1. Roos beat the round one hoodoo
Brad Scott hasn't had a great time of round one in his stint as North Melbourne coach. In his previous six years at the helm, the Roos hadn't been able to secure a win in the opening game of the season. But finally he can add an opening round victory to his list of achievements as North coach after his side overcame the Crows by 10 points in an entertaining battle at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night. The come-from-behind win is a boost for the Roos, who had to play catch-up to make the finals last year following a scratchy start to the season (they lost seven of their first 13 games in 2015). It also erases an odd spot in Scott's coaching record.
2. Pyke takes on the hot seat
There couldn't have been many newly appointed senior coaches who have stepped into the role with as little fanfare as Don Pyke, who made his coaching debut against the Roos. Pyke, who was an assistant at the Crows and West Coast before winning the club's top job, has spoken of not needing to change too much with Adelaide's set up over the pre-season. That was evident on Saturday night, with the Crows playing in a similar way to their terrific elimination final win over the Western Bulldogs last year. A couple of new faces on the field did spice things up, with former Magpie Paul Seedsman offering run and booting a 55-metre goal, and first-round draft pick Wayne Milera showing his class and poise at different stages on debut. Despite his inexperience, Milera looks likely to play a significant amount of senior games in his first year.
3. Boom time
Who else but Brent Harvey could have lifted the Roos when they needed it most? North fell to a 24-point deficit midway through the third term before the veteran hit a purple patch to lift his team like so many times before. He kicked three goals in the space of eight minutes, including one from the boundary line on the 50-metre arc that brought the crowd to its feet. In his 410th AFL game, the 37-year-old finished with 16 disposals and continued to show his speed and smarts around goal. With Michael Tuck's all-time record of 426 games within sight, 'Boomer' started his 21st season showing no signs of slowing down.
4. All is Wells for Roos
In his first game in nearly a year, veteran Kangaroos Daniel Wells wasted no time showing how valuable he is to North Melbourne. The classy midfielder was busy in the first term against the Crows, picking up seven disposals and using his elite foot skills to cut through and pick out teammates. The Roos missed Wells' pace and polish last year as he sat out all but two games of the season battling an Achilles injury and then a calf complaint. Given his long absence it can be easy to forget how important Wells' game-breaking traits are to North, but he showed good signs against the Crows. He faded a little and closed the game with 18 disposals, but he will be better for the hit-out and the Roos will be better for having him in the team this year.
5. Who stepped into Paddy's boots?
Adelaide begun its post-Patrick Dangerfield era against the Roos, and it was going to be interesting to see if any Crows stepped up to fill the breach of the now-Geelong superstar. In the end it was something of a group effort, but Matt Crouch was the standout performer. The 20-year-old enjoyed more time under the nose of Adelaide ruckman Sam Jacobs and finished with 23 disposals. The third-year midfielder crashed through tackles and even pushed forward to kick a first-half goal, and he will benefit from more exposure through the year. His tally of 10 clearances was the equal most of any player on the ground. His brother, Brad, came into the game (20 touches and nine tackles), while Rory Atkins (18 disposals at 78 per cent efficiency) was creative. Dangerfield is irreplaceable, but the Crows started life without him in a solid way.