WHAT HAPPENED IN ROUND ONE OF THE AFL'S 2018 SEASON
THEY SAID IT: "I think he's got a bright future ahead of him," Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield hammed it up from the Cats rooms as his new teammate Gary Ablett Jr donned the hoops for the first time since the 2010 preliminary final.
STATS THAT MATTER: Ball magnet Tom Mitchell had a record 54 possessions in Hawthorn's 34-point win over Collingwood. His last possession of the match - a handball deep in the last quarter - brought cheers at the MCG, overtaking the previous benchmark of 53 set by Ablett and Greg Williams.
MAN OF THE ROUND: Sydney forward Lance Franklin was near unstoppable at Perth's new $1.6 billion stadium, booting eight goals to sink the Eagles by 29 points.
KEY MOMENT: Essendon's response after three-quarter time showed a premiership force re-awakening. Down by a game-high 20 points, the Bombers turned it on to run all over last year's minor premiers Adelaide. Brendon Goddard, James Stewart, David Zaharakis and Dyson Heppell were all enormous in the last quarter for Essendon.
TALKING POINTS: A big summer of recruiting bore fruit for some clubs but not others. Bryce Gibbs (35 touches, two goals) was super for the Crows, Devon Smith (21 touches) was the pick of Essendon's recruits and Jack Watts (20 touches, three goals) continued his fine pre-season form for new home Port Adelaide. Tom Rockliff is yet to soar for the Power while Luke Hodge and Charlie Cameron were among Brisbane's best even if the Lions were 25-point losers to St Kilda.
TRIBUNAL WATCH: Richard Douglas' high hit on Zach Merrett has cost the Crow a chance to face Richmond next week after he was offered a one-week suspension for the concussion-causing bump. Maligned Collingwood big man Mason Cox's high elbow on Hawthorn's Daniel Howe will be scrutinised.
KEY INJURIES: Tom Liberatore (WB, knee), Paddy Ryder (Port, achilles), Zach Merrett (Ess, concussion), Ryan Burton (Haw, ankle), Sam Gibson (Adel, hamstring), Curtly Hampton (Adel, groin), Matthew Kennedy (Carl, ankle), Matthew Kreuzer (Carl, groin), Daniel Rich (Bris, ankle), Ben McEvoy (Haw, thigh), Hayden Crozier (WB, knee).
WHAT'S NEXT: First-up losers Adelaide will have no shortage of motivation when they host Richmond in a grand final rematch on Thursday night. Etihad Stadium hosts North Melbourne and St Kilda for Good Friday footy. Collingwood face a tough ask getting onto the winner's list when early pacesetters GWS Giants come to town, and Sydney's clash with Port Adelaide on Sunday is a contender for match of the round. The round ends on Easter Monday when great rivals Hawthorn and Geelong, both round one winners, meet at the MCG.