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What we learned in Round 2: This league loves a family affair

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ACL injuries continue to be 'devastating' to AFLW (2:02)

The ESPN Footy Podcast's Anna Harrington breaks down three of the league's biggest stars suffering life-altering ACL injuries. (2:02)

Round 2 went off not without a hitch but luckily concluded without the ACL heartbreak of the opening round. The COVID safety protocols meant a late restructure of the fixture and the postponement of a game but thankfully didn't cause too much of a headache. Touch wood.

And now, with two games down for each side (bar Brisbane and the Western Bulldogs), the competition is starting to take shape. Sides are revealing their strength, their weak spots are exposed and the look and feel of new team lists are being tested.

We saw the Gold Coast Suns break their 11-game winning drought with a thrilling late goal in the last quarter and win over West Coast, Freo start their long slog on the road with a thumping victory over the Giants, the Saints continue their early-season struggle -- this time against the Pies -- and Collingwood and Melbourne showcase their depth, experience and strength.

So, with all that in mind, here are a few things we learned this round...

Melbourne and Collingwood are so far living up to the hype

Melbourne and Collingwood were both widely hyped leading into the 2022 season and, so far, are living up to it. They set their intentions for the premiership and are showing no signs of faltering, so far, on their path towards it.

The Pies in particular you could forgive some stumbling from as they were missing both co-captains Steph Chiocci and Bri Davey, and a number of other key players, however, instead they proved their depth by fronting a dominating and composed side against the struggling to key up Saints. In the end they nabbed a 27-point win and positioned themselves third on the ladder.

A rung below the Magpies are the Demons, who out-matched Richmond and secured a 16-point victory. Again, it's the depth of the Dees that's most impressive. Wherever you look on the field, you seem to be able to spot either a star or one rising. Alyssa Bannan and Kate Hore were particularly impressive this round.

Adelaide also proved they deserve to be in the flag contender conversation as they showcased their experience, strength and determination and nabbed their second convincing win of the season. We can consider Brisbane still in the mix, but with only a significant loss and a postponed game under their belt, so far, it's hard to say.

The league loves a family affair

After Brisbane and the Western Bulldogs were unable to front teams due to COVID safety protocols around player availability, a last-minute reshuffle of the fixture meant that Geelong would host Carlton at GMHBA Stadium. Or, if you go by social media 'Prespakis vs. Prespakis'.

The excitement for and joy had in what was publicly dubbed 'The Prespakis Cup' proved that the AFLW loves a family affair.

Last week, Richmond AFL superstar Tom Lynch presented his sister Beth her first AFLW guernsey for her debut against the Saints. This is the first time a brother-sister duo has played for the Tigers, and the emotions were running high.

Then, when the Prespakis sisters -- best and fairest winner Maddy and young gun Georgie -- embraced after Carlton nabbed the win in the so-called sister act, social media was awash with "more than just a game" and "this is what AFLW is about" sentiments. Still, I'm sure Carlton fans and players are also pretty happy about the four points.

Ashleigh Woodland is a contender for leading goalscorer

Adelaide's Ashleigh Woodland barely got a mention in 2022 season predictions for leading goalkicker but is showing us all why she deserves a lot more attention after exhibiting a stunning slew of goals, eight in fact, in the first two rounds.

And she's making it look easy.

The 23-year-old -- who was the leading goalkicker in the 2020 SANFLW competition -- kicked four goals against both the Lions and North Melbourne and is currently sitting top of the goalscorer count. She's currently double the number of majors of the closest contenders, Kate Hore, Katie Breannan, Tara Bohanna, Cora Staunton and Ebony Antonio, who are all on four each.

It's fair to say Woodland has made herself an invaluable component to Adelaide's already well-rounded and strong looking side, and looks to be just another headache for opposition defences to deal with.

Indigenous guernseys seem like the go-to for away game kits

A lot of clubs seem to be proudly wearing their Indigenous guernseys as their away kit. Last week, Geelong, Richmond and Collingwood all wore their Indigenous designs for their away games -- the Lions boasted their pride round jumpers in Adelaide -- and this week, the Giants and Saints had theirs on display again.

As traditions go, this could be one for the league to get around. Especially given the unique significance each of the designs hold. At St Kilda's first away game of the season, the side debuted its 2022 Indigenous guernsey designed by club legend Nicky Winmar. Down at Collingwood's home turf at Victoria Park, Saints skipper Hannah Priest presented Winmar with a signed guernsey on the same grounds where he iconically took a stance against racism almost 30 years ago.

The uniques styles, overall look and the significance of each design definitely makes it worth putting on display for more than just one round.

Mon Conti doesn't look like slowing down

Richmond's Monique Conti was all the talk after Round 1, the 22-year-old dazzling the Frankston crowd with an impressive 29 disposals, 17 contested possessions and nine clearances. ESPN's own Marissa Lordanic referred to the rave surrounding Conti as 'MonCon-Mentum' on the ESPN Footy Podcast, and now after two games, the Tigers ace deserves to be cemented in AFLW best and fairest conversations.

Conti was faced with a tough task against a far stronger Dees outfit in Round 2, but she flexed her star power by registering 25 disposals and scoring a stunning first goal for the Tigers. With the way she's going, she's not only one that coaches should be worried about and fans excited to watch but a credible contender for the season's AFLW best and fairest award. We'll just have to wait and see how she goes against Freo's Kiara Bowers next week - what a duel that's going to be!