AFLW experience is standing up in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition, with NT Thunder and Hawthorn getting big wins. However, the VFLW talent also made an impact in round three, with the Southern Saints, who have no AFLW players, getting their second consecutive win. The players endured sun, rain and even extreme heat to battle away at the task in an action-packed round three.
Hawthorn 9.10 (64) def. Carlton 2.1 (13)
By: Taylah Melki
In a dominant display, the Hawks stunned the Blues with a 51-point thrashing at Box Hill City Oval. The Hawks starred with their crisp ball movement and ability to shut down Carlton’s forward line, keeping them to two goals for the match. The Hawks had eight individual goal-kickers, highlighting their ability to share the workload up forward and get the footy into damaging scoring positions.
The likes of key forward Sarah Perkins stood up for the brown and gold, nailing two majors for the game. She provided a good target up forward for the Hawks while Emma Mackie was a tackling machine with 11 for the game. The captain also gathered 29 touches and scored a goal for the Hawks. The ever-reliable Meg Hutchins was also a key player for Hawthorn with nine tackles, 23 disposals and a major. Talented midfielder, Stephanie Carroll was another standout, imposing herself around the contest with 19 possessions and a goal to help get her team the four points.
In a disappointing outing for the Blues, Darcy Vescio was a shining light, scoring one of the two goals for Carlton while the other major came from Celine Moody. Lauren Arnell also imposed herself in and around the contest, applying 10 tackles for the game while young gun Kristi Harvey accumulated plenty of touches. Harvey was the leading disposal-getter for the Blues with 14-all of which were kicks.
Southern Saints 6.3 (39) def. Casey 4.7 (31)
By: Taylah Melki
In a last quarter thriller, it was the Southern Saints that claimed the eight-point victory. Casey had the majority of the play throughout the game, keeping the Saints to two goals up until three-quarter time. However, the Demons struggled to capitalise in front of goal, scoring seven behinds. The Saints on the other hand had a huge last quarter, bagging four goals to Casey’s one. The Saints lifted their intensity and applied plenty of physical pressure throughout the game, laying 30 more tackles with 97 to 67.
Kate McQueen helped to kick-start the last quarter comeback, scoring two goals in four minutes. McQueen was influential around the ground with 18 touches and four tackles. The likes of Alison Brown and Alison Drennan also starred for the Southern Saints, each booting a major in the final term and lifting their intensity in and around the contest to open up space for teammates.
Former Bendigo Pioneer, Eden Zanker stood tall for Casey, taking five big grabs and scoring a goal in the final term to try and get the Demons back into the game. Melbourne AFLW player, Harriet Cordner lead the way for Casey gathering 19 touches, four marks and three tackles, while the likes of Kate Hore also impressed with her one goal and 16 possessions.
NT Thunder 14.12 (96) defeated Essendon 4.0 (24)
By: Julia Montesano
The NT Thunder have once again sent a huge warning to the competition with another thumping win. The Thunder kept the Bombers scoreless after quarter time while piling on 11 goals to make their way onto the top of the VFLW ladder.
Captain, Angela Foley was a star for the Thunder with two goals, 28 disposals and six tackles. Greater Western Sydney (GWS) vice-captain, Emma Swanson played a similar game, also kicking two goals, as well as amassing 19 touches and laying seven tackles. GWS teammate, Renee Forth also had a good day out with one goal and 18 disposals.
Hayley Bullas and Rebecca Neaves were the leading disposal-getters for the Bombers, each amassing 16 touches. Canadian duo, Kendra Heil and Valerie Moreau each provided highlights for Essendon throughout the game, with Heil booting through the first two goals and Moreau amassing 12 disposals and five tackles. But it was Simone Nalder who was the star for the Bombers, clunking five marks and racking up 13 disposals.
Collingwood 9.3.(57) defeated Richmond to 2.2.(14)
By: James Halley
In tough conditions at the Swinburne Centre, Collingwood claimed a 43-point victory over the Tigers. After an even first quarter, the Pies flew away in the second term to score five goals to nothing, which proved to be a match-winning lead. However, Richmond showed some fight to not let the match blow out as it did in the second term.
In the Pies’ forward line, Gabrielle Biedenweg-Webster led with two goals. Vaomua Laloifi was exceptional in defence, playing the role of a rock and not letting anything get past her all day. She was a leading force in restricting Richmond to two goals all afternoon.
For the Tigers, Jacqueline Graham was once again solid in defence. At the other end of the ground, Ella Ross was able to kick a beautiful goal from the boundary to provide a rare highlight in the wet conditions.
Williamstown 0.4 (4) defeated by Geelong 8.9 (57)
By: Julia Montesano
Geelong bounced back from its draw against the Pies in round two with an emphatic win over the Seagulls. The Cats kept Williamstown goalless throughout the game and put on a clinical performance away from home.
Northern Territory recruit, Evelyn Dhamarrandji was turning heads throughout the afternoon with her strong hands and goal-kicking ability. The clever forward booted through a game-high two majors at Williamstown Football Ground. At the other end of the ground, it was captain, Rebecca Goring who held down the fort in defence, with her composed kicks and clean hands. Forward, Megan McMahon and midfielder, Mia-Rae Clifford were also key contributors on the day.
For Williamstown, former St Kilda Shark, Rachel Achampong showed some good signs in the ruck while Jessica Kile impressed on debut. Newly named North Melbourne player, Jess Duffin showed just how valuable she is with plenty of possessions around the ground and a ‘never say die’ attitude on the day. Duffin led by example and nearly booted through a wonderful goal to top it off. She was complemented by Jacinta Reid and Belinda Hateley, who dug deep for the Seagulls on the day.