Round 1 has come and gone, and the season is in full swing. The 2023 AFL season has kicked off with some players scoring well over their predictions, and others scoring well below their expectations, so that leaves a lot of questions about the upcoming round. So, without further ado, let's get cracking into Round 2! In this blog we'll be previewing every game of the round and providing some insight into what we might expect in the week ahead. What do you think round 2 hold for us? let us know who you agree with and who else you might have selected down below on all of our social channels twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
Carlton Blues V Geelong Cats
Thursday 23rd of March - 6:20pm AEST
Two very strong sides kick off Round 2 with a Thursday Night Special! Both teams definitely didn’t get the start they wanted in Round 1, with a draw for the Blues and a loss for the Cats.
It definitely wasn’t how the Cats would have imagined their Title defence kicking off, losing one of their key defenders in Tom Stewart to a knee injury. However, they pushed the Pies all the way, and should still hold some confidence going into this match up with the Blues. In their favour is the recent matchups with the Blues, where they have beaten them relatively easy, albeit in low scoring affairs. Midfielders will be key for the cats this weekend, if the score is to stay low.
As for the Blues, they just couldn’t hold out the Tigers, and had to settle for sharing the points with a Draw. There were still some very good signs however, including Charlie Curnow impressing in the forward line and the midfield group showing some real chemistry. Sam Docherty was also very strong in the back line, racking up 25 disposals off half-back (23 kicks) and 8 marks, highlighting the strength of their backline.
Cats will be just too strong in another close affair – Cats by 10 Isaac Smith – 110 GDS fantasy points
Brisbane Lions V Melbourne Demons
Friday 24th of March - 6:55pm AEST
The Round 2 spectacular continues with another very strong battle. Both of these teams were Premiership contenders last season, but the mojo doesn’t seem completely there in 2023.
The Lions had a turbulent start to the season, showing some good footy for just 1 quarter of their matchup with Port, but that was definitely not enough to get over the line in Adelaide. Will they recover from that against a Top 4 contender? We shall see, but with the firepower in their line-up, I absolutely wouldn’t put it past them.
As for the Demons, they showed the bulldogs who was boss in their first hit-out of 2023. There were some glimpses of the 2021 Demons who were so dominant, with several players outplaying their direct opponents around the ground, including Clayton Oliver with 33 disposals, Petracca with 30 disposals and Ben Brown kicking 4 goals with 15 disposals as well.
Predictions! Lions are definitely going to improve at home, but the way the Demons won in Round 1, they should be up to the task – Demons by 14 Clayton Oliver – 130 GDS fantasy points
Collingwood Magpies V Port Adelaide Power
Saturday 25th of March - 12:45pm AEST
Two strong wins in Round 1 makes this a very interesting match-up.
Collingwood took it up to the reigning premiers in Round 1, showing that they will have plenty of fight in 2023, ready for another run at the premiership. Headlining that run is the young gun Nick Daicos, who showed that he is ready to go to new heights this year, hitting 35 disposals against a high-quality midfield, while other midfielders in Pendlebury and Josh Daicos were able to hit 27 disposals each. Overall, their midfield led the charge but was complimented by talent all around the ground.
As for Port Power, they were too good for the Lions in Adelaide. Even though the Lions played well below their best, Port showed some very good signs throughout the game, including Ollie Wines impressive 29 disposal and 1 goal haul. Port shared a lot of the ball, with many players getting over 20 disposals, all with healthy fantasy scores along with them.
Predictions! Collingwood has a good record at the MCG against Port Adelaide, and I expect they will continue this streak – Pies by 32 points
Scott Pendlebury – 120 GDS fantasy points
Adelaide Crows V Richmond Tigers
Saturday 25th of March - 3:35pm AEST Adelaide gets the home game here, but they weren’t very convincing in the second half against the Giants in Round 1. Could a stronger Tigers outfit cause more issues for the Crows?
Adelaide certainly showed that they can play some quality football early in their last game, but when the going got tough they started to crumble. Their shining light was Jordan Dawson who had 23 disposals with a whopping 560 metres gained, providing plenty of ball going forward from the back line. Expect him to be very busy against the Tigers this week who generated 66 inside 50s against the Blues.
Speaking of the Tigers, on paper they dominated Carlton, but they just couldn’t get over the line. Tim Taranto put on quite a show in his Richmond Debut, putting up a measly 32 disposals and 8 tackles. He should once again get plenty of action against the crows, and should be racking up his GDS fantasy score again in round 2.
Predictions! Richmond should be just too good for the Crows here, but the home ground advantage will keep it close – Tigers by 7
Tim Taranto – 130 GDS fantasy points
Western Bulldogs V St Kilda Saints
Saturday 25th of March - 6:25pm AEST
Doggies copped the loss against a formidable Demons outfit, but they didn’t look too far off their best. The Saints showed Freo that they are no pushovers, but can they stack up against arguably a stronger Bulldogs team?
The Bulldogs had plenty of positives to take away from Round 1, with only really the end result being disappointing. They had 3 players surpass the 30 disposal mark; Macrae, Libba and Treloar. If those players can bring that level of footy to this contest, they can absolutely topple the Saints middle pack.
On the other hand, the Saints centres stepped up against the Dockers, with their standout being the always strong Jack Steele who hit 28 disposals with 5 clearances. While they got the most of Freo, the tackle pressure of the Bulldogs may be too much to allow Steele to access the football as much in Round 2.
Predictions! Bulldogs will be too strong for the Saints, recording their first win of the season in convincing fashion – Bulldogs by 38 points
Adam Treloar – 130 GDS fantasy points
Fremantle Dockers V North Melbourne Kangaroos
Saturday 25th of March - 6:30pm AEST Who would have thought that these teams would have a win and loss, with Fremantle the team without the win? The Clarkson era has definitely begun, although how much merit was there in the win against the Eagles? Fremantle definitely did not show their best footy however, succumbing to the Saints in a poor effort.
Fremantle did however have one very bright shining light, with Luke Ryan blowing others off the field with a highlight reel of a game. He amassed a whopping 37 disposals in the back line, taking 13 marks and racking up 775 metres gained. With the ability of Norths midfield to generate plenty of ball going forward, expect him to get plenty of ball again.
The Kangaroos showed some real fight in round 1, getting a 5 point win to kick off their season. It was the young draftee Harry Sheezel who led the way, with 34 disposals and 631 metres gained to kick off his AFL career. He was complimented by some other strong midfield performances by Davies-Uniacke, Ziebell and Simpkin, who can generate plenty of clearances for the Kangas.
Predictions! Fremantle were not convincing away from home, but they are a different breed back in their home state. While Norths midfield will be strong, the Dockers will be stronger around the ground and get the win – Freo by 13
Luke Ryan – 140 GDS fantasy points
Sydney Swans V Hawthorn Hawks
Sunday 26th of March - 12:10pm AEST
The Swans flexed their muscles against the Suns in Round 1, showing they will be a force again in 2023. Meanwhile, the Hawks produced a very disappointing performance, being dominated by a formidable Bombers outfit. These teams have plenty of history however, and you never know what you are going to get when they get out on the field.
The Swans were led around the ground by Chad Warner, who racked up 30 disposals and 8 tackles, as well as Jake Lloyd who had 28 disposals and 9 marks. Both were influential in their big win over the Suns, and should again use their talent against the Hawks.
The new Hawks captain, James Sicily, had a rough day out against the Bombers, taking plenty of the load in their big loss. Even though it wasn’t his day in terms of his team losing, he got plenty of the football, so nobody can write-off his influence on the game. He finished on 30 disposals, with 15 marks in the back line, highlighting his impact in reducing the Bombers already massive score. With the Swans being dominant around the ground, he is bound to have another busy week in Round 2.
Predictions! Swans will be way too classy for the Hawks, showing they are a premiership contender in 2023 with a big win – Sydney by 49
Jake Lloyd – 120 GDS fantasy points
Essendon Bombers V Gold Coast Suns
Sunday 26th of March - 2:20pm AEST
Boy oh boy, wowee! Even BT would have been excited seeing what the Bombers produced in Round 1, while the Suns had one of the toughest first games of the season against the Swans. While the Bombers are flying high, could they be too high and get burnt by the Suns?
Essendon showed the talent that their players have been hiding for some time, finally connecting as a team, showing some real team chemistry to nearly double the Hawks score in their 59 point win. In his first game as a Bomber, Will Setterfield found his feet well in a great all-round performance, kicking a goal, hitting 25 disposals, having 10 marks and 6 tackles. Also having a blinder was Darcy Parish, who had 37 disposals and 13 clearances. The dominant midfield performance helped the Bombers move the ball forward plenty of times throughout the game, which assisted the Bombers in reaching one of the highest scores of the round.
The Suns on the other hand, did not have the fairy-tale start to the 2023 season, that they would have been hoping for. Standout performances from Matt Rowell and Jarrod Witts were the highlight of their game, with both of them racking up plenty of clearances and disposals. That combined with the 29 disposals that Touk Miller racked up, it is clear that this trio will be called upon again this week, as the Suns depend on their impact on the game.
Predictions! While the Bombers were dominant in Round 1, this matchup is closer than many think, and this will be a close contest – Bombers by 8
Darcy Parish – 140 GDS fantasy points
West Coast Eagles V Greater Western Sydney Giants
Sunday 26th of March - 5:20pm AEST
West Coast at home, GWS coming off a comeback win against Adelaide, what a way to finish the round!
West Coast did not start the season the way they wanted, with a 5-point loss to the Kangaroos. While it wasn’t the result they wanted, they did have some stars show they have the talent to get the Eagles some wins this season. The old heads of Shuey, Hurn, Sheed, Gaff and McGovern stepped up against the Kangas, all getting plenty of the football. One young player who showed plenty of fight was the debutant Reuben Ginbey, who had 15 disposals and 12 tackles, who looks to have an exciting future ahead of him.
GWS had a better start to the season, with a win over the Crows. When the Crows took the lead and started to kick away, all looked over for a first round win. However, the Giants fought back well (with a little thanks to a classic Crows choke), led by Tom Green with 37 disposals and 8 clearances. On top of his performance, both Coniglio and Ward also surpassed the 30-disposal mark, with a strong performance from the Giants midfielders.
Predictions! Like all WA teams, the Eagles are a much better team at home. In saying that, The Giants midfielders can be clinical at times, and will dominate if given the chance. This is the hardest prediction of the round, but I think the home crowd will get the Eagles over the line in a (slight) upset – Eagles by 4 points
Reuben Ginbey – 100 GDS fantasy points