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Sliding Doors: round two

If Bucks clearly has no regard for Tom Mitchell ... then - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Brisbane Lions,Carlton Blues,Collingwood Magpies,Essendon Bombers,Fremantle Dockers,Geelong Cats,GWS Giants,Gold Coast Suns,Hawthorn Hawks,Port Adelaide Power,Richmond Tigers,Melbourne Demons,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Sydney Swans,St Kilda Saints,Western Bulldogs,West Coast Eagles,Sliding Doors,column
If Bucks clearly has no regard for Tom Mitchell ... then

ADELAIDE

If

you wanted to put not just a full stop but an exclamation mark on your statement that there was nothing wrong with the camp on the Gold Coast ...

then

no better way to do it than a tough, gritty, leadership-driven Easter Thursday win against the team which smashed you in last year's Grand Final.

Rory Sloane and Bryce Gibbs celebrate Adelaide's win over the Tigers. Picture: AFL Photos

BRISBANE

If

Luke Hodge on Saturday night doesn't at some stage of the match a) belt Jordan Lewis, b) push Jordan Lewis or c) sledge Jordan Lewis ...

then

he's not the Hodge we think we know.

Look out, Jordan. An old mate is coming to say hello. Picture AFL Photos

CARLTON

If

you thought the Blues won last week ...

then

you can be excused, given the amount of unbalanced lauding they received for having a good crack against the reigning premiers. No more admirable losses, though. Time to start winning.

Charlie Curnow celebrates one of his five goals in R1. Picture: AFL Photos

COLLINGWOOD

If

Elliott doesn't get back soon and then stay fit ...

then

2018 will be another Magpies write-off

Jamie Elliott has a laugh during Collingwood's team photo session. Picture: AFL Photos

ESSENDON

If

you go back to this time two years ago ...

then

the Bombers were coming off a 10-goal loss in Woosha's first game as coach. There have been countless positives under his watch since, and the club rightly rewarded him with a contract renewal this week.



FREMANTLE

If

IF we were told the re-plumbing, the re-wiring, the re-stumping began roughly this time last year ...

then

what the hell was that match-selected 22 last week? Think we need to wean ourselves off the Ross Lyon Kool-Aid.

Ross Lyon talks to his his team during the R1 loss to Port. Picture: AFL Photos



GEELONG

If

Bucks clearly has no regard for Tom Mitchell ...

then

we expect something very different from Chris Scott. Maybe even an old-fashioned, Shane Heard-style hard tag.

GOLD COAST

If

you looked beyond the horrendous conditions of last week’s game in Cairns ...

then

you would have noticed a Suns team playing with a modern plan. Dew making immediate impact.

Kayne Turner leaps over Lachie Weller in R1's big wet. Picture: Getty Images

GWS

If

it's been Wingard and Walters at the top of our favourite-players-to-watch list for some years now ...

then

they're about to be overtaken. In fact they have been. Toby Greene has whizzed past them, our new No.1.

HAWTHORN

If

we thought Sam would forever be the best Mitchell to play for Hawthorn ...

then

there’s at least a pause in the thought process when we ponder that situation in early 2018.

Tom couldn't go past Sam, could he? Picture: AFL Photos

MELBOURNE

If

Jordan Lewis on Saturday night doesn’t at some stage of the match a) belt Luke Hodge, b) push Luke Hodge or c) sledge Luke Hodge ...

then

he’s not the Lewis we think we know.



NORTH MELBOURNE

If

the Roos are any chance against the Saints ...

then

Ben Brown will need to kick six.

PORT ADELAIDE

If

there was one player this club didn't want to lose with an Achilles issue ...

then

it was the one player who went down with such an ailment last week. Hope Ryder only misses four weeks, but fear it will be a longer.

RICHMOND

If

you're a pessimist ...

then

there are some real concerns about a premiership defence. But if you're an optimist, it's way too early to get worried.

Richmond leaves the field after the loss to Adelaide. Picture: AFL Photos

ST KILDA

If

you've already won three best-and-fairests ...

then

you’re already a club great. Not sure what Jack Steven has left to prove.



SYDNEY

If

Longmire lets Buddy loose as a deep forward for an entire season, as he did last week against the Eagles ...

then

his personal record of 113 goals in 2008 will be challenged. One can only hope.

Watch: Buddy's big day out against the Eagles
 

WEST COAST

If

Kennedy doesn't get that knee right really soon ...

then

this will be a very long year for the Eagles.

WESTERN BULLDOGS

If

it wasn't for the issues at the Crows and Magpies ...

then

there would have been a lot more headlines about this club this week. And as for that cock-up with Redpath, very embarrassing.

Jack Redpath leaving the Tribunal in August, 2017: Picture: Getty Images

If

the Tribunal keeps endorsing the match review officer's decisions, and it’s now three from three (Gray, Brennan, Douglas) ...

then

the system may finally work. Really like what is unfolding here.