AN eventful round one saw Carlton, Collingwood, Geelong, NT and Hawthorn emerge as winners. Many AFLW stars had fantastic performances but so did the lesser-known players, who stood up on the big stage. AFL Draft Central will produce a weekly comprehensive wrap that highlights the good performances, the flow of each game and all the best stats.
Carlton 9.5 (59) defeated Southern Saints 5.7 (37)
Carlton has kick-started its Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season off on the right foot with a 22-point victory over the inexperienced Southern Saints. It was danger signs early for the Frankston-based Saints, with Carlton piling on 5.3 to 0.0 in the opening term as livewire forward Darcy Vescio booted three first-quarter goals. But after quarter time it was much closer, with the Saints booting five goals to four, including four in the second term, with one end clearly being the scoring end with 13 of the game’s 14 goals being kicked up the one end.
For Carlton, Vescio was lively booting 3.1 from 17 disposals and five marks, while Breann Moody collected 17 disposals, took three marks and laid two tackles. Uncompromising midfielder Sarah Hosking was crucial on the inside, laying 10 tackles from 15 disposals and three marks, while also finishing with a goal. Madeline Keryk (13 kicks, four tackles) and Sophie Li (12 disposals, four tackles and one goal) were also impressive in the Blues’ win.
For the Saints, Alison Drennan laid a game-high 11 tackles to go with her 15 disposals, while Alison Brown topped the disposal winners for the Saints, totalling 17 disposals, and eight tackles in a strong performance. Samantha Johnson notched up 16 disposals, three marks and seven tackles, while Rhiannon Watt (14 disposals, four tackles) and Leah Olsen (13 disposals, two marks and six tackles) were also among the Saints’ best.
NT Thunder 12.14 (86) defeated Darebin Falcons 5.2 (32)
By: Michael Alvaro
Darebin Falcons were dominated at their new home of Preston City Oval in the opening game of their title defence, falling by 54 points in their biggest loss since 2012.
In an explosive first half, the Thunder burst out to a 55-point lead with nine goals to one. While they were reigned back in the second half as the Falcons put on four goals to three, NT never really looked troubled. AFLW stars Chelsea Randall (23 disposals, five tackles, four marks, two goals) and Emma Swanson (31 disposals, five marks, three tackles, two goals) were impressive for the visitors, and simply looked a class above. Not to be outdone, Marijana Rajcic was ever-present up forward with 25 disposals, eight marks and 3.4 alongside Angela Foley (30 disposals, five marks, one goal).
Coming into the game, the story of the day was the debut of Hannah Mouncey, and she didn’t disappoint with 12 disposals, three tackles and one goal. While she still has a lot to work on, her second efforts were a good marker for her side. Mouncey’s Falcons teammate Meghan McDonald was her side’s best with 26 disposals and nine marks helping to alleviate much of the pressure that came Darebin’s way. She was aided by former-Northern Knight Maddy Guerin, who looked good at the stoppages with 16 disposals, four marks and four tackles on a tough day where the NT ball-winners dominated.
Collingwood 7.8 (50) defeated Williamstown 4.8 (32)
Collingwood’s new VFLW side overcame a spirited opposition to record a tight 18-point victory in the wet at Warrawee Park in Oakleigh. The Magpies found themselves trailing at quarter time but booted five of the next six goals to open up a comfortable lead. The Seagulls hit back booting two goals before the final break, but could not penetrate the strong Collingwood defence in the final term, as the Magpies booted the final goal of the game to win in a contested game.
Jess Duffin was best on ground despite the loss, amassing 22 disposals, eight marks, four tackles and booting a goal against her AFLW side in what was a simply sensational performance. Western Bulldogs’ premiership player Jenna Bruton did not miss a beat since crossing from Box Hill, notching up 29 disposals, three marks and three tackles, while another AFLW player – Jasmine Garner – collected 21 disposals, six marks and three tackles, and even went back in defence in the final term. Andrea Cameron was the best of the non-AFLW players, notching up 12 disposals, four marks and three tackles in a strong defensive game.
For the winners, Sarah Dargan lapped up the midfield minutes, having the ball on a string with 24 disposals and six tackles, almost capitalising on a goal from a clever snap, but it just missed. Sarah D’Arcy was sensational in defence for the Magpies, racking up 17 disposals, eight marks and laying seven tackles, while Jaimee Lambert collected 16 disposals – 13 kicks – and booted two goals in the forward half, while also providing plenty of defensive pressure with eight tackles. Others who impressed included Emily Browning (six disposals, five tackles and a booming goal) and captain Jessica Andrews with 13 disposals, two marks, two tackles and countless rebounds.
Richmond 6.5 (41) defeated Western Bulldogs 0.3 (3)
By: James Halley
The VFLW Tigers made history on Saturday as they claimed their first ever victory in the competition against the Western Bulldogs at VU Whitten Oval. Richmond controlled the match from the start and played just like their male counterparts, with forward pressure a centrepiece of its opening match.
Co-vice captain, Kate Dixon kicked the first goal of the match and she managed to finish with a game-high four majors. Jenna Colwell (two goals, 17 disposals, three marks) helped Richmond to put the result beyond doubt, as her side kept the Bulldogs scoreless on the day. The duo worked together flawlessly in the forward line and were aided by Jacqui Graham, who was a general down back with 29 disposals, seven marks and four tackles.
The Western Bulldogs had hardly any of their AFLW premiership players in their round one side, with only Kirsten McLeod pulling on the red, white and blue on Saturday. This paved the way for some second-tier players to have their opportunity on the big stage, and Emma Mackay was one to stand up. She had plenty of the ball all afternoon, racking up 24 disposals and clunking eight marks. Hayley Wildes (28 disposals, four marks) and Tayla Dinuccio (12 disposals, seven tackles) also had notable performances for the Dogs.
Geelong 7.10 (52) defeated Melbourne University 2.1 (13)
Geelong has started its season off with a big win, toppling Melbourne University with a 39-point victory. It was a tight opening half, with Geelong not capitalising on their shots on goal, booting two majors from eight scoring shots, while the Mugars booted 1.1 to remain just 11 points down at half-time. A five goals to one second half was ultimately the difference however, as the Cats skipped away to open their 2018 account in style.
Renee Garing was sensational with 30 disposals, three marks and nine tackles, while Melbourne AFLW midfielder Richelle Cranston notched up 20 disposals, five marks and two tackles, while Danielle Orr was the key goalkicker on the day, finishing the game with three majors from 12 disposals and four marks. Krista Woodroffe was good in defence with 11 disposals and eight tackles, while Hayley Trevean collected 21 disposals, three marks and three tackles.
For Melbourne University, Sophie Abbatangelo starred in her first game for the Mugars, picking up 20 disposals, two marks and five tackles, while Hannah Ibrahim collected 17 disposals, two marks and seven tackles. Others who impressed for the losers were Clara Fitzpatrick (14 disposals, two marks and three tackles) and Bendigo Pioneers’ graduate Aisling Tupper (15 disposals, six tackles).
Hawthorn 8.12 (60) defeated Essendon 3.3 (21)
By: Julia Montesano
It was an historic day for both sides, taking the field at the nostalgic Windy Hill ground. Hawthorn dominated play all day and reaped the rewards with a big win, but there was much to like about the Bombers.
All eyes were on Hawthorn’s AFLW players, and all of them delivered. Meg Hutchins was so clean with the ball in hand and kicked a lovely long-range goal, while Sarah Perkins displayed great hands throughout the day with three marks and kicked two goals to top off a great day inside 50. Julia Crockett-Grills was a star for the Hawks, amassing 20 disposals and clunking five marks, making her impact felt all over the ground. She was complemented by captain, Emma Mackie who displayed great ball use by hand and foot as well as throwing her body on the line to get the ball forward for the Hawks. She collected 19 disposals, took three marks and laid four tackles.
For Essendon, it was Tait Mackrill that displayed wonderful on-field leadership. She has magnificent ball-use by foot, with 11 of her 12 disposals being kicks. She also had clean hands, taking four marks. Rebecca Neaves was a star in defence, taking four big marks and working ruthlessly to slingshot the ball back into Essendon’s forward line. Calder Cannons premiership captain, Lauren Caruso had a promising start in the red and black, working well in defence and following the ball wherever it went. She amassed nine disposals and laid three tackles, earning a holding-the-ball free kick for one of them. Speaking of tackles, Hayley Bullas was the standout in that department, laying a game-high nine of them to go along with her seven disposals.