AFTER just one round of AFL footy being back, we have learnt so much.
There was the usual professionalism from clubs expected to finish top four and the realisation from others that an enormous amount of work and preparation over summer has left them short in their first contest.
There was so much to like about the footy, but I feel compelled to comment on something I feel should rarely be spoken about – umpires.
They have an unbelievably tough job to umpire our game and with regularly changing rules and interpretations, it must be an on-going battle.
On this occasion, I want to give the umpire fraternity, led by new boss Wayne Campbell, a massive tick.
The umpiring in all of the games that I saw in round one would be how fans want it.
They let the play go, allowed players to show strength and didn’t pick out free kicks to clear the area.
Let's hope it continues.
In terms of wins and losses, it is hard to go past the GWS win over Sydney as the best of the round.
I remember cheering for the Gold Coast when they knocked Port Adelaide off for their first win and felt the same for GWS even though it was not their first win, but definitely the biggest.
Their kids can play, but more importantly they looked to have a strong culture within already and this may be the platform for them to have a real impact sooner than we expected.
I didn’t mind seeing Collingwood, Richmond, Carlton and Sydney all lose in round one and they all meet this week.
That’s four clubs with huge expectations and two of them will be without a win after two rounds.
And finally, I have to give my old side a mention.
It hurts to say that I tipped Melbourne, I may have been caught up in the Paul Roos hype.
I underestimated what a champion and inspiring leader Nick Riewoldt is.
His reaction post game was that of a man who has offered so much over so long to the club, and still has such fire for what realistically is a standard win against an ordinary team.
He had worked harder than any one on the field as he does every week, and was simply the difference.
Fair to say, I am a happy Saints man and I'm very happy that money isn’t everything to this modern day great.
I underestimated what a champion Nick Riewoldt is.