Round 1 AFL Review

Thursday
Carlton 9.10.64 defeated by Richmond 14.13.97

Well, what a game of four quarters we had on Thursday night...
Quarter 1: Dang, the Tigers are looking pretty impressive. This could get ugly!
Quarter 2: Or not...
Quarter 3: Geez, Carlton is making a real game of this and are shutting Richmond down really well.
Quarter 4: Or not...

Reports say Alex Rance has done an ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2019 season. Best of luck to you Alex.

Friday
Collingwood 9.11.64 defeated by Geelong 10.12.72

While most teams are underdone in round one of the season, who would have thought it would be last year's grand finalists who would struggle on the big stage of Friday night footy? Yet they did!
In a seesawing game, it was the Cats (with special mention to Kelly: 31 possessions, Dangerfield: always... 'dangerous' and Ablett with 2 goals in a low scoring contest), who managed to hold on for the win at the G. Although underdone, Jamie Elliot was the most dangerous forward on the ground (3 goals) and Treloar was like a ball vacuum, ending with 34 possessions and a goal.


Saturday
Melbourne 9.7.61 defeated by Port Adelaide 12.15.87

Well, my one concern for Melbourne came to pass... They struggled to find a goal kicker, and with Hogan gone this could be a problem the Demons will have for a while! Fortunately for Port Adelaide, they had no such issue, with Justin Westhoff kicking 5 in his first game of 2019!
For the Demons, Christian Salem and Clayton Oliver were terrific; one getting the hardball while the latter provided great linking run. The Power had a great spread of hardworking players, ex-Brisban Lion, Tom Rockliff and Travis Boak definitely deserve a mention.
Is this the start of an unexpectedly good season for the Power, or did they catch the Demons at the right time?

Adelaide 7.13.55 defeated by Hawthorn 12.15.87
Lots of the 'experts' in the media have stated that they reckon Adelaide will make a push back into the Top 4 this year, while Hawthorn was to be one of the teams that is going to slide. There can't be a better way to let everyone know you aren't going anywhere than to work hard and beat the Crows at home. Credit really needs to go to the Hawks backline, who did a great job in making life hard for their opponents; Walker finished the match with a solitary point but Rory Sloan can hold his head high after a great battle.

My sympathies go out to a second ACL victim in just round one... Tom Doedee has had scans confirming the terrible news, and he will also miss the entire 2019 season.

Western Bulldogs 11.16.82 defeated Sydney 9.11.65
While the Bulldogs shot out of the gate, the Swans looked like they may be able to peg them back in the last quarter, when they went on a blitz. In the end, the Swans ran out of time, and legs, with the Bulldogs holding on for a great win. The Bulldogs certainly look better with Tom Libratore back in the side. After their 'down' year in 2018, it will be interesting to see how the Doggies go this year.
While they didn't quite play with Super Powers, the Bulldogs may want to consider sticking with their 'Thor' jerseys!

Brisbane 15.12.102 defeated West Coast 8.10.58
Wow, what a great start to 2019 by the Brisbane Lions on Saturday night! They came very close to doubling the match score of last year's grand final winners and have fired a warning shot across the bow of every other team in the competition.
While Dom Sheed was great for the losing team, no other Eagle's player was able to stamp any degree of authority on the game. In the meantime, the Lion cubs, aided by gun recruits Neale and Gardiner, worked harder, scrapped harder and unsurprisingly came away with a memorable win.

Sunday
St. Kilda 13.7.85 defeated Gold Coast 13.6.84

It what looms as a battle between two teams expected to be holding up the rest of the ladder for most of the year, both teams went in hard and were throwing their bodies in to help their team whenever needed. While it wasn't always a pretty game of footy, everyone in the ground was hanging on every kick, handpass and mark in the last quarter. What an exciting finish! Jack Steele was great for the Saints, finishing with 10 tackles, while Witts (44 hit outs) and Fiorini (30 disposals and 6 tackles) both kept battling away for the Suns.

GWS Giants 16.16.112 defeated Essendon 5.10.40
With a touch over twice the shots on goal that Essendon had in the first half, something was going to have to change if the Bombers were to put some of that ol' 'scoreboard pressure' on the Giants. For all of you Bomber fans out there I am afraid I have some bad news. Not only did your team not make any real inroads, but they were also convincingly beaten right across the ground. I saw a stat that had the total Essendon team only running 147ks for the match. The next lowest for the round was... their opponents with 242ks. That is a HUGE difference and sorry reflection on the efforts of the Essendon fellas!

Fremantle 21.15.141 defeated North Melbourne 9.5.59Well there you have it! North Melbourne's run of good form over west has been well and truly shattered by the Fremantle Dockers. While the Kangaroos struggled to find a path to the goals, Fremantle had no such worry with Cam McCarthy probably playing his best game yet for the Dockers, snagging 5 goals to kick off his 2019 season and Nat Fyfe running rampant in the wide-open spaces.

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