rioli slots another goal.

Jake Niall Cyril Rioli was 'buggered' in the last quarter, when Alastair Clarkson made the game's most telling move, shifting the electric Cyril deeper into attack, where his jolts revived a flatlining team.