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Nine things we learned from round two

The 10: round two A thrilling finish, some cracking goals and a bone-rattling bump

1. Nat Fyfe is the game's best player
Freo's Fyfe finished second in last season's Brownlow, though a pair of suspensions ruled him ineligible. After two dominant performances in big Dockers wins, he should be 2015's early leader after two rounds. Of the 36 touches Fyfe racked up against Geelong at Simonds Stadium on Sunday, 25 were contested. He also snared three goals including a brilliant snap in the second quarter where he broke several tackles before kicking the ball around his body.

  Part of a midfield quartet that includes David Mundy, Michael Barlow and Stephen Hill, who won 135 disposals between them, he is a worthy Brownlow favourite and a natural vote-getter. – Peter Ryan

2. The Crowbots are back
If there is one statistic out of Saturday night's match that shows how disciplined Adelaide has become under new coach Phil Walsh, how about Collingwood's 50 uncontested marks to the Crows' 119? The Crows have a fearsome ability to keep a defensive formation that doesn't allow easy marks for their opponents (North Melbourne had just 63 in round one). Their structure appeared to rattle the Magpies, whose own shoddy ball-use contributed to their lack of uncontested marks. Neil Craig's 2006 Adelaide team was dubbed the 'Crowbots' when their impeccable preparation took them to 14 wins in a 16-game stretch. Two games in, Walsh's men are on track to inherit the moniker. – Nathan Schmook  

3. If it bleeds ...
It was only a week ago that the football world was marvelling at how the Hawks had gone away over summer and seemingly become even stronger. But they showed their vulnerability in an MCG humdinger against Essendon, suffering in the absence of the likes of Liam Shiels, Sam Mitchell, Josh Gibson and James Frawley – who hurt his shoulder in Sunday's first quarter and didn't return to the field. That's not to take anything away from the Bombers. Their pressure early on was phenomenal, as was their determination to hang on despite the Hawks' late surge. Leaving aside the heart-stopping finish, which you can watch below, Sunday showed the so-called gap between the premiers and the rest of the competition might not be as cavernous as thought. – Jennifer Phelan

 

4. Josh Bruce will be staying forward
The 22-year-old came from Greater Western Sydney at the end of 2013 as a defender, but there's no doubt now where his future lies. Just a week after taking a remarkable high-flying pack mark against his former club, Bruce kicked a career-high six goals against the Suns.

  He took six contested marks on his big night, and took a number of quality defenders to the cleaners, including Rory Thompson and Steven May. Alongside Tim Membrey (who also looks lively) and Nick Riewoldt, the Saints have the makings of a more-than-handy forward line. And No.1 draft pick Paddy McCartin is waiting in the wings. – Michael Whiting

5. West Coast may have won the famous Judd-Kennedy trade
The debate raged on Friday night and Josh Kennedy may have tipped the scales with his third career-haul of 10 goals or more. There were also three draft picks involved in the famous trade in 2007 but if you take a pure head-to-head view on how each player has influenced their team it makes for compelling reading. Kennedy became the first player since Matthew Lloyd to kick three bags of 10 or more goals.

  Kennedy has won the club's goalkicking three times and is the co vice-captain. He has played in five finals at West Coast compared to Judd's six at Carlton and both have won two. Judd has won a Brownlow at Carlton, three best and fairests, captained the Blues for five seasons and has been All Australian four times. On raw individual achievements, Judd and Carlton win hands down. But Kennedy is only 27, in a young side with plenty of potential. Judd is probably in his final year and the Blues are stuck in a rut. – Alex Malcolm

6. There's very little the Bont can't do
We already know Marcus Bontempelli is going to be a future star for the Bulldogs. Once again on Saturday against the Tigers, he didn't disappoint. The young gun had 27 disposals, eight inside 50s and laid a game-high 10 tackles. While the stats speak for themselves, there is one small chink in the armour of the 19-year-old. Offensively Bontempelli is brilliant, but it's the defensive side of his game that needs improvement. At the first bounce against Richmond, Bontempelli went head-to-head against midfielder Dustin Martin in a tantalising contest. But too often Martin was left to his own devices, the Tigers star dominating the opening term with 11 touches. A good lesson for the young Bulldog, and an area no doubt he is working hard to improve on. – Nat Edwards

7. Greater Western Sydney is developing a killer instinct
Yes, with all due respect to the Demons, it was Melbourne, but the way the Giants dismantled their opposition was scary. GWS kicked nine goals in the third term, and 14 unanswered majors during the middle part of the game. They hunted in packs then exploded from the contest, running in constant waves before finishing off their work with class. Stephen Coniglio, Dylan Shiel, Devon Smith, Josh Kelly and Adam Treloar are all under 23 and are power-running ballwinners who tackle ferociously. It was by no means a polished, four-quarter performance by Leon Cameron's men, but it was another ominous glimpse of the damage they can do. – Adam Curley

8. You don't want to play North Melbourne with an undermanned defence
Jarrad Waite had a quiet debut for North Melbourne against Adelaide in round one. The former Blue was far from the only Roo who struggled against the Crows' fanatical pressure, but the spearhead was not about to miss the opportunity to show North fans what he can bring to their attack against the struggling Brisbane Lions. The new Roo kicked seven goals against the Lions and took 12 marks, five of them contested, feasting on a Lions defence that was missing veteran full-back Daniel Merrett.

  Waite might be 32 but he still moves incredibly well for someone standing 194cm and is one of the best contested marks in the competition. He underlined against the Lions just how dangerous he could be alongside Drew Petrie and co. this season. – Nick Bowen

9. The Power desperately needs their ruckman back
A quad tear kept Port Adelaide's Matthew Lobbe out of Saturday night's clash with the Sydney Swans, a week after he was a late withdrawal from the loss to Fremantle. His replacements – John Butcher against the Dockers and Jarrad Redden against the Swans – didn't cut it. It's not just Lobbe's ruck work that's been missing in the Power's winless start to the season; it's his tackling pressure at stoppage. With upcoming games against North Melbourne, Hawthorn and Adelaide, Port needs its No.1 ruck back in the side, pronto. An extended absence could see Ken Hinkley's men playing catch-up for the bulk of the year. – Harry Thring