Scouting notes: AFLW – Round 1
PLENTY of debutants showcased their talent in the first round of AFLW 2.0, while experienced stars continued on their merry way. The AFL Draft Central women’s footy writers watched every game closely, and analysed each player in what was an entertaining first round of AFLW. From our notes, we ranked the top 20 players from each game, and will do so each week.
Carlton v Collingwood
By Julia Montesano
#1: Chloe Molloy- Collingwood
Easily the best-on-ground, even in defence. Kept Darcy Vescio quiet, and ran rampage on her own. Her athleticism is second-to-none. 20 disposals on debut is a fair effort!
#2: Brianna Davey- Carlton
Started off quiet but broke into the game in a big way. She was the star for Carlton in the second half. Hard running in defence was outstanding, and her innate ability to find the footy caused some issues for the Pies.
#3: Nicola Stevens- Carlton
Her tackling stood out like a stunned mullet. She was Carlton’s most aggressive player of the night. Dominated against her old side.
#4: Danielle Hardiman- Carlton
Knows how to find the footy. Already looking like a leader in defence.
#5: Tayla Harris- Carlton
Went off with a bang and showcased her athleticism. Could’ve made more of an impact in the second half, but will definitely have a full, solid game during the season.
#6: Amelia Barden- Collingwood
Kicked a goal and was lively throughout the game. Had 12 important disposals for the match
#7: Katie Loynes- Carlton
Superb tackling, and her intent to find the footy was evident throughout the entire game. Was definitely one of Carlton’s best.
#8: Jess Hosking- Carlton
Hard worker and always has an intent to hunt the ball. An exceptional team player.
#9: Shae Audley- Carlton
Good hands and a strong tackler. Watch out for her this season.
#10: Stephanie Chiocci- Collingwood
Not at her usual level of dominance, but still had 13 disposals.Her leadership was felt on the field, particularly in the second half.
#11: Caitlyn Edwards- Collingwood
A solid game from the Thornlie junior. A good-sized midfielder with plenty of footy smarts. One of the leading disposal-getters for the Pies.
#12: Cecilia McIntosh- Collingwood
Stalwart in the back line, consistent option to kick to. Got away from her opponent frequently, and created space to help Molloy in the backline.
#13: Jaimee Lambert- Collingwood
Hard-nosed player who racked up plenty of disposals. Stalwart in the midfield and continued from where she left off in 2017, but this time, she wore black and white.
#13: Brittany Bonnici- Collingwood
Showed her courageousness from last year on the big stage. Needs to refine her kicking, but it will come. Always put her head over the footy, and went in hard.
#14: Gabriella Pound- Carlton
A very energetic defender. Showed that she had the goods to become a consistent star defender for the Blues.
#15: Kate Shierlaw- Carlton
Booted a nice goal early. Was up and about throughout the entire game.
#16: Georgia Gee- Carlton
Speedy chaser and always hungry for the footy. Showed signs of being a good pressure forward.
#17: Jasmine Garner- Collingwood
Kicked the first goal of the game, and season, again! Was the only one who looked proactive in the forward line for a while during the game.
#18: Melissa Kuys- Collingwood
Missed a crucial goal to get Collingwood back in the game. Had a solid game otherwise.
#19: Emma King- Collingwood
Won pretty much every hitout. She’s a huge force to be reckoned with in AFLW.
#20: Christina Bernardi- Collingwood
A handy 12 disposals for her to start the year. Will continue to display the good form that we got a glimpse of last year.
Melbourne v GWS
By Connor Ferris
#1: Richelle Cranston- Melbourne
Efficient day up forward, kicking three goals from eight possessions. Great displays of strength throughout the day, and kicked the game-winning goal in the final moments to get Melbourne over the line.
#2: Phoebe McWilliams- GWS
Continued to build on a solid campaign last season, providing constant energy and pressure for the Giants, including three goals to keep them in the game.
#3: Daisy Pearce- Melbourne
Excellent second half after a relatively slow start. Stood up for her side when the game was on the line with a number of crucial plays in the final minutes to lead Melbourne to victory.
#4: Elise O’Dea- Melbourne
A fantastic game, incredible efficiency all day, and was involved in several key passages of play to set up scoring opportunities. One of the stars of the game.
#5: Courtney Gum- GWS
Lively around the ground with 17 possessions, displaying high levels of efficiency by foot.
#6: Shelley Scott- Melbourne
One of the better players on the ground, provided relentless pressure for the Demons all day, laying a team-high seven tackles and kicking two goals.
#7: Alicia Eva- GWS
Gained a high number of possessions and, although not incredibly efficient, made her presence felt with a game-high 13 tackles.
#8: Lily Mithen- Melbourne
Continued strong form from last season with a 15-possession game, providing strong run and carry.
#9: Maddy Boyd- GWS
Solid game showcasing improvement from last season. Looking to continue developing throughout the season.
#10: Catherine Phillips- Melbourne
Nine possessions on debut; potential player to watch. Has a great tank, and knows how to accumulate the footy.
#11: Kate Hore- Melbourne
Lively up forward throughout the day, however struggled in front of goal, kicking only one goal from three attempts.
#12: Cora Staunton- GWS
Kicked an incredibly important goal for the Giants late in the first half. Will continue to develop throughout the competition as she becomes more familiar with the game.
#13: Meg Downie- Melbourne
Tallied 13 possessions at an efficient rate, and marked the ball very well.
#14 Erin Hoare- Melbourne
Impressive game in the ruck, certainly a player to watch throughout the competition. Had over 20 hit-outs, with a number of those going to advantage, allowing Melbourne to gain an advantage from stoppages.
#15: Bianca Jakobsson- Melbourne
Solid in defence. Gained 14 possessions to go with her four marks. Laid five impressive tackles.
#16: Tegan Cunningham- Melbourne
The basketball convert made a strong first impression, tallying 10 possessions and a goal off the excellent set-up from star, Elise O’ Dea.
#17: Amanda Farrugia- GWS
Able to gain a number of possessions. However, she was inefficient with ball in hand throughout the afternoon.
#18: Renee Forth- GWS
Rather quiet game, made good use of possession when ball was in hand. Was able to apply high levels of pressure when the Demons had the ball.
#19: Erin McKinnon- GWS
Made things happen with the ball in hand, battled hard in the ruck all day, however was beaten by Hoare.
#20: Melissa Hickey- Melbourne
Provided good energy for the Demons, battled hard all day and provided constant pressure, laying a high number of tackles.
Adelaide v Brisbane
By James Halley
#1: Sabrina Frederick-Traub- Brisbane
Dominated in the air against Adelaide with 10 marks. She has a big presence around the ground. She just needs to work on her goal kicking with three behinds for the game, which let her down from completely dominating proceedings.
#2: Kate Lutkins- Brisbane
Great interceptor across half-back, finished with 15 disposals for the match. Very mature player.
#3: Ally Anderson- Brisbane
Racked up plenty of possessions early with some lovely kicking. Finished with 15 disposals for the game.
#4: Leah Kaslar- Brisbane
Played on Sarah Perkins all day and easily won the battle. She was beating her to the footy all day. Finished the day with 14 disposals, and was a general down back.
#5: Kaitlyn Ashmore- Brisbane
Good hands. Didn’t have an opponent for a large period of the game and enjoyed the free reign. Has good contested marking skills and good finishing ability.
#6: Emily Bates- Brisbane
Really good body strength to hold off opponents in the contest to her advantage.
#7: Jess Wuetschner- Brisbane
Vision outstanding, sold candy multiple times. She is very classy with hands and feet. Good reader of the ball in the air. Great shot on goal.
#8: Chelsea Randall- Adelaide
Playing behind the ball down back and is cool and composed for the Crows. Great tackler. Kicked the Crows’ third goal from a 50m penalty in the second term, smart game sense. One of the best on ground.
#9: Deni Varnhagen- Adelaide
Great explosive speed and kick on the run to set up Jones for Adelaide’s first goal. Capable of taking big contested marks. Long accurate kick.
#10: Ruth Wallace- Adelaide
Speed is evident through heavy traffic and had the goal sense and skill to snap the Crows’ second goal in the second quarter.
#11: Ebony Marinoff- Adelaide
Likes to play-on quick to advantage. High- risk, high-reward type player. Just needs better composure.
#12: Emma Zielke- Brisbane
Great kick and accumulator of the ball. Created plenty of opportunities for her team.
#14: Sharni Webb- Brisbane
Good hands in the contest. She is small, but her netball background gives her an advantage with a bigger leap than most girls. Impressive rundown play in the last quarter.
#15: Rhiannon Metcalfe- Adelaide
Won the ruck dual convincingly. Has an impressive leap.
#16: Nicole Hilderbrand- Brisbane
Came off in the first quarter with a shoulder issue, got strapped up, and came back on. Knows how to use her body in a contest to her advantage.
#17: Stevie-Lee Thompson- Adelaide
Speedster, just needs to polish up kicking on the run. She needs to improve on her spatial awareness as there was multiple times where she was caught holding the ball.
#18: Sophie Conway- Brisbane
Booted the first goal of the day and was up and about. Kept the energy going throughout the match, making an impressive debut for the Lions.
#19: Angela Foley- Adelaide
The Adelaide midfielder racked up 13 possessions against the Lions, although it had little effect, with her going at less than 40 per cent kicking efficiency. Key cog in the Adelaide midfield.
#20: Tahlia Randall- Brisbane
Got her fair share of taps, tried hard all day, but was beaten by Metcalfe.
Western Bulldogs v Fremantle
By Carly McClen
#1: Ellie Blackburn- Western Bulldogs
Played mainly in the midfield last year, averaging three goals. Moved to the forward line for this game and was effective. Quick hands and good clearing kicks from O’Connor’s ruck work. Kicked the Bulldogs’ third goal from Ernst’s strong ruckwork in the centre. Shared it around and delivered a perfect kick to Lochland for a 15m slight-angled kick for goal. Great at maintaining possession of the ball in the forward 50, as most of the Bulldogs’ forwards did on the day.
#2: Katie Brennan- Western Bulldogs
After the long road back, she kicked the first goal of the day, a 45-metre set shot, into a strong breeze with ease. Understanding the Bulldogs’ home ground, she worked her second goal back in with the breeze from right to left, hurting the Dockers on the scoreboard. Fremantle moved Ebony Antonio off Brennan early, giving Alex Williams the job. Great display of goal kicking and effective leadership.
#3: Isabel Huntington- Western Bulldogs
Strong debut and a performance that showed great promise. Good strong overhead marks and an influential presence in the forward line. Phenomenal forward 50 pressure. With her first game under her belt, we’ll see more of what she really can do in attack.
#4: Emma Kearney- Western Bulldogs
Cool, calm and pivotal in the midfield, which showed on the scoreboard. Fed it in cleverly to Katie Brennan for first goal in the game. Creative and exciting player.
#5: Monique Conti- Western Bulldogs
Third-highest possession winner, played under the radar because she is small and nips in and out of trouble. Strong presence in the forward line. Unselfish kicking in the forward 50 to Kirsty Lamb in the first quarter. Had her first touch in the first quarter inside 50 when she wheeled around but kicked it into the mark, exciting and fast player. Good overhead mark for a small player. Great ability to run up the wing.
#6: Brooke Lochland- Western Bulldogs
Strong pressure in the forward line from the beginning, near miss from left snap, bounced through for a point in the first quarter. Accurate kicks inside 50. Great ability to wheel and go. Good kicking through the ball.
#7: Aisling Utri- Western Bulldogs
Strong in defence and able to shrug tackles. Strong marks overhead. Good scrapping which stopped Fremantle’s midfielders, and created stoppages. Good defensive clearing kicks. Explosive 19 year-old. Strong leadership for a young player.
#8: Aasta O’Connor- Western Bulldogs
Solid ruck work and follow-up tackles. Played a strong midfield role, running into space and kicking on the run. Created lots of opportunities inside 50. Was moved into the ruck to start the second quarter, and created the play to Brennan’s snap goal. Huge goal in the final term, O’Connor style, distance and accuracy no issue.
#9: Lauren Spark- Western Bulldogs
Courageous defender running back into blind marking contests, and effective disposals generally.
#10: Amy Lavell- Fremantle
Vice Captain displayed strong marks and long kicks. Kicked Fremantle’s first goal convincingly with a strong breeze helping. Backed herself and lifted the team.
#11: Bonnie Toogood- Western Bulldogs
Brilliant hands as well plucking marks on the run. Kicked a clever snap in the final quarter to stop the momentum of the Dockers. Strong and confident play exerting influence, especially in the final quarter.
#12: Daria Bannister- Western Bulldogs
Quick on her feet and accurate kicking. Didn’t threaten in the forward line but created opportunities in the midfield, and fed down to the forward 50 well in the first half. Debutant who went down in the final quarter with an ACL injury sadly.
#13: Ebony Antonio- Fremantle
Good strong marking in defence. A bit slow moving and too ambitious at times, which resulted in Antonio being tackled. Gave away a notable free kick, leading to the Bulldogs’ second goal. Was moved off Katie Brennan early, but seemed to learn from it and picked it up in the second half to deliver four strong tackles.
#14: Deanna Berry- Western Bulldogs
Strong tackling early in Fremantle’s forward line. Has quick hands and was able to cleverly snaffle the ball from Fremantle’s control without fuss. Was easily tackled and lost possession at times. Quick bursts out of defensive 50, creates pace and kicks long.
#15: Nicole Callinan- Western Bulldogs
Applied pressure well and chased hard. Tackled well in the forward line, waited and chipped in cleverly to her captain in the first quarter. Out-ran her opponent on several occasions to deliver kicks into the forward line, including to Ellie Blackburn in the first quarter, where the ball just bounced through against the breeze. Lifted the team.
#16: Hannah Scott- Western Bulldogs
Good kick of the footy and had plenty of inside 50s. Good defensive marks.
#17: Libby Birch- Western Bulldogs
Great defensive bursts from the midfield, and accurate kicking into the forward line. Strong leadership.
#18: Naomi Ferres- Western Bulldogs
Quick and accurate hands, including to Katie Brennan for her third goal of the day. She is fast and pivotal in the Bulldogs’ forward group.
#19: Lara Filocamo- Fremantle
Strong mark-taker in the midfield. Some easy fumbles but went hard at the ball. Outplayed by Emma Kearney. Fit on-baller, covered a lot of ground. Work rate good all day.
#20: Kara Donnellan- Fremantle
Agile midfielder. Some untidy play, and was risky with the new out-of-bounds rule. Quiet in first half, but it was a dominant half by the Bulldogs.