Tag: ella smith

Top Performers: Queensland Under 19s vs. Coorparoo

IN a midweek training hitout, Queensland’s best and brightest young stars took to the field against Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) Women’s side Coorparoo in a match prior to their AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships campaign. The Queensland side defeated Coorparoo 12.10 (82) to 0.2 (2) in a one-sided contest, in four 15-minute quarters with no goal umpires. We took note of some of the Top Performers of the Queensland side for the winners. All notes are opinion-based of the writer.

AFLW ACADEMY:

#3 Mikayla Pauga (Lions)

Might have the best hands of anyone going around, with absolute lightning handballs in close that not only set up one goal, but two goals in the second half. First was a great handball to keep it in in the third term on the boundary line to get it to Lily Tarlinton for a major, then the next term she barely breezed past it with a slick handball to Abby Hewett for a goal. Her running out of midfield going forward, and her footy IQ and smarts were incredible and she is the type of player you want the ball in the hands of all day, every day.

#6 Bella Smith (Lions)

Strong at the contest playing on the inside, she sometimes rushed the disposal when moving, but her contested ball ability was outstanding. She just ripped the ball at ground level to clear it, and kept winning it in close using her bigger frame to advantage. She proved hard to bring down in a tackle and charged at every stoppage, and even had a chance on goal through a snap in the third term.

#7 Teagan Levi (Suns)

If Pauga’s hands are among the cleanest going around, then Levi’s vision and kicking are right up there with anyone in the draft crop. Twice she stopped, propped and looked inboard with a slicing pinpoint pass to open up the game and hit a target, including setting up a goal to Lily Tarlinton. She has the inside ball-winning ability to match her decision making and cleanliness, able to win clearances and get it forward, bullocking her way through traffic. She did bite off too much at one stage in the fourth term, with multiple Coorparoo players dragging her to ground for a holding the ball call.

#15 Maggie Harmer (Lions)

Did not have a great deal to do in defence, with some good defensive pressure early, but had a quieter game due to the circumstances of the way the match went, but still got around and provided effort.

TOP PERFORMERS:

#2 Abby Hewett (Lions)

A nice little pocket rocket who slotted two goals on the day, with the first being a clever snap in the pocket midway through the second term, and another one from a clean kick on the run early in the fourth quarter. She worked hard up the ground to help run the ball out of defence later in the fourth quarter, and positioned herself well when the opposition was in possession.

#4 Charlotte Mullins (Lions bottom-ager)

The bottom-age talent really showed promising signs as a player for next year, missing a couple of chances before becoming third time lucky midway through the second term. She had an early shot on goal which missed to the right, then laid a great tackle, had a clean snap but also missed to the right in the second term, then finally snapped truly at the 12-and-a-half-minute mark. She showed clean hands at ground level, and whilst she did drop some marks, has some great promising signs for the future.

#10 Alana Gee (Suns bottom-ager)

Provided the run and carry in transition that broke down the opposition’s defensive zone, and was not afraid to take the person on the mark on. She shrugged off an opponent early in the match, then had a few touches in the third term getting it forward, and almost sold herself into trouble in the last running towards goal, but managed to get boot to ball.

#11 Brooke Sheridan (Lions bottom-ager)

Three goals on the day for the clever bottom-age forward. She kicked her first in the opening term, sliding in 30m out to mark and nail the set shot without ever looking like missing. She almost had a second not long after with a clever snap off hands, but it missed to the right. A quieter second term was followed by a huge third quarter, as Sheridan booted two goals in two minutes, both within 20m of the goal, including one as a crumb in the goalsquare. Very clean at ground level and an exciting talent for next year.

#12 Phoebe Baird (Lions)

Provided great running along the wing to get the ball forward, and had a particularly big second term with her ability to win it on the wing and drive it forward. She had a set shot on goal from 40m out following a 50m penalty, but it fell short and hit an opponent’s back. She worked hard in transition even when she did not win it, so was an exciting one to keep an eye on.

#14 Kadie Fletcher (Lions bottom-ager)

Another bottom-age standout who played well off half-back and pushing up the ground, Fletcher used the ball fairly well aside from one poor effort in the third term. She took some great intercept marks and then produced a lovely kick from the middle going forward to set up a scoring opportunity for her team.

#16 Laquoiya Cockatoo-Motlap (Suns)

Sensational kicking, she was able to nail a terrific pass from the wing into the middle in the second term, and then had a number of repeat entries in that quarter which led to an Abby Hewett goal. She used good bodywork one-on-one and was able to pump it inside 50 in the third term to set up another major for a teammate.

#20 Litonya Cockatoo-Motlap (Suns)

Just as impressive as her sister, Litonya possesses some high-level traits such as her vision to kick to the wing to hit a target under pressure. She ran hard all game long and showed good strength in the forward half, using clean hands to shovel it out to teammates, as well as a nice kick going inside 50 following good bodywork one-on-one in the third quarter. She lead out in the fourth term using her speed to mark, then turned and hit-up Lily Tarlinton with a great pass.

#22 Faith Alchin (Suns)

Had a really busy start to the game and kicked the opening goal very early in the match thanks to a clever kick in play that bounced through the open goal with no defenders there. She produced a lovely low bullet to Brooke Sheridan to set up another goal for the Queensland side and had another chance herself in the third term. She charged through a forward 50 pack to get the ball out by hand, then was thrown into the ruck in the fourth term for something different.

#26 Lily Tarlinton (Suns)

Used her size and experience inside 50 to be the dominant target for the Queensland side. She slotted three goals and realistically should have had five, which showed how much of an impact she had. Whilst being a target early, it was a great mark of a pinpoint pass from Teagan Levi that set up her first goal, a set shot straight in front. She kicked her second from a snap exactly a quarter later, then finished off with her third – also a snap – later in the term. Tarlinton showed she could produce at ground level as well as on the lead, taking a strong mark in the fourth term 35m out but her set shot was touched on the line. She had a chance late in the game to snap her fourth, but opted to handball to Macie Brown for a goal.

OTHERS:

The Davies sisters in Giselle and Fleur both had some nice moments at respective ends, with Fleur providing a target up forward and having a couple of chances, while Giselle held up strong in defence. Alongside her, Lucia Liessi tried her best with providing run though not needing to do a great deal, while Ella Smith, Imogen Evans and Kalista-Jayne Shiner showed promising signs through midfield, and Macie Brown and Keyshia Matenga were lively inside 50.

Picture credit: Russell Freeman/AFL Photos

Swan Districts maintain perfect record with strong win over Claremont

SWAN Districts have cruised to their ninth West Australian Football League Women’s (WAFLW) win of the season from nine games, delivering a solid performance against Claremont, breaking away in the second half to triumph by 19 points at Revo Fitness Stadium on Sunday afternoon. A four goal to one second half saw the competition’s top side continue their unbeaten streak through 10 rounds.

Following the cancellation of last week’s round of action across Western Australia due to a COVID-19 scare, WAFLW action returned for round 10 as Claremont hosted the powerhouse of the competition in Swan Districts. The first quarter began in typical Swan Districts fashion, as the game was tightly contested with an extremely hot footy. Both teams battled to burst their way through packs and scoring was pushed aside in exchange for a territory battle. Claremont kicked the first goal through Tessa Doumanis, as they shot out to an early lead. This lead did not last long though, as Swan Districts responded shortly after through Bianca Webb, and following another goal for the term, they began to gain control of the game, which they would never surrender from then on. The second quarter saw two goals from each team, as both teams consistently peppered the ball inside 50, with inaccuracy interrupting Swan Districts’ momentum. Claremont trailed by 11 points at the main break, with plenty to improve on as Swan Districts snatched control of the game but just could not deliver scoreboard punishment.

The third quarter saw more of the same, with the poor scoring accuracy of Swan Districts keeping Claremont within striking distance. The fatigue of players began to set in during the third term, with a solitary Swan Districts goal the only major of the quarter. The backlines of both sides found themselves working overtime with poor inside 50 entries resulting in plenty of intercept possessions for the term. With Swan Districts holding a 17-point lead going into the final term, Claremont found themselves still in the game, but it would require a bigger effort than the first three quarters. However, their opponents were simply too good to close out the game, kicking two goals to seal the game early in the term. Finishing the game with a win by just over three goals, Swan Districts became the first game in WAFLW history to win nine games in a row. They will prove hard to stop.

For the victors, Hyde was exceptional with her work on the wing. She ran hard all day from contest to contest as her wing was where the ball was often found. Her first quarter goal was a fantastic reward for effort, and she never dropped her intensity for the remainder of the game. Teammate Dana East was just as good, displaying her fantastic ability to maintain clean hands when the ball is in dispute. For Claremont, Ella Smith fought hard all day to keep her side in the game, and put her body on the line all day, demonstrated by the hard hit she wore late in the final term. Doumanis was also prominent with her two goals.

Around the leagues, Peel Thunder kicked away to finish the round with a 29-point triumph over East Fremantle at David Grays Arena on Saturday evening. Despite only five points separating the teams at half time, Peel Thunder proved too good and kicked six goals to three in the second half to secure the win. For Peel Thunder, Kate Bartlett kicked three goals, while Ella Roberts and Aisha Wright added two apiece, and Kira Phillips threatened to have a big day, kicking 1.6. Courtney Rowley and Sabreena Duffy were named the side’s best. For East Fremantle, Roxanne Roux, Sharon Wong, Madeline Ross and Gabrielle O’Sullivan each booted one goal. Laura Mcclelland and Phillipa Seth were named in the bests for the side.

A strong final term from Subiaco saw them burst away with a 25-point victory against a brave South Fremantle side at Leederville Oval on Sunday night. South Fremantle trailed by only three points at the final break, but Subiaco were able to flick the switch and nail the game shut with a three goal to nil final term to seal the win. For Subiaco, Madizen Wilkens, Amy Hunt, Tarnica Gosliano, Abbey Dowrick and Jamie Rust were the goalkickers while Jayme Harken was best afield. For South Fremantle, Liusaidh Gilchrist kicked a goal and was her side’s strongest performer, while Zoe Huggett kicked the other goal for the team.

2021 WAFL Women’s Round 10 preview: Sides return after forced cancellation

AFTER Round 9 matches were unable to go ahead due to the state lockdown, the Round 10 teams – which saw the return of the State Academy talents and more AFL Women’s players – were largely left the same with a few odd movements.

Up first is Peel Thunder taking on East Fremantle with the former stacked with returning talent and the latter also including some serious excitement. The reigning premiers have been able to bring their State Academy talent in recently named Most Valuable Player (MVP) Ella Roberts, with Courtney Rowley, Jaide Britton, Bella Mann, Beth Schilling and Aisha Wright all back in the side. Add in AFL Women’s talents in Sabreena Duffy, Sarah Verrier and Katie Jayne Grieve and the home team is absolutely stacked. Nel Baxter is another to return and slot straight onto a wing opposite Rowley as Chloe Wrigley has been named onball, while Roberts joins Grieve, Kira Phillips and Kate Bartlett inside 50, and Verrier is named off half-back with Cassie Davidson, Tanisha Anderson and Ebony Dowson among the players back there.

The Sharks have been able to add their two State Academy talents back into the side after the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships in Chloe Reilly and Mylee Leitch, while Anjelique Raison is another young gun returning for the match. Gabby O’Sullivan will be a massive boost to the Sharks in the second half of the season, as will Philipa Seth up the other end, with the pair coming in alongside experienced forward Sara Lewis. The Sharks had to make six changes last week with Rachel Ashley and Gabby Radojkovich among the outs, though one name who has quietly snuck into a forward pocket is Roxanne Roux, who is a tall target that might just worry the Peel Thunder defence. If she can get off the chain with her athleticism and AFLW experience, then watch out.

The match of the round has to be the top of the table battle between the undefeated Swan Districts and one of the Swans’ biggest threats in Claremont. The Tigers have added in their State Academy players with Emily Bennett and Matilda Dyke going straight back into defence, and Amy Franklin named in her preferred position up forward. Matilda Sergeant and Jasmin Stewart come back to state level with captain Ella Smith returning alongside ruck Matilda Husband. The midfield featuring Jess Low, Sasha Goranova and Hayley Bullas is a major strength for the Tigers, while Dyke and Sophie McDonald holding the key position defence roles alongside Bennett, Rachel Ortlepp and Laura Pugh, while Amy Fortescue is one out from Round 9 to 10 selection sheet named as an emergency. Claremont have the talent to win the ball in the midfield and give their forwards first chance, but the Swans lineup is absolute A-grade and are the premiership favourites right now.

Swan Districts has also been able to roll out the welcome mat for plenty of inclusions as the State Academy members return for Round 9. Dana East, Nyra Anderson, Melisha Hardy, Sarah Lakay, Emma Nanut and Tara Stribley are all back into the side which has an extended bench, as AFL Women’s-listed players Kellie Gibson and Bianca Webb all return as well, Caitlyn Appleford is the other including of the 11 changes to the Swans, with the entirely new midfield of Lakay, East, Webb and Gibson will flank the damaging Mikayla and Brianna Hyde on the wings. The reliable Emily McGuire is at half-back, with young gun Jaime Henry also there while Jess Cox and Kloe Taylor are among the other young talents coming through the team, and Sarah Wielstra named up forward. The Swans will be keen to have a win over the Tigers and all but lock up top spot this season.

In the final game of the round, Subiaco hosts South Fremantle in a battle of  fourth against sixth. South Fremantle has also allowed for a ton of chances, as Makaela Tuhakaraina and Lauren Wakfer return from State Academy duties, with Sarah Wright also back on the extended interchange. Lauren Vecchio has come in to provide some extra experience, and Lara Rodin-Zimdahl, Cali Hunt and Ashleigh Little are the others to be coming back into the team. The Bulldogs will be heavy underdogs against an unbelievably strong ladder leaders lineup, though the forward line of Little, Wakfer, Ebony Clarkson and Tuhakaraina combining with Zoe Huggett, and then through the midfield Pia Durk, Kiara Templeman and Aaliyah Ugle will be one to watch, and particularly great experience for the younger South Fremantle players.

The Lions have not been forced to make any changes back in Round 9, and have instead recalled some experience in Hayley Miller, Ange Stannett, Beatrice Devlyn and Ashtyn Cowie. The midfield battle will be fascinating with Jess Ritchie in the ruck as Tarnica Golisano, Abbey Dowick and Lara Filocamo will look to win first possession. Kia Buckley, Jamie Rust and Madi Wilkins are among the talents forward of centre for the Lions, and Claire Ortlepp and Jayme Harken those holding up in defence. Maggie MacLachlan has been named on an extended interchange, and the depth of the Lions is clear in a game they should win to create separation from the bottom two sides and look towards finals footy.

WAFL WOMEN’S ROUND 10 FIXTURES:

Peel Thunder vs. East Fremantle
Claremont vs. Swan Districts
Subiaco vs. South Fremantle

2021 WAFL Women’s Round 7 preview: Bowen returns to Swans as sides roll out changes after week off

THE West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s competition top three teams will have a chance to extend their lead on the bottom three sides when they clash with their counterparts for Round 7 in the competition. Top of the table Swan Districts take on fourth placed East Fremantle, reigning premiers Peel Thunder how Subiaco, and third placed Claremont lock horns with South Fremantle.

In the first game of the round early tomorrow morning South Fremantle will search for its first win of the season up against Claremont, with a number of changes made to the Bulldogs’ outfit since Round 6. Reanne Pickett and Kara Turley come onto the bench, while Sheridan Kowald and Everylyn Burry will lock down the key defence. The in-form Claremont will look to bounce back from a loss after four straight wins, bringing back the likes of Sarah Garstone, Kate Orme and Sasha Goranova in a crucial week of inclusions.

With the state’s top youth in Victoria, it will be up to some of the other young talents in Hunter Cronin and Shakira Pickett (South Fremantle) up against still young experienced talents who have garnered AFL Women’s club interest in the past, in Ella Smith and Jess Low. The Tigers midfield and overall depth should be too much with Rachel Ortlepp and Tess Doumanis up opposite ends among more names able to dictate play, while Lauren Vecchio, Tahlia Holtze and Pia Durk form a strong midfield core.

Peel Thunder return to David Grays Arena tomorrow to try and keep separation on third placed Claremont by taking down Subiaco. The Thunder will of course be without their abundance of youth in Victoria for the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships, while Subiaco will bring back Lara Filocamo, but lose Maggie Maclachlan as the sides all added extended benches for the match.

The reigning premiers still have more than enough firepower to get by, getting the job done last week, and the forward line containing Kira Phillips, Kate Bartlett and Bailey Molloy, while Tanisha Anderson, Ebony Dowson and Cassie Davidson hold down the defence. For the Lions, Jess Ritchie is a quality ruck to have, was captain Tarnica Golisano, teaming up with Liana Burchell and Lara Filocamo will give the visitors an advantage through the midfield, whilst youngsters Kia Buckley and Jamie Rust are others up forward to watch.

In the final game of the round, East Fremantle will plot to overthrow the previously unbeaten Swan Districts, and have a massive chance to do so with some huge chances. They do lose the likes of Alex Williams, Anjelique Raison, Kahra Sprylan, Evie Gooch and Alli Nokes, but have regained the services of Sharon Wong and Kate Inglis-Hodge onball, Paisley Prentice and Sara Lewis up forward, and Rosie Walsh named at full back upon return for the Sharks.

Swan Districts will be without Mikayla Morrison – though she has been named as an out before and still played – as well as reliable defender-turned-ruck Aimee Ralph. They regain a massive inclusion in West Coast’s Mikayla Bowen who will dictate the midfield for the Swannies now the Eagles’ season is over in the AFL Women’s, and work well with the likes of Jess Cox and Kloe Taylor in there. With tall targets Emily McGuire and Sarah Wielstra up either end and some other youngsters in Jaime Henry and Danielle Wright to look out for, Swan Districts still has plenty of talent.

WAFL WOMEN’S ROUND 7 FIXTURE:

Claremont vs, South Fremantle
Peel Thunder vs. Subiaco
East Fremantle vs. Swan Districts

Image Credit: (Retrieved from) West Coast FC

Swan Districts maintain reputation as benchmark in big win over Claremont

IF you want to win the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s flag this year, you will have to get through Swan Districts. Heading into the top of the table clash, it was evident we would find out which team is the real deal, and now we know for sure. Despite Claremont heading into the game only one win behind their opponents, they were convincingly beaten by the Swans in what turned out to be a somewhat one-sided affair. The first quarter was as even as it gets, with both teams heading into the first break tied. The final three quarters belonged to the Districts as they put their opponents under immense pressure, as they ran out victors 7.4 (46) to 2.1 (13).

The two best teams in the competition heading into the match unfortunately played each other on the same weekend as a representative competition. This meant both sides put a significantly weaker side than previous weeks, but this didn’t matter. Both teams went into the game with talent all over the ground and this showed in the first quarter. The game was even all over the ground, with physical contests and hard-won clearances going either way. The Swans kicked the first goal through Hayley Cole, who was the recipient of some terrific hands in traffic from the home team. The lead was short-lived however, as Claremont responded immediately through Ella Smith, who capped off her blistering start to the game with a major of her own.

The armwrestle continued as neither side could gain an advantage, with the Swan Districts’ second goal followed up by another immediate response from the Tigers. At quarter time, it looked as if the match would be a closely fought contest. This all changed in the second quarter though, when Swan Districts were able to break away, tackling hard and forcing their opponents into turnovers, all the while hitting the scoreboard themselves. The third quarter saw Claremont raise the fight to their opposition but failed to capitalise on the scoreboard. Meanwhile, the Swans took their chances inside 50, and the quarter ended with two goals to nil in their favour. Two more goals to Swan Districts in the fourth sealed the win as their undefeated streak continues, and will be hopeful regarding the availability of Aimee Ralph, who was replaced on report. The Tigers slipped to third following the loss, and will be monitoring the wellbeing of Madeleine Scanlon, who was concussed during the match.

For the Swan Districts, the backline duo of Lauren Osbourne and Emily McGuire were remarkable in not only consistently thwarting the forward 50 entries of the Tigers, but also generating some key run from the backline. At different stages, both displayed composure under pressure, and were able to extract the ball from the backline and rebound out of the defensive 50 to find a teammate up the ground. In typical fashion, Jessica Cox was fantastic around the stoppages, and Ralph continued to dominate in the ruck. Taylah Edwards kicked two goals, while Cole, Ralph, Mikayla Morrison, Hope Ugle-Hayward and Chanel Jetta kicked one each. For Claremont, Rachel Ortlepp was exceptional in a losing side, taking plenty of intercept marks and generating some much-needed ball movement out of the backline. Katherine Bennett battled bravely through the midfield, despite the constant pressure. The goal kickers were Smith and Brooke Whyte.

In Round 7, Swan Districts will travel to take on East Fremantle on Sunday as they look to keep their undefeated streak alive. Meanwhile, Claremont will be looking to bounce back against South Fremantle on Saturday morning, who are still searching for their first win.

In the other games across the round, Subiaco smashed the struggling South Fremantle on Saturday afternoon 11.12 (78) to 1.0 (6). For Subiaco, the goal kickers were Kia Buckley and Tarnee Tester with three goals each, Amy Hunt and Kate Pocsidio with two goals each and Abbey Dowrick with one goal. The best players were Buckley, Dowrick, Tester, Ellie Blackmore and Jessica Ritchie. For South Fremantle, Hunter Cronin kicked the only goal for her side. The best players were Kiara Templeman, Ebony Clarkson, Casey Byrne, Tahlia Holtze and Liusaidh Gilchrist.

At New Choice Homes Park, Peel Thunder made easy work of their opponents, defeating East Fremantle 9.5 (59) to 2.7 (19). For Peel Thunder, the goal kickers were Kira Phillips with three goals, Bailey Molloy and Kate Bartlett with two goals apiece, and Ebonee Hardie and Katie Jayne Grieve with one goal each. The best players were Ebony Bilcich, Greta Mckinley, Abby Barnden, Molloy and Skipper Van Peer. For East Fremantle, the goal kickers were Stephanie Dalton and Kahra Sprylan with one goal each. The best players were Madeline Ross, Larissa Versaci, Sprylan, Nadya Browne and Ashleigh Gomes.

Picture credit: WAFL

2021 WAFL Women’s Round 6 preview: Wholesale changes as young guns head to South Australia

MOST sides – but particularly Swan Districts and Peel Thunder – will be heavily depleted in Round 6 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) competition. Both sides have built a reputation on their abundance of young talent coming through the teams, and now they will need to work around the amount of forced changes in their respective games, with the Swans forced for eight changes due to the AFL Women’s Under U19s matchup between South Australia and Western Australia, and five of six changes for Peel. South Fremantle (two), East Fremantle (one) and Subiaco (none) have fewer forced changes due to the game, but a number of switches at the selection table have still occurred.

Swan Districts will be without Nyra Anderson, Naomi Baker, Dana East, Melisha Hardy, Sarah Lakay, Emma Nanut, Tara Stribley and Bella Edgley for the huge top of the table clash against Claremont, meaning a number of other talents will need to step up. They regain some key position options in the likes of Sarah Wielstra – who missed last week – and Fiona Boucher, while Hayley Cole and Olivia Cripps are among other inclusions for the Swans. They still have a young onball brigade with teenagers Jessica Cox and Kloe Taylor in there, whilst Mikayla Hyde has been named at full-forward alongside the dangerous Mikayla Morrison and Taylah Edwards. Young guns Jaime Henry and Danielle Wright are also in there, too young for the AFL Women’s Under 19s selection.

Claremont on the other hand also have quite a few outs, with five changes including Matilda Dyke heading to South Australia. Sasha Goranova, Kate Orme, Andie Payne and Mikayla Western are also out of the match, though the Tigers do regain the likes of Sarah Garstone and Emma Lendrum among others. Emily Bennett is another player out of the Tigers’ lineup due to her commitments in South Australia, but was not named as an out given she missed the Round 5 clash as well. Amy Fortescue and Rachel Ortlepp will hop to hold down the defensive fort this week, whilst the midfield of Jess Low, Tessa Doumanis and Ella Smith is quality, and former State representatives in Garstone and Jacinta Valentini will look to make the most of their chances against a steadfast defence. This game is a huge chance for Claremont to knock off the undefeated Swans.

At the other end of the ladder, the bottom two sides in Subiaco and South Fremantle lock horns in a must-win game for both teams. The Lions only have the one forced change in Tarnee Tester out of the side, while Maggie MacLachlan replaces that AFL Women’s experience by coming back into the side alongside Holly Hyder, Maud-Annie Foley and Kate Pocsidio. The Lions have a largely unchanged lineup heading into the clash, with Jamie Rust looking strong last week, and Tarnica Golisano, Lara Filocamo and Ellie Blackmore working around Jessica Ritchie at the stoppages. Youngsters Kia Buckley and Abbey Dowrick have the capacity to be game-changes, while Madi Wilkins was impressive, and Claire Ortlepp a reliable source of rebound from the back half.

For South Fremantle, they have lost Makaela Tuhakaraina and Lauren Wakfer to State Academy duties against South Australia, whilst last week’s debutant Bella Clarke is also among six outs this week. Coming into the side are a few important talents in ruck/forward Ella Ward, and midfielder Kiara Templeman, while Shakira Pickett is an excitement machine. Liusaidh Gilchrist and Pia Durk are always dangerous for the red and whites through the middle, whilst the forward trio of Hunter Cronin, Zoe Huggett and Lauren Vecchio is threatening. They will need to be at their best given the outs for the Bulldogs, but will enjoy the challenge taking on a side they narrowly fell short of in Round 1.

In the final match of the round, reigning premiers Peel Thunder – who are coming off two losses in three games – will look to bounce back against East Fremantle. The Thunder have been gutted – in a good way – at the selection table, with their enviable amount of young guns all heading to South Australia. Jaide Britton will co-captain her state at the championships – and as the only fit captain for the first clash against South Australia will toss the coin at Flinders University Stadium – while Jade Briggs, Bella Mann, Ella Roberts and Courtney Rowley will also miss the Thunder’s game. Into the side comes another Rowley in Angel Rowley, whilst Ebonee Hardy is the other player coming in that is named in an extended team. The Thunder will have plenty of talent across the ground, with Kate Bartlett, Bailey Molloy and Kira Phillips all capable of dominating inside 50, while Tanisha Anderson, Cassie Davidson and Ebony Dowson are rock solid up the other end.

East Fremantle have only lost one player to the Academy game in Chloe Reilly, but have lost a ton of experience elsewhere, as full-back Kimberley Boulton, experienced midfielders Sharon Wong and Ann McMahon, as well as Kate Inglis-Hodge are among the outs in the match. It opens the door for a number of other Sharks to come back in, with Evie Gooch the big name returning for Round 6. She joins Cadian Lodge, Nikki Phillips and Stephanie Dalton in slotting straight into the starting side. The Sharks will lack experience, but still have youth, as Anjelique Raison and Gabby Radojkovich are forward talents, and Alli Nokes providing the physicality in defence. Ashleigh Gomes, Kahra Sprylan and Larissa Versaci have the experience to overcome the Thunder midfield, whilst Alex Williams and Hayley O’Donnell are still in the backline, and Madeline Ross up forward meaning the home team could cause an upset and string their third win together and join the Thunder on 3-3.

WAFL WOMEN’S ROUND 6 FIXTURES:

Swan Districts vs. Claremont
Subiaco vs. South Fremantle
East Fremantle vs. Peel Thunder

Picture credit: Owen Davies / Peel Thunder

Swan Districts flex muscles with strong win against Subiaco

SWAN Districts have retained top spot on the ladder after setting up their Sunday afternoon win with a dominant first half performance to win 7.12 (54) to 2.6 (18). In 37-degree heat, the Swans led Subiaco 44-1 at half-time, in what was a clinical performance with contributors all over the ground. In a surprise turn of events, the second half belonged to the visitors as Subiaco were able to negate the attacking ball movement of Swan Districts and outscore their opponent 17-10 to finish the game with promising signs. The second half fade out may disappoint the Swans, but their scintillating first half meant the result was never in doubt.

From the opening bounce, the Swans stamped themselves on the game, dominating clearances and opening up a three-goal lead heading into the first break, and they were not done yet. The exceptional ball movement continued into the second quarter as the pace and ball use of their midfielders and backline created plenty of scoring opportunities for their forward line. Subiaco were beaten around the ball, and when they finally constructed some good play, their forward 50 entries let them down. It almost seemed like a message to the rest of the competition, as the Swans showcased their ability to win the ball and hurt their opposition with their clean ball movement. With a 43-point half-time lead, things were looking ominous for not only Subiaco, but all the teams in the path of the Swans.

The second half told a much different story. Subiaco showed no signs of the team that was stunned earlier on, controlling the game and putting their opponents under constant relentless pressure. Inaccurate kicking meant Subiaco only closed the gap by 10 points, but the signs were promising for a young team in the midst of a rebuild. The fourth quarter was more of the same, with Dana East’s second goal sealing the result and sending her side to the top of the ladder, undefeated after five rounds.

The loss of Sarah Wielstra from the team allowed regular fullback Aimee Ralph to spend more time in the ruck and around the ground, an opportunity she grabbed with both hands. Ralph exerted her influence all over the ground, whether it was perfect palm downs to her midfielders on the run, winning ground balls in an often scrappy game, or hurting the opposition on the scoreboard, chiming in for a goal of her own. The coaches would be wrapped with her ability to adapt to another position and put in a best on ground performance. East was damaging through the middle, using her pace around the ground and kicking two goals. Fellow midfielder Jessica Cox was damaging at ground level, winning plenty of clearances. Mikayla Morrison hit the scoreboard with two goals of her own, while Bella Edgley and Nyra Anderson kicked one goal each.

For Subiaco, the midfield duo of Tarnica Gosliano and Lara Filocamo were major factors in the second half fightback, winning the ball not only at centre clearances but all over the ground. The duo stepped up to bring their team back into the game, and were well assisted by Sarah Walters on the wing, who fought hard in the first half, winning plenty of the ball despite the constant pressure by the Swans. Taylisha Brown and Hayley Corlett kicked one goal apiece.

The win put Swan Districts one game clear on top of the ladder as they prepare to host second placed Claremont in a blockbuster clash on Saturday morning. Subiaco currently sits in fifth place at one win and four losses but will be looking to break the drought against the 0-5 South Fremantle on Saturday afternoon.

In other games this weekend, East Fremantle put in an outstanding performance, smashing the last placed South Fremantle 10.12 (72) to 4.2 (26). For East Fremantle, the goal kickers were Gabby Radojkovich and Paisley Prentice with two goals each and Chloe Reilly, Sharon Wong, Madeline Ross, Ann Mcmahon, Anjelique Raison and Ashleigh Gomes all kicking one goal. Their best players were Alex Williams, Wong, Ellie Sanders, Mcmahon and Kahra Sprylan. For South Fremantle, the goal kickers were Zoe Huggett with two goals and Makaela Tuhakaraina and Makayla Cocking with one goal each. Their best players were Pia Durk, Casey Byrne, Lauren Wakfer and Lauren Vecchio.

At Revo Fitness Stadium, Claremont won in a thriller against the Peel Thunder, claiming the win 5.6 (36) to 5.3 (33). For Claremont, the goal kickers were Katherine Bennett with two goals and Sasha Goranova, Ella Smith and Madeleine Scanlon with one goal each. Their best players were Matilda Dyke, Jessica Low, Bennett, Mackenzie Webb and Jacinta Valentini. For the Peel Thunder, their goal kickers were Kate Bartlett and Kira Phillips with two goals each and Ella Roberts with one goal of her own. Their best players were Chloe Wrigley, Cassie Davidson, Courtney Rowley, Bella Mann and Abby Barnden.

2021 WAFL Women’s Round 5 preview: Tigers and Thunder to do battle in huge top three clash

THREE games across three days means there is plenty of West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s action for fans to check out in a big weekend for the league. The highly anticipated clash is between top three sides, Peel Thunder up against Claremont, whilst at the other end of the table, South Fremantle will search for its first win against East Fremantle, and top-of-the-table Swan Districts will host Subiaco to try and increase their unbeaten streak to five this year.

The opening game of the round pits the winless Bulldogs up against the 1-3 Sharks in what is a crucial match in terms of the respective sides’ season aspirations. South Fremantle has shown it can take it up to sides each week and this could be its best chance of a win to-date, whilst the Sharks have been a touch inconsistent, which can be attributed to bringing through a lot of talented youth into the League side. Both teams will have an abundance of young guns running around which should make it a tight contest.

Makayla Cocking and Ash Little are into the side with Ash Reidy out of the team for the Bulldogs, while for the Sharks, Evie Gooch‘s three majors last week were enough for Trent Cooper to recall her to Fremantle’s AFL Women’s side. Into the team comes Kate Inglis-Hodge, Paisley Prentice and Georgia Bett, with Inglis-Hodge hoping to provide that spark in the midfield alongside Ann McMahon, Kahra Sprylan, Sharon Wong and captain Ashleigh Gomes. That East Fremantle midfield is rock solid, and the battle with the likes of Liusaidh Gilchrist, Tahlia Holtze, Pia Durk, Lauren Vecchio and Aaliyah Ugle will be a huge test within the overall scheme of things.

In terms of youth, South’s Hunter Cronin and East’s Alli Nokes might find themselves opposed to each other in what would be a great battle, whilst Chloe Reilly really stamped her authority last week, teaming up in a young forward line with Gabby Radojkovich and Anjelique Raison. Up the other end, Makaela Tuhakaraina and Lauren Wakfer are ones to watch – with the latter also rolling through the ruck, while Ebony Clarkson continues to show promising signs wherever she plays.

Two teams with very different hands at the selection table do battle in a clash of the 3-1 sides. Reigning premiers Peel Thunder have just added four players to an extended team in what remains one of the title contenders. The Thunder have recalled dominant key forward and rotating ruck Kira Phillips, as well as young gun Aisha Wright, and Katie Jayne Greive and Nel Baxter, without having to make any forced changes. For the Tigers, Sarah Garstone, Kate Orme and Sophie McDonald are out meaning Claremont has lost a fair chunk of experience, while the likes of Emily Pickett and Adele Arnup return to the side.

The battle between the Peel attack and the Claremont defence will be a fascinating one, with competition leading goalkicker Kate Bartlett set to be watched by Amy Fortescue, while the likes of Bailey Molloy and Ella Roberts – who both kicked multiple goals last week – and youngster Jade Briggs will be closely watched by young talent Emily Bennett, as well as reliable rebounders Rachel Ortlepp and Brooke Hongell. Claremont have the stronger inside midfield with Jess Low, Sasha Goranova and Ella Smith forming a great inside presence, while Peel’s wings in Courtney Rowley and Jaide Britton provide run and carry on the outside.

In Claremont’s defence, Amy Franklin will lead the attack, and whilst Cassie Davidson will likely get first crack at the talented teenager, it will be quite the matchup if the equally athletic Beth Schilling is able to lock horns with Franklin at some stage. Schilling has been named in defence to take on Jacinta Valentini. Also back there, rebounding types Tanisha Anderson and Ebony Dowson, along with Bella Mann will try and contain the likes of Tessa Doumanis and Brooke Whyte.

Swan Districts will eye off a fifth straight win, this time taking on Subiaco in the final match of the round on Sunday. Unfortunately they will be without Mikayla Morrison whose seven goals in two games were enough to force a recall to the AFL Women’s. Bianca Webb is also out of the side, but the Swans have been able to bring in a couple of talented youngsters in Emma Nanut and Chanel Jetta who have been added to one of the youngest benches going around. Of the five players on the Swan Districts’ bench, the oldest is 18-year-old Naomi Baker, who will be there alongside fellow teenagers Melisha Hardy and Kloe Taylor.

Subiaco has lost some experience out of its side, with Maggie Maclachlan, Katelyn Pope and Beatrice Devlyn all out, with an extended bench added, including Taylisha Brown, Hayley Corlett and Selina Spiers among seven inclusions to the visiting side. The Lions midfield of Lara Filocamo, Tarnica Golisano and Liana Burchell will face a very young onball brigade including the in-form Dana East and Jessica Cox, while Sarah Lakay is gaining great experience in the ruck. Rotating with Sarah Wielstra up forward, Lakay has the athleticism to worry the opposition, whilst the Swans forward line – even without Morrison – is still damaging.

Bella Edgley is a sensational overhead mark, Taylah Edwards is ever-dangerous and Nyra Anderson has some of the cleanest hands out there. It will be up to the likes of Claire Ortlepp, Tayla Thorogood and Jayme Harken to try and contain them, whilst the wing battle between young gun Tara Stribley and Subiaco’s Ellie Blackmore will be one to watch. Up in the Lions’ forward line, Abbey Dowrick, Kia Buckley and Jamie Rust are developing talents, while the experience of Emily McGuire, Lauren Osborne and Aimee Ralph has made life difficult for opposition teams to score.

The round is set to be a cracker with plenty on the line for all six teams.

WAFL WOMEN’S ROUND 5 FIXTURES:

South Fremantle vs. East Fremantle
Claremont vs. Peel Thunder
Swan Districts vs. Subiaco

Picture credit: Owen Davies / Peel Thunder

2021 WAFL Women’s Round 4 preview: Sharks to test waters against Swans

SIDES will welcome back some key inclusions for Round 4 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s competition, as the top three sides face the bottom three sides to try and gain further separation on their opposition. The three games feature a predicted tight one between Subiaco and Claremont, with the Lions hoping to level out their season at 2-2, whilst the Tigers could move to 3-1 and potentially have an eight-point gap on the bottom three sides. Peel Thunder are in a similar boat, sitting at 2-1 after a loss to Swan Districts in Round 2, but will be looking to take out their frustrations on a young South Fremantle side looking for its first win. In the other game, the red-hot Swan Districts will travel to face East Fremantle with the Swans hoping to stretch their unbeaten streak to four, while the Sharks will hope to cause an upset and grab their second consecutive win after getting on the board last week.

Subiaco will have been disappointed by some missed opportunities in Round 3 in front of goal, scoring just one behind in a big loss to East Fremantle. Luckily the Lions have loaded up on talent for this round with captain Tarnica Golisano returning alongside the experienced Lara Filocamo, and young gun Abbey Dowrick. Claremont on the other hand also welcome back a couple of top talents with Jess Low back into the side after missing last week, and Kate Orme also into the team.

There are plenty of matchups to watch in the game, but the inside clash between Filocamo and Claremont captain Ella Smith should not be missed, while Jayme Harken will hope the inclusions of the Subiaco players will lead to more chances inside 50. She will have to content with West Coast’s Sophie McDonald, while up the other end, fellow AFL Women’s player Maggie MacLachlan will look to team up with Jessica Ritchie to quell young gun AFL Women’s Academy member Amy Franklin, and the dangerous Brooke Whyte. Mikayla Western showed plenty of toe for Claremont last week and Emily Bennett provided the run in tandem with Rachel Ortlepp, whilst Rachel and sister Claire could cross paths at some point during the day. Subiaco have some impressive talent running around in Kia Buckley, Beatrice Devlyn and Ellie Blackmore who can bring the ball down in transition, and will be hoping to turn it around with a good result here, but the Tigers are a difficult team to beat and expect them to be favourites.

Moving onto the East Fremantle and Swan Districts clash, the Sharks will need to be at their absolute best to try and quell a Swan Districts outfit that has kept the opposition guessing with an extended bench. Depending on AFL Women’s selection, the likes of Mikayla Morrison – who kicked four goals last week – is still available, and the Swans have included a number of players to pick from before the bounce, and of those, Chanel Jetta is the one named on the field at half-forward. The Sharks on the other hand will breathe a sigh of relieve with the return of Kahra Sprylan, while Marni Alston and Torrens Revell have also been added to the bench. Kate Inglis-Hodge and Brianna Green are among the outs with the latter set to be needed for AFL Women’s duties.

The key to the match will be whether or not Swan Districts can get off the chain like Morrison and her teammates did last week against reigning premiers, Peel Thunder. Bella Edgley just keeps kicking goals, and the likes of Taylah Edwards and Sarah Lakay provide good targets inside 50. The week before, Nyra Anderson slotted three goals and is a proven state league talent who can cause all sorts of headaches for the opposition defence. The Sharks defence of youngster Alli Nokes alongside the experienced Kimberley Boulton and Alex Williams have the capacity to limit the opposition in the back half, while the experienced midfield of Sharon Wong, Ann McMahon and Evangeline Gooch will look to take control over their younger opposition which could feature the slick Dana East and hard nut Jessica Cox. The front half combination of young trio, Anjelique Raison, Gabby Radojkovich and Chloe Reilly have serious X-factor and upside for the Sharks, with Emily McGuire, Lauren Osborne and Aimee Ralph helping steady the versatile movers in Jaime Henry and Tara Stribley. Swan Districts should be strong favourites in this, but East Fremantle hit their straps last week.

An unchanged South Fremantle will head in to try and change their first two rounds results taking on reigning premiers Peel Thunder who will look to bounce back from a rare loss in Round 3. The Thunder went down to Swan Districts in a top-of-the-table clash following back-to-back wins in Rounds 1 and 2, wile the Bulldogs are yet to get on the board, pushing Subiaco in Round 1 before back-to-back substantial losses to Swan Districts and Claremont the last two weeks. Peel Thunder have gone in with an extended bench for the home clash, welcoming back the likes of AFL Women’s draftee Demi Liddle and young gun Beth Schilling for the clash. Schilling will join the most dynamic forward line in the competition with Kate Bartlett leading all-comers in the goalkicking having booted multiple majors every week, and the unbelievable Ella Roberts also creating havoc for the Thunder. With Greta McKinley and Jade Briggs rounding out the front five, the Thunder have a difficult attack to contain, with Tahlia Holtz, Makayla Cocking and Sheridan Kowald needing to find a way to restrict them.

Young ruck Lauren Wakfer has been named at full-forward for the Bulldogs this week, likely to rotate with fellow tall Ella Ward, while Zoe Huggett kicked three goals in Round 1, and with Aaliyah Ugle and Hunter Cronin, the red and whites have potential up front. Makaela Tuhakaraina going up against Chloe Wrigley in the middle with a be a great head-to-head to watch, while Pia Durk and Lauren Vecchio are ever-consistent despite the South Fremantle results. Top prospect Courtney Rowley and West Australian Under 19s co-captain Jaide Britton on the wings will provide great run for the thunder, as will Tanisha Anderson and Bella Mann off half-back. Given their relative experience – despite both teams being young – Peel Thunder at home should get the job done here, though it has been great to see the Bulldogs progress this year after their inaugural season last year.

The East Fremantle and Swan Districts clash at New Choice Homes Park is the live stream game this week, available via the WAFL Facebook page or YouTube channel.

WAFL WOMEN’S ROUND 4 FIXTURES:

Subiaco vs. Claremont
East Fremantle vs. Swan Districts
Peel Thunder vs. South Fremantle

Picture credit: WAFL

WAFLW Round 3 wrap: Claremont go back-to-back as Swans rise to top

CLAREMONT Tigers have stormed to their most dominant win of the year, defeating South Fremantle by 51 points in a Round 3 West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s victory. The Tigers looked on from the get-go, piling on five goals in the first term, and while the Bulldogs managed to match it with them through the middle two quarters, Claremont broke away again the last to boot 3.1 to 0.0 in the final term and win 11.7 (73) to 3.4 (22).

After having moments in her opening two games, it looked like AFL Women’s Academy member Amy Franklin was ready to tear the competition apart in Round 3. She took a strong mark early in the match, spun around and hit up Tessa Doumanis for a goal, then moments later marked close to goal and put it through the middle. By the time there were three minutes on the clock, Franklin had slotted her second, and almost had her third in the final minute, but it just missed. Luckily for the Tigers, a costly Bulldogs turnover resulted in Brooke Whyte capitalising for a fifth goal in the term.

Mikayla Western – the athletic and talented older sister of Fremantle’s equally-gifted Joel – turned it on with her X-factor inside 50 and also added her name to the goalkickers in the first term, whilst for the Bulldogs, Ella Ward got on the end of one off the back of great defensive pressure up forward from a host of young teammates.

The second term was a lot tighter, with Madeleine Scanlon having time to celebrate a goal with most of her teammates, but her first major in the competition would have to wait until later in the match as it was deemed touched on the way through. Tigers captain Ella Smith was one of the more enthusiastic celebrators with Scanlon’s would-be goal, then nailed one herself with a cheeky look over the shoulder at the goal umpire for the all clear prior to beginning her celebration.

Just when it seemed like party time for Claremont, Zoe Huggett managed to jag one back for the visitors with eight and a half minutes on the clock, as the young brigade of Aaliyah Ugle, Makaela Tuhakaraina and 16-year-old ruck Lauren Wakfer were all having an impact across the ground. However it was Adele Arnup who added another major to the board for Claremont, and the Tigers headed into half-time with a 32-point advantage.

If you had tuned into the match at half-time without a scoreboard, many would not have guessed that Claremont was so far up, as South Fremantle took it up to the Tigers, booting 1.3 apiece and showing they could put pressure on the opposition not only defensively, but on the scoreboard through scoring chances. Hunter Cronin snagged the goal of the day by turning one way and then the other to snap around her body to put it back to 23 points, only for Andie Payne to nail a goal on the run courtesy of a great handball from West Coast’s Sophie McDonald.

There were some sore bodies out there, particularly for South Fremantle as Wakfer, Kiara Templeman and Tahlia Holtze all came from the ground in the third term, with the latter two returning in the fourth quarter. Lauren Vecchio was desperately trying to lift her side in the second half, but the luck was with the Tigers, as any glimpse of an unlikely comeback was snuffed out early. McDonald watched as two Bulldogs collided next to the goalsquare and the AFL Women’s tall scooped up the ball and kicked it from a metre out.

Moments later, Jacinta Valentini backed up from hitting the post off a quick snap with a great goal off a turnover. Zoe Huggett had a snap close to goal which went off the side of the boot and bounced out of bounds, then she came off a bit ginger from the collision. There was just one more chapter to be written in Claremont’s fairytale for the day and it had to come off the boot of the excited Scanlan who, just before the siren, finally got to celebrate six points rather than one, and it sailed home perfectly.

Claremont had a remarkable 10 individual goalkickers in the match, with the likes of Whyte, Doumanis, Payne, Paige Hamilton-Smith and Matilda Husband impressing the coaches plenty. Franklin spent the second half in defence after her two-goal effort that could have been a couple more as well. For the Bulldogs, Ugle was electric, Vecchio, Holtze and Templeman were all strong, and Gabrielle Canicosa was also named among the best. Tuhakaraina showed some of the talent she possesses all across the ground and one who is incredibly dangerous with her combination of speed and power.

Meanwhile in other results, East Fremantle dominated Subiaco to grab the Sharks’ first win of the season, leaving the Bulldogs’ as the sole winless side thus far in season 2021. The defence of the home team was up to the task, kicking three goals in each of the halves – though were kept to just two points in the final term – to win 6.9 (45) to 0.1 (1).

Madeline Ross had a day out with three goals, while Gabby Radojkovich almost did, kicking three behinds for the Sharks. Alli Noakes, Larissa Versaci and Elle Sanders all kicked majors with the goal kickers standing out in the victory. Samara Pluschke and Laura McClelland were also impressive for the winners, while for the Lions, Beatrice Devlyn scored her side’s sole behind in the match. Liana Burchell, Tayla Thorogood and Sarah Walters were named Subiaco’s best in the loss.

In the top of the table clash between Peel Thunder and Swan Districts, it was the visitors who found a chink in the reigning premiers’ armour, defeating the Thunder by 28 points at David Grays Arena. With an abundance of talent on both sides, the match was fairly even throughout the first half as the Swans led by three points at quarter time and two points at the half, before putting the foot down. Seven goals to three in the second half sent a message to the rest of the competition that the black and whites mean business in the 2021 season.

Mikayla Morrison slotted four goals for the Swans, with Sarah Wielstra best-on for her work through the ruck and up forward with two majors, as did developing tall Sarah Lakay. Nyra Anderson and Taylah Edwards both slotted a goal, while Aimee Ralph, Jaime Henry, Melisha Hardy and Ashley Sharp were named amongst the best. For Peel, the most dominant forward in the competition in Kate Bartlett still slotted three majors, while State Academy member Aisha Wright kicked two in the loss. West Australian Under 19s co-captain Jaide Britton was best-on for the Thunder, while Chloe Wrigley and Nel Baxter were also amongst the best.

Next week the Thunder will look to bounce back in another home game, this time against South Fremantle, whilst the unbeaten Swan Districts travel to play East Fremantle. Subiaco hosts Claremont at Leederville Oval in a Saturday evening fixture with the other two games played at 2pm on Sunday, local time.

WAFL WOMEN’S ROUND 3 RESULTS:

East Fremantle 6.9 (45) defeated Subiaco 0.1 (1)
Peel Thunder 5.8 (38) defeated by Swan Districts 10.6 (66)
Claremont 11.7 (73) defeated South Fremantle 3.4 (22)