AFL 2021 Round 1: Crowds return, Crows stun Cats, Hawthorn’s great comeback


Updated: Mar 21, 2021 6:30 pm

A brand new season got underway, on Thursday evening, and great to see crowds returning as Richmond took on Carlton, in the traditional curtain-raiser, at the MCG.

The Blues put up a decent showing against the reigning Premiers in what proved to be a keenly fought contest. However, led by the impressive Dustin Martin and with four goals from Jack Riedwolt, the Tigers ensured they got off to a winning start.

The following night and all eyes were on Adam Treloar as he made his debut for the Western Bulldogs against Collingwood; the club he left in a surprising and very well publicised trade, over the summer, which drew quite a few headlines and debate.

The 28-year-old midfielder had a fairly quiet game (18 disposals) for his new club that jumped the Magpies early and led for the whole contest en route to victory.

Speaking on Channel 7, post-match, he said “It’s was a really crazy build-up and I’m kind of glad it’s over now with the win. Obviously, we can move on and stop talking about Adam Treloar versus Collingwood.”

Last year’s minor premiers Port Adelaide sit on the top of the ladder, at the end of the first week, following an excellent display that saw them thrash North Melbourne.

The Power was simply too strong, with a dominant second quarter blowing the scoreboard wide open and setting them on their way; forward Orazio Fantasia, signed from Essendon in the trade, marked his debut with four majors.

There was no doubting where the shock of the opening week happened, in South Australia, where Adelaide managed to hold on and get over the line against last season’s Grand Finalist Geelong. Veteran forward Tex Walker rolled back the years, with five snags, with loud celebrations amongst the home supporters on the siren.

The Cats, meanwhile, will be sweating on the verdict of the Match Review Panel following Patrick Dangerfield’s bump on Jake Kelly in the second quarter. It left the Crows defender motionless, on the ground, and eventually stretchered off the pitch.

Also causing a bit of an upset was a Sydney side that travelled up to the Gabba and knocked over the much-fancied Brisbane, in impressive fashion, on their home deck.

“They were fantastic, they were really good.” was the verdict of Swans coach John Longmire on young debutantes Errol Gulden, Logan McDonald and Braeden Campbell. They all had a real impact on the game, while the returning Isaac Heeney, back from an ankle injury, weighed in with three goals and four assists.

Hawthorn produced a remarkable comeback as they got up over rivals Essendon, in what was a fantastic advert for the AFL game, to bag an opening day success.

Claydon Oliver made as 100th appearance for Melbourne and played his part as the Demons bested an injury-hit Fremantle, in a tight and scrappy affair, by 22 points.

Compounding a bad day for the Dockers was the news that defender Alex Pearce, who missed the whole of last season with an ankle injury, faces another spell on the sidelines after being forced off, in the first quarter, with a suspected MCL.

St.Kilda coach Brett Ratten hailed the ‘great maturity of his players as they came out on top in a real arm wrestle against GWS, in the rain, at the Giants Stadium.

Opposite number Leon Cameron lamented that his side didn’t make the most of their opportunities, despite amassing 68 ‘inside 50s’, and ultimately proved the difference.

Closing out the round, over in the WA, were West Coast who finished strongly to eventually see off a young, spirited Gold Coast outfit and bag the four points.

Oscar Allen, 22, grabbed a career-best four goals with fellow forwards Jack Darling and Josh Kennedy also on the scoresheet. Dom Sheedy (34 disposals and nine clearances) starred in the midfield with an impressive performance for the Eagles.

Round 1 Results
Richmond 15.15 (105)
Carlton 11.14 (80)

Collingwood 7.11 (53)
Western Bulldogs 10.9 (69)

Melbourne 11.14 (80)
Fremantle 8.10 (58)

Adelaide 15.13 (103)
Geelong 13.13 (91)

Essendon 13.13 (91)
Hawthorn 14.8 (92)

Brisbane 14.10 (94)
Sydney 19.11 (125)

North Melbourne 9.11 (65)
Port Adelaide 17.15 (117)

GWS 11.12 (78)
St.Kilda 13.8 (86)

West Coast 12.11 (83)
Gold Coast 8.10 (58)

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