The first round of the 2023 AFL season saw massive wins, tight wins and even a draw to start the season. Some teams who we thought were going to win it all struggled while some underdogs came out on top.
The Edge of the Crowd writers has come together after round one to submit their predicted Brownlow votes for Round One.
Richmond Tigers 58 Carlton Blues 58
George Hewett - Carlton
Tim Taranto - Richmond
Daniel Rioli - Richmond
We couldn't have asked for a better way to start the season than for the Tigers and Blues to draw the opener. It looked like the Blues were home and hosed going into the final few minutes. That was until Tom Lynch stood tall and stored to take a mark and kick the equalling goal.
George Hewett was the obvious standout for the Blues playing out of the midfield. His 28 disposals, five marks and eight key tackles were huge in keeping Calrton in the game early when the Tigers began to get away from the Blues.
Tim Taranto was the leading disposal-getter for the match with 32 including eight tackles, also a massive 542 metres gained. Daniel Rioli gets one vote for his 27 disposals and 681 metres gained, a goal or two could have easily moved him to the three-vote position.
Geelong Cats 103 Collingwood Magpies 125
Nick Daicos - Collingwood
Issac Smith - Geelong
John Noble - Collingwood
Another classic match to start the season saw the Pies get a 22-point win over the premiers in front of almost 90 thousand fans. It was an almighty comeback by the Pies to kick the last eight goals of the match and overcome at one point a 22-point deficit.
It was an emotional match for the Daicos family who lost their grandfather before the season. Nick proved it wouldn't affect his footy though with 35 touches. He might need to work on his defensive work though after not laying a tackle.
In a match that Geelong dominated from the start, Issac Smith was a key part of it. He gained a massive 730 metres from his 21 disposals as well as kicking one goal. John Noible also played well with 29 touches and 637 metres gained.
North Melbourne Kangaroos 87 West Coast Eagles 82
Nick Larkey - North Melbourne
Harry Sheezel - North Melbourne
Luke Davis-Uniacke - North Melbourne
North managed to hold on for a tight five-point win, the first of the Clarkson era. It was a match of last year's cellar dwellers but the Roos certainly showed some improvement over what has been a disaster of the last few years. Despite a late Eagles comeback the Roos managed to just hold on.
Currently leading the Coleman Medal race Nick Larkey is the obvious choice for three votes after he booted six goals. The Roos have been without a key forward for a little while now but if Larkey can keep up even half of this form they may have finally found one.
Harry Sheezel had a dream start to his career with a massive 34 disposals, the most on debut since the early 90s. He's a talent to watch going forward. Luke Davies-Uniacke was also a beast through the midfield with 32 touches and a massive 11 clearances, setting up plenty of goals.
Port Adelaide 126 Brisbane Lions 72
Todd Marshall - Port Adelaide
Ollie Wines - Port Adelaide
Jason Horne-Francis - Port Adelaide
After trailing by 18 points late in the second quarter the Power fought right to the end eventually getting over Brisbane by 54 points. While other teams had bigger wins, no team beat a premiership favourite by more to start the season. Plenty to like about Port's performance in Round One.
The four goals to Todd Marshall were key in the Power staying in the match early. Alongside three from Dixon, Marshall is just growing into the key forward role every week. The three tackles he laid were also important in keeping the Power in the match early.
No surprise that Ollie Wines was once again a beast in the midfield with 29 touches, one goal and 387 metres gained. Jason Horne-Francis also showed his potential in his first match for the Power with 25 touches and seven tackles.
Melbourne Demons 115 Western Bulldogs 65
Clayton Oliver - Melbourne
Kysaiah Pickett - Melbourne
Adam Treloar - Western Bulldogs
A big win for the Demons in Round One sets them up for a good season after a disappointing finish to the 2022 season. The double ruck combination alongside Pickett was incredible and allowed the Demons to run over the top of the Dogs in the end.
As Pettracca moves forward more often in the season Clayton Oliver may finally be able to get the Brownlow with him just racking up so many touches every week. His 33 touches, 7 tackles and 8 clearances once again give him three votes.
It's not often small forwards kick bags but Pickett did it on Saturday night with four, he also had 19 disposals and 8 tackles just showing how hard he works. In a loss, Adam Treloar was a gun in the middle with 32 touches and six clearances.
Gold Coast Suns 61 Sydney 110
Errol Gulden - Sydney
Chad Warner - Sydney
Dane Rampe - Sydney
Talk about a fall from grace, from Grand Final last year to playing on the Gold Coast week one. Not how Sydney wanted to start the season but still a big win for the side that looks like it should compete for a premiership once again.
It was a team effort this week from the Swans, something they of course pride themselves on. Errol Gulden had 18 kicks from his 24 disposals allowing 601 metres gained. His three clearances were also key in this match.
Chad Warner continues to go about his work under the radar and did it perfectly in this match with 30 touches and 713 metres gained, a smoky for the Brownlow this year. Dane Rampe just continued to do what he always does with 25 touches and four tackles.
Greater Western Sydney Giants 106 Adelaide Crows 90
Toby Greene - GWS
Tom Green - GWS
Jordan Dawson - Adelaide
Injuries were aplenty in round one for the Giants with big names Lachie Whitfield (concussion), Harry Perryman (hamstring) and Josh Kelly (concussion) all having to sit on the sidelines to finish the match. Despite those losses, the Giants managed to hold on and win by 16 points.
Toby Greene didn't play until round six last year but in 2023 he's going hard from the start. With his troops falling around him, the captain was perfect in the heat to kick four goals from 19 touches, he was a clear difference.
It was easy being green on Sunday with Tom Green also racking up 37 touches including a massive 8 clearances for 524 metres gained. Dawson almost played a lone hand for the Crows with 23 touches and two tackles for Adelaide.
Hawthorn Hawks 65 Essendon Bombers 124
Darcy Parish - Essendon
Archie Perkins - Essendon
James Sicily - Hawthorn
The Bombers may have started slow but they kicked on the afterburners in the second half to overcome the Hawks who many have tipped to take home the wooden spoon this season. Despite not getting a vote Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti was a beast on his return after having briefly retired from the game in 2021.
Parish was a beast through the middle of the ground once again showing that he's the best of a good bunch coming through at the Dons. With 37 touches and a massive 13 clearances, he was the obvious three-vote-getter.
A little bit younger but Perkins is another, like Parish who is coming through with plenty of talent at Essendon. He kicked three goals as well as had 20 disposals with 510 metres gained. Siciliy had 30 touches and three clearances in his lone defence for the Hawks.
St Kilda Saints 67 Fremantle Dockers 52
Mason Wood - St Kilda
Luke Ryan - Fremantle
Jack Steele - St Kilda
It was a low-scoring match to finish the season as the Saints got over the top of the Dockers by just 15 points. Despite playing Melbourne the Saints were still the underdogs coming into this match but they managed to fight against an unknown Dockers side to take the win.
Mason Wood was the best of a great team performance by the Saints to take the 15-point win. Wood kicked two goals, had a clearance and laid four tackles in a match without a standout best on the ground.
In a tight match, Luke Ryan gets two votes for his 37 big touches including four tackles, most impressive was the 775 metres gained by him. Jack Steele continues to be as consistent as ever with 28 touches and five clearances.
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