Even after a three-month layover, round 2 of the AFL managed to entertain by throwing a few curveballs into the mix for some premiership contenders while also showcasing the emergence of some young superstars.
Collingwood Magpies 5.6 (36) drew with Richmond Tigers 5.6 (36)
Pressure wins Premierships
What a way to restart the season. Many people were complaining about the low score, but this was my favourite match of the round.
In recent years defensive pressure has won sides premierships, and the pressure from both sides in this match was immense with the Pies starting out on fire and the Tigers playing as relentlessly as ever.
Richmond finished the game all over Collingwood and you would think that if they weren’t playing shorter quarters this season, they would’ve won this comfortably.
Perhaps the shorter quarters will disadvantage the Tigers as they have become renowned for running over the top of teams late in matches.
Geelong Cats 17.6 (108) defeated Hawthorn Hawks 7.5 (47)
The senior Cats have still got it
This match was competitive for a half with Geelong only leading by a goal at the main break. However, it resembled more of a training run in the second half with the Cats running amuck.
It was the senior players for the Cats who stood up and did a lot of the damage; skipper Joel Selwood racked up a game-high 28 possessions while Patrick Dangerfield had 24 touches and a goal in game 250.
It was Ablett though who impressed most. Many people thought he should’ve retired last year but he showed he’s still an asset with his elite ball use, finishing the match with 21 disposals and two goals.
Brisbane Lions 12.9 (81) defeated Fremantle Dockers 10.9 (69)
Charlie Cameron is the most exciting player in the competition
Cameron looked like tearing the game apart as he kicked four goals in an electrifying display in the first half.
Lachie Neale chimed in with 29 disposals and two goals too for the Lions as they got their first win of the season.
The Dockers have now had two heart breaking losses to start the year and would be desperate to get Jesse Hogan fit and firing.
It was their usual suspects who played well again with Nat Fyfe kicking three goals and Michael Walters finishing with 28 touches and two goals.
Carlton Blues 7.11 (53) lost to Melbourne Demons 8.6 (54)
The Blues need to improve their starts
The Blues were held scoreless in the first quarter and have been outscored 66 – 13 in their two first quarters this season.
It has become an alarming trend under coach David Teague and one they will need to rectify if they want to become finals contenders.
To their credit, they fought back over the next three quarters and would have won with some better kicking at goal.
The Demons looked sensational early with Christian Petracca the star of the show, booting two goals from his 24 possessions.
The story of the day was Harley Bennell, who got through his first game in 1021 days unscathed and looked composed throughout the match.
Gold Coast Suns 14.6 (90) defeated West Coast Eagles 6.10 (46)
Matt Rowell is a future superstar
Wow! This was one of the biggest upsets in recent memory with the wooden spoon favourites stunning one of the premiership favourites.
After leading by only three points at half-time, the Suns kicked eight goals to one in the second half to record one of the finest wins in the club’s short history.
The runaway 2020 number one draft pick Rowell showed us why he was so highly touted, managing 26 disposals and two goals in just his second game of AFL.
For the Eagles, their star players in Andrew Gaff, Luke Shuey, Tim Kelly and Elliot Yeo all got plenty of the ball but their bottom end fell through in worrying signs for West Coast.
Port Adelaide Power 17.8 (110) defeated Adelaide Crows 5.5 (35)
The Crows are in big trouble
The Showdown has delivered many classics over the years, but this was as one-sided as we’ve seen with Port Adelaide easily accounting for their cross-town rivals.
The Power were ahead by 13 points at quarter-time and never look threatened as they extended their lead at every break.
The stats backed up their dominance as they won the disposal count 363-259 and inside 50s 57-30.
The Crows have had a horror off-season with questions of the club’s poor culture persisting, and they did nothing on-field to prove the doubters wrong.
It’s quite staggering to see how far they’ve fallen since making the grand final in 2017.
GWS GIANTS 8.12 (60) lost to North Melbourne 12.8 (80)
The Roos young stars are starting to shine
A second premiership contender was upset this weekend when the Roos showed plenty of heart and class to down the more fancied GIANTS.
The Kangaroos’ young guns Jy Simkpkin, Cameron Zurhaar, and Taryn Thomas all stood up, showing signs that the future of the club is in good hands.
For the GIANTS, their usual midfield stars failed deliver with Callan Ward the only GIANT to reach 20 disposals.
2019 Coleman medalist Jeremy Cameron was held to just 1 goal and 7 disposals by North defender Robbie Tarrant.
Sydney Swans 11.7 (73) lost to Essendon Bombers 12.7 (79)
The Swans are going to miss their Buddy
The Swans forward line failed to fire without Lance Franklin and they made too many simple errors, which the Bombers capitalised on.
Without Franklin or Sam Reid, and Callum Sinclair forced to play in the ruck due to the absence of frontline ruckman Sam Naismith, Sydney had to rely on youngsters Tom McCartin, Nick Blakey and Isaac Heeney to kick them a winning score.
Those Swans forwards were held to just one goal each by a strong Bombers backline who held up under significant pressure late in the game.
Zach Merrett and Dylan Shiel provided a handful for the Swans midfield while Jake Stringer and Shaun McKernan booted three goals each.
Despite the win, the Bombers will need to significantly improve this season if they want any chance of winning their first final since 2004.
St Kilda Saints 14.4 (88) defeated Western Bulldogs 7.7 (49)
The Saints recruits are paying off
The Saints have recorded their first win of the season with a comprehensive victory over the Bulldogs.
St Kilda have recruited heavily over the past two season and it payed off in this one, with Zak Jones, Dan Hannebery, Daniel Butler and Bradley Hill all playing major roles in the 39-point win.
The Bulldogs came into this season with premiership aspirations but sit dead last on the ladder after two heavy defeats.
It doesn’t get easier for the Bulldogs as they face the GIANTS next week in a rematch of last year’s elimination final that the GIANTS won by 58 points.