Tag: Alana Woodward

VFL Women’s wash-up: Round 1 – Tigers stamp authority, while 2018 top three suffer losses

ROUND 1 of Victorian Football League Women’s (VFLW) commenced across the past two weekends, with five matches across three days of footy action all but setting the tone for the season to come. Carlton, Western Bulldogs and Williamstown had the bye this week, so will be rearing to go come Round 2.

SOUTHERN SAINTS 0.2 | 2.7 | 3.8 | 5.13 (43)
COLLINGWOOD 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 (8)

GOALS
Southern:
C. Greiser 2, T. Bohanna, C. Jones, A. Allsopp.
Collingwood: M. Doherty.

BEST
Southern:
J. Kelly, C. Phillips, O. Vesely, E. Keaney, C. Greiser, A. Drennan
Collingwood: J. Ferguson, G. Buchan, A. Bild , B. Bonnici, K. Lee, J. Lambert

It was a dominant performance from the Saints in the season opener, coming away 35 point winners against a struggling Magpies outfit. Despite all the momentum in their favour, the Saints were inaccurate inside 50 and missed opportunities to drag out the margin. Caitlin Greiser was the only multiple goalkicker, with two majors to her name, while Morgan Doherty was the sole goalkicker for the Pies. Collingwood’s Jaimee Lambert was the leading disposal winner for the match with 33 touches and six tackles, while the Magpies’ tackling pressure was solid with the likes of Katelyn Lee and Jasmine Ferguson racking up nine and seven alike. Despite the low scoring affair, the Magpies did a good job defensively to keep the Saints’ score down, showing some good composure as they controlled entries inside defensive 50 and piled on the pressure to deny space for marking contests. The Magpies will want to boost their opportunities forward in order to get a win on the board, with the defensive pressure of the Saints just too good.

ESSENDON 1.0 | 2.1 | 4.2 | 5.2 (32)
CASEY DEMONS 0.0 | 2.2 | 2.3 | 5.5 (35)

GOALS
Essendon:
M. DeMatteo 3, M. Collier, S. Audley.
Casey: M. Guerin 3, B. Jakobsson 2.

BEST
Essendon:
S. Nalder, R. Svarc, S. Wilson, A. Morcom, H. Bullas, M. DeMatteo
Casey: E. Zanker , E. Birch, B. Jakobsson, M. Guerin, C. Emonson, K. Bentvelzen

A burst from the Demons in the final moments of the game gifted the side a win to start the season after trailing by 11 at the final change. Multiple goal hauls to two Melbourne AFL Women’s players – Maddy Guerin (three goals) and Bianca Jakobsson (two) – lead the way for the Demons, as they struggled to contain the likes of Monique DeMatteo, who kicked 3.1 in a solid outing for the Bombers. Casey’s Jakobsson and Essendon’s Georgia Nanscawen were among the leading ball winners, with 20 and 19 touches respectively, while Jakobsson’s nine marks and four tackles proved pivotal to the Demons’ success. The likes of Shae Audley and Courtney Ugle provided much needed tackling pressure, combining for 21 tackles as the Demons threatened to overrun the Bombers. Eden Zanker proved to be a solid option across the field for Casey, accumulating 24 hitouts, 12 touches and four marks.

DAREBIN 0.0 | 2.0 | 3.1 | 7.2 (44)
RICHMOND 3.1 | 7.1 | 10.6 | 12.7 (79)

GOALS
Darebin:
J. Stanton, C. Byrne, E. McLaughlin, G. Hammond, L. Szigeti, E. Gardner, M. Wilson.
Richmond: T. Stahl-Smith 6, C. Wakefield 2, M. Klingbeil , J. Colwell, H. Ibrahim, E. Paterno.

BEST
Darebin:
J. Stanton, A. Lister, E. McLaughlin, S. Fairchild, G. Hammond, S. Simpson
Richmond: T. Stahl-Smith, H. Ibrahim, G. Campbell, A. Edmonds, R. Miller, C. Wakefield

A dominant performance from Tayla Stahl-Smith saw the Tigers blow the Falcons out of the water, with six goals alone almost equaling Darebin’s final tally. That being said, it was not all bad news for the Falcons as they shared around possession and showed they have options and versatility across the board. Seven individual goalkickers all but proves Darebin’s depth inside 50, giving the Falcons plenty of opportunity in front of the big sticks despite the defensive pressure of the Tigers. Jamie Stanton (19 disposal, four marks, four tackles) and Hannah Ibrahim (17 touches, two marks, six tackles) lead the way for their respective sides, putting pressure both on and off the ball with their respective ability to take control of possession. Both Shree Fairchild and Alana Woodward came away with 10 tackles to their name, however it was the backup provided by fellow Tigers teammates that kept the pressure on around the ground as Kodi Jacques and Shayla Marsh also came away with solid tackling numbers (nine and eight, respectively).

HAWTHORN 0.1 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 4.3 (27)
NT THUNDER 1.3 | 3.8 | 5.10 | 6.13 (49)

GOALS
Hawthorn:
J. Sibley 2, C. Perera, T. Luke.
NT: A. Considine 2, J. Hewett, J. Baird, A. Foley, L. Roberts.

BEST
Hawthorn:
T. Luke, C. Perera, E. Nixon, P. Peschke, R. Dillon, N. Cormack
NT: T. Thorn, C. Randall, D. Varnhagen, J. Hewett, A. Foley, M. Roberts

It was a slow start for both sides in this matchup, however a second half boost from the Thunder saw the interstate side take control from that point onwards and did not look back. Chelsea Randall (28 disposals, seven marks, four tackles), Ailish Considine (22 touches, two goals) and Angela Foley (20 disposals, one goal, six marks) were named in the best for the NT side, while the likes of Deni Varnhagen (18 touches, seven marks) and Jasmyn Hewitt (one goal, eight tackles) also made their mark on the game. For the Hawks, it took a full field defensive unit to stop the press of the Thunder’s attack, proving strong as they limited Thunder’s accuracy with the constant pressure inside defensive 50. Philippa Peschke and Meg Hutchins were among Hawthorn’s best with 22 and 21 disposals respectively, while Peschke also notched up five marks and five tackles. Also up there for the Hawks was Ebony Nixon, who finished with a solid 20 touches, six marks and five tackles. Jess Sibley was a good option inside 50, kicking an equal game-high two goals to keep her side in the match.

MELBOURNE UNI 3.0 | 7.1 | 9.2 | 12.5 (77)
GEELONG CATS 2.1 | 3.1 | 3.3 | 5.3 (33)

GOALS
Uni:
A. Price 4, J. Garner 3, L. Amelung 2, J. Bruton, M. McDonald, E. King.
Geelong: M. Boyd 2, M. Keryk, B. Beckley, R. Benham.

BEST
Uni:
T. Mesiti, J. Garner, J. Grierson, K. Angelis, A. Price, M. McDonald
Geelong: R. Webster, A. McDonald, J. Ivey, M. Boyd, C. Blakeway, M. Keryk

Melbourne Uni made their presence felt on the field winning comfortably against Geelong. It was a close start but as the game went on Melbourne Uni pushed ahead credit to their accuracy in front of goal and making the most of their opportunities with ball in hand. Geelong were unable to stop the Muggars who were crisp with ball in hand and flexed their muscles in the second term nailing four goals to one, to take a 24 point lead into the main break and did not look back. Jasmine Garner was prolific across the field picking up plenty of the ball with a game high 31 disposals. She also impacted the scoreboard nailing three goals to add to her impressive afternoon. Asha Price was a dead in eye in front of goal booting four goals for Melbourne University while Laura Amelung was also important in the forward half kicking two goals straight, showcasing their accuracy in front of goal. Jenna Bruton was a major ball winner for the Muggars who relished her hard-nosed attitude at the contest, amassing 22 touches and a goal while Kate Gillespie-Jones led the way in physicality with 10 tackles for the game. In a disappointing outing for Geelong, Rebecca Webster recorded the highest number of disposals with 20 touches, using the ball well to hit up teammates and create space. In the forward 50 Maddie Boyd was impressive, slotting two majors and securing a game high seven marks showcasing her strong hands in the contest.

Scouting notes: VFLW – Round 2

ROUND two of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s produced many highlights, with some teams experiencing victory for the first time while others had to deal with the odd feeling of a draw. But no matter what the result was, the entertainment was still top notch across all games. We were at three games on the weekend and took down notes on some of the top performers.

 

Richmond vs. Darebin 

By: James Halley

Richmond:

#76 Ella Ross

She was a constant contributor all day for Richmond, finishing with 18 touches. She was the link from midfield to forward many times, and went inside 50 four times.

#64 Emma Gunn

She applied really good forward pressure. She was rewarded for her good work with a shot on goal from a free kick from the square but it hit the post.

#71 Louise Stephenson

Very good tackler and won herself a free for holding the ball in a chase-down tackle early in the first term. The Giant played mostly in attack, and set up many attempts on goal. Although none prevailed, she still had a serviceable game with 10 disposals.

#59 Alana Woodward

Her pressure was huge and exemplified by her tackling. She finished with 11 tackles, the most on the ground.

#61 Jenna Colwell

She was the Tigers best and most influential in the midfield, with 25 disposals for the match. Although she did not score any goals this week, she can hold her head up high.

 

Darebin:

#40 Hannah Mouncey

She presented well at the ball and she was able to mark the ball on the lead from 50 metres out. She kicked a goal off one step from the long range to start the game. She repeated this a minute later with another contested grab and goal from 50 metres. She kicked her third for the quarter when she was left out the back and waltzed into an open goal square. Mouncey took another mark on the lead but could not convert, with her shot off a few steps hitting the post. She set up her teammate in the last for a goal with a really clever piece of play hitting her on the chest 50 metres away.

#27 Shevaun Hogan

She played at full-back and played more of a quarter-back role as she always stayed at least a kick behind the play and time after time the Tigers midfielders kicked it straight to her.

#14 Meghan McDonald

McDonald was the best midfielder on the day for the Falcons finishing with 23 disposals. Her teammates always tried to get the ball in her hands as she is a very good kick. She kicked the ball 14 times on the day. 

#17 Stephanie Simpson

Kicked a good snap from the boundary early in the first after a kick-in mistake from the Tigers. She had a shot from general play, which didn’t go through as it hit the post. She intercepted a Tiger seconds later and it was the same result, a behind.

#63 Lauren Pearce

Dominated the ruck and even brought out a don’t argue! She also managed to get a lot of the ball around the ground as she finished with 17 disposals.

 

Carlton vs. Western Bulldogs

By: Julia Montesano

Carlton:

#41 Kimberley Cunico

Took a lovely one-on-one mark and earned a 50 metre penalty. She made no mistake from close range and slotted through the Blues’ third goal of the match. Took a great mark in the goal-square, and almost had to wrestle it from Celine Moody! Kicked her second goal of the game in this instance.

#35 Sophie Li

Ran hard all day and got some nice kicks away. Uses the ball with precision and kicks deftly, never having to rush. Read the bounce of the ball perfectly and sent it back into the Blues’ forward 50 when it looked like the Bulldogs were going to slingshot it towards their goal. Did everything she could to trap the ball inside the boundary line and just generally tried hard all game. 

#11 Jess Hosking

She got plenty of the footy and chased it down wherever it went. She didn’t give up all day. Kicked a great goal to begin the last quarter and celebrated in style. Looked like she was really enjoying herself out there. Hosking was at the bottom of every pack, showing her determination to get the footy. Had a brilliant day out, kicking the last goal of the game for the Blues after marking it straight in front to give herself a nice set-shot.

#16 Breann Moody

Has excellent run and carry for her height and is another Carlton player that’s a fighter. Produced a nice passage of run and carry and when the bounce didn’t go her way, she kept moving it forward instead of giving up on it, soccering it forward.

#31 Kate Shierlaw

Took a sensational mark on the lead in the third quarter. She kicked truly from a set shot and kept Carlton’s momentum going. Her goal gave them their biggest lead of the match at the time, which was 31 points. Had great awareness to see that the kick was dropping short from a set-shot and marked out on the lead from close range. Had a really good day in the forward line, finishing off her work with a play-on mark from the goalsquare. This resulted in her second goal of the day.

 

Western Bulldogs:

#24 Kimberley Rennie

Picked the ball up nicely and hit a target well. Got a good kick away while being tackled. Took a great mark on the lead in defence with a couple of players pushing and shoving her.

#14 Ellyse Gamble

Took a nice intercept mark that saved a forward 50 entry for the Blues. Followed up the ball well when it was on the ground and didn’t give up on it despite it rolling away. Got a high free kick while she pursued the ball, so she got reward for her efforts. Lead to the ball well in defence to ensure that the Carlton forwards didn’t. Read it best in that instance, and was generally good at reading the play throughout the afternoon. 

#17 Hayley Wildes

Wildes made history! She kicked the Bulldogs’ first ever VFLW goal from a tight angle on the boundary line. When it sailed through, the players sure got around her! Also produced great run and carry where she backed herself to take a couple of bounces. This created an inside 50 entry for the Dogs. She looks like she’s fitting in well at this level. Really proactive around the ground and with the ball in hand. Took a great one-on-one mark in the centre square. Executed a great side-step and big kick inside 50 off one step. 

#34 Emma Mackay

Executed brilliant run and carry. Backed herself to run away with it. She was proactive when she got the ball and always had the intent to use it cleanly. She was a solid presence around the ground for the Bulldogs.     

#9 Tayla Dinuccio

Did well to prevent a Darcy Vescio mark then followed up the spilled ball to get a kick away out of defensive 50. Did some nice things in defensive 50 and was able to accumulate the ball. 

 

Collingwood vs. Geelong 

By: Taylah Melki

Collingwood:

#4 Sarah D’Arcy

D’Arcy consistently went in hard to win the footy at ground level, getting down low to get first hands at it. She was never far from the contest and used her long clearing kick to help propel her team out of defence.  

#13 Jaimee Lambert

Lambert was at her usual best, showcasing her clean pick-ups at the coalface and opening up space to try and create a good spread across the ground. She impressed with her ability to breaks line and shrug off tackles while using her explosive speed through the middle of the ground to propel the Pies forward. Lambert was not afraid to scrap hard to win the footy and was a real play-maker for the Pies. She particularly instrumental in the middle of the ground.

#61 Amy Malander

Put out a complete performance for the Pies, helping to create forward thrusts for her teammates. She competed hard in and around the stoppages and showcased her clean hands which was important for Collingwood.

#63 Paige Nash

Nash was inspirational up forward for the Pies. She showcased her footy smarts and ability to read the play getting into damaging positions across the field.

#75 Erica Fowler

Fowler competed well in the ruck, showcasing her impressive lead and ability to read the flight of the footy. She won a few taps to advantage which allowed her midfielders to run onto the footy and break through the packs. Fowler’s follow-up work was really good as well.

 

Geelong:

#2 Danielle Orr

Orr was a playmaker for Geelong, showcasing her footy smarts and ability to hit targets even when under pressure. She impressed with her willingness to go hard at the footy and imposed herself at the contest, laying strong tackles.

#3 Hannah Burchell

Opened the Cats’ goal-scoring account, kicking the first major of the game in the second quarter. She worked hard all game and committed herself to winning the footy.

#7 Mia-Rae Clifford

She provided some good run and carry for the Cats and really opened up space in the middle. Having to compete with the wind, she impressed with her strong kick which helped to propel her team forward.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Cranston was a tackling beast in the first quarter of the game applying heaps of physical pressure on her opponents causing them to turn the footy over. She laid an impressive tackle in the first quarter leading to a holding the ball free kick, allowing the Cats to try and create some forward momentum. She made the most of her strong booming kick and played on quickly to help keep the game moving.

#34 Amy McDonald

McDonald was really clean out of defence and thought her way out of trouble. She used her speed to evade on coming players and highlighted her footy smarts and composure to hit targets even while under pressure.

#36 Evelyn Dhamarrandji

She was strong up forward took a strong contested mark in the opening quarter to help set the tone of the match. Dhamarrandji impressed with her follow-up work at ground level and fight to win the ball and dish it out to her teammates.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 2

IT is only round two in the new-look Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition, but we already have our first draw! Carlton and Hawthorn also headlined the round, with both teams taking their win tally to two from two early on in the season. 

 

Essendon 4.4 (28) defeated by Melbourne Uni 5.6 (36) 

Melbourne Uni’s straight kicking was a huge factor in the game, with five straight majors at three-quarter-time giving them the lead, which Essendon held at half-time. A goalless fourth quarter made for a nerve-wracking contest for both sides but it was ultimately the Mugars who prevailed. 

Diamond Creek recruit, Ashleigh Riddell was the star of the day for Melbourne Uni, kicking three of her side’s five goals and racking up 22 disposals. AFLW best and fairest, Emma Kearney was the leading disposal-getter on the ground, recording 25 disposals which included 15 kicks. Bendigo Pioneers graduate, Aisling Tupper also had another successful outing for the Mugars, racking up 13 disposals and laying seven tackles. 

Danielle Ponter once again got on the scoreboard for the Bombers and was joined by Canadian teammate, Valerie Moreau. Jessica Anwyl also got on the board, which complemented her 11 disposals and three tackles. Captain, Lisa Williams was the Bombers’ leading disposal-getter, racking up 19 of them to go along with her 10 tackles. Canadian, Kendra Heil, who has recovered from two ACL injuries, recorded five disposals and five tackles. 

 

Richmond 0.4 (4) defeated by Darebin 6.7 (43) 

By: James Halley 

Darebin was able to bounce back after its big round one loss to NT Thunder with an emphatic victory over Richmond, who were red-hot after their impressive maiden club victory last week. But on Saturday, Richmond could not back their performance up, although they fought gallantly against the experienced Darebin side in drizzly conditions.

Darebin blazed away early in the match and kicked four unanswered goals in the first 10 minutes. But the Tigers kept them at bay for the remainder of the game, which proved to be an armwrestle. After the first quarter, Richmond boosted their intensity around the ball and drove harder into contests. Darebin scored just one goal in the second term, three points in the third, and one goal in the fourth. It was a much fiercer battle than what the scoreboard suggested.

Hannah Mouncey was a level above in this match. Whether it was in a one-on-one contest or on the ground, she was hard to stop. She was huge for Darebin as she kicked three goals with two coming from outside 50. Stephanie Simpson was also quite prolific for the Falcons as she kicked two goals to go along with her 13 disposals in a tantalising display. Meghan McDonald was another important contributor for Darebin in the middle of the ground as she collected 23 disposals, which was the most on the ground.

Among the best for the Tigers was Jenna Colwell with 25 disposals, as the midfielder showed her all-round game. She even had a stint in the ruck! Tiger, Alana Woodward was really effective in putting pressure around the ball, gathering 11 tackles, the highest on the ground. Kate Dempsey was prolific for the Tigers with 18 touches and 14 kicks.

 

Casey Demons 3.6 (24) defeated by Hawthorn 4.7 (31) 

At three-quarter time, the Casey Demons were on the verge of making history. But the Hawks flexed their muscles and kicked two goals to the Demons’ three behinds in the fourth quarter, which kept their winning momentum going.

Chantella Perera led the way for Hawthorn, and complemented captain, Emma Mackie, who was able to back up her solid round one performance at Casey Fields. Adelaide AFLW forward, Sarah Perkins also played a convincing game despite not hitting the scoreboard on Sunday. Jayde Van Dyk, Ebony Nixon and Louise Wotton were the other standout performers on the day. 

For Casey, it was Melbourne AFLW defender, Katherine Smith who was the shining light. Smith found some consistent form at the end of the AFLW season and continued to deliver in the Demons’ first match in the VFLW competition. She was complemented by fellow AFLW defender, Darcy Guttridge, who also had a solid outing at Casey Fields. Rebecca Guglielmino was the history-maker for the Demons, kicking their first goal of the competition early on in the first quarter. 

 

Carlton 9.7 (61) defeated Western Bulldogs 2.3 (15)

The Blues made it two from two in their inaugural VFLW season. But the Bulldogs managed to also make history on the day, with Hayley Wildes kicking the team’s first ever goal.

Carlton had three multiple goalkickers at RAMS Arena, with Jess Hosking, Kimberley Cunico and Kate Shierlaw each kicking two goals. Hosking in particular was a star, as she was at the bottom of every pack and generated great run throughout the day. AFLW ruck, Breann Moody was sensational, as she worked around the ground to make her impact felt. Midfielder, Sophie Li also did some nice things on the day, running hard and using the ball really well to get the Blues going forward. Jorja Borg was another standout, particularly making her presence known with some aggressive tackles.

Hayley Wildes was unstoppable for the Bulldogs, as she accumulated plenty of the ball and made history in front of goals. She was joined by Rachel Ashley on the scoreboard, who scored the Dogs’ second goal of the day, and in their VFLW history, in the last quarter. Kimberley Rennie also played a fantastic game for the Bulldogs, racking up the disposals all over the ground. Tayla Dinuccio and Emma Mackay also contributed with some nice moments in the 46-point loss.

 

Collingwood 3.9 (27) drew Geelong 4.3 (27) 

By: Taylah Melki

It was a tight tussle throughout the game but neither side could be separated with 27 points each. In difficult windy conditions the first major was not scored until the ninth minute of the second quarter. Both teams fought hard but the Pies were plagued with inaccuracy in front of goal, slotting nine behinds for the match. For most of the game the play seemed to take part in the midfield with both teams struggling to keep it in their forward 50, making scoring opportunities few and far between.

For the Pies, the likes of Jaimee Lambert stood tall in tricky conditions, slotting a goal and using her run and carry to help propel the Magpies forward. Lambert impressed with her ability to impact the contest and use her quick hands at stoppages to help open space for Collingwood. Sarah D’Arcy was another key player for the black and white, making her presence felt across the field and using her long clearing kick to help relieve the pressure. Mua Laloifi was named amongst Collingwood’s best with her strong performance against the Cats, winning plenty of the footy and imposing herself on the contest.

Hannah Burchell helped to kick start the scoring for Geelong, kicking an important major and sparking a forward flurry for Geelong. The likes of new Geelong AFLW recruit Richelle Cranston also dominated for the Cats in the first quarter, imposing herself on the contest and laying plenty of bone-crunching tackles. Renee Garing was also a standout  for the Cats while Evelyn Dhamarrandji provided a good option up forward and impressed with her follow-up work across the ground

Scouting notes: VFLW – Round 1

THE first week of the VFL Women’s competition produced a variety of different results. Many teams experienced historic wins while competition powerhouses such as Darebin and Melbourne University unusually kicked off their seasons with a loss. Each week, AFL Draft Central writers will be attending games and taking notes on the players from each side who performed well on the day. 

 

Darebin Falcons vs. NT Thunder 

By: Michael Alvaro 

Darebin Falcons:

#11 Kate Tyndall 

The former Western Bulldogs forward had a decent showing, kicking two of her side’s five goals. Tyndall got stuck in all day against a formidable Thunder defence, laying six tackles to help stop the flow of NT exiting the Falcons forward half. Her goal in the first quarter came from a handy Stephanie Simpson assist, and she proved to be a rare option up forward in solid patches throughout the day.

#14 Meghan McDonald 

McDonald was by far and away the Falcons’ best, providing a cool head across half-back. Often acting as the loose number in defence, she collected a team-high 26 disposals, and spared Darebin’s blushes many a time with some clutch intercept marking to finish with nine overall. She showcased her lovely, fluent kick when sending her side forward and was one of the few Falcons to successfully take the game on.

#17 Stephanie Simpson 

Somewhat of a Falcons veteran, Simpson was one of the more consistent players on the day. While she was caught in possession a couple of times early on, Simpson wasn’t afraid to use her dash and really bring it to her opposition on the break-away. She chimed in with a couple of clever plays, providing and assist for Kate Tyndall’s first quarter goal, while making the play from half-back to allow the Falcons to break for their second goal.

#20 Maddy Guerin 

Back at Preston City Oval where she played most of her TAC Cup football for Northern Knights, Guerin looked right at home in the VFLW. Attending most of the centre bounces and acting as the Falcons’ primary midfield option, she took on a fair workload throughout the game. Having collected 16 disposals, four marks and four tackles, it was a decent day for the youngster, and she was able to show off her trademark burst with a couple of nice centre clearances.

#40 Hannah Mouncey 

The VFLW debutant battled hard with limited opportunities coming for the Falcons forward line. While she wasn’t quite able to stick most of her marks, Mouncey used her body well in the contest and led up time after time from full forward. She broke countless tackles and used that skill to snare a goal from deep in the 50. Her repeat efforts were most impressive, but she lacked polish at times with her disposal – spraying two of her shots at goal quite badly. With the game all but over, Mouncey also had a brief stint in the ruck during the fourth quarter.  

 

NT Thunder:

#3 Angela Foley

Foley found plenty of the football pushing forward from half-back and the wing, finishing with 30 disposals. She proved damaging with her 24 kicks, using them to gain momentum and get the ball into dangerous areas quickly, where the NT forwards would finish the job. She kicked a nice check-side goal right on the half time siren to really sink the Falcons’ spirit, and her five tackles highlight her good work rate across the ground.

#16 Sophie Armitstead

The Crows midfielder showed no signs of ailment after her season-ending knee injury as she racked up 15 disposals and converted a free-kick goal. A handy touch-rugby player, Armitstead converted her skills well on the day with six tackles and some good pressure through both the midfield and forward half. A good return from a promising player.

 #17 Emma Swanson

The GWS marquee was at her best, dominating all parts of the ground on her way to collecting a game-high 31 disposals. A real smooth mover, Swanson looked quick and evasive with ball in hand and was near-on unstoppable around the contest. She was one of the better users of the ball on the day and lurked well around the stoppages. Her two first-quarter goals put the cherry on top of a good performance.  

#26 Chelsea Randall

The Adelaide Crows star was outstanding, putting on a clinic in all facets of the game. She wowed the crowd with her aerial marking, blind turns, and one-handed pick ups – having some of her AFLW teammates in the stands yelling ‘stop it Chels!’. It’s hard to miss her with her socks pulled up to her knees, which was handy since you always knew something was going to happen when she approached the contest. She collected 23 disposals, four marks, five tackles and two goals on a day out.  

#29 Marijana Rajcic

Deciding the votes for this game would be a hell of a task, with Rajcic one of many NT players to put their hand up for best-on honours. Spending most of her time forward of the ball, Rajcic provided a real focal point for the Thunder. She had a purple patch during the second quarter where she seemed to be everywhere – taking overhead marks, being hit upon leads and kicking 1.2 from a handful of attempts at goal. Finishing with 3.4 from her 25 disposals and eight marks, she stood out with her clean hands and the variety of avenues to goal that she creates.

 

Collingwood vs. Williamstown 

By: Peter Williams 

Collingwood:

#4 Sarah D’Arcy

By the end of the game, she was probably the Pies’ best player. Off half-back she was sensational, intercepting nearly anything that came her way, taking some towering marks and putting her body on the line in defence. She continually ran up the ground when needing to impact a contest on the wing and won free kicks for her strong tackles. Throughout the four quarters, D’Arcy showed strong hands and was willing to take the opposition on which was crucial on a wet ground. Had a shot on goal in the second term but it just went wide.

#11 Eliza Hynes

Not a day for the talls, Hynes continued to present around the ground. She dropped a number of marks but considering the wet football it was understandable. The more important aspect was the fact she brought the ball to ground when up forward and always provided a contest. In the ruck she was quite clever with the way she was able to palm the ball down and use her height to advantage.

#13 Jamee Lambert

Kicked a couple of goals early and was dangerous inside 50. Played a great portion of her game in the forward line leading out to the midfielders. She almost had a third late in the game, but was constantly involved, moving up the ground and kicking inside 50 as well as being on the receiving end. Made history with kicking the first Collingwood goal in the VFLW competition.

#46 Sarah Dargan

Relished the full-time midfield role with a number of Pies out, and was one of the best. Her work ethic was great and she continually put her body on the line. She matched up with Jenna Bruton and really took it up to her. She kicked long in the first term to help Lambert kick the first goal of the game and just cracked in hard throughout the match. She was smart around the stoppages and was on the receiving end of a few handballs, while also winning plenty of contested ball.

#65 Emily Browning

I could have gone for a number of non-AFLW listed players here, but I wanted to highlight Emily Browning’s game. The stats sheet probably won’t do her justice, but she continually worked hard inside 50 and as one of the youngest on the ground just pushed up and received the ball on the lead. She had a huge applause from the crowd when she landed a monster goal in the third term to give the Pies some breathing space.

 

Williamstown:

#2 Jess Duffin

The clear best on ground in my eyes, impressive from the first bell to the final siren. She had an impact everywhere she went, winning the first clearance and booting the first goal of the game. She took a number of intercept marks and had a shot on goal which just missed early, then had another crack with a snap from the boundary line but just missed again. She laid a bone-crunching tackle on D’Arcy as the latter was running into goal, and was steady in the back half. Just never wavered and was a huge reason the Seagulls were in the contest for the four quarters.

#16 Andrea Cameron

Cameron was one of the better Seagulls on the day, particularly early on in the contest. She has good core balance and this was shown by the way she was able to use her body well in a one-on-one at ground level. She protected the ball, shifted her balance and dished off the ball. Later on she took a strong mark leading out of the forward 50.

#25 Jasmine Garner

Played at both ends and caused some headaches for her AFLW side. She was good overhead and continually presented, bringing the ball to ground when she didn’t mark it. She won an early free kick and was always tightly watched, but a strong performance overall. She went back in the final term and did some nice things, taking some intercept marks and kicking long to the wing.

#34 Jacinta Reid

Felt Reid held up well in the defensive 50, matching it with a number of opponents. She provided drive out of defence and took a great diving mark early in the game. She was consistent throughout the match and will be one to watch going forward.

#35 Jenna Bruton

The Seagulls captain and Western Bulldogs AFLW premiership player just put her body on the line for four quarters. Opposed to Sarah Dargan most of the time, Bruton continued to crack in hard and won plenty of contested ball. She showed good vision to get the ball into space and used plenty of handballs to get the ball into space for teammates running on the outside. In the second term, Bruton showed her strength by fending off D’Arcy and getting the ball clear.

 

Western Bulldogs vs. Richmond 

By: James Halley

Western Bulldogs:  

#12 Jessica Francke

She is a really good mark and presented all day for the Dogs. Francke set a good example for her teammates to follow as she was usually at the bottom of packs. She just needed more teammates to help her out.

#14 Ellyse Gamble

Her football understanding was high as she sets up really well and as a result found herself on the end of some Richmond miskicks in the forward line. A highlight of the game was her intercept marking.

 #25 Rachel Gastin

She played as all footballers should and that is in front, and it worked for her a couple times as the rushed kick went straight into her lap. She was a constant for the Bulldogs and had a very good technique and kicking skills.

 #39 Kerrie Clarke

Clarke had a clever play when she hit-up a teammate for set-shot to end the quarter. She was really creative with her kicking throughout the match.

#45 Erin McLaughlin

Her second efforts were good but she just needs to present at the contest harder. She didn’t always mark the ball on the first go but she never gave up and gave second and third efforts, which would often would result in the Bulldogs making their way up forward. 

 

Richmond:

#53 Kate Dixon

With a good leading mark she converted the first ever goal for Richmond in the VFL Women’s competition. She put on great pressure to intercept a kick-in to set up Emma Gunn for the Tigers’ second major. Dixon slotted the Tigers’ third in a well-taken set shot. She kicked another goal in the third term from a downfield free kick where she got good penetration on her kick from a set shot. Dixon kicked her fourth major when Jenna Colwell set her up in the goal-square. She was the most damaging player on the ground for her 10 disposals.

#59 Alana Woodward

Great tackling and smothering. She had a shot at goal in general play and just missed, bit it was a good effort from the distance she kicked it from. Woodward managed to be around the ball enough to catch the eye of many and her speed and smarts landed her in many dangerous positions on the ground. She was the chain between the middle and the goals.

#68 Alice Edmonds

She played in the ruck for the Tigers and played her role well, winning her fair share of the taps. She is quite imposing on the field and accidentally took out a Bulldogs opponent in the second term due to her size. Edmonds had the confidence to grab the ball out of the ruck a couple of times towards the end of the match. Hopefully she keeps her spot when Collingwood AFLW ruck, Emma King pulls on the yellow and black.

#61 Jenna Colwell

She was really prolific for the Tigers up forward as she finished with two goals. Her and Kate Dixon created many headaches for the Bulldogs defence. A highlight of her game was when she kicked a miraculous goal from the boundary to register her first major for the game.

#63 Jacqueline Graham

She was a general down back. She was one of the reasons why the Bulldogs were held goalless, as she was a constant intercept-marking threat. Graham had very good closing speed and managed to get a spoil on many occasions. Her efforts rewarded her with 21 disposals. 

 

Essendon vs. Hawthorn 

Essendon: 

#32 Tait Mackrill

Has a really long kick and knows how to find space. Kicked it long down the line a couple of times. Mackrill executed a nice fend-off and high kick, giving her teammates the opportunity to run onto the footy. She saw she couldn’t kick a goal so she found the perfect option beside her inside 50. She also displayed a great spin out of trouble and went one better with a nicely delivered kick to the pocket. Was thrown into the middle in the fourth quarter and got two early clearances, often getting a quick kick away after her great clearance work. Displayed fantastic on-field leadership and was a bull in the contest.

#25 Rebecca Neaves

Did some good work to follow up her dropped mark, trapping the ball and giving away clean a handball. She was able to read the ball really well off a short kick from full back and curled the ball onto her chest. Did the little one per centers for the Bombers and was keen to be in every contest. A highlight of her game was when she executed a good pick-up on the boundary line and a nice kick into space. Neaves killed it in defence and worked so hard for her team throughout the game. Took plenty of contested marks to keep her side in the contest.

#15 Lauren Caruso

Had some really nice patches throughout the game but really made an influence in the last quarter. Laid an excellent tackle and won a free kick for it early on. Did some great work to hack the ball out of defensive 50 and was super lively around the contest. She was really composed around the ground, following the ball wherever it went. Took some nice marks and always pursued the ball after the ball after she kicked it. It was so good to see her playing footy again after captaining the Cannons to a premiership last year in the TAC Cup Girls competition.

#6 Alex Quigley

Took a good contested mark to start off her good day. Continued to dominate with her strong hands, showcasing some great marking on the lead. What impressed me most was after she took a mark, she would be composed with the ball in hand and not get carried away after a big grab. Quigley was so lively in the forward line and her hard work rewarded her with the ultimate accolade- making history. She won a downfield free kick and kicked the Bombers’ first goal. This generated a magnificent roar and every single one of her teammates got around her. It was brilliant to see.

#8 Hayley Bullas

Bullas is a great one per center player, doing all the little things to keep the Bombers momentum up throughout the day. She was able to lay a great smother that generated plenty of noise from the stands. Another highlight was when she grabbed the ball and reeled around to get a nice kick away, avoiding the player in her way. She was tenacious on the day, laying plenty of aggressive tackles and buzzing around the contest.

#43 Danielle Ponter

Did a really good job inside 50. Always presented even when the Bombers didn’t look like scoring. Took a great grab and kicked it nicely into space. Executed a really nice pick up off the deck and snapped it but just missed. Had a good handball receive about 45m out and bombed long for a great goal in the final term. Was lively throughout the day.

 

Hawthorn: 

#1 Emma Mackie

The Hawthorn skipper stood up on the big occasion and in my opinion, she was the best player on the ground. Displayed nice quick hands throughout the game, always getting her teammates into the contest. Had a great play when she executed a great overhead pick-up in the contest, bought the ball down to ground, which gave her teammates the opportunity to push forward. Displayed excellent tackling pressure all afternoon. Trapped the ball well and executed a wonderful underground handball. Delivered some nice long kicks down the line and also got on the end of some, taking some huge contested marks.

#7 Phoebe McWilliams

Laid some nice tackles in the heart of the contest inside 50, applying great forward pressure. She was lively throughout the game, itching her way into the contest. She delivered a well-directed kick to the top of square and took a good mark on the lead on the boundary line. Did all her nice work in the forward line and tried hard all day. She was unlucky to miss a set shot on goal but displayed high work ethic. A highlight was when she took a great overhead mark in a contested situation.

#25 Meg Hutchins

Hutchins’ on-field leadership is a huge asset in her game. She played the majority of her career in defence for the Pies but often found herself inside 50 against the Bombers. She did extremely well in the role, kicking a brilliant long-range goal. Hutchins took some nice marks and used them to get and go. Executed some clean run and carry and was so composed with ball in hand. It’s almost as if the ball just flew on her chest at multiple times because she was marking it so cleanly.

#28 Sarah Perkins

Perkins was the standout in terms of marks on the day. Whether it was contested or on a lead, you just knew she was going to clunk the ball. She was excellent in a one-on-one contest and often worked her opponent under the ball. She never took her eyes off the footy. Perkins also demonstrated her agility with a great side step. What stands out about Perkins is that she always backs herself on a set shot, as she would mark the ball and turn around straight away to begin her run-up. She kicked two goals for the game and got reward for her hard work inside 50.

#35 Clare O’Donnell

Ran hard throughout the game and didn’t stop trying for the Hawks. Displayed quick hands and also used the ball well by foot. O’Donnell kicked a really nice goal in the third quarter to put Hawks 28 points in front. Really good work ethic and was a key cog in the contest.

#6 Julia Crockett-Grills

Crockett-Grills was really lively around the contest and did some nice things with the ball in hand. Executed a great fend-off and delivered a stunning blind kick. Leapt fantastically in the air and took the mark on the chest. Delivered a great handball under pressure and followed up her kick. Took a nice agile mark inside 50, where lots of her hard work was done.

#9 Melissa Kuys

Delivered a great kick into space under pressure. Was running hard all game and executed some nice pressure acts throughout. Laid a wonderful run-down tackle where she showed electric pace.