Jamie Elliott marks under pressure.

Jamie Elliott marks under pressure. Photo: Getty Images

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THE GOOD

Two great rivals, a gripping sub-plot, a packed MCG and an unlikely hero in a game that well and truly lived up to the hype. This had to be one of the better Carlton-Collingwood clashes of the modern era: punch and counter-punch, tight and tough football balanced with plenty of free-flowing stuff and a gripping finish. The Magpies continue to find and back youth, Jamie Elliott's five goals being the difference and recruit Quinten Lynch terrific late. The Blues without Eddie Betts were brave. They will need to be next week too, against Geelong.

THE BAD

The Etihad Stadium roof? I like football in the outdoors when the weather's good, and so, I think, do most fans. Broadcasters don't, for obvious reasons. Coaches want consistency of conditions, so would rather have it closed. But can't we have both? Why is moving the roof during a game a health and safety issue when it wasn't until six or seven years ago and happened in previous games? Don't believe you can't have it both ways on this issue. We already have without any apparent risk.

THE UGLY

Melbourne fans were upset after the first-round thrashing by Port Adelaide and spontaneously voiced their displeasure. On Saturday night, the gathering of red-faced fans at the Melbourne race became the province of seemingly every attention-seeker in town who could later be seen texting or tweeting about their 15 seconds of fame.

THE WRAP

ADELAIDE
Experience and class got Crows home in the end, Dangerfield, Thompson and sub Porplyzia the lifters.

BRISBANE
Much better effort from the Lions, but still need Brown to fire and four-quarter efforts from midfield group.

CARLTON
Little consolation in defeat, but Blues were pretty game without a key in Betts, sharp up forward, midfield better.

COLLINGWOOD
Gritty effort from Pies, leaders stepped up when it mattered, and continue to push exciting kids, Elliott the match-winner.

ESSENDON
Had little to beat but looked sharp, organised and dangerous in attack. Midfield looking much deeper and classier.

FREMANTLE
Commanding performance from Lyon's Dockers, manic intensity defensively, and potent and flexible up forward.

GEELONG
Did it yet again. Cats won't get away with conceding such starts for long, but capacity to lift at right time unparalleled.

GOLD COAST
Overwhelmed in the end by seasoned Swans, but Suns stuck to their guns, even without usual level of influence from Ablett.

GWS

Giants outgunned in the end but impressive enough earlier, second-gamer Whitfield a real plus, Cameron a future star.

HAWTHORN
Tremendous win at tough venue, in the heat, and off six-day break. Rioli, Franklin and Breust lethal up forward, Schoenmakers solid down back.

MELBOURNE
Words hardly do justice to the Demons' insipidness. Rudderless, disorganised, and worse, completely lacking in accountability.

NORTH MELBOURNE
Early going as good a brand as Roos have played for 15 years, but couldn't be sustained. Need to find a better handbrake.

PORT ADELAIDE
Power wobbly early, but system and forward firepower won out. Best test of the Hinkley mantra to come in Showdown.

RICHMOND
Controlled most of the game and again able to withstand a late opposition charge. Riewoldt terrific, midfield on top. Good start.

ST KILDA
Too much left in the Riewoldt basket, midfield beaten and defence a little too shaky. Not miles away but little comfort when 0-2.

SYDNEY
Feels like Swans are still in pre-season mode, two “just” wins against competition new boys. Will need to lift to go 3-0.

WEST COAST
Mediocre pre-season form proving instructive. Eagles have been found wanting for effort against two souped-up opponents now. Need a lift quickly.

WESTERN BULLDOGS
Could have succumbed after early assault but stuck to task manfully, young midfielders are starting to find their AFL feet.