The opening spherical of the AFL season has come and gone with footy followers devouring as a lot content material as humanly attainable after months of no actual motion.
From the spherical kicking off with a draw to the ultimate contest being received in decisive vogue, the weekend had all of it.
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Severe contenders delivered on their early promise whereas groups tipped to be exterior of the eight confirmed indicators of life with none actual risk.
The AFL season is a protracted and arduous contest with extra rounds now than ever earlier than, it means groups have loads of time to eradicate any points within the early weeks.
With a season stretching greater than 5 months, there shouldn’t be any cause to be hitting the panic alarm after one recreation.
However that’s no enjoyable, so with solely spherical below our belt we’re going to lock in some predictions and do what you shouldn’t do; wildly overreact to at least one recreation.
Brisbane Lions aren’t severe contenders
Sorry Brisbane followers, however the present checklist isn’t going to compete for the AFL Grand Closing anytime quickly.
After being broadly tipped to be one of many fundamental threats to battle it out on the MCG on the ultimate day of the season, the Lions have been comprehensively swept off the park on Saturday.
The Lions confirmed their prowess throughout a robust second quarter as they kicked six targets to 2.
Simply as shortly as they took the lead, the Lions turned the hunted and have been ruthlessly picked aside by a rampant Port Adelaide outfit.
Within the area of round 25 minutes the sport was torn out of the Lions’ arms because the Energy kicked eight straight targets.
Defensively the Lions regarded extra like a deer within the headlights as they didn’t cease the onslaught on the ahead assaults.
Throughout the second half assault, the Energy had 95 extra disposals than the Lions, held a 37-15 inside 50 benefit, led the clearances 21-14 and picked up 27 extra contested possessions.
It was an analogous story within the preliminary last loss to Geelong in 2022 when the Cats had a run of 10 out of 11 targets throughout the second and third quarter.
The Lions made a splash through the low season by including Western Bulldogs star Josh Dunkley and including highly-touted father-son prospect Will Ashcroft.
Sadly these additions haven’t helped deal with the largest difficulty with the premiership contenders.
Defensively they’re Swiss cheese and as soon as groups get a head of steam, the holes solely grow to be extra evident.
Exterior of Harris Andrews, the Lions backline is devoid of key gamers that may impression and cease opponents. Till they present they’ll repair up their defensive points, put a line by means of their premiership hopes.
West Coast Eagles will wrestle to win a single recreation
From one finish of the ladder to the opposite.
On Saturday the West Coast Eagles have been run off the park within the first half towards an opponent anticipated to complete near them on the ladder.
North Melbourne ran riot, kicking eight out of 9 targets to surge away to a 34-point lead.
The knives got here out far and broad over the diabolical show from the Eagles with Brownlow Medal winner Dane Swan delivering a brutal clip.
“I’ll have been unsuitable about West Coast. They’re canine s***. Their senior gamers have all forgotten how one can play soccer. (Aside from McGovern),” he tweeted.
He wasn’t alone in criticising the Eagles’ show, all of which got here earlier than a late recreation battle again that just about noticed them pinch victory from the jaws of defeat.
“You couldn’t be extra scathing of West Coast proper now,” Gerard Whateley mentioned on SEN.
ABC sports activities producer Akash Fotedar was scathing in his evaluate of how the Eagles had performed and tried to maneuver the ball.
“All effectively and good making an attempt to maneuver the ball quicker, however you could win the ball first. West Coast -30 in contested possession. That’s horrendous,” he added.
“To not point out being down on tackles too, regardless of having much less possessions and clearances. Issues for Simpson which might be past ball motion.”
Issues received’t get any simpler for the Eagles within the weeks to come back as they tackle the GWS Giants earlier than a derby showdown towards Fremantle in spherical three.
Tigers want to maneuver on from outdated stars
The primary recreation of the season gave us the primary draw of the yr because the Tigers and Blues duked it out in a low-scoring affair.
However within the wake of the loss one Carlton nice got here out weapons blazing and mentioned Richmond have been held again by two ageing stars.
Ahead Jack Riewoldt didn’t have any actual impression on the competition, ending with one purpose and 12 touches.
Brownlow Medal winner Trent Cotchin was equally as disappointing, accumulating 18 disposals in a lacklustre efficiency.
It was these two showings that led Mark Maclure to name on the Tigers to be courageous and drop the massive identify stars.
“I checked out Jack Riewoldt and I checked out Trent Cotchin, are (Richmond) courageous sufficient to inform them one thing,” Maclure mentioned on SEN’s Crunch Time.
“Is there an opportunity that they’re courageous sufficient to inform them that perhaps it’s time.
“They didn’t put the youth in, there was hardly any youth within the Richmond facet in case you return and take a look.”
Richmond pulled a rabbit out of a hat to stroll away from the season opener with a attract a contest the Blues led with lower than two minutes to play.
They’ll enterprise over to Adelaide Oval subsequent weekend for a ocntest towards the Crows earlier than returning to the MCG in a blockbuster showdown towards Collingwood.
If Riewoldt and Cotchin fail to fireplace, the choice to drop them won’t be courageous … it could be a necessity.