The 2023 AFL season has been nothing short of extraordinary, as fans witnessed intense matches, surprising upsets, and outstanding performances from some of the league’s finest teams and players. The fixture was meticulously designed to provide a fair and competitive landscape for all 18 clubs, ensuring that each round brought its own share of excitement and nail-biting moments. This article takes an in-depth look at every round of the 2023 AFL season, showcasing the highlights, key moments, and outcomes that shaped the season’s narrative.
The AFL season kicked off with Round 1, featuring four thrilling matches that set the tone for the entire season. In a blockbuster clash, the reigning premiers, Richmond Tigers, faced the Western Bulldogs. Despite a valiant effort from the Bulldogs, the Tigers prevailed in a close encounter, winning by five points. Meanwhile, the Sydney Swans secured an emphatic victory over the Essendon Bombers, demonstrating their prowess on the field.
Round 2 brought more excitement, with Collingwood Magpies pulling off a surprising upset against the Geelong Cats. The Magpies’ youthful brigade showcased immense potential and determination, overcoming the experienced Cats by 14 points. In another captivating match, the Port Adelaide Power edged out the Brisbane Lions in a high-scoring affair, reaffirming their position as genuine contenders for the Premiership.
As the season unfolded, Round 3 delivered a series of close encounters and heart-stopping moments. The Adelaide Crows surprised the league by defeating the Hawthorn Hawks, signaling their resurgence under a new coach. Meanwhile, the Carlton Blues and Melbourne Demons engaged in a thrilling battle that ended in a nail-biting draw, showcasing the competitive nature of the AFL.
Round 4 witnessed the rise of the Gold Coast Suns, who secured a significant win against the West Coast Eagles on their home turf. The Suns’ young talents shone brightly, demonstrating the club’s potential to compete at the highest level. The North Melbourne Kangaroos also notched up their first win of the season, displaying their grit and determination against the St Kilda Saints.
In a highly anticipated clash, the Greater Western Sydney Giants faced off against the Sydney Swans in the Battle of the Bridge. The Giants showcased their dominance, overpowering the Swans by 32 points and making a strong statement about their Premiership aspirations. Additionally, the Western Bulldogs bounced back from their earlier loss, defeating the Adelaide Crows in a hard-fought match.
Round 6 featured an enthralling contest between the Richmond Tigers and the Collingwood Magpies. In a close affair, the Tigers emerged victorious by a narrow margin, bolstering their position as front-runners for back-to-back premierships. Meanwhile, the Essendon Bombers secured a comfortable win against the Fremantle Dockers, further cementing their place in the top eight.
The highlight of Round 7 was undoubtedly the showdown between the Geelong Cats and the Port Adelaide Power. In a pulsating encounter, the Cats managed to hold off the Power’s late surge, winning by a mere two points. Additionally, the Brisbane Lions showcased their attacking prowess, registering an impressive win against the Carlton Blues.
Round 8 brought a thrilling contest between the Melbourne Demons and the Hawthorn Hawks, with the Demons narrowly clinching victory. The St Kilda Saints also staged a stunning comeback against the West Coast Eagles, securing a memorable win on their home ground.
The midpoint of the season featured several blockbuster clashes that had fans on the edge of their seats. The Sydney Swans proved their mettle once again, toppling the Greater Western Sydney Giants in a hard-fought Sydney Derby. The Western Bulldogs also continued their winning momentum, overpowering the Gold Coast Suns.
Round 10 was a turning point in the season, with several upsets shaking up the ladder. The Adelaide Crows shocked the competition by defeating the Richmond Tigers, marking one of the biggest upsets of the year. The Collingwood Magpies and Essendon Bombers also recorded significant wins against the Carlton Blues and North Melbourne Kangaroos, respectively.
As the race for the finals heated up, Round 11 saw several closely contested matches. The Port Adelaide Power faced the Western Bulldogs in a crucial clash, with the Power prevailing by just one point in a nail-biter. The Geelong Cats and Sydney Swans also secured narrow victories against the Brisbane Lions and Melbourne Demons, respectively.
Round 12 provided spectators with enthralling contests, as teams battled fiercely for a top-eight spot. The West Coast Eagles, hungry for redemption after a series of close defeats, showcased their class against the Hawthorn Hawks, securing a convincing win. The Greater Western Sydney Giants also made a strong statement by thrashing the St Kilda Saints.
Round 13 was packed with high-stakes matches that had a significant impact on the final standings. The Collingwood Magpies managed to upset the ladder leaders, Richmond Tigers, in a tense encounter. The Brisbane Lions and Melbourne Demons also registered crucial victories to keep their finals hopes alive.
The competition became fiercer as the teams approached the business end of the season. Round 14 witnessed a series of closely contested matches, with the Western Bulldogs prevailing over the West Coast Eagles in a thrilling clash. The Port Adelaide Power further bolstered their finals credentials by defeating the Geelong Cats.
As the ladder started to take shape, Round 15 delivered standout performances and captivating matches. The Sydney Swans continued their impressive run with a dominant win over the North Melbourne Kangaroos. The Greater Western Sydney Giants also secured a crucial win against the Adelaide Crows, solidifying their position in the top four.
Round 16 showcased the grit and determination of several lower-ranked teams, with upsets shaking the competition. The Gold Coast Suns, led by their young stars, managed to defeat the Essendon Bombers in a thrilling encounter. The Western Bulldogs also faced a surprise defeat at the hands of the Carlton Blues, showing that no team was safe from an upset.
As the regular season neared its end, Round 17 brought more thrilling contests that kept fans on the edge of their seats. The Melbourne Demons managed to hold off a spirited challenge from the St Kilda Saints, while the Sydney Swans secured a significant win against the Brisbane Lions to consolidate their position in the top four.
The final round of the home-and-away season saw teams desperately vying for crucial wins to secure a finals berth. The Geelong Cats faced a must-win situation against the Hawthorn Hawks, and they delivered in style, sealing a finals spot with a convincing victory. The Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide Power also notched up wins to maintain their top-four status.
The 2023 AFL season was a rollercoaster of emotions, showcasing the beauty and unpredictability of Australia’s most beloved sport. From thrilling upsets to breathtaking moments of skill and athleticism, every round brought new surprises and delights to fans across the nation. As the teams prepare for the finals series, one thing is certain: the 2023 AFL season will be etched in history as a memorable and fiercely contested chapter in the league’s