- Subs confirmed
- Buddy’s big call: Franklin puts contract talks on hold
- Today’s milestones
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Huge thrill for Hawks first-gamer
Hawthorn debutant Jai Serong is presented his first jumper by Hawks and Tasmanian legend Peter Hudson.
The medical substitutes in Launceston are James Blanck (Hawthorn) and Rory Atkins (Gold Coast).
Buddy’s big call: Franklin puts contract talks on hold
Sydney champion Lance Franklin has paused contract talks until the end of the season, saying he remained undecided on his future and whether he plays on.
Franklin’s intentions were made public through a statement released by his manager Adam Finch to the AFL website on Saturday morning.
“At this stage conversations have been paused around my contract so I can put all my focus on playing footy. No further comment will be made until the season is done & I have decided about my future,” said Franklin.
“I am still undecided and need time after the season to make a family decision about whether I continue to play next year.”
Click here to read more.
With his contract due to end this year, mystery continues to surround Lance Franklin’s future.Credit:Getty Images
Ben McEvoy (Haw) – 250 games
Jake Kolodjashnij (Geel) – 150 games
Caleb Daniel (WB) – 150 games
Dougal Howard (StK) – 100 games
Brad Close (Geel) – 50 games
Will Snelling (Ess) – 50 games
Dylan Moore (Haw) – 50 games
Ben McEvoy.Credit:Getty Images
Dismal Giants face in-form Bombers
Up at Giants Stadium, GWS head into their clash with Essendon in horrible form.
The Giants have lost their last four games by an average of 51 points to languish in the bottom three on the ladder.
Their most recent performance against Sydney prompted caretaker coach Mark McVeigh to question whether his team had checked out for the year – a brutal assessment, but hard to argue with.
They’re taking on another team out of finals contention, but the Bombers’ formline couldn’t be any more different to the Giants’.
The Dons are finishing the season with a wet sail, having now won five of their last seven games, including the scalps of top-eight teams Sydney, Brisbane and St Kilda, as well as the Suns who are still in the finals hunt.
GWS have the wood over Essendon, winning seven of their last nine meetings, and the Bombers have only won one of their five outings at Giants Stadium.
Callan Ward chased by Mason Redman.Credit:Getty Images
Suns aiming to keep finals flame flickering
Where there’s life, there’s hope, and while Gold Coast’s finals chances are now extremely slim, they still have a pulse, and therefore have plenty to play for in Tasmania.
The Suns are two games outside the top eight with three games remaining, so their margin for error has basically evaporated. They will need to win their final three matches, and will probably also need other results to go their way – no easy feat with Geelong still in their run home.
But they’ve got the wood over the Hawks, winning their last two meetings by an average of 52 points and are now aiming for their first ever hat-trick of victories against them.
However, in order to do so, Gold Coast have to overcome their massive Tasmania hoodoo – they are 0-6 on the Apple Isle, including five defeats in Launceston (all to Hawthorn) by an average of 51 points.
Launceston certainly isn’t the fortress that it once was for the Hawks, who have only won four of their last nine games there – a far cry from the nine-year span between 2010-18 which saw them win 31 of 34 games at the venue.
In his grasp: Hawthorn’s Finn Maginness is tackled by Izak Rankine.Credit:AFL Photos/Getty Images
Hello and welcome to our live AFL Saturday mega blog for Round 21.
To start off with, Hawthorn host Gold Coast in Launceston while GWS face Essendon at Giants Stadium.
The twilight fixture is a crunch clash between finals aspirants the Western Bulldogs and Fremantle at Marvel Stadium.
And the night-time double-header pits Geelong against St Kilda at Kardinia Park and Port Adelaide against Richmond at Adelaide Oval.
So sit back, relax and enjoy the next 10 hours of wall-to-wall footy action with us.
Tim English and Sean Darcy.Credit:Getty Images
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