AFL round 1 recap

Jamie Samuel AFL

Footy is back bigger and better in 2022, fans flocked back into stadiums across Australia to witness a thrilling 1st round of AFL. After 2 covid affected seasons, it was awesome for fans to be back and they witnessed some great footy, and one hopes that this season will not have any covid disruptions and we can see a crowd of 90K plus at the Grand Final played in Melbourne, as planned.

Premiers Melbourne got their defending campaign off to the perfect start. Winning a thrilling Grand Final rematch against the Western Bulldogs by 26-points on Thursday night.

After the Demon’s got off a flying start by kicking the opening 4 goals, the Dogs completely changed the complexity of the game. After they got their 1st goal through Hayden Crozier, Cody Weightman was controversially given a free kick on the quarter time siren. He took advantage and the Dogs reduced the quarter time margin to 15-points at 29-14.

The 2nd quarter would spark a Dogs avalanche, as they piled on 6 unanswered goals to start the 2nd quarter, making it 8 straight after they conceded the 1st 4. Ben Brown delivered a much needed goal back for Melbourne from long range. Christain Petraca nailed a beautiful kick, from tight in on the boundary, 50 out, he got the Dees back with in 9-points at half time.

The premiership quarter belong to Melbourne, kicking the only 4 goals as they got themselves out to a 15-point 3 quarter time lead. The Dogs 2 consecutive goals to the start the last quarter and reduce the margin back to 4 points. Max Gawn received a free from a ruck contest 55 out from goal. He responded for the Dees with an absolute BOMB from 55 out, a kick that swung left to right and lifted the Melbourne fans out of their chairs with a massive buss around the MCG. Goals from James Harms and Petraca iced the game for Melbourne. Adam Trelore pulled back a consolation goal for the Dogs. Kysaiah Pickett simply put the icing on a beautiful Dees cake when he nailed a set shot in the dying seconds.

The Demons made the perfect start to season 2022, showing their premiership triumph last year was no fluke. They look set for a tilt at premiership defence this year. They looked hungry and determined and found a way to respond to the challenge they were thrown. Melbourne will look to continue winning form when the travel to face Gold Coast on Saturday night. The Dogs will look to rebound when they face Carlton on Thursday night.

YouTube player

Carlton has made the perfect start under new coach Michael Voss. After trailing by 20-points in the last quarter, and headed for their 12th straight defeat to Richmond, the Blues piled on 7 consecutive goals to snap an 11 consecutive straight game loosing streak to Richmond.

It was the perfect start to season 2022, after Carlton had lost every 1 round (and 2) clash over the last 9 seasons, since 2012 when they last began round 1 with a win. They looked shaky early starting slowly, after Richmond kicked 4 goals to 1 in the 1st quarter, they took a 20-point quarter lead. In the 2nd quarter, the Blues really flicked the switch, piling on 4 consecutive goals. Patrick Cripps kicking 2 of them and there was emotional moment for the entire team, when Sam Docherty was given a 50 and slotted a goal from 35 after his return to footy from his cancer battle.

With Carlton 8 points up at half time, it was the Tigers to respond in the 3rd quarter and the game was looking like it was going to follow the general Richmond winning in round 1 trend, as the Tigers kicked 7 goals to 2 in the premiership quarter to lead by 15 at the final change. After Shai Bolton extended the Tigers lead to 20 early in the last quarter, it looked done for all money, but this is possibly a new found Blues outfit under Vossy’s leadership, who went bang, bang, BANG!

Corey Durdin got his 2nd of the night, giving the Blues some hope at a 14-point margin. George Hewett recieved a 50, which brought him to within 30 out and his goal changed the entire complexity of the contest with the margin back to 8-points. Cripps received a short pass inside 50 and when he nailed the goal, with the margin back to 2 the Blues had massive confidence.

Jack Martin marked on 55 out, released an absolute BOMB and just like that, remarkably Carlton HIT THE FRONT to delirious fans around the MCG. Zac Fisher got in on the act a moment later, as the Blues got the clearance and he snapped home Carlton’s 5th consecutive major as the MCG erupted. Lachie O’brian’s set shot from 15 moments later all but put the result beyond doubt, and a 100 meter penalty to new recruit Adam Cerra iced a most beautiful cake for the Carlton football club, as they ran out by 25-points in the end.

It was the just reward for Michael Voss, he has recruited and reset the club beautifully. Bringing in players like George Hewett and Adam Cerra. Experimenting with Mitch McGovern down back, giving Corey Durdin a senior debut and including Matthew Kennedy in the starting line up, it has all come together beautifully.

The Blues will face another tough challenge in the Western Bulldogs on Thursday night, but will be full of confidence they can be at least competitive with the Grand Finalists of last year. The Tigers have the chance to get back on the winners list when they host Greater Western Sydney at the MCG on Sunday afternoon.

YouTube player

Collingwood made the perfect to their new era under Craig McRae, defeating St Kilda in a thriller on Friday night by 17-points at Marvel Stadium.

Collingwood started positively, kicking 4 goals to 3 in the 1st quarter. St Kilda’s 3rd goal was Jack Hayes’ 1st on debut as the team mates got around him. Jamie Eliot kicked the 1st of the 2nd quarter, and his 200th career goal. Max King pulled back one with a beauty from the pocket. The sides went goal for goal for the rest of the quarter, as Collingwood took a 15-point half time lead.

Collingwood kicked the 1st 3 goals of the 3rd quarter, and got out to a lead by as much as 35-points. Back came the Saints, as they piled on 4 goals in a row, including 2 from Hayes. As the Saints brought the 3 quarter time margin back to 5 points. Jade Gresham put the Saints in front within the 1st 2 minutes of the last quarter, as they nailed their 5th consecutive goal. Back the momentum swung Collingwood’s way, as they piled on the next 3 goals. Tim Membrey gave the Saints some hope with a goal back. Jordan De Goey steadied the Pies ship. Gresham added his 2nd of the last quarter as a late consolation, as Oliver Henry went back, kicked his 2nd of the last quarter and sealed a memorable win for the Pies.

It was the start Craig McRae was after, and Collingwood look on song for a strong season in 2022. They have a very good chance to make it a 2-0 start, when they host Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday afternoon. St Kilda face a tough challenge in a trip to Fremantle on Sunday.

YouTube player

Geelong made the perfect start to season 2022, after they made minced meat of Essendon on Saturday afternoon, defeating them by 66-points at the MCG.

Geelong absolutely dominated the 1st half, kicking 7 goals to 2 in the 1st quarter and kicking 5 goals to 1 in the 2nd quater. Tom Hawkins and Patrick Dangerfield and Tyson Stengle on fire. One highlight for the Bombers was Nic Martin’s first AFL goal. As Geelong blew the half time margin out to 10-goals.

Essendon kicked 3 in the 3rd quarter, but were still completley outclassed by the Cats, as they kicked 5 goals of their own. This included the last 4 goals of the quarter to blow the 3 quarter time margin out to 77-points. Essendon ended up winning the last quarter, kicking 5 goals to 3 as Geelong cruised home and took the foot off the gas in the final quarter. One highlight Essendon can take away from the game was the performance of debutant Nick Martin, who had a day out with 5 goals.

It was the perfect start for Geelong, as they look for another tilt at a premiership this year, after yet again being eliminated at the preliminary final stage by Melbourne last year. They will face a tough trip to the harbour city on Friday night to take on the Sydney Swans. Essendon looked out on their feet, struggling and were of no challenge to the superior Cats side. This could be a rough season for Ben Rutten’s men, and it doesn’t get any easier as they face the Brisbane Lions on Saturday evening, before premiers Melbourne the following week.

YouTube player

Sydney Swans took care of the Greater Western Sydney Giants (GWS) by 20-points on Saturday afternoon.

After Sydney kicked 3 of the 1st 4 goals, GWS piled home the last 4 of the 1st quarter to lead by 15-points at quarter time. The 2nd quarter would also be a ripper, Sydney kicking 6 goals to 5 and bring the half time margin back to 9-points. Oliver Florent taking on defenders and kicking an incredible snap goal.

After the Swans got the 1st after half time, the Giants responded with the next 2 to get out to a 17-point half time lead. The Swans then kicked the next 3 and Luke Paker’s snap right before 3 quarter time gave them the lead. It was the Swans by 5 points at the final change.

The Swans kicked the opening 4 goals of the last quarter to blow the margin out to 28-points. Callun Ward pulled back a consolation prize for the Giants. As the Sydney Swans ran out 20-point winners and avenged their 1-point elimination final defeat to the Giants.

Sydney will look to continue winning form when they host Geelong on Friday night. GWS will have a tough challenge on Sunday when they face what should be a determined Richmond side at the MCG.

YouTube player

The Brisbane Lions got out of jail, as they came back from a 3-goal 3 quarter time deficit and defeated Port Adelaide by 11-points in a Saturday night thriller at the Gabba.

Brisbane took a 7-point quarter time lead and kicked 2 goals to 1 in the 1st quarter. Port had a dominant 2nd quarter, kicking 4 goals to 2. Brisbane could have taken the lead at half time, Joe Daniher taking a mark of the year contender with 4 seconds left, but he made the mistake of handballing it off and the siren beat the kick at goal. Port taking a 34-30 half time advantage.

The premiership quarter truely belonged to Port Adelaide, they blitzed ahead to a 21-point lead after kicking 3 consecutive goals to start the 3rd quarter. Zac Bailey pulled one back for Brisbane before Will Drews snap put Port out by 23-points. Daniher pulled back a crucial goal to get it back to a 17-point game at the final change. Daniher would go back to back to start the last quarter and draw Brisbane within a point. Lincoln McCarthy gave the Lions back the lead, and Oscar Mcinerny took a strong mark and put them 12-points up. Dan Houston’s long bomb drew Port back within a kick, before it was left to Charlie Cameron to seal the game with a mark out of the centre, as the went back and extended the margin to 12-points.

That would be enough to see Brisbane home by 11-points, an absolute belter of a Saturday night thriller. Brisbane were challenged and Port will be disappointed they couldn’t hold out their 24-point lead. Port have the chance to rebound when they host Hawthorn on Saturday night. Brisbane have another massive opportunity to continue winning form, when they travel to face Essendon on Saturday afternoon.

YouTube player

Hawthorn began its new era under Sam Mitchell in the right way. Coming from behind to beat North Melbourne by 20-points at the MCG on Sunday afternoon.

The sides kicked 2 goals each in the 1st quarter, with North Melbourne leading by a point at the first change. North got off to the perfect start in the 2nd quarter, kicking the 1st 2 and the 2nd coming from much hyped pick, Jason Horne-Frances, as the team mates came from everywhere to get around him. As Jy Simpkin nailed Norths 4th in a row and 3rd for the quarter, it was the Kangaroos out by 21-points. The Hawks steadied late in the quarter with 2 late goals to bring the margin back to 7 at half time.

The Hawks would make the premiership quarter their own, kicking 3 goals to 1 to turn the game in their favour. It was the Jack Gunston and Mitch Lewis show, crucial goals nudged Hawthorn ahead. Todd Goldstein kicked Norths only goal of the quarter less than a minute out from 3 quarter time, as the Hawks took a 7-pont lead into the final change. Goldstein also got the 1st of the last quarter to draw North within a point. Chad Wingard went back to back and got Hawthorn back out to a 2 goal lead. Nick Larkey gave North some late hope. But Finn Maginness kicked a ripper from the pocket to put the Hawks in check mate, as Gunston capped of a wonderful afternoon with his 3rd and put the result beyond all doubt.

It was the Hawks by 20 in Mitchel’s 1st game as coach, he will no doubt be pleased with the effort his side showed. To fight back hard when the game was looking to be getting out of their reach was something they can build on in season 2022. North will feel disappointed to let this one slip away, the wooden spooners had the opportunity to start the season on the right note, but weren’t quite able to hold it out for 4 quarters. North will feel they have another opportunity to get a win, when they host West Coast at Marvel Stadium on Sunday. Hawthorn will face a tough challenge in a trip to Adelaide to face Port on Saturday night.

YouTube player

Adelaide and Fremantle played out the match of the round. Fremantle surviving a huge Crows comeback to get over the line in a 1-point decided thriller on Sunday at Adelaide Oval.

After Fremantle lead by as much as 26-points, Adelaide fought back to lead by 10 at the final change. But Fremantle fought back with a 3 goal to 1 last quarter, as Lachie Schultz became Fremantle’s hero with the winning goal, as a desperate goal line spoil in the dying seconds from Heath Chapman also proved a match saver.

Fremantle started the stronger side, kicking 4 goals to 2 in the 1st quarter and taking a 17-point quarter time lead. It could have been more if not for inaccuracy. Fremantle extended their half time lead to 25-points with a 5 goal to 3 2nd quarter. 1 highlight for the Crows was Josh Rachele’s 1st half, kicking his 1st 2 goals on debut, including a nice finish in the 2nd quarter from the boundary.

It was the Crows premiership quarter, as they piled on 6 goals to none, with Rachele kicking 2 crucial goals, to get them within a kick and then a set shot to give them the lead. Brodie Smith’s bender with 40 seconds left, gave the Crows huge momentum as they took a 10-point lead into the final change. The Dockers looked gone when Rachele slotted his fifth major to put Adelaide 18 points up nine minutes into the last quarter.

But Fremantle kicked the next two  and, with five minutes left, were just six points down. After Adelaide conceded a rushed behind, from a turn over Schultz launched from 50 and put Fremantle a point in front. Ben Key’s tried desperately to win the game for Adelaide with a shot on goal with under 10 seconds left, but a clever spoil and tap back in from Heath Chapman, who got a desperate fist to the footy and prevented any score proved to be a match saver. Fremantle held on in a thriller by the smallest of margins.

Fremantle will look to continue winning form when they host St Kilda on Sunday night. Adelaide face a tough challenge with a trip to the home of football to take on traditional rivals in Collingwood on Saturday afternoon.

YouTube player

Gold Coast won their 1st ever game against West Coast in Perth, downing them by 27-points in the end on Sunday night.

It was all the Eagles early, leading for most of the contest. But an 8 goal to 2 last quarter proved to be decisive as the Suns came from behind to run away with it.

The Eagles kicked 5 goals to 2 in the opening quarter, including Tom Barrass’ 1st AFL goal in game 100. The Suns fought back hard in the 2nd quarter, kicking 3 goals to 2, and reducing the half-time margin to 9 points.

Mabior Chol kicked an incredible soccer goal to start the 3rd quarter and reduce the margin back to 3. As Jeremy Sharp put the Suns in front, the sides then went goal for goal. With Hugh Dixon drawing the Eagles level and Josh Kennedy giving the Eagles a 7-point buffer. The Eagles taking a goal lead into 3 quarter time. Chol got the 1st of the last quarter to draw the Suns level, before immediately, Jamaine Jones gave back the Eagles the lead. The Suns went on to kick the next 3 and get out to a 12-point lead. Some inaccuracy from the Eagles, before Josh Kennedy stood up and got them within 4 points. Before the Suns put the foot on the accelerator, piling on the 3, and as the final siren sounded in Izak Rankine’s hands, he bent one round the corner off a step form the pocket beautifully. As the Suns stormed away to a 27-point win in the end over a depleted, injury hit West Coast outfit.

It was a great start to the season for Stuart Dew’s men. They face a tough challenge when they host Premiers Melbourne on Saturday night, who also came off a huge round 1 win. West Coast travel for an interesting clash with upcoming young side North Melbourne on Sunday afternoon.

YouTube player

All in all, we have seen some thrilling action in week 1. All 1st time coaches getting wins in their 1st outings, close games, and we can’t wait for what should be a wonderful year of football in 2022.