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Live: Tigers v Pies

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 11 April 2014 | 16.42

LIVE: Richmond v Collingwood. Source: Supplied

RICHMOND and Collingwood have experienced indifferent form so far in season 2014 and enter Round 4 with just one win each.

Both sides have demonstrated when playing their best football they can beat anyone, but both sides have also shown lapses in concentration can be costly.


Collingwood has been outstanding since a humbling Round 1 defeat against Fremantle, with a strong win over Sydney on the road and a narrow loss to Collingwood restoring confidence.

Richmond has been breathtaking and dismal in the first three rounds and often showing this Jekyl and Hyde football within the same quarter.


Losses to Gold Coast and Western Bulldogs would have been pencilled in as wins when the fixture dropped and a strong win against the struggling Carlton came in between.

The game brings some interesting subplots with Travis Cloke playing his 200th AFL game and needing to find form, as does Dane Swan whose profilic ball-winning ability and explosive pace and eluded him so far this year.

Richmond will again be missing Brett Deledio as he battles a achilles injury, but welcome back big man Shaun Hampson, while Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury and Dayne Beams will play despite struggling with soreness during the week.



RICHMOND: Matthew Arnot



Friday, April 11 at the MCG, 7.50pm (EST)


B: T. Chaplin, D. Astbury, D. Grimes

HB: B. Houli, N. Vlastuin, S. Morris

C: S. Grigg, D. Jackson, R. Conca

HF: D. Martin, T. Vickery, S. Lloyd

F: S. Edwards, J. Riewoldt, B. Griffiths

FOLL: S. Hampson, M. Thomas, T. Cotchin

I/C: M. Arnot, B. Ellis, N. Gordon, C. Newman

EMG: M. McDonough, N. Foley, O. Stephenson

IN: S. Hampson, S. Lloyd, M. Arnot

OUT: R. Petterd, O. Stephenson, J. King


B: A. Toovey, L. Keeffe, N. Maxwell

HB: H. Lumumba, J. Frost, A. Fasolo

C: S. Sidebottom, S. Pendlebury, C. Young

HF: B. Macaffer, T. Cloke, J. Blair

F: J. Elliott, J. White, T. Goldsack

FOLL: B. Grundy, D. Swan, D. Beams

I/C: J. Thomas, T. Langdon, J. Witts, L. Ball

EMG: M. Clarke, Q. Lynch, B. Kennedy

IN: J. Thomas, J. Witts

OUT: S. Dwyer, T. Adams

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Meet Brisbane’s new Berisha

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THIS is the man Brisbane Roar have earmarked as their new Besart Berisha.

Mike Hanke, a 30-year-old forward who played for Germany at the 2006 World Cup, is the Roar's preferred option to replace star striker Berisha, according to Fox Sports.

Berisha is next season defecting to Melbourne Victory on a marquee deal worth more than $1.5 million over two years.

Hanke, who played alongside Roar star Thomas Broich for Germany's under-21 team, is currently on the books of Bundesliga outfit SC Freiburg.

The 185cm attacker has scored three goals in 22 appearances, of which 13 have been off the bench, in all competitions for Freiburg this season.


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However, Hanke has not played since coming on as a substitute in his club's 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim on February 8.

Hanke last year joined Freiburg on a free transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach, where he spent the best part of three seasons.

He has also played for in Bundesliga for Wolfsburg, Hannover 96 and Schalke 04, where he was part of the 2002 German Cup-winning squad.

Hanke, who made the last of his 12 appearances for Germany in 2007, was one of three European players the Roar had been scouting in their search to find a suitable replacement for Berisha, widely regarded as the A-League's most feared marksman.

Berisha, who has scored 46 goals in 73 A-League appearances for Brisbane, returns from suspension on Saturday night to spearhead the Roar's attack against Central Coast Mariners at Suncorp Stadium in the last round of the regular season.

Besart Berisha is ending his time at the Roar after this season. Picture: Darren England. Source: News Corp Australia

While the Roar have already won the premiership and earned a rest on the opening weekend of the finals series, the Mariners are among host of teams vying for second place.

But by the time Saturday night's match kicks off, second spot may already be out of reach for the Mariners depending on results of other matches.

Central Coast coach Phil Moss also has his side's AFC Champions League clash on Wednesday against FC Seoul in Gosford to ponder in deciding on who will start tonight.

"We've got a massive game on Wednesday night. That certainly plays a part (in selection)," Moss told The Courier-Mail on Friday.

"But we're going up there to really make a game of it and try to spoil Brisbane's party."

Moss said his team would revel in its underdog status against a Roar side that are 13 points ahead of the Mariners on the ladder.

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"No-one gives us a chance. I read somewhere that we're seven dollars outsiders. That's basically 1000 to one," he said.

"All the talk's been about Brisbane and how many goals they'll put on us and how much momentum they'll take into the finals.

"That suits us. We'll just go up there quietly, go about our business and do what we always do, and make a game of it and see how we come out the other end."

Moss said there were no secrets about how the Mariners would approach the task against Brisbane and knew that Roar coach Mike Mulvey had planned accordingly.

"As Mike said in the media, we'll sit back and we'll defend on our two banks of four and our two strikers and try to catch them on the counter — he knows our game plan," the Mariners boss said.

"We've just got to execute it as well as we can.

"We know how Brisbane play as well. We have to nullify their threats and we certainly believe there are some areas we can try to exploit."

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High hopes for tough Bulldog pup

Bulldog Jack Macrae has slotted into the midfield. Picture: Colleen Petch Source: Colleen Petch / News Corp Australia

THE talkback caller had been following the Western Bulldogs for 45 years, which added a fair bit of weight behind his opinion of Jack Macrae.

"Macrae is as good, maybe a little bit better, than Doug Hawkins at the same age."

Out Footscray way, any comparison with Hawkins is as big as it gets. Dougie is royalty at the Whitten Oval and for a second-year player to be mentioned in the same sentence says a lot.

Macrae is the hottest youngster in the game, averaging 28 possessions in the opening three games of the season and including a match-turning performance against Richmond last week.

Former North Melbourne premiership star David King coached Macrae at Carey Grammar for two years and he hears the Hawkins comparison and then offers a big one of his own.

"He is a silent assassin," King says. "He reminds me a lot of Arch (Glenn Archer), just with the way he is.

"He is a lovely kid and all that stuff but get him out on the footy field and he wants to hurt you, he wants to kill you and he definitely wants to embarrass people which I think is a great trait."

Macrae is a classic cas of "don't judge a book by its cover".

He speaks with a soft voice, his answers are thoughtful and intelligent which makes it hard to believe it's the same person who the story goes recently ripped through former captain Matthew Boyd on the field for not being accountable.

"I save my voice for the weekend I guess," he says.

He was born in Kew, a mad Hawthorn supporter — he wore Shane Crawford's number on his back — who didn't know much about the western suburbs, let alone its football team.

"Probably my earliest memory was when Brad Johnson was under the speccy from Gary Moorcroft."

His obvious maturity for a 19-year-old can be traced back to his upbringing and the extended family in which he was given more responsibility than most teenagers.

Macrae's parents divorced when he was three and his older brother, Tom, was six.

A few years on the family grew with his father, David, who is in the retirement village industry, having two more children, Finlay and Lucia, while his mother had another son, Harrison.

Macrae dishes off a handball under pressure. Picture: Colleen Petch Source: News Corp Australia

"Having two families has been really great for me," he says. "Growing up my parents were pretty honest with me and gave me a lot of responsibility for how I wanted to be seen.

"Footy for me was always my No. 1 priority but having that younger family, having to be more of a role model, made me mature more quickly.

"When Tom moved to the Gold Coast I was the sole older brother but I have lots of fun with them and it's good to be looked up to."

His junior career wasn't the smooth sailing you'd expect from a No. 6 draft pick and he battled to get a look-in for representative squads and at TAC Cup level with the Oakleigh Chargers.

King takes up the story.

"When I first got there (Carey Grammar) I had to try and talk Oakleigh Chargers into playing him and they wouldn't play him which was a real frustration for me," King said.

"He averaged something like 35 possessions in Year 11 and that just doesn't happen. Year 11 kids don't do that, the Year 12s do but the Year 11s just don't.

"The endeavour and arrogance he plays with is great. There were a couple of times where he ran the full length of the ground, it was like he was in the Under 9s, he'd baulk someone, run 30m, baulk someone again, run 20m, and then baulk again."

Over the summer leading into his final school year, Macrae hired a kicking coach, former Carlton premiership player Ian Aitken, to work on his deficiencies.

"I did a bit of work on my ball drop and becoming a more damaging kick," he explains. "In the summer I didn't really do anything other than footy.

"Getting drafted was a priority and even though I wasn't on a lot of clubs radars, I was really keen on getting there."

He quickly did that and produced one of the performances of the U/18 championships, kicking four goals in a quarter to turn the game for Vic Metro against Tasmania.

By the time he led the Chargers to the premiership Macrae was being hailed as top ten material. The Western Bulldogs pounced and also grabbed a schoolmate in Nathan Hrovat at No. 21 in the 2012 draft.

After 13 games in his debut season, the 191cm Macrae — he has grown 3cm since arriving at the Dogs — spent this summer living out of the pocket of new development coach, Geelong's three-time premiership hero Joel Corey.

Corey's best piece of advice?

"Any player can have a good game but the best players do it each week, no matter who the opposition is. That's something I've really taken from him."

While he is confessed footy head who watches as many games as he can on the weekend, the recent hype about his rise doesn't register.

"My little brother likes to tell me after each game how I went in his Supercoach team but I'm not fazed by it all," he says. "I'm a bit embarrassed by it if anything.

"I'm not fussed whether it comes or not, I've just got to please the coaches and my teammates."

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Key Matilda injured in win over Brazil

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 09 April 2014 | 16.42

Michelle Heyman of Australia celebrates her goal against Brazil with teammates. Source: Bradley Kanaris / Getty Images

AN injury to Tameka Butt soured Australia's stirring performance in the second women's football international against heavyweight Brazil in Brisbane on Wednesday night.

Butt was carried off on a stretcher in the second half after injuring her leg in the 2-1 against the world's No. 6 ranked side.

A clinical finish from Michelle Heyman handed victory to the Matildas who are ranked No. 11 and will now head into the Asian Cup title defence with renewed confidence.

Tameka Butt of Australia is taken from the field on a stretcher injured. Source: Getty Images

The Matildas were clearly the sharper of the two outfits for the majority of the game and should have had more to show for their dominance than captain Kate Gill's first half header.

Australia's midfield trio of Butt, Elise Kellond-Knight and Katrina Gorry were energetic and creative but the home side paid dearly for indecisive defence when Brazil's Tamires Gomes equalised shortly after half-time.

Australia had the upper hand for all but five minutes of the first half.

Matildas co-captain Clare Polkinghorne thanks supporters after the match. Source: Getty Images

They had their first chance after only a minute when it took a great save from Brazilian keeper Thais Picarte to deny Butt.

Pinpoint delivery from the midfield and the speed of Lisa De Vanna and Gorry opened up space for the Matildas in behind the Brazilian defenders.

Gill had three opportunities but it took her until the 40th minute of the first half to put the Australians in front.

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Live Boxing: Mundine v Clottey

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ANTHONY Mundine faces his toughest challenge yet, fighting former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey for the WBA international light middleweight title in Newcastle.

Mundine is desperate to gain the international recognition he needs and gets him closer to his dream of facing Floyd Mayweather, with a win against Clottey bringing him one step closer.

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Mundine is currently ranked the No.4 contender for Floyd Mayweather's WBA world super-welterweight title.

However the 38-year-old has his work cut out for him.

Clottey, 36, boasts an impressive record. With 37 wins from 42 fights, his only losses have been at the hands of world champions Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito and Carlos Baldomir.

Clottey has claimed 21 of his 37 wins by knockout and has never been put on the canvas, while Mundine has been knocked out on two occasions, most recently by Australian Garth Wood in 2010.

Follow all the action from the Newcastle Entertainment centre by following our blog below:

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Dangerfield doubts eased

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ADELAIDE is confident "bruised and battered" midfield star Patrick Dangerfield will play in Sunday's crunch clash against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium.

Dangerfield is nursing a sprained left ankle and a sore body which saw him train just lightly today.

After the session he was limping slightly on the heavily bandaged ankle he twisted in last Saturday's 63-point loss to Sydney at Adelaide Oval.

Will Port Adelaide have more members than the Crows by the end of the season?

But teammate Daniel Talia tipped Dangerfield to play against the Saints while stressing the Crows players had to do a better job of looking after him during matches.

"He'll be fine," Talia said, stressing how badly 0-3 Adelaide needs a win.

"I'm not sure what's even wrong with him, Patty, he's always sore.


"He's been getting a bit bruised and battered lately and I think he's been a bit sore from that.

"So as a team we need to do a bit more to help him out."

Adelaide expects its other trio of sore players — Scott Thompson (corked thigh), Sam Kerridge (poke in eye) and Mitch Grigg (adductor) — to also prove their fitness.

Kerridge is the one in most doubt.

Agile forward Tom Lynch is considered an outside chance to resume in the SANFL from a dislocated shoulder.

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NFL star backs game Down Under

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 08 April 2014 | 16.42

Drew Brews celebrates winning Super Bowl XLIV Source: Getty Images

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has thrown his support behind a petition to get an official NFL game played in Australia.

The petition has prompted several key Australian figures in gridiron to back the initiative, including former NFL punter and ex-AFL player, Ben Graham.

Similarly, Brees responded enthusiastically to the request to bring the game to Aussie shores.

Known as one of the game's elite play-callers, in 2010 Brees led the Saints to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy in Super Bowl XLIV against Indianapolis. He was also named MVP in that pulsating match, facing the then Peyton Manning-led Colts.

Coming off the back of the hugely successful MLB Opening Series which was played in the revamped Sydney Cricket Ground, diehard American sports fans in Australia are hoping the NFL are inspired to make the trip over too.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman met with NFL executives in New York last month, urging the league to consider playing a game in Brisbane at the 52,000 capacity Suncorp Stadium.

"We will get them to Queensland," the Premier said.

"We'll show them the venue and the venues and we'll talk about what's possible."

In recent years the NFL has played popular showpiece games as part of the regular season in London, England.

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Demon Clark quits over mental illness

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MITCH Clark has informed the Melbourne Football Club of his decision to retire from AFL football.

As reported in the Herald Sun, Clark has been battling mental illness for the past 12 months and after time away from the club he decided he is unable to commit to a career as a professional sportsman.

The 26-year-old's retirement is effective immediately.

Clark struggled with injury since arriving at the club from Brisbane on a multi-million dollar deal via the 2011 trade period.



He made a bright start to his career in red and blue, kicking 33 goals in 11 games before suffering a serious midfoot injury against GWS in Round 13, 2012.

Complications with his foot injury limited Clark to just four more games.

Clark had been on leave from the club since the middle of March as he contemplated his future.

The Melbourne Football Club has continually pledged its support for Clark's personal wellbeing through his illness and football manager Josh Mahoney said the club supports Clark's decision to retire.

"Mitch's health has been the priority in this situation and after assessing all potential options, Mitch decided it was best for him to retire from AFL Football. The Melbourne Football Club supports this decision."


Clark thanked the club for its support as he took leave from the club to recover and contemplate his future.

"I just want to say thank you to the Melbourne Football Club, firstly for giving me the chance to play for them and secondly for taking care of me during my time there," a club statement said.

Mitch Clark kicks a big goal. Source: News Limited

"Everyone at the Club has been so supportive of me during some very challenging times, which I will always be appreciative of.

"Finally I want to say thank you to the players and members for being there for me. I'm sorry I wasn't out on the field more, but with my injuries, it just wasn't to be.

"I am very grateful for everything Melbourne has done for me. I will always consider myself a Melbourne player and a Melbourne person."

Clark was originally recruited from East Fremantle with pick No. 9 in the 2005 National Draft.

He played 97 AFL games and kicked 97 goals.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of mental illness should contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue

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Thorpe could lose use of left arm

Ian Thorpe is reportedly under intensive care in Sydney after contracting a bug while overseas. Source: Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

THERE are fears troubled swimming great Ian Thorpe may lose the use of his left arm, with reports he is receiving treatment for a serious infection.

The report comes from Network Seven after it stated on Tuesday evening that the 31-year-old five-time Olympic gold medallist contracted the bug following surgery at a hospital near his home in the Swiss town of Ronco sopra Ascona.

He is now under intensive care in Sydney, and Seven said Thorpe's close associates fear he could lose the use of his left arm.

Thorpe has also been battling depression and left Australia to live in Switzerland. Source: News Limited

Thorpe's father revealed in February that the swimmer was battling depression.

He sought help in early 2014 after being found disoriented near his parents' Sydney home, having taken a combination of antidepressants and medication for a shoulder injury.

Thorpe was sent for medical assessment to Bankstown Hospital and then entered a rehabilitation program.

The swimmer made an ill-fated attempt to compete at the 2012 London Olympics.

Thorpe's manager did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The Barometer: Who’s hot, who’s not

Written By Unknown on Senin, 07 April 2014 | 16.42

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Brad Crouch (leg) 5 weeks

Mitch Grigg (groin) TBC

Ricky Henderson (ankle) 4-5 months

Sam Kerridge (eye) test

Tom Lynch (shoulder) 1-2 weeks

Andy Otten (knee) 1-2 weeks

Sam Shaw (wrist) test

Scott Thompson (corked thigh) test

Taylor Walker (knee) 2-5 weeks

Nathan van Berlo (Achilles) 4-6 months

ON THE BLOCK: The Crows are sweating on the fitness of a couple of key players — the last thing needed after a third straight loss. Jared Petrenko could be on shaky ground but it's more a matter of trying to find fit and able troops for the coaching staff at the moment.


ON THE CUSP: Cam Ellis-Yolmen impressed in the SANFL and could earn his AFL debut. Jarryd Lyons is also right in the mix to come in.

BEN BROAD'S FORECAST: Worrying signs for the Crows in the final term as the Swans

ran away, booting seven unanswered goals to stun the home side. Adelaide looked wounded and low on confidence, so there needs to be some soul-searching this week before Brenton Sanderson's men tackle a very winnable month of footy.

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Claye Beams (foot) 2-3 weeks

Stefan Martin (back) test

Ash McGrath (calf) 1 week

Luke McGuane (knee) 1-2 weeks

Sam Michael (hamstring) test

James Polkinghorne (knee) test

Daniel Rich (knee) season

Brent Staker (calf) 3-4 weeks

Patrick Weardon (ankle) 10 weeks

ON THE BLOCK: Shocking news for Daniel Rich who will require a full knee reconstruction after scans confirmed a ruptured ACL. Daniel Merrett will also be missing for the next two matches after being rubbed out by the match review panel. Lions coach Justin Leppitsch must want to make some statements following his side's meek surrender to the Suns. Michael Close could be in the gun, while Josh Green didn't do a lot and Lewis Taylor is likely to be given a rest at times this year.


ON THE CUSP: The Lions' twos had a big win over the Suns in the NEAFL, and the good news was off-season trade Jackson Paine starred with five goals. Youngsters Nick Robertson, Tom Cutler and Jack Crisp also impressed, as did recently demoted Rohan Bewick.

BEN BROAD'S FORECAST: A trip to the Adelaide Oval — and the Power coming off a loss

— is not what the doctor ordered for Brisbane. Still, it's how his men respond that will tell Leppitsch much about his group. Expect the coach to bring in some fresh faces, and former Pie Paine should get his chance — especially with Jonathan Brown looking like he needs some support.

Daniel Rich of the Lions is helped from the field Photo by Chris Hyde Source: Getty Images



Matthew Kreuzer (foot) test

Chris Judd (Achilles) 3 weeks

ON THE BLOCK: Where to start? It might be like throwing darts at a dartboard come selection. There's a few untouchables, but not many.

ON THE CUSP: Good reading for Carlton fans in the VFL. The Northern Blues' best players read: Heath Scotland, Levi Casboult, Patrick Cripps, Tom Temay, Cameron Wood and Nick Graham. First-round draft pick Patrick Cripps will surely get a start this weekend, while Sam Docherty is ready to go after overcoming injury.

BEN BROAD'S FORECAST: Time to ring in the changes. The Blues must do something,

anything, to spark their season. Expect a raft of changes at selection as Mick Malthouse reacts to the "embarrassing" effort against Essendon.

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Dayne Beams (ankle) test

Tim Broomhead (wrist) 1 week

Nathan Brown (shoulder) 3-4 weeks

Sam Dwyer (knee) TBC

Nathan Freeman (hamstring) 2 weeks

Corey Gault (groin) test

Patrick Karnezis (osteitis pubis) 2-3 weeks

Nick Maxwell (anke) test

Adam Oxley (ankle) 1-2 weeks

Ben Reid (calf) 1-2 weeks

Matthew Scharenberg (feet) indefinite

Paul Seedsman (hip) 1-2 weeks

Ben Sinclair (hamstring) 1-2 weeks

ON THE BLOCK: The Pies have injury and MRP concerns, so it's unlikely there'll be

too many unforced changes this week. Taylor Adams is set to miss after copping a week for flattening Joel Selwood. A couple of regulars are battling niggles and soreness and may struggle to come up for the Tigers.


ON THE CUSP: The Pies' VFL side beat the AIS Academy by 73 points with Ben Kennedy picking up 28 disposals in three quarters, and Quinten Lynch had 21 and two goals.

BEN BROAD'S FORECAST: Some big guns were down and the Pies still got within a kick in the final minutes against the Cats, so while disappointing it wasn't a bad effort. Dane Swan and Travis Cloke's form is a concern, but if the Pies can get their stars all fit and firing at the same time there's plenty of upside for Nathan Buckley's men.

The Herald Sun's footy writers name their SuperCoach heroes and villains from Round 3



Tom Bellchambers (ankle) 2-3 weeks

Alex Browne (knee) season

Coutenay Dempsey (hamstring) indefinite

Lauchlan Dalgleish (Achilles) TBC

Will Hams (hip) 2-3 weeks

Nick Kommer (knee) 2-3 weeks

Patrick Ryder (ankle) test

ON THE BLOCK: Hmmmm, tough one. The Bombers had winners everywhere in their huge win over Carlton. Sub Martin Gleeson came on and gathered 10 touches while Jason Ashby went at 85 per cent efficiency with his 13 touches — and they were the minor contributors.


ON THE CUSP: Mark Thompson forecast a continual changing of his line-up this year as he strives to keep his team fresh in a bid to have them peaking at the right time. Former GWS youngsters Kurt Aylett and Shaun Edwards were among the best for Essendon's VFL team and could get a chance this week, while small forwards Leroy Jetta and Zac Merrett also impressed.

BEN BROAD'S FORECAST: Is Essendon the second best team in the competition? Still

far too early to get a read on exactly how good certain sides are, but the Bombers' form looks good on paper. We'll get a better guide this week when they travel west to take on Fremantle, albeit weakened by injury, at Subiaco. The Bombers have a ruthless, hungry look about them, and another win against a below-strength Dockers outfit would only fuel the hype about Bomber's men.

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Jacob Ballard (hand) test

Michael Barlow (knee) 4-6 weeks

Kepler Bradley (knee) 1-2 weeks

Nat Fyfe (suspension) Round 5

Jonathon Griffin (knee) 1 week

Scott Gumbleton (hamstring) 8 weeks

Garrick Ibbotson (shoulder) TBC

Max Duffy (shoulder) 4-6 weeks

Alex Pearce (shin) 2 weeks

Tanner Smith (hamstring) 4-5 weeks

Colin Sylvia (quad) test

Matt Taberner (hip) test

Michael Walters (knee) test

ON THE BLOCK: It may be more a case of Fremantle having to plug some gaps, with a few stars battling injuries. Jack Hannath could lose his spot for a bigger name, while Matt de Boer, Cam Sutcliffe and Hayden Crozier's names are often discussed.

ON THE CUSP: Zac Dawson (suspension) will return for the Bombers and stiffen the backline while Alex Silvagni (Achilles) will be in the mix. Clancee Pearce is a big chance to return and add some grunt, while Zac Clarke is also a possibility to finally return from a knee injury. Colin Sylvia would also be a chance to finally make his debut if he's over his thigh.

BEN BROAD'S FORECAST: How much time will Ross Lyon spend on Friday night's horror loss to Hawthorn? Was it a case of clearly being outgunned by a better team, or the men in purple having a Docker shocker? Perhaps a bit of both. The footy world knows last year's Grand Finalists are better than the score suggests, but how they respond against a rival with almost equally good credentials so far in 2014 will be fascinating. Freo hosts the high-flying Bombers this week in what shapes as a corker. On their most-recent outing, the visitors would have to start favourites.

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Allen Christensen (back) 6-7 weeks

Corey Enright (ankle) test

Shane Kersten (knee) 6-8 weeks

Daniel Menzel (knee) indefinite

Steven Motlop (knee) 2-3 weeks

Billie Smedts (leg) test

Nathan Vardy (knee) season

ON THE BLOCK: Last man in Jackson Sheringham is a likely candidate to go out if the

Cats recall some regulars, although his pace was handy late against the Pies. Mitch Brown has had a quiet two weeks and could be given a spell.


ON THE CUSP: Taylor Hunt (suspension) is ready to return and all eyes will be on Corey Enright to see if he's fit to tackle the Eagles in a top-four battle at Simonds Stadium. Josh Walker can do nothing more to forge his case after starring in the VFL with four goals in a best afield display.

BEN BROAD'S FORECAST: The Cats couldn't have asked for a better start to the year. Unbeaten from three starts and now a chance to host the Eagles- who seem a genuine top-four side — on their own turf. Mark LeCras seems certain to miss, too, meaning Chris Scott may be doing a rain dance this week as he plans ways to try to combat West Coast's tall timber. Expect the three talls of Hamish McIntosh, Dawson Simpson and Mark Blicavs to again play in the same side as Geelong strives for four on the trot, while Josh Walker is likely to replace Mitch Brown.

David Swallow of the Suns looks to handball. Photo by Chris Hyde Source: Getty Images



Harley Bennell (calf) 1-2 weeks

Nathan Bock (leg) indefinite

Jesse Lonergan (hand) TBC

Jack Martin (shoulder) indefinite

Zac Smith (knee) indefinite

Seb Tape (hamstring) test

ON THE BLOCK: Not many facing the chop following one of the club's best wins. The 53-point romp over the Lions included winners on every line. Matt Shaw was the sub and didn't get as long to impress as others, so he may be the most likely out if Bluey McKenna does want a change. There could be two forced moves with Steven May and Brandon Matera were both offered one-match bans by the match review panel.

ON THE CUSP: The Suns' reserves were hammered by the Lions. Home-grown product Alex Sexton was good, while Karmichael Hunt kicked a goal and remains in the frame for a call-up. Harley Bennell is still at least a week off with his calf injury.

BEN BROAD'S FORECAST: Gold Coast may have touched up the Lions at the weekend but this Saturday night they take on an entirely different beast. Hawthorn will present a very different challenge for the Suns, and will provide Guy McKenna's side with a far better guide as to how much improvement they have made in 2014. No one is expecting victory but, on their home turf, expect Gazza and his sidekicks to give a good account of themselves.

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Phil Davis (kidney) indefinite

Dylan Shiel (quad) 1-2 weeks

Tim Mohr (knee) 4 weeks

Rhys Palmer (hamstring) 3-5 weeks

Sam Schulz (shoulder) 3-4 weeks

ON THE BLOCK: Hard to nudge anyone from a winning line-up — especially such a young side that's rarely enjoyed singing the song. Starting sub Will Hoskin-Elliott, Sam Frost, Lachie Plowman and Adam Kennedy are some of the fringe players who are more likely to feel any selection heat. Devon Smith is set to miss a week for striking Bernie Vince.

ON THE CUSP: Plenty of talent on the GWS list from which to choose. Stephen Gilham could bolster a backline missing Phil Davis and Tim Mohr, Jed Lamb is still waiting for his chance to impress at his new club while Kristian Jaksch and Tim Golds starred in the Giants' reserves win over the Swans.

BEN BROAD'S FORECAST: Leon Cameron would enjoy playing with a settled line-up. He's unlikely to make many changes this week when the Giants host the Western Bulldogs. Dylan Addison — subbed off at the weekend — will be out to prove his old side he still had plenty to offer them. Could this be the week GWS, in a bid to stretch the Jordan Roughead-less Bulldogs, include Tom Boyd? We'd like to see that.

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Jed Anderson (shoulder) 1-2 weeks

Brad Sewell (hamstring) test

Luke Hodge (groin) test

Brendan Whitecross (knee) indefinite

ON THE BLOCK: Jon Ceglar and Angus Litherland were the newbies among the Hawks bunch against Freo — not that it mattered. They are most likely to go if Alastair Clarkson is able to recall some of his premiership heroes.

ON THE CUSP: Will skipper Luke Hodge come back from a groin after just one week?

The Hawks can probably give him another week off, although Hodge told Nova FM on

Monday: "I am very very confidential I will play". Ben Stratton returned from a hamstring in the VFL at the weekend and was Box Hill's best. Ryan Schoenmakers also returned at the lower level and impressed, while Brian Lake's suspension from the Grand Final is now over — however the coach flagged a return via Box Hill.

BEN BROAD'S FORECAST: The Hawks are flying. On Friday night they silenced anyone questioning their desire following their premiership and again assumed outright premiership favouritism with a blistering display against Freo. Soldiers are set to return to the senior line-up in coming weeks, which is a scary thought for opposition sides.




Mitch Clark (personal leave) indefinite

Chris Dawes (calf) 2-3 weeks

Jesse Hogan (back) 5 weeks

Aidan Riley (leg) test

Max Gawn (hamstring) — test

ON THE BLOCK: With the dropping of Jack Trengove, Paul Roos has shown he isn't scared to swing the axe and Jack Fitzpatrick, Rohan Bail and Dean Terlich will be in the gun this week. Jay Kennedy-Harris has been the substitute in the first three rounds and should be given an opportunity to start on the ground or spend a week or two in the VFL to maintain his match fitness.


ON THE CUSP: Jack Trengove collected 25 possessions and kicked a goal to be one of Casey's best players alongside Neville Jetta, Mitch Clisby and Jordie McKenzie, who will all press for selection. Mark Jamar returned from a foot injury, but will need longer in the VFL to regain match fitness and Colin Garland didn't play VFL as expected but should return this week — maybe even straight into the senior side.

ADAM BALDWIN'S FORECAST: The burning question leading into the GWS game was whether Melbourne could kick a score to win. In the wet conditions it could only manage seven majors, but there is no doubt the intensity and endeavour was there. With key players on the sidelines, Melbourne should be given concessions for its winless start to the season, however what it cannot be excused for its it's ball use. The Demons consistently turn the football over by foot and make it impossible to maintain any control over the game or play with any structure when they keep giving the leather back to the opposition. Melbourne return to the MCG to play Carlton this week and need will need to bring the intensity they delivered against GWS and add polish to their kicking skills to be any chance.

Jack Trengove had 25 disposals for Casey. Picture Sarah Matray Source: News Corp Australia



Tom Curran (foot) indefinite

Taylor Garner (hamstring) 3-4 weeks

Andrew Swallow (Achilles) 3-6 weeks

Robbie Tarrant (lower leg) 1-2 weeks

Jack Ziebell (shoulder) test

Jamie McMillan (broken leg) 4-6 weeks

Cam Delaney (toe) test

ON THE BLOCK: It was hard to fault anyone in North Melbourne's best performance of the season. Drew Petrie was again held goalless, but given his ability to force a contest and bring other players into the game, his output should not be measure on goals alone. Jack Ziebell just has to get through training to play and is the likely replacement for Jamie McMillan, who suffered a non-displaced fracture of the fibula against Port. Dan Currie struggled to mark the ball against Port and will come under pressure from Majak Daw.

ON THE CUSP: Michael Firrito was named Werribee's best player on Saturday and Majak Daw got through another game unscathed in his comeback from a knee injury, while rookie Tim McGenniss is a name to watch after another strong performance in the VFL. North Ballarat had the weekend off so Liam Anthony, Robin Nahas and Joel Tippett were unable to press their claims any further.

ADAM BALDWIN'S FORECAST: North's ability to outrun and outlast Port Adelaide will give it enormous confidence going into the clash with Sydney at the SCG. North's midfield is starting to fire and if Drew Petrie and Aaron Black can provide a dangerous forward target they will be hard to beat. Scott Thompson will have his hands full with Buddy Franklin, but on the small SCG deck he will have plenty of help from Nathan Grima and Lachie Hansen. Levi Greenwood was outstanding with 34 touches and he is a great match-up for the big bodied Josh Kennedy.

The Kangaroos have historically struggled at the SCG in recent times, but they couldn't get Sydney at a better time.

Drew Petrie of the Kangaroos and Alipate Carlile contest for the ball. Photo by Michael Dodge Source: Getty Images



Angus Monfries — hamstring (TBC)

Chad Wingard — ankle (assess)

Jay Schulz — foot (assess)

Jarrad Redden — knee (3-4 weeks)

Campbell Heath — shin (3-4 weeks)

Sam Russell — hamstring (6-8 weeks)

Mason Shaw — wrist (6-7 weeks)


ON THE BLOCK: Angus Monfries is likely to miss at least a month of football with a serious hamstring injury, while Chad Winagrd hurt his ankle in the third term and his movement was restricted for the remainder of the game. If Ken Hinkley decides to make a change, Jasper Pittard and Jarman Impey are struggling and John Butcher has kicked just two goals this season.

ON THE CUSP: Aaron Young was best on ground in the reserves Round 1 loss to Norwood and along with Sam Colquhoun, Cam O'Shea, Aaron Young and Tom Clurey, he continues to wait in the wings. Andrew Moore has recovered from a shoulder injury and is likely to return via the SANFL this weekend.

ADAM BALDWIN'S FORECAST: Port Adelaide has the makings of a top six team, however if this is to materialise it will need to beat fellow finals aspirants and win on the road — two things not achieved in the loss to North Melbourne. The Power played well and were beaten by a good side, but lacked the killer edge we have come to expect. Was it a Showdown hangover? Port return to the Adelaide Oval and host Brisbane in what form lines suggest should be a comfortable victory, however Brisbane have been pretty dogged despite its winless start. Chad Wingard spoke about his teams want to punish sides with pressure from the first quarter, so expect Port to start the game with ferocity.

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Ivan Maric (ankle) 3 weeks

Matt Dea (hand) 4 weeks

Alex Rance (foot) 2 weeks

Aaron Edwards (knee) 2 weeks

Chris Knights (knee soreness) test

Liam McBean (ankle) test

Nick Vlastuin (concussion) test

Brett Deledio (ankle) test

Shaun Hampson (knee) test

Jake King (quad) test

ON THE BLOCK: Look at all those "tests" — the docs might make it hard for Damien

Hardwick to swing the axe, as much as he might like to after another disappointing loss. The Tigers say they will have a better idea midweek whether Deledio, Hampson and King will be fit to face the Magpies. Nick Vlastuin should recover from mild concussion although a six-day break might work against him. At least the Tigers dodged an MRP bullet with Jack Riewoldt and Matt Thomas escaping with reprimands. King is important to Richmond's structure but he has struggled for form this year, towelled up by Liam Picken on the weekend. And it might be nearly time to make the tough call on warrior Chris Newman, who has struggled to make an impact in any of the three matches this year and looked off the pace against a youthful Dogs side.


ON THE CUSP: The stand-alone VFL side was beaten by 117 points in its first outing so

there aren't many knocking on the door. Anthony Miles had his usual truckload of possessions, Brad Helbig, Matt Arnot and Nathan Foley did a bit but that was about it. Knights and McBean both missed the game and Jake Batchelor was reported to round out a forgettable day.

AL PATON'S FORECAST: Talk of elimination finals in April might seem premature but the Tigers simply must win on Friday night if they are to have any hope of repeating last year's finals appearance. The next month looks like this: Collingwood, Brisbane, Hawthorn, Geelong. And Richmond hasn't beaten Collingwood since 2007. A big pre-season win in Wangaratta will inspire some confidence but that seems a long time ago now. Deledio's run is crucial and a revitalised Jack Riewoldt has to repeat his second-half heroics from Saturday. Trent Cotchin can't

do it all on his own.



Sam Fisher (hamstring) 1 weeks

Sam Gilbert (foot) 4-6 weeks

Lewis Pierce (back) 5 weeks

Jack Steven (foot) test

Adam Schneider (back) test

ON THE BLOCK: Beau Maister is under pressure to hold his spot after kicking one

goal in three matches. Shane Savage took his chance after coming on early as the sub for the unlucky Sam Gilbert, who will miss at least a month with what the Saints say is "severe bruising and soreness" to his foot. Gilbert will not need surgery and the club says he avoided structural damage and just needs rest. Hard to find too many others out of form although the kids could be



ON THE CUSP: Jack Billings was the star of Sandringham's VFL win against Frankston, kicking four last-quarter goals and five for the game. Tom Lee kicked four goals playing ruck/forward and could take Maister's spot. Josh Bruce (23 disposals) and rookie Cam Shenton (24 disposals, nine marks) were others to put their hands up. Blake Acres, the third of St Kilda's top-20 draft picks from last November, returned from injury in Sandy's development side and had 24 touches and 10 marks. In more good news, best-and-fairest winner Jack Steven is nearly ready to resume from a foot injury but that is likely to be in the VFL.

AL PATON'S FORECAST: Gilbert's injury soured an admirable performance from the

Saints out west and now they have a look at a very beatable Adelaide at Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Luke Dunstan is a ripper, Eli Templeton is exciting and Alan Richardson is getting the best out of players like Clinton Jones and Farren Ray. One of the feel-good stories of the year so far.

Lance Franklin evades Daniel Talia. PIC SARAH REED. Source: News Corp Australia



Kurt Tippett (knee) 1-2 weeks

Adam Goodes (knee) 2-3 weeks

Tommy Walsh (hamstring) 2-3 weeks

Alex Johnson (knee) season

ON THE BLOCK: After impressing in the pre-season Gary Rohan has struggled in the first three rounds. He started as the substitute against Adelaide and provided the Swans with a bit of spark with a nice goal. Rohan isn't setting the world on fire by any stretch of the imagination, but provides a good substitute option so should hold his spot. Rhyce Shaw's ball-use was horrible in the first two games, but his 18 touches against the Crows went at an improved 78 per cent. Tom Mitchell needs to lift after just nine touches and the red vest. Jarrad McVeigh may face scrutiny from the tribunal for a high hit on Adelaide's Matthew Jaensch.

ON THE CUSP: Kurt Tippett isn't far away, while Brandon Jack and Dean Towers continue to press for selection. Toby Nankervis kicked two goals in the NEAFL on the weekend.

ADAM BALDWIN'S FORECAST: A week is a long time in football and after dominating the Crows, John Longmire's men will be feeling a lot better about themselves. Buddy was best on ground and Sydney's second half was particularly impressive. However, there is no relenting in AFL football and the Swans face yet another test against North Melbourne on Sunday. A win leaves the Swans 2-2 and back on track, while a loss means 1-3 and more questions. North were ultra-impressive against Port Adelaide and it's midfield showed a want to outwork a really fit side, while the Swans midfield has looked sluggish at times this season. It will be fascinating to see how Buddy operates in the tighter confines of the SCG.

Jackson Macrae kicks at goal. Picture Michael Klein. Source: News Corp Australia



Jarrad Grant (foot) 5 weeks

Sam Darley (abdominal) 2 weeks

Daniel Pearce (knee) 6-10 weeks

Jordan Roughead (shoulder) TBC

ON THE BLOCK: Jason Johannisen had just four disposals against the Tigers, Tom Williams had some howlers and Mitch Wallis couldn't curtail Trent Cotchin. Other than that Roughead's shoulder injury is the main concern.

ON THE CUSP: Koby Stevens is set to return from a bout of whiplash. Lots of good news from the Dogs' VFL side, with Mitch Honeychurch, Tom Young, Brett Goodes among those to shine while Ayce Cordy kicked five goals and Tory Dickson four. Marcus Bontompelli missed the VFL win to be at Etihad in case of a last-minute injury and will be close again this week.

AL PATON'S FORECAST: The Dogs can thank a great mix of youth and experience for

their first win of the season, with the youth (Macrae, Hunter) setting up the victory against Richmond in the first half and the experience (Boyd, Giansiracusa) sealing the deal in the last quarter. And Tom Liberatore everywhere throughout. After a slow start to the season, things are suddenly looking bright with a clash against GWS in Canberra followed by winnable games against Carlton, Adelaide and Melbourne before the bye.

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Tom Barrass (hip) 2-3 weeks

Mark Hutchings (back) test

Beau Waters (shoulder) season

Mark LeCras (arm) 6 weeks

Sharrod Wellingham (groin) test

Scott Selwood (ankle) test

Shannon Hurn (knee) 4-6 weeks

Chris Masten (corked thigh) test


ON THE BLOCK: The Eagles have injury concerns going into Saturday's clash against Geelong with Mark LeCras out and Chris Masten, Sharrod Wellingh and Scott Selwood in doubt. LeCras suffered a broken arm and will miss six weeks while Luke Shuey faces a week on the sidelines for striking Saint Tom Curren.

ON THE CUSP: Dom Sheed continues to perform well in the WAFL and is a strong chance to come into the side, while Mark Hutchings returned WAFL last weekend after a month on the sidelines.

ADAM BALDWIN'S FORECAST: After breezing through the NAB Challenge and the first three rounds of the season, Adam Simpson's team has been begging for a true test of its progress. A trip to Skilled Stadium to play Geelong is exactly that and the football public will be wiser on where the Eagles are at by 10.30 on Saturday night. West Coast's form this year has been faultless and they are playing a brand of football that lends itself to beating the best. Their midfield is firing and through Jack Darling and Josh Kennedy they have forward targets who can kick a score. Tipsters are already spruiking the Eagles as a top 4 lock and if they get the chocolates against the Cats they are the real deal.

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Tex cleared of major damage

Adelaide forward Taylor Walker cleared of serious hamstring damage. Picture: Getty Source: Morne de Klerk / Getty Images

ACE Adelaide forward Taylor Walker has been cleared of serious damage to the hamstring he hurt at training on Saturday.

Walker — close to resuming from a knee reconstruction — had precautionary scans on his hamstring late yesterday and the damage was listed as being "at the very minor end of the scale''.

The club says the soreness will have "minimal'' effect on his return to the game, although it might delay his return by a week or two.

Walker reported hamstring soreness after training on Saturday morning.

He was not in the frame for selection against St Kilda this week but was considered a chance to resume for the Crows in the SANFL against Central District on April 19.

Walker, who ruptured the ACL in his right knee against Carlton at the MCG on April 27 last year, resumed full training two weeks ago.

A club spokesman said it wasn't unusual for a player to feel soreness after increasing his training workload after a long injury lay-off.

But the winless Crows have vowed to take every precaution with their No. 1 forward, despite desperately needing him back in their side to spearhead their attack.

Three other Crows who played in last Saturday's crushing 63-point home defeat to Sydney — midfielders Scott Thompson (corked thigh), Sam Kerridge (poke in eye) and Mitch Grigg (adductor soreness) — will face fitness tests before being cleared to play against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Dual club champion Thompson was subbed out of the Swans clash at quarter-time, Kerridge was injured in the third term and Grigg was hurt in the last quarter but played out the game in attack.

The club expects all three to win their fitness battles as the Crows chase their first win of the season.

Veteran Jason Porplyzia suffered a corked buttock in Adelaide's inaugural State League loss to North Adelaide on Sunday and must also pass a fitness test before being considered for an AFL recall.

Key utilities Tom Lynch (shoulder) and Andy Otten (knee) are still a week or two away from resuming.

St Kilda has lost important defender Sam Gilbert for the clash with the Crows with a foot injury.

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ACL injury confirmed for Rich

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BRISBANE coach Justin Leppitsch accepts he must abandon his rule of capping the number of kids in his side after losing Daniel Rich and Daniel Merrett in a horror day for the club.

Rich will miss a year with an ACL injury while Merrett has been rubbed-out by the MRP for three weeks, which can be reduced to two with an early guilty plea, for a high shot on Sun David Swallow in Saturday's 53 point loss.

The Lions will accept the penalty.

Leppitsch said his intention at the start of the year was give every young player who was physically ready for AFL action a taste of senior football but wanted a limit to four in the side at any time in an attempt to balance the advantages of fast tracking a young draftee's development against the potential for burnout and some confidence battering if the losses mount-up.

He has already stretched that rule in the opening three weeks by selecting first and second year players Sam Mayes, Justin Clarke, James Aish, Michael Close and Lewis Taylor.

And he is now giving strong consideration to youngsters Jackson Paine, Nick Robertson and Darcy Gardiner as replacements or Rich and Merrett or the round four match against Port Adelaide on Saturday.

Leppitsch said he cared about the win-loss ratio because he wanted to give hope to the fans but said his priority would never shift from what was in the best long-term interests of the club and their younger layers and he would not make selections to protect his own reputation.

He said the loss of Rich was a massive blow for the club and player but said it was a fact of life in football and the best approach was to focus all energy on his rehabilitation.

He has already stretched that rule in the opening three weeks by selecting first and second year players Sam Mayes, Justin Clarke, James Aish, Michael Close and Lewis Taylor.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 05: Daniel Rich of the Lions is helped from the field injured during the round three AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium on April 5, 2014 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images) Source: Getty Images

And he is now giving strong consideration to youngsters Jackson Paine, Nick Robertson and Darcy Gardiner as replacements or Rich and Merrett or the round four match against Port Adelaide on Saturday.

Leppitsch said he cared about the win-loss ratio because he wanted to give hope to the fans but said his priority would never shift from what was in the best long-term interests of the club and their younger layers and he would not make selections to protect his own reputation.

He said the loss of Rich was a massive blow for the club and player but said it was a fact of life in football and the best approach was to focus all energy on his rehabilitation.

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SuperCoach Studs and Duds

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 06 April 2014 | 16.41

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ROUND 3 could be one of the most important weeks of the SuperCoach season.

Not only is it the first week that player prices begin to change, it is also the first week of head-to-head league matches.

So, if you've got an underperforming premium or a high scoring rookie it could mean the difference between office bragging rights and humiliation.



Hawks Studs: Who wearing brown and gold wasn't a SuperCoach stud on Friday night? Isaac Smith (130 points) led the way, with his 30 disposals and three goals with an amazing 83 per cent efficiency. Luke Breust's (120) strong form while Matt Suckling (102), Jarryd Roughead (117) and Sam Mitchell (116) all rewarded their owners.

Hawks Duds: Will Langford (49) was delighted to kick his first AFL goal, but he wouldn't be as thrilled with his 57 per cent efficiency rate.

Dockers Studs: There wasn't a heap to like about Fremantle on Friday night and with only one player to crack the ton. Despite the withdrawal of Ben McEvoy, Aaron Sandilands could only manage 106. Matthew Pavlich (97) was arguably the only Docker who could get on the plane to Perth with his head held high.

Dockers Duds: Where do we start? It would be best practice to start from the bottom and work our way up, but it would make painful reading and if you sat through the second half on Friday night — you don't deserve to go through it all again. Put simply, 10 players failed to raise their bat for a half century. Pathetic.

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Bulldogs Studs: If they aren't already, Tom Liberatore (154) and Jackson Macrae (119) are going to make a formidle midfield combination in the near future. The young Dogs are impressive, but the old ones aren't bad either. Matthew Boyd (129) might not have the captaincy but he is a lock for a nice SuperCoach return.

Bulldogs Duds: Luke Dahlhaus (59) and Shaun Higgins (76) are popular selections, but they won't be getting too many pats on the back from the SuperCoach fraternity. Higgins' highest score is 74 this year and those who made the brave call to select him are getting very impatient.

Tigers Studs: Jack Riewoldt (125) was languishing on three points midway through the second term, but he flicked the switch in the second half and finished the game with four goals. Trent Cotchin (125) was his dependable best with 28 touches. Ben Griffiths is starting to make some serious strides this year as he finished with 122.

Tigers Duds: After a good game against Carlton Brandon Ellis (56) stunk it up with a modest 15 touches. Jake King (27) was hampered by an arm injury, but could only touch the leather six times.

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Swans Studs: It was all about the Buddy Show as Lance Franklin returned to form with 130 points. Luke Parker (131) is rewarded his owners with a big start to the season and is valuable forward option who plays in the midfield. Co-captain Kieran Jack (123) showed he is back to his best after an injury curtailed his start to the season.

Swans Duds: Popular rookie-priced forward Gary Rohan continues to be a headache for his owners after starting as the sub and finishing with 21 points. Tom Mitchell is as popular as teammate Luke Parker but was subbed out with just 55 points. Lewis Roberts-Thomson (19) was the Swans lowest scorer.

Crows Studs: Rory Sloane is stepping up as the Crows injury list decimates their midfield depth and lead the way with 122 points. Former Cat James Podsiadly (117) showed he still got plenty to offer while Matthew Jaensch (111) and Matthew Wright (100) rewarded their owners faith.

Crows Duds: Scott Thompson's early exit further added pain to the Crows midfield woes and he mustered just 28 points. Sam Kerridge (37) had tagging duties while Eddie Betts (40) was kept well quiet.

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Suns Studs: Is there anything left to say about Gary Ablett. An amazing 38 touches and three goals resulted in 182 points but imagine what Gaz could have scored had he taken more than one mark. The Suns are well stocked in the midfield as Dion Prestia (126), Jaeger O'Meara (114) and David Swallow (102) ran rings around the Lions.

Suns Duds: Matt Shaw started as the sub and could only manage 20 points in his short stint. Key defender Rory Thompson isn't in the game to score big but 36 is still down on his usual output while popular rookie Clay Cameron finished with just 36.

Lions Studs: Two of the Lions' three Rs put on a clinic in the QClash defeat. Tom Rockliff (155) and Jack Redden (121) have bright future's and give Lions fans hope. Pearce Hanley (119) was excellent all day in defence.

Lions Duds: Poor old Jonathan Brown. The Lion King simply couldn't get into the match on Saturday and finished with just 10 points. Dayne Zorko was one of the most popular buys before Round 3 but burnt his coaches badly with just 47 points.

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Eagles Studs: Is there any stopping Dean Cox. The evergreen Eagles big man stepped up when his team needed him on Saturday and finished with 122 points. Midfielders Matt Priddis (120), Luke Shuey (113) and Scott Selwood (111) were vital.

Eagles Duds: Mark LeCras can't seem it get a break. The Eagles small forward injured his arm early in the first quarter and was quickly subbed out with 20 points to his name. Nic Naitanui (64) was well down on what we know he is capable off while Callum Sinclair (34) could be under pressure to hold his spot next week.

Saints Studs: If you had midfield rookie Luke Dunstan on the ground this week, congratulations. The young gun produced 143 points in just his third game. Farren Ray (119) was the only other St Kilda player to crack the SuperCoach ton.

Saints Duds: The Saints had early injury trouble of their own as Sam Gilbert was subbed out without troubling the scorers in the first quarter. Luke Delaney and Josh Saunder both finished with 49 to prop up the Saints SuperCoach scoring.

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Cats Studs: Mitch Duncan (141) might not be the biggest name in the Geelong line-up but he stood up as the Cats got up in a tight battle. Joel Selwood (138), on the other hand, is the biggest name in the Cats line-up and scored accordingly. Tom Hawkins's match-winning final quarter netted him 118 points.

Cats Duds: Mitch Brown (31) and Mark Blicavs (23) shared the subs vest on Saturday night. Josh Caddy is a popular mid-price choice in the forward line but failed to deliver and finished with 53 points.

Magpies Studs: After a somewhat quiet start to the season, Steele Sidebottom showed his worth with 131 points in the narrow loss. A bag of five-goals and a contender for Mark of the Year netted Jamie Elliott 117 points. Scott Pendlebury (115) could back up his mammoth 182 from last week.

Magpies Duds: Travis Cloke's early-season struggles have been well documented but 27 points is a new low for the Magpies key forward. Taylor Adams started as the sub and managed 20 points but a potential MRP suspension is hanging over his head.

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Giants studs: A couple of monster-sized scores from GWS midfielders in a game made for clearances and hard-ball gets. Adam Treloar (176) continued his outstanding 2014 while Shane Mumford (164) had 60 hit-outs. Callan Ward was also superb with 129 points.

Giants duds: Jeremy Cameron (56) kicked a couple and looked like posting a decent total before fading. Adam Kennedy (51) and Sam Frost (44) were among the lower-ranked players for GWS.

Demons studs: Jeremy Howe played in defence and looked OK, his spoiling and long kicking yielding 108 points. Cam Pedersen also hit the 100, while the popular Dom Tyson earned 94 points.

Demons duds: Jay Kennedy-Harris (12) only got on in the third term after starting as the sub, while Shannon Byrnes (35) and Jack Fitzpatrick didn't reach any great heights. Alex Georgiou (47) was OK in defence.

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Kangaroos Studs: Little known midfielder Sam Gibson roared home in the final quarter to finish with a match-high 123. Ben cunnington (120), Levi Greenwood (119), Nick Dal Santo (119) and Brent Harvey (114) were vital in the final term.

Kangaroos Duds: Key forward Drew Petrie is certainly struggling in the opening rounds. Despite spending 94 per cent of the match on the ground he could muster just 13 points. Popular back-up ruckman Daniel Currie could muster just 36.

Power Studs: Only two Port Adelaide players managed to crack the ton. Matthew Broadbent (101) and Hamish Harlett (100) managed triple figures by the skin of their teeth. Ollie Wines (96) did some nice things but faded.

Power Duds: John Butcher continues to tease. The key forward took some strong marks but continues to struggle in front of the big sticks. Chad Wingard was slightly down and while 70 points is not to be sneezed at, he'll need to lift to retain his premium status.

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Live: Aussie bowlers fire in final

Sarah Coyte celebrates after dismissing England's Charlotte Edwards. Source: Scott Barbour / Getty Images

AUSTRALIA has won the toss and elected to bowl first in the final of the women's World T20 final in Dhaka.

The Southern Stars are gunning for their third-straight title and are slight favourites heading into the decider, having only lost their opening game of the tournament against New Zealand.

Since then it's been smooth sailing for the Aussies, gaining momentum through wins over South Africa, Ireland and Pakistan in the group stage and then West Indies in the semi-final.

Captain Meg Lanning has a huge role to play for her side, with her big hitting crucial to Australia's success alongside that of fellow batters Jess Cameron and Alyssa Healy.

Lanning is currently the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament.

However, England has a few trump cards up its sleeve as well, chief amongst them veteran skipper Charlotte Edwards and star batter Sarah Taylor.

These two sides contested the final back in 2012, with the Aussies coming out on top on that occasion.

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Elliott set to be sacked by Warriors

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THE New Zealand Warriors are set to sack Matthew Elliott as their head coach.

It is understood Elliott was told this morning that the Warriors wanted to "move in a different direction", following the club's 37-6 loss to Cronulla on Saturday.

A formal decision is expected in coming days.

The Warriors have won two of their five games this season, upsets of the North Queensland Cowboys and Wests Tigers and they performed very well in the NRL Nines.

However, Warriors' management felt the side's display against Cronulla was proof Elliott's coaching style was not worth long-term perseverance.

Elliott and Warriors' management are yet to respond to requests for comment.

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