Well the 2010 AFL Season is officially upon us, and the opening weekend of Australia’s favourite sport was no disappointment, with thousands of loyal fans heading to the grounds and supporting their side for the upcoming campaign.
The new season kicked off at the home of AFL – the MCG, on Thursday night when Richmond took on Carlton, with eight great matches spanning the weekend.
There were not many upsets in Round 1 although the Western Bulldogs did lose to Collingwood at home in what was a fantastic display of AFL.
Below is an outline of the weekend’s proceedings in AFL.
Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was the performance by Collingwood in their opening 2010 AFL season match.
Richmond 64 V Carlton 120
Carlton went into the match as favourites to come away triumphant, and the Blues did not disappoint, taking a 56-point win over Richmond despite the loss of Brendan Fevola, winning 18.12 (120) to 9.10 (64).
Carlton were also missing their Captain, Chris Judd, however the replacement – Andrew Carrazzo took the responsibility of his new role well and dominated with 40 possessions, with Heath Scotland and Kade Simpson also notable in the opening match.
For The Tigers, Jack Riewoldt who scored two of the nine goals was impressive for the side, as was Tom Hislop.
So for Carlton it is one win from one game – and after a strong team performance could not have asked for much more.
Geelong 125 V Essendon 94
On Friday night at the MCG, the returning Champions came up against Essendon in what was a thrilling battle on the oval. Geelong came away victorious 19.11 (125) to 13.16 (94), and having gone into the match as clear favourites the Bombers gave the Cats a run for their money as they were up by 24 points halfway through the third quarter.
However Geelong showed their winning etiquette by blasting six goals through the Bombers taking a 31 point win.
Gary Ablett proved his worth to Geelong by taking 37 lazy touches and two goals, and was a key player in the turnaround of events at the MCG.
Melbourne 61 V Hawthorn 117
The third match of the weekend to take place at the MCG saw an absolute dominance by the Hawthorn Hawks, taking down Melbourne by 56 points at their home meet. The Hawks won 17.15 (117) to 8.13 (61), and kept Melbourne trapped down as The Demons finished the first quarter goalless in contrast to Hawthorn’s six.
It was a disappointing show by Melbourne, who did manage to save some face as they came back to win the final quarter – however it was not a good start to the Demons’ 2010 Season campaign and will be looking to improve as they face Collingwood in round 2.
For the Hawks, Luke Hodge certainly made a strong impression, and Jarryd Roughhead up front scored three, but could have had a good few more.
The Hawks are facing Geelong in round 2, which is certain to be a tougher match, however have certainly set themselves up well and will have confidence on their side.
Sydney 88 V St Kilda 96
The first match for the 2010 AFL Season to hit the ANZ Stadium saw Sydney take on St Kilda, and was not the one sided affair it was expected to be, with the favourites to take out 2010 – St Kilda beating the Swans by a mere eight points.
In front of a crowd of just over 30,000 people, Sydney managed a prolific comeback in the final quarter reducing a 20 point gap to just two, however The Saints came back to win 15.6 (96) to 13.10 (88).
Nick Riewoldt for the Saints was fantastic, taking four goals, and helped the favourites maintain their form and structure to battle it out until the end.
It was a disappointing performance from St Kilda, after such high expectations for this upcoming season it seems the side are off to a slow start.
Brisbane 114 V West Coast 82
The Gabba was host to Brisbane’s opening home game against the West Coast Eagles, and saw the home side triumphant with a 32 point win, 16.18 (114) to 12.10 (82).
However it was not all plain sailing for the Lions as the Eagles certainly held their ground away from home, going into the final quarter two points up. West Coast could not capitalise on their lead, with the Lions coming back to score seven goals in the last term.
Headlining the match was Brendan Fevola’s debut run out for the Lions and proved his worth for the side taking three of the goals, and proving a dominance force with him and Jonathan Brown.
Luke Shuey for the Eagles showed signs of a promising career ahead as he debuted for the West Coast and certainly impressed.
Port Adelaide 96 V North Melbourne 82
On Sunday, the AAMI Stadium saw Port Adelaide take on North Melbourne under slippery conditions, with the Power coming away with a 14 point win in what was a close match.
Port Adelaide started strong, but the Roos made a comeback in the third term, reducing the 50 point difference between the sides to just two with the home side winning 13.18 (96) to 12.10 (82).
It was a nervous start by both sides, and the Power’s Kane Cornes’ ran out for his 150th consecutive game, and Cornes certainly proved his status winning some hard possessions.
The Roos’ captain, Brent Harvey, proved solid as a rock once again and scored three goals in their attempt to clinch the win.
Western Bulldogs 93 V Collingwood 129
Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was the performance by Collingwood in their opening 2010 AFL season match. In a replay between the 2009 losing preliminary finalists, the Bulldogs had gone in as favourites and were well and truly beaten by Collingwood in what was a point proved to the rest of the League.
Collingwood came away winners with a fantastic 19.15 (129) to 13.15 (93) win. The pies dominated the match in what was a stunning display of AFL – and have given hope to the fans for the upcoming campaign.
However after such a dominant performance by the Magpies it is hard not to let expectations run away, so Collingwood’s round 2 game against the Demons will help suss out the sides season form.
Fremantle 118 V Adelaide 62
Rounding off the opening round of the 2010 AFL Season was the clash between Fremantle and Adelaide at the Subiaco Oval on Sunday night.
It was a great start to the season by Fremantle, coming away with a 56 point win of 17.16 (118) to 9.8 (62). Michael Barlow produced the debut performance of round 1, claiming 33 possessions along with two goals, breaking the number of possessions in a debut record set by Bradd Dalziell in 1992 of 32.
In front of 30,000 spectators, Fremantle secured number two on the AFL ladder, and will see if they can carry over the strong play to their next match against Essendon on Sunday.