Rohan Connolly, a senior football writer for The Age and radio broadcaster with sports radio station 1116 SEN, has been covering the game since 1983. A multi-AFL Media Association award-winner known for his passion and love of the game, he analyses the AFL for the newspaper and contributes a blog and weekly video, "Footy Fix", for The Age's football website, Real Footy.
Rohan Connolly It goes without saying Hawthorn is the most successful club of football’s last 50 years, 10 of its 11 premierships won since 1971, a strike rate of one flag every 4.
Rohan Connolly For most of this year, any discussion about Collingwood's capacity to challenge for the premiership has gone hand-in-hand with the debate about the form of Travis Cloke.
Rohan Connolly Nothing can deflate a team that which has worked its heart out to stay in a contest more effectively than a burst of quick goals from its opponent.
Rohan Connolly Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says he can already see some signs Essendon is playing a game like the Geelong teams coached by his opposite number Mark Thompson.
Rohan Connolly Hawthorn's undersized defence has turned to fringe player Matt Spangher for help as the Hawks prepare to take on Fremantle in Friday night's rematch of last year's grand final at the MCG.
Rohan Connolly It seems absurd that the AFL’s reigning premier, second on the ladder, could somehow manage to fly under the radar, but Hawthorn lately seems to have managed it.
Rohan Connolly While it won't be a blowout, Hawthorn's superior skills and potent attack should deliver the flag.
Rohan Connolly Deja vu can never have felt as chilling for any Hawthorn supporter than during the final quarter last night. It was happening again.
Rohan Connolly Hawthorn has the fundamentals in place to win the flag.
Rohan Connolly Has there been a better grand final? Arguably not. Has there been a gutsier win than Sydney's 10-point triumph over a warm favourite? While we're still smitten in the afterglow of an absolute epic,...
The Connolly Report
Rohan Connolly You can analyse, theorise and pore over all the science you like in football, but sometimes the explanations are nothing more complex than some missed chances.
Rohan Connolly Rarely have so many been in the hunt for the major prize.
Rohan Connolly Hawthorn knew heading into last year's finals series they could use another strong-bodied key defender. But after the preliminary final, it became non-negotiable.
Rohan Connolly Last year Hawthorn got a big scare from Kurt Tippett.
Rohan Connolly Before yesterday it still somehow felt like Hawthorn had some sort of question to answer.
Rohan Connolly The pieces of the flag jigsaw are coming together for Hawthorn.
Rohan Connolly They've had a good year, but the Crows don't have enough in their arsenal to beat Hawthorn.
Rohan Connolly That the moment which decided the game came just 39 seconds before the final siren gives you some idea of how close it was.