Rory Lobb of the Bulldogs handpasses the ball during the 2024 VFL Round 2 match between the Casey Demons and Footscray Bulldogs at Casey Fields. Picture: Rob Lawson/AFL Photos

A review of all the action from Round 2 of the 2024 Smithy’s VFL season.


BRISBANE LIONS      6.4        8.4        12.6     16.9 (105)
COLLINGWOOD         2.1        7.4        8.6        16.7 (103)

BRISBANE Lions held off a fast-finishing Collingwood and an epic breakout performance by Joe Richards to cling to a thrilling two-point Smithy’s VFL win over the Magpies in a seesawing contest at Brighton Homes Arena on Good Friday.

The Lions roared to a 33-point lead when first-round draft pick Logan Morris slammed on the third of his four goals just 67 seconds into the second quarter before the Magpies came to life with six of the next seven majors to take the lead early in the third term.

Kyle Dunkley’s second and third goals helped wrest back control as the home team booted the next five majors to re-establish a 32-point gap five minutes into the last term and even the most ardent Magpie would have doubted they could come back again.

But come back they did, with Richards kicking two in two minutes to spark them and his fourth for the term and sixth for the game put them within two points at the 37-minute mark of a marathon last term in which Collingwood kicked eight majors to four.

Try as they might, there was no time for a match winner and the Lions held on to a gripping win that could set up their season.

Kai Lohmann fronted up after being the AFL sub for Brisbane the night before, kicking four goals from 17 disposals and seven marks, while Morris and Dunkley booted three each, with the youngster also pulling in nine marks.

Liston medallist Jarryd Lyons again dominated at State League level with 33 disposals, seven marks, nine clearances and seven inside-50s, while Darcy Gardiner held Ash Johnson goalless and Bruce Reville, Jaxon Prior and 50th gamer James Madden won plenty of the ball.

For Collingwood, Richards finished with those six goals without blemish from 18 disposals while Lachie Sullivan and Ned Long shared 60 touches and 18 clearances between them. Jack Bytel had 25 possessions and Harvey Harrison put in a quality shift with 23 touches, seven marks, nine tackles and a goal.



NORTH MELBOURNE              2.5        6.5        8.9        13.12 (90)
CARLTON                                        2.3        3.5        7.9        10.14 (74)

NORTH Melbourne’s height proved the difference as the Kangaroos bounded home to outlast Carlton by 16 points in their Good Friday clash at Arden Street Oval.

Despite a solo act in the tall department from Blue big man Marc Pittonet, the Kangaroos had too much aerial strength, pulling in 120 marks to 84, headed in large part by rookie draftee Finbar Maley who clunked 13 of them on his way to 21 disposals and two goals. Charlie Comben also grabbed 13 as he picked up 22 possessions in defence.

Connor Downie (29 disposals, six marks) and Tyler Sellers (three goals) were also too strong in the air, eventually breaking down a Blues outfit that looked on track to win early in the last quarter.

Jack Lefroy’s third goal gave Carlton a seven-point lead 12 minutes into the last quarter after it had trailed by 18 in the third. However,the Roos showed they also have strength in their smalls when Robert Hansen, Sam Lowson and Hansen again all kicked goals in a space of four minutes entering time-on before Maley locked up the points in the dying minutes.

For Carlton, Pittonet kept the pressure on AFL selectors with 25 disposals, five marks, 12 clearances, 19 hitouts and a goal and young star Jaxon Binns kept banging on the door with 25 disposals and seven marks.

Alex Cincotta and Lachie Cowan also shone while Lachie Young and Brodie Kemp were strong in defence to keep their team in the game.



COBURG                          3.2        5.3        6.8        11.11 (77)
WILLIAMSTOWN        3.2        5.7        7.8        12.11 (83)

JACK Toner made himself a hero and broke the hearts of Coburg players and fans everywhere when he kicked a goal after the siren to help Williamstown escape with a thrilling six-point win over the Lions at Highgate Recreation Reserve on Good Friday.

The Lions didn’t let the disappointment of a neutral venue bother them after the match was forced away from Piranha Park due to turf works and threw the kitchen sink and more at a strong Seagulls outfit in a desperate bid to honour captain Jesse Corigliano’s 100th VFL match.

An inspired Kyle Weightman helped them charge home from 20 points down entering time-on of the last quarter to level the scores when Tom McKenzie kicked a wonderful running goal with less than a minute to play.

The centre bounce, however, spilled Williamstown’s way and a scrambled kick forward set up a stoppage 30m from goal, where Noah Gadsby scragged a kick out of the pack to the top of the goal square where Toner took a chest mark and then calmly slotted the goal as the siren sounded on his approach.

It was Toner’s second goal of the day but only the fourth of a 38-match career spent mostly in the back pocket and as a defensive midfielder but which has now developed into a wing/half-forward role.

While heartbreaking for Coburg, it was a fitting finish to an epic contest all day after the Lions jumped the gates with two centre clearances that led to goals for Josh D’Intinosante and impressive debutant Caleb Ernst with his first kick.

The Seagulls gradually worked their way into the game to square it up by quarter-time and they threatened to pull away on several occasions only for the Lions to peg them back each time.

Up by a goal turning for home, Williamstown seemed to have every answer, especially when Toby Triffett gave it a game-high 20-point lead at the 19-minute mark.

But Weightman, who booted 3.1 of his 4.1 in the last term, refused to concede defeat and looked likely to at least bank two points until Toner’s last-second heroics.

It wasn’t all good news for the Seagulls, with star recruit and Frosty Miller medallist Brodie McLaughlin suffering a groin injury in the second quarter and taking no further part and gun ruckman Tom Downie a late withdrawal with general soreness.

But they found a way to get over the line and remain undefeated, due in no small part of tall defenders Fin O’Dwyer and Joel Fitzgerald, who had 54 disposals and 17 marks between them, half-back Ryley Stoddart (24 touches, 11 marks), midfielders Triffett, Riley Collier-Dawkins and Will Fordham, wingman Max Philpot and forwards Blake Coleman and Nick Ebinger, who kicked three goals each.

Hugo Bromell was again a powerhouse in the middle for Coburg with 23 touches and eight clearances and he found plenty of help from Donovan Toohey, Joel Trudgeon and Flynn Gentile, while Lachlan Walker, Rhys Galvin and Ingo Dammersmith – who single-handedly saved a couple of goals while outnumbered – impressed down back before Weightman’s near heroics in the last term.



PORT MELBOURNE  1.1        3.4        7.5        11.5 (71)
FRANKSTON                 2.6        5.10     8.13     13.18 (96)

FRANKSTON recorded its first victory at ETU Stadium since 2008 and knocked off Port Melbourne on its home deck for the first time since 2006 with a comprehensive 25-point victory on Good Friday.

The Dolphins had not won at North Port Oval since beating Coburg in the 2008 elimination final 5684 days earlier, while it had been 6425 days since they last sunk the Borough there on August 20, 2006 – losing 10 games in a row to them at the venue.

The broke the drought in style and probably should have won by more, recording 31 scores to 16 and winning three of the four quarters, with only their consistent problem of inaccurate kicking at goal keeping a disappointing home team in the contest.

Josh Butland was the hero for Frankston, taking five marks in attack and booting 5.1. In fact, Butland was the only Dolphin to kick more goals than behinds in front of a packed Good Friday crowd.

The Dolphins peppered the sticks early, kicking 2.6 in the opening quarter and were never seriously challenged as inside midfielders Tom Murphy and Seb Quirk won the hard balls and Blake O’Leary and Trent Mynott used it well, while Tyson Milne and George Grey rebounded when Port did go forward.

The Borough kicked 8.1 in the second half to keep itself in the contest to an extent but despite Lachlan Rankin, Harvey Hooper, Anthony Anastasio and Tom Highmore repelling as much as they could and Matt Signorello kicking three goals, they were always under the pump as they fell to 0-2.



GEELONG CATS          3.5        6.7        10.10  11.11 (77)
BOX HILL HAWKS     1.2        4.6        8.10     16.15 (111)

BOX HILL Hawks produced a devastating five-goal blast in time-on of the last quarter to turn a potential thriller into a convincing win as they swamped Geelong by 34 points at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.

The Hawks were put under a ton of pressure as the Cats put in a much-improved effort on Round 1 and got out by as much as 25 points when draftee Oli Wiltshire kicked truly in the 10th minute of the third quarter.

The performance to that point was led by Geelong’s young players, with second gamer Tobyn Murray channelling Gary Ablett with a snap from the pocket on his way to four goals and being joined in strong performances by Wiltshire’s impressive fellow draftees Lawson Humphries and Connor O’Sullivan, plus second-year player Ted Clohesy and third-year talent Mitch Knevitt.

Mid-season draftee Mitch Hardie and Marcus Herbert again played well and Shannon Neale bounced back into form with six marks and three goals.

But Box Hill was able to turn up the heat when it needed to as skipper Cal Porter once again put his team on his shoulders with 21 disposals, nine clearances, seven tackles and nine inside-50s, while Finn Maginness responded to his AFL omission with a game-high 28 possessions, 10 marks, six clearances and a goal.

Geelong had no answer to the Hawks’ suite of forward options when the game was in the balance, with the onslaught sparked by second-gamer Andreas Stefanakis taking a contested mark and kicking a goal before Calsher Dear marked strongly and converted twice, Sam Butler eluded the defence for another and Jack O’Sullivan also kicked a beauty.

Butler finished with four goals from 17 touches, Dear and O’Sullivan kicked three each and Ned Reeves staked a claim for a quick recall with 40 hitouts and a goal as the Hawks recorded their 250th VFA/VFL away victory.



SOUTHPORT SHARKS            1.2        6.5        7.8        8.11 (59)
WERRIBEE                                      5.2        5.3        7.4        9.8 (62)

DOM Brew celebrated his appointment as captain of the Smithy’s VFL State Team with a masterclass performance as Werribee proved itself in the premiership conversation once again with a pressure-packed three-point win over Southport in a low-scoring classic at Fankhauser Reserve.

Brew was magnificent with the ball, winning a game-high 30 disposals including nine clearances, four inside-50s and five rebounds, but also stuck 10 tackles as he kept his State Team vice-captain Jacob Dawson to his first sub-20 disposal game since the 2022 Grand Final and the equal second-lowest number of his 51-game VFL career.

The Tigers showed they meant business when Hudson Garoni booted his 100th VFL goal in his 50th game inside the opening two minutes and they went on to kick five to one to lead by 24 points at quarter-time.

The Sharks responded as good teams, booting five goals to none to turn the deficit into an eight-point lead at half-time and ask serious questions of whether Werribee would again be a title contender.

And the answer was well and truly yes.

Wylie Buzza put the Sharks 15 points up early in the third term before Werribee kicked the next three goals in a half of very few opportunities, with Garoni’s second putting them in front five minutes into the final term.

Buzza answered once again 10 minutes later, but there was one more opening for the visitors and Richmond recruit Angus Hicks took it in the 19th minute to make himself a hero.

Werribee built its attack from defence, losing inside-50s by 12 despite being +31 in disposals and +41 in marks.

The Tigers had six of the top seven ball winners on the ground, with Brew joined in starring roles by mobile forward Nick Hayes, defenders Bior Malual, Nathan Cooper and Jack Riding, ruckman Sam Conway, midfielders Jack Henderson and Corey Preston and tall forwards Garoni and Sam Paea.

Boyd Woodcock was the outlier for Southport, winning 30 disposals (14 contested) and kicking a goal but being pressured into an efficiency of 50 per cent, with Dawson (19 disposals) still the second most prolific Shark and Jesse Joyce and Buzza also solid.



CASEY DEMONS                        6.2        8.7        8.13     12.13 (85)
FOOTSCRAY BULLDOGS     6.2        10.3     12.6     15.9 (99)

FOOTSCRAY consigned Casey Demons to a second consecutive home loss to start the season, holding off a late rally to win by 14 points at Casey Fields.

The Bulldogs belted the Demons to end their season in last year’s finals, but this game was always going to be closer and it looked like being a cracker when the teams slammed on six goals each in the opening quarter.

But it was the visitors who were able to maintain the rage, kicking four goals to two in the second quarter and two to none in the third to hold a 17-point gap turning for home.

And they quickly put paid to any hopes of a Demon comeback when Charlie Clarke and Phoenix Spicer sealed the victory with goals early in the last and although Casey ended up winning the quarter, the damage had been done.

Rory Lobb terrorised another defence with five goals for Footscray, while James Harmes racked them up against his old team with 33 disposals, eight marks, five tackles, six clearances and a goal.

Riley Garcia backed up his Round 1 dominance with 31 touches, seven marks, seven clearances, six tackles and a goal and Cooper Craig-Peters had a career-best 27 possessions, six clearances and five tackles.

Will Verrall had a breakout game in the ruck for Casey despite being double-teamed with 19 disposals, 25 hitouts and two goals, with skipper Mitch White again starring with 28 possessions and a goal and Josh Schache stepping up with four majors.



RICHMOND                   2.1        7.6        10.6     13.6 (84)
SYDNEY SWANS        5.2        5.6        7.8        10.12 (72)

TAYLOR Adams made an impressive return from injury but was part of a lapse in discipline from Sydney that allowed Richmond to get on top and secure their first VFA/VFL win over the Swans in 132 years, saluting by 12 points at Swinburne Centre on Sunday.

Making his Swans debut after a pre-season knee injury, Adams gathered 21 disposals (11 contested), five clearances and 13 tackles on limited game time to put his hand up for AFL selection against West Coast in Gather Round.

But he was responsible for gifting Richmond a crucial double goal that saw an 18-point lead cut to six in the blink of an eye and give the home team the impetus to nail a five-goal-to-nil second quarter that turned a 19-point quarter-time deficit into a 12-point half-time lead that Sydney was never able to overhaul.

Young Tiger Kane McAuliffe led the way in a second consecutive winning cause, telling Adem Yze he is ready for a call-up amid Richmond’s growing AFL injury list with 30 disposals, eight clearances, eight tackles and six inside-50s.

Austin Johnson (20 disposals, one goal) had his best game for the yellow and black, Samson Ryan (three goals) and defender Mutaz El Nour were a lot more influential than their numbers might indicate and Matt Coulthard, Lachie Street, Chad Harris and Lachlan Wilson stood up after Joel Garner was sidelined by concussion.

Phill Moi Moi looked like he was going to tear the game apart for Sydney with three goals in the first quarter as the Swans dominated early before WAFL recruit Ben Edwards took over with 26 touches and nine inside-50s.

Jaiden Magor and Caiden Cleary were prolific with 54 possessions between them but only managed four behinds when pressing forward and young defender Will Edwards took six marks in a strong showing down back.



SANDRINGHAM         6.4        7.6        13.9     17.13 (115)
ESSENDON                    2.1        7.7        8.8        11.11 (77)

SANDRINGHAM showed it will be a team that can’t be taken lightly as it overcame a mid-match hiatus to cruise past Essendon by 38 points at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval.

The Zebras looked in total control when they banged on six goals to two to race to a 27-point lead at quarter-time, but the Bombers hit back hard with five of their own to take a one-point advantage into the sheds.

But whatever Jake Batchelor said to his charges under the Neil Bencraft Stand at half time obviously worked as draftee Lance Collard kicked a goal in the first minute of the third term and added two more for the quarter to complete a haul of four as Sandringham banged on six goals to one to re-establish the gap before finishing with another four to three in the last.

New co-captain Darby Hipwell was outstanding for the Zebras along with key recruit Hugo Hall-Kahan and key forward Ollie Lowe as they put up 75 disposals between them but only five behinds, while Collard’s four goals was assisted by Logan Young’s three.

Others to impress were Hugo Garcia (22 disposals, six clearances, eight tackles, seven entries and a goal) and Tom Campbell (17 touches, five marks, six clearances, 24 hitouts and a goal).

The Bombers’ structure was thrown out by the departure of Nate Caddy when he had a tooth knocked out in a friendly fire clash, but VFL-listers Jack Peris, Tom Toma, Jackson Hately and skipper Xavier O’Neill led a team effort while AFL youngsters Archie Roberts, Elijah Tsatas and Lewis Hayes also showed good signs.