AFL 2023 Round 2: Gabba blackout, Kangas upset Dockers, Scintillating Swans, Saints march on


Brisbane put a difficult week behind them and responded in the perfect way by defeating rivals Melbourne in what proved to be a crazy night at the Gabba.

Under the spotlight after a poor showing in South Australia last week, the Lions were keen to make amends and got off to a flyer. They were in a commanding position, in the fourth, when there was a power cut – the second in four years at the venue.

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Play was held up for 38 minutes before resuming, with the stoppage seeming to favour the Demons, despite losing their captain Max Gawn (knee injury), who finished well, scoring the last five goals to give the home fans a few nervy moments.

Charlie Curnow (pictured below), last year’s Coleman medallist, booted five majors as Carlton scored a big scalp in overcoming the challenge of Geelong before 55,861 at the ‘G’.

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Particularly pleasing was the way the Blues were able to hold on defensively, when coming under real pressure in the latter stages, and see out the game well.

It was the first time they have defeated a reigning premier since April 2010, ironically against the same opponents, while condemning the Cats to zip-two – not since 2009 has a side lost their opening two matches of the season in a title defence.

Speaking on ground to Channel 7, defender Adam Saad said “Obviously the draw last week was a bit numb but I felt we played our way for a four quarter consistent effort and it was amazing to get the win.”

On the key to victory “The contested ball, the pressure, getting at them and being composed in the dying stages of the game which I felt we did really well today.”

Collingwood flexed their muscles and showed that they are going to be genuine flag contenders, in 2023, as they thrashed Port Adelaide by a 71-point margin.

Following a fairly tight first quarter, the Magpies, for whom Nick Daicos had a game-high 32 disposals, seized control and from there never looked back with 14 different goalscorers making their mark, which particularly pleased coach Craig McRae.

Sydney have taken over at the top of the ladder, on percentage, after recording their highest ever victory margin over Hawthorn in a one-sided, 81-point mauling.

Logan McDonald (five) and Joel Amartey (four), in for the suspended Lance Franklin, both bagged career-high goal hauls as the Swans put their opponents to the sword.

Over in the WA, last year’s wooden spooners North Melbourne caused the shock of the round by getting up over Fremantle in a thrilling and controversial finish.

On the defensive and only a point ahead, the big talking point came with the last action. The hosts could have been awarded a free kick, for insufficient intent, in goalscoring range but it was adjudged by the umps that the final siren had sounded, before the ball crossed the line, to spark wild scenes amongst the Kanga players.

Speaking in the presser on the incident, Roos coach Alistair Clarkson said “There was a bit of dispute at the siren and there was a cheer; I thought it was the Freo fans but it was the 500 North supporters cheering really loud!”

On getting the result, he continued “We’re playing with great spirit and I feel like we played a brand of footy that really served that up to the Freo side and made it tough for them. We would have been really stiff if we lost that one. I’m excited for our players, staff and really excited for our fans; especially the ones that made the trek.”

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Ruckman turned forward Samson Ryan (pictured above) bagged his first senior goals (three) to help Richmond get their opening triumph of the campaign in defeating Adelaide.

However, only after surviving an almighty scare – well set at the main break, they wouldn’t have envisaged such a fightback from the hosts who got within a point; to their credit, though, the Tigers were able to steady the ship and then go on to win it.

Despite having a lengthy injury list, St.Kilda impressed once more as they finished strongly to despatch a disappointing Western Bulldogs outfit in convincing fashion.

The current situation has given the chance for other players to shine which both youngsters Mitch Owens (pictured below, left) and Mattaes Phillipou (pictured below, right) did by kicking three snags apiece.

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Talking to Channel 7, birthday boy (turned 27) and vice-captain Dougal Howard said “It was a good all-round performance by the boys. They were pushing us in the second quarter but that second half from us was pretty special.”

“It is well known about our injury list that is quite big but there are some young lads standing up and that has set the tone for us older boys; certainly that grit the last two weeks is what we have won off.”

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On the impact of new coach Ross Lyon (pictured above) “He’s been unreal! He has stuck to the process all pre-season no matter what has happened, like with the injury list, and that is what has come out these last two weeks and hopefully we can keep it going.”

Essendon produced a stirring last quarter which enabled them to get the job done against Gold Coast, in a real see-saw affair, under the roof at Marvel Stadium.

With the scores level at the end of the third and the game on the line, it was the Bombers, for whom Karl Langford (pictured below) booted a career-high five majors, that really stood-up. It sees them maintain their perfect record under this new Brad Scott era.

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Closing out the second weekend of AFL action saw West Coast get the chocolates, chalking up only their third success since July 2021, over Greater Western Sydney.

It has been a tough time for Eagles supporters that finally have something to cheer about – their side will head into next Sunday’s Western Derby above their crosstown arch-rivals, Fremantle, having jumped above them on the ladder with this result.

Round 2 Results

Carlton 13.12 (90)
Geelong 12.10 (82)

Brisbane 14.9 (93)
Melbourne 13.4 (82)

Collingwood 21.9 (135)
Port Adelaide 9.10 (64)

Adelaide 10.16 (76)
Richmond 17.6 (108)

Western Bulldogs 5.11 (41)
St.Kilda 14.8 (92)

Fremantle 10.12 (72)
North Melbourne 11.7 (73)

Sydney 17.16 (118)
Hawthorn 4.13 (37)

Essendon 16.12 (108)
Gold Coast 11.14 (80)

West Coast 14.16 (100)
GWS 11.15 (81)

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