AFL Round 1 Wrap & Brownlow Votes Predictions

It was a truly remarkable opening weekend in the AFL, which left us with plenty to ponder after a stunning round of upsets.

Ryan Lepore
 | 
Mon, 25 Mar, 12:00 AM

A tipsters nightmare is one way to describe it. A changing of the guard might be another. However, the latter might be a slight exaggeration to describe Round 1 of the AFL season. A record-equalling six upsets occurred across the nine matches - a feat that’s now been achieved seven times since 1995. Many also predicted the new rules would create higher scoring and a more free-flowing contest. It did anything but, with only the final game of the round, Fremantle versus North Melbourne exceeding the over in the total points line.

Three of last year’s preliminary finalists lost. Only Richmond bucked the trend by defeating Carlton in the season opener and even they had to survive an almighty scare. Brisbane’s 44-point win over West Coast was the largest Round 1 victory against the reigning premiers since 1981. The win by the young Lions, who won just five matches last season was made all the more remarkable after they trailed by 27 points at quarter time.

Port Adelaide’s stunning victory over the much-hyped Melbourne outfit was emphatic. The Power won all the key stats and the margin could have been greater if not for some wayward finishing in front of goal. The Power who had four debutantes, plus two more making their club debut, kept Melbourne scoreless in a win described by coach Ken Hinkley as the best in his time at the club - including finals.

Hawthorn’s win over Adelaide shocked, even perhaps the majority of Hawks fans. But as we’ve grown accustomed to, you can never right Alastair Clarkson off as his team were clinical against the disappointing Crows.

The Swans have been notoriously slow starters in recent seasons and again they were sluggish out of the blocks as the young Dogs got the jump on them and led from wire-to-wire. Sydney cut it to under a kick late in the match only for the Bulldogs to slam on the final two goals of the game and keep the upsets rolling.

We saw two demolitions on Sunday with the Giants and Dockers both big winners at home. The comprehensive wins only proved how hard it is to win interstate early in the season, but both the Bombers and Kangaroos were diabolical and have plenty of work if they’re to turn their fortunes around in Round 2.

Season-ending knee injuries soured a great weekend of football with the most notable being Alex Rance’s on Thursday night. The five-time All-Australian has been so durable throughout his career and his absence is sure to hurt the Tigers going forward with some going as far as saying they can’t win the premiership without him. We won’t make that claim just yet.

Tom Doedee and Ed Vickers-Willis were the other pair to suffer the devastation of potentially watching the rest of the season on the sidelines.

 

Round 1 Brownlow Votes Predictions

 

Carlton v Richmond

                           

Brisbane v West Coast

3

P. Cripps

Carl

 

3

H. McCluggage

2

T. Nankervis

Rich

 

2

D. Sheed

1

T. Cotchin

Rich

 

1

L. Neale

           

Collingwood v Geelong

   

St Kilda v Gold Coast

3

T. Kelly

Geel

 

3

S. Ross

2

T. Stewart

Geel

 

2

J. Billings

1

A. Treloar

Coll

 

1

B. Fiorini

           

Melbourne v Port Adelaide

   

GWS v Essendon

3

J. Westhoff

PA

 

3

S. Coniglio

2

T. Rockcliff

PA

 

2

T. Taranto

1

T. Boak

PA

 

1

J. Cameron

           

Adelaide v Hawthorn

   

Fremantle v North Melbourne

3

J. Worpel

Haw

 

3

C. McCarthy

2

J. Sicily

Haw

 

2

N. Fyfe

1

B. McEvoy

Haw

 

1

D. Tucker

           

Western Bulldogs v Sydney

       

3

M. Bontempelli

WB

     

2

A. Naughton

WB

     

1

J. Macrae

WB

     

 

Brownlow Betting Odds

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