SNAPSHOT OF ROUND ONE AFL ACTION
THEY SAID IT: “Pulling the team together, the work and the desire the players have shown has been outstanding. It has been a big day for the club.” Essendon coach John Worsfold after a 13-point win against Melbourne.
STATS THAT MATTER: 74. The low amount of points conceded by the Western Bulldogs in the opening two rounds. The Doggies last year were renowned for style, now they have added defensive substance to be the competition’s early pacesetters.
MAN OF THE ROUND: Tom Lynch could get six Brownlow votes this round. Adelaide’s Tom Lynch slotted six goals and was awarded the Showdown medal for best-afield in a thrashing of Port; Gold Coast’s Tom Lynch kicked 5.1 in the Suns’ home victory against Fremantle.
KEY MOMENT: With four seconds to play in a scrappy Friday nighter at the MCG, Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy kicks a match-winning goal which turns a familiar blowtorch on Richmond. Instead of the Magpies being winless and under the pump, the Tigers again take the spotlight.
TALKING POINT: Can Ross Lyon fix Fremantle, who are winless after two rounds? The Dockers coach and his Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe both admitted after the loss to Gold Coast that new centre square tactics have failed. Both expect to help make a quick fix but with games against West Coast and North Melbourne looming, the Dockers are under early-season pressure.
TRIBUNAL WATCH: Richmond has two players – Jacob Townsend and Nick Vlastuin – facing rough conduct charges while Essendon’s Patrick Ambrose also has been reported for rough conduct for a sling tackle.
KEY INJURIES: D Astbury (Richmond, thumb) D Grimes (Richmond, hamstring) S Grigg (Richmond, ankle) D Rich (Brisbane, hamstring) T Rockliff (Brisbane, calf) D Mundy (Fremantle, jaw) M Pavlich (Fremantle, hip) L Shuey (West Coast, rolled ankle).
WHAT’S NEXT: Port host Essendon on Friday night to open a round three featuring two home-town grudge games – West Coast v Fremantle, and Sydney v GWS. The round is headlined by Sunday’s Etihad Stadium encounter between the contenders, Western Bulldogs, and the reigning champs, Hawthorn. And Gold Coast play Carlton in the perfect chance for the Suns to bank three consecutive wins.