IN THIS edition of Nine Things We Learned, we discover that Mitchell Lewis is turning into a serious key forward, Carlton's dream forward line is firing and a No.1 gun is thriving in his new home. 


04:56 Mins
Published on

The 10: Round two's best moments

Watch all the best highlights from a historic round two

Published on

1. After a humorous start, Mitchell Lewis is a serious player 

When Hawthorn's selection committee called the name "Mitchell Lewis" with the 76th and second-last overall selection of the 2016 NAB AFL Draft, many pundits thought they were having a laugh, throwing away a late pick to create a portmanteau of two of the club's modern-day champions, Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis. However, the 199cm key forward is starting to make a name of his own. Lewis slotted five goals on Saturday night in a commanding display against Port Adelaide's, following three against North Melbourne in round one, and currently sits on top of the Coleman Medal leaderboard alongside Isaac Heeney. OK, it's early days, but there's something about Lewis that says 'matchwinner', and it's not just his name. - Howard Kimber

02:25 Mins
Published on

Five-star Lewis has a career night

Mitch Lewis had a night to remember as he kicked five goals straight to help his side to a big win over the Power

Published on

2. Essendon needs Andrew McGrath to be its next star

The Bombers had Jordan Ridley rise to prominence in 2020 and Darcy Parish do the same in 2021. And now, with gun midfielder Zach Merrett set to miss up to eight weeks with a syndesmosis ankle injury, attention will turn to McGrath to fill his spot. McGrath has trained as a half-back and midfielder across the pre-season and spent some time forward on Saturday against the Lions. But with Merrett now set for an extended absence for the first time in his nine-year career, the Bombers will look to McGrath to take on more midfield prominence like Parish did last year when thrown more opportunities after early-season injuries. - Cal Twomey

3. The Blues finally have a one-two punch

Carlton fans have long dreamed of Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay teaming up, just as they did on Thursday night. Curnow, playing higher up the ground, ran and jumped at the ball in a way that was reminiscent of the Curnow of old – that being his last injury-free season in 2018 – on his way to five goals. McKay presented a taller, dangerous, deeper threat closer to goal. With his long reach and superb hands, he added four more to form a lethal partnership with his reborn teammate. Together, they combined for 29 disposals, 16 marks, 17 score involvements and nine goals to launch the Blues beyond the Bulldogs and into their first 2-0 start in a decade. Expect more to come. - Riley Beveridge

03:19 Mins
Published on

Blues see double as power forwards combine for nine

Carlton forwards Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay combined to kick 9 goals between them to lead their side to a memorable

Published on

4. No.1 gun Paddy McCartin looks at home down back

Six days after making a fairytale return to the game for the first time since round 16, 2018, Paddy McCartin took a different step forward on Friday night. The former No.1 pick had never played in defence until in the VFL last season. Now he looks at home in defence, alongside his brother. McCartin took nine marks, including five intercept marks in the opening quarter alone. While it was all about Buddy at the SCG, Paddy showed he has the tools to become a gun key defender in 2022.

UNBELIEVABLE RETURN Paddy on his incredible comeback in Sydney

5. Max King is going to monster some rival teams this year

St Kilda's powerful young key forward struggled to have an influence in the first half against the Dockers but that changed in sudden and dramatic fashion in the third term. King booted three successive goals in a matter of minutes, while also roaming up the ground to take a huge pack mark. It's that rare combination of power, athleticism and aerial marking ability that makes King such a brilliant package to watch – and a nightmare for opposition teams to curtail. Fremantle was the first side that King – who finished with four second-half goals – has taken to the cleaners in 2022 but the Dockers won't be the last. - Michael Rogers

St Kilda's Max King celebrates a goal against Fremantle in round two, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

6. Luke Jackson is making the leap

Last year he was the NAB AFL Rising Star winner and a pivotal piece of Melbourne's premiership-deciding third quarter against the Western Bulldogs – and Luke Jackson is even better in 2022. Against the Suns Jackson completely turned the tide late in the first quarter with his superb tap-work in the ruck, follow-up at ground level and ability to kick goals when going forward. As coach Simon Goodwin said post-match, the Demons quickly identified Jackson had a ruck advantage, not Therabody All-Australian Max Gawn, and they were prepared to roll with it. Jackson is no longer a back-up to Gawn, but a genuine weapon that can influence results. - Michael Whiting

00:39 Mins
Published on

Jackson wows with stunning ruck action

Luke Jackson gets the Melbourne faithful roaring after this dazzling goal out of the ruck contest

Published on

7. Tigers could have a key forward Balta'd in

Richmond's determination to play Noah Balta forward this year must have come under serious challenge with both Dylan Grimes and Nick Vlastuin missing from defence for Sunday's clash against the Giants, but Damien Hardwick held his nerve and kept the 22-year-old in the front half. Four goals and a solid win later, the coach will feel he made the right choice, and another strong game from Josh Gibcus in defence suggests Balta may be leaving the backline behind him as Richmond looks for scoring solutions for the future. The Tigers know they're having one last roll of the dice with an ageing list, but to find a key forward for the next decade already in their midst will relieve draft and trade pressure as they look to rebuild. - Howard Kimber

8. Powerful Pies's attack puts rivals on notice

For the second week in a row, Collingwood scored 100 points in a promising start to Craig McRae's time at the club. Yes, the wins have come against St Kilda and Adelaide, but the ability to hit the scoreboard so readily will have opponents closely studying the tapes. Against the Crows, what was most noticeable was who was scoring the goals. Nathan Kreuger had a club debut to remember in the absence of Mason Cox, Ollie Henry and Beau McCreery kicked two each, while fellow youngsters Jack Ginnivan and Pat Lipinski also hit the scoreboard - Sarah Black

00:36 Mins
Published on

Oliver twists and wows all with this stunner

Oliver Henry adds another impressive goal to his highlight reel with this crazy snap on the boundary

Published on

9. Hugh Greenwood is crucial to a young North outfit

Come season's end, don’t be surprised if Hugh Greenwood is in the conversation for the player who had the biggest impact at his new club in 2022. After a sound debut for the Roos in round one, where he tallied 19 disposals, four clearances and three inside 50s, the former Crow and Sun was brilliant in North's round two win against the Eagles. Greenwood racked up 29 touches (16 contested), laid 10 tackles in 102 of a possible 118 minutes. He also won nine clearances and had four inside 50s. When North’s young guns Luke Davies Uniacke and Tarryn Thomas went off injured, the 85-game veteran stood up and his experience was on show for all to see. - Trent Masenhelder

North Melbourne's Hugh Greenwood tackles West Coast's Samo Petrevski-Seton in round two, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos