AFL H&V Round 2: De Goey's star rises higher, Dees have major issues

Reigning premier West Coast is back on the winners' list, as is last year's runner-up in Collingwood. However, Essendon, Melbourne, North Melbourne and Sydney all remain winless and will certainly come under severe scrutiny this week.

Here are the biggest heroes and villains from Round 2.


Jordan De Goey: He's drawn comparisons to Gary Ablett Sr and Dustin Martin, and based on what he's already shown, there's no reason why Jordan De Goey can't be just as much of a superstar. On Thursday night against the Tigers, in prime time, the 23-year-old elevated his game yet again, kicking five goals and taking a Mark of the Year contender in Collingwood's 44-point win. It could be a watershed year for De Goey, who kicked two bags of five goals in 2018 and is already halfway there this year through just two rounds. Above all else, he's marketable, dynamic on the field and extremely watchable, so it's little wonder he came in at No. 2 in our "Top 20 Must-Watch Players for 2019".

Resilient Bulldogs: You'd have been excused for leaving the Melbourne Cricket Ground or turning your television off at three-quarter time on Sunday afternoon. The Hawks were leading the Dogs by 30 points at the last change and looked all but certain to notch up win No. 2 of 2019. But what followed was something absolutely incredible with Luke Beveridge's side kicking nine goals to one in the last term, including five in the final 10 minutes, to stun the Hawks. It should be noted that Hawthorn was playing without stars Shaun Burgoyne and Liam Shiels in the final quarter (both suffering hamstring injuries), but take nothing away from the Dogs who never gave in and have improved to a 2-0 record.

An Eagles-Giants message: While the game between West Coast and GWS on Saturday night wasn't quite the nail-biter many of us had expected, there was one moment which was delightful to see. After the final siren had sounded at Optus Stadium, and the Eagles had cruised to a 52-point win, both clubs stood together, side by side. There was no mistaking the message which came on the back of Eagle forward Liam Ryan being targeted by racist trolls on social media last week."Together, we will stand against racism," the Eagles tweeted after the game, along with the hashtag #whenwillitend. Bravo to both clubs for taking a stand!


Inefficient Dees: How on earth do you win the clearance count by 10 and have 73 inside 50s in a game of football yet only manage to score six goals and get beaten by 80 points? We still aren't quite sure how Melbourne managed that against Geelong on Saturday night, and as a result, the Demons' losing streak has extended to three games (if you date back to last year's preliminary final). Simon Goodwin's side struggled all night long to set up anything meaningful inside their attacking third, while the Cats were the complete opposite, booting 20 goals from just 48 entries. Efficiency wins games of football and right now Melbourne, who many expected would be top four locks in 2019, are a mile off where they need to be.

A monstrous Bomber blunder: It was one of the most remarkable things ever seen on a football field, and that is by no means an exaggeration. Late in the first quarter at Marvel Stadium, Essendon's Matt Guelfi and Kyle Langford found themselves on the wing and looking for the interchange bench. Before they could get off the ground the ball arrived in their vicinity, but instead of picking it up, they both continued to run off the field, allowing St Kilda to mop up easily and send the ball back inside 50. It was a sign of things to come for the Bombers who were awful for the second straight week and fell to a second successive loss. So much for being 2019's biggest riser...

The AFL's scheduling department: Remember back in the good old days, when you didn't have to check the fixture to see what time your team was playing on a Saturday? When it was always 2:10pm and you would plan your pilgrimage accordingly? It's fair to say the AFL's scheduling department dropped the ball in Round 2, with no Saturday afternoon match fixtured at all. Instead, punters had to wait until the Saturday twilight timeslot of 16:35pm for the first ball to be bounced between Essendon and St Kilda. Bizarrely, there was then an overlap, with Port Adelaide and Carlton getting underway barely half an hour later. Talk about a head-scratcher.