Isaac Smith scored, what proved to be the winner, as Geelong managed to hold out and claim a one-point victory over Brisbane in a pulsating Friday night blockbuster.
The 32-year-old endearing himself to the home supporters, in only his second game for the Cats, after his summer move from Hawthorn. It set up a frantic and what turned out to be a very controversial finish as the Lions desperately attacked and thought they should have had a free-kick when Zac Bailey tackled Mark Blicavs.
The AFL has since released a statement in which umpires boss Dan Richardson admitted that it was the wrong call and should’ve been deemed ‘holding the ball’.
In an equally gripping match, the Western Bulldogs got over the line against West Coast in a real see-saw affair; the lead changed no fewer than 12 times.
The Eagles held a 14-point lead at one stage, in the last term, but the Doggies came back strong and held their nerve, in the closing minutes, with Marcus Bontempelli sealing what coach Luke Beveridge called a ‘monumental and important win’.
A great sight, on the weekend, was the return of Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin for Sydney following a near 18-month period on the sidelines due to a variety of injuries.
The 34-year-old forward, who welcomed the birth of his son earlier in the week, didn’t disappoint as he kicked four goals in the defeat of Adelaide at the SCG.
Speaking to Fox Footy, post-match, he said: “A few cobwebs, that’s for sure. The past 18 months was disappointing for myself. It’s been a stressful time for everyone, with COVID and everything, but it’s amazing to be back and I loved every minute.”
Down in South Australia, Charlie Dixon and 19-year-old Mitch Georgiades booted four majors apiece as Port Adelaide continued their fine opening to the new season.
The Power, considered to be real Premiership contenders by many, showed exactly why as they led for the whole evening in the 54-point demolition of Essendon.
Melbourne came out on top in a tight, sometimes scrappy, contest over St.Kilda by 18 points. It maintains their perfect start, making it two from two for the first time in four years, and will have Demons’ fans getting excited that it could be a big year.
Prior to the game, there was a moving tribute to AFL-great Danny Frawley (led by Garry Lyon, Stewart Loewe & Tony Lockett) to help the launch the inaugural Spud’s Game – an initiative to support and raise awareness for mental health programs.
A strong start from reigning Premiers Richmond set them on their way to victory over an energetic Hawthorn. Jack Riewoldt, Tom Lynch and Jack Castagna amongst the scorers for a Tigers outfit that are already showing ominous signs of form.
A rough day for the Hawks was compounded with promising 19-year-old defender Will Day forced off after twisting his ankle, towards the end of the third quarter, and they’ll be keenly awaiting the results of the scans to reveal the extent of the injury.
Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew was delighted after watching his players put in a fine display, as they thrashed a woeful North Melbourne, under the lights, at Metricon.
He said: “It was a pleasing result. The start was important and a real focus for us after last week. Also, how we ran it out as well; we challenged the players and their attitude, to go and win the fourth quarter, and they did just that which was great.”
Opposite number David Noble offered no excuses at the result which sees the Kangaroos sitting at the bottom of the ladder. He said “We’re annoyed, we’re disappointed in the way we presented tonight. What was delivered tonight is not on.”
Jordan de Goey marked his 100th appearance for Collingwood with four-goal haul to help his team overcome rivals Carlton. Despite leading for most of the encounter, they were pushed all the way, by a spirited Blues, before getting up by 21 points.
There were also impressive performances from midfielder Taylor Adams (29 disposals, 13 clearances and one goal) and captain Scott Pendlebury (30 disposals).
In the final game of the round, an inaccurate Fremantle, who amassed 21 behinds, still had far too much for an abject GWS Giants in front of 27,625 at Optus Stadium.
The only sour note was the loss of captain Nat Fyfe after he was caught high by Sam Reid. This led to him being the first player to be replaced by a medical substitute because of concussion; a new rule that came into effect at the start of this season.
Round 2 Results
Carlton 13.7 (85)
Collingwood 16.10 (106)
Geelong 12.9 (81)
Brisbane 11.14 (80)
Sydney 18.13 (121)
Adelaide 11.22 (88)
Port Adelaide 18.11 (119)
Essendon 9.11 (65)
St.Kilda 12.19 (91)
Melbourne 11.7 (73)
Gold Coast 14.14 (98)
North Melbourne 5.9 (39)
Hawthorn 7.7 (49)
Richmond 11.12 (78)
Western Bulldogs 14.16 (100)
West Coast 14.9 (93)
Fremantle 11.21 (87)
GWS 7.14 (56)
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- AFL 2021 Round 1: Crowds return, Crows stun Cats, Hawthorn’s great comeback
- AFL 2021 – Season Preview