Fledgling Greater Western Sydney and Gold Coast took down two perennial powerhouses to leave just four clubs unbeaten after the AFL’s second round.
New Giant Stevie Johnson helped GWS fell his old club Geelong by 13 points in Canberra on Sunday as Hawthorn dished out another 46-point hiding to West Coast, and Sydney downed Carlton by 10 goals.
Gold Coast on Saturday night sent Fremantle into an early tailspin with a 26-point win while other round-two victors were Adelaide, the Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne, Essendon and Collingwood.
Four clubs – the Bulldogs, Gold Coast, North and Sydney – are undefeated. And four – St Kilda, Freo, Brisbane and Carlton – are yet to win.
The league’s newest entitites, Gold Coast and GWS, banked impressive victories with the Giants and Stevie J defeating the Cats for the first time in club history.
Johnson was influential, kicking two goals and collecting 23 disposals, as he faced his former teammates for the first time.
“I’m really comfortable that I’m a GWS Giants player now, but then the Geelong team song comes on and you get some mixed feelings,” Johnson said.
Hawthorn delivered West Coast and the rest of the league a reminder of its powers with a comprehensive 14.15 (99) to 7.11 (53) triumph against the Eagles – the same winning margin as last year’s grand final between the sides.
The Hawks booted the first four goals of the game en route to a win notable for defender Josh Gibson’s 44-disposal display.
Sydney closed out the round with a 20.11 (131) to 10.11 (71) win against Carlton to join the undefeated ranks.
On Saturday night, Gold Coast’s triumph over the Dockers left their coach Ross Lyon admitting new centre square tactics had failed.
“It’s a bit of a rude awakening.”
The Dockers face tough matches against West Coast and North Melbourne in the next fortnight and Lyon said he would keep the faith.
“It’s not my job to execute people. That’s not what I’m about,” Lyon said.
“I’m about possibility, creating opportunity. We’re 0-2. I’ve been in bigger holes than this.”
In other results, unfancied Essendon beat Melbourne on Saturday for a win many pundits didn’t expect to come this season for the Bombers, hit by drugs bans to its senior core.
Adelaide took bragging rights by smashing home-town rivals Port Adelaide by 58 points on Saturday, North defeated Brisbane, the Bulldogs accounted for St Kilda, and Collingwood’s last-gasp Brodie Grundy goal gave them a Friday night win over Richmond.