In this week's Nine things we learned, we discover that a second-year Demon is the game's newest drawcard, not much has changed at Carlton and Matt Rowell's best mate is the man to cover the injured Sun's absence. 

04:50 Mins
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The 10: Round two's best moments

Watch all the best highlights from a thrilling weekend of football

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1. Kozzie's a dream for fans and a horror show for defenders

Kysaiah Pickett is quickly becoming one of the most watchable players in the League. His performance on Saturday night was easily the best of his budding 16-game career as he kicked two goals and had nine score involvements in the Demons' win over St Kilda. He produced a Houdini act to escape three Saints and then snap his first goal in the second quarter, while his second major at the start of the last term effectively sealed the contest. But it wasn't just his goals that make him so fun to watch. Every time the ball gets near him you sense something is going to happen. The 19-year-old is going to be a nightmare for defenders and a joy for fans for many years to come. ­- Ben Sutton

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Fancy footwork from dazzling Dee

Kysaiah Pickett dances his way through traffic and snaps a beauty

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2. Now we know how to stop Lachie Neale

Surprise stopper Mark O'Connor delivered the blueprint on how to limit Lachie Neale's impact on Friday night. Sides could barely lay a glove on Neale last season as he collected the Brownlow Medal in a brilliant individual season. But against Geelong, he was met by O'Connor – typically a defender – at the opening bounce, and the Cat restricted the frustrated Lion to just three disposals and no clearances in the first half. O'Connor followed Neale everywhere with a close-checking approach that forced Chris Fagan to move his star to half-forward to start the third quarter. Neale moved back into the midfield later in the term and went onto collect eight disposals (plus four clearances) in the final quarter. However, his 16 disposals for the night was his lowest count in a full game since 2017. - Mitch Cleary

Lachie Neale and Mark O'Connor contest the ball during Geelong's win over Brisbane in round two, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

3. Nic Nat is unstoppable when he's on

It was the Western Bulldogs versus Nic Naitanui on Sunday, and Naitanui nearly prevailed. It was Naitanui who dragged the Eagles back into the game with an astonishing third quarter of ruck dominance, serving the ball on a platter to Dom Sheed and Tim Kelly as they got motoring in the midfield. The 30-year-old was an All-Australian last year for the second time and won't need many more performances like that to lock in a third guernsey, such was his brilliance out of the centre. He had 40 hitouts, including eight to advantage in the third term. For comparison, the game average for a team is 11. Add to that his 11 clearances, and it was the type of performance that reminded all of the value of a dominant ruckman in a game that is moving faster and being geared towards runners more than ever before. - Callum Twomey

4. These are the same old, dark navy Blues

It's a familiar feeling for Carlton. A ninth straight 0-2 start to the campaign was a result of yet another demoralising defeat to arch rivals Collingwood on Thursday night. Once again, the Blues left themselves with too much to do at the MCG. And, once again, the Blues are leaving themselves with too much to do in order to finally break their finals drought. As has been the trend during David Teague's tenure at Ikon Park, Carlton fell too far behind for its late heroics to count for anything. Having conceded yet another 30-point swing on either side of quarter time – the 20th time in 30 games under Teague that this has happened – the Blues were yet again the victim of a vicious shift in momentum. Winless again after round two, this season is already in danger of being over before it began. - Riley Beveridge

5. Zak Butters is becoming the complete player       

Much has been made of Port Adelaide's inspired selections in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, with Connor Rozee, Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma proving themselves a formidable trio from the get-go. But while the flashy Rozee has usually garnered the most attention, it is arguable that Butters has now overtaken him to be the current pick of Port Adelaide’s young guns. Against Essendon on Saturday (and with Rozee on the sidelines) Butters had the complete game, finishing with 36 disposals, six tackles and a goal. It was an incredible performance from the 20-year-old, who was named in the 40-person All-Australian squad last season. Coach Ken Hinkley said post-game that Butters "can achieve anything" he sets his mind to, and Saturday’s performance showed he is on his way to becoming an elite player of the competition. - Luke Michael

Port Adelaide's Zak Butters handballs against Essendon in round two, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

6. Mundy's form has given Fyfe his freedom

Nat Fyfe started in the goalsquare and, before he was concussed late in the third quarter, played forward for much of Sunday's win against Greater Western Sydney. That positional move was made possible by the brilliance of veteran David Mundy. The 35-year-old, who must be favoured to play on in 2022 at this stage, had 21 possessions and six clearances in the first half, with almost every touch used to create and set up teammates. He finished with 35 disposals and moved like a player 10 years his junior, popping up on the last line of defence when needed, and then pumping the ball inside 50 with precision. The Dockers' young midfielders – led by Andrew Brayshaw and Adam Cerra – also shone, but it was the wisdom of Mundy that would have given Justin Longmuir the confidence to plant Fyfe forward for almost the entire match, giving them a dangerous new look. - Nathan Schmook   

7. Clarko still has a few tricks up his sleeve

The talk for much of the week centred around whether you could, or whether it was even worth, tagging a superstar like Dustin Martin. But Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson had a plan to do just that on Sunday, deploying 38-year-old veteran Shaun Burgoyne to negate the influence of the three-time Norm Smith Medal winner. Burgoyne followed Martin wherever he went at the MCG, starting on him in the midfield and then marshalling him when he went forward. It was a tactic that Tigers coach Damien Hardwick "didn't see coming", and one that Clarkson thought "disturbed the way (Richmond) played". Martin might have had 28 disposals, one goal and 11 score involvements, but Clarkson was pleased with Burgoyne's job. "I don't think it was your typical Dustin game where you came out of it thinking he was clearly best on ground … that wasn't the case," he noted afterwards. - Riley Beveridge

8. Noah Anderson might be the best young Sun

Since Noah Anderson was taken with the second pick in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft, it seems like he's been living in the shadow of his great mate Matt Rowell. With Rowell's early 2020 heroics, Izak Rankine's freakish highlight reel, Ben King's prodigious marking talent and the exquisite kicking skills of Jack Lukosius, Anderson can easily get lost in the shuffle. But his move on-ball from the wing in 2021 has already paid off, with his 35 disposals (13 contested), including seven clearances and nine marks against the Kangaroos a best-on-ground display. He might already be the best of the bunch. - Michael Whiting

9. Swans have struck gold with their recipe for goals

A clear injury list and draft successes suddenly means Sydney has one of the most dangerous and well-balanced forward mixes in the competition. Lance Franklin, Logan McDonald and Sam Reid offer the size and aerial power, while Tom Papley, Errol Gulden and Sam Wicks swarm when the ball hits the deck. That leaves Isaac Heeney as the icing on the red and white cake, as a high half-forward who offers a strong marking target near goal when he isn’t helping the Swans move the ball through the midfield. That group combined for 12 goals against Adelaide, after kicking 14 against Brisbane (without Franklin), but face a tougher test against Richmond at the MCG on Saturday. - Martin Pegan

Lance Franklin and Logan McDonald celebrate a goal against Adelaide in round two, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos