Early Takeaways as the 2024 AFL Season Kicks Off

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
12/03/2024
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Four matches into the AFL season and storylines are already abundant

Only four games in, we certainly can’t look to draw conclusions yet but there are plenty of takeaways from these opening matches.  

News Insights

  • Sydney makes an early statement.
  • Gold Coast looks impressive in opener.
  • Pre-match controversy in GWS and Collingwood makes headlines.
  • Three out of the Four teams atop the ladder last season drop their opener.

The AFL season is officially upon us and although only four games have happened thus far, there is already lots to speak about. From pre-match controversies to big upsets, the four opening matches of the season have been quite the entertainment.  

Swans and Demons Open up the AFL Season 

Sydney and Melbourne took to the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday to kick off the opening round of the AFL season.  
 
Sydney looked as though they were primed to pull away as with a nine-point lead at the end of quarter one, they kept the pressure on at the beginning of the second quarter with another goal. 
 
However, the Demons wouldn’t let them out of reach. A pair of behinds and a goal at the quarters end cut the lead to just seven before another quick goal at the beginning of the third quarter moved them within one.  
 
Melbourne even found a one-point lead for a short period of time but by the end of the quarter, the Swans led by two.  
 
It was all Sydney from there outscoring Melbourne 34-14 in the quarter the Swans walked away 1-0 with a 22-point victory.

Carlton Outlasts Brisbane in Upset 

Last year’s runner’s up the Brisbane Lions are hoping to take the next step this year and win it all. Unfortunately, their plans have hit an early hitch with tough 86-85 loss to Carlton.  
 
The Blues finished fifth in the league last year so are no walkovers yet still the Lions were heavy favourites. The first quarter reflected that sentiment as the Lions came out flying. Their offense was firing on all cylinders and the defense was suffocating as by halftime, Brisbane had built a 59-28 lead.  
 
Very quickly in the third quarter though, the game completely flipped upside down. Carlton scored four unanswered goals within eight minutes of the quarter beginning.  
 
Brisbane then got on the board with a pair of behinds but surrounding them were two other Blues goals as shockingly Carlton had the lead.  
 
The rest of the game was tight as neither team took more than a five-point lead. Eventually, just a few minutes from the games end, Harry McKay put through the game winning goal for Carlton. 

Gold Coast Dominates Richmond 

Gold Coast and Richmond didn’t have great seasons last year finishing 15th and 13th on the ladder, respectively. One was bound to begin this year 1-0 however with their opening round matchup.  
 
It was Gold Coast who ousted their counterparts quite convincingly in what is a good sign for the Suns.  
 
This match was essentially over at halftime with Gold Coast leading 74-13. Richmond mounted somewhat of a comeback in the second half but were never closer than 23 points as the final score read 99-60. 

Collingwood Begins Title Defense with Loss 

The opening round was anything but ideal for the defending champion Collingwood Magpies.  
 
As heavy favourites they were outclassed and beaten handily by the GWS Giants. It was an extremely disappointing effort for the Magpies who at one point found themselves down by 52 in the fourth quarter.  
 
The final whistle blew with Collingwood on the wrong end of a 114-82 score line in a game that really wasn’t even as close as the score suggests. 
 
However, the loss was shadowed in the headlines due to a pre-match incident involving Collingwood ruckman Mason Cox and GWS assistant coach Shane Mumford.  

Cox acknowledged the incident post-game and somewhat apologized for his involvement stating, “In hindsight, I should have stopped my run-up rather than completing the drill.” 
 
The AFL is still looking into the incident trying to determine exactly how this happened. 

AFL season is upon us. The 2024 AFL season is now underway as the four games from the opening round have come and gone. Each match had its own unique storyline as we saw tight games, blowouts, upsets, and controversy in what was a very entertaining slate.