The AFL Women's competition is but two weeks old and while there are still many unknowns and uncertainties, there are a few things that are absolutely certain.
One known certainty is that Collingwood and Fremantle, tipped by many ahead of the season to be premiership contenders, are effectively fighting a losing battle from now until the end of March. In a season that lasts only seven matches and one final no team can afford to lose two games and hope to finish in the top two. To lose the opening two is diabolical.
Another of the certainties is that Brisbane's Tayla Harris is an out and out superstar.
Not a star of Women's footy, or even a star of Women's sport, she is a Sporting superstar. She had a quiet day against Melbourne last week, but in Brisbane's second consecutive road trip to Fremantle Harris was the difference between the two teams.
Harris' stats from the game read like any classic performance by a key forward; 12 disposals (11 kicks), seven marks (six contested) and two goals, two behinds. While any AFL team would be happy with that sort of output from their centre-half-forward, let's put it in context. The game between Fremantle and Brisbane lasted just over 67 minutes. That's half the duration of some Men's AFL games. In fact this tweet from the Kick Like A Girl Podcast claims, via Champion Data, that the Women's games last, on average, 57% as long as Men's games.
One hesitates to compare the players in the AFLW to their male counterparts but, using that percentage as a rule, Harris' stats against the Dockers equates to 21 touches, 12 marks and (roughly) four goals, three behinds. Last year's All-Australian CHF, Lance Franklin, matched or bettered that disposal count three times in 2016 and he took 10 or more marks only twice.
The comparison to the 2015 AA CHF, Jack Riewoldt, is even more favourable to Harris.
In that season Riewoldt never got near 20 touches and took 10 marks only once. Riewoldt and Franklin have Harris covered in the goal kicking department, but Harris has all the necessary components to be a dominant forward for as long as she plays the game. Oh, and she's not yet 20 years old.
While it would be wonderful to watch Harris and the rest of the competition play a full 22 round season, there's a nice little upside to the short AFLW version. As mentioned before regarding the Pies and Dockers, there is no time to waste in this fixture. To that end, Adelaide and Harris' Lions have been hugely impressive. Brisbane went in as underdogs in both their games so far and triumphed on each occasion. They've already notched two of a (likely) five or six required wins to make the Grand Final before they've even played a home game.
Then again, how much does home ground advantage count for in this competition? This is one of the unknowns. Of the eight matches played so far, six have seen a team with a genuine home ground advantage, that is a game in which one side has had to travel interstate. Of those six games, three have been won by the travelling team: two to Brisbane and one to Adelaide. So it could be that home ground advantage isn't all that much an advantage, or Adelaide and Brisbane are both really good.
I'm tempted to go with the latter. According to a "source close to the club" (it was Footy Gospel SANFL correspondent, Dave Brown) the Crows spent the better part of their pre-season focussed mainly on running, and it shows. They've run both their opponents of their feet in the first two rounds as well as playing a direct brand of footy.
Brisbane, meanwhile, have as their coach one of the most successful fitness trainers in the game. Upon retirement from playing Craig Starcevich took up a post on Brisbane's fitness staff and played a part in the threepeat of the early 2000s. He has also spent time at St. Kilda and Brisbane Roar in the A-League in a strength and conditioning role. Fitness is this man's game and, in a competition where still so much is unknown, it could prove the difference between success and otherwise.