Collingwood are the Real Deal:
Defeating the reigning premiers in Round 1 immediately puts the competition on notice and that’s exactly what the Pies achieved on Friday night. Against quality opposition, Collingwood managed their highest score since the 2018 Grand Final, largely due to their exciting ball-movement off half back led by Scott Pendlebury and 2022 Rising Star Nick Daicos. Jordan De Goey looks like an absolute superstar in the midfield having built up his tank over the off-season. Fasten your seatbelts Magpies fans, you’re in for an exciting ride in 2023.
Jason Horne-Francis Will Win a Brownlow:
You’re not fooling us Ken Hinkley, the slow-burn of Jason Horne-Francis you mentioned in the lead up to Round 1, just got doused with petrol as he lit up the Adelaide Oval on Saturday afternoon. After a chaotic first year with North Melbourne, the former No.1 pick looked like a genuine star as the Power sent a message to the rest of the competition, dominating a Lions team who looked shell-shocked after half-time. Horne-Francis’ strength, speed and lateral movement was at an elite level throughout the game, highlighted by his fend-off to Lachie Neale at full flight streaming out of the centre square.
You’re Quite Brilliant, Ross:
It was a coaching masterclass watching Ross the Boss back in action for the Saints. It looked like the St Kilda (and Fremantle) of old with an impenetrable defence and great on-ball pressure that left the Dockers unable to move the ball past their forward 50. Missing a large chunk of their best players, the Saints defensive structure allowed them to conserve energy when defending and then unleash a run-and-gun style when attacking. All eyes will be on the Saints this Saturday night as they attempt to take another scalp in the Western Bulldogs.
Tune in to Sheez Tv in 2023:
It didn’t take long for Harry Sheezel to make his mark at the top level. The 18-year-old played more like a 250-game veteran, reading the play with ease off half-back and seemingly having plenty of time to distribute. The No.3 draft picked amassed an unbelievable 34 disposals, the most by a debutant in 39 years. The Kangaroos clearly want the ball in his hands, similar to Collingwood of 2022 with Nick Daicos. Move over Will Ashcroft, we have a new Rising-Star contender.
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti Back Playing Footy:
In a game that seems to have given more questions than answers, Brad Scott has brought hope back to the Bombers, for now. Without key-forward Mitch Lewis, the Hawks looked lost moving the ball forward, whilst the Bombers midfield in Parish and Merrett seemingly racked up possessions at-will. Regardless of the team you follow, the goals to Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti and Alwyn Davey Jr make you smile. It’s moments like these where we realise AFL is more than just a sport in Australia, it’s a game that allows us to feel our true emotions and connected to something larger, regardless of our background.
Selection Problems are Good Problems at Melbourne:
No Steven May, Bailey Fritch, Christian Salem, and Jack Viney left many Demons fans nervous ahead of Round 1. Their nerves wouldn’t of lasted long as many of their fringe players stood-up to make selection very difficult over the coming weeks. Debutant Judd McVee and Adam Tomlinson were outstanding up against the tall Bulldogs forward line, however, it was Kade Chandler’s performance that impressed the most. With Kozzy Pickett spending more time in the midfield, Chandler provided chaotic forward pressure at times for the Dees, whilst also gathering 16 disposals and 7 score involvements for himself.
The Swans Don’t Have a Grand Final Hangover:
Its only Round 1, and yes, it was against the sub-standard Suns but the way the Swans played proved that they will not slide down the ladder as many others have after a disappointing Grand Final. Their pressure was remarkable, and the Suns couldn’t handle it. This was highlighted by the Swans who finished with 24 more tackles despite having 12% more time with the football. Statistics show that regardless of who the opponent is, high pressure leads to successful football.
Footy’s Back and so are Crowds:
The excitement leading up to Round 1 has coincided with the 3rd highest attended round in AFL history and the highest since 2018. Highlighted by 2 block-buster games opening the round at the MCG with 85,000+ attending, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan was predictably happy with the result.
“A great start to the season, some electrifying individual and team performances paired with record crowds has given the competition great momentum as we begin season 2023”, McLachlan said.
“To all the supporters across the country who attended a match or watched the broadcast, we say thank you and look forward to seeing you at the footy during the season.”
Top 5 attended rounds of all-time
- Rd 1 2017 – 400,401
- Rd 3 2018 – 393,537
- R1 2023 – 392,248
- Rd 5 2017 – 391,980
- Rd 5 2018 – 381,880