Round 22 of the 2018 AFL Season kicks off Friday night Melbourne time with ladder leader Richmond hosting Essendon at the MCG.
The full broadcast schedule for the round can be seen below.
In addition to the TV networks you can also subscribe to the Watch AFL service that will give you live access to all the matches and more (outside Australia only).
You can access that service by clicking on the link here or the Watch AFL promo shot on the left to register and by then paying the subscription fee.
Right now Watch AFL is offering The Finals Series Pass providing instant access and goes through to the 30th November 2018. This includes the Grand Final.. This pass includes all AFL Premiership season matches live and on replay, the Finals Series plus access to FOX FOOTY content.
September 2015 and the Box Hill Hawks went down in the VFL Grand Final at Etihad Stadium. I was reporting that day for WorldFootyNews because of the presence of Kurt Heatherley and Shem Tatupu - 2 NZ products who had made it to the cusp of the big time in footy.
For Heatherley - a sprinkling of (5) AFL games for Hawthorn since then - a lack of opportunities in 2018, in part due to injuries in the first half of the season - is finishing off solidly with the Box Hill Hawks. For Tatupu - after that loss at Etihad - his career took a U-Turn as he quit the Hawks and tried his luck at Melbourne Storm (Rugby League).
As the home and away season in Germany came to a close on the weekend, the top three teams – Hamburg Dockers, Munich Kangaroos and Berlin Crocodiles – used their respective games to prepare for what lies ahead as well as proving to all and sundry that they have the talent required to go all the way in 2018.
The Dockers and Kangaroos, the two best performed teams across the season, finished with big wins in excess of 100 points. The Berlin Croodiles also won, but were given a torrid time by the Dresden Wolves.
The Hamburg Dockers hosted the Rheinland Lions and turned on a superb defensive performance. Whilst they were able to score at will across the afternoon, their efforts in keeping the fourth-placed Lions to just two behinds for the day should be a warning to all other finalists – to beat us you will have to outscore us, and good luck with that. The Dockers took command early and kept their foot on the Lion throats for a 113-point win.
Both the Santiago Saints and Bogota Bulldogs are feverishly preparing for the biggest South American match of the year – the Andes Cup – to be played in Bogota on Saturday 25th August. The Bulldogs are current title-holders and have won the title both years since the inception of the event. However, the Saints have been getting closer and maybe this will be their year.
President of the Bogota Bulldogs, Paddy Smallwood, shared his thoughts ahead of the historic clash – the showpiece of Australian football in South America.
“[Our] season goes into recess now as the Andes Cup vs Chile takes place in two weeks. The Bulldogs squad will be massively different to previous teams, with many great players having left Colombia and many new Colombian players forcing their way into the squad.”
The second AFL Colombia season has already produced surprising results, with inaugural flag winner, the DC Aguilas, already slipping behinds the other teams and at risk of being unable to defend their title from earlier in the year. President of AFL Colombia, Paddy Smallwood, looks at the last two matches.
“The Aguilas, coming off a defeat to the Bullants in Round 1, needed to back up and face the Bombers. Again, with a number of key players missing through injury and vacations, the reigning premiers had their backs against the wall for the second week running, and the lack of confidence showed early.”
“The Bombers jumped out of the blocks and stunned the Aguilas with an impressive seven goal four to the Aguilas scoreless first quarter. Some quarter time adjustments and composure where exactly what the Aguilas needed. Any thought of the contest being over where extinguished with three quick-fire goals to the Aguilas breathing life back into the contest. The Bombers then steadied with two of their own before the the Aguilas responded again to take out the quarter four goals to two.”
It was veteran Channel 7 commentator Anthony Hudson who uttered the famous words “who would have thought the sequel would be just as good as the original” when the West Coast Eagles defeated the Sydney Swans by one point for the AFL flag in 2006. This was in response to the Swans winning by less than a goal in 2005.
Fast forward to London in 2018 and the Wandsworth Demons pulled off a similar miraculous premiership win against the West London Wildcats to be AFL London premiers. The result capped off an amazing finals campaign for the club, winning four of the five premierships on offer.
For variety, the Shepherds Bush Raiders defeated the Clapham Demons in the Men’s Conference division Grand Final.
When the teams met in the semi-final two weeks ago, scores were tied after the regular time played. It took extra time to be played for the Wildcats to sneak ahead and win by just three points. Nothing could top that – or so we all thought. The original was an amazing match and it would have to take something better (a sequel) to be better. It did and it was.
Both the Belfast Redbacks and the Galway Magpies face a huge week ahead of next weekend’s AFL Ireland Grand Final. Having both won through to the biggest day of the premiership season, both will be entertaining thoughts – dreaming – of what might be next Saturday.
For the Redbacks, a third premiership sits on the horizon. After having been the best team of the season, undefeated and seemingly well ahead of the rest, the Belfast crew must be quivering with anticipation and self-belief. However, they still have to produce the goods on the one day of the year that really matters. It is one thing to get excited, expectant, confident – it is another to believe the game is already won.
For the Galway Magpies it is a different feeling. They last trod this hallowed ground in 2014, only to be beaten at the final hurdle. Now they have another chance to win their first title. The feeling of excitement will be palpable, not just within the club, but by others becoming aware of the deeds of the local team across Galway. The have been a bridesmaid before – now they want to be the bride.
Round 13 of the DAFL saw an upset and a derby as the featured events. The Copenhagen Barracudas triumphed over their capital city rivals, the Giants, whilst the Aalborg Kangaroos upset the top team, the Farum Cats.
An eight-goal opening quarter to the scoring end saw the Barracudas set their match up early. A 43-point quarter-time advantage for the Barracudas was clawed back to just 18 points by the main break as the Giants worked themselves back into the battle. However, the Barracudas kicked another eight goals in the third quarter to effectively decide the match, leading by 55 points by the final change. The Giants could not generate any real advantage in the final quarter and despite taking the quarter by two points, they still fell by 53 points.
The 2018 SARFL Grand Final will see the Glasgow Sharks take on the Edinburgh Bloods after the weekend’s finals battle saw the Bloods down the Kingdom Kangaroos by 43 points. It is a fitting result as both the Sharks and Bloods have dominated the home and away season.
The Bloods led for the match and continued to build as the game went on. An undermanned Kangaroos team fought to the end, winning the final quarter with five goals. However, it was a case of too little too late to stop the Edinburgh team from taking the match and the grand final place.
The Bloods lead by 16 points at the first break and opened that up to 28 points by half time. By the end of the match, the Bloods had put enough distance between the two teams to withstand a Roo fightback.
In a revamped FAFL season which has seen a three round and finals format, as well as the Turku Dockers electing their first ever all-Finnish board, the on-field action has seen a marked difference in competitiveness. After the dominance in recent seasons of the Helsinki Heatseekers, either by pure talent or dwindling opposition, this season is shaping as one where each team could potentially take the title.
Last weekend, the second round of the season was played at Parkin Kenttä in Turku. Across the three-way round robin format, all three teams enjoyed a win after the rain cleared to allow some good footy. The Turku Dockers upset the Helsinki Heatseekers, the Waasa Wombats then downed the Dockers and the Heatseekers regained their composure after the earlier shock loss to defeat the Wombats.
These results, following on from the first round results, see the Heatseekers on top of the ladder, but they are not invincible – as the Dockers proved. Earlier this season the June tournament was played in Helsinki with the home team winning both matches against the Dockers and Wombats. The Wombats downed the Dockers in the other match.