After a bumperopening round last weekend, Round Two of the 2022 AFL season has come to an end, and seen some clubs continue to rise, while others fell, while still finding some match-winning moments.
We see how each team managed to follow-up their Round One performance withEdge of the Crowd‘s AFL Power Rankings for Round Two.
(The club's previous week's position in brackets.)
1. SYDNEY (3)
Sydney was on the back-foot early Friday night as Geelong kicked the opening two goals of the match, but kicked the next four to take an 11-point lead into the first break. The Swans continued to put together a string of goals throughout the remainder of the contest, increasing the team's margin which ended in a 30-point win and a 2-0 start.
The Swans rarely missed when they went forward, kicking 17.5 for the match, with Isaac Heeney achieving an equal-career-high five goals, while Lance Franklin kicked four goals - including the monumental 1000th career goal, becoming the sixth player in V/AFL history to achieve the feat.
Callum Mills (29 disposals), Jake Lloyd (27 disposals) and Chad Warner (25 disposals) were the leading ball-winners at the SCG as the Swans held possession quite a lot and looked to control the pace of the game with 11 of the top 13 players for marks were all from the home team.
2. MELBOURNE (2)
Melbourne went toe-to-toe against Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night, and despite conceding the first two goals, was able to create enough of a buffer as the game went on that even a zero goal fourth quarter (0.5) saw the club hold on for a 13-point win. The Demons were kicking straight in front of goal, being 10.1 early in the second half, kicking 2.9 from that point onwards.
Melbourne dominated possession, finishing +122 in disposals, +23 in contested possessions and +86 in uncontested possessions as the side constantly found the football through multiple avenues. The Demons were also +19 for marks, +13 for tackles and +eight for tackles inside 50.
The Demons had three multiple goalkickers with Kysaiah Pickett, Luke Jackson and Ben Brown each kicking two majors.
Last year's Norm Smith Medallist Christian Petracca collected 40 disposals for the Demons while Clayton Oliver (34 disposals) and Jake Bowey (34 disposals) each played a big part in the victory.
3. CARLTON (6)
Carlton displayed a dead-eye goalkicking performance against the Western Bulldogs on Thursday night at Marvel Stadium, finishing the game with a 16.6 scoreline, and a 12-point victory to go 2-0. Despite holding onto a 43-point margin heading into the main break, the Blues allowed the Bulldogs to come back into the game and if it weren't for wayward kicking by their opponents, the Blues might've gone down.
The Blues used the running game well against the Bulldogs, and displayed an intent in keeping the ball inside their forward 50, as the pairing of Marc Pittonet and Tom De Koning provided the tap-downs to the midfielders all around the ground.
Charlie Curnow starred with five goals while reigning Coleman Medallist Harry McKay kicked four goals himself as Jack Silvagni completed Carlton's forward line structure where he added on two goals.
Patrick Cripps, as well as kicking two goals, recorded 35 disposals as Sam Walsh wasn't far behind with 24 touches. First-year Blue, former Swan George Hewitt continued his 2022 form with 32 disposals while Matthew Kennedy had 31 possessions.
4. GEELONG (1)
Although Geelong was +18 in inside 50s and +15 in tackles, the team was wayward in its kicking during the Round Two match against Sydney at the SCG, finishing with a 10.17 scoreline, impacting the result which saw a 30-point loss. Geelong kicked 2.6 in the third term and 2.4 in each of the first and fourth terms while the side's opponents were much more accurate.
Third-year player Brad Close achieved a career-high four goals across the match as the Cats had six single-goal scorers, however, Jeremy Cameron was not one of them after kicking 0.3 for the game.
Joel Selwood (25 disposals) lead his side as best he could as Geelong's top ball-winner, aided by fellow midfielders Isaac Smith (23 disposals) and Cam Guthrie (21 disposals).
5. BRISBANE (5)
Brisbane enjoyed a second-half revival to come away with a 22-point win over Essendon for its second win of the season. The Lions kicked just one goal in the first term, but came alive midway through the second term, before putting the foot down and extending their lead until the final siren.
The Lions won the clearances around the ground more so than in the centre as they used their disposal well, keeping a controlled style of game with +15 marks, a statistic where they had four of the top six players, lead by Dayne Zorko (16 marks).
Hugh McCluggage kicked three goals for the Lions, aided by Lachie Neale, Charlie Cameron, Zac Bailey and Joe Daniher who all kicked two goals each.
Neale was the game's top possession-getter with 41 touches as Zorko also found plenty of the ball, finishing with 33 disposals.
6. COLLINGWOOD (4)
It was a clinical performance for Collingwood who now go 2-0 to start the season, beating Adelaide by 42 points at the MCG on Saturday afternoon, helped by a five-goal-to-one first term, and a seven-goal third term.
It was a pretty even match against the Crows, however, the Magpies utilised their run and carry, using speed to get forward in open space, and taking the game on at any opportunity, while putting themselves straight into the contest too.
Second-year players Oliver Henry and Beau McCreery kicked two goals each, while first-year Magpie and former Cat Nathan Krueger also kicked two majors which included the first in his three-game AFL career thus far.
Scott Pendlebury was the main ball-winner for Collingwood on the day, racking up 28 disposals as the only one from his team in the top five for the match. However, Jack Crisp, Josh Daicos, Patrick Lipinski, Nick Daicos, Jack Ginnivan, Isaac Quaynor and Jeremy Howe all recorded 20+ disposals in a complete team performance.
7. HAWTHORN (9)
Hawthorn produced a stunning display against last year's preliminary finalists Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on Saturday afternoon to go 2-0, leading all day and holding its opponents to two separate goalless quarters - the first and fourth while the brown and gold piled on 19 for the day to be victorious by 64 points.
The ruck department was where Hawthorn began most of its dominance, with Ned Reeves (34 hitouts) and Ben McEvoy (16 hitouts), working in tandem and getting the jump on the Port Adelaide rucks, Hawthorn winning the ruck duel, being +24.
37-gamer Mitchell Lewis kicked a career-high five goals which included four in the third term alone as veteran forwards Luke Breust and Jack Gunston kicked three goals apiece for the Hawks. Josh Ward also kicked his first AFL goal.
Hawthorn's midfield unit saw plenty of the ball and shared it around against Port Adelaide, Tom Mitchell tallying 28 disposals to lead the side, but sit fifth among overall players for disposals in the match as Jaeger O'Meara, James Worpel and Jack Scrimshaw played accompanying roles.
8. GOLD COAST (8)
Gold Coast started the match by kicking the first 15 points (2.3) before Melbourne got on the board, however, last year's premiers were no match for Gold Coast, going down by 13 points in front of home fans. The Suns couldn't capitalise on late Demons misses towards the end of the game, despite the best efforts of the players.
The Suns, on the back foot at times, it meant they needed to play a more defensive game, and did so with +24 in one percenters. When they did get forward, the Suns recorded +five for inside 50s, however, across the ground, there were too many turnovers (+six).
First-year Sun Levi Casboult kicked two goals, as did Jack Lukosius and Noah Anderson.
Co-captain Touk Miller was the Suns' top disposal-winner on the night with 38 possessions, aided by Brayden Fiorini, Noah Anderson (both 25 disposals) and Brandon Ellis (24 disposals).
9. RICHMOND (12)
After a slow start, Richmond proved to be clinical against Greater Western Sydney as the side ran all around its opponents at the MCG on Sunday afternoon. A six-goal second quarter saw the Tigers take a slight lead into halftime, but they didn't stop there as they found some run and carry to go forward to marking targets and took home their first win of 2022, victorious by 36 points.
The Tigers won the hitout count (+13) thanks to Toby Nankervis and Ivan Soldo as the midfield unit found the ball to their advantage (+six in clearances), constantly looking to go in-and-under (+18 in contested possessions) despite losing many other disposal-categories.
Noah Balta continued to show his capabilities as a forward, kicking a career-high four goals, with Tom Lynch and Shai Bolton kicking three goals each, whereas Soldo popped up with two as well.
Jayden Short was the lead the Tigers for disposals, collecting 33, with the next-best being Jack Graham and Nathan Broad, each finishing with 22 touches.
10. GWS GIANTS (10)
Greater Western Sydney was out-played by Richmond at the MCG on Sunday afternoon as the club still searches for its first win of 2022, going down by 36 points. Even though the margin showed a Tigers onslaught at times, the Giants held possession much more, just being unable to convert it into forward entries, and scores.
The Giants were +65 in disposals and +84 in uncontested possessions as they looked to be controlled going forward and hold possession as much as possible. The side also finished +36 for marks, again leading to a stop-start gamestyle.
Greater Western Sydney had four players who kicked two goals each, those being Jake Kelly, Harry Himmelberg, Tim Taranto and Stephen Coniglio.
Eight of the top nine possession-getters for the game were Giants players, with Tom Green improving upon last week's showing with 34 disposals against the Tigers. Callan Ward, in his 250th career game collected 28 disposals, with Tim Taranto - also celebrating a milestone - finishing with 27 touches.
11. WESTERN BULLDOGS (15)
After an even first quarter, trailing Carlton by seven points, the Western Bulldogs fell apart in the second quarter and not even a six-goal-to-four second half could help the side, going down by 12 points with goalkicking letting the Luke Beverage-lead team down in the fourth quarter. While the Bulldogs lead the efficiency inside 50 for the game, they kicked 2.7 in the final term to the Blues' 2.1.
The Bulldogs lead the game for marks inside 50 as Mitch Hannan, Tom Liberatore and Anthony Scott were the only multiple goalscorers for the Bulldogs, kicking two goals while Aaron Naughton couldn't reach the same heights as his four-goal showing last week, scoring just one goal against the Blues.
Jackson Macrae was the equal-highest disposal-getter on the ground, finishing the game with 35 touches as Adam Treloar also collected 32 possessions. Tim English had a complete game as the side's number one ruck, recording a career-high 24 disposals along with 21 hitouts, but was beaten in the ruck contests by his opponents.
12. NORTH MELBOURNE (13)
North Melbourne was consistent in its game against an equally-consistent West Coast on Sunday afternoon, but it was an increase in scoring opportunities which contributed to the eventual 15-point victory. Strong all around both on the ground and in the air, North Melbourne's players created their own chances and took the game on when needed.
The Kangaroos were team that attracted more of the football, being +83 in disposals, utilising the handball game more so to get around their Eagles opponents. The ruck pairing of Tristan Xerri (24 hitouts) and Todd Goldstein (20 hitouts) saw the Kangaroos dominate in the middle of the ground as the Eagles only recorded 13 hitouts for the match.
Nick Larkey kicked six goals (one shy of his career-best) with two in each quarter except for the third as Kayne Turner was the only other multiple-goalscorer for the Kangaroos, kicking two goals, both coming in the third quarter.
Hugh Greenwood (with a game-high 10 tackles) and Jack Ziebell (with a game-high 14 marks) were the main ball-winners for North Melbourne, each tallying 29 possessions as Aaron Hall recorded 26 touches, with Josh Walker finishing with 21 disposals.
13. FREMANTLE (7)
Fremantle held St Kilda goalless in the first quarter while kicking three of its own in the first 20 minutes of play, and still had a two-goal lead going into halftime. However, the Dockers kicked just three goals for the remainder of match (with six behinds in that time too) as the Saints got back into the contest and gave the Dockers their first defeat of the season.
Fremantle was the more efficient team with their ball use and was +19 in one percenters, however, due to St Kilda's comeback, lacked holding onto possession with the ball in the later stages of the game, and therefore came undone in many statistical categories playing catch-up.
Rory Lobb and Travis Colyer kicked two goals each for the Dockers as Nathan O'Driscoll kicked the first goal of his AFL career in his debut game.
Andrew Brayshaw hit 40 possessions for the game as he ran around all areas of the ground, while Luke Ryan (32 disposals) and Hayden Young (31 disposals) held up the backline, to complete the top-three ball-winners on the ground.
14. WEST COAST (14)
West Coast was forced into making 13 changes to its Round One lineup when teams were announced, and then finding Jackson Nelson injuring himself during the pre-game warm-up, resulting in late change just before the bounce. Despite this, West Coast still managed to keep up with North Melbourne, even though the final margin was a 15-point loss.
The Eagles, when they had possession, used it well, and went forward with purpose, whether it was through clearances or holding their opponents to account with a +10 tackle count. However, more often than not, the Eagles were on the back foot all afternoon, as the Kangaroos dominated overall possession and capitalised on any Eagles turnover or mistake.
Willie Rioli kicked the first goal of the game and finished with four majors in total as top-up players Declan Mountford and Aaron Black kicked one goal each.
Luke Shuey, in his first game of the season was West Coast's top disposal-getter with 23, with Patrick Naish and Alex Witherden each ending the game with 21 touches.
15. ST KILDA (17)
It was a gutsy effort from St Kilda who recorded its first win of 2022 against Fremantle, coming away with a 10-point victory after trailing for much of the game up until the halfway mark of the third quarter. After a goalless first term, the comeback started in the third quarter as the Saints piled on six goals to one to lead by 20 points at the final break and despite a one-goal fourth quarter, held on for the win.
St Kilda, in the end, lead most statistical categories, but the marks inside 50 (+nine) was largely due to Max King, while Josh Battle and Callum Wilkie held up the backline with multiple intercept marks.
Jack Higgins and King each enjoyed success in front of goals for the Saints, kicking four goals each, both kicking three in the third-quarter onslaught. Dan Butler was the final goalscorer for the Saints, kicking one goal.
Brad Hill (30 disposals) and Brad Crouch (29 disposals) lead the way for St Kilda with Jack Sinclair and Jade Gresham each finding the football 25 times.
16. ADELAIDE (11)
Turnovers and wayward kicking early hurt Adelaide in its 42-point loss to Collingwood in Round Two, recording 1.5 in the first quarter, but, to the side's credit, finished the match with an 8.10 scoreline, looking to erase the deficit which came down to 10 points midway through the second quarter.
The Crows had eight different goalkickers as the side's young players found the big sticks, including third-gamers Mitchell Hinge and Luke Pedlar's first goals in Crows colours and second-gamer Lachlan Gollant kicking another of the team's goals in a showing of the potential of those players' output.
Ben Keays was the top possession-getter on the ground with 37 touches as Brodie Smith (30 disposals) and Matt Crouch (29 disposals) rounded out the top-three while defender Jordan Dawson tallied a game-high 11 marks.
17. PORT ADELAIDE (16)
Despite winning most statistical categories against Hawthorn on Saturday night, Port Adelaide suffered a heavy defeat, going down by 64 points, in no way helped by two goalless terms - the first (0.3) and fourth (0.4). Port Adelaide was +74 in disposals, +12 in inside 50s, +24 in clearances, and +19 in tackles, signifying the side got a lot of the ball, but it didn't translate into any meaningful output, consigned to sitting on the bottom of the ladder at the end of the round, still looking for a first win in 2022.
Sam Powell-Pepper was the only multiple goalscorer for Port Adelaide, kicking three goals (of his side's seven in total) in a game where he divided his time between the midfield and forward line.
Travis Boak (39 disposals), Karl Amon (38 disposals), Ollie Wines (36 disposals) and Zak Butters (29 disposals) lead the way with possession of the ball, being the top-four possession-getters on the ground.
18. ESSENDON (18)
Essendon started well against Brisbane, taking a 22-point lead into quarter time, however that would be the margin at the end of the night, though the way of Brisbane. A one-goal second quarter saw the Lions jump in front as the Bombers defence couldn't keep up with the pressure of constant goals piling on against them, especially in the third quarter.
Essendon was +14 in hitouts thanks to Sam Draper (32 hitouts) and was the more dominant team when launching forward with Peter Wright taking the bulk of his marks inside 50 with four of his 11 being contested.
Archie Perkins kicked an equal-career-high three goals during the match, with Wright also slotting goals for the Bombers.
Darcy Parish was Essendon's main ball-winner, recording 35 touches while Zach Merrett had 31 disposals before going down late with a leg injury.