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.

Hawks break records ... and the Saints

Jake Niall What's the difference between Hawthorn and St Kilda? We could say that one team stayed in Tasmania and the other left; that one has far better stadium arrangements, and that, consequently, one has...

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.

Comments 35

AFL

Jarryd Roughead and Cyril Rioli face sidelines after Hawks' loss to Swans

Not much to cheer about: Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson during the game on Friday.

Jake Niall Hawthorn is counting the cost of its 19-point loss to Sydney, with star forwards Jarryd Roughead and Cyril Rioli likely to face periods on the sidelines.

AFL

Wasteful Buddy ends up a match-winner for Sydney

Lance Franklin of the Swans marks during the round eight match against his old club, Hawthorn.

Jake Niall Lance Franklin kicks two late goals to carry Sydney to a 19-point win over Hawthorn.

Grant Birchall concedes the Swans were harder, bigger, better

Grant Birchall and Sydney's Sam Reid both make a grab for the ball.

Jake Niall Hawthorn's gun defender Grant Birchall has attributed the flag favourite's Friday evening defeat to the Swans being harder, bigger bodied and cleaner than the Hawks.

AFL

The six days that shook the Hawks - and the premiership

Jake Niall dinkus

Jake Niall Players often say they ''don't read what's in the papers,'' that they take no notice of the sound and fury of talkback and the other media guff that carries on outside their fortified club bunker.

AFL

Hawks felled again with defender Josh Gibson out for 10 weeks

Hawk Josh Gibson

Jake Niall Hawthorn's mounting injury difficulties have worsened dramatically, with gun defender Josh Gibson having pectoral surgery that will see him miss the next 10 weeks.

AFL

Sydney's stealth tactics are no longer new

Jake Niall dinkus

Jake Niall The Swans' days of creeping up on the competition to snare flags and star players are over.

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

Top four is easy to predict except for one

Jake Niall dinkus

Jake Niall Sydney, Hawthorn and Fremantle are everyone's box trifecta but the fourth estate is having great difficulty in ranking the fourth team of 2014.

Comments 25

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

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.

Comments 15

Two towers

Jake-Niall-sport-dinks

Jake Niall Franklin's attitude to his contract is an interesting contrast to Riewoldt's.

Comments 6

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

Prey for the Hawks

Jake-Niall-sport-dinks

Jake Niall Hawks must beat Geelong and then win the flag to validate the Alastair Clarkson era.

AFL

Saving the season

Jake Niall dinkus

Jake Niall Two great finals have helped rescue Andrew Demetriou's annus horribilis.

Comments 12

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.

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

Marathon turns into a sprint

Jake-Niall-sport-dinks

Jake Niall Hawthorn is kicking its way to another premiership - unless someone finds a way to stem the advance.

Cats win no.9 after the bell

Tom Hawkins.

Jake Niall Geelong and Hawthorn’s rivalry has been the game’s most compelling for some years, but this latest installment has taken not only their competition, but AFL football to unprecedented heights.