AFLW Weekend Wash-up: Round 3
JUST when it looked like certain teams were starting to get ahold of the competition, the three undefeated sides all suffered losses to signify just how close the AFLW is this year. The Western Bulldogs, Melbourne and Carlton all tasted defeat, while Collingwood remained the only side without a win after going down to GWS.
Adelaide 6.5 (41) def Western Bulldogs 5.4 (34)
Adelaide was seeking to salvage something from its disappointing start to the season against the in-form Western Bulldogs. In a come-from-behind win, the Crows claimed their first scalp of the season, winning against the undefeated Bulldogs. With a lacklustre start to the 2018 fixture, the Crows pulled out all stops to help secure their first hard-fought win, claiming victory by seven points.
The naming of Erin Phillips was a moment that many Adelaide fans, and football fans in general, had been waiting for. In her long-awaited return, the superstar proved to be the missing piece in the Crows’ winning formula, slotting four goals and racking up 15 disposals. In recent weeks Adelaide had missed Phillips’ class and football know-how around the ground. Her excellent decision-making and ability to understand the play allowed for her teammates to fulfil their roles with ease.
Chelsea Randall has consistently proved to be the hero of this Adelaide outfit, and Saturday was no different, as she racked up an important 21 disposals. Adelaide United and Crows superstar, Jenna McCormick was also unstoppable with two very important goals. Her final goal secured the first win for the Crows in what turned out to be a close encounter. Bulldogs full-forward, Katie Brennan continued to star for her side, scoring two goals and laying five tackles in their loss to the Crows. Her tackling pressure was second to none, and she made sure that her physical presence was felt around the ground. Former Calder Cannon, Monique Conti impressed again, amassing 15 touches at a hot Norwood Oval. Experienced midfielder, Emma Kearney also showcased her footy skills, and was the Bulldogs’ leading possession-getter with 20 touches.
Looking ahead, Adelaide are set to play GWS next weekend, while the Dogs face the Blues, who have just come off a disappointing loss to the Lions.
Carlton 2.6 (18) def. by Brisbane 6.4 (40)
After two straight wins, the Blues were searching to remain undefeated and continue to sit pretty on the top of the ladder. But Brisbane had other ideas. The Lions continued their dominance in the competition, as they secured a 22-point win over their undefeated opponents. The away side outclassed the Blues all over the ground, especially in front of goal.
Carlton’s impressive tackling was on show again, and Shae Audley led the way with a game-high 10 tackles. But Brisbane was up for the challenge, combating the Blues’ pressure with a defensive wall of their own. The Lions got plenty of players to the ball and trapped the footy within their forward 50. They stopped any forward momentum from the Blues, through laying impressive tackles to help increase scoring opportunities for their dangerous forwards.
Young gun and former hockey star, Sophie Conway had another stellar game, bagging two goals. The 18 year-old goalsneak showed her ability to get into dangerous positions and capitalise on her scoring opportunities, keeping Brisbane’s winning streak intact. Teammate Emily Bates also impressed on Saturday night, tallying 20 possessions and going at 63 per cent disposal efficiency. In defence, it was the experienced Kate Lutkins who racked up 18 touches in an impressive outing for the Lions. Darcy Vescio continued her scoring ways, slotting another goal for the Blues in their first loss of the season. Vescio ended up with 10 touches for the game and three tackles, showing the intensity that she brings to the game. Collingwood recruit, Nicola Stevens also continued to dominate, racking up 13 possessions for the game and imposing herself in the contest.
In round four, the Blues will face the Western Bulldogs who are fresh off a loss, while Brisbane are playing the Fremantle Dockers.
Collingwood 5.5 (35) def. by Greater Western Sydney 7.6 (48)
With both teams coming off a round two loss, the game was shaping up to be a highly contested match, as both Collingwood and GWS hoped to secure their first win of the season. In front of their home crowd, the Magpies showed their might in the first quarter, but fell 13 points short of that sweet victory. The Giants took control of the game late in the second quarter, and wrestled it back again in the last quarter to help score their first win for their 2018 campaign.
The momentum shift in the second quarter sparked the fightback for the Giants, who looked down and out in the first quarter. GWS’ approach to the contest looked more dangerous, with the players looking hungrier for the ball. The Giants had an increased number of players around the footy, and applied good tackling pressure. They peppered the goals in the second term with seven scoring shots to Collingwood’s one, placing constant pressure on the home side’s backline.
Collingwood sensation, Chloe Molloy had an explosive last quarter showing off her ability to break lines and take important intercept marks. Her run-and-carry was greatly needed, inspiring a few forward bursts late in the game for the Magpies. Melbourne Uni forward, Moana Hope inspired in her come-back game, slotting two impressive goals for the Pies to kick-start her 2018 season. Emma King also stood tall in Collingwood’s loss, taking plenty of contested marks and imposing herself on the contest. GWS forward, Aimee Schmidt starred, scoring the first two goals to open the Giants’ account for the match. Fellow forward, Phoebe McWilliams dazzled yet again, with another two goals and 12 disposals. Playing against her former team, Alicia Eva proved her worth, class and skill, racking up an impressive 23 disposals.
Collingwood will face the second-placed Melbourne Demons next week in the Northern Territory next weekend, while GWS play the Adelaide Crows who are fresh off their first win for the season.
Fremantle 6.0 (36) def. Melbourne 4.7 (31)
The Dockers shocked the Demons at Fremantle Oval, claiming their second win of the season. Melbourne had an impressive start to the year, winning its first two games of the year, but Fremantle destroyed their undefeated run, winning by five points. The Demons dominated the contested possessions, contested marks and tackles inside forward 50, but it was Fremantle’s accuracy in front of goal that proved to be the difference. The home side eventually prevailed in a seesawing contest, slotting six goals to Melbourne’s four.
Fremantle’s accuracy in front of goal allowed them to take the game away from the Demons, who dominated in most areas of the game. The Demons had plenty of scoring opportunities, with 11 shots to the Dockers’ six, but they were unable to convert them to goals, which left the game open for Fremantle. Even though the Dockers had less opportunities to capitalise with 24 inside 50s to Melbourne’s 34, their potency in front of goal ensured them the win.
Fremantle debutant, Emily McGuire played a huge role in their win, slotting two impressive goals. The Swans District recruit started her AFLW career in style, bagging her debut goal to kick off proceedings for the Dockers, and scoring the winning goal for the game. Coastal Titans recruit, Lisa Webb also showcased her class, tallying 17 disposals and laying three tackles for the match. Tegan Cunningham was on fire for the Dees, bagging two goals, and taking plenty of grabs. Cunningham hit the packs hard and contested for the ball in the air, giving her teammates plenty of chances around the ground.
Powerful forward, Richelle Cranston also impressed for the Demons with 11 disposals, and plenty of goal assists. Her surge forward helped Melbourne get back into the game in the third quarter. The skill and class of Daisy Pearce was on show again, as she amassed a whopping 24 touches. Experienced midfielder, Karen Paxman continued on her merry way, racking up 15 possessions and slotting through a goal in her side’s unexpected loss to Fremantle.
Fremantle go on to play the ominous Brisbane Lions next weekend, while Melbourne face the winless Collingwood, who will be searching to redeem themselves after a shocking start to the season.