Tag: Angela Foley

AFLW season previews: Adelaide

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

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

Changes:

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

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

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

Area of strength: Forward line

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

Area of weakness: Ruck department

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

Players to watch:

Chloe Scheer

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

Jessica Sedunary

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

Marijana Rajcic

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

2019 prediction: 2nd in Conference A

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

 

2019 Adelaide AFLW Fixture

DateEventTime/ResultsVenueArticleMatch Day
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Norwood OvalRound 1
Ikon ParkRound 2
Norwood OvalRound 3
TIO StadiumRound 4
Avalon Airport OvalRound 5
Unley OvalRound 6
Casey FieldsRound 7

Prepare to get Gore’d

SHE’S been a favourite from the south for a while now, but Nikki Gore is still excited after being taken with Adelaide’s first pick in the 2018 AFLW draft.

“It’s an awesome experience,” she said. “I can’t wait to get started for the Crows.”

Like most up and coming players, Gore played in the local boys competition, but a soon as an opportunity finally opened up for girls, she grabbed it. Last year, Gore entered the South Australian National Football League Women’s (SANFLW) competition, playing for South Adelaide. This year, the Panthers won the premiership, but the midfielder’s credentials don’t stop there. Gore had the privilege of being a part of the very first NT Thunder women’s team, made the AFL Women’s Under 18 All-Australian squad for 2018, and was also selected in the SANFLW Team of the Year as ruck-rover.

Gore averaged 19.5 disposals in the SANFLW, which was the highest in the league. With the likes of Angela Foley, Chelsea Randall and Erin Phillips, the Adelaide Crows have bolstered their already impressive midfield to new heights. The only thing more impressive for Gore was when Randall called out her name, and handed Gore her jumper.

“Getting Chelsea Randall out there today to present me was incredible,” she said. “I can’t wait to get alongside them, and get to know some of the other girls, and work with some of the new draftees as well.”

Gore has been a passionate Crows supporter, but when asked if she had any intention of seeking opportunities interstate, she confirmed her passion was staying in her home state.

“My heart was stuck with South Australia,” she said. “I’d like to stay at home and all the girls have been really welcoming. It’s going to be awesome to be playing in my home state, with all the family, and friends supporting.”

Gore, as well as fellow draftee Katelyn Rosenzweig, have an advantage that few other players have. The young Crows have trained alongside Adelaide premiership players in the South Australian academy as well as play with them during their time at NT Thunder. Gore is happy to carry that experience into the 2019 AFLW season.

“I’ve trained on with the Crows for a few years,” she said. “It’s going to be pretty good to be a part of that team now, and be alongside some really great players, (I) can’t wait for the experience.”

The Crows are poised to mount a comeback to redeem themselves on their previous season, which was battered by injury. They have already suffered by the departures of Ruth Wallace, and Jess Allan, but perhaps a shot of young talent may turn the tide.

Season reviews: VFLW – NT Thunder

THE NT Thunder was one of the most dominant sides of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season. The Thunder suffered a shock exit in the finals but nonetheless should be proud of a remarkable debut season in the VFLW.

 

Position: 3rd
Win-loss: 11-3
Percentage: 193%

Results:

Round 1: Defeated Darebin by 54 points
Round 2: Bye
Round 3: Defeated Essendon by 72 points
Round 4: Defeated Melbourne University by 69 points
Round 5: Defeated Western Bulldogs by 36 points
Round 6: Defeated Carlton by 36 points
Round 7: Lost against Southern Saints by 20 points
Round 8: Lost against Collingwood by 16 points
Round 9: Defeated Geelong Cats by 65 points
Round 10: Defeated Darebin by 40 points
Round 11: Defeated Richmond by 23 points
Round 12: Defeated Casey Demons by 12 points
Round 13: Defeated Williamstown by 45 points
Round 14: Defeated Collingwood by 10 points
Round 15: Lost against Hawthorn by 25 points
Round 16: Bye

 

Key players:

#3 Angela Foley

The NT Thunder captain was a dominant force in the midfield and was rewarded for her efforts. She came third in the VFLW Best and Fairest and earned a spot in the Team of the Year. Foley consistently racked up high number of disposals, highlighting her ability to find plenty of the footy during the season. She had an impressive game in Round 1 when she gathered 30 disposals, kicked a goal, took five marks and laid three tackles.

#17 Emma Swanson

The Greater Western Sydney (GWS) forward was a key player for the Thunder this season. She was able to out-muscle opponents in the forward line and could also float into the midfield to gather some key possessions. This versatility earned her a spot on the interchange bench in the VFLW Team of the Year. She too had a standout game in Round 1 with 31 disposals, two goals, five marks and three tackles.   

#28 Renee Forth

Forth’s excellent season in Thunder colours saw her move over to the Adelaide Crows for the 2019 season. She impressed with her high football IQ and ability to get in the right spots to get the ball. Like Swanson, she was a versatile player who played consistent football throughout her 12 games. One of her best games was in Round 11 when she racked up 18 disposals, five marks and three tackles.

#29 Marijana Rajcic

Rajcic was a player that dominated all over the ground for the Thunder this season. Her marking was quite impressive, as was her long kick. Her run and carry was also a key attribute of her game. Rajcic kicked 11 goals from her seven games for NT. One of her standout games was in Round 1, when she kicked 3.4, gathered 25 disposals and took eight marks.

#31 Jessica Sedunary

Sedunary came fifth in the VFLW goal kicking tally with 15 goals from 11 games. She also earned a spot in the VFLW Team of the Year thanks to her liveliness in the forward line and her excellent goal sense. Sedunary’s strength and fitness stood out as she inflicted her powerful run and carry on opposition sides. She was the star of the day against Geelong, kicking four goals, gathering 17 disposals and laying three tackles.

 

Season summary:

The Thunder recorded the biggest percentage of the VFLW season after some big winning margins throughout the season. The side was one of the most dominant outfits of the season with plenty of AFLW contingent suiting up in the VFLW season. Homegrown talent like Tayla Thorn, Lateesha Jeffrey, Tahlia Holtze, Kylie Duggan and Kristy Irvine also showed good signs during the year, signalling a bright future for the side.

AFL Draft Central’s VFLW Team of the Year

PICKING the AFL Draft Central Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Team of the Year was very difficult as there has been numerous terrific performers throughout the year. We compiled the best 22 players at the end of the VFLW home and away season, which takes into account the standout performers from the 16 rounds of VFLW this season.

Jess Duffin starts in the centre due to her outstanding season for Williamstown. She was picked in the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Week five times during the season, showing how dominant she was in the competition. She had a wonderful VFLW season and will hope to continue her great form with North Melbourne in the upcoming AFL Women’s season. Darcy Vescio is rightfully named at full forward after winning the VFLW goalkicking award, with 26 goals from nine matches. Nine of these goals were kicked against the Bombers in Round 16.

The back line is headlined by Hawthorn gun defender, Jayde Van Dyk. Van Dyk has been a revelation this season with her consistency and ability to lock down key players. Richmond’s Jacqueline Graham, who was also great down back for her side, accompanies Van Dyk in the back line. She featured in the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Week eight times, which is only beaten by Jayde Van Dyk and Jess Duffin’s nine appearances.

The midfield is littered with some of the competition’s superstars. Ashleigh Riddell was outstanding for Melbourne University across the wing, while Alison Drennan was extremely reliable for the Southern Saints. She appeared in the Team of the Week seven times this season. Darebin’s Lauren Pearce got the nod to be the starting ruck as she was one of the standout rucks in the competition alongside Rhiannon Watt (Southern Saints) and Alice Edmonds (Richmond). Pearce just edged out the latter duo to make the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Year.

The forward line has plenty of fire-power and is easily capable of kicking a winning score. On the left half-forward flank is NT’s Jess Sedunary, who finished third in the goalkicking tally. Alongside her at centre-half forward is North Melbourne recruit, Jasmine Garner, who kicked 10 goals in nine games for the Seagulls.

The bench consists of midfield pair, Richelle Cranston (Geelong) and Jenna Bruton (Williamstown) as well as utility, Katherine Gillespie-Jones (Melbourne University). Rounding out the AFL Draft Central VFLW Team of the Year is Thunder captain, Angela Foley. Foley was able to provide outstanding leadership while simultaneously playing some consistent football.

Due to only 22 making the final cut, there was destined to be many unlucky players. Falcons forward, Hannah Mouncey can consider herself unlucky as she kicked the second-most goals in the competition. But as we saw with Tom Hawkins in the AFL, who did not make the 2018 All Australian side, goals sometimes are not enough. Hawthorn midfielder, Melissa Kuys is also unlucky as she had a great season leading from the front. Former Calder Cannons pair, Chloe Molloy and Madison Prespakis are two more who had an argument to be included in the Team of the Year, but will definitely be featuring prominently in the future.

Scouting notes: VFLW – NT Thunder vs Geelong

DOMINANT force, NT Thunder was knocked out of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s finals last week by the ever-consistent Cats. Geelong was able to get the upper hand in a tight tussle and advance to a do-or-die preliminary final against the Pies this weekend. AFL Draft Central’s Connor Ferris was at Port Melbourne to take note of the standout performers at Stannards Stadium.

 

NT Thunder vs Geelong

NT:

#3 Angela Foley

Great leadership all game long from the captain. Got on top in the clearances and attacked the footy with great intent throughout the day.

#5 Machaelia Roberts

Great run and carry off the forward flank. Had several pressure acts throughout the game including a great chase and tackle resulting in a goal late in the third quarter.

#22 Jenna McCormick

Terrific second quarter to get the Thunder on top. Great ball-use all day through the middle of the ground to drive the Thunder into attack.

#29 Marijana Rajcic

Took advantage of her opportunities in front of goal, kicking three straight. Kept the Thunder in the game with an early fourth-quarter goal.

#52 Ebony Marinoff

Dominant performance from the Adelaide AFL Women’s midfielder. She was an absolute ball magnet, tallying 28 disposals and using the ball extremely well.

 

Geelong:

#3 Hannah Burchell

Good forward pressure and hard running, which resulted in two goals. Was instrumental in helping the Cats get on top in the third quarter.

#6 Maddie Boyd

Presented as a strong target all day. Did not hit the scoreboard but brought the ball to ground multiple times to set up Geelong’s small forwards for scoring opportunities.

#16 Olivia Purcell

Strong midfield performance. She got plenty of the ball with 16 possessions and linked up well with her teammates up the ground.

#20 Nina Morrison

Great tackling pressure. Gave the Thunder’s midfielders headaches all day with her ferocious attack on the footy.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Began asserting herself in the second quarter and never looked back. Great in and around the contest, highly efficient and kicked a crucial goal at the start of the fourth quarter to draw the scores level.

Duffin headlines successful VFLW Best and Fairest night

THE Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Best and Fairest took place on Monday night and recognised the standout players from a successful inaugural season. We recap the main award winners, as well as the VFLW Team of the Year.

 

Lambert-Pearce Medal

Williamstown midfielder, Jess Duffin has become the first league best and fairest winner to come from a team that did not make the finals. Her Seagulls finished eleventh with a record of four wins and 10 losses.

The former Collingwood AFL Women’s player polled 23 votes, which was six ahead of Darebin ruck, Lauren Pearce. NT Thunder captain, Angela Foley came third with 16 votes while Carlton forward, Darcy Vescio and Hawks captain, Emma Mackie rounded out the top five with 15 votes a piece.

Duffin ranked first in the VFLW this year for total disposals, uncontested possessions, marks and rebounds. She was also ranked third for contested possessions and inside 50s, while also kicking 13 goals from her 13 matches.

The North Melbourne AFL Women’s recruit held the lead (either outright or shared) from Round 6 to Round 12. After falling behind Angela Foley in Round 12, the Melbourne Renegades cricketer finished strong with three consecutive best-on-ground performances to win the Best and Fairest with one round to go.

Duffin polled in 12 of her 13 matches this season with five three-vote performances, one two-vote and six one-vote efforts.

 

Rohenna Young Medal/ Choose Tap leading goalkicker

Carlton forward, Darcy Vescio capped off her stellar season inside 50, receiving the Rohenna Young Medal.

Vescio kicked 26 goals from nine games, averaging 2.89 goals per game. This was highlighted by a nine-goal performance against Essendon in Round 16.

Vescio finished seven goals ahead of Darebin’s Hannah Mouncey (19 goals from 12 games), and 11 goals ahead of NT’s Jessica Sedunary (15 goals from 11 games), who finished third. The Carlton forward won the AFL Women’s inaugural leading goal kicker award in 2017, kicking 14 goals, and has now backed it up with the VFLW leading goalkicker award.

 

Debbie Lee Medal/ VFLW Rising Star

Hawthorn defender, Jayde Van Dyk capped off a remarkable year in the brown and gold with an individual accolade to reward her for her efforts.

Van Dyk averaged 15 disposals this year and was named in the best in 11 of her 15 games. She was also named in the VFLW Team of the Year in the back pocket.

Van Dyk now has a an opportunity to become a premiership player after the Hawks defeated the Pies on Saturday to win through to the decider.

 

VFLW Coach of the Year

Collingwood VFLW coach, Penny Cula-Reid has won the VFLW Coach of the Year award after taking her side to a minor premiership.

In her first year of coaching, she took the Pies to a near-perfect season tally, with 12 wins, one loss and one draw. Cula-Reid formerly played for Collingwood in the AFL Women’s competition and represented the St Kilda Sharks in the Victorian Women’s Football League (VWFL).

 

VFLW Team of the Year

B: Jayde Van Dyk (Hawthorn), Bec Goring (Geelong), Kate Gillespie-Jones (Melbourne Uni)

HB: Ashleigh Riddell (Melbourne Uni), Meghan McDonald (Darebin), Bianca Jakobsson (Casey)

C: Alison Drennan (Southern Saints), Jess Duffin (Williamstown), Rebecca Beeson (Hawthorn)

HF: Sarah D’Arcy (Collingwood), Jasmine Garner (Williamstown), Jessica Sedunary (NT)

FF: Hayley Bullas (Essendon), Darcy Vescio (Carlton), Mia-Rae Clifford (Geelong)

F: Rhiannon Watt (Southern Saints), Richelle Cranston (Geelong), Angela Foley (NT)

I/C: Emma Swanson (NT), Sophie Alexander (Collingwood), Alice Edmonds (Richmond), Libby Birch (Western Bulldogs), Lauren Pearce (Darebin), Emma Mackie (Hawthorn)

 

Hawthorn and Geelong lead the way in the VFLW Team of the Year with three representatives a piece.

Hawks skipper, Emma Mackie and Greater Western Sydney’s (GWS) Rebecca Beeson made their way into the sides after stellar years in the midfield.

Geelong’s had stars across the field in the Team of the Year, with Bec Goring leading the way down back, Richelle Cranston being selected in the midfield and Mia-Rae Clifford being named in the forward line.

Melbourne University, Darebin, Southern Saints, NT Thunder, Williamstown and Collingwood each had two members in the Team of the Year.

North Melbourne AFL Women’s duo, Ashleigh Riddell and Kate Gillespie-Jones were both selected in the back line for the Mugars and were joined by Darebin’s Meghan McDonald. Runner-up Best and Fairest, Lauren Pearce made her way onto the interchange best for the Falcons.

She was joined by NT’s Emma Swanson, who averaged 19 disposals in her 11 matches. Swanson’s Thunder teammate, Jessica Sedunary made her way into the forward line after kicking 15 goals from 11 games this season.

The Southern Saints had two members in the midfield with Rhiannon Watt getting the main ruck spot while Alison Drennan took up a position on the wing.

As expected, Jess Duffin got a spot in the middle for the Seagulls while Jasmine Garner was named at centre-half forward.

For the minor premiers, it was Sarah D’Arcy and Sophie Alexander who led the way, with D’Arcy getting a spot on the half-forward flank while Alexander was named on the bench.

Darcy Vescio, Hayley Bullas (Essendon), Libby Birch (Western Bulldogs), Bianca Jakobsson (Casey) and Alice Edmonds (Richmond) were the sole representatives for their sides in the Team of the Year.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Week 1 finals

BOTH favourites suffered losses in a cracking first week of Victorian Football League (VFL) finals. Collingwood went down to the Hawks on Saturday, giving Hawthorn the first spot in the decider. Meanwhile, Geelong managed to knock out the high-scoring outfit, NT Thunder on Sunday, setting up a mouth-watering clash between the Pies and the Cats on Sunday.

 

Collingwood 3.3 (21) defeated by Hawthorn 5.2 (32) 

By: Carly McClen 

Led by captain Emma Mackie, Hawthorn capitalised on its double-chance by booking in a well-earned place in the VFLW Grand Final with a semi-final win over the Collingwood Magpies.

The Hawks despatched Collingwood with their characteristic spread game and run and carry that could not be interfered with, despite the Pies’ best defensive pressure attempts on the day.  Hawthorn leader, Meg Hutchins, who played 12 games for Collingwood across the 2017 and 2018 AFL Women’s seasons, was impressive with her pace and composure and showed her experience and leadership against her old side. The Hawks had 19 more handballs than the opposition, they stuck to their game plan, and created forward opportunities that converted on the scoreboard. Hawthorn applied consistent pressure, causing uncharacteristic turnovers and wasted opportunities in attack by the Magpies. Although it was an 11-point margin to the Hawks at half-time, the Pies had not found what would galvanise the group to lift and getting the job done looked out of their hands.  

The Hawks had team-lifters across the ground such as Sarah Perkins with her hard chase and run-down tackle followed by an overhead mark and goal. Rosie Dillon had 20 disposals and was dangerous at both ends. Lou Wotton was dominant with her ruck work, muscling out Eliza Hynes and winning in hitouts. The three goals by skipper, Emma Mackie, one being a long bomb from centre half forward to bounce through, proved the combination of these individual efforts was too lethal and most damaging in securing the upset victory.

The Pies needed team-lifters and there was the usual class from Chloe Molloy early in the second quarter when she cleverly collected the ball and easily ran past a defender to kick straight and bounce a goal through. Molloy was solid in her role throughout but some real magic was on display in the last quarter when she kicked a 40-metre goal on the run that bounced through. The steady defensive work from Nicole Hildebrand and the high disposals and hard hitting from Sarah D’Arcy impacted the game, but these efforts did not ignite the Collingwood mindset to play their game, and they were unable to hold up the momentum of the Hawks. Both teams stepped up their physical presence on the day, but it was the Hawks who put it on the scoreboard and were unperturbed by the off-the-ball chat from the Pies.

 

NT Thunder 6.6 (42) defeated by Geelong 7.9 (51)

By: Connor Ferris

Sunday’s elimination final saw a thrilling contest from start to finish. The Thunder got the jump at the start, benefiting from a strong breeze as they dominated time in forward half. Despite the dominance, the Thunder were only able to register one goal on the scoreboard, squandering several opportunities en route to kicking five behinds.

Geelong failed to take advantage of the wind in the second quarter as the Thunder extended their quarter time lead from nine points to 15 at the main break. As the wind died down in the third quarter, it was the Cats who took control of the game, kicking three goals to one and cutting the Thunder lead to just one point heading into the final term, setting up a grandstand finish.

In the end it was Geelong who came out on top with a dominant fourth quarter to run out nine-point winners and book their place in the preliminary final against Collingwood next week.

Richelle Cranston was spectacular all day long with two goals and 19 possessions as she willed her side to victory. Fellow midfielder, Olivia Purcell also impressed, kicking one goal to go along with 19 possessions. For the Thunder, Marijana Rajcic was dangerous up forward kicking three goals, while captain, Angela Foley led from the front with a terrific game. The loss signals the end of the Thunder’s season, which had incredible promise. They’ll look to re-group and return even stronger in 2019. For Geelong, their victory gives them the opportunity to take on Collingwood in another do-or-die contest for a position in the Grand Final against Hawthorn in two weeks’ time.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Week 1 Finals

THE home and away season has come to an end and the finals have finally arrived in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season. Collingwood, Hawthorn, NT Thunder and Geelong all battle it out over the coming weeks with the hope of raising the premiership cup.

 

Collingwood vs. Hawthorn

Saturday September 8, Stannards Stadium, 10:15AM

Collingwood and Hawthorn finished the home and away season in the top two spots and as a result have an opportunity to advance straight through to the Grand Final. Collingwood suffered just two slip-ups throughout the season; an early season draw against Geelong and a late season loss against the Thunder, both of whom will head into battle in the elimination final on Sunday. The Pies have a number of huge inclusions into their line-up with Sarah D’Arcy, Sophie Alexander and Brittany Bonnici among others returning to the line-up. The three inclusions will look to re-discover their early season form and re-establish themselves in the side. Collingwood will also be looking for a big contribution from star, Chloe Molloy who has been unbelievable all season long with her poise under pressure, elite decision-making and overall strong play. For the Hawks, they also enter the game with extreme confidence having defeated fellow finalists Geelong and the Thunder in their past two games. The Hawks lost just two games for the season and played consistent footy throughout the year, establishing themselves as a true contender. They make several inclusions (extended bench) highlighted by Melissa Kuys, who can be a real game-breaker at her best. Their forward line featuring Sarah Perkins and Phoebe McWilliams has been dangerous all year and should once again play a huge role in getting the Hawks over the line. The injection of youth, including Eastern Ranges duo Emerson Woods and Sarah Kendall joining Mikala Cann, provides the Hawks with plenty of excitement. Midfielder, Emma Mackie will also look to continue her terrific home and away season form with a big game in the finals to push the Hawks towards the Grand Final and a hugely important week off.

 

Northern Territory (NT) Thunder vs. Geelong

Sunday September 9, Stannards Stadium, 11:45AM

The NT Thunder meet Geelong on Sunday morning in the elimination final with both sides desperate to keep their premiership dreams alive. The Thunder have looked unstoppable at times throughout the season, posting several dominating defeats by high margins. By far the highest scoring team in the competition, their forward line has been firing on all cylinders, with some scoring contributions from the midfield to assist. They will have had plenty of preparation time, having not played since their Round 15 defeat at the hands of Hawthorn, with their bye coming in the final round of the home and away season. Jess Sedunary, Jenna McCormick and Angela Foley have all been huge for the team throughout the season and should once again have a big impact on the outcome. For the Cats, they narrowly missed out on an opportunity to face the Pies in the qualifying final, having lost to Hawthorn in the last round of the season. They look to shake off the disappointment and move into the second week of finals with a win, while also preventing elimination. Erin Hoare and Megan McMahon are among several inclusions for the Cats, with each having played a pivotal role in Geelong’s early season success. Richelle Cranston will be the player to watch for Geelong as she has been the catalyst in a number of victories this season with her commanding presence throughout the ground. A huge game of footy with both sides hoping to keep their dream alive for at least one more week.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 15

ROUND 15’s AFL Draft Central Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Team of the Week is dominated by the big winners of the weekend. Firstly, there is Hawthorn who has five representatives, which is the most of any team, after its 25-point win over Northern Territory (NT) Thunder. Collingwood, Melbourne University and Williamstown also fared well with three players each in the best 22 after their impressive wins on the weekend.

Essendon and the Southern Saints both have no players in the Team of the Week this round after both teams’ combined scores only added up to 13 in a bad weekend for the two proud clubs.

Hawthorn’s Jayde Van Dyk has once again earned her spot in the team this week, collecting 15 disposals and showing great leadership in the back half. Tayla Thorn (NT) and Rebecca Dardengo (Williamstown) also make their debuts in the Team of the Week after breakout games.

Emma Mackie was outstanding in the midfield for Hawthorn, kicking two goals to accompany her 24 disposals. She played a major role in Hawthorn’s win over the Thunder. Melbourne University’s Madison Prespakis and Seagull, Jess Duffin were at their usual best, with Prespakis gathering 25 touches and kicking a goal while Duffin racked up 28 disposals.

The Hawthorn spearheads were on fire this week with Phoebe McWilliams kicking three goals and Sarah Perkins kicking two, which formed a formidable duo. Jasmine Garner was crucial for Williamstown in blustery conditions as she was able to kick two late goals to help beat Essendon at Windy hill.

Defender, Gabriella Pound was a lock for the team this week after she was nearly best on ground in Carlton’s win over Darebin. At the other end of the ground, Sophie Alexander was superb for Collingwood, having a major influence on the game. She finished with 27 disposals in the Magpies’ win over the Saints.

Her teammate, Stacey Livingstone was unlucky to miss out on a place in the best 22 this week, as she was deadly in front of goal. She kicked two goals from 11 disposals. Melbourne University pair, Kaitlyn Ashmore and Ashleigh Riddell are in the same boat, with Ashmore kicking two goals and Riddell dominating in the middle of the ground with 26 disposals.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 15

HAWTHORN has spoiled the party for the Northern Territory (NT) Thunder in Round 15 of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s, knocking them back to second on the ladder after a 25-point win at TIO Stadium. Collingwood regained top spot on the ladder with a big win over the Southern Saints, while the other top-four side, Geelong secured a big win over the Casey Demons.

 

Western Bulldogs 2.2 (14) defeated by Melbourne Uni 7.5 (47)

Melbourne Uni is ending its season on an emphatic high, winning its last two games. In the process, the Mugars defeated the once top-four favourites, the Western Bulldogs. The Bulldogs were held scoreless for the first half of this game, with Melbourne University piling on 5.1 to take a handy 31-point halftime lead. The home side finally got that coveted goal in the third quarter but it wasn’t enough, as Melbourne University’s early lead proved to be too big to overcome.

Kaitlyn Ashmore led the way for the Mugars inside 50, kicking two goals from her nine disposals. The North Melbourne recruit also laid six tackles, and was complemented in that department by Maddison Smith, who laid seven. Captain, Ashleigh Riddell also laid six tackles for the day and led the way with a game-high 26 disposals and three marks. Vic Metro midfielder, Madison Prespakis wasn’t far behind with one goal, 25 disposals and two tackles.

For the Bulldogs, Sarah Jolly led the way in disposals with 19 for the day. Ashleigh Guest also contributed well in that department, with 18 disposals as well as four marks and eight tackles. Tayla Dinuccio went one better, laying nine tackles for the day and making an impact, despite recording only three disposals. Premiership players, Kirsten McLeod (one goal, 13 disposals, five tackles) and Hannah Scott (one goal, 17 disposals, five tackles) were the goal kickers for the Dogs.

 

Collingwood 6.6 (42) defeated Southern Saints 0.4 (4)

Collingwood has returned to form very quickly this week, bouncing back from last week’s loss with a 38-point win over the Southern Saints. The Pies got out of the blocks quickly, kicking the first three goals of the match to go on and kick six unanswered majors. After no goals were kicked in the second quarter, Collingwood fought back with two majors in the third, extending its margin to 36 points at the last break. Unfortunately, inaccuracy hurt the Saints, kicking just four behinds for the match.

Vic Metro forward, Daisy Bateman led the way inside 50, kicking three of her team’s six goals as well as gathering nine disposals and laying six tackles. Her Vic Metro and Oakleigh Chargers teammate, Katie Lynch was also a pivotal player with 24 disposals, two marks and three tackles. Sophie Alexander was able to back up her solid game last week with a game-high 27 disposals. Erica Fowler led the way in tackles with a whopping 13 to go with her six disposals. AFLW ruck, Eliza Hynes led the way in marks for the Pies, taking four grabs to go with her one goal and 13 disposals.

Alison Brown was dominant for the Saints, gathering 24 disposals and laying five tackles in another good midfield performance from her. She was complemented by good delivery from ruck, Rhiannon Watt, who racked up 21 disposals, three marks and five tackles. Jas Rolland took four marks for the day and also laid four tackles to go with her six disposals. TAC Cup Girls players, Shelley Heath (12 disposals, two tackles), Gabriella De Angelis (10 disposals, three tackles), Ashleigh Allsopp (eight disposals, five tackles), Jemma Owen (eight disposals, four tackles) and Courtney Jones (seven disposals, two tackles) all contributed well on the day.

 

Essendon 1.3 (9) defeated by Williamstown 5.7 (37)

By: James Halley

Williamstown was able to outlast Essendon in terrible winter conditions, kicking away in the last term to win by 28 points. For the second time this year, the two sides have played in terrible conditions, yet last time was worse as play had to be halted for five minutes due to hail.

Jasmine Garner was huge for Williamstown up forward, kicking two fourth-quarter goals. She was a threat up forward all day but in the second term was when she managed to convert. Williamstown’s engine room was once again outstanding with Jess Duffin and Jenna Bruton leading the way. Duffin ended up being an obstacle in the air for Essendon, taking numerous intercept marks. A highlight for the game was Emily Paterno’s impossible goal on the boundary in the last quarter, which was a kick of high difficulty and capped of a great day for Williamstown. 

Simone Nalder can hold her head up high, as she won the ruck for the Bombers. Due to the conditions, they were not able to capitalise on her dominance. Valerie Moreau was also a shinning light for Essendon on a dark day, kicking the side’s only goal and being lively all day. In Round 16, the Seagulls face Melbourne University while Essendon will take on Carlton at home to finish the home and away season.

 

NT Thunder 4.4 (28) defeated by Hawthorn 8.5 (53)

In the second game of the year at Alice Springs, Hawthorn secured a big win over flag favourites, NT Thunder. The Hawks got out of the blocks early, kicking the first goal of the game and piling on another three in the second quarter to take a comfortable lead into half time. The trend continued in the third quarter when the away side kicked another three goals, making it very difficult for the Thunder to make a comeback.

Greater Western Sydney (GWS) forward, Phoebe McWilliams returned to form with three majors for the day, taking her season tally to five goals from five games. McWilliams’ GWS teammate, Rebecca Beeson continued her good form with a best-on-ground performance at TIO Traeger Stadium. She was complemented by a player who has been in consistent form in Sarah Perkins, who kicked two goals to take her tally to 12 goals from 10 games. Skipper, Emma Mackie also got on the board with two majors and has been solid ever since returning from injury.

It was all single goal kickers for the Thunder with Jordann Hickey, Sue Nalder, Jasmyn Hewett and Angela Foley all kicking one major each. Hickey is closing in on her teammate, Jess Sedunary on the goal kicking tally, as she has kicked 14 goals from 13 games while Sedunary has kicked 15 goals from 10 games. Foley was also named best-on-ground for the Thunder in another blistering performance from her. She was complemented by AFLW contingent, Ebony Marinoff and Emma Swanson, as well as Katie Streader, Kristy Irvine and Tayla Thorn.

 

Darebin 1.3 (9) defeated by Carlton 4.10 (34)

Carlton nearly lost this game with its inaccuracy, kicking five behinds to start the first quarter. Darebin then kicked its first and only goal in the second quarter while the Blues kicked three more behinds to take their score to 0.8.8 at half time. They then kicked into gear in the third quarter, kicking two goals to none and wrestling back the lead. The Blues did the same in the fourth quarter, ultimately earning them a surprise 24-point win against one of the better sides in the competition.

Northern Knights captain, Madeline Brancatisano was named best afield for the Blues in a breakout game for her at Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s level. She was aided by good performances from AFLW players, Alison Downie, Tilly Lucas-Rodd and former Dandenong Stingrays winger, Georgia Gee. Nicola Burns and Celine Moody were also solid contributors in the win, with Moody kicking one of the Blues’ four goals. Gee was one of the other goal kickers and was joined by Bailey Schultz and Darcy Vescio on the scoreboard. Vescio now sits one major behind VFLW leading goal kicker, Hannah Mouncey. Mouncey has kicked 18 goals from 11 games while Vescio has kicked 17 goals from eight games, with an average of 2.12 goals per game.

There was not much happening on the goal kicking side of things for the Falcons, with Stephanie Simpson the only one getting on the board. That goal took her tally to 11 goals from 10 games in what has been a good season inside 50 for her. Simpson also earned a spot among the best players for Darebin on the day. Melbourne AFLW ruck, Lauren Pearce played another blinder of a game, being named best-on-ground for her side. Melbourne teammate, Lily Mithen also continued her solid season by being named among the best as well. Gabrielle Colvin, Meghan McDonald and Kathleen Roe also contributed well at Bill Lawry Oval.

 

Casey Demons 2.4 (16) defeated by Geelong Cats 8.5 (53)

The Casey Demons jumped the Cats early, kicking the first two goals of the game to take an eight-point lead into quarter time. Geelong responded immediately though, kicking the next two goals in the second quarter to wrestle back the lead at the main break. The goal kicking continued in the third quarter, as the Cats outscored the Demons three goals to none. After the first quarter, Casey could not register a major, giving the Cats licence to secure a big win as they approach the finals.

Two of Geelong’s eight goals came from Mia-Rae Clifford, who has had a solid season for the Cats. Clifford has kicked 13 goals from 13 games and continues to be a vital player for her side. She shares the same goal kicking tally as Danielle Orr, who was also able to get on the board with a major, and equal her goal kicking tally with Clifford’s. Millie Klingbeil, Courtney Stevens, Kate Darby, Jordan Ivey and Geelong Falcons midfielder, Nina Morrison were the other goal kickers on the day. Ivey was also named best-on-ground for the Cats, while Morrison and Darby also featured in the best. Morrison was complemented by Vic Country duo, Olivia Purcell and Georgia Clarke, who played great games for the Cats. Richelle Cranston also continued her marvellous season with another appearance in Geelong’s best players.

Another player who has had a marvellous season is Maddie Shevlin, who kicked one of Casey’s two goals on Sunday. New Melbourne AFLW recruit, Maddison Gay was the other goal kicker for the Demons, booting a major late in the first quarter. Kaila Bentvelzen was named as the Demons’ best, continuing a solid season in the red and blue. Former Gippsland defender, Darcy Guttridge and former Bendigo forward, Eden Zanker also stood out for Casey. Georgia McLean and Melbourne AFLW recruit, Shae Sloane were the other players named in Casey’s best, contributing well in the loss.