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Editions

The footy is back

04 Mar 2013

By Robert Bremner

Footy’s back. After a four-month hiatus, the AFL is back and raring to go for season 2013.

As usual, the year kicks off with the pre-season competition, the NAB Cup. The AFL has retained the same structure that was used in last year’s cup.

In the first round teams are split into six groups of three. The three teams play each other once in a round-robin format with 20-minute halves, followed by two rounds of normal length matches. The top two teams after the three rounds play off in the grand final.

After the first round the Brisbane Lions sit atop the ladder after convincing wins over Hawthorn and the Gold Coast. They, along with Carlton, Kangaroos and Collingwood, remain as the only unbeaten sides.

To start the competition, Essendon, Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs faced off at Etihad Stadium. After a tumultuous off-season that included the recent drug scandal, Essendon put a stressful few weeks behind them to easily account for the Bulldogs yet fell just short of a stronger Collingwood side.

Brendon Goddard showed the football world just why Essendon was so keen to poach him racking up a heap of touches. And Travis Cloke enjoyed being able to play free of contract negotiations and was instrumental in helping his side over the line.

Adelaide, Port Adelaide and St Kilda battled 38 degree conditions in their first matches. Each club left with one win. Port Adelaide was the big winner annihilating a tired St Kilda by 50 points before going down fighting to cross-town rivals Adelaide. Fremantle, Geelong and West Coast also finished their round robin with one win each.

Former Collingwood premiership coach Mick Malthouse started his campaign at Carlton well with a win over both Sydney clubs. Sydney coach John Longmire was less than impressed with his team’s uncompetitive performances, going down to both the Giants and the Blues.

Brisbane is leading the competition after big wins over Gold Coast and Hawthorn. The Gold Coast was impressive and showed a lot of composure to beat the Hawks.

North Melbourne came out on top against rivals Melbourne and Richmond, winning both matches. It was a team effort by the Kangaroos with a spread of goal kickers in each of their matches. Richmond was led by the usual crew with Cotchin, Deledio and Martin all playing well. Former number one draft pick Jack Watts played well in defence for the Demons as well as kicking two goals.

It’s hard to take a lot from these matches, but we will get a better look at each club when they return to the ordinary game length for the remainder of the competition.

The 2013 season begins on the March 22.

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