1. Did either team tag?
Tom Mitchell's record-breaking 54 touches in round one, on top of Patrick Dangerfield joining Joel Selwood and Gary Ablett in the Geelong line-up for the first time, attracted commentary around whether taggers would be in operation. The answer? Not really. The Hawks' resident run-with player, Daniel Howe, went to Patrick Dangerfield at the first bounce and also spent time on Joel Selwood (29 disposals, one goal), but the midfields largely went head to head. Hawthorn's onballers, including 'Jaeger Tom' – Mitchell (40 touches, two goals) and Jaeger O'Meara (21, one) – benefited greatly from ruckman Ben McEvoy's dominant performance (43 hit-outs, 16 disposals and a goal). Dangerfield (31 touches, two goals) ended up spending the third term up forward but returned to the middle to engineer the Cats' comeback with Ablett (35, one).
WATCH: Mitchell goes bananas
2. Easter Monday classic
Is there a better rivalry in the game than the one between Geelong and Hawthorn? Two modern powerhouses with premiership-winning clout keep churning out cracking contests and the latest was one of their best. High scoring, end-to-end football, big stars and a one-point result – this time to the Hawks. The Cats had a two-point win in the 2012 edition and got up by seven points in 2013 and nine in 2010, as part of their 7-1 edge in Easter Monday matches. Geelong had 86 points to spare in the corresponding clash last year, but Hawthorn was only an accurate Isaac Smith kick from upsetting the Cats in the return bout in round 17. That behind broke Hawk hearts, but another behind from Jarryd Roughead, after out-marking the much-smaller Zach Guthrie, broke a deadlock with a minute on the clock this year.
3. Selwood and Sicily at it again
Two of the game's constant talking points came up again in the opening term. Joel Selwood won another high-tackle free kick with a trademark shrug that transformed an initially legal attempt from Ryan Burton into illegal contact. Selwood won 53 more high-tackle free kicks than any other player between 2014 and the opening round of this year. The decision turned Hawthorn defender James Sicily red and he bolted towards the star Cat and gave him a mouthful, as well as knocking him to the ground. The result was a 50m penalty that gifted Selwood the easiest of goals. Sicily has form in this regard and says he will continue to play on edge, but this sort of ill-discipline can't endear him to Alastair Clarkson. Sicily and Selwood were still going at it in the final term.
WATCH: Selwood and Sicily get tangled up
4. The importance of uncontested possession
Contested ball is constantly credited as a key pillar to success, but uncontested possession is the barometer for Geelong. Hawthorn's second-quarter pressure was pivotal in it taking a 24-point advantage into half-time. The Cats, despite many fewer inside 50s, slaughtered Melbourne a round earlier with uncontested possessions and marks. They again led the way in both categories against the Hawks at quarter-time, but were starved in the second term as the momentum swung. Geelong couldn't get the ball out of its defensive half for most of that quarter – and had only one inside 50 in a 20-minute patch. Hawthorn repeatedly sent the ball back inside 50 and had a 34-18 edge at the main break. The Cats broke the shackles somewhat to work themselves back into the contest in the third term, but the blueprint to stop them is obvious.
5. Ping-pong football
We suspected attractive footy was back from what we saw for the majority of the first two rounds, and the Hawks and Cats put an exclamation point on it at the MCG on Easter Monday. Both teams were willing to adopt bold styles, with riskier kicks through the corridor and players – we're looking at you, Jarman Impey – tucking the ball under the arm and taking their opponents on with speed. A 10-goal first quarter was a tasty appetiser to an entertaining afternoon of football, eventually producing the first game of the season where both sides kicked triple-digit tallies. The crowd was enthralled and sent a clear message about what they want to see.