In a weekend of big bags, late inclusions and fantastic matches, there was plenty to look back on, and forward to, with these five memorable moments from the weekend.
It is hard to believe that Flynn Appleby‘s story has not been told more frequently. The Collingwood rookie made his debut in front of a huge crowd at the MCG against reigning premiers Richmond after a late call-up. The former GWV Rebels defender missed out on Vic Country selection and was even forgotten about to the point of not receiving a National or State Combine invitation. Luckily a late call-up (fitting considering his debut) to the Rookie Me Combine saw Appleby star across multiple athletic areas, adding to the strong form he had shown all season, including quelling some of the most dangerous forwards in Jarrod Brander and Gryan Miers, as well as the Pies’ own Kayle Kirby in Appleby’s sole VFL game. He more than held his own on the weekend providing some crucial defensive plays, and is a poster boy for never giving up despite missing state selection.
Britney Gutknecht’s bag of goals
Reported at different times as both six and seven goals, it is understandable to lose track when a player kicks that many goals in an hour-long match. Northern Knights’ Britney Gutknecht is in ripping form this season, particularly the past fortnight. She has been piling on the goals in the TAC Cup Girls competition, finishing the game with at least half a dozen majors in the Knights’ big win over Bendigo Pioneers. No doubt she will be closely watched by the Geelong defence this week, but the midfielder/forward has been damaging in front of the big sticks.
Even TAC Cup competition
Everyone loves to see a close competition, and with Oakleigh’s six-point win over Dandenong on the weekend, every side has suffered at least one defeat in the first five rounds of the TAC Cup. It leaves Oakleigh, Dandenong and Murray with just one loss thus far this season, while Gippsland are just two points behind in fourth. With other sides such as the Northern Knights and Geelong Falcons rising up after slow starts to the season, the competition is looking even across the board.
Unbeaten sides to clash
Okay, so this one is not something that happened on the weekend, but is happening next weekend. However, the events of the weekend and each other round, has set up this event. Of course the event is the Geelong Falcons taking on the Northern Knights in the TAC Cup Girls competition – both sides are undefeated and it is a case of best attack (Northern) facing the best defence (Geelong) in what should be an unbelievable clash. Ultimately the result will likely be for bragging rights, with both sides well clear of their nearest rivals and the loser needing to suffer an astonishing defeat in the final round to have any chance of dropping out of the top two, thus setting up a grand final preview.
VFLW ready to rumble
With all the practice matches done and dusted, it is exciting to see the new looking VFLW ready to kick-off next weekend. Many AFLW fans will head to suburban grounds as their AFL-aligned sides take on their first opponents for 2018. With many AFLW aligned players also spreading out across the likes of Darebin Falcons and Williamstown, expect the competition to still remain even, with the AFL sides not necessarily getting an easy leg-up on the competition.