Luke’s Look – Round 2, 2012 – Blowouts, Beauties, Ball Winners

Round Review – Round 2, 2012

In contrast to the sensational opening round last week, the Easter weekend of AFL didn’t exactly deliver on expectations.  Let’s have a quick look at the better games before my favourite and not-so favourite things from Round 2.

The footy weekend kicked off on Easter Thursday, with the Lions hosting the Blues at the Gabba.  Coming off a surprising opening round win over the Demons, the Lions were expected to give the Blues a scare.  Brisbane were in the match for a quarter, before the Blues went on to kick 18 goals to 3 after quarter time for a huge 91-point win.  Murphy and Judd were brilliant for Carlton.

Essendon were expected to easily dispose of Port Adelaide at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.  The Bombers were hit hard by injury throughout the match, but survived a second half challenge and ran out 25-point winners.  The Dons are now 2-0 having defeated the Kangaroos and Power, and face the struggling Gold Coast Suns in round 3.  They’ve been dealt a dream fixture to open 2012, however Carlton and Collingwood loom in rounds 4 and 5.

A number of teams enjoyed comfortable wins in round 2 – namely the Eagles, Pies, Kangaroos and Saints.  There was very little to report from these matches, other than the misery continuing for Melbourne with another uncompetitive performance.  The first year Giants, and perhaps more surprisingly the second year Suns, are really struggling early on this season.

The Dockers were bordering on awful in their first half on Saturday against the Swans.  But they managed 9 goals to 5 after the main break; yet fell short by 13 points.  Also on Saturday, the Crows were expected to smash the Dogs but struggled to keep the Bulldogs at arms length throughout.  Until late in the match, it seemed an upset was on the cards, before the Crows finished stronger to record a 3-goal win.  Despite my skepticism last week, the Dogs showed signs of life on the weekend – though mainly their experienced players continue to lead the way, including Boyd, Murphy, Griffen and Lake.

The highlight of round 2 was clearly the traditional Easter Monday matchup of Geelong versus Hawthorn.  Since the 2008 Grand Final (including Monday’s game) these two sides have met 8 times with the Cats taking the points on each occasion, with the average winning margin throughout this stretch being only about 10 points.

Despite the miserable conditions, Monday’s game was a beauty.  It was footy at its absolute best – tough, hard and uncompromising.  Joel Selwood led the Cats superbly, even after copping a nasty knock to the head mid-match.  The Hawks failed to get the job done in the final quarter and must wait until round 19 for a shot a redemption. At this stage, wouldn’t we all love to see a Cats vs. Hawks matchup in the 2012 Grand Final?  More on this clash in my favourite things below…

Top Ten Plays from Round 2

 

My Favourite Things for Round 2

1.  Tom Hawkins – I wasn’t onboard the “Tom-a-hawk” bandwagon until late last season, but my word has he improved in the last 12 months?  I wrote about Josh Kennedy here recently (and deservedly so), but Hawkins may prove to be as good as, or better than Kennedy, in the not too distant future.

2.  Chris Judd – The champ turned it on against the Lions on Easter Thursday with 33 possessions, 4 marks, 6 tackles and 3 goals.  Life is good as a Carlton supporter when you get to watch this bloke each week.

3.  Jeremy Cameron – I watched a bit of Cameron in the NAB Cup this year and liked what I saw.  So much so that I picked him in my DreamTeam line-up pre-season and was pleased to see him deliver 4 goals on the weekend in an otherwise ordinary day for the Giants.  Now, how do we get this kid to Carlton?

My “not-so” Favourite Things for Round 2

1. Coaching speculation – I’m hearing talk that Guy McKenna’s position as head coach of the Suns may be in jeopardy.  The Suns have not looked good in their 2 games, but surely it is far too early to even consider wielding the axe on McKenna?

2.  The AFL fixture – The fixture will forever be a talking point until teams play each other only once, or twice, in a season.  A perfect example of the unfairness of the 2012 fixture is the fact the Kangaroos face the Giants & Suns twice this season, all but guaranteeing them 4 wins and a huge percentage boost.  The Bombers, a club expected to be fighting it out with the Roos for a finals spot, only face the Giants & Suns once.  It may “even itself out” next season, but for now I don’t think the Bombers (and other clubs) should be too happy about this.

3.  Blowouts – Although a necessary evil with the introduction of two new franchises, I fear we’ll see plenty more huge winning margins throughout 2012.


Any comments or feedback – please feel free to contact me.

Enjoy round 3 everyone!


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