Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs are out to make an opening-round statement at the ‘G, while Sydney begins its road to redemption on the Gold Coast.

Earlier, Port Adelaide launched a second-half onslaught to destroy Brisbane in an impressive 54-point win.

And Alastair Clarkson made a winning start to his tenure as North Melbourne coach with a five-point victory over West Coast at Docklands. 

Follow the live scores, stats and results below.

Melbourne vs Western Bulldogs

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Gold Coast vs Sydney

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Horne-Francis stars as Power blitz Lions

Port Adelaide’s pair of prized recruits have made instant impacts in a 54-point belting of the Brisbane Lions.

Charlie Dixon screams in delight as teammates approach him to celebrate
The Power put the foot down after half-time, and Brisbane had no answee.(Getty Images: James Elsby)

Jason Horne-Francis was best-afield and Junior Rioli slotted three goals in the Power’s resounding 18.18 (126) to 11.6 (72) triumph at Adelaide Oval.

Horne-Francis was superb with his 25 disposals featuring 10 inside 50s, 11 score involvements and a goal – and he sparked a match-winning Power surge in the third term.

After trailing by 10 points at half-time, Port booted eight goals to one in a decisive third quarter.

Horne-Francis, the 2021 No.1 draft pick who walked out on North Melbourne after one season, ran rampant in the onslaught with a dozen touches, five inside 50s and three clearances for the term.

And ex-Eagle Rioli was an ever-present threat to the lacklustre Lions, who were well served by their own key signing, former Bulldog Josh Dunkley.

Dunkley gathered 19 disposals and seven clearances, veteran Daniel Rich was most influential with 26 touches while Lachie Neale was relatively subdued with 20 possessions.

Brisbane were collectively overwhelmed after making the early running in a dominant second stanza punctuated by Port’s Charlie Dixon blowing up.

An abusive Dixon gave away consecutive 50m penalties when penalised for a high tackle on Rich and the Lion goaled — the first of six majors as the visitors’ crafted an 18-point lead.

Jason Horne-Francis is pressured by Will Ashcroft
Two young guns go head to head as Jason Horne-Francis is pressured by Will Ashcroft.(Getty Images: James Elsby)

Dixon paid off some of his debt with a goal after the half-time siren to leave the Power 12 points down.

And Horne-Francis then took the spotlight with his third-term feats as the Lions wilted.

Port’s tall forwards Todd Marshall (four goals) and Dixon (3.3) complemented Rioli’s eye-catching haul which featured a spectacular high mark.

Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines (29 disposals) and Zak Butters (24 touches) helped Horne-Francis rule the midfield while backmen Ryan Burton (24) and Darcy Byrne-Jones (27) were prolific ball-winners.

Brisbane’s hyped debutant Will Ashcroft, last year’s top draft pick, snapped a classy goal among his 13 touches.

And ex-Hawk Jack Gunston and Zac Bailey scored two goals apiece on a well-held Lions forward line.

Roos start Clarkson era with tight win over Eagles

North Melbourne have hung on for a dramatic five-point victory over West Coast to kick off the Alastair Clarkson era in winning fashion and set off early alarm bells for the Eagles.

Nick Larkey high-fives a teammate while smiling
Nick Larkey kicked six as North Melbourne started their season with a win over West Coast.(Getty Images: Daniel Pockett)

Last season’s wooden-spooners seized control of Saturday afternoon’s clash with an unanswered six-goal burst in the first half and withstood a late Eagles surge to seal a 12.15 (87) to 12.10 (82) win in front of 21,274 fans at Docklands Stadium.

Spearhead Nick Larkey booted six goals while midfield bull Luke Davies-Uniacke (32 disposals, 11 clearances) set the tone around the ground.

Number three draft pick Harry Sheezel (34 disposals) impressed off half-back while recruit Griffin Logue and veteran Jack Ziebell marshalled the Kangaroos’ defence admirably.

Makeshift ruck duo Hugh Greenwood and Charlie Comben battled manfully in the ruck against Bailey Williams after Tristan Xerri was substituted out with an ankle injury late in the first quarter.

The Eagles left themselves with plenty of work to do after a dire first half during which they lacked impetus around the contest, moved the ball slowly and at times looked scattered when the Kangaroos surged forward.

Were it not for key defensive duo Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barrass, the situation could have been far worse.

The pair somewhat limited the damage down back while Liam Ryan (three goals), Luke Shuey (27 disposals) and Dom Sheed (25 touches) were crucial to their third-quarter resurgence.

Larkey booted the game’s first goal but it was the Eagles who took the early ascendancy, with Jack Darling threading a wonderful goal from the boundary to give West Coast a 12-point lead.

But it only seemed to spur the Kangaroos on and they booted the next six goals, with only North’s inefficiency around goal, plus McGovern and Barrass, keeping the lacklustre Eagles in the game.

West Coast trailed by 21 at the main break and the Kangaroos then booted the first two goals of the third quarter to take a 33-point lead.

It sparked the Eagles into action and they kicked three of the next four goals to cut the three-quarter time deficit to just 15 points, before adding the first of the final quarter.

Cam Zurhaar’s second goal and Larkey’s sixth steadied the ship midway through the last term but the Eagles would not go away.

Ryan and Noah Long struck in quick succession before skipper Shuey won a high free kick to cut the deficit to three points.

Curtis Taylor spurned a late chance to ice the game but the Kangaroos held on.