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5 highlights of Aussie Rules football’s 2nd round

March 30, 2014

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — More than 300,000 fans attended nine matches in Australian Rules football on the weekend as the Australian Football League, which boasts the highest number of spectators of any professional Australian sport, held its second round of the season.

Here are five highlights of the round:

STILL PERFECT: Six teams — Fremantle, Port Adelaide, defending champions Hawthorn, St. Kilda, West Coast and Geelong — are 2-0 after the two rounds. Geelong won its second with a 13.15 (93) to 10.8 (68) victory Sunday over Brisbane, and West Coast, which is in first place on percentages, overwhelmed Melbourne 18.15 (123) to 4.6 (30). The Demons failed to reach double figures in points until late in the third quarter. On the downside, Carlton, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide are among the teams yet to win.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Richmond held off a Carlton comeback attempt in the final quarter, kicking a goal with seconds left to clinch a 14.14 (98) to 12.14 (86) win. The Tigers led by 37 points twice in the second quarter and by 23 after the third period before Carlton pulled to within six with minutes remaining. Carlton coach Mick Malthouse says his team benefited from the match, despite the loss. “This is a game that just didn’t stand still,” Malthouse said. “When you have that sort of intensity, you can’t replicate that under any circumstances at training.” Cyril Rioli kicked the match-winner for Hawthorn with just over a minute remaining as the Hawks beat Essendon 13.12 (90) to 12.14 (86). And Nick Riewoldt kicked five goals to help St. Kilda beat the improving Greater Western Sydney Giants by seven points, 15.5 (95) to 13.10 (88).

HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Collingwood overturned a 23-point second-quarter deficit to beat the Sydney Swans 12.17 (89) to 10.9 (69), the Magpies’ ninth win in 10 games at the former Olympic stadium in Sydney. Collingwood improved to 1-1.

SLOWING DOWN LATE: The same Swans have been outscored 65-13 in the fourth quarter in both losses, including to city rivals Western Sydney in the opening round.

BRAGGING RIGHTS: It was no contest in the South Australian state derby, with Port Adelaide beating their city-based adversaries 19.14 (128) to 11.7 (73). Port forwards Jay Schulz and Chad Wingard each kicked three goals before a sellout crowd of 50,397 at the newly renovated Adelaide Oval. In more bad news, Adelaide lost midfielder Brad Crouch, who suffered a broken left leg during the match, for up to six weeks.

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