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AFLX full wrap: How did your club go?

Port Adelaide and Fremantle in battle on Thursday night. AFL Photos - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Brisbane Lions,Carlton Blues,Collingwood Magpies,Essendon Bombers,Fremantle Dockers,Geelong Cats,Gold Coast Suns,GWS Giants,Hawthorn Hawks,Melbourne Demons,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Port Adelaide Power,Richmond Tigers,St Kilda Saints,Sydney Swans,West Coast Eagles,Western Bulldogs
Port Adelaide and Fremantle in battle on Thursday night. AFL Photos

ADELAIDE, Melbourne, and Brisbane have created a small piece of history by being the winners of the inaugural AFLX tournaments. followed the tournaments extensively and watched every minute of every game.

How did your club perform and who went well? Check out all the scores and all the stars below.


>> Crows trump Cats to claim early AFLX glory

Game 1: Adelaide 2.7.3 (65) def Collingwood 1.3.9 (37)
Game 2: Adelaide 3.3.5 (53) def West Coast 0.7.4 (46)
Grand Final: Adelaide 3.3.7 (55) def Geelong 2.4.3 (47)

The night couldn't have gone any better for the Crows. Defender Jake Kelly looks to have taken his game to another level and hit the scoreboard with a few 'Zooper goals'. But the biggest positives were the performances of Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Curtly Hampton and Kyle Cheney. All three experienced players missed large chunks of last season with injury, especially Ellis-Yolmen, who was coming off a torn ACL this time last year. Hampton's pace and ability to break the lines will be vital through the midfield, but also off half-back. Tom Doedee's intercept marking was a highlight as he pushes his case to take over the Jake Lever role in the Crows' backline. Rookie-listed players Patrick Wilson and Lachlan Murphy played important roles at various times. 


Game 1: Adelaide 2.7.3 (65) def Collingwood 1.3.9 (37)
Game 2: Collingwood 3.3.4 (52) def West Coast 0.5.7 (37)

After a disappointing first-up performance against Adelaide, the Magpies showed more resolve in their second encounter, beating the Eagles by 15 points. James Aish looked good with 10 disposals, two goals (one a 'Zooper goal') and three score assists against the Crows. Jaidyn Stephenson – the No.6 overall draft pick last year – had some nice moments in his first game for the Pies. Josh Thomas was effective across half-back and was best on ground in the win over the Eagles. Thomas had 11 disposals and booted three goals, including a 10-pointer. Former US college basketballer Josh Madgen – a Category B rookie - was strong in contested situations and will get better the more games he plays.

New Pie Jaidyn Stephenson in action during Collingwood's AFLX clash with Adelaide. Picture: AFL Photos


Game 1: Geelong 4.2.5 (57) def Fremantle 3.1.4 (40)
Game 2: Fremantle 1.6.8 (54) def Port Adelaide 2.2.5 (37)

The Dockers won't be too disappointed with their AFLX tournament, winning one of their two games. They went for a younger squad in their first game before giving their more experienced players a run in their second. Norwood product Stefan Giro was the standout in their 17-point loss to Geelong in their first game, gathering 13 disposals to go with a 'Zooper goal' and a six-pointer. Fellow draftee Mitch Crowden – another South Australian - had some nice touches. Reigning best and fairest Brad Hill and Michael Walters were rested from game one, but exploded in the second. Hill booted three goals, while he combined with Walters in the midfield several times. No.2 overall draft pick Andrew Brayshaw showed some nice signs with seven touches and a 'Zooper goal' against the Power. Luke Ryan's foot skills transitioning the ball out of defence were excellent.

Stefan Giro keeping a close eye on the sliver Sherrin. Picture: AFL Photo

Game 1: Geelong 3.6.6 (72) def Port Adelaide 5.1.4 (60)
Game 2: Geelong 4.2.5 (57) def Fremantle 3.1.4 (40)
Grand Final: Adelaide 3.3.7 (55) def Geelong 2.4.3 (47)

Two reasonably comfortable wins followed by a loss in the Grand Final spells a successful night for the Cats. But it was more about getting a look at Tim Kelly, last year's Sandover Medal runner-up who didn't look at out of place at the elite level. Kelly's pace and foot skills were superb. Small forward Gryan Miers – who kicked seven goals in last year's TAC Cup Grand Final – was dangerous when inside the 40m arc. The experienced heads were great. Elite runner Mark Blicavs covered plenty of ground up and down the wing, making the most of the extra space. Mitch Duncan, Sam Menegola and Tom Hawkins will have benefited from the run ahead of the JLT Community Series.


Game 1: Geelong 3.6.6 (72) def Port Adelaide 5.1.4 (60)
Game 2: Fremantle 1.6.8 (54) def Port Adelaide 2.2.5 (37)

The Power were always going to be up against it once superstar forward Robbie Gray along with senior players Jasper Pittard, Tom Clurey, Todd Marshall and Trent McKenzie were removed from their squad. While they lost both games, the Power would've been pleased with young defender Riley Bonner, who impressed with his speed and long kicking, including booting the first 'Zooper goal' in AFLX. Dom Barry slotted back into the speed and pace of the elite level after a couple years away. His pace and ability to cover the ground, along with being able to finish from long range, was on show for all to see. Captain Jack Watts looked comfortable in his new colours after coming across from Melbourne at the end of last year.


Game 1: Adelaide 3.3.5 (53) def West Coast 0.7.4 (46)
Game 2: Collingwood 3.3.4 (52) def West Coast 0.5.7 (37)

The results were never going to be the priority for the Eagles after bringing the most inexperienced squad to the tournament. It was about exposing their stack of young players to the elite level. Jack Petruccelle – the 38th pick in last year's draft  showed a clean pair of heels and looks one to watch. As does Hamish Brayshaw, who had nine disposals and three inside 40s in the game against Collingwood. After missing most of last year with hamstring issues, goalsneak Willie Rioli gave a glimpse of his immense talent with a classy finish in front of goal. Tom Cole hit some nice targets by foot, and Brayden Ainsworth found plenty of the footy.

Willie Rioli was clever in front of goal for West Coast. Picture: AFL Photos



>> Dees edge Hawks to win AFLX Melbourne


Game 1: Melbourne 7.1.6 (86) def Carlton 2.5.4 (54)
Game 2: North Melbourne 5.4.9 (83) def Carlton 5.2.6 (68)

While the Blues lost both of their games and were the first team knocked out, they would have been pleased with the signs shown by emerging midfielder Zac Fisher. The 19-year-old's speed through the centre of the ground and penetrating kick look like being assets for the Blues in 2018. No.3 draft pick Paddy Dow also showed good signs, particularly with his smarts in cutting off opposition kicks He was consistent across both matches, while fellow first-round draftee Lochie O'Brien was kept to one match but looked comfortable. Jarrod Pickett provided the highlights with his sharpness around goal and creativity against the Kangaroos, with new Blue Matt Kennedy winning 18 possessions across the two shortened games. Ruckman Matthew Lobbe and midfielder David Cuningham were held out of both matches.  


Game 1: Hawthorn 3.6.7 (73) def Essendon 3.3.6 (54)
Game 2: St Kilda 2.5.2 (52) def Essendon 2.2.5 (37)

Big man Shaun McKernan was the star for the Bombers, racking up 16 possessions and taking 10 marks – both tournament highs – in the clash against St Kilda. He drew the ball and was a constant target for the Bombers, who lost both matches but exposed some new players. Captain David Zaharakis was also excellent, while recruit Adam Saad and NAB AFL Rising Star Andrew McGrath provided dash off half-back and up the ground. Inside midfielder Matt Guelfi got his first taste, while rookie Ben McNiece required some attention from medicos after a nasty football to the face. Left out of both matches were Jackson Merrett, Mason Redman and Matt Dea.    

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Essendon fans finally got to see new recruit Adam Saad in full flight. Picture: AFL Photos

Game 1: Hawthorn 3.6.7 (73) def Essendon 3.3.6 (54)
Game 2: Hawthorn 4.5.7 (77) def St Kilda 2.5.5 (55)
Grand Final: Melbourne 3.3.8 (56) def Hawthorn 1.5.6 (46)

The most exciting aspect of Friday night for the Hawks was the form of James Sicily, whose talent shone through in the abbreviated game. The young tall was kept to one game, kicking two goals – including one 'Zooper goal' – and taking a strong contested mark. The other highlight for Hawthorn was a massive 60m goal from Ryan Burton, who launched a 'Zooper goal' from the wing. The Hawks would have been pleased with Jack Gunston's form in attack, where he is expected to return in 2018. Draftee James Worpel applied nice pressure and looks a ready-made player who could play round one, while Dylan Moore wasn't overawed in his first taste of senior football. Kieran Lovell was the only player named in the squad to not feature as the Hawks rotated their team heavily across the three games.

Ryan Burton bags a 'Zooper goal' on the run. Picture: AFL Photos

Game 1: Melbourne 7.1.6 (82) def Carlton 2.5.4 (54)
Game 2: Melbourne 1.9.6 (70) def North Melbourne 3.2.4 (46)  
Grand Final: Melbourne 3.3.8 (56) def Hawthorn 1.5.6 (46)

Jake Melksham was the story of the night for the Demons, booting six goals across the three matches – including five from long-range. He lit up Etihad Stadium with back-to-back 'Zooper goals' in the opening match and clearly had his kicking boots on. He was well-supported in attack by Tom McDonald, whose set shot kicking was accurate. Young star Christian Petracca was well-suited to the game in the midfield and provided a highlight when he swung onto his right foot to convert from 45m on the boundary in the opening match. While defence was the Dees' priority, they looked slick and creative with the ball and played the new format with dare. Oskar Baker, Dion Johnstone and Charlie Spargo didn't see any game time.  

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Game 1: North Melbourne 5.4.9 (83) def Carlton 5.2.6 (68)
Game 2: Melbourne 1.9.6 (70) def North Melbourne 3.2.4 (46)   

It was a mixed night for the Kangaroos, who squared their tournament at 1-1 but walked away with the highest score kicked in an AFLX match so far. Classy midfielder Shaun Higgins was a class above in the opening match with his long kicking, kicking two 10-pointers from his 12 possessions. Shaun Atley was another whose long-kicking made him a constant threat, while Jamie Macmillan launched plenty of attacking chains.  Draftee Gordon Narrier wasn't always busy, but when he had the ball he showed he'll excite fans. Former Hawk Billy Hartung was the Kangaroos' best in their second match with a team-high 13 possessions. Only prized draftee Luke Davies-Uniacke, who suffered a back knock at training, was kept out of action from the 15 players named.


Game 1: St Kilda 2.5.2 (52) def Essendon 2.2.5 (37)
Game 2: Hawthorn 4.5.7 (77) def St Kilda 2.5.5 (55) 

The Saints were the only team to rotate their 10-man line-up completely from the first game to the second, but they fell short of earning a spot in the decider. Forward Tim Membrey is building towards the season nicely and was dominant early against the Hawks, finishing with three goals. Shane Savage was the star of the opening match, kicking two 10-pointers from just in front of the 'X' logo in the middle of the ground. The future of the midfield was on show, with Blake Acres and Luke Dunstan combining nicely, while young tall Rohan Marshall showed nice signs in attack after a full pre-season. Prized draftees Hunter Clark and Nick Coffield played one match each, easing in but showing glimpses of their talent.      



>> Young Lions down Swans for AFLX silverware

Game 1: Brisbane 4.3.8 (66) def Richmond 4.3.3 (61)
Game 2: Brisbane 3.5.4 (64) def Giants 2.6.2 (58)
Grand Final: Brisbane 5.2.5 (67) def Sydney 2.3.3 (41)

It was a small step but it was something for the Lions, who went in with an experienced squad, and it paid dividends. Daniel Rich, Mitch Robinson and Tom Bell provided enormous presence in all three games, and also used their smarts to have an influence in key moments when the frantic pace of AFLX had the players out on their feet. Allen Christensen enjoyed his return to the big time after persistent shoulders issues, and was creative close to goal. The energetic Rhys Mathiesen brought his usual intensity to the tournament along with elusive forward Rohan Bewick, with Ben Keays and draftee Zac Bailey also consistent contributors.


Game 1: Gold Coast 2.10.8 (88) def Western Bulldogs 0.3.4 (22)
Game 2: Sydney 2.8.4 (72) def Gold Coast 1.4.7 (41)

The Suns smashed the Bulldogs, and despite a narrow loss to the Swans, should walk away extremely pleased with their efforts. The return of Sam Day from major hip injury was a massive positive, as was the form of young guns Brayden Fiorini, Jack Bowes, Jesse Joyce and Brad Scheer. Touk Miller and Kade Kolodjashnij provided the experienced heads through the midfield, with recruit Aaron Young excellent in his first appearance for the club, along with the impressive Alex Sexton. New coach Stuart Dew must be a content man knowing his career has taken off on the right foot.


Game 1: Richmond 3.2.7 (49) def Giants 2.2.2 (34)
Game 2: Brisbane 3.5.4 (64) def Giants 2.6.2 (58)

The Giants lost their two pool games but could easily have won both against Richmond and the Lions. It was hardly surprising that running machine Lachie Whitfield was a star, gathering 31 possessions for the afternoon, to go with two 'Zooper goals' and three regular majors. Draftee Aiden Bonar showed some exciting signs, as did second-year midfielder Will Setterfield and defender Jeremy Finlayson. Rookies Sam Reid and Daniel Lloyd did their chances of an upgrade no harm, with former Blue Dylan Buckley solid playing as a small forward. Adam Tomlinson and Lachie Keeffe were versatile big men, while youngsters Nick Shipley, Jack Buckley, Jake Stein and Lachie Tiziani would have enjoyed their taste of senior footy.

Nathan Mullenger-McHugh soars for a classy mark in Sydney. Picture: AFL Photos

Game 1: Richmond 3.2.7 (49) def GWS 2.2.2 (34)
Game 2: Brisbane 4.3.8 (66) def Richmond 4.3.3 (61)

The premiers continued their winning ways with a first-up victory but couldn't repeat their efforts to make another Grand Final. Flag heroes Dan Butler and Jason Castagna were dangerous forwards for the Tigers, while Nathan Broad was a dasher in defence. Forgotten forwards Sam Lloyd and Reece Conca used the tournament to kickstart the season with both players finding plenty of the ball, with Jayden Short prominent with his pace, and youngster Noah Balta an influential big man. Jack Higgins showed glimpses of the talent that made him the club's No.1 draft pick, with both Derek Eggmolesse-Smith and Tyson Stengle also bringing some flash to the day.



Game 1: Sydney 4.7.6 (88) def Western Bulldogs 1.4.2 (36)
Game 2: Sydney 2.8.4 (72) def Gold Coast 1.4.7 (41)
Grand Final: Brisbane 5.2.5 (67) def Sydney 2.3.3 (41)

The Swans elected not to play Nick Smith, Sam Reid and Jake Lloyd, and only played All Australian defender Dane Rampe in their first pool game, where he eased into the action with three straight 'Zooper goals' to start the contest. Harry Marsh took over the leadership down back once Rampe exited and was fantastic, with Nic Newman, Dean Towers and Irishman Colin O'Riordan providing brilliant run from the defensive half. Harry Cunningham was at his best in the pacey format, while fringe Swans Jordan Foote, Dan Robinson and James Rose were prolific ball winners. The tournament was a great chance for Sydney to show off their young draftees, with Tom McCartin, James Bell and Angus Styles certainly players of the future.


Game 1: Sydney 4.7.6 (88) def Western Bulldogs 1.4.2 (36)
Game 2: Gold Coast 2.10.8 (88) def Western Bulldogs 0.3.4 (22)

With just 65 senior games between them the Dogs went into the tournament undermanned and it showed in two big losses. Jack Redpath's form was solid and the big man was constantly presented himself as a target, while Aaron Naughton showed plenty playing as a forward, as did fellow draftee Ed Richards, who impressed with his speed. Ruckman Tim English had his moments although he was clearly not suited by the format, Lewis Young stood out in defence, as did Lukas Webb through the midfield, and Roarke Smith in defence. The day was a good opportunity for the likes of Patrick Lipinski, Callum Porter, Billy Gowers, Fergus Greene and Nathan Mullenger-McHugh, who will all benefit from the opportunity.