Round two of the AFL season was another very interesting week of footy with more surprises and some continued good form from the Bombers and the Lions. The Tomahawk made a stunning debut and the umps had a change of opinion on the holding the ball rule. As usual Iâ€™ll name my team of the week, take a look at my tips and look at a few other things that grabbed my interest in round 2.
SMOKING HOT START
The Bombers continued their great start to the season with another impressive win against the Dockers. The Dockers lost again despite good performances from Pavlich and Tarrant and it seems they are missing the Wiz up forward especially with Medhurst now wearing the black and white stripes of Collingwood. The most interesting stat for me is the Bombers tackle count. This week they out tackled the Dockers 44 to 26. In round one they had 36 tackles which was matched my Adelaideâ€™s 41 but the impact of the likes of Davey, Jetta and the other young developing players like Stanton and Winderlich might be felt most in the pressure that they apply to the opposition around the ground.
Chris Judd has had 58 possessions in the opening two weeks of the season. This is a great start by anyones standard but it has been overshadowed completely by the brilliance of Daniel Kerr. Kerr has had 64 touches in two weeks, enough for second in the AFL behind Daniel Cross, and he has been best on ground in both outings for the Eagles. Itâ€™s only early but Kerr could be poised to join Cousins and Judd as Brownlow medallists and form a trio that could rival the great Lions combination of Voss, Black and Akermanis.
Two players that might have slipped under the guard of fans and media pundits alike leading into the season are Nathan Bock and Nathan Ablett. Both have been very handy for there respective teams with Ablett bagging eight goals including five this week and Bock starring in the win against the Bulldogs and also performing noticeably in the loss to the Bombers. Both players will be vital to there teams chances as they provide marking options up forward and can win the ball both on the lead and in contested situations.
THE TIMES ARE A CHANGING
The Umpires seemed to have a rethink on the holding the ball decision this week. They will no doubt deny that it was a pre determined decision but last week if you touched the ball for a second and were tackled it was holding the ball, this week however we had situations that resembled a rugby maul and it was play on or a ball up. From a personal viewpoint I think it was much better this week as players need to be encouraged to attack the ball and try and take possession of it rather than waiting for there opponent to grab it and lay the tackle to win a free kick. Hopefully this is a win for common sense and this weeks implementation of the rule continues.
While looking at the stats from the Bombers win I was amazed to see they took only 4 contested marks. It is almost impossible that this statistic could be one of a winning team especially when you consider they have the likes of Lucas and Lloyd up forward and McPhee, Fletcher and Michael down back. Lloyd, Michael, Monfries and Johnson were the players that recorded these marks which meant McPheeâ€™s hanger was classed as uncontested.
For the record the number of contested marks taken by some of other winning teams was 15 for Adelaide, 5 for Port Adelaide, 10 for Geelong, 9 for West Coast and 13 for Sydney.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
B Wojcinski Scarlett Mcleod
HB P Burgoyne C.Bolton McPhee
C Shaw Goodwin Rischitelli
HF S.Burgoyne Lucas Bock
F G.Ablett N.Ablett Williams
Fol Everitt Kerr Judd
Int From: Tarrant Scotland Deledio Sinclair Malceski Sherman Harvey Sewell
There seems to be a great crop of young guys coming through this year. Tom Hawkins made a great debut for the Cats and showed a lot of promise. Nathan Krakouer help seal the win for Port and Brice Gibbs showed us all why he was the top pick in the draft. Other notable performers were Scott Pendlebury, Alwyn Davey and Jonathon Griffen. The man who might beat them all to the rising star award however, is Shaun Higgins who meets the qualifying standards after getting injured last season.
It seems there are a few players that are tackle happy at the minute. On Saturday three players registered over 10 with Brett Kirk leading the way for the round with 13 and the season totals with 21.
Only 4 correct this week as I again sucked in the tipping. I got it right with Sydney, West Coast, Geelong and Port. This takes me to 7 in the tips which has me in 41st place. I am currently still tied with Mark Franklin but have slipped two tips being my wife who sits in 14th position. Congratulations to the SEN Warrior who got seven correct this week to go to eleven in total atop the leaderboard.
Article written by Luke Mather from oneweekatatime.com.au