The season kicked off Thursday night with what is now the annual blockbuster between the Blues and Tigers. Carlton and Richmond fans always arrive with high hopes and one set of supporter’s leave with their tale between their legs.
For neutral supporters it’s a chance to see which team is more shit. Again this season it will be the Blues, who have a greater youth movement than the Phoenix Suns.
The Tigers won by 43 points with Dustin Martin dominating, playing like a man who is out of contract at the end of the year. He had 33 touches and four goals, which could have been six.
Back at the ‘G’ Friday night saw the Dogs take on the Pies. The Dogs got off to a quick start before the Pies responded in the second quarter thanks to three Alex Fasolo goals. You thought that maybe the Pies were a chance, but then remembered that this is Collingwood and they are playing a good team, so that was a stupid thought.
The moment off the night though, was when Travis Cloke put one straight through the big sticks from 55 metres with the Collingwood fans giving him a bigger spray than a Formula One podium. The Pies midfield of Scott Pendlebury, Adam Treloar and Taylor Adams had 101 possessions between them, but after Fasolo and Darcy Moore, the pies lacked a big presence up forward. Someone like Travis Cloke could have been handy. And given his wayward kicking the margin would have been reduced by a few points.
Robert Murphy made a seamless return to the backlines, looking like he hadn’t missed 12 months. The Dogs had too much class and too many winners across the park holding on by 14 points. The bad news though, is Dale Morris has broken his leg and will be out for approximately two months.
The power has been out in South Australia recently, but this game was in Sydney where the Power was on. Conditions were wet and slippery, but Port’s policy to pick anyone tall with a beard paid off. Travis Boak celebrated his 200th game in style, while rookie Sam Powell-Pepper was impressive in the 28 point victory.
The Swans selection to pick a Marsh to perform on the SCG was questionable, while the decision to bring back Swans legend ‘Plugger’ Lockett to the club, clearly isn’t working.
The Demons won their first game at Etihad Stadium in over a decade beating the Saints by five goals. New coach Simon Goodwin described the victory as a ‘good-win.’ Teams around the league are now looking to appoint co-captains and follow in the footsteps of the trendsetting Dees. Jordan Lewis is also reportedly very happy with his decision to join a successful club.
The Saints match committee will need to have a good hard look at themselves after picking five Jacks (Steven, Steele, Newnes, Billings and Lonie) for this game. I believe that is Jack high. The outcome of this loss could be more painful than Brian Taylor’s commentary with Nick Riewoldt stretchered off in the last quarter with what looks a serious, yet not season ending, knee injury.
The Bombers are back. Twelve months of rest for their star players and a number one draft pick gives them a massive advantage over the rest of the competition. The AFL will seriously need to look at this. Jobe Watson can still play, although I liked him better when he ate meat and didn’t know how to make a proper cappuccino.
The Hawks are in seriously trouble after losing to last year’s wooden spooners by 25 points. It serves them right for trading Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis, while handing Luke Hodge a one-game suspension. Many are also blaming Tyronne Vickery for bringing the Tigers losing culture to the club.
Few knew, or cared about, the Q clash on the Gold Coast. There were only 12,700 ‘supporters’ there - 15,601 people attended the women’s Grand Final, so nearly 3,000 people left because they didn’t want to watch the Lions and Suns.
All those draft concessions have left the Lions in a better position than their counterparts. The Lions led by as many as 47 points, before holding on to win by two points.
The Eagles beat the Kangaroos by 43 points. It is a good thing the Roos removed their dead wood at the end of last otherwise this would have been an even bigger loss.
Injecting youth like Sam Mitchell and Drew Petrie looks a master stroke for the Eagles, if only the Kangas had thought of this last year. Coleman medallist, Josh Kennedy, kicked seven. You have to question the Blues decision to trade him for a guy like Chris Judd.
The Crows destroyed the Giants by 56 points. The Crows are now clearly the flag favourites. They have the best half-back line in the competition with Rory Laird picking up a lazy 40 disposals. Taylor Walker and Brad Crouch will find it hard to get back into the side, while the Adelaide Football club will already be rueing the decision to re-sign Scott Thompson when they could have had Erin Phillips.
The kicking from both sides, particularly in the first half, was deplorable. You would think that with a four-month preseason and professional players that this is an area of the game they would practice.
The Cats had no problems dispatching of the Dockers by 42 points at Domain Stadium. Geelong have a way of replacing their veterans that have moved on. It’s about the process, not the personnel. Patrick Dangerfield should start the year collecting more Brownlow votes with his 24 touches and three goals. You have to admire the way they have developed him into the player he is.
It’s ok Freo fans, at least you still have 22 games of Nat Fyfe in a purple Guernsey.
Congratulations to The Adelaide Crows on winning the inaugural AFLW Premiership.