Tag: Amanda Farrugia

Weekend preview: AFLW – Round 3

TWO round down and the two conference ladders are already starting to show an alarming trend, with all Conference A sides ahead of every Conference B side. In the match of the round, the Western Bulldogs travel to Tasmania to face North Melbourne, while winless sides, GWS GIANTS and Carlton face-off with one team to finally score four points. In the other matches, Collingwood travels west to face Fremantle, Adelaide hosts Geelong, and Brisbane take on Melbourne in a unique round that sees all five games played interstate.
 
NORTH MELBOURNE v. WESTERN BULLDOGS
Friday, February, 15, 7:15pm
University of Tasmania Stadium

After a thumping win in Round 1, North Melbourne head back to the Apple Isle, this time to the University of Tasmania Stadium. While their opponents this time around will be much tougher in the reigning premiers, the Kangaroos will fancy themselves having seen off GWS GIANTS in torrential rain and thunderstorms, a week earlier. The Western Bulldogs will also fancy their chances and are likely the best side to topple the team of champions, which should see plenty of eyes glued to televisions tonight. The winner seems almost destined to secure a finals spot, given their respective opponent will arguably be the toughest opponent they come across, and will go 3-0 up with four rounds remaining. Western Bulldogs have one of the most potent forward lines in the league and that is how they can exploit the Kangaroos. If the Roos, led by former Dog Emma Kearney, can win the midfield battle, then it will go a long way to victory. The North forward line is ultra-impressive and has no trouble kicking goals, but the Bulldogs have a stern defence that will not give them an inch. It all adds up to being an absolute blockbuster with Kearney and Ellie Blackburn going head-to-head.

H2H: North Melbourne 0 | Western Bulldogs 0 | Draws 0
Venue: North Melbourne 0-0-0 | Western Bulldogs 0-0-0

Last time they met: N/A
 

GWS GIANTS v. CARLTON
Saturday, February, 16, 4:45pm
Blacktown International Sports Park

If a week is a long time in football, then a year is an eternity, with Carlton’s last victory coming in the Round 2 clash, last year. Carlton has made a habit of upsetting GIANTS fans, winning both of its matches against the GIANTS since the AFL Women’s began. Their contested brand of football tends to work well against the GIANTS and they restrict the run of GWS, however the GIANTS have ensured bigger bodies in the midfield this season. The teams almost match up identically across the board statistically, with Carlton’s tackling inside 50 a highlight – averaging 11 per game. The GWS midfield will be hard to combat, but if the Blues can get the ball forward, they are a huge chance of an upset. The winner gets back on track this season, while the loser will find it tough to recover, needing to win at least three games from its last four games to secure a finals spot. No doubt the match-up to keep an eye on is Madison Prespakis against Alyce Parker with both young guns unbelievably talented, strong and can go forward and have an impact. A head-to-head we will see plenty over the next decade.

H2H: GWS GIANTS 0 | Carlton 2 | Draws 0
Venue: GWS GIANTS 1-1-2 | Carlton 0-0-0

Last time they met: Carlton 3.12 (30) defeated GWS GIANTS 1.3 (9), Round 2, 2018

Carlton gave their fans some serious hope in the Round 2 clash between the sides when a inaccurate Blues team got the job done at Drummoyne Oval. The win was the club’s first victory outside Ikon Park, and with the Blues holding the GIANTS to just three behinds after quarter time, the defensive work was terrific. Captain, Brianna Davey had 16 disposals, two marks, six tackles and two rebounds, while Jess Hosking and Shae Audley shared 28 disposals and 10 clearances between them. But the biggest memory was that of Sarah Hosking who smashed the tackle record with 16 to go with 12 disposals. For the GIANTS, Alicia Eva had 17 disposals and a game nine tackles, while Amanda Farrugia and Courtney Gum both finished with 16 touches.

 

FREMANTLE v. COLLINGWOOD
Saturday, February, 16, 7:15pm
Fremantle Oval

In one of the first three cross-conference games, Fremantle hosts Collingwood at Fremantle Oval. The sides have been relatively even over the first two seasons, which is to say a little underwhelming overall. This year the teams have taken different paths, with the Dockers winning their opening two games, while the Magpies have suffered two defeats. Collingwood almost toppled Geelong in Round 1 and the Dockers almost fell to Melbourne, so the teams were very close to both being 1-1. With Sophie Alexander returning to the Pies side to strengthen them up forward, and Nicole Hildebrand named in defence; the latter will assist the in-form Ash Brazill in creating run out of defence. For Fremantle, Dana Hooker and Kara Donnellan have been dominant through the middle, and with an electric forward line, it will be hard for the Magpies to combat. If Fremantle win, they will move to second in Conference A with the other two undefeated sides facing off the day before. A Collingwood loss means the Magpies go 0-3 for the third consecutive year, almost ruling out finals before the midway point of the season.

H2H: Fremantle 1 | Collingwood 1 | Draws 0
Venue: Fremantle 3-3-0 | Collingwood 0-0-0

Last time they met: Fremantle 6.4 (40) defeated Collingwood 4.3 (27), Round 2, 2018

In front of a home crowd at Optus Stadium, Fremantle recorded an important 13-point win after having won just the one game in Western Australia the year before. Dana Hooker starred for the Dockers, racking up 20 disposals, two marks, five clearances, six inside 50s, six tackles and finishing off with two goals in a clear best on ground performance. Lara Filocamo and Lisa Webb both recorded 17 disposals, while Melissa Caulfield also booted two goals, from 12 disposals. Christina Bernardi was the key goalkicker for the Magpies with two majors, while Melissa Kuys had a game-high 21 touches.

 
ADELAIDE CROWS v. GEELONG CATS
Sunday, February, 17, 2:35pm
Norwood Oval

After escaping with a win last week, Adelaide will be keen to make it two on the trot and keep in touch with the top three in Conference A. The Crows were unlucky not to win against the Dogs at the ground in Round 1, while the Cats also suffered a defeat at the hands of the reigning premiers, last week. A win for Geelong will give them breathing space inside the top two in Conference B, while a Crows loss will make it tough given the relative strength of the Conference, and require them to win against the remainder of their Conference rivals. Chelsea Randall is a massive inclusion for the Crows to strengthen a defence which conceded seven goals to Carlton last week. Geelong captain, Mel Hickey, and the exciting Richelle Cranston return for the Cats in what makes for an entertaining battle around the ground. Expect both teams to bring the heat with everything on the line, especially for the home side.

H2H: Adelaide 0 | Geelong 0 | Draws 0
Venue: Adelaide 2-3-0 | Geelong 0-0-0

Last time they met: N/A

 

BRISBANE LIONS v. MELBOURNE
Sunday, February, 17, 5:35pm
Hickey Park, Stafford

In the final game of the round, top of Conference B hosts the bottom of Conference A with both teams even for the season with one win and one loss. The Lions will be keen to maintain top spot in their Conference, while the Demons can ill-afford to drop further behind given the strength of Conference A. A win for the Demons could see them leap-frog a couple of teams and keep in touch with the leaders. Last week both teams had different contests, with Brisbane going down in a high-scoring thriller in the west, while the Demons got their hands dirty against Collingwood in a low-scoring affair to earn the four points. Elise O’Dea was sensational in the win with 26 touches and a drought-breaking second quarter goal, while Ally Anderson recorded 26 disposals, four marks and a goal in the win, to be the highest disposal winner for season 2019 so far, with 48 disposals. The Demons are a contested based team that can clunk strong marks around the ground, while Brisbane are good at controlling the play around the ground, which spells for an entertaining contest when both teams clash.

H2H: Brisbane 1 | Melbourne 1 | Draws 0
Venue: Brisbane 0-0-0 | Melbourne 0-0-0

Last time they met: Melbourne 4.10 (34) defeated Brisbane 4.4 (28), Round 5, 2018

Melbourne survived a scare in their clash with Brisbane last season with both sides keen to keep on top of their finals hopes. The Demons held the Lions scoreless in the first term, and led by 14 points at the final break, before Brisbane booted two of the last three goals to almost seemingly take the points under lights at Casey Fields. Karen Paxman had 25 disposals, while Daisy Pearce was dominant with 24 disposals, five clearances, four inside 50s and two goals. Elise O’Dea was equally as busy with 23 touches as the experienced trio ensured the Dees came away with the four points. Kate Lutkins was enormous in defence, racking up a massive nine rebounds as well as a game-high 26 possessions, while taking four marks and having three inside 50s as well. Sabrina Frederick-Traub was important up forward with three majors from 15 disposals and three marks.

DRAFT CENTRAL TIPPING

Leaderboard:

1st : Sophie Taylor [ 7 ]
2nd : Taylah Melki, Michael Alvaro [ 6 ]
3rd : Peter Williams, Matthew Cocks [ 5 ]

 

Peter Williams

Chief Editor

Last week: 3

Round 3 selections:

Western Bulldogs
Carlton
Fremantle
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Taylah Melki

Assistant Chief Editor

Last week: 4

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
GWS GIANTS
Fremantle
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Sophie Taylor

Women’s Football Editor

Last week: 4

Round 3 selections:

North Melbourne
GWS GIANTS
Fremantle
Geelong
Melbourne

 

Michael Alvaro

Men’s Football Editor

Last week: 4

Round 3 selections:

North Melbourne
Carlton
Fremantle
Adelaide
Melbourne

 

Matthew Cocks

Guest Tipster

Last week: 2

Round 3 selections:

North Melbourne
GWS GIANTS
Fremantle
Adelaide
Brisbane

Weekend previews: AFLW – Round 2

AFTER an exhilarating first round, which saw four of the five matches go down to the wire, teams prepare to tweak game styles or mix up team sheets in order to get an advantage over their opponents. Four of the first round losers face off, with Melbourne heading to Victoria Park on Saturday to face the Magpies, while Carlton hosts Adelaide at Ikon Park on Sunday. The two sides who head home without any points face an uphill battle in the race for finals action. The fifth losing side from Round 1, GWS GIANTS has its own mammoth effort – trying to take down North Melbourne who simply blitzed Carlton. A maximum of three sides can remain undefeated after Round 2 with first round winners, Geelong and Western Bulldogs, and Fremantle and Brisbane facing off over the weekend.

GWS GIANTS vs. NORTH MELBOURNE
Friday, February 8, 7.15pm
Drummoyne Oval

In the opening game of the round, new side North Melbourne fresh off a huge victory over Carlton, head to Drummoyne Oval to face the GIANTS. The GIANTS are playing just their second game at the venue, following a loss to the Blues this time last year. The battle within the contest is the All-Australian rucks going head-to-head with Kangaroos’ Emma King and GIANTS’ Erin McKinnon. North Melbourne’s midfield has great depth to it, lead by last year’s League Best and Fairest winner, Emma Kearney, Jamie Stanton, Jess Duffin and Ash Riddell, of whom the latter was ultra-impressive on debut. North Melbourne’s dynamic forward line features former Magpies, Jasmine Garner and Mo Hope, premiership-winning Bulldog Jenna Bruton, and former Lion Kaitlyn Ashmore. With the strength around the ground, it will be hard to contain the Roos if they win the midfield battle.

The one area the GIANTS could get an upper hand is through rebounding forward with an equally impressive, albeit underrated forward line. Jess Dal Pos, former Magpie Christina Bernardi and defender-turned-forward Cora Staunton are all capable of multiple goals, while Haneen Zreika was impressive on debut last week. The midfield simply has to win its fair share of head-to-heads, with Courtney Gum, Rebecca Beeson, Alicia Eva and Alyce Parker leading the way, while Amanda Farrugia, Emma Swanson and Tanya Hetherington will have big jobs coming out of defence. The Kangaroos took a massive 56 marks in last week’s huge win over Carlton, while still laying 66 tackles. The GIANTS laid just the 42 and only five in the forward 50, and will need to show more pressure inside 50 against a side capable of hurting you on the scoreboard really quickly. Both teams are generally good ball users and make the most of their opportunities so it will be fascinating to see which team can take the early advantage and put it on the scoreboard. North Melbourne will head in as favourites, but it is far from completely clear cut, and this will be a huge win for the GIANTS if they can get the job done at home.

H2H: GWS GIANTS 0 | North Melbourne 0 | Draws 0
Venue: GWS GIANTS 0-1-0 | North Melbourne 0-0-0

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

  • Emma Kearney averages 20 disposals, 6.5 tackles, 4.5 clearances, four inside 50s and a goal against the GIANTS from two clashes.
  • Both AFL Women’s All Australian rucks are set to go head-to-head with Emma King taking on Erin McKinnon. In the battle between the pair last year, King won convincingly with 11 disposals and 18 hitouts to McKinnon’s three disposals and 14 hitouts.
  • GWS GIANTS’ only game at the venue resulted in a loss to Carlton last year, while North Melbourne looks to back up its only game – a huge win over Carlton last week.
  • The GIANTS have won two, drawn two and lost three games in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory.

 

COLLINGWOOD vs. MELBOURNE
Saturday, February 9, 4.45pm
Victoria Park

At one of the homes of traditional football, Collingwood hosts Melbourne in what has become a must-win for both sides. After heart-breaking losses in Round 1 despite leading at the final change, neither team can afford to go 0-2, with the reality that teams need at least four wins to secure a finals berth. A second loss means they must win four of their final five games as a minimum and with both still to play their respective conference favourites, it would spell trouble for their post-season hopes. However, for the winner, it is a chance to balance the ledger and get back on track early in the season. Collingwood has been a slow starter in year’s gone by, and has been overhauled with youth since last season, while Melbourne has also brought a number of young players into the team, furthering the development of players who got their starts last season. With both teams defensively capable, it will make for a great clash. The sides also sit at one win each in the head-to-head, funnily enough after the losing side in each game got a head start, but was run over the top of in the second halves.

Both teams have made two changes, with a debutant and a return from a long-term injury headlining the selection moves. Oakleigh Chargers’ tall, Katie Lynch comes into the side after Sophie Alexander’s concussion last week ruled her out of the game. Kristy Stratton was also ruled out through injury, with the Magpies opting to go tall by bringing in Eliza Hynes to try and stretch the Melbourne defence when forward, while rotating with Sharni Layton and Eliza Fowler. Melbourne have brought in Ainslie Kemp who has not played since 2017 due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear – sadly replacing Shae Sloane who suffered the exact same injury. The Dees have also brought in Ashleigh Guest for Claudia Whitfort. The key to victory for the Demons is restricting the run of Collingwood’s defence, which helped the Magpies hold up against Geelong last week with Ash Brazill causing all sorts of headaches, while Jordyn Allen was equally as impressive. They also need to clamp down on Jaimee Lambert who has the ability to turn a game with great plays, while Catherine Phillips could be the one asked to restrict Sarah D’Arcy from dominating in the air. For the Magpies, they need to be wary of Melbourne’s firepower with Tegan Cunningham and Eden Zanker likely to stretch the defence, while Aliesha Newman has pace to burn and both Kate Hore and Maddison Gay are capable of getting over the back and hurting teams on the rebound. Elise O’Dea, Karen Paxman and Lily Mithen are up there with the best midfields in the competition, and will look to control the stoppages around the ground and give their forwards early opportunities.

H2H: Collingwood 1 | Melbourne 1 | Draws 0
Venue: Collingwood 0-0-0 | Melbourne 0-0-0

Last time they met: Collingwood 9.4 (58) defeated Melbourne 3.6 (24) at TIO Traeger Park, Round 4, 2018

After booting the opening two goals of the match and keeping Collingwood goalless in the opening term, the Demons only managed 1.4 for the rest of the match as the Magpies piled on 9.4 to run away with the match by 34 points. Magpies captain, Steph Chiocchi played one of her best games under lights, booting a goal from 17 disposals, two marks, four clearances and three inside 50s, while Jaimee Lambert had a team-high 19 disposals as well as three inside 50s and two rebounds. Caitlyn Edwards and Mo Hope both booted two goals in the victory, but arguably the best performance was that of Brittany Bonnici who tagged Melbourne captain, Daisy Pearce and restricted her to a career-low nine disposals. For the Demons, Elise O’Dea was the top performer with 19 disposals, two clearances, three inside 50s and a goal, while Karen Paxman had 18 touches and three rebounds.

Fun facts:

  • Of the 42 players to take the field in last year’s clash in the Top End, just 24 players remain available for selection in season 2019. Even more remarkably, just eight players from Collingwood’s first match against the Demons – two years ago – remain on the list.
  • Elise O’Dea (17 disposals) and Karen Paxman (16.5 disposals) average the most disposals against the Magpies from their two clashes.
  • Sarah D’Arcy and Emma Grant average the most disposals against the Demons, with 10 touches apiece.
  • Both sides were in the lead at three quarter time after holding their opponent scoreless in the third term last week only to go on to lose the game in heartbreaking circumstances.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS vs. GEELONG
Saturday, February 9, 7.15pm
VU Whitten Oval

H2H: Western Bulldogs 0 | Geelong 0 | Draws 0
Venue: Western Bulldogs 4-3-0 | Geelong 0-0-0

In the other game that will be the first time these teams go head-to-head is between reigning premiers, Western Bulldogs and new side, Geelong. Both teams had a win in Round 1 and this weekend marks the first home game for the Bulldogs, which means they will unfurl the 2018 AFL Women’s flag in front of what is predicted to be a strong crowd at VU Whitten Oval. The winner will most certainly get an early advantage given the strength of their opponent, and it marks the first game for the sides which sees them pitted against a non-conference rival. Both teams also know how to close out tight games, having survived one-point thrillers in the opening round to secure the four points. Given their experience and depth across the field, Western Bulldogs will head in as favourites, but Geelong are expected to throw down a challenge with a couple of key players returning.

The Cats have welcomed back key forward, Phoebe McWilliams and ruck, Erin Hoare to bolster their side against the reigning premiers. Georgie Rankin and Maighan Fogas have been the two unlucky players omitted from the victorious side last Saturday night, with Fogas and key defender, Georgia Clarke named as emergencies for the clash. The Dogs will unveil Irish debutant, Aisling McCarthy who comes into the side, replacing the omitted Belinda Smith. The enticing battle will see which defence holds up the best as both sides proved to have their respective opposition’s measure last week. Co-captain, Katie Brennan booted the Bulldogs’ two goals against the Crows, while Meg McDonald, Rebecca Goring and Madeline Keryk were among the Cats’ best under pressure when the Magpies were attacking. While the heartbreaking story of Nina Morrison doing her ACL at training will dominate headlines, Geelong still has a huge core of youth including Denby Taylor, Olivia Purcell and Sophie Van De Heuvel who will face established young talents in Monique Conti and Bonnie Toogood, and first round draftee, Eleanor Brown. Co-captain Ellie Blackburn is always a crucial player for the Dogs and will look to take control in the midfield, while the Dogs’ defence of Lauren Spark, Libby Birch and Hannah Scott will provide plenty of rebound.

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

  • The Western Bulldogs lost three consecutive matches at VU Whitten Oval in 2017, but have since won all three games they have played there, and is the Dogs’ first home game since winning the 2018 AFL Women’s flag.
  • Aasta O’Connor will play against her old side for the first time, lining up in the ruck to face Kim Rennie, while sharing the ruck duties with Erin Hoare in the blue and white hoops.
  • Ellie Blackburn averaged 16.9 disposals, 2.9 marks, 3.25 tackles and 3.25 clearances last season, the most of any current Western Bulldogs player.
  • With Brooke Lochland injured for the season, Phoebe McWilliams will be the leading goal kicker from last season in the match, booting seven goals for the GIANTS.

 

CARLTON vs. ADELAIDE
Sunday, February 10, 4.05pm
Ikon Park

H2H: Carlton 0 | Adelaide 2 | Draws 0
Venue: Carlton 4-1-2 | Adelaide 0-0-0

For the first time in 2019, Ikon Park hosts a match with the Blues heading back home to welcome the Crows in a Sunday evening game. The ground has traditionally been the host of the opening game of the year between bitter rivals, Carlton and Collingwood but that has changed in 2019. These teams are both heading into the match off the back of a loss, with Carlton’s heavy defeat to North Melbourne not the ideal start to the season following a wooden spoon, while the Crows will rue missed opportunities in front of goal after booting 1.11 against the Bulldogs at Norwood Oval. Adelaide is yet to play at Ikon Park, while Carlton has made it somewhat of a fortress winning four and drawing a fifth game from its seven matches at the venue. Considering they have only won one match outside Ikon Park, it has been a comfort zone and the Crows cannot afford to take them lightly. With Adelaide in the tougher conference, they would not want to drop this game and go 0-2 to start the season, while Carlton will look for its first win under Daniel Harford who would have learnt plenty from the round one defeat.

Looking at the Round 1 matches, efficiency inside 50 looks to be key, with Adelaide having a 75 per cent scoring efficiency with 18 shots from 24 attempts, while Carlton had just 10 shots from 29 attempts – 35 per cent scoring efficiency. Both sides have impressive forward lines on paper, but they will need to convert their opportunities. Any forward 50 with Darcy Vescio, Tayla Harris and Brianna Davey – who has actually been named in defence – is going to worry opposition defenders, while Erin Phillips is as good as anyone one-on-one and is lining up at full-forward, while Chloe Scheer is a young star who will only get better. Speaking of young stars, Madison Prespakis carried the weight of the midfield on her shoulders last week and was ultra-impressive on debut, so the Crows will need to be aware of her presence. The Adelaide midfield has greater depth and the Blues should look to limit the influence of Ebony Marinoff who racked up 23 disposals and laid 11 tackles in Round 1. If Carlton can restrict her influence on the inside and win the contested ball – with the likes of Jess Hosking and Katie Loynes getting on top, it will go a long way to causing an upset. Chelsea Randall leads the defence, while the experience of Renee Forth through the midfield will be important. Carlton will need to control the ruck contest through Breann Moody, and break even in the middle, while the Crows will focus on clearance domination to give their forwards first opportunity and more importantly, those forwards need to convert.

Last time they met: Adelaide 8.7 (55) defeated Carlton 2.8 (20) at Norwood Oval, Round 5, 2018.

Adelaide flexed their muscles against the Blues when the sides were heading in opposite directions. The Crows at home booted six goals to one after quarter time to run away from the Blues, but counted the cost of the win with injuries to Erin Phillips and Courtney Cramey. Ruth Wallace booted three goals, while Eloise Jones finished with two, as Ebony Marinoff and Chelsea Randall shared 31 disposals. Breann Moody was dominant in the ruck for the Blues with 29 hitouts from 11 disposals and four clearances, while Tayla Harris had 11 disposals, three marks and booted a goal.

Fun facts:

  • Despite winning the wooden spoon last season, Carlton has a strong record at Ikon Park, having won four and drawn one from seven attempts.
  • If Carlton lose the match, it will mark more than a year since they won their last match.
  • While she picked up an injury in the second game, Erin Phillips was everywhere in the Crows’ first win over the Blues, racking up 21 disposals and eight clearances. In the same game, Ebony Marinoff laid 14 tackles from 16 disposals, her exact disposal average against Carlton.
  • Of the Carlton players to play against Adelaide in both games, the omitted Tilly Lucas-Rodd averages the most disposals with 13.5, while Darcy Vescio averages two goals per game against the Crows.

 

FREMANTLE vs. BRISBANE
Sunday, February 10, 3.05pm
Fremantle Oval

H2H: Fremantle 0 | Brisbane 2 | Draws 0
Venue: Fremantle 2-3-0 | Brisbane 1-0-0

Both sides won against the odds in Round 1, with Fremantle toppling Melbourne in scorching weather at Casey Fields after being 14 points down at the final break, while Brisbane knocked off GWS GIANTS a fortnight after succumbing to the GIANTS in a heavy practice match loss. Both sides had plenty to be positive about last week, most importantly securing an early four points, while also having plenty to improve upon for this week. Fremantle are back at home in Western Australia, but at their only other clash at the venue, Brisbane took home the points, though it was two years ago. Both teams look to be very different to that clash, with the Lions having a host of youth coming through, as do the Dockers while also filtering in some experienced local talent. Brisbane will go in as favourites given their history in the competition, but Fremantle’s performance last week certainly raised eyebrows and showed that everyone could be underrating the Dockers.

Both sides play a different brand of football which is really exciting for this clash. In Round 1, Fremantle battered and bruised their way to an impressive contested ball style, getting the pull forward to record a huge 11 marks inside 50, while laying 10 tackles in the arc. They harassed and pressured the Demons into making uncharacteristic mistakes, laying 77 tackles in the process. The Lions have tall targets up forward, but opted for a balanced possession game and spread well around the ground. They intercepted the GIANTS 51 times and took the game on, trying to unsettle the defence with possession football, but going when required. This game could well be a combination of both styles and sets up for a huge clash. The Lions forward line is severely underrated with Sabrina Frederick-Traub the dominant key position player, while McKenzie Dowrick and Jess Wuetschner are incredibly clever and dangerous around goals. Throw in Jordan Zanchetta, Emma Zielke and the defensively-minded but strong, Lauren Arnell and the Lions front six is as good as any. Ebony Antonio and Tayla Bresland were strong in defence last week, while the midfield of Dana Hooker and Kara Donnellan are not huge ball winners, but always effective. They tackle the biggest ball-winning duo of Emily Bates and Ally Anderson who had the ball on a string last week, while the potential match-up of Kiara Bowers and Sam Virgo could be entertaining based on Round 1 form. Both teams have immensely talented youth coming through, and both teams’ first round picks, Sabreena Duffy and Paige Parker, have been named in the side.

Last time they met: Brisbane 3.4 (22) defeated Fremantle 2.3 (15) at South Pine Sports Complex, Round 4, 2018.

In a low-scoring affair that saw just one goal kicked in the first half, Brisbane held on in a thriller to win by seven points and remain on track for a grand final berth. Dynamic forward, Jess Wuetschner booted two goals from 18 disposals, three marks and four inside 50s, while Kate Lutkins and Ally Anderson both had 18 touches in the win. For the Dockers, Lara Filocamo had 18 disposals and laid five tackles. Kara Donnellan laid a whopping 10 tackles and had five clearances and 15 disposals.

Fun facts:

  • In their only clash at the venue, Brisbane defeated Fremantle by 13 points in Round 2, 2017. Fremantle has a 100 per cent winning ratio at Fremantle Oval over Victorian sides, but a zero per cent winning ratio over non-Victorian sides.
  • Jess Wuetschner has been the dominant goal kicker in the matches between these sides, averaging two goals per game.
  • Lara Filocamo averages the most disposals between the sides, with 17.5 per match.
  • Both sides won their opening round matches by less than a kick, with Fremantle getting a dress rehearsal for the scorching West Australian heat, winning at Casey Fields in 38 degrees Celcius.

 

DRAFT CENTRAL TIPPING

Leaderboard:

Eq. 1st : Sophie Taylor, Matthew Cocks [ 3 ]
Eq. 3rd : Peter Williams, Taylah Melki, Michael Alvaro [ 2 ]

 

Peter Williams

Chief Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Collingwood
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Taylah Melki

Assistant Chief Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Sophie Taylor

Women’s Football Editor

Last week: 3

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Michael Alvaro

Men’s Football Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Matthew Cocks

Guest Tipster

Last week: 3

Round 2 selections:

GWS GIANTS
Collingwood
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

Weekend preview: AFLW – Round 1

FOOTY is back and for the first time, 10 AFL Women’s clubs are preparing to achieve the ultimate glory. Each week we will preview and review the games, provide a Team of the Week, Draftee Watch piece and analyse the week’s statistics, as well as plenty more for the third season of the competition. Stay tuned on Draft Central for all the coverage.

GEELONG vs. COLLINGWOOD
Saturday, February 2, 6.40pm
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

The opening game of the AFL Women’s season has a massive question mark for both sides. On one side of the head-to-head is a brand new team with no historical data at the elite level, aside from some of the players who have crossed from other clubs. On the other side is a team that has been gutted in terms of experience, especially in the forward half, but has picked up a number of elite young kids as well as players who can have an impact in the short-term. Playing in front of a home crowd will help the Cats in their inaugural clash,  while the Magpies will be keen to finally get a good start to their season after two losses in opening round games. Both teams are deemed to be in the “weaker” conference – by means of avoiding both past premiers and the heavily stacked North Melbourne – and a win against a conference rival is vitally important in the stakes for securing a top four place. The advantage both these teams have is the fact much of their core group played VFL Women’s together, and therefore in terms of team chemistry over a 12-month period are well adjusted.

Both teams head into the clash with key personnel out, as Collingwood’s Best and Fairest and 2018 AFLW Rising Star winner, Chloe Molloy unavailable for the season, while Richelle Cranston will miss the first two rounds through suspension.  When talking about key youth, it is hard to look past some of the talent both clubs picked up in the draft. Geelong looked to its TAC Cup affiliate to select number one pick, Nina Morrison, as well as premiership teammates, Olivia Purcell and Denby Taylor. Add in talented GWV Rebels, Sophie Van De Heuvel and Georgia Clarke, as well as Murray Bushrangers’ inside midfielder and defender, Rebecca Webster, and the future is very bright at the Cats. The Magpies also heavily invested in the draft, picking up two first rounders in Dandenong Stingrays’ captain, Jordyn Allen and Oakleigh Chargers’ tall, Katie Lynch. Expected to play up opposite ends, they are well complemented by Eastern Ranges’ speedster, Mikala Cann who 12 months ago was yet to play a competitive match of football. Versatile youngster, Lauren Butler is also expected to become a key feature in the Magpies’ side. With Geelong having the likes of Bec Goring, Madeline Keryk, Julia Crockett-Grills and Meghan McDonald among their contingent of impressive VFLW performers last season, they have a cohesive unit. The Magpies will look to the experience of captain Stephanie Chiocchi, Emma Grant, Sarah D’Arcy and Jaimee Lambert to lead the young side this season.

H2H: Geelong 0 | Collingwood 0 | Draws 0
Venue: Geelong 0-0-0 | Collingwood 0-0-0

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

  • The game marks the first ever AFL Women’s game at GMHBA Stadium, the first time Geelong’s AFL Women’s side will play a match for premiership points, but the third consecutive year Collingwood will be involved in the opening match of the season.
  • Unfortunately for the Magpies, the opening match of the season has not been kind for them, losing both games to Carlton at Ikon Park, albeit in a much closer game in 2018.
  • The last time these two teams played in any form was the VFL Women’s Preliminary Final, which saw the Cats upset the minor premiers to bundle the Magpies out in straight sets and head into the decider against Hawthorn. Collingwood’s loss was compounded by an injury to 2018 Rising Star winner, Chloe Molloy that would keep her out of the 2019 AFL Women’s season.
  • Collingwood booted 42 goals in season 2018. Players that contributed 36 of them are now either no longer on the Magpies’ list, or injured (Chloe Molloy – one).

 

ADELAIDE vs. WESTERN BULLDOGS
Saturday, February 2, 8.10pm
Norwood Oval, Adelaide

The game of the round is surely the match between the two AFL Women’s premiers. The 2017 champions, Adelaide take on the reigning premiers, Western Bulldogs in an evening game at Norwood Oval. Last season was a remarkable story for the Bulldogs, who overcame some key injuries, and the suspension of captain, Katie Brennan to topple Brisbane in the 2018 AFL Women’s decider. Adelaide would have been disappointed to not make the decider, but considering their injuries at different times, it was worth applauding their never-say-die attitude. A loss to Collingwood in the final round knocked them out of the race to go back-to-back, but they are now hungry as ever and keen to make amends in this match.

Both teams lost key players to long-term injuries in practice games a fortnight ago, with Adelaide’s number one ruck, Rhiannon Metcalfe and Western Bulldogs’ league leading goalkicker, Brooke Lochland both out. While the Crows will look to try and fill the void in the ruck, the Dogs certainly showed they have no shortage of forwards who can step up, and could turn to the likes of West Australian, Kate Bartlett who comes into the team with great forward nous at Under 18s level. Adelaide do have some serious firepower returning to the team with a fully fit Erin Phillips, and a dangerous youngster by the name of Chloe Scheer causing headaches inside 50. Adelaide could have the edge in the midfield given its depth with Phillips, Ebony Marinoff and Chelsea Randall all running through there, but the Dogs’ key position players could stretch the Crows’ defence. If the Crows can keep it from the Dogs talls getting supply, then it will go a long way to deciding the match, but if the Dogs get on top of the Crows’ highly rated midfield, then they will be able to put on some serious scoreboard pressure. In saying that, the Dogs’ midfield is far from shabby itself with Ellie Blackburn and Monique Conti among the most talented in the competition. It all adds up to being a cracker of a match.

H2H: Adelaide 2 | Western Bulldogs 0 | Draws 0
Venue: Adelaide 2-2-0 | Western Bulldogs 0-1-0

Last time they met: Adelaide 6.5 (41) defeated Western Bulldogs 5.4 (34) at Norwood Oval, Round 3, 2018

Trailing the entire game, the Crows found something special in the final term to overrun the Bulldogs at home by just seven points. Chelsea Randall picked up 24 disposals (15 contested), had five rebounds and laid six tackles, while Ebony Marinoff laid a whopping 15 tackles on her way to 21 disposals, four inside 50s and five rebounds. But the inspiration was inaugural league best and fairest winner, Erin Phillips. The star played exclusively forward and had 15 disposals, but booted four of the Crows’ six goals to single-handedly dominate up forward and show Crows fans that there was going to be no second year blues – until injury unfortunately struck. Jenna McCormick booted the other two goals for the Crows, while for the Bulldogs, Katie Brennan was the multiple goalkicker with two from nine touches and three marks. Emma Kearney (20 disposals, three marks, three clearances, three inside 50s, five rebounds and six tackles) was everywhere, as was Ellie Blackburn (17 disposals, five clearances, five tackles and four inside 50s).

Fun facts:

  • Ebony Marinoff averages 19.5 disposals, four clearances, 10.5 tackles and four inside 50s against the Western Bulldogs from two clashes, the most of any Crow.
  • Now North Melbourne skipper, Emma Kearney averaged the most touches against the Crows in both meetings, with Ellie Blackburn set to take over the mantle, averaging 18 touches, four clearances, four tackles and five inside 50s from two games.
  • It is the first time two AFL Women’s Premiers have met in the history of the competition.
  • Western Bulldogs are yet to lose an opening round match in the AFL Women’s season.

 

NORTH MELBOURNE vs. CARLTON
Sunday, February 3, 1.05pm
North Hobart Oval, Hobart

The second history making match for Round 1 sees one of the premiership favourites, North Melbourne take on last year’s wooden spooners, Carlton. Both head into the game with relative different looking sides. The Kangaroos strategically targeted experience, picking up players from other AFL Women’s sides as part of the free agency and expansion period, while Carlton headed to the draft. As such, the Kangaroos head into the game as strong favourites in the clash, and their pre-season victory over Melbourne did nothing to sway opinions from the fact they will be a contender this season. Carlton took it up to Geelong at times in the practice game, but much like at times last season, it is just finding some four quarter consistency. The strong football state of Tasmania will get around the clash which is the first of the AFL Women’s competition, and with a number of local talents wearing blue and white, expect there to be a strong contingent of home support.

With no past head-to-head clashes to go by, there are plenty of questions leading into this clash. The biggest question mark is that of the Kangaroos and how they will gel with so many players from other teams. They brought over key Magpies, Emma King, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner and Mo Hope to supply their forward line and ruck division with power, while securing the biggest name from the 2018 season in Emma Kearney – the league best and fairest winner – to come across from the Dogs. Carlton has the potential to have the best one-two forward combination in the league with Darcy Vescio and Tayla Harris, but it is just getting the talented duo to click. With the midfield and forward half boosted by young guns, Madison Prespakis, Abbie McKay and Emerson Woods, and the defence sured up by Collingwood VFLW captain, Jess Edwards, as well as Charlotte Wilson and Jayde Van Dyk, Carlton’s future is looking bright. Realistically, it will take an unbelievable effort to knock off North Melbourne, but Blues fans will be keen to see what new coach, Daniel Harford can do to create more scoring opportunities – something the Blues lacked last season. A four-goal practice game by returning captain, Brianna Davey gave fans a hint of what to expect, creating all sorts of headaches for opposing teams.

H2H: North Melbourne 0 | Carlton 0 | Draws 0
Venue: North Melbourne 0-0-0 | Carlton 0-0-0

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

  • The match marks the first official match to be played in Tasmania, with the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos opening their season in the Apple Isle, and of course marking their first match in the competition.
  • Carlton’s Brianna Davey has averaged 21 disposals, five rebounds and 2.5 inside 50s in her two opening round clashes, as Carlton beat arch-rivals Collingwood under lights on both occasions.
  • Darcy Vescio booted four goals in the inaugural AFL Women’s match in 2017, before being held goalless by debutant, Chloe Molloy last year, who would go on to win the Rising Star Award.
  • North Melbourne captain, Emma Kearney has averaged 22 disposals, six marks, five clearances and six inside 50s in her two matches against Carlton.

 

MELBOURNE vs. FREMANTLE
Sunday, February 3, 3.05pm
Casey Fields, Cranbourne

With predicted temperatures around the south-eastern suburbs predicted to be mid-to-late thirties, fans heading to the clash between Demons and Fremantle are recommended to stay hydrated. The game at Melbourne’s spiritual home, has become a fortress of late, winning five of a possible six games, including a thrashing victory over their Round 1 opponents back in 2017. Last year the Dockers got the better of Melbourne over in the west, using straight goalkicking to get the job done early in the season and chalk up a win against a premiership contender. The Demons have always been thereabouts, just missing out on the deciders, while Fremantle has had disappointing starts to the seasons which have ultimately cost them. With a new coaching panel and new-look side, Fremantle will be keen to topple the Demons at their home ground, especially a Demons side minus Daisy PearceMel Hickey and Richelle Cranston, among others.

Both teams are bringing in some serious young talent this season, with the Demons looking to the likes of Gippsland Power co-captain, Tyla Hanks and Northern Knights captain, Maddy Brancatisano. Both have incredible work ethics and a desire to just hunt the footballer and play their role, potentially being future leaders at the club. Throw in Dandenong Stingrays’ speedster, Shelley Heath and Casey Demons slick ball user, Casey Sherriff and the Dees have added some speed and skills to their inside grunt and contested ball-winning ability. The Dockers have also added some great local talent to their stocks, led by West Australian Under 18s state captain, Sabreena Duffy as well as overagers, Matilda Sergeant and Jasmin Stewart. The big question mark regarding Fremantle is how they will line-up as the off-season seemed to be a clean-out of sorts through their own choosing, whereas Melbourne lost players due to free agency and expansion. The difference in this game could well be the top-end star factor of the Demons, with Karen Paxman, Lily Mithen, Bianca Jakobsson and Elise O’Dea all roaming through the midfield at times. With Eden Zanker providing a target up forward, they have good depth across the ground, The Dockers have Kara Donnellan and Dana Hooker amongst their arsenal, but with a relatively new-looking side, it will be fascinating to see how they perform.

H2H: Melbourne 1 | Fremantle 1 | Draws 0
Venue: Melbourne 5-1-0 | Fremantle 0-0-0

Last time they met: Fremantle 6.0 (36) defeated Melbourne 4.7 (31) at Fremantle Oval, Round 3, 2018

Fremantle had to come from behind twice as they held Melbourne to a combined one behind in the second and fourth quarters, kicking the only two goals of the final term. In a display of precision accuracy, the Dockers did not kick a behind all game, and after not scoring in the opening term, booted six straight goals to secure a win at Fremantle Oval. Kara Donnellan and Lisa Webb both picked up 17 disposals, while Emily McGuire booted two goals. For the Dees, Daisy Pearce had another day out with 24 disposals, three marks, five clearances and four inside 50s, while Tegan Cunningham booted two majors in the loss.

Fun facts:

  • Since losing their inaugural AFL Women’s Round 1 clash to Brisbane at Casey Fields, Melbourne has not lost a game, winning five consecutive matches at the venue, including a nine-goal win over Fremantle in 2017.
  • Both sides are likely to head into the clash very different to the previous encounter with a maximum of 13 players each from their sides of 21 just 12 months ago, still on their respective lists.
  • Dana Hooker averaged 17 disposals (11 contested) and 5.5 tackles in her two matches for the Dockers against the Demons, and was Fremantle’s best player in the disastrous 54-point belting back in 2017.
  • Melbourne will need to find a way to replace the influence of Daisy Pearce, who has been a headache for the Dockers in the past, averaging 25 disposals, five tackles, four clearances and 3.5 inside 50s.

 

BRISBANE vs. GWS GIANTS
Sunday, February 3, 4.05pm
Moreton Bay Sporting Complex, Moreton Bay

The final game of the round pits back-to-back grand finalist, Brisbane against the team they knocked out of the decider contention in the final round last year, GWS GIANTS. The quirky fact between these teams is they have played each other four times – twice in the pre-season and twice in the regular season. On both occasions, GWS has triumphed in the pre-season practice matches, while Brisbane has got the job done – and convincingly so – when playing for premiership points. The GIANTS average just two goals per game against the Lions during the season, and they will be keen to repeat the effort of a fortnight ago when they were too good for the young Lions. Brisbane has played just the one game at Moreton Bay Sporting Complex – the Lions new home for 2019 – which was a disappointing and almost season-defining loss to Collingwood, whereas the GIANTS are yet to run out at the venue.

Both teams have young line-ups coming through with the teams losing players such as Kaitlyn Ashmore, Jamie Stanton and Tahlia Randall (Brisbane), and Phoebe McWilliams and Renee Forth (GIANTS). They have also picked up some experience with Brisbane scooping up Lauren Arnell from Carlton and the GIANTS adding Magpie, Christina Bernardi to its forward mix. Heading to the draft, the GIANTS picked up one of the most decorated and talented juniors in Alyce Parker who will slot straight into the midfield and undoubtedly be a key cog in that onball division. Former netballer, Taylah Davies is already looking like a valuable pick-up for the GIANTS, while Haneen Zreika hit the scoreboard in the practice match as well. Any team with Alicia Eva, Jessica Dal Pos and Amanda Farrugia has to be respected. Brisbane’s forward power with Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Jess Wuetschner is always going to be a key consideration for opposition coaches, while Lions coach Craig Starcevich has the luxury of bringing up his Queensland Under 18 young guns into the senior team at draft time. All Australian ruck Lauren Bella, state captain Natalie Grider and key Queensland players Jesse Tawhaio-Wardlaw, Jade Ellenger, Tori Groves-Little and Jacqui Yorston join West Australian, McKenzie Dowrick as the future of the Lions.

H2H: Brisbane 2 | GWS 0 | Draws 0
Venue: Brisbane 0-1-0 | GWS 0-0-0

Last time they met: Brisbane 10.4 (64) defeated GWS GIANTS 3.6 (24) at Blacktown ISP, Round 7, 2018.

With an AFL Women’s Grand Final spot on the line, it was the Brisbane Lions who were all over the GIANTS, running out 40-point winners to keep their premiership dreams alive – albeit with their fate in Collingwood’s hands. The GIANTS had improved remarkably from the inaugural season, but fell short of a grand final place, and will have rued that final game over the summer. Ally Anderson and Emily Bates had days out against the GIANTS, collecting a combined 46 disposals, seven marks and eight clearances. Up forward, Sabrina Frederick-Traub was unstoppable with four goals to go with 18 disposals, five marks and five hitouts. Jess Wuetschner was equally as impressive with three majors from 11 touches, doing all the damage at ground level. For the GIANTS, Alicia Eva tried her best with a team-high 18 disposals, three marks, six tackles and five inside 50s, while Jessica Dal Pos and Amanda Farrugia were the next highest ball winners with 14 apiece.

Fun facts:

  • Brisbane has played just the one match at Moreton Bay Sporting Complex, and unfortunately it was one to forget, losing to Collingwood in Round 6, 2018. It put their premiership aspirations in serious doubt, before ironically the Magpies knocked off the Crows in the final round to hand the Lions a second consecutive Grand Final berth.
  • The Lions bounced back from the above loss with that 40-point win over GWS in the last round, knocking out the GIANTS from Grand Final contention, and replacing them in the decider.
  • In the two games against the GIANTS, Sabrina Frederick-Traub has booted five goals, whereas the entire GIANTS team have booted just the four.
  • Emma Swanson averages the most disposals for a GIANT against the Lions, at 15, while Jessica Dal Pos averages 13 touches per game.

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.

2019 GWS AFLW Fixture

DateEventTime/ResultsVenueArticleMatch Day
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Moreton Bay Sporting ComplexRound 1
Drummoyne OvalRound 2
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Blacktown International SportsparkRound 3
Morwell Recreational ReserveRound 4
Blacktown International SportsparkRound 5
Unley OvalRound 6
UNSW Canberra OvalRound 7

AFLW Draft preview: GWS GIANTS

GREATER Western Sydney (GWS) Giants came so close to a Grand Final last season, with their fate up in the air up until the last round. With some key losses like Maddie Boyd, Phoebe McWilliams and Renee Forth ahead of the 2019 AFL Women’s season, the Giants will need some young talent to go one step further this year.

 

Last season: 4th

In: Christina Bernardi, Yvonne Bonner (rookie), Taylah Davies (rookie)
Out: Maddy Boyd, Phoebe McWilliams, Renee Forth, Melissa Freckleton, Rebecca Privitelli, Alex Saundry, Pippa Smyth, Renee Tomkins, Haneen Zreika (rookie)

GWS AFLW LIST (24/30)

  • Jacinda Barclay
  • Nicola Barr
  • Rebecca Beeson
  • Eleanor Bennetts
  • Christina Bernardi
  • Yvonne Bonner
  • Ellie Brush
  • Maddy Collier
  • Jess Dal Pas
  • Taylah Davies
  • Alicia Eva
  • Amanda Farrugia
  • Courtney Gum
  • Tanya Hetherington
  • Jodie Hicks
  • Tait Mackrill
  • Erin McKinnon
  • Phoebe Monahan
  • Pepa Randall
  • Aimee Schmidt
  • Cora Staunton
  • Louise Stephenson
  • Emma Swanson
  • Britt Tully

DRAFT PICKS

12, 42, 52, 59, 64, 69, 72, 75

POTENTIAL DRAFT PROSPECTS

The Giants are likely to take New South Wales (NSW) Most Valuable Player (MVP) at this year’s AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, Alyce Parker. Parker has been one of NSW’s most dominant players throughout her whole Under 18s career, playing through the midfield and up forward when needed to. A midfield trio of Parker, Courtney Gum and Amanda Farrugia could be a threatening prospect for the rest of the competition. Murray Bushrangers defender, Eloise Ashley-Cooper is another player who could earn a spot at GWS. Ashley-Cooper spent some time in the TAC Cup Girls playing for Murray but has represented NSW at a representative level. She is a classy defender who could complement the likes of Tanya Hetherington and Pepa Randall. Alexia Hamilton is another one who will likely be on the minds of the GWS recruiters. She is a known goalkicker and a smart footballer who can play consistently well over a stretch of games.  

Weekly wrap: NSW/ACT state leagues

TWO Grand Finals took place across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) this week. In the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division, it was Macquarie University taking on University of New South Wales (UNSW) Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs. In the AFL Canberra 1st Grade Women’s competition, Eastlake battled it out against Queanbeyan.

UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs have claimed a three-peat in the AFL Sydney Women’s Premier Division with a 23-point win over Macquarie University. The Bulldogs got off to a fast start with a three goals to one first quarter. They kicked one less goal in the second term but still managed to go into the half time break with a 21-point lead. Macquarie University fought back in the third term, keeping the Bulldogs scoreless. But they couldn’t inspire a comeback, only managing one goal for the term. In the fourth quarter, it only got worse for Macquarie, with the Bulldogs holding them goalless and kicking two goals at the same time.

Roxanne McGee booted two majors for UNSW, while Tia Bool, Rebecca Privitelli, Jacinda Barclay, Meagan Kelly and Sandra Janjetovic all chipped in with singles. Janjetovic was also named best-on-ground by her coaches in the Grand Final. Barclay, Sera Kaukiono, Jemma Still, McGee and Bool were the other impressive performers on the night.

Greater Western Sydney captain, Amanda Farrugia gave her all for Macquarie University, kicking a goal and being named best-on-ground. She was complemented by good performances from Kristy Sutcliffe, Ellie Brush, Laura Russell, Lisa Steane and Megan Lawrence. Russell also kicked a goal, as did Liz Fassone.

Eastlake claimed the AFL Canberra 1st Grade Women’s premiership with a 12-point win over Queanbeyan. It was an even start with both teams kicking two goals a piece in the first term. Eastlake stepped up its game in the second quarter with four goals to two to take a 16-point lead into the main break. The scoring dried up in the third term with neither side managing to get a goal on the board. Queanbeyan fought back with the only major in the last term but it wasn’t enough.

Karina Demant was the star of the day for Eastlake with two of her side’s six goals. Teammates, Rohana Prince and Millie Drummond were among the goal kickers.

For Queanbeyan, NSW Under-18 representative Alexia Hamilton, as well as Megan Godfrey, Teena Campbell, Alana Bowyer and Hannah Dunn all got majors on the board. Dunn was also named best-on-ground for the Tigers. Carly Res, Tarni Evans, Jayde Hamilton, Cassandra Taylor and Lani Watson were also impressive.

NSW/ACT weekly wrap: Gum recognised, support swells for Tathra bushfires

FROM award-winning Giants, to bushfire relief donations and the announcement of the Kickstart and All Nations squads for the upcoming National Diversity Championships; it has been a big week in NSW/ACT football.

Tathra bushfires donations

Donations are still being taken to support the township of Tathra after recent bushfires tore through the area. The Bega Valley Shire Council has set up a Mayoral Appeal Fund from which people are able to donate, in order to raise much-needed funds for the victims and town. Local football club Tathra Sea Eagles will hold a raffle/auction at the Tathra Bowling Club on April 7 with all money raised going to the appeal. Additionally, AFL Sapphire Coast are encouraging spectators at the Sapphire Coast Junior Lightning Premiership on April 7 in Bega and Bermagui to dig deep, with all donations also going towards the appeal.

Much like the GWS GIANTS at last week’s match in Canberra, the Sydney Swans will also be collecting money at this Sunday’s match at the SCG.

For more information on how to donate, head to the AFL NSW/ACT website on the Tathra Bushfires page.

Gum takes out AFL Players MVP

GWS Giants first-year player Courtney Gum was voted by her peers as the Most Important Player in the AFLW for season 2018. Gum polled 219 votes in the award to win comfortably from Melbourne’s Karen Paxman (150) and Adelaide’s Chelsea Randall (128). Gum also just fell short of winning the Best First Year Player, edged out by Collingwood young gun Chloe Molloy, 84 votes to 79. Gum finished 10 votes clear of Brisbane’s Sophie Conway in third. The GWS midfielder also finished second in the Most Courageous Award behind Randall. Giants captain Amanda Farrugia was also recognised by the AFLW Players for her efforts, finishing second behind Melbourne’s Daisy Pearce in the Best Captain Award.

Just a day later, Gum was selected in the 2018 AFLW All-Australian team as ruck rover. She joined ruck Erin McKinnon and speedy midfielder Alicia Eva as the other Giants recognised with the honour. On the night, Gum also finished equal second in the AFLW Best and Fairest award, six votes behind winner Western Bulldogs midfielder Emma Kearney. Gum polled nine votes to share runner-up with Molloy and Fremantle’s Dana Hooker. Sydney youngster Rebecca Beeson was also nominated for the 2018 National Rising Star Award, nominated for her round one performance against Melbourne this season.

Eva honoured with Best and Fairest

GWS Giants star Alicia Eva was recognised for her consistent 2018 season last night, taking out the Gabrielle Trainor Medal at the GWS Giants Best and Fairest Awards Night. The NSW/ACT Youth Girls Head Coach wasted no time making her mark in Western Sydney since crossing from Collingwood at the end of the inaugural AFLW season. Eva finished the count on 79 votes, 10 clear of Courtney Gum, while Amanda Farrugia claimed third place. In other awards, Elle Bennetts took out the 2018 Rising Star Award, Erin McKinnon claimed the Community Award, Gum won the Members’ Choice Award, and Britt Tully was presented with the Coaches Award.

Phoebe McWilliams claimed both the Leading Goal Kicker Award for her seven goals in season 2018, while also recognised with the 2018 Mark of the Year for her hanger against Collingwood in round 3. Cora Staunton‘s amazing goal in round six against the Western Bulldogs saw the goal sneak claim the Goal of the Year Award.

NSW/ACT Kickstart and All Nations squads announced

The AFL NSW/ACT Kickstart and All Nations squads for the upcoming 2018 AFL National Diversity Championships were announced last week. More than 300 players from across Australia will descend on Blacktown for the five-day tournament. The Kickstart squad is comprised of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander players aged 14 and 15 years old, while the All Nations side contains players from 16 different multicultural backgrounds. Canberra’s Gerrit Wanganeen will coach the Kickstart side at the championships, while AFL Multicultural Ambassador Kynan Kilpatrick will take the reigns of the All Nations team.

To view the full squads, head to the AFL NSW/ACT page.

Scouting notes: AFLW – Round 7

ROUND seven determined the fortunate grand finalists who will battle it out at Ikon Park on Saturday. The Bulldogs controlled their own destiny at VU Whitten Oval, when they secured a thrilling two-point win over Melbourne. The Brisbane players on the other hand were nervously watching the Pies face the Crows, praying for the first – and probably last time for a Collingwood win. Once the Pies upset the Crows, there was a feeling of jubilation among the Lions players, who had to battle hard for their grand final spot throughout the season. It is very rare to see a season being determined by the last game of the home and away season, but in the AFLW, anything can happen.

GWS vs. Brisbane

 By James Halley

#1: Sabrina Frederick-Traub- Brisbane

She managed to snap the Lions’ first goal in congestion, which set up a big game for her. Two minutes later she took a massive contested mark close to goal and slotted the goal straight through the middle. She kicked a miraculous goal form the boundary, a check-side kick with opponents coming for her from every angle. It was amazing stuff and great football to watch. She then set up Wuetschner for her second goal with a good pass 30 seconds later. She was able to assist McCarthy in her first goal of the season by using her large frame to her advantage by putting shepherds on the two oncoming opponents. Due to her dominance she often makes a second defender assist in the contest, which in cases ended with a free kick to her, which is really valuable for the Lions. She kicked her fourth goal of the match in the dying minutes of the game from a relatively easy set shot but nonetheless, she still racked up impressive numbers against the Giants.

#2: Ally Anderson- Brisbane

She was everywhere for the Lions as she amassed the most disposals on the ground with 25, and 19 of those were kicks.

#3: Emma Zielke- Brisbane

She was able to keep the ball alive in the dying seconds of the last quarter with a lunging tackle to be awarded a holding-the-ball free kick, which gave the Lions another chance to attack before the quarter ended. She has a long, penetrating kick.

#4: Emily Bates- Brisbane

She is an important midfielder and accumulator for Brisbane. Her 21 disposals was impressive and her 62 per cent kicking efficiency was a feature in another great game.

#5: Jess Wuetschner- Brisbane

Her creativity creates panic in the forward 50 for the defenders. She missed an easy set shot early in the first quarter, which was disappointing. But she then snapped a wonderful goal from the boundary in a showcase of class and skill for her first goal of the game. Wuetschner was able to goal from a set shot once again after beating her opponent to the ball on a lead for her second goal of the game. With 15 seconds left in the game, she was able to slot through another impressive major from a snap to cap off a terrific all-round game for the Lions.

#6: Alicia Eva- GWS

She has great kicking skills and that was shown against Brisbane as she hardly missed a target. She also has great chase-down speed as she was able to chase down the Kate McCarthy, who has been dubbed as one of the fastest players in the game.

#7: Kate Lutkins- Brisbane

The defender was one of Brisbane’s best once again against GWS, as she was a rock in the back-line. Many of her 16 disposals came from creating the forward attack for the Lions.

#8: Tahlia Randall- Brisbane

Contested extremely well with Erin McKinnon in the ruck. Was aggressive around the ground as well, laying six tackles.

#9: Sophie Conway- Brisbane

Conway’s speed was on show late in the first term when she burnt her opponent, burst into the 50 and goaled on the run to kick the fourth Brisbane major in a row. She was able to deliver a perfect tackle on the GWS captain and was awarded a free kick as a result in the last quarter.

#10: Brittany Gibson- Brisbane

She seems to have the answers every time she is one-on-one in the back-line, and constantly beats her opponent.

#11: Britt Tully- GWS

She gained a shot on goal early with a supremely good tackle and then slotted the major to kick the Giants’ first goal of the game. Kept the ball rolling from there with another impressive outing for the season.

#12: Jamie Stanton- Brisbane

She was influential for Brisbane in the midfield as she finished with 14 disposals for the match.

#13: Pepa Randall- GWS

She was left one-out most of the day and her effort could not be questioned, as the tall defender held her own in a defence that was being threatened constantly.

#14: Amanda Farrugia- GWS

The GWS captain tried her hardest all day on the ball. She finished with 14 disposals for the match.

#15: Jessica Dal Pos- GWS

Dal Pos finished with 14 disposals and showed why she is the reigning GWS best and fairest, with her class on show for all.

#16: Sharni Webb- Brisbane

When presented with the task of converting a straight-forward kick 25 metres out after receiving a 50-metre penalty, she goaled with no worries. Saved her best game until last for the Lions.

#17: Emma Swanson- GWS

She has good precision kicking under pressure, especially concerning the 45-metre kicks.

#18: Jacinda Barclay- GWS

After hunting down her Brisbane opponent and winning a free kick as result for holding the ball in the third quarter, she won a set shot on goal and missed as the ball hit the woodwork. However, she had very sticky hands throughout the night and racked up 10 disposals to go with her efforts around the ground.

#19: Breanna Koenen- Brisbane

She is a very good reader of the ball and is a dangerous interceptor.

#20: Cora Staunton- GWS

She is good in play-on situations where she can turn and kick around the corner. She was able to mark on the lead but could not convert, as she went for her snap shot at goal straight in front and missed to the near side. She was able to run on and kick her first goal of the game from the goal-square to cut Brisbane’s lead down to under 30 points.

 

Fremantle vs. Carlton

#1: Dana Hooker- Fremantle

Dana Hooker could do no wrong against the Blues. Was a ball magnet throughout the match and never stopped trying. Used the ball well both by hand and by foot. Kicked a well-deserved goal in the fourth quarter to extend Fremantle’s lead.

#2: Kara Donnellan- Fremantle

Definitely the favourite to win Fremantle’s best and fairest this year. Another solid effort by the captain, and worked in tandem with Hooker to cause some headaches for the Blues. Was the most aggressive game I have seen her play this season, laying nine tackles.

#3: Ebony Antonio- Fremantle

A really impressive day out for the defender. Laid the most tackles of the afternoon with 10. Was a crucial presence on the ground when Fremantle began to take the game away from the Blues. Even managed to kick a goal to top off another great day for her.

#4: Sarah Hosking- Carlton

Her leadership was inspirational for the Blues, never giving up all day. Tackling pressure was insane once again, laying nine tackles for the day. Seemed bulletproof in the midfield, and was the one player that seemed to get under the skin of the Fremantle players.

#5: Tayla Harris- Carlton

Harris saved her best until last for the Blues, kicking two goals and racking up 15 disposals. She was able to work up the ground really well, and get back inside 50 when she was needed. Displayed her incredible endurance and footy smarts. Has great spatial awareness, and always knows where to go when the ball is making its way up the ground.

#6: Lisa Webb- Fremantle

Amazing debut season for her. Capped it off with a 16-disposal performance against the Blues. Worked well with players like Donnellan, and provided a great link in the chain for the Dockers. Never over-used the footy. Got the Dockers within a point with a goal to start the third quarter.

#7: Hayley Miller- Fremantle

Zipped around the footy all afternoon. Has improved her kicking each game and Saturday was no different. Out of her 13 disposals, 10 of them were kicks, showing how comfortable she is to put the ball on her boot and penetrate it forward for her side. Went back with the flight of the ball courageously at the start of the third quarter, highlighting her ability to always put her body on the line for her teammates. Unfortunately it has resulted in a collapsed lung but she is one tough cookie and will use the off-season to come back more courageous than ever.

#8: Amy Lavell- Fremantle

Lavell has shown signs of her best footy all season but on Saturday, she turned those signs into a reality. She had a great day out in the forward 50, and got plenty of the ball to go with it. If she works hard in the off-season, she could double up and play as that midfield/ forward type role rather than just being a forward.

#9: Alison Downie- Carlton

Another consistent performance from Downie. Good to see her have an impact in the forward line, rather than just act as a back-up ruckman to Breann Moody. Could and should play a role as a key forward for the Blues. Combining with Tayla Harris inside 50 would be a lethal combination for the Blues.

#10: Stephanie Cain- Fremantle

One of the feel-good stories of the AFLW season, Cain produced a wonderful performance to send the Dockers off on a high note. Used the ball well both by hand and by foot, and running game was strong all day.

#11: Kellie Gibson- Fremantle

Amazing to see her out on the field after being told she had to sit out the 2018 season. A fit off-season for her should send shivers through the competition, as she was able to make an impact in her first game in Fremantle colours. The former Crow was able to boot through a heart-warming goal that gave the Dockers their biggest lead of the game, plus she racked up 11 disposals.

#12: Katie Loynes- Carlton

Has had a brilliant season for the Blues and Saturday was no different. 14 disposals with 13 of them being kicks, and rightly so, she is a wonderful kick of the footy and should always back herself to penetrate the ball forward. Her and Hosking were two of the hardest players on the field.

#13: Tiah Haynes- Fremantle

Tiah Haynes was another Docker who was able to use the ball well both by hand and by foot. Showed great intent throughout the whole game, and has a great footy IQ.

#14: Melissa Caulfield- Fremantle

Solid performance from Caulfield. Got plenty of the ball and used it well. Always around to lend a helping hand to her teammates.

#15: Breann Moody- Carlton

Moody dominated the ruck once again, contesting well with Alicia Janz. Was not able to work up the ground as effectively as she usually does, but she still produced a commendable performance given the pressure that the Blues were under.

#16: Maddison Gay- Carlton

Really nice foot skills and footy smarts from Gay. She played a fierce game, laying six tackles, showing her consistent hunger to find the ball.

#17: Ashley Sharp- Fremantle

Really even performance across the board from Sharp. Six kicks, six handballs, one goal and one behind. Did everything she could to play her part in a memorable Fremantle victory.

#18: Tilly Lucas-Rodd- Carlton

Mopped the ball up well in the back-line as usual. Did not get a heap of the footy but her impact was felt in defence, thanks to her on-field leadership and footy smarts.

#19: Lauren Arnell- Carlton

Always puts her best foot forward for the Blues and she did just that on Saturday. Dug in deep for Carlton when Fremantle started to get on a roll. Uses her footy smarts to her advantage wherever she is on the ground.

#20: Cassie Davidson- Fremantle

Nine disposals with seven of them being kicks. Davidson was able to move the ball quickly with each possession, and was composed when she needed to be. Great game awareness.

 

Western Bulldogs vs. Melbourne

By Connor Ferris 

#1: Emma Kearney- Western Bulldogs

Another spectacular outing, and was the best player on the ground for the Dogs. Kearney racked up a team-high 20 possessions, hit the target on almost all her kicks and polished off her great work with a goal.

#2: Karen Paxman- Melbourne

Her usual fantastic self. Led the Dees midfield with 22 possessions, was in and around the contest all game and even drifted forward in the second quarter, scoring a much-needed goal for Melbourne against the breeze. Kicked another two behinds on top of that.

#3: Jenna Bruton- Western Bulldogs

Unbelievable game. Was involved in a number of key passages of play, most notably the clearance and ultimately game-winning assist to Brooke Lochland for the game-wining goal. 18 touches and a game-high 10 tackles.

#4: Ellie Blackburn- Western Bulldogs

Not her usual high number of possessions but was sent down back in the first and third quarter to provide a numbers advantage as Melbourne had the breeze. Her defensive work shut down a number of scoring opportunities for the Demons, helping nullify their advantage of kicking with the breeze.

#5: Hannah Scott- Western Bulldogs

Another good effort on the half-back flank. Gave the Bulldogs a bit of everything with nine possessions, two marks and three tackles. When it looked like Aliesha Newman was running into an open goal in the third quarter, Scott’s desperate chase-down led to Newman missing, in what was a telling moment in the game.

#6: Daisy Pearce- Melbourne

Was heavily targeted by the Dogs midfielders but was able to break free and still have a nice impact. Had 17 possessions, showed good defensive pressure and added a minor score.

#7: Elise O’Dea- Melbourne

Great game once again, fought so hard all game alongside fellow midfielders, Pearce and Paxman. Had 15 touches, many of which were contested.

#8: Lauren Pearce- Melbourne

 Continued a great stretch of form after being recalled three games ago. Got the better of the ruck contest and was great around the ground.

#9: Katherine Smith- Melbourne

One of the best for Melbourne. Stood up, providing whatever help was needed. Had 11 possessions and six tackles.

#10: Monique Conti- Western Bulldogs

Continues to grow in leaps and bounds each week. Conti was able to read the play extremely well and was using her speed to her advantage more often. Drew a free kick and converted a set shot early in the last quarter as the Dogs edged in front.

#11: Kirsty Lamb- Western Bulldogs

Ran with Daisy Pearce and displayed high levels of physicality to disrupt her game. Played quite well herself with nine touches.

#12: Aisling Utri- Western Bulldogs

Very nice game. Looked dangerous moving further down the ground, and had four marks from her 10 possessions. Had a chance to kick a goal in the second quarter but was unable to convert, registering a minor score.

#13: Brooke Lochland- Western Bulldogs

CLUTCH! Held in check for most of the game with just seven possessions but kicked the biggest goal of her career to send the Dogs through to the grand final. Forward 50 pressure was fantastic throughout the contest.

#14: Kate Hore- Melbourne

Had a nice game up forward. Moved very well and lead to space, resulting in four marks. Kicked the crucial goal for Melbourne to put them in front with under 10 minutes to go.

#15: Harriet Cordner- Melbourne

A very steady hand down in defence. Stopped a number of the Dogs attacks going forward. Ended up with 11 touches and applied good pressure, adding two tackles.

#16: Libby Birch- Western Bulldogs

Impressive game deep in defence, ensured Melbourne’s forwards were not able to have the impact they would have liked.

#17: Bianca Jakobsson- Melbourne

Intercept marking was off the charts. Looked the hero for the Dees with two crucial grabs in the final five minutes but unfortunately it was not enough.

#18: Hayley Wildes- Western Bulldogs

Played well when she was up in the midfield, 10 possessions and much like her other midfielders, her defensive effort stood out with three tackles.

#19: Meg Downie- Melbourne

Had herself a nice game. Among the best on ground for Melbourne, ended with 12 possessions and really moved the ball well.

#20: Lauren Spark- Western Bulldogs

Played on Tegan Cunningham and kept her to no touches for the night. Was key in slowing down Melbourne’s forward-line.

Collingwood vs. Adelaide

 By Taylah Melki 

#1: Jasmine Garner- Collingwood

She had a stellar game and starred in the forward-line, bagging three goals. Looked lively from the beginning of the game, getting involved in the contest and fighting hard to win the footy. Garner showed great skill and awareness throughout the match to get herself into dominant scoring positions.

#2: Jaimee Lambert- Collingwood

Lambert was a ball magnet for the Magpies gathering plenty of touches. She used the footy cleanly and was a tackling machine. She was by far one of Collingwood’s best players on the day showcasing her composure with ball in hand, and skill to hit targets and set up play.

#3: Jess Duffin- Collingwood

Dominated for the Pies, winning plenty of touches. Duffin racked up 18 disposals with 16 of them being kicks showcasing her impressive kicking skills and ability to hit targets.

#4: Ebony Marinoff- Adelaide

Marinoff got plenty of possessions and used the footy efficiently. She had clean hands around the contest and imposed herself on the game with crunching tackles. She was a beast in the middle of the ground, breaking away from the play to open up space.

#5: Erin Phillips- Adelaide

Was at her devastating best, winning the ball in close and using the footy cleanly. Racked up the touches and used her accurate kick to help propel her team forward and out of trouble.

#6: Moana Hope- Collingwood

Got plenty of the footy and made herself a key target up forward. Did a lot of hard running to get on the lead and was rewarded for her effort. She took good contested grabs and slotted an impressive snap around the body.

#7: Christina Bernardi- Collingwood

Impressed all over the field and was in everything. Bernardi competed hard for the footy and got herself into damaging positions. She scored two goals for the match and racked up plenty of touches.

#8: Ruth Wallace- Adelaide

Had excellent hands and took big contested marks. Went back with the flight of the footy and put her body on the line. Contested hard for the footy and used her booming kick. Slotted an important goal for the Crows and complemented the forwards.

#9: Chloe Molloy- Collingwood

Was steady down back, won plenty of the footy and controlled the Crows forward movement. Had good positioning and applied heaps of pressure. She used her long and penetrating kick to surge the Pies forward.

#10: Chelsea Randall- Adelaide

Had clean hands and saved a certain goal, getting back to help her teammates out. Took heaps of huge intercept grabs in the second quarter and helped to propel her team forward. Showcased her impressive leap and strong hands above her head.

#11: Emma King- Collingwood

Dominated in the ruck, winning heaps of the hit outs. Placed the ball in damaging positions, allowing her teammates first hands at the footy.

#12: Ash Brazill- Collingwood

In her second game for the season she was lively. She went in hard for the footy and took a heap of contested marks. Brazill showed great awareness and tackling pressure throughout the game and got plenty of disposals. She played a huge role on Erin Phillips and used her physicality to try and pressure Phillips off the ball.

#13: Amelia Barden- Collingwood

Had a few shots on goal and was proficient with ball in hand. Burst through the packs and worked hard to create space.

#14: Sarah Allan- Adelaide

Competed hard for the footy and gathered plenty of the footy. Showcased her impressive kicking ability and had clean hands taking plenty of marks.

#15: Caitlyn Edwards- Collingwood

Showed some great run and carry, breaking the lines to get into space. Competed hard for the ball and tackled well.

#16: Marijana Rajcic- Adelaide

She had plenty of the footy and used her speed to help stream forward in the third term. Rajcic played a huge role in the back-line, taking big marks.

#17: Melissa Kuys- Collingwood

Scored an important goal for the Pies and used her experience to help control the tempo of the game. Kuys used the footy efficiently, hitting all her targets.

#18: Justine Mules- Adelaide

Kept her feet in the contest, standing up in the tackles. Mules gathered plenty of touches and used her booming kick with 11 of her 13 disposals being kicks.

#19: Stevie-Lee Thompson- Adelaide

Bagged a goal and looked dangerous throughout the game. Showed her kicking ability with eight of her nine touches being kicks.

#20: Brittany Bonnici- Collingwood

Was influential across the ground. Showed great on-field leadership and used the footy cleanly. Bonnici stood up in tackles and showed great strength to fend off players while fighting hard to win the contested footy at ground level.

Weekend Wash-up: AFLW – Round 7

AFTER a huge round with five teams fighting for a position in the grand final, the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Lions secured their spot. In a tight tussle with highly contested matches throughout the round it all came down to the contest between Collingwood and Adelaide. With the Crows losing to a dominant Magpies outfit, the Lions clawed their way into back-to-back grand finals. Adelaide just fell marginally short of its premiership defence while the Blues finished on the bottom of the ladder after losing against the Dockers.  The Pies showed glimpses of their football prowess, impressing against the Crows and after a stellar season, the Demons missed out on making it to their first grand final.

GWS 3.6 (24) defeated by Brisbane 10. 4 (64)

With a spot in the grand final up for grabs, the Lions brought their A-game. The quick-starting Brisbane jumped the Giants, belting them by a whopping 40 points. In what was tipped to be a close encounter, the Lions piled on six goals to one in the opening term and kept their foot on the pedal until the final siren. GWS struggled to compete with the skill and class of Brisbane, only scoring three goals for the match.

Key moment:

In a must-win match for both teams, it was the Lions who showed great composure and footy smarts to control the game from the outset. Their superstars and leaders in Sabrina Frederick-Traub, the ever-reliable Kate Lutkins, Emily Bates and captain Emma Zielke were pivotal players in Brisbane’s impressive win. They used the footy efficiently, controlled the tempo of the game, hit targets and were damaging across the field. The class and experience of each of these players proved to be the difference between the two teams, as Brisbane maintained their structures and competed hard for the footy in each contest.

Impressers:

Star Brisbane forward, Sabrina Frederick-Traub, put on a masterclass in front of goal, bagging four majors and amassing 18 touches. The South Fremantle recruit was in devastating form, taking huge grabs and showing she is a force to be reckoned with. Fellow forward, Jess Wuetschner showed how deadly she can be in the forward 50, slotting three majors in Brisbane’s huge win over the Giants. Ally Anderson had a stellar game for the Lions, racking up 25 disposals and displaying her class and skill across the field. In a lacklustre game for the Giants, Alicia Eva stood up, gathering 18 possessions and applying the pressure, laying six tackles for the match. GWS forward, Cora Staunton also impressed, scoring a goal and getting plenty of the footy. The likes of Jessica Dal Pos and Amanda Farrugia were influential for the Giants, amassing plenty of touches between them and using the footy efficiently, but it was not enough to secure their first grand final appearance.

 

Fremantle 9.5 (59) defeated Carlton 6.12 (48)

In a fight for the wooden spoon the Blues were plagued by inaccuracy, while the Dockers came to play. Both teams fell away throughout the season after positive starts to the year, but Fremantle finished the season well securing an 11-point victory. The lead chopped and changed throughout the game with both Fremantle and Carlton amassing a similar amount of contested marks and turnovers. But it was the Dockers’ accuracy in the last quarter and efficiency with ball in hand that proved to be the difference between the two teams.

Key moment:

Carlton’s inaccuracy in front of goal was costly, scoring 12 behinds compared to Fremantle’s five points. The Blues had six shots at goal in the last quarter to claim the lead and their first win since round two, but failed to capitalise. Both teams shared a similar number of inside 50 entries but the Blues struggled to make the most of their scoring opportunities. But the Dockers made the most of their shots at goal, bagging nine majors for the game and going at 82 per cent efficiency in front of goal. The Dockers scored from 18 of their 22 forward 50 entries as opposed to the Blues’ 22 shots from their 30 entries.

Impressers:

Darcy Vescio showed her X-factor quality with a skilful goal and her fancy footwork. Meanwhile teammate, Tayla Harris impressed with two majors and was the leading disposal-getter for the Blues. Harris threw her weight around taking big contested marks and hitting the packs hard. Seaford Tigerettes recruit, Sarah Hosking also starred with 15 touches and nine tackles, imposing herself in and around the contest. Katie Loynes also proved her worth for Carlton, bagging a goal and racking up 14 touches for the game. Reigning Fremantle best and fairest, Dana Hooker backed up her impressive form with another stellar game, amassing 25 possessions and a goal. Hooker was in a class of her own, showing her skill, accuracy and clean hands to help keep her team off the bottom of the ladder. Veteran 33 year-old Lisa Webb shone for Fremantle racking up plenty of touches, while Amy Lavell slotted two important goals to help clench the all-important victory.

 

Western Bulldogs 5.3 (33) defeated Melbourne 4.7 (31)

In a top-of-the-table clash, the Dogs and Dees had everything to play for with a spot in the grand final up for grabs. In a game filled with multiple lead changes and heart-stopping kicks, it was the Western Bulldogs who came away with a two-point win. The Demons put on an impressive display leading at different stages throughout the match, but fell agonisingly short in the final seconds of the match. The Dogs showed great fight and desperation, stamping their authority on the competition as contenders to win their inaugural grand final.

Key moment:

In trying conditions with the wind swirling, Melbourne piled on a goal and six points in the third term to gain the lead, but it was the Western Bulldogs ability to stand up under pressure that paid dividends. With a third quarter onslaught, the Demons looked to have control over the tempo and flow of the game, holding the Dogs scoreless in the term. The Dogs back-line was under all sorts of pressure with plenty of repeat entries and shots at goal, but last quarter efforts from Monique Conti, Katie Brennan and Hannah Scott helped to push the Dogs over the line.

Impressers:

Lauren Spark had a stellar game for the Western Bulldogs, shutting down Melbourne star forward Tegan Cunningham, who was held scoreless and failed to register a touch for the match. The Melbourne University recruit controlled the back-line, showing great composure and taking plenty of impressive goal-saving marks. Up the other end, Brooke Lochland’s heroics helped to seal the deal for the Dogs in the dying seconds of the game with a phenomenal goal. Superstar midfielder, Emma Kearney was in everything in the opening half and put on an absolute clinic, amassing 20 possessions and bagging a goal. Young gun, Jenna Bruton also shone for the Bulldogs with her explosive speed and ability to get in and under in the contest to win the footy. Melbourne star, Karen Paxman impressed with a goal and 22 disposals for the game, while captain Daisy Pearce played her role, gathering 17 possessions. Geelong Magpies player, Richelle Cranston starred for the Dees, imposing herself on the contest and showcasing her booming kick when she slotted an impressive goal.

 

Collingwood 8.5 (53) defeated Adelaide 4.8 (32) 

In a last quarter thriller, the Pies crushed any chances of the Crows defending their grand final title, piling on three goals to Adelaide’s zero. After finding form late in the season, the Magpies fought hard against the reigning premiers who were in ominous form. Collingwood claimed a 21-point victory over Adelaide who impressed early but could not keep up with the Collingwood forwards who showed great desperation for the footy. The Crows flexed their muscles in the opening half of the game but the Magpies came out hungry after the half-time break.

Key moment:

The Pies dominated in the ruck contest with Emma King showcasing her athleticism and footy smarts. Collingwood won the hit-outs 21 to 13, and dominated in and around the stoppages. The ability of the Pies players to win the hard contested footy proved to be the key between the two teams, as Collingwood went on to win its third game for the season. The Magpies showed class and skill with ball in hand, using the footy accurately and cleanly going at 64 per cent disposal efficiency thanks to their ability to get the ball straight out of the ruck.

Impressers:

Jasmine Garner starred for the Pies up forward bagging three goals. The talented St Kilda Shark recruit showed her footy class with ball in hand, going at 66 per cent efficiency. Superstar midfielder, Christina Bernardi once again dominated for the Pies, slotting two goals and racking up 12 touches for the game. Jaimee Lambert played a pivotal role in Collingwood’s win, gathering 19 disposals. Lambert was in everything, competing hard for the footy and laying bone-crunching tackles. For the Crows, cult hero Erin Phillips was up and about amassing 17 possessions and showing her excellent on-field leadership. Ebony Marinoff was never far from the footy, racking up the touches and imposing herself on the contest with her hard tackling. Adelaide University recruit, Ruth Wallace also impressed for the Crows, taking the most marks of the game and scoring an important goal to go with her 11 touches.

AFLW Previews: Round 7

AS we head into the final round of the home and away season, there is still plenty of jostling to be done for positions. Top spot is up for grabs in the game between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night, with the winner through to the grand final and the loser having to rely on results going their way. Adelaide and Brisbane will also be holding their breath for results to fall their way, while the Giants largely control their own destiny in the hope of securing their spot in the Grand Final. Collingwood are coming off a great win against Brisbane last week will have the opportunity to play spoiler once again as they take on the reigning premiers, whilst Carlton and Fremantle will be looking to end their campaigns on a high as they battle it out on Saturday afternoon.

Greater Western Sydney vs Brisbane

Friday March 16, 7:05pm at Blacktown International Sportspark

The round kicks off with two grand-final hopefuls going head-to-head under Friday night’s lights in Sydney. For the Giants, a win will likely secure them a spot in the grand final, as they possess a slightly better percentage than the Crows, who also sit on 14 points. The Giants will look to continue their terrific form over the past four games and cap off a spectacular home and away season which has seen significant improvement from last year. They will be riding high after a very strong performance last week against the ladder-leading Western Bulldogs. Erin McKinnon continues to be dominant in the ruck and has been instrumental in the team’s resurgence after they dropped the first two games. Keep an eye out for star midfielder, Courtney Gum who is likely to continue her quest for AFLW MVP. GWS captain, Amanda Farrugia is also likely to once again stand up when needed, this time in a quest to lead her team to a grand final. Brisbane on the other hand, will be looking to avenge a poor performance to the previous bottom-of-the-table Collingwood last week, and must win in order to give themselves any chance of playing off in the grand final. The midfield battle will be crucial, so expect Brisbane’s Emily Bates and Emma Zielke to really challenge the Giants midfielders if the Lions are to pull off the win.

Fremantle vs Carlton

Saturday March 17 at Fremantle Oval

Although it has not been the seasons that both teams would have intended, the Dockers and the Blues head into the game on Saturday with a chance to finish on a high. With both teams eliminated from grand-final contention, it opens up an opportunity for individual players to prove that they deserve to remain on the list moving into next season.  A strong team performance can provide fans hope moving into next year. As the Bulldogs and Giants proved, a turnaround from cellar dwellers to premiership contenders is a real possibility. For Fremantle, expect Dana Hooker to be dangerous once again. Her fantastic performance of 20 possessions and two goals last week almost lead the Dockers to a win against Adelaide, but ultimately it was not enough. After conceding six goals in the first quarter last week, Carlton’s defence was able to hold the Demons in-check for the remainder of the game and in the process, deny them that all-important percentage. If they are able to put that effort together for 60 minutes, it will give them a great chance to get a win and avoid the wooden spoon. Last week saw Darcy Vescio move up into the midfield for periods of the game, which will be interesting to watch and could help add another facet to her game whilst also assisting Carlton’s midfield, which has struggled as of late.

Western Bulldogs vs Melbourne

Saturday March 17, 7:05pm at VU Whitten Oval

The battle for top spot takes centre-stage on Saturday night, as the Western Bulldogs play host to Melbourne. For both teams, the equation is rather simple- winner secures top spot and a grand final berth, whilst the loser will have to rely on other results going their way to secure their spot. The Bulldogs come off a hard-fought game against the Giants last week which unfortunately did not go their way. After looking a certainty to make the grand final a week ago, the Dogs now face their biggest test of the year. They will get a huge boost this week, as captain and key forward Katie Brennan makes her return to the line-up, after missing the last three games due to injury. She will look to have a big impact on a depleted Melbourne defence, who will sadly be without Melissa Hickey, who suffered an ACL injury last week. This will make it extremely difficult for them, with the Bulldogs possessing a dangerous forward-line which includes the likes of Brooke Lochland and Rising Star, Monique Conti. Perhaps the most exciting head-to-head match-ups come in the midfield, with the Demons trio of Daisy Pearce, Elise O’Dea and Karen Paxman going head-to-head against the Bulldogs’ dynamic duo of Ellie Blackburn and Emma Kearney. These exciting match-ups across the board should make for an extremely entertaining contest, and one which will have a huge impact on which teams will face off the following week in the grand final.

Collingwood vs Adelaide

Sunday March 18, 2:35pm at Olympic Park Oval

It is the classic case of too little, too late for Collingwood. The Pies have been in fantastic form over the past month, but as was the case last season, a poor start to the season will see them on the outside looking in. Despite the final margin being only 13 points, they were extremely dominant last week in the win against the Lions, which threw a wrench into their finals hopes. The Magpies find themselves in a similar situation this week, as another win here would send the Crows packing. This will allow them to play with an all-out, nothing to lose, attacking game style- something that has been serving them well. Collingwood has made several changes heading into the game, with youngsters Holly Whitford and Sarah Dargan receiving an opportunity. The young team that will front up this week will give Pies fans a glimpse into what looks to be a very promising future for the football club. Adelaide enter the game unbeaten in the last four games, and have a golden opportunity to get back to the grand final and defend its crown. Sitting slightly behind the Giants on percentage, the Crows may find themselves having to win the game by a large margin in order to leapfrog the Giants (provided they defeat Brisbane) and take second place. Adelaide will look for another huge game from Chelsea Randall, who has been fantastic of late, and will hope that their inspirational leader, Erin Phillips can continue to fight through the pain and lead them to another victory.