WEEK one of the 2018 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s finals series went off with a bang, with two favourites beaten in blockbuster matches. With the Hawks claiming victory over Collingwood, they advance to the Grand Final in two weeks’ time whereas the Pies have this weekend to decide their fate in the preliminary final. A surprise, but well-fought, win against NT has also bolstered Geelong into the preliminary final. The Cats found themselves trailing for most of the game, but with a magnificent fourth quarter, they were able to snatch the victory in the end.
Hawthorn’s dominance on Saturday was attributed to the excellent game and leadership of captain, Emma Mackie. Mackie was the player to disrupt the goal-for-goal game, kicking two unanswered majors against the Pies. She kicked a total of three goals for her team. Similarly, Hawthorn’s Rosie Dillon had an amazing game, moving the ball across the field with 20 disposals. Dillon’s ability wasn’t only in moving the ball through the Pies’ defence, but also up forward, as she kicked a goal.
Despite losing, Collingwood showed serious promise. Hawthorn’s defence was far too tight for the Pies, but a solid performance from Chloe Molloy attempted to keep the team afloat. Molloy kicked two of the Pies’ three goals for the match, showing her determination to win, especially with her final goal in the dying minutes of the match. Molloy’s drive showed potential for a Collingwood comeback, but Hawthorn still persisted with its strong backline.
Despite a ‘rocky’ start to the Cats’ semi-final, they displayed more and more determination as the game went on. Richelle Cranston was a major catalyst in this, being able to win even the toughest contests, with five marks and two goals. Due to Cranston’s resilience, she was able to kick an absolute screamer of a goal from more than 50 metres out to seal the game for her side. Another important player for Geelong was TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest, Nina Morrison. Morrison showed keen skill, being able to link the ball through NT’s defence and into the goal square. Morrison’s disposals aided in Geelong’s dominance in the final quarter. She will be a key player against Collingwood in the preliminary final.
Kicking half of her team’s goals, Marijana Rajcic was a powerhouse for NT in the first half. Rajcic’s ability to consistently mark the ball and kick goals was a main factor in NT leading for the majority of the game. With Rajcic’s third goal coming at the start of the fourth term, it was thought that she would have won NT the game. Similarly, Jenna McCormick was a primary reason for NT’s success earlier in the game. McCormick moved the ball all around the field, usually being the key connection to a goal for Rajcic.
Top player stats: VFLW Finals Week 1
|Richelle Cranston||Geelong Cats||2||1||11||2||3||3||2||0||5||5||6|
|Nina Morrison||Geelong Cats||0||1||7||4||4||3||3||0||1||1||7|
|Marijana Rajcic||NT Thunder||3||0||4||1||5||0||1||1||3||4||3|
|Jenna McCormick||NT Thunder||1||0||10||7||4||3||9||0||2||2||0|