Author: Julia Montesano

AFLW season previews: GWS GIANTS

THE GIANTS had a consistent season in 2018, going from finishing eighth in the AFLW’s first season to fourth last year. The side will again be led by Amanda Farrugia in 2019 as she sets her sights on being the longest serving AFLW captain. The new recruits will also be looking to make a big impact in the new conference system.

Last season: 4th – three wins, three losses.

Changes:

In: Christina Bernardi, Alyce Parker, Brittany Perry, Lisa Whiteley, Ingrid Nielsen, Renee Tomkins, Delma Gisu, Haneen Zreika, Ebony O’Dea, Yvonne Bonner, Taylah Davies

Out: Maddy Boyd, Phoebe McWilliams, Renee Forth, Melissa Freckleton, Rebecca Privitelli, Alex Saundry, Pippa Smyth

The GIANTS lost three of their most experienced players in Maddy Boyd, Phoebe McWiliams and Renee Forth over the off-season, which left a gap in key positions on the field for the GIANTS. But to fill the hole in the ruck, Greater Western Sydney (GWS) picked up Ingrid Nielsen, who is a premiership played with the UNSW-ES Bulldogs in the AFL Sydney competition. To cover the X-factor of McWilliams, the GIANTS picked up Christina Bernardi, who is almost a straight swap for McWilliams, as both players possess smarts inside 50 as well as accurate kicks. Renee Forth has been a harder one to replace for the GIANTS, as her versatility was pivotal for them during the last two seasons. Given she can rotate through the midfield and the forward line, Alyce Parker is probably the closest player in terms of position to Forth, as she can play a role in the forward line if her team is on the back foot. The Thurgoona midfielder is as exciting as it gets, with a booming kick and a set of football smarts that are second to none, meaning she is a very important pick-up for the GIANTS.

Area of strength: Midfield

The GIANTS have incredible midfield depth heading into 2019, with the usual stars in Alicia Eva, Courtney Gum, Jessica Dal Pos and Rebecca Beeson being joined by the likes of Alyce Parker, Brittany Perry, Haneen Zreika and Phoebe Monahan. Parker had a standout Under-18 year last year, being named captain of the All-Australian team and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for both New South Wales and the Eastern Allies in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships on the Gold Coast. Monahan had a similar influence for Richmond in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season, being among the highest disposal-getters each week for the Tigers. Zreika is likely to add that X-factor that the midfield needs, as she has speed to burn and is a tenacious midfielder that should excite all GWS fans. She was on the GIANTS’ rookie list last season but has now been moved into the primary list for 2019.

Area of weakness: Defence

There’s not too much to worry about here for the GIANTS, as they have skilful defenders that can all play a role on dangerous forwards. With new recruits coming in, Alan McConnell will have to decide who fits where, as he has an extensive list of defenders on his hands. Renee Tomkins is likely to take the opposition’s leading forward, with Pepa Randall and Tanya Hetherington there to assist with other forward targets. Amanda Farrugia, Ellie Brush and Elle Bennetts will play as a running defenders. The problem comes into the equation if one of these players has to sit out a game, as the depth doesn’t expand much further than that in the GIANTS’ defensive 50.

Players to watch:

Haneen Zreika

Zreika was on the rookie list last season for the GIANTS and did not get to make her AFLW debut, but she will be a good chance to do so in 2019. She has exciting breakaway speed that is vital in a clogged midfield. Zreika is also a player that can break the lines and tackle aggressively, making her a complete player in the midfield. She played for Auburn-Penrith in the AFL Sydney competition during the off-season, being named in the best nine times from 12 games.

Phoebe Monahan

Monahan was one of Richmond’s leading players in the VFLW season, finishing equal third in the Tigers’ Best and Fairest count. She is a ball magnet and uses it well both by hand and by foot. Monahan played 11 games for the Tigers and was named in the best five times. She averaged 20 disposals per game last season and stood out amongst a struggling Richmond side.

Alyce Parker

Alyce Parker is one of the most talented players out of last year’s Under-18 crop. Just last year, she was named the All-Australian captain, the MVP for the Central Allies and New South Wales, played in a premiership for the Thurgoona Bulldogs and was named the best on ground in their victory. She’s received all these accolades because she is a smart midfielder who has a long clearing kick, giving her an advantage in the clearances. She tackles hard and has good hands as well, making her an all-round talent. Parker matched it with the bigger bodies when playing for Thurgoona, so she should fit right in to the AFLW.

2019 prediction: 1st in Conference B

This may be the GIANTS’ year, as they boast a strong list with plenty of depth. They are also in the easier conference, and with Brisbane losing a lot of talent over the off-season, GWS should be favourites heading in. Geelong may also be another team to contend with, but the GIANTS’ experience from the first two seasons should hold them in good stead. They have a couple of big tests in the first two rounds of the season, taking on Brisbane and North Melbourne. However, if they are to drop any of those games, they have an opportunity to bounce back against the Pies and Blues. If the GIANTS’ list can stay healthy, they will definitely be a side to watch in 2019.

AFLW season previews: Geelong

THE Geelong Cats are one of the two new sides entering the AFLW competition this year, and rather than finding players from other clubs, they have largely focused on adding local talent to their line-up. The Cats received the first two picks in the draft and snapped up two of the most exciting players in Nina Morrison and Sophie Van De Heuvel, who will certainly turn heads as the competition goes on.

List: Rene Caris, Danielle Orr, Hannah Burchell, Cassie Blakeway, Jordan Ivey, Julia Crockett-Grills, Mia-Rae Clifford, Kate Darby, Nina Morrison, Georgie Rankin, Meghan McDonald, Renee Garing, Maighan Fogas, Aasta O’Connor, Olivia Purcell, Georgia Clarke, Melissa Hickey, Rebecca Webster, Phoebe McWilliams, Madaleine McMahon, Elise Coventry, Madeleine Boyd, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Denby Taylor, Richelle Cranston, Hayley Trevean, Anna Teague, Rebecca Goring, Madeline Keryk, Erin Hoare

Local talent dominates this list, with 20 players featuring in Geelong’s 2018 Victorian Football League (VFLW) side. The Cats made the Grand Final and came up short against the Hawks, but showed what they are capable of with their list. Add experienced spearheads like Aasta O’Connor, Melissa Hickey and Phoebe McWilliams to the side and Geelong has a very potent line-up.

Area of strength: Midfield

The Geelong midfield is stacked with talent, led by Geelong Best and Fairest winner, Richelle Cranston. Cranston consistently racked up high numbers of disposals for the Cats during the VFLW season, and was complemented by a core group in Cassie Blakeway, Maighan Fogas and Hannah Burchell, who stepped up each week and are likely to do so again in the AFLW. Add in Geelong Falcons premiership duo, Nina Morrison and Olivia Purcell, who both also played in the Grand Final for the Cats. Morrison’s chase-down speed is unbelievable, and she has shown that she can come up against bigger bodies, having to deal with a Meg Hutchins tag in the VFLW Grand Final. Purcell is a tackling machine and led the way for both the Falcons and the Cats with her ferocity, so expect 2019 to be much the same from her.

Area of weakness: Defence

While Geelong has plenty of exciting forwards, its defence may come under pressure with the attacking forward lines that a lot of sides boast. Georgia Clarke will come into the mix as a calm and composed defender, and will have to work with the likes of Elise Coventry and Bec Goring, who were mainstays in the Cats’ defence in the VFLW. While Coventry is a consistent player, she often goes missing in the disposal count, so she will need to work on that coming into the AFLW season. Rebecca Webster is likely to be a key part of Geelong’s defence, even though she can play through the midfield too. Webster has a booming kick and strong hands, so if she floats into the midfield, it could leave a big gap in the defensive 50.

Players to watch:

Nina Morrison

Being the number one pick comes with a lot of pressure, but Morrison knows how to handle it. Having only picked up a football in a competitive environment three years ago, Morrison had a ripper 2018, sharing the TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award at the Under 18 Championships. Her outside run is incredible, and her take-off speed is really something to watch. She is a precise kick and has shown that she can use it anywhere, having spent some time up forward for the Falcons last year in the TAC Cup Girls competition. Expect her to get a Rising Star nomination this season.

Olivia Purcell

The Geelong Falcons Best and Fairest was one of the most fierce tacklers in the TAC Cup Girls competition. She’s also a great clearance player, and knows how to hack it out of congestion with ease. She thrived in the Geelong VFLW environment, having played alongside players like Richelle Cranston. Purcell represented Vic Country in 2018 as well and was one of the leading disposal-getters in every match, highlighting her ability to find the footy with ease.

Maddy Boyd

A player that already has experience in the AFLW, Boyd will be a pivotal player for the Cats this year. She thrived in the ruck and through the forward line for Geelong’s VFLW side, taking big grabs and kicking crucial goals when needed. With plenty of ruck support in the team in the form of Aasta O’Connor, Kate Darby and Rene Caris, expect Boyd to spend some time up forward, as her marking prowess will give defenders massive headaches.

2019 prediction: 3rd in Conference B
The Cats certainly have the line-up to turn a few heads this season. With all the focus on North Melbourne’s star-studded line-up, the Cats’ has largely gone unnoticed, which the side will not mind at all. With Melissa Hickey leading the brigade as skipper and VFLW Grand Final coach, Paul Hood at the helm, it is hard to see where the Cats could go wrong in 2019. Gelling together will be the main challenge, as it always is for a new side. They have a hard draw to start off with, taking on the AFLW’s two premiership teams in Adelaide and the Bulldogs in the first four weeks, but those games are bookended by matches against Carlton and Collingwood. Expect Geelong to come out firing in 2019 and turn a few heads.

 

AFLW season previews: Fremantle

PRIOR to the inaugural AFLW season, Fremantle was touted as a premiership favourite. But the Dockers have struggled in the competition, and will be hoping to improve with a new coach at the helm. They opted for experience over youth in the draft, hoping to fast-track their development and experience a taste of success.

Last season: 7th – three wins, four losses.

Changes:

In: Jasmin Stewart, Sabreena Duffy, Philipa Seth, Courtney Stubbs, Parris Laurie, Laura Pugh, Matila Sergeant, Ebony Dowson, Katie-Jayne Grieve

Out: Stacey Barr, Kirby Bentley, Jade de Melo, Beatrice Devlyn, Lara Filocamo, Tiah Haynes, Emily McGuire, Belinda Smith, Lisa Webb, Jodie White, Amy Lavell

Some tough calls were made by the Dockers at the end of the off-season, with a Rising Star-nominated player in Emily McGuire, consistent defender, Lara Filocamo and the experienced Kirby Bentley being shown the door. Fremantle also farewelled some experienced players with Amy Lavell and Lisa Webb departing for the coach’s box, after Lavell chose to hang up the boots and Webb was delisted. On the bright side, the Dockers have included two exciting young talents in Sabreena Duffy and Matilda Sergeant. Both players have represented Western Australia, with Duffy in particular making inroads as a five-time All-Australian.

Area of strength: Defence

Despite the loss of Kirby Bentley and Lara Filocamo, the Dockers still have a good enough defence that can challenge the opposition. Former Western Australian captain, Sabreena Duffy will slot straight into the backline, and as shown in the Under 18 Championships in 2018, she is able to do most of the kicking in and do it precisely as well. Expect her to be joined by Sergeant, as well as new draftee, Laura Pugh, who hails from the West Perth Falcons. Ebony Dowson will also slot into the backline after a consistent year for the Peel Thunderbirds, while the ever consistent Ebony Antonio will run around again in 2019, looking to punish forwards with her intercept marking and defensive pressure at the contest.

Area of weakness: Forward line

After delisting known goalkickers, Emily McGuire and Stacey Barr, as well as losing Amy Lavell, the Dockers did not really patch up these holes in the draft. They instead opted for midfield and defensive depth, which will hold teams in good stead, but will not win games. The delisting of Kira Phillips at the end of the 2017 season could come back and hurt the Dockers, as she was the leading goal scorer in the Western Australian Women’s Football League (WAWFL). Ashley Sharp is a player that will need to stand up if she plays forward, as she has the potential to dominate, having shown that for Swan Districts.

Players to watch:

Sabreena Duffy

Duffy is a wonderful on-field leader who leads by example. She was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for Western Australia in the 2018 Under 18 Championships, after having played a massive role through the midfield and the back line. A player with solid hands and composed under pressure, expect Duffy to control the back line with her finesse and precision with the ball in hand.

Matilda Sergeant

Matilda Sergeant is a hard nut who just knows how to find the football. Featuring prominently in the midfield for Western Australia, she attacked the ball hard and used her clean hands and smart kicks to get her teammates out of trouble. She can also play a support role in the defensive 50 if needed, adding versatility to the Fremantle line-up.

Dana Hooker

The club’s 2018 Best and Fairest winner will be raring to go again in 2019. She only just finished short of winning the league Best and Fairest, proving how important she is in the Dockers’ midfield. Her clean hands and precise kicking has been what has held Fremantle in good stead so far, and expect no different in 2019.

2019 prediction: 5th in Conference A  

The Dockers just do not have enough star-power to compete with the might of the other clubs in Conference A. In the first three rounds of the season, they will have to come up against two of last year’s top four teams, which will be a massive challenge. They may have a chance against the Pies in Round 3, but meet Adelaide the week after. The Dockers will also give themselves a chance at home, as they have been consistent over the past two seasons. They will play four home games this season in the hope that they can take home four wins, but the task will not be easy.

 

AFLW season previews: Carlton

THE Blues did not see much success last season, finishing on the bottom of the ladder for the first time in their AFLW history. However, this result gave them some high-end picks in the draft, and they recruited quite well to fix the gaps of players lost. With new coach, Daniel Harford at the helm, Carlton is set for a big year, testing out its new-look line-up and coaching panel.

Last season: 8th – two wins, five losses.

Changes:

In: Amelia Mullane (nee Barden), Madison Prespakis, Abbie McKay, Jayde Van Dyk, Charlotte Wilson, Emerson Woods, Rhiannon Watt, Jess Edwards, Kirby Bentley, Brooke Walker, Chloe Dalton

Out: Maddison Gay, Lauren Arnell, Danielle Hardiman, Kate Gillespie-Jones, Maddy Keryk, Sarah Last, Laura Attard, Kate Shierlaw, Tiahna Cochrane, Katie Jayne-Grieve

Carlton’s defence was dealt a big blow with experienced trio, Lauren Arnell, Danielle Hardiman and Kate Gillespie-Jones all departing the Blues. They also made the interesting decision to let go of talented midfielder, Madeline Keryk, which could come back to bite them. Inaugural Best First Year player, Maddison Gay has also left a hole in the midfield with her departure to Melbourne. But Carlton has seemed to sew up those gaps in its midfield, picking up Vic Metro gun duo, Madison Prespakis and Abbie McKay. Prespakis was the equal winner of the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships Most Valuable Player (MVP) and TAC Cup Girls’ Best and Fairest, while McKay was pre-selected by the Blues due to a interest from other clubs. In defence, Charlotte Wilson and Jayde Van Dyk help fill the void of Gillespie-Jones, Hardiman and Arnell. Wilson was the co-captain of the Eastern Ranges in the TAC Cup Girls competition while Van Dyk won the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Rising Star award and Hawthorn’s Best and Fairest after a stellar 2018 campaign.

Area of strength: Midfield

Carlton’s midfield depth is quite threatening, as at any given time, it could contain the likes of Prespakis, McKay, Amelia Mullane, Sarah Hosking, Jess Hosking, Katie Loynes, Tilly Lucas-Rodd, Georgia Gee, Shae Audley and Natalie Plane. Not only does it contain plenty of talent, but the Blues have also managed to combine its experience and youth quite well. Coming across from Collingwood, Mullane should be a great addition as she has already worked under Daniel Harford, and adds valuable experience. Loynes will be raring to go after her Best and Fairest year last year, while Jess Hosking and Lucas-Rodd both enjoyed some key minutes in the Blues’ VFLW midfield.

Area of weakness: Forward line

It is hard to imagine that a forward line containing Darcy Vescio and Tayla Harris could be an area of weakness for the Blues, but it certainly was last season. Carlton finished miles below any other team in percentage, racking up just 54.1 per cent, with the next worst being Fremantle with 89.8. While Vescio and Harris are dangerous, they will require more support in the 2019 season if Carlton is to surge up the ladder. Emerson Woods is one player who could provide assistance, as she floated up forward and through the midfield for both the Eastern Ranges and the Hawks in the VFLW season. Being a member of the AFLW Academy, Woods has had plenty of experience at a high level, and is also an athletic machine. Carlton may also utilise Alison Downie up forward, as she can take a big mark and is an accurate kick. Thanks to the ruck support of Breann Moody and Rhiannon Watt, she may not be required in the middle as much, and can make herself a target inside 50.

Players to watch:

Madison Prespakis

If players were not able to select which region they wanted to go to, Prespakis would have seriously contended Nina Morrison for the number one pick. Prespakis led the Calder Cannons this year and also had a stint captaining Vic Metro in its rotating captaincy during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. She is a fantastic on-field leader, as she demonstrates ferocity and a desire to win the ball. Prespakis has one of the most damaging kicks from the Under-18 draftees and is a genuine ball magnet. Carlton supporters should be excited to see her in the navy blue.

Jayde Van Dyk

Van Dyk had an outstanding year for Hawthorn in 2018. Not only did she take out Hawthorn’s Best and Fairest and the VFLW Rising Star award, she was also named in the VFLW Team of the Year and played in the Hawks’ historic premiership. She was a mainstay in the Hawks’ backline, often taking the most dangerous opposition forward. Her run and carry is something to be excited by and her football smarts are second to none. Strong in the air and on foot, Van Dyk should provide some serious presence in the Blues’ defensive 50.

Natalie Plane

A player who has gone under the radar in the last two seasons, Plane is a pretty consistent player and can play a team role when required. She had a solid year for Carlton in the 2018 VFLW season, coming fourth in Carlton’s Best and Fairest. Plane achieved this feat on the back of just eight games out of a possible 14. She averaged 13.4 disposals and six tackles from those games, demonstrating her ability to make an impact in the middle of the ground.

2019 prediction: 4th in Conference B

Improving from last to a finals berth in a year is a hard feat for any team, and it is hard to see Carlton storm into the finals in its conference, considering only the top two teams go through. The Blues will certainly improve with a potent midfield and defence, but their forward line will continue to come into question if Vescio and Harris are left to do all the work inside 50. It will be interesting to see the Blues in Round 1, as they face the Kangaroos, who seem to have one of the most dangerous line-ups in the competition. If they can get the win over in Hobart, they could be set for a big turnaround from 2018. But if they don’t get the win that game, they could be in for a losing streak to start their season, with their next three games coming against Adelaide, Greater Western Sydney (GWS) and Geelong. A good start will be crucial if Carlton is any chance to surge up the ladder in 2019.

 

AFLW season previews: Collingwood

COLLINGWOOD has been hit the hardest by the introduction of the two expansion teams, losing a host of stars to North Melbourne. The Pies also lost the experience of Bree White and Meg Hutchins, as well as the exciting Caitlyn Edwards, as the trio retired at the end of the 2018 season. Collingwood had to capitalise on the draft pool and it did, selecting some exciting young talent and some Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s experienced players.

Last season: 6th – three wins, four losses.

Changes:

In: Nicole Hildebrand, Sarah Rowe, Sophie Alexander, Erica Fowler, Jordyn Allen, Katie Lynch, Lauren Butler, Mikala Cann, Maddie Shevlin, Georgia Gourlay, Jordan Membrey, Sharni Layton

Out: Caitlyn Edwards, Bree White, Christina Bernardi, Moana Hope, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner, Emma King, Amelia Mullane (nee Barden), Lauren Tesoriero, Meg Hutchins, Tara Morgan

Collingwood has lost seven of its top 10 in last year’s Best and Fairest, with Jasmine Garner, Christina Bernardi, Amelia Mullane, Jess Duffin, Emma King and Moana Hope all jetting off to other clubs. Add the loss of Chloe Molloy to injury and Caitlyn Edwards to retirement, and you have a depleted list. Thankfully, the Pies picked up one of most talented players in the Under-18 crop in Jordyn Allen. Allen is a known leader, captaining the Dandenong Stingrays and Vic Country in 2018, and is a pillar of strength through the midfield and the back line. To back that up, the Pies selected the powerful Katie Lynch, who thrives in the middle of the ground but can use her booming kick and strong hands to effect in the forward line. They also boast two of the most exciting new crosscoders in the league, with former Australian netballer, Sharni Layton and Gaelic footballer, Sarah Rowe, who broke a club record in the 2km trial, set to take the field in 2019.

Area of strength: Midfield

Out of all the areas left with holes by the departed players, the midfield is the least unscathed. The Pies still boast a potent midfield containing Jaimee Lambert, Emma Grant, Brittany Bonnici, Melissa Kuys and Kristy Stratton. They will also be able to add Eastern Ranges dynamo, Mikala Cann to the mix, who has intense tackling pressure and immense speed. The experience of Maddie Shevlin will also be a vital addition, as she starred for the Casey Demons during the VFLW season. There’s also some flexibility in the side, with Stephanie Chiocci able to move from defence to the midfield, while Katie Lynch and Sophie Casey can roam the forward line and move into the middle of the ground when needed.

Area of weakness: Defence

Collingwood’s defence has taken a big hit over the off season, waving goodbye to Jess Duffin, Meg Hutchins and Jasmine Garner. Although the Pies lost more forwards in the off season, they were able to fill the void quite well with the recruitment of Erica Fowler, Sophie Alexander, Jordan Membrey and Katie Lynch. However, their defence remains vulnerable, as the Pies will have a young defensive 50 leading the brigade. Darcy Guttridge and Georgia Gourlay are both a risk with injury troubles, but will be keen to play a big role for the Pies. Iilish Ross is still a developing player who has been in and out of the Collingwood line-up, but was convincing during the VFLW season. She does not often trouble the disposal count, so this could be an area where she seeks to improve in 2019. It will also be interesting to see how Lauren Butler fares in this defensive line-up with her light build. Expect the loss of Chloe Molloy to really be felt for the Pies this season as unpredictability surround their defensive make-up.

Players to watch:

Mikala Cann

It is hard to believe that this will be Mikala Cann’s second year of competitive football. Prior to 2018, Cann competed in athletics and basketball, and has brought those attributes over to Australian Rules. She has great acceleration and can tackle like no other, always willing to show her tenacity on the field. She was fortunate enough to represent Vic Metro in 2018, and played in Hawthorn’s VFLW premiership side, so she knows how to make an impact on the big stage. Nicknamed ‘the bull’ by her teammates, expect Cann to be one of the toughest players out there.

Sophie Alexander

A dangerous forward with a great leap, Alexander gave a lot of VFLW opposition defenders headaches. In her breakout game for the Pies, she kicked four goals against the in-form NT Thunder, showing she can make an big statement. She ended up with 14 goals from 14 games, and was named in the VFLW Team of the Year for her efforts. What makes Alexander stand out is her ability to rack up the disposals inside 50, which is something Collingwood will need in the 2019 season.

Sharni Layton

Sharni Layton has done it all in netball, winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2014, and winning two Netball World Championships with Australia in 2011 and 2015. Having come from the Collingwood netball team, Layton is accustomed to the attitudes of the club and has been hitting the track hard, working on her running technique in particular. Her leap will be invaluable for the club as will her strength, so it will be interesting to see where she will line up on the field, as these assets are valuable in any zone. With unpredictability comes excitement through, and Layton is sure to put on a show, following in the footsteps of fellow netballer/footballer, Ash Brazill.

2019 prediction: 5th in Conference B

Unfortunately with a list that takes a hit like that, it’s hard to see the Pies making any inroads in Conference B. They will be looking to make a statement in Round 1 against the new kids on the block in Geelong, but it will be hard to do so away from home. They could snag wins against Carlton and Fremantle in rounds three and five, but all eyes will be on the side in Round 6. Not only will they host the first ever AFLW game at Marvel Stadium, but they will be coming up against old teammates at North Melbourne, which will definitely be a challenge. Collingwood still has the players to be a top side, but gelling what is effectively a whole new team together is no easy task.

AFLW season previews: Brisbane

THE Brisbane Lions have come so close to winning an AFLW premiership, being runners-up in both years of the AFLW. They would love to go one step further in 2019, but it will be hard considering the mass exit of players to North Melbourne. They will field a new-look side in 2019 dominated by exciting youth rather than experienced guns, which has been the theme of the Brisbane line-up in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Last season: 2nd- four wins, three losses.

Changes:

In: Lauren Arnell, Paige Parker, Natalie Grider, McKenzie Dowrick, Lauren Bella, Tori Groves-Little, Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw, Jacqueline Yorston, Jade Ellenger.

Out: Kaitlyn Ashmore, Brittany Gibson, Tahlia Randall, Jamie Stanton, Nicole Hildebrand, Renee Cowan, Kalinda Howarth, Molly Ritson.

Brisbane was dealt with a mass exit of players with the introduction of expansion team, North Melbourne. The Lions saw four of their players head down south, as Kaitlyn Ashmore, Brittany Gibson, Tahlia Randall and Jamie Stanton opted to don the blue and white in 2019. On top of that, Nicole Hildebrand jetted down to the Pies, spending the 2018 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season with them, leaving a massive hole in Brisbane’s defence. But the Lions had a big advantage heading into the draft, with coach, Craig Starcevich coaching the Queensland Under-18 representative side and identifying the top talent that could slot into the Brisbane line-up. Six players from the Under 18 side made their way onto the Lions’ list after a successful Under 18 Championships campaign in which the side beat Vic Metro for the first time in its history. In addition, gun Western Australian, McKenzie Dowrick made the decision to take her footy up north, presenting a huge boost for the Brisbane line-up in 2019.

Area of strength: Midfield

Despite the loss of Ashmore, Gibson and Stanton in the middle of the ground, Brisbane drafted well enough to cover the loss. Tori Groves-Little is a clever footballer that is guaranteed to go hard at every contest. Her tackling is quite impressive, as is her run and carry. Jacqueline Yorston is likely to complement her well in the middle of the ground, as she is a natural ball-winner. Expect Jade Ellenger to also contribute, as her speed is quite impressive and will help her to burn opponents. Combine these exciting youth prospects with the experience of players like Nat Exon and Ally Anderson and Brisbane’s midfield looks quite potent. Exon had a wonderful VFLW campaign for Darebin, being named either the first or second best player on the ground in six of her seven games. Expect her to continue to turn it on for the Lions in 2019.

Area of weakness: Forward line

The Lions’ forward line still remains a problem in 2019. They’ve based their game in the past two seasons around their strong defence, which has managed to work considering the form of players like Kate Lutkins and Leah Kaslar. But they might find it difficult to play this style of football this year, with other clubs such as North Melbourne boasting potent forward lines. Sabrina Frederick-Traub has been the focal point up forward for the Lions in the past two seasons, but if she had a bad game, it would often spell trouble for her side. She will need some more assistance in 2019 if the Lions are to score more. Bella Ayre will need to return to the form that saw her get nominated for the Rising Star in 2017, while Kate McCarthy’s X factor will be even more important than ever in AFLW 3.0. The loss of the exciting Sophie Conway for the 2019 season hurts the forward line even more, as she had a sensational 2018 campaign inside 50.

Players to watch:

McKenzie Dowrick

Craig Starcevich and his coaching group would have been licking their lips when McKenzie Dowrick nominated to play her 2019 football in Queensland. Dowrick is originally from Western Australia and has played all her junior football there. A member of the AFL Women’s Academy, Dowrick hardly puts a foot wrong when she sweeps across the backline and through the midfield, as her booming left foot kick and reliable hands often got her side out of trouble. She has been a star for Western Australia in the Under 18 Championships, being named in the All-Australian side at half-back for the past two years. Expect her to add composure and class to Brisbane’s defence in 2019.

Nat Exon

Nat Exon is coming into the 2019 season off the back of some scintillating form for Darebin in the VFLW season. She came second in the Falcons’ best and fairest count despite only playing half of the season. She impressed with her ferocity at the contest for Darebin, averaging 5.9 tackles in her seven games. Her disposal average was also impressive in the VFLW, racking up an average of 18.4 disposals per game. She should be a key ball winner for the Lions in 2019, and will add some aggression to the midfield.

Jordan Zanchetta

Zanchetta showed promise in the 2018 AFLW season for the Lions after missing the inaugural season with an ACL tear. She showed good intent through the midfield and was a strong tackler. If she can match her aggression with disposals, she could be a dangerous player for Brisbane in 2019.

2019 prediction: 2nd in Conference B

The conference system becomes an interesting situation in this instance, because Brisbane certainly have the easier conference group. If the Lions were in conference A alongside teams like the Bulldogs, Demons and Crows, it would be likely that they would miss the finals. But in conference B, they sit alongside 2018 bottom side, Carlton, a depleted Collingwood outfit as well as the unknown side in Geelong. Greater Western Sydney (GWS) is likely to be Brisbane’s biggest challenge this year, with the GIANTS finishing 2018 strongly. Brisbane still has the line-up to be a strong side in 2019, despite the loss of experience.

AFLW season previews: Adelaide

THE inaugural AFL Women’s (AFLW) premiers have seen a swift change to their side this season, with a new coach at the helm and a host of exciting draftees getting the opportunity to pull on the Crows guernsey. They experienced heartbreak last season by just missing out on the finals in the last match of the season, but will be willing to turn their fortunes around in 2019.

Last season: 5th – three wins, three losses, one draw.

Changes:

In: Renee Forth, Nikki Gore, Jess Foley, Chloe Scheer, Katelyn Rosenzweig, Danielle Ponter, Hannah Martin, Ailish Considine, Sophie Li, Maisie Nankivell.

Out: Talia Radan, Sophie Armitstead, Georgia Bevan, Calista Boyd, Abbey Holmes, Rachael Killian, Becchara Palmer, Brianna Walling, Ruth Wallace, Jess Allan.

Prior to the draft, Adelaide’s outs looked like they were going to really impact the Crows’ season. But they have recruited brilliantly, adding to their midfield stocks through the likes of Nikki Gore, and boosting their forward line through picking up players such as Katelyn Rosenzweig and Danielle Ponter. Renee Forth is another huge addition, adding another important boost of experience to the side. The NT Thunder had a successful season in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season on the back of the cohesion of Adelaide players in the side, so expect them to continue to gel in the AFLW.

Area of strength: Forward line

Adelaide’s forward line looks like one of the most dangerous in the competition. Along with All Australian, Sarah Perkins and AFLW season one Most Valuable Player (MVP), Erin Phillips, who can sometimes push up forward from the midfield, the Crows have some young stars to complement them well. Katelyn Rosenzweig was the leading goal kicker in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s league at just 18, and also came second in the South Australian Women’s Football League (SAWFL) in the same year. Joining her will be Northern Territory Under-18 representative, Danielle Ponter, who knows how to find the goals. Ponter spent some time in Essendon’s VFLW side this year and kicked six goals from six games, finishing in the top three for the side’s goal kicking. Add the talented forward/ midfielder, Chloe Scheer, and the high-flying Jessica Sedunary, and you have one dangerous contingent inside 50.

Area of weakness: Ruck department

Not too much to be concerned about for Crows fans, as Rhiannon Metcalfe has dominated the last two seasons in the ruck, but they will look to build depth in the position. The departure of Jess Allan does hurt, but will open up the opportunity for Jasmyn Hewett to shoulder some of the duties. But in the VFLW, Hewett was often found up forward kicking goals, so the Crows may utilise her inside 50 or in defence, due to her versatility as a utility player. New recruit, Jess Foley will be key in the ruck department, as she looks to use her basketball background to advantage to assist Metcalfe.

Players to watch:

Chloe Scheer

Scheer was highly likely to get drafted in 2018, but an ACL injury held her back. Since recovering from her injury, she has spent some time in the Northern Territory, kicking four goals in her first game of the season for Nightcliff in the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s competition. In that same game, she helped secure Nightcliff’s first win for the season, highlighting how much of an impact she can make immediately. She has been awarded the Best and Fairest four times (three junior, one senior) in her career at the Adelaide Footy League/ SAWFL, highlighting her immense talent.

Jessica Sedunary

Sedunary had a stellar season for the NT Thunder in the VFLW, finishing fifth in the competition’s goal kicking and first in the club’s. She kicked 15 goals in 11 games, including a four-goal haul against the Cats. Sedunary has great take-off speed and is a fitness machine, making her a weapon up forward. She is also a great reader of the play, as she can often play sneakily behind the ball when the defenders crash the packs. Expect her to be a headache for opposition sides this season.

Marijana Rajcic

Like Sedunary, Rajcic also starred in the NT Thunder line-up during the VFLW season. She was named in the best in three of her seven games, and was utilised inside 50. In the forward line, she managed 11 goals for the season, averaging 1.57 majors per game. The Crows usually played Rajcic in defence last year, but after her breakout season with the Thunder, she could feature prominently as a high half-forward. She also has the ability to rack up the disposals, averaging 9.6 last year and 13.4 in the VFLW. Rajcic racked up more than 10 disposals in all but one of her appearances for the Thunder, making her a player to certainly keep an eye on.

2019 prediction: 2nd in Conference A

The Crows have a line-up that will really threaten the competition, with the forward line being the focal point. The midfield continues to boast the excitement of the previous seasons, with players like Ebony Marinoff, Erin Phillips and Angela Foley sticking at the club for what is set to be another successful year. It will be interesting to see what new coach, Matthew Clarke does with his strong side and whether he will go in a different direction to Bec Goddard, in terms of player positioning. It’s hard to see Adelaide miss the finals with such a strong side and the envy of missing finals last year. Their main challenges will be the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne in their conference, and those teams happen to be the bookends of their season, and if anyone knows how crucial it is to start and finish the season off well, it’s the Crows. They do have a tough run home with the the Kangaroos, Giants and Demons standing in their way, so Adelaide will want to be securing early wins, and that window for potential will be in rounds two, three and four, when the Crows face the Blues, Cats and Dockers. The Crows will want to time their run to the finals better than they did in 2018 to secure a finals berth in the AFLW’s third season.

 

Weekend wash-up: NTFL Women’s – Round 8

THE ladder-leading team again changed in Round 8, as Waratah re-claimed top spot with a big win over Pint, who came into this game on top of the table and ended it sitting at fourth. Elsewhere, the Southern Districts continued to prove themselves as a key player in the premiership race, while the Palmerston Magpies strung together a good win against fellow contenders, Darwin. Despite being at the bottom of the ladder, St Marys and the Wanderers put on a good high-scoring contest, but it was not enough to secure the Wanderers’ first win of the season.

 

ST MARYS 2.0 | 4.4 | 6.5 | 8.7 (55)
WANDERERS 0.1 | 2.3 | 4.5 | 7.6 (48)

GOALS:

St Marys: K. Dann 2, M. Gunderson 2, J. Chisholm, D. Ponter, D. Bishop, A. Baptista.
Wanderers: Not supplied.

Despite these teams being closer to the bottom of the ladder, this match was one of the highest scoring games of the season. In the end, it was St Marys who got up by seven points, leaving the Wanderers win-less so far this season. The Saints got off to a fast start, kicking two goals to one behind in the first term. The Wanderers evened up the scoring in the second quarter, with both teams scoring two goals. However, it was the Saints who had the upper hand at that point, going into half-time with a 13-point lead. The Wanderers fought back in the third term, pegging the margin back to 12 points with a two-goal third term. They went one better in the last quarter, but it wasn’t enough to gain the lead, with St Marys adding to its margin with another two goals in the term. It was an even spread of contributors for the Saints, with Katherine Dann and Marlee Gunderson each scoring two goals. Danarra Bishop, Jadeen Chisholm and Advenia Baptista each kicked a major in the win, and were joined by a new AFL Women’s recruit in Danielle Ponter, who also scored a goal in her first appearance for St Marys this season.

 

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 1.1 | 3.3 | 5.6 | 6.7 (43)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 2.3 | 4.3 | 5.4 | 5.9 (39)

GOALS:

Palmerston: J. Stassi 2, T. May, N. Medbury, F. Puruntatameri.
Darwin: K. Duggan 2, J. Alley, Z. Anderson , M. Roberts.

BEST:

Palmerston: T. May, F. Puruntatameri, J. Baird, C. Marshall, L. Santo, B. Byers
Darwin: T. Docherty-Cole, Z. Anderson , M. Roberts, D. Ah Wang, D. Totham

Darwin has been dealt with a blow to its premiership chances with a loss at the hands of the Palmerston Magpies. The Buffettes started off as the better team, scoring two goals to one in the first term. They continued to have the upper hand in the second term, despite both teams kicking two goals, as they took a six-point lead into half-time. Palmerston then dug deep in the third term, kicking 2.3 to 1.1 to take a slim two-point lead into the main break. The Buffettes wasted their opportunities to retake the lead in the fourth term, scoring five behinds compared to 1.1, ultimately losing by four points. Jessica Stassi was Palmerston’s only multiple goal scorer, and was complemented by Natasha Medbury and Freda Puruntatameri, who each kicked a goal. Undoubtedly, the star of the day was Tabitha May. May, who also kicked a major, was named best-on-ground for the second consecutive week. For Darwin, Kylie Duggan was proactive inside 50 with two goals, while Jaala Alley, Zoe Anderson and Machaelia Roberts all did well to kick majors on the day. After getting on the scoreboard last week, Tikesa Docherty-Cole continued to shine in Round 8 with a best-on-ground performance for her side.

 

PINT 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.0 (6)
WARATAH 4.0 | 6.3 | 10.7 | 14.9 (93)

GOALS:

Pint: K. Smits.
Waratah: L. Miceli 5, L. O”Shea 2, S. Nalder 2, J. de Melo 2, A. Perkins, A. Chittick, A. Healy.

BEST:

Pint: Not supplied
Waratah: J. Kolodziej, L. Miceli, J. de Melo, A. Stanley, B. Martin

In the shock of the round, the top-of-the-table Queen Ants were thrashed by reigning premiers, Waratah. After coming off their first loss of the season last week, it was expected that the Warriors were going to be hungry for a win, and they were nothing short of clinical against the team that took their spot on the top of the ladder last round. Waratah stormed out of the blocks with four straight majors in the first term, putting the game out of Pint’s reach early. In the second term, the Warriors managed two more majors, still managing to keep the Queen Ants scoreless, which resulted in a 39-point half-time margin. The scoring continued in the third term with the Warriors kicking three goals to none. They finally conceded in the first quarter, with Pint scoring for the first time in the game. But that didn’t seem to faze Waratah, who scored four goals to extend its winning margin to 87 points. Lisa Miceli was back to her best up forward after a quiet game last week, kicking five goals in the big victory. She was complemented by Lauren O’Shea, Sue Nalder and Jade de Melo, who all scored two majors each. Joanna Kolodziej built on her good form from last week, as she was named best-on-ground for the Warriors. Her side managed to shut down in-form Pint forward, Kristen Smits, who scored the Queen Ants’ only goal of the game.

 

TRACY VILLAGE 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 (0)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 4.4 | 6.12 | 7.13 | 7.15 (57)

GOALS:

Tracy Village: N/A.
Southern Districts: T. Thorn 2, M. Wehipeihana 2, M. Clarke, I. Sleeth, C. Pember.

BEST:

Tracy Village: K. Irvine, Z. Clarke, K. McNeill, B. Angel, K. Hughes, I. Hoadley
Southern Districts: T. Thorn 2, M. Wehipeihana 2, M. Clarke, I. Sleeth, C. Pember

After a win over the Warriors last week, the Crocs gave the Razorbacks no chance of disrupting their winning formula. The Southern Districts held Tracy Village scoreless for the whole game, bursting out of the gates with a four-goal first term. The game looked finished at half-time when the Crocs extended their margin to 48 points, but it could have been much more, as they kicked 2.8 for the quarter. In the third term, the Razorbacks improved defensively, restricting the Southern Districts to one goal. They did even better in the last term, holding the dominant Crocs outfit to just two behinds. However, they were still on the end of a 57-point loss, giving the Southern Districts a big percentage-boosting win. NT Thunder forward, Tayla Thorn and Melody Wehipeihana were the dominant players inside 50 for the Crocs, with each player kicking two majors a piece. Maili Clarke, Indy Sleeth and Chelsea Pember rounded out the scoring for Southern Districts, kicking a major each. Despite no goal scorers for the Razorbacks, NT Thunder’s Kristy Irvine continued to impress with a best-on-ground performance, while Zhoe Clarke was able to back up her best-on-ground performance last week by being named second-best against the Crocs. Kate McNeill, Buffy Angel, Kate Hughes and Isabelle Hoadley were the other standouts for the Razorbacks on a disappointing day.

Weekend wash-up: NTFL Women’s – Round 7

SOUTHERN Districts headlined Round 7 with a big win over reigning premiers, Waratah. The win helped the Darwin Buffettes edge closer to the top of the table, as they got a win over Tracy Village. But the team that has surpassed them all is the Queen Ants, after securing a big win over the Wanderers to cement them as one of the favourites to take home this season’s Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s premiership.

 

TRACY VILLAGE 0.1 | 0.2 | 1.3 | 1.4 (10)
DARWIN BUFFETTES 1.1 | 4.3 | 5.5 | 6.8 (44)

GOALS:

Tracy Village: E. Ienco.
Darwin: M. Breed 2, T. Hart-Aluni 2, T. Docherty-cole, B. Stokes.

BEST:

Tracy Village: Z. Clarke, E. Ienco, A. Ogilvie-Mitchell, K. Lansdown, J. Oxspring, J. Downie
Darwin: T. Docherty-cole, J. Iacono, D. Ah Wang, B. Stokes, K. Duggan

The Darwin Buffettes continued their strong season with a win against the Razorbacks, getting over the line by 34 points. The game was even at the end of the first quarter, with just one goal separating the two sides. Then, the Buffettes kicked away in the second quarter, outscoring Tracy Village three goals to one behind to take a 25-point lead into half-time. In the third quarter, the Razorbacks were able to peg the margin back, kicking a goal to match Darwin’s one goal for the term. However, the second quarter repeated itself in the last term, with the Buffettes again holding the Razorbacks to just one point. Darwin had two multiple goal-scorers on the day, with Mattea Breed and Tayla Hart-Aluni both kicking two majors. Tikesa Docherty-Cole and Bianca Stokes were the other goal scorers, and they were also named in the best. Tracy Village’s only goal scorer was Elissa Ienco, and because of her efforts, she was named second-best. Zhoe Clarke played her best game for Tracy Village, as she was awarded best-on-ground honours for her side.

 

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 1.4 | 4.8 | 4.9 | 7.11 (53)
NIGHTCLIFF 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)

GOALS:

Palmerston: J. Baird 3, T. Parriman, M. Singh, H. Davey, N. Medbury.
Nightcliff: N/A.

BEST:

Palmerston: T. May, C. Marshall, J. Leamey, V. Mounsey, B. Byers
Nightcliff: Not supplied

Nightcliff’s woes continued against Palmerston in Round 7, going down by 52 points to the in-form side. The Magpies didn’t get off to an immediate flyer, scoring just the one goal in the first term. They followed this up with a three-goal second quarter, all while holding Nightcliff scoreless, giving them a 32-point lead heading into the main break. The Tigers broke even in the third term, with each team only scoring one behind. But the Magpies were able to make amends in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Tigers three goals to none. Northern Territory Under 18 representative, Janet Baird starred inside 50, ending the game with three goals next to her name. She was complemented by a goal each from Tania Parriman, Marijian Singh, Hayley Davey and Natasha Medbury. Tabitha May, who was named Northern Territory’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, was named best-on-ground for the third time this season, highlighting her stunning form for the Magpies. Charmaine Marshall, Jess Leamey, Vanessa Mounsey and Billie Byers were the other players who impressed for Palmerston.

 

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 1.0 | 1.3 | 2.5 | 2.7 (19)
WARATAH 1.0 | 1.2 | 1.2 | 2.2 (14)

GOALS:

Southern Districts: T. Holtze, K. Patterson.
Waratah: S. Nalder, L. Miceli.

BEST:

Southern Districts: Not supplied
Waratah: L. Roberts, J. Kolodziej, C. Fabris, P. Cox, S. Bishop

Southern Districts have pulled off the upset of the season, defeating reigning premiers, Waratah by five points. The game was tight throughout, with scores being level at a goal a piece at the end of the first term. Going into half-time, just one point separated the two sides, with the Crocs only managing to add one point to their score to take that slim lead into the main break. In the third quarter, the Southern Districts broke the scoring deadlock with a crucial major to extend their lead to nine points heading into three-quarter time. In the last quarter, the Warriors fought back with a major, giving them a chance to wrestle back the momentum. But somehow the Crocs managed to hold on, despite only scoring two behinds in the last quarter. Usual names, Kelsey Patterson and Tahlia Holtze were the Crocs’ goal scorers, continuing their marvellous seasons inside 50. Usual names were also the trend for Waratah, with NT Thunder’s Sue Nalder and NTFL Women’s leading goal scorer, Lisa Miceli getting the Warriors’ majors on the day. Experienced NT Thunder star, Lisa Roberts led the way for Waratah, while Joanna Kolodziej, Claudia Fabris, Pippa Cox and Sharona Bishop were also solid.

 

PINT 0.1 | 2.3 | 3.4 | 4.10 (32)
WANDERERS 0.1 | 0.2 | 0.3 | 0.3 (3)

GOALS:

Pint: M. Keeble 2, M. Gunn, K. Smits.
Wanderers: N/A.

BEST:

Pint: Not supplied
Wanderers: S. Mauboy, L. Motlop, P. Koulakis

Pint continues to charge towards victory in season 2018/19, cementing a spot on top of the ladder with a win over the Wanderers. The Wanderers were able to halt Pint’s scoring in the first term, with neither team managing to kick a goal. Then the Queen Ants got going in the second quarter, outscoring the Wanderers two goals to none. Coming into the third quarter with a 13-point lead, Pint failed to really put a dint into the margin, kicking just the one goal in the third term. The Queen Ants tried once again in the last term to boost their percentage, but their inaccuracy came back to haunt them, as it has done on many occasions during this season. Pint managed just one goal from seven attempts in the last term, but this couldn’t prevent a fifth victory for the home side. Madeline Keeble showed good form up forward, kicking two of Pint’s four goals. The other goal scorers were Mellissa Gunn and Kristen Smits. Despite no goal scorers for the Wanderers, Sophia Mauboy, Lauren Motlop and Pierre-Angelique Koulakis were solid in the 29-point loss.

Weekend previews: NTFL Women’s – Round 7

ROUND 7 sees a top-four clash, where the Southern Districts will take on Pint. In other games, Tracy Village will take on Darwin, the Magpies host the Tigers while Pint and the Wanderers will go head-to-head. The Wanderers and Tigers will be searching for their first win of the season in this massive round of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Women’s.

 

TRACY VILLAGE V DARWIN BUFFETTES

Saturday 17 November, 10.30am

TIO Stadium

Tracy Village is coming off a bye, while the Buffettes have come off a tough loss to the Warriors. Darwin kept with the reigning premiers for most of the game, proving to be one of the main contenders to take on the Warriors this year. This will be a tough match for the Razorbacks, who sit fifth on the ladder with three wins and two losses. However, they will take pride in their most recent win in Round 3, where they beat Nightcliff by 95 points. The Razorbacks will really need to keep an eye on the Puruntatameri girls, who were on fire last week. Latina and Christine ruled the forward line while Sherayn ruled the whole ground, named as the best player for Darwin.

 

PALMERSTON MAGPIES V NIGHTCLIFF

Saturday 17 November, 1pm

TIO Oval No 2

Palmerston has an opportunity to secure a big percentage boosting win here. The Magpies currently sit sixth on the ladder, and will be wanting to make a big statement as they approach the midpoint of the season. Northern Territory Under 18 representatives, Janet Baird and Tabitha May have been the standouts for Palmerston, with Baird scoring seven goals and May being named in the best four times. The Tigers will need to tame this exciting Magpies duo, otherwise it could be another ugly week for them on the scoreboard. They will be desperate to cause the upset and secure their first win of the season, but Palmerston will be just as hungry to get its season back on track, which should make for a fierce battle.

 

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS V WARATAH

Sunday 18 November, 10am

Norbuilt Oval

The Crocs come into this match after kicking 12 behinds in two consecutive matches. While they scored seven goals in Round 5, they only managed four in Round 6. Southern Districts still managed to get the win last week, but that was against a weaker side in the Wanderers. Waratah, on the other hand, is a team that will punish the opposition if they kick inaccurately. The Warriors also have the power to hurt the scoreboard with their dangerous forward line, which is spearheaded by Lisa Miceli, who is leading all scorers in the competition with 13 goals from four games. This game will be decided by who dominates the forward line better, as both sides possess plenty of fire-power inside 50. For the Southern Districts, Kelsey Patterson, Tayla Thorn and Charles Deegan will be keen to get on the scoreboard while for Waratah, if Miceli is complemented by Amy Chittick and Sue Nalder up forward, it could lead to another big win for the reigning premiers.

 

PINT V WANDERERS

Sunday 18 November, 2pm

MCG

In a second versus second-last clash, Pint hosts the Wanderers on Sunday. The Queen Ants are coming off two consecutive wins, recovering well from their Round 4 bye. The Wanderers on the other hand, are coming off five consecutive losses, having not won a game yet this season. However, they will take plenty of confidence into this game, as their smallest loss came against Pint in Round 2. In that game, the Queen Ants narrowly escaped with a four-point win, so the Wanderers would be hoping to be on the other end of the tight margin this time round. Arthurina Moreen was the Wanderers’ only goal scorer in that match, so the team will need her to fire again in this clash. For the Queen Ants, they will be trusting Kristen Smits to keep up her good form inside 50, and Erin Hetherington to continue her dominance on the field.