WHAT HAPPENED IN ROUND 2 OF THE AFL SEASON
THEY SAID IT: “Our inconsistency. Our lack of contest. Bruise-free footy. It’s a really embarrassing performance.” – Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks didn’t mince his words when asked what disappointed him most about the Crows’ record-breaking 75-point loss to Port Adelaide.
STATS THAT MATTER: 72. The thrill of footy’s return from the COVID-19 break was lessened for some as Collingwood and Richmond fought out a dour, error-riddled 5.6 (36) to 5.6 (36) draw at the MCG on Thursday night. The aggregate score of 72 was the lowest in a game since 1999.
MAN OF THE ROUND: Matt Rowell. Gold Coast’s latest No.1 draft pick was the catalyst for a stunning upset of West Coast in just his second AFL game. The 18-year-old won rave reviews for his 26-possession, seven-tackle, two-goal performance that drove the Suns to a 44-point win over last year’s beaten semi-finalists.
KEY MOMENT: Essendon finally managed to shake off a dogged Sydney when Devon Smith found Darcy Parish inside 50 with just over a minute left at the SCG on Sunday. Parish cooly slotted a superb goal from the boundary line to seal a dramatic six-point win.
TALKING POINT: The quality of the footy on display left a lot to be desired for some while others were happy to see the game back regardless of how it looked. After such a lengthy break between rounds one and two, North Melbourne coach Rhyce Shaw probably hit the nail on the head when he urged patience and time for the game to find its feet.
TRIBUNAL WATCH: West Coast defender Jeremy McGovern can accept a one-match ban for striking Gold Coast’s Alex Sexton. Hawthorn veteran Shaun Burgoyne can count himself lucky to escape with a fine for his sling tackle on Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield.
KEY INJURIES: Nic Newman (Carl, patella tendon), Rory Sloane (Adel, thigh), Ryan Burton (Port, knee), Sean Darcy (Fre, knee), Nathan Wilson (Fre, back – late withdrawal).
WHAT’S NEXT: Richmond and Hawthorn kick off round three at the MCG on Thursday night, with the Western Bulldogs taking on GWS at Marvel Stadium on Friday night. Brisbane’s clash with West Coast at the Gabba is the pick of Saturday’s games, with the Suns hosting Adelaide and Fremantle going up against Port Adelaide in a hub double-header at Metricon Stadium on Sunday.