Tag: erin mckinnon

Draftee Watch: AFLW – Round 6

SOME different names feature in this week’s AFL Women’s Draftee Watch for Round 6, including a number of crosscoders who impressed in the penultimate round.

Adelaide: Jessica Foley
Foley again proved why she’s been so highly regarded this year with another impressive performance for Adelaide. Despite coming up against the most successful ruck this year in Erin McKinnon, who averages a league-high 26 hitouts, Foley had the edge and beat her 18 to 17 with much more impact around the ground. Against the GIANTS she notched up 15 disposals, three marks and two tackles with 75 AFL Fantasy Points. With her year, Foley should receive an All-Australian honours and a chance at a Grand Final.

Brisbane: Jacqui Yorston
In her third game for the season, Yorston impressed in front of her fellow debutantes with a season-high 12 disposals, seven kicks, one mark and eight tackles. Consistently bringing pressure around the ball in her last two games, recording six and nine tackles respectively, Yorton is showing no signs of slowing as she betters with each game.

Carlton: Madison Prespakis
In her first year, Prespakis has once again led her team on the pitch and the stat sheet with a game-high 27 disposals, 15 kicks, six clearances, two rebounds, three inside 50s and two tackles with 69 AFL Fantasy Points. In her first year, Prespakis is already one of Carlton’s best and an absolute star in the making. Sitting atop Conference B her team looks to take on finals, where we are likely to see her reach another level.

Collingwood: Sarah Rowe
After reaching new heights last week, the 23-year-old continues to exceed expectations with a new set of season-highs in the loss to North Melbourne. Having kicked her first goal in the game prior, Rowe wasted no time in putting through her second to help keep Collingwood’s hope alive before the main break. She notched up 17 disposals, five marks and three tackles on her way to 74 AFL Fantasy Points for the day.

Fremantle: Parris Laurie
The Claremont product remained impressive over the weekend in Fremantle’s big win against Geelong. With more confidence to explore different areas of her game, Laurie notched up 11 disposals, nine hit-outs, three marks and two tackles on her way to 52 AFL Fantasy Points – boosting her season average for marks in one game. Teammate, Sabreena Duffy (seven disposals, two marks and three tackles), also impressed in the win.

Geelong: Olivia Purcell
The Geelong Falcons best and fairest winner remained prolific in her side’s loss to Fremantle, punctuating a perfect performance last week with another strong showing. Purcell notched up 15 disposals and seven tackles on her way to 66 AFL Fantasy Points in possibly her second-best performance of the year. Purcell is likely to carry this form into the final round, hoping to keep her team in contention as they enter the finals.

GWS GIANTS: Alyce Parker
The Thurgoona product stood up in the loss against the league’s best, amassing 16 disposals, 11 kicks, three marks and four tackles on her way to 66 AFL Fantasy Points. The 18-year-old was rated highly alongside Cora Staunton and Ellie Brush as she remains veteran-like throughout the ground. The GIANTS rookie may be a real chance for the Rising Star Award.

Melbourne: Chantel Emonson
Emonson got treated to one of the tightest games of the season as her team prevailed over the reigning premiers. After finding some solid form last week, the 25-year-old followed up well with some impressive numbers for the Dees. She notched up 12 disposals, one mark and two tackles with 41 AFL Fantasy Points and a 73 per cent disposal efficiency.

North Melbourne: Alison Drennan
Drennan was among North Melbourne’s best in their win over a competitive Collingwood outfit. She looked more confident by foot and, despite missing, had two shots at goal in her best game yet. For the day, she notched up 14 disposals and six tackles on her way to 67 AFL Fantasy Points and managed to double her season total in kicks with eight to her name. As North look to set to go deep into the finals, Drennan has a unique opportunity to mould herself against some of the league’s best.

Western Bulldogs: Aisling McCarthy
Despite coming across from her native game of Gaelic Football, McCarthy remains poised and impactful for the Bulldogs. Kicking a goal in all but one of her games, her goal sense is just one of the things that has translated well across codes, this week kicking a goal to give her side a six-point lead come the main break. She also notched up 11 disposals and two tackles with 45 AFL Fantasy Points.

AFLW H2H Battle: Early 90s v Late 90s

IN our first AFL Women’s Head-to-Head Battle, we have created teams of 24 players to determine which end of the 90s might prevail in a head-to-head clash. For the early 90s team, we have those AFL Women’s players born between 1990-1994, and for the late 90s, we have the 1995-1999 births. We have not included any player that made their debut in season 2019. As you will see from the two different sides, the early 90s is stacked through the forward line with a strong defence, while the late 90s midfield is very deep with strong players up both ends. It made for a very difficult task of picking just 24 players for each side, and picking a winner is just as difficult.

Early 90s – 1990-1994:

B: Nicola Stevens – Chelsea Randall – Hannah Scott
HB: Bianca Jakobsson – Elise O’Dea – Ebony Antonio
C: Alicia Eva – Kara Donnellan – Kaitlyn Ashmore
HF: Christina Bernardi – Katie Brennan – Jasmine Garner
F: Jess Wuetschner – Darcy Vescio – Brooke Lochland
R: Emma King – Dana Hooker – Jessica Dal Pos
INT: Nat Exon – Sarah D’Arcy – Jaimee Lambert –  Kate McCarthy – Sarah Perkins – Deni Varnhagen

The Early 90s team features the best of the best from 1990-1994 births, with a forward line that is All Australian quality, and an enviable spine that would win one-on-ones galore. In defence, captains, Adelaide’s Chelsea Randall and Melbourne’s Elise O’Dea hold down key spots, with Hannah Scott taking the third tall role, and the likes of Nicola Stevens, Bianca Jakobsson and Ebony Antonio providing run from the back half.

In the midfield, the early 90s team features some seriously underrated players. Fremantle duo, Kara Donnellan and Dana Hooker, GWS GIANTS’ duo Jessica Dal Pos and Alicia Eva, and North Melbourne’s Kaitlyn Ashmore fill out the starting five, with Nat Exon, Jaimee Lambert and Deni Varnhagen able to rotate through there, as would O’Dea and Jakobsson who push up the ground. With Emma King in the ruck, the early 90s would have a strong chance to win the hitouts, although the opposition midfield would be hard to combat.

Up forward, it is littered with stars from start to finish, in what is an unbelievably powerful front six. Katie Brennan and Darcy Vescio as a one-two combo would bring the crowds alone, but throw in goal machines, Jess Wuetschner and Brooke Lochland, as well as great playmakers, Christina Bernardi and Jasmine Garner who provide both defensive and offensive pressure respectively, and add a different element to the mix. Add in the likes of Sarah D’Arcy, Nat Exon, Kate McCarthy and Sarah Perkins, and the forward rotation would be the envy of any side.

Even those who missed out could consider themselves incredibly unlucky, with Rhiannon MetcalfeStevie-Lee ThompsonAmelia MullaneMeghan McDonald, Aimee Schmidt, Jacinda Barclay, Lauren Pearce, Catherine Phillips, Kate Gillespie-Jones, Brittany Gibson and Hayley Wildes among some seriously talented depth for the five years.

VS

Late 90s – 1995-1999:

B: Nicola Barr – Libby Birch – Chloe Molloy
HB: Brianna Davey – Tahlia Randall – Emma Swanson
C: Emily Bates – Ebony Marinoff – Ally Anderson
HF: Ashley Sharp – Sabrina Frederick-Traub – Monique Conti
F: Aliesha Newman – Tayla Harris – Rebecca Beeson
R: Erin McKinnon – Ellie Blackburn – Lily Mithen
INT: Deanna Berry – Brittany Bonnici – Jenna Bruton – Sarah Hosking – Breann Moody – Jamie Stanton

The late 90s team has a deep midfield that would worry any opposition midfield with its uncompromising attack on the ball and ball carrier. Around the ground the side has good options in attack and defence, and while they might not be as experienced as their early 90s counterparts, they show the future of the game over the next five to 15 years. In defence, Tahlia Randall and Libby Birch are the two key backs, with Chloe Molloy capable of playing tall or small. Nicola Barr, Brianna Davey and Emma Swanson provide the fierce attack out of the back half, with the ability to roam through the midfield too.

In the middle, talented young ruck Erin McKinnon leads a massively inside midfield brigade, with Ellie Blackburn, Lily Mithen and Ebony Marinoff likely to lay a record amount of tackles in a game between them. Brisbane pair, Emily Bates and Ally Anderson will provide support on the wings, while Sarah Hosking, Brittany Bonnici, Jenna Bruton and Jamie Stanton are able to also rotate off the bench into the team. Breann Moody would be McKinnon’s back-up ruck, and also allows Randall to purely focus on her defensive match-ups.

Up front, Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Tayla Harris join forces inside 50 as the key targets. Around their, feet speed demons, Ashley Sharp, Monique Conti and Aliesha Newman will always have defenders worried, while Rebecca Beeson is consistent as they come. Deanna Berry will add to the pace inside 50 and will add some extra running off the bench.

Among those unlucky, injured talents Jess Hosking and Isabel Huntington would make the team with some luck in the future, while Jasmine GriersonBonnie ToogoodEden ZankerEloise JonesJordan ZanchettaHayley Miller, Stephanie Cain and Maddison Gay are among those in contention for a spot in the 24-player team.

Number Crunching: AFLW – Round 1

THERE are plenty of individual stats to put under the microscope after Round 1 of the Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) competition, with a handful of players starring on the sheet across multiple lines – including a gun draftee, former rising star, and high-profile tradee.

Adelaide’s Ebony Marinoff was the talk of the town after her round-leading 23 disposal performance in a losing effort against the ‘Dogs. It was an incredible game from the hard-working midfielder, who topped the fantasy charts at 107 points having also laid 11 tackles and spread her load at almost an even 50 per cent between contested and uncontested possessions. Not to be outdone by the former rising star, Geelong’s number one draft pick, Nina Morrison starred in the season-opener to be the equal-second leading disposal winner for the round with 22. The midfielder showed her balance in the craft with 14 contested possessions and six clearances, while also providing her trademark run with three inside 50’s. Meanwhile, Emily Bates and Ally Anderson had 22 disposals each in the Lions’ midfield to match Morrison as they overcame GWS.

Anderson’s 14 contested possessions were enough for equal-second best alongside Morrison, but Melbourne’s Karen Paxman was the boss of the engine room for Round 1, with a whopping 18 contested possessions from her 21 disposals at a rate of 85 per cent. Stepping up in the absence of stalwart, Daisy Pearce, Paxman also earned a round-high nine clearances to lead in the stat from Fremantle’s Dana Hooker (eight) and Adelaide superstar, Erin Phillips (seven). While Paxman and co won the contested ball in spades, a current and a former Magpie won all of their touches in the clinches. Collingwood’s Sarah Dargan (11 disposals) and Kangaroo ruck recruit, Emma King (10 disposals) both had contested possession rates of 100 per cent in impressively gritty displays. Geelong’s Maddy Keryk was the only player bar-Paxman with over 15 disposals to also have had a rate of over 80 per cent contested possessions. On the other end of the scale, Bates and new-Roo Jess Duffin won the most uncontested ball with 13 apiece, with Duffin’s teammate, Emma Kearney working in tandem for her tally of 10 – matched by GWS draftee Alyce Parker on debut.

The Fremantle duo of Hooker and Kiara Bowers topped the tackle count with 12 each as they put the clamps on Melbourne, with Hooker’s hard work also translating to ball-winning as she had 15 disposals. But it was again the efforts of Marinoff which attracted the headlines, as the premiership Crow laid 11 tackles to bring her career tally to 169 – the only AFLW player to have cracked the ton at the time of writing. Despite all that, Marinoff was amazingly still down on her 2018 tackle average of 11.7. In a sign of things to come, Morrison (eight tackles) was also not far behind as the teenager with the highest count.

Moving from the ground to the air, Lauren Spark reeled in the most marks with her effort of 11 – finding space well to have 13 kicks amongst her 14 disposals (nine uncontested). Spark’s Bulldogs teammate, Ellie Blackburn had six but was narrowly beaten out to second-best honours by Duffin’s seven. She may have only had three, but Carlton’s dynamic forward star, Tayla Harris took an absolute screamer to claim mark of the round. Melbourne’s Lauren Pearce dominated the air in a different fashion with her round-high of 32 hit-outs, while Giant, Erin McKinnon won 31 taps. Carlton’s tall duo of Breann Moody and Alison Downie combined for 29 against the otherwise dominant King in their loss to the ‘Roos.

Brisbane goalsneak Jess Wuetschner bagged the highest goal tally for the week, booting three of the Lions’ four goals as seven others claimed hauls of two. Amongst the group of multiple goal kickers was returning Bulldog gun, Katie Brennan – who came up clutch for her side – as well as arguably the player of the round, King. The worst offenders in front of goal collectively were the Crows with 1.11, however Phillips was the only player in that game to miss more than once. She was not alone though as eight others registered multiple behinds in their respective outings – four of them from the Kangaroos/Carlton game.

Young guns shine in AFLW practice matches

FOOTY is back and it was welcomed by five AFL Women’s practice games on Saturday, which allowed fans to witness how teams were shaping up ahead of the AFLW’s season. While the results were secondary, there were plenty of eye-catching moments across the country with three games in Victoria, one in Queensland and one in the Northern Territory.

We take a look at how each game went down:

 

GWS GIANTS 3.1 | 5.3 | 9.6 | 11.9 (75)
BRISBANE 1.1 | 2.3 | 3.3 | 4.4 (16)

Layshon Park, Brisbane

GOALS:

GWS: Schmidt 3, Staunton 3, Bonner, Zreika, Gisu, Collier, Bennetts,
Brisbane: Wuetschner, McCarthy, Frederick-Traub, Dowrick.

Club wraps:

GIANTS thump Lions in AFLW practice match

Key points:

1 GWS could be the dark horse of season 2019

GWS could end up being a sneaky chance for the flag in 2019 if their form in the pre-season is anything to go by. Sliding up the radar perfectly and with no Phoebe McWilliams for the upcoming season, the GIANTS went about their business in terrific fashion, manufacturing goals from multiple sources, with Aimee Schmidt and Cora Staunton booting three apiece.

2 Brisbane take long-term approach

We have seen first hand the embarrassment of riches that Brisbane has at its disposal in Queensland, albeit having to share the youngsters once the Gold Coast side enters the competition in 12 months. On the weekend there was the likes of McKenzie Dowrick – who booted a goal on debut – and fellow All Australian, Lauren Bella who started in the ruck going up against another All Australian, but that at senior level in Erin McKinnon. A terrific showing of faith from coach, Craig Starcevich.

3 Cross-coders are as impressive as ever

You need not look far, but the likes of Taylah Davies, a former GWS GIANTS netballer was really strong in the air and looked at home with the oblong ball. With Staunton already showing the success of international recruits to the game, it will be great to see how many of the former netballers, basketballers and other sporting stars, can have an impact in season 2019.

 

GEELONG 0.1 | 3.3 | 6.3 | 7.4 (46)
CARLTON 2.0 | 3.1 | 5.1 | 7.2 (44)

Ikon Park, Carlton North

GOALS:

Geelong: McWilliams 4, Ivey, Clifford, Darby.
Carlton: Davey 4, Plane 2, Audley.

Club wraps:

Cats record impressive two-point win
Blues show plenty of promise

Key points:

1 Brianna Davey is a star

In case anyone had forgotten what the Carlton captain was capable of, the star midfielder who missed the bulk of the 2018 season played forward and was a standout. She booted four goals across the game and was a lively target, shaping as a third option outside of dynamo, Darcy Vescio and tall timber, Tayla Harris inside 50 for the Blues.

2 Phoebe McWilliams will cause serious headaches

Much like Davey, McWilliams is as damaging at ground level as she is in the air, and she showed it in her first game in the blue and white hoops. Since crossing from the GWS GIANTS in the off-season, McWilliams enjoyed a VFL Women’s premiership with Hawthorn, ironically against her new teammates. She fitted in well and looms as a potential leading goal kicker now the midfield kicking to her has some serious depth.

3 Madison Prespakis and Nina Morrison showing what the fuss is about

We have promoted their abilities for the past 12 months, but Madison Prespakis and Nina Morrison let their football do the talking in the match at Ikon Park. Prespakis was judged one of the best on-field, copping a hit and bouncing back, while Morrison was exciting and enjoyed a win with her new teammates. Prespakis and Morrison could be the AFL Women’s equivalent debate of Marcus Bontempelli and Patrick Cripps – both stars in their own way and huge futures for their respective clubs.

 

MELBOURNE 0.0 | 2.3 | 2.5 | 4.10 (34)
NORTH MELBOURNE 1.1 | 1.2 | 7.2 | 9.2 (56)

Casey Fields, Cranbourne

GOALS:

Melbourne: Hore 2, Hickey, Scott.
North Melbourne: Hope 2, Abbatangelo 2, Bateman, Garner, Kearney, Riddell, C Haines.

Club wraps:

Cordner remaining positive
Report card: Practice match

Key points:

1 North Melbourne will be scary when they click

It is something the fans of the AFL Women’s competition feared when North Melbourne assembled a “dream team” of sorts, picking up reigning league best and fairest winner, Emma Kearney, and key Collingwood players in Mo Hope, Jasmine Garner, Emma King and Jess Duffin among others. While Duffin was out playing for the Renegades, the Kangaroos had no troubles kicking a winning score. At first they did not manage to find the flow, but then booted six goals in the third term to storm away with the match.

2 Melbourne will take time

The Demons have lost one of the biggest names of the AFL Women’s competition – and she never even left the club. Daisy Pearce will sit out the 2019 season while she is pregnant with twins, and the Demons will search to fill that hole with a host of young up-and-coming players. They have recruited well with Tyla Hanks and Maddy Brancatisano among those who could step up into the Dees’ midfield, but the experienced side will just take a bit of time with a number of fresh faces coming through. Fatigue was another factor, according to Harriet Cordner, but Melbourne will still be a tough assignment this season.

3 Kangaroos forward line the best in the business

They might be brand new, but the fact VFL Women’s talents, Sophie Abbatangelo and Ash Riddell stepped up and showed no fear upon their senior level debuts shows even North Melbourne’s next tier of players will provide great depth in season 2019. While much is talked about their high profile recruits, adding in those players along with young talents, Daisy Bateman – who kicked the opening Roos’ goal – and Chloe and Libby Haines, shows that the side will have the depth to cover any injuries to their top stars.

 

BULLDOGS 1.1 | 2.4 | 3.4 | 5.5 (35)
COLLINGWOOD 0.2 | 1.2 | 2.4 | 4.4 (28)

MARS Stadium, Ballarat

GOALS:

Bulldogs: Brennan, Blackburn, McLeod, Hunt, Gamble.
Collingwood: Rowe 2, McIntosh, Hildebrand.

Club wraps:

Dogs score pre-season win over Magpies
Good signs in narrow loss to Dogs

Key points:

1 Western Bulldogs will be force again

While the Magpies do not have a great deal of support in regards to their flag chances, the Western Bulldogs looked ultra-impressive in their seven-point win over the Pies, having the ability to rest co-captain Ellie Blackburn in the second half after a superb first half. They shared the goals around and used precision kicking to hurt the Magpies.

2 Baby Magpies and cross-coders stand tall

They were always going to be inexperienced compared to the reigning premiers, but the Magpies draftees were impressive throughout the loss. Dandenong Stingrays’ skipper, Jordyn Allen and Oakleigh Chargers talent, Katie Lynch were a couple of names raised by coach Wayne Siekman after the game, while cross-coders Sarah Rowe and Sharni Layton were very competitive in the forward half.

3 Dogs sweat on Lochland’s ankle

Leading goalscorer, and forward dynamo Brooke Lochland caused some worry amongst Dogs fans when she was taken from the field after a collision. While full results were yet to come at the time of publication, AFL Women’s reporter Sarah Black believed it was not as serious as first thought.

 

ADELAIDE 2.2 | 5.2 | 8.3 | 9.4 (58)
FREMANTLE 1.4 | 3.4 | 3.7 | 5.8 (38)

TIO Stadium, Darwin

GOALS:

Adelaide: Scheer 2, Thompson 2, Forth, A Foley, Varnhagen, J Foley, Phillips.
Fremantle: Antonio 2, Houghton 2, Bresland.

Club wraps:

New Crows impress in trial match victory
Freo challenged by Crows in Darwin

Key points:

1 Danielle Ponter and Chloe Scheer impact at either end

Young guns, Danielle Ponter and Chloe Scheer gave an indication they will be key players in Matthew Clarke’s Adelaide side this season, playing roles at either end. Ponter’s work out of defence using her slick skills to hit-up targets is different from her forward craft with Essendon VFL Women’s side, while Scheer was prolific up forward booting a goal and returning successfully from a knee injury that kept her from being drafted following her top-age year.

2 Fremantle will be competitive

With the amount of changes the Dockers have had, particularly with experience heading out the door and young talents walking in, it was always going to be tough against a premiership contender in challenging conditions. They looked solid early, but were outclassed in the third term before holding firm in the final stanza to avoid a blowout. The Dockers are a side that will be introducing plenty of new faces to the side in season 2019, so expect there to be some mixed results.

3 Crows talls go down

The win was somewhat soured by tall Crows, Rhiannon Metcalfe and Jasmyn Hewett, as they were forced from the field and will undergo scans during the week. It was the position that the Crows could ill-afford to lose, and will be sweating on the results. Given how strong the Crows are through the midfield, Adelaide will be keen to have a dominant force in the ruck giving the onballers first touch.

Feature Image credit: Arj Giese

NSW/ACT weekly wrap: Under 18s triumph; AFLW Winter Series squads named

NSW/ACT’s most talented female footballers were the big talking points of the week, with the Under 18s side winning both its games over Tasmania in the first series of the National AFLW Championships, while the squads for the AFLW Winter Series were announced.

NSW/ACT too good for Tasmania

NSW/ACT Under 18s triumphed in the first series of the National AFLW Under 18 Championships. NSW/ACT won both its games against Tasmania ahead of the states combining to form the Eastern Allies for the second series of the National AFLW Under 18 Championships.

GWS GIANTS player and NSW/ACT Head coach Alicia Eva – who will also coach the Eastern Allies – told the NSW/ACT website she was very proud of the group’s effort.

“It was a pretty hotly contested game, particularly in the first half, goals were really hard to come by,” Eva said. “Credit to Tassie, because they put a lot of heat on the ball. They were probably on top of us in the contested ball area in the first half, so to get back on top in clearances and then open up our forward line, it was really pleasing to see how once we did that, and kind of stuck to that, we started hitting the scoreboard and the game opened up from there.”

AFLW Academy member Alyce Parker won the NSW/ACT’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the second consecutive year, while a number of others stood out in Eva’s eyes.

“Her (Parker) work rate around the ball was impressive across the whole game,” she said. “Georgia Garnett out on the wing, opened up the fat-side of the ground for us really nicely, particularly in the third quarter. “Ange Prifitis showed a bit early, which was good to see when playing a different role . “It was also good to see Jemima Wrigley sort of impose herself in the midfield – a bit of bash and crash – and she created a bit of run and carry out of the congestion.”

GIANTS squads picked

GWS GIANTS’ two sides entered in the AFL Women’s Winter Series starting this weekend were named earlier this week, with the players divided up into the Northern and Southern GIANTS squads. Twelve AFL Women’s listed players, including Alicia Eva, Ellie Brush, Erin McKinnon and Nicola Barr will line up for the Northern GIANTS, while Jodie Hicks and Britt Tully will play for the Southern GIANTS.

Northern GIANTS coach Roger Moten, a former GIANTS AFL development coach, said he was excited to see what some of the non-AFLW players could offer to the side.

“We’ve brought in some players that have previous train-on experience with the GIANTS AFLW squad or have played for the GIANTS’ AFLW side but we’ve unearthed a couple of new players,” Moten said. “There are some that are new to the game that we hope might go on to bigger and better things at the GIANTS.”

Former Carlton ruckman and Eastlakes coach, Anthony Bourke will coach the Southern GIANTS and looks forward to bringing together a group of players from the vast regions of southern New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

“It’s been a really exciting time for women’s footy in Canberra and the Riverina, and it’s a great opportunity for players to put themselves in front of people who are in AFL Women’s programs,” he said. “We’ve got a few players from the Riverina and Wagga that we’re excited to put on the bigger stage. “The Winter Series gives them an opportunity to develop and get a taste of what’s required to play AFLW.”

For more information, check out the AFL NSW/ACT website or the GWS GIANTS website.

Northern GIANTS Squad

Haneen Zrieka, Renee Tomkins, Lael Kassem (Auburn-Penrith), Georgia Breward (Coolangatta Bluebirds QWAFL), Ellie Brush, Kristy Sutcliffe, Laura Russel, Lisa Steane, Pippa Smyth (Macquarie University), Meaghan McDonald, Sarah Halvorsen (Newcastle City), Laura Holdsworth (Newtown) Alicia Eva, Nicola Barr, Pippy Clegg, Alex Sneddon, Erin McKinnon, Kristen Hay, Louise Stephenson (Sydney University), Alison Parkin, Roxy McGee, Sandra Janjetovic, Jasmine Smith, Jacinda Barclay, Meagan Kiely, Phoebe Monahan, Rebecca Privitelli (UNSW-ES Bulldogs), Laura Houghton (Western Magic), Melissa Freckelton (Western Wolves) Rylee Mcgartland (Wollongong).

Southern GIANTS Squad

Tegan Tisma (Ainslie), Elisa Pevere, Jodie Hicks (Belconnen), Ally Reid (Benalla), Gab Goldsworthy, Hayley Fairless, Isobel Cleary (CSU Bushpigs and Bushsows), Katie Rose, Najwa Allen, Karina Demant (Eastlake), Eloise Ashley-Cooper (Finley), Britt Tully (Gungahlin), Brea Quinlivan (Lavington), Lexi Hamilton, Carly Res, Hannah Dunn, Jessica Stramandinoli (Queanbeyan), Kahli Abbott (Riverina Lions), Bec Guglielmino, Emilee McPherson, Karina Collins, Sally Lynch, Alyce Parker, Melanie Wright, Olivia Hall (Thurgoona), Kate Greenacre, Rebecca Mitchell (Tuggeranong) Chelsea Knight, Kyra Jackson, Teneika Bruce (Wodonga).

2018 Winter Series Fixture

Round One

Saturday, June 9 – Northern GIANTS v Gold Coast Suns, Tom Wills Oval 10:30am
Sunday, June 10 – Southern GIANTS v Brisbane Lions, Tom Wills Oval 11:00am

Round Two

Saturday, June 23 – Brisbane Lions v Northern GIANTS, Zillmere 1:30pm
Sunday, June 24 – Gold Coast Suns v Southern GIANTS, Southport 11:00am

Round Three

Saturday, July 14 – Gold Coast Suns v Brisbane Lions, Metricon Stadium 4:40pm
Saturday, July 14 – Northern GIANTS v Southern GIANTS, Tom Wills Oval 11:00am

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

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

Tathra bushfires donations

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

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

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

Gum takes out AFL Players MVP

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

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

Eva honoured with Best and Fairest

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

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

NSW/ACT Kickstart and All Nations squads announced

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

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

AFL Draft Central Team of the Year: AFLW

SEASON 2018 in the AFLW has seen consistent players back up their efforts in the inaugural AFLW season, such as Daisy Pearce and Chelsea Randall. It has also unearthed some brilliant young players, such as NAB Rising Star Chloe Molloy and Dogs gun, Libby Birch.

The dominance of the Western Bulldogs in season 2018 was exemplified as they have four players making the final 21. Adelaide also has four representatives including co-captain, Chelsea Randall. Meanwhile Carlton is the only team to not be represented in the Team of the Year.

The back-line was settled for most of the season with the likes of Chloe Molloy and Kate Lutkins being named in the Team of the Week five times apiece. Their seasons were beyond consistent and it is easy to see why they are the best two key backs in the league.

Emma Kearney headlines the midfield after having an outstanding 2018, which was reflected by her winning the AFLW Best and Fairest as well as finishing first in metres gained and overall disposals for the season. AFLW Players’ MVP Courtney Gum who at 36, had a tantalising first season, also demanded a spot in the starting line-up as she was a consistent inside midfielder for the GWS Giants.

The forward line is spearheaded by Brisbane key forward and contested-mark specialist Sabrina Frederick-Traub as well as league leading goalkicker Brooke Lochland who’s move from the midfield to the forward line was a master stroke, as she went from kicking one goal in 2017 to 12 in 2018. She was a major reason why the Bulldogs were able to win a historic premiership in season 2018 with performances such as her seven-goal haul in round four.

Every player on the interchange has earned their spot on the team with big names such as Daisy Pearce and Alicia Eva managing to claim a spot. The 2017 Rising Star Ebony Marinoff deserves her spot as she broke all tackling records that were to be broken in the AFLW and AFL. She amassed 21 tackles in round four, which was the most ever; the previous record was 19 held by Tom Liberatore, Jude Bolton and Jack Ziebell.

The Crows co-captain Chelsea Randall is the 2018 captain of the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year thanks to her impressive performances every week. She was picked in the best 21 every week, and was the only player to achieve this feat. The vice-captain is Daisy Pearce who lead the Demons from the front every week, and always put her body on the line. 

FB: Libby Birch (WB), Kate Lutkins (Bris), Angela Foley (Adel)

HB: Chelsea Randall (Adel), Chloe Molloy (Coll), Ebony Antonio (Frem)

C: Emma Kearney (WB)

HF: Brooke Lochland (WB), Tegan Cunnigham (Melb), Christina Bernardi (Coll)

FF: Jess Wuetschner (Bris), Sabrina Frederick-Traub (Bris), Ruth Wallace (Adel)

R: Erin McKinnon (GWS), Courtney Gum (GWS), Dana Hooker (Frem)

I/C: Ebony Marinoff (Adel), Daisy Pearce (Melb), Ellie Blackburn (WB) Alicia Eva (GWS), Jasmine Garner (Coll)

Bulldogs dominate AFLW Awards

SOME of the league’s most aggressive football players rolled up to the AFLW Awards almost unrecognisable. Hair done, tanned and frocked up, the players were recognised following the conclusion of a memorable AFLW season. The Western Bulldogs were the big winners on the night, taking home plenty of awards after their inaugural AFLW premiership.

AFLW Premiers

Western Bulldogs 4.3 (27) def. Brisbane 3.3 (21)

The Bulldogs premiership side was recognised on stage for their efforts against the Brisbane Lions on Saturday. Ellie Blackburn captained the side on the day and was the leading disposal-getter for the Dogs with 17. Captain, Katie Brennan missed the game due to suspension, but it did not seem to faze the Dogs, who got home by a goal. Coached by Paul Groves, the Bulldogs toughed it out in wet conditions and took home the premiership cup.

AFLW Grand Final Best on Ground award

Former Calder Cannon, Monique Conti was the star of the Bulldogs’ premiership win. Conti kicked an important goal in the third quarter to extend the Dogs’ lead and also racked up 13 disposals. After being a part of the Melbourne Boomers, who were runners-up of the WNBL grand final, Conti got straight into business in the red, white and blue. The 18 year-old was also a Rising Star nominee after a consistent year for the Dogs.

AFL Women’s Rising Star Award

No surprises here, with Collingwood’s Chloe Molloy taking home the Rising Star award. Molloy revolutionised her game this year, after being the TAC Cup Girls leading goalkicker last year. The 19 year-old took her forward prowess into the backline and looked right at home, marking everything that came her way and clearing the ball out of congestion with ease. The former Calder Cannon polled 50 votes after averaging 14 disposals this season.

AFL Women’s Best and Fairest Trophy

Western Bulldogs star midfielder Emma Kearney took home the AFL Women’s Best and Fairest trophy after a wonderful year for the red, white and blue. She led Molloy and GWS’ Courtney Gum by two votes, but polled three votes in the final round to take home the coveted medal. She finished on 14 votes while Molloy, Gum and Fremantle’s Dana Hooker all finished equal second on nine votes. After playing cricket in the summer, Kearney pulled on the footy and averaged a remarkable 19 disposals this year.

AFL Women’s Leading Goalkicker award

Western Bulldogs gun forward Brooke Lochland earned the women’s leading goalkicker award. Upon getting up on stage, she walked right past her medal but had it wrapped around her neck soon after. Lochland’s seven-goal performance against Carlton put her well in front of the pack, and in the process, she set a record, scoring the most goals in one game by an AFLW player. The former ice-skater kicked a goal in five of the seven home and away matches this year.

AFLW Mark of the Year

Carlton’s Tayla Harris only took one game to make her presence known in navy blue. The former Brisbane forward took a courageous goal-line mark against Collingwood in round one to take home the AFLW Mark of the Year. She soared over Collingwood’s Chloe Molloy and landed flat on her back after having all eyes on the ball. Teammate Darcy Vescio won the award last year, making it two from two for the Blues.

AFLW Goal of the Year

Aliesha Newman’s running goal in round two earned her the AFLW Goal of the Year. The Melbourne forward accelerated past Adelaide’s Talia Radan at Casey Fields to kick a memorable major. The former soccer player used her incredible foot skills to slot the goal through on the outside of her boot. Crows co-captain, Erin Phillips won the award last year.

AFL Women’s All-Australian team

Four Western Bulldogs received All-Australian honours after their premiership win on Saturday. Defender, Hannah Scott and Lochland were named for the first time while midfielders, Blackburn and Kearney became dual All-Australians. Molloy rounded off a great night with All-Australian honours and was joined by teammate, Christina Bernardi. Adelaide’s Chelsea Randall was named as the centre half-back and also received the captaincy honours while Melbourne midfielder, Daisy Pearce was named vice-captain. GWS fared well in the midfield with Gum and Alicia Eva receiving spots. Brisbane had two players in the forward line with Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Jess Wuetschner each being selected as goalkickers.

FB: C.Molloy (Coll), K. Lutkins (Bris)

HB: H. Scott (WB), C. Randall (Adel), E. Antonio (Frem)

C: D. Hooker (Frem), E. Kearney (WB), A. Eva (GWS)

HF: E. O’Dea (Melb), S. Frederick-Traub (BL), B. Lochland (WB)

FF: J. Wuetschner (Bris), C. Bernardi (Coll)

FOLL: E. McKinnon (GWS), C. Gum (GWS), D. Pearce (Melb)

I/C: E. Bates (Bris), T. Harris (Carl), K. Paxman (Melb), E. Blackburn (WB), M. Downie (Melb)

Captain: Chelsea Randall
Vice-captain: Daisy Pearce

Scouting notes: AFLW – Round 7

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

GWS vs. Brisbane

 By James Halley

#1: Sabrina Frederick-Traub- Brisbane

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

#2: Ally Anderson- Brisbane

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

#3: Emma Zielke- Brisbane

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

#4: Emily Bates- Brisbane

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

#5: Jess Wuetschner- Brisbane

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

#6: Alicia Eva- GWS

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

#7: Kate Lutkins- Brisbane

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

#8: Tahlia Randall- Brisbane

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

#9: Sophie Conway- Brisbane

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

#10: Brittany Gibson- Brisbane

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

#11: Britt Tully- GWS

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

#12: Jamie Stanton- Brisbane

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

#13: Pepa Randall- GWS

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

#14: Amanda Farrugia- GWS

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

#15: Jessica Dal Pos- GWS

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

#16: Sharni Webb- Brisbane

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

#17: Emma Swanson- GWS

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

#18: Jacinda Barclay- GWS

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

#19: Breanna Koenen- Brisbane

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

#20: Cora Staunton- GWS

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

 

Fremantle vs. Carlton

#1: Dana Hooker- Fremantle

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

#2: Kara Donnellan- Fremantle

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

#3: Ebony Antonio- Fremantle

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

#4: Sarah Hosking- Carlton

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

#5: Tayla Harris- Carlton

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

#6: Lisa Webb- Fremantle

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

#7: Hayley Miller- Fremantle

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

#8: Amy Lavell- Fremantle

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

#9: Alison Downie- Carlton

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

#10: Stephanie Cain- Fremantle

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

#11: Kellie Gibson- Fremantle

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

#12: Katie Loynes- Carlton

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

#13: Tiah Haynes- Fremantle

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

#14: Melissa Caulfield- Fremantle

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

#15: Breann Moody- Carlton

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

#16: Maddison Gay- Carlton

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

#17: Ashley Sharp- Fremantle

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

#18: Tilly Lucas-Rodd- Carlton

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

#19: Lauren Arnell- Carlton

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

#20: Cassie Davidson- Fremantle

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

 

Western Bulldogs vs. Melbourne

By Connor Ferris 

#1: Emma Kearney- Western Bulldogs

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

#2: Karen Paxman- Melbourne

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

#3: Jenna Bruton- Western Bulldogs

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

#4: Ellie Blackburn- Western Bulldogs

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

#5: Hannah Scott- Western Bulldogs

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

#6: Daisy Pearce- Melbourne

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

#7: Elise O’Dea- Melbourne

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

#8: Lauren Pearce- Melbourne

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

#9: Katherine Smith- Melbourne

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

#10: Monique Conti- Western Bulldogs

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

#11: Kirsty Lamb- Western Bulldogs

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

#12: Aisling Utri- Western Bulldogs

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

#13: Brooke Lochland- Western Bulldogs

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

#14: Kate Hore- Melbourne

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

#15: Harriet Cordner- Melbourne

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

#16: Libby Birch- Western Bulldogs

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

#17: Bianca Jakobsson- Melbourne

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

#18: Hayley Wildes- Western Bulldogs

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

#19: Meg Downie- Melbourne

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

#20: Lauren Spark- Western Bulldogs

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

Collingwood vs. Adelaide

 By Taylah Melki 

#1: Jasmine Garner- Collingwood

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

#2: Jaimee Lambert- Collingwood

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

#3: Jess Duffin- Collingwood

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

#4: Ebony Marinoff- Adelaide

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

#5: Erin Phillips- Adelaide

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

#6: Moana Hope- Collingwood

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

#7: Christina Bernardi- Collingwood

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

#8: Ruth Wallace- Adelaide

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

#9: Chloe Molloy- Collingwood

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

#10: Chelsea Randall- Adelaide

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

#11: Emma King- Collingwood

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

#12: Ash Brazill- Collingwood

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

#13: Amelia Barden- Collingwood

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

#14: Sarah Allan- Adelaide

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

#15: Caitlyn Edwards- Collingwood

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

#16: Marijana Rajcic- Adelaide

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

#17: Melissa Kuys- Collingwood

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

#18: Justine Mules- Adelaide

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

#19: Stevie-Lee Thompson- Adelaide

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

#20: Brittany Bonnici- Collingwood

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

AFLW Previews: Round 7

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

Greater Western Sydney vs Brisbane

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

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

Fremantle vs Carlton

Saturday March 17 at Fremantle Oval

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

Western Bulldogs vs Melbourne

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

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

Collingwood vs Adelaide

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

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