Big stage no problem for Templeton

HOW Eli Templeton was able to slip all the way down to the rookie draft is one of the big questions to emerge from the opening acts of this season.

The 18-year-old with the mop of blond hair again showed he is made for the big stage after his contributions against Greater Western Sydney on Saturday helped the Saints get home in a thriller.

Templeton's first big moment came in the third quarter, when a running goal got his side back into the game after it looked like the Giants were going to run away with the free-flowing contest.

Then, 23 minutes into the final term (with the Saints leading by just one point), he marked a Clint Jones shank kick 40 metres out from goal, directly in front, before cooly slotting the goal.

The Saints would win by that seven point margin.

Templeton finished with 11 disposals (at a 91 per cent efficiency rate), took six marks, applied 13 pressure acts, kicked 2.0 and had six score involvements.

Fellow draftee Kade Kolodjashnij, of Launceston, got his first taste of AFL in Gold Coast's loss to Fremantle on Saturday night.

The No.5 draft pick started in the middle, and also played across half-back, and had 19 touches (11 uncontested), but the Dockers' pressure and wet weather only allowed him to go at a disposal efficiency rate of 58 per cent.

He had two marks, four tackles, five clearances, four inside-50s (the second most for the Suns), two rebound 50s and applied 10 pressure acts.

Teammate Aaron Hall, of Hobart, playing as a high half- forward rather than deep in attack, had 15 disposals, with an impressive 10 contested, and kicked 1.0.

Clarence's Jack Riewoldt looked a far more dangerous proposition in Richmond's attack than he had against the Suns a fortnight earlier.

While he only kicked 1.2, Riewoldt presented in a far more positive fashion, again spending plenty of time away from the forward 50.

Lauderdale's Mitch Robinson was particularly damaging in Carlton's comeback, with a nine- disposal final quarter.

In a more "outside" game from the midfielder-forward, Robinson finished with 24 disposals (at a disposal efficiency rate of 71 per cent), took seven marks, applied 11 pressure acts, had seven score involvements, but also had five clangers.

Devonport's Grant Birchall failed to reach his lofty standards against Essendon, collecting just 16 touches at 74 per cent, with two rebound and two inside-50s.

At the Gabba, Josh Green continued his strong start to 2014 by kicking 1.0 from 15 touches in the wet against Geelong.

Dodges Ferry's Jeremy Howe  finished with 0.2 from 13 touches with just five marks as Melbourne were smashed by West Coast.

Alex Fair

Alex Fair

West Moonah's Liam Jones was ineffective against North Melbourne, with just 1.0 from seven touches and four marks.

Evandale's Nathan Grima, a direct opponent at times, had 10 touches and took two marks before he was subbed off at three- quarter time.