HOURS before his own Hawthorn team was embarrassingly belted by Geelong last Friday night, Hawks president Jeff Kennett felt the need to offer trademark condescending advice to all other clubs. 

In a letter to his Hawks members, Kennett said a failure of clubs to meet certain financial targets should result in them being kicked out of the AFL.

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TRSF Ep2: This could be the 'lowest ebb' in their history

An upset for the ages, the No.1 pick who lacks impact and why does the AFL need to 'wake up?'

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It was a comment that was unnecessary, poorly timed and typically without empathy for the many bosses of other football clubs who have spent the past three months tormented with stress about their organisations and themselves, as well as the dozens of people they have been forced to sack due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

'FOURTH-RATE' Clarko slams Hawk mids against Cats

Kennett has enough issues of his own at Hawthorn without feeling the need to tell other clubs what they should be doing. His club's relocation to a Dingley training base has been paused, and the Hawks' list is clearly lacking obvious young star talent and reasonably packed with older and questionable talent from other clubs.

Former GWS teammates Tom Scully and Jon Patton celebrate a goal during the Hawks' R1 win in 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

He also needs to soon decide what he wants to do in his current club role. He is on record as saying he would stand down from his second stint as Hawthorn president at the end of the year. But as is often the case with Kennett, what he says publicly is different to what he is doing privately, just as it was when he overthrew the Hawks' board and administration three years ago to come back as president.

Behind the scenes, discussions have been held about Kennett continuing as Hawks boss beyond this year.

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The 10: Round two's best moments

Watch all the best highlights from an exciting round two

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"I hope that in the not too distant future we can agree on a set of KPIs (key performance indicators) for all clubs, which in part will ensure an improvement for all clubs, and the AFL's financial position," Kennett wrote in a letter to Hawks members last Friday.

"The timeline for these KPIs should be three years with an evaluation taking place in the third year of performance. If clubs and their Boards do not meet the KPIs set, they should be relegated to the VFL.

"No longer can non-performance be supported. This is not directed at any club and is only prospective. Emotion alone is not sufficient a reason for non-performance.  

"The AFL must take a more commercial view to the conduct of our code." 

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett speaks at a media conference in May 2019. Picture: AFL Photos

Kennett is right in calling for new financial benchmarks for the 18 clubs, but relegation as a penalty is a ridiculous, club-killing idea.

Kennett should worry more about the now – specifically Thursday night when the Hawks play Richmond – than the financial workings of his rivals.

Is Port the real deal?

The glass half-full view is: Port Adelaide is top-four material. The half-empty lens is: the Power have beaten two teams which were tipped to finish bottom four, Gold Coast and Adelaide.

But they're looking good, even better when they're wearing the prison bar guernsey.

The spark and talent provided by Connor Rozee, Xavier Duursma and Zak Butters is a powerful force, and Travis Boak is still as important as ever.

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Port young guns on fire

Duursma and Butters kick Power further in front

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It is difficult to grade the Power's thrashing of the Crows, as that team is clearly enduring the worst days of its 30-season AFL life. 

NINE THINGS WE LEARNED The Crows are a bottom-four team

New coach Matthew Nicks knew he was taking on a massive task, but it might actually be monumental. A starting point to a potential turnaround for the Crows might only come after a full-on internal and public admission that so many initiatives since late 2017 have been lamentable. 

Urgent repairs needed at The Kennel

It's now official. There's a big problem at the Western Bulldogs. 

The embarrassing mauling by GWS in last year's elimination final, followed by the equally lacklustre performance in round one against Collingwood was made even worse by Sunday night's mauling by St Kilda at Marvel Stadium. 

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Simply dazzling from Max King

Max King excites everybody after a silky dribbler on the run reminiscent of a small forward

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The Saints bamboozled the Dogs in the final three quarters, made them look a bottom-six team. In those three matches, Dogs captain Marcus Bontempelli has been made to look an ordinary player. We know he's anything but, but unless he produces his best on Friday night against GWS – the team which rag-dolled him and his teammates last September – the Bulldogs will be staring at a very long season, even with it being shortened to 17 matches per club in total.

St Kilda threw away a win against the clearly better-than-expected North Melbourne in round one, but atoned with authority against Western Bulldogs. 

Can't wait to see how they go against Collingwood, at the MCG next Saturday. Had a crowd been allowed to attend, reckon it would've got high 60,000s. There's something about this Saints resurgence.

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Dan's the man again after scorching Saints counter

The Saints cut up the Dogs on the rebound and get another through goalsneak Dan Butler

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Danger wasn't hurt? It shouldn't matter

The Match Review Panel needs an urgent overhaul of its policies.

It needs to remove the weight it places on injuries sustained in reportable incidents, and focus purely on the offending players' intent and actions.

Geelong's Patrick Dangerfield is tackled by Hawthorn's Shaun Burgoyne in round two. Picture: AFL Photos

That Paddy Dangerfield was not seriously concussed on Friday night when sling-tackled by Hawthorn's Shaun Burgoyne should not be deemed as favourable to Burgoyne.

It was a miracle Dangerfield wasn't knocked out, and yet because he wasn't, Burgoyne escaped with a fine and not a match suspension.

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Is Silk in MRO strife? Danger sees stars after spinning slam

Shaun Burgoyne will likely earn the attention of the MRO for this swinging tackle that left Patrick Dangerfield momentarily dazed

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Win of the round, part one

There have been too many false dawns, promises and hopes for Gold Coast since they were added to the AFL in 2011.

But as of Saturday night at Metricon Stadium, when they not just defeated but, at times, embarrassed West Coast, the Suns' relevance has become "real".

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Ainsworth double sinks the Eagles

Ben Ainsworth kicks two goals to heap more pain on the Eagles

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It's "real" largely because of one young man – Matt Rowell, the No.1 pick in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft who, against the Eagles, in his second match, led his team to arguably its most famous victory.

Rowell doesn’t turn 19 until next month. He has the body of a 25-year-old and the leadership qualities of a 30-year-old.

Eventually, he will get to play in front of a crowd.

FANTASY FORM WATCH Big Roo turns back clock, Crow has to go

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All class from the number one pick

Matt Rowell slots his first career goal

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Win of the round, part two

The only thing Cam Zurhaar likes more than a goal is hurting an opponent.

In 30 matches for North Melbourne, he's kicked 33 goals, and seriously hurt opposition players at least three times that amount. Against GWS on Sunday at Giants Stadium, he led his team to its second consecutive win, following the come-from-behind performance against St Kilda in March.

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Zurhaar zigs this way, that way and dobs one

Cam Zurhaar earns his second goal of the game after some fantastic footwork in front of goal

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Other North youngsters Curtis Taylor, Tarryn Thomas and Bailey Scott also played significant roles, as did the ever-reliable Shaun Higgins and Todd Goldstein.

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Roo bender has everyone excited

Tarryn Thomas makes a banana kick on the boundary look easy

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