THINGS could not be much better for Melbourne fans after Sam Weideman equalled his career best of seven goals to lead the Casey Demons to an emphatic 51-point victory over the Box Hill Hawks at Box Hill City Oval yesterday.
With the AFL Demons enjoying a 5-0 start to the season, the VFL team featured a host of quality players desperate to put their best foot forward for a call-up.
And Weideman led the way, taking seven marks and kicking 7.2 to overshadow star recruit Ben Brown, who took six marks and kicked 3.1 of his own in a formidable double act.
Box Hill only trailed by 15 points early in the second quarter after Fergus Greene kicked the first of his three goals before Casey’s twin towers exploded.
Weideman (four) and Brown (three) kicked seven majors in a run of 9.9 to 1.2 to lead by 70 just before the final break, before the Hawks added respectability with a five-goal final term.
"Like Julian Edelman in the Super Bowl!"— 7AFL (@7AFL) April 18, 2021
BEN BROWN WITH ONE HAND ?? pic.twitter.com/bTAPITPtrD
Neville Jetta put his hand up for Anzac Eve with 25 disposals and 10 marks, while Aaron vandenBerg was the early spark with 10 touches in the first quarter on his way to 25 and a goal.
Young Hawthorn tall Emerson Jeka kicked three goals on debut for Box Hill, while captain Damian Mascitti also kicked three, but the Hawks struggled to get their hands on the ball – Casey had 87 more disposals and 51 more marks than Box Hill while also benefiting from a 66-39 inside-50 count.
Williamstown dampened the rebirth of the Northern Bullants with a 52-point victory at Preston City Oval.
The delight emanating from the old Preston fans at seeing the famous Ant back on the park created a terrific atmosphere, but it was the new-look Seagulls who flexed their muscles.
ALL THE BEST The VFL players of round one
Williamstown has farewelled 1251 games of VFL experience and decorated coach Andy Collins since its thrilling 2019 Grand Final loss to Richmond, but new mentor Justin Plapp still had a powerful line-up at his disposal.
Giant recruit Tom Downie was in the discussion for best-on-ground in the ruck with 32 hitouts and nine marks after Jordan Gallucci got things going with two early goals.
Jake Greiser, Mitch Hibberd, Liam Hunt and Luke Meadows provided drive out of the midfield, captain Adam Marcon controlled the outer wing and Joel Ottavi booted four goals.
The Bullants fielded 15 players under the age of 24 and Josh Fraser could take plenty of positives out of the game.
Lion-hearted big man Daniel Hughes will quickly become a cult hero as much for his hairdo and tattoos as his enforcer style, while former Aspley backman Doug Lawrence blanketed Nick Rodda for three quarters, with the Seagull only getting off the leash for 10 minutes in the third quarter for his three goals.
Captain Tom Wilson, Tim Jones and Jean-Luc Velissaris played well in the middle while Matthew King was good down back and Finbar O’Dwyer provided a target.
Geelong belted North Melbourne by 79 points at GMHBA Stadium.
The Cats kicked 1.8 in the first quarter and only led by 11 at the break, but exploded with eight goals in each of the second and third terms to be looking at a third-consecutive 100-point win over the Roos at the Cattery.
But North showed character to win the final quarter, led by springheeled forward Mat Walker, who took 10 marks and kicked three goals, and Dom Tyson (28 disposals).
Josh Jenkins and Ben Jarvis kicked four goals each for Geelong, capping off the good work of Zach Guthrie (26 disposals), Charlie Constable (25) and Oscar Brownless (23).
Friday April 16
Richmond 13.17 (95) def Sandringham 7.13 (55)
Frankston 20.6 (126) def Coburg 14.12 (96)
Saturday April 17
Aspley 20.13 (133) def Port Melbourne 12.8 (80)
Carlton 16.12 (108) def by Southport 17.7 (109)
Brisbane 15.14 (104) def Essendon 5.8 (38)
Sydney 15.6 (96) def Greater Western Sydney 10.10 (70)
Footscray 16.13 (109) def Gold Coast 6.6 (42)
Werribee 9.8 (62) def by Collingwood 10.9 (69)
Sunday April 18
Box Hill Hawks 10.7 (67) def by Casey Demons 17.16 (118)
Northern Bullants 6.11 (47) def by Williamstown 14.15 (99)
Geelong 18.15 (123) def North Melbourne 6.8 (44)