Tag: jesse tawhiao-wardlaw

Draftee Watch: AFLW – Round 4

IN Round 4 of the AFL Women’s, Adelaide’s Danielle Ponter and Collingwood’s Sarah Dargan joined the list of growing Rising Stars in the competition after impressive performances on the weekend.

Adelaide: Danielle Ponter
Ponter was well deserving of her Round 4 Rising Star nomination in Adelaide’s victory over Fremantle. As Adelaide’s first nomination this season, Ponter took centre stage with two majors and a 90 per cent disposal efficiency on her home turf in Darwin. She also secured eight disposals and a mark in her first stint up forward. Teammate, Jess Foley (24 hit-outs, 13 disposals, five marks, two clearances and five inside 50s), also continued her elite form as she finishes second in the league for hit-outs.

Brisbane: McKenzie Dowrick
The Grand Final rematch went well in Brisbane’s favour as they kept the Bulldogs goalless in the first half. Along with teammate, Jesse Tawhaio-Wardlaw (12 disposals and six marks), Dowrick was both dominant in the air and in the contest. For the day she had 12 disposals, four marks and three tackles on her way to 58 AFL Fantasy Points. If Brisbane’s recruits continue to combine well, they could be the difference for a successful 2019 finals campaign.

Carlton: Madison Prespakis
Prespakis continues to be one of Carlton’s most dominant utilities, impressing in the loss. With both teams underwhelming on the scoreboard, the No. 3 pick showed she’s nothing if not consistent as she picked up a game-high 19 disposals, one mark and three tackles along the way to 67 AFL Fantasy Points. At the rate she’s progressing, it might be possible for her to snag the Rising Star Award and the AFLW Best and Fairest trophy in consecutive years. She is easily the frontrunner for the latter, but also shouldn’t be ruled out for either as the continues to put up great numbers.

Collingwood: Sarah Dargan
The hardnut midfielder is getting better by the week, and in Round 4, she was handed a Rising Star nomination. Against the GWS GIANTS, Dargan racked up 16 disposals, two marks, six tackles and booted an important Collingwood goal. She was the second highest disposal winner from the Pies and has been a shining light in a disappointing season thus far.

Fremantle: Sabreena Duffy
With a final quarter blitz shaking Fremantle to their core, Duffy and Parris Laurie were treated to their first loss as Fremantle players. Of the two, Duffy had the most impact. Despite recording her lowest numbers of the season, Duffy endeavoured with seven disposals, three marks and two tackles. She tried her luck at a goal in the fourth but failed to find the middle. Laurie (eight disposals, two marks and one tackle) remained efficient in the loss.

Geelong: Olivia Purcell
Geelong’s hard ball winner continues to impress in Nina Morrison’s absence, propping up numbers all over the stat sheet. In the Round 4 victory she secured 14 possessions (nine contested), three clearances, three tackles and four inside 50s. Her work on the inside continues to impress, but her disposal efficiency (42 per cent) could improve.

GWS GIANTS: Yvonne Bonner
Not only has Bonner proven to be the GIANTS’ most dominant new prospect, at times she warrants comparisons with some of the league’s best. She is yet to be goalless this season, kicking her fourth career goal with elite goal sense. As a forward, she possesses a lot of the footy as she combines well in chains and hits up teammates in space. For the game she snagged nine disposals, one mark and one tackle. While not her most impressive game, she still deserves her place on this list.

Melbourne: Tyla Hanks
Hanks might have been one goal short of a Rising Star Nomination this week as she turned it on for Melbourne in a tight loss. The former Gippsland co-captain decisively made her case for Rising Star consideration with 12 disposals, one goal, two marks and three tackles on her way to 51 AFL Fantasy Points. This marks Hanks’ second goal and third consecutive game with over 10 disposals.

North Melbourne: Georgia Nanscawen
There was not a lot of first-year influence in North Melbourne’s fourth consecutive win, with most players recording under four disposals with low disposal efficiency. Nanscawen was the best of the crop with four disposals, one mark and one tackle. In her first year, the 26-year-old is still yet to breakout, though with a solid team around her, it could still happen this season.

Western Bulldogs: Aisling McCarthy
The Irish-born Bulldog was one of the few pillars who remained in their heavy loss. McCarthy had 12 disposals, two marks, two tackles and kicked her second career goal on her way to 53 AFL Fantasy Points. The change in codes has not seem to have dwindled her impact as she continues to get more comfortable in front of the sticks.

Draftee Watch – AFLW: Round 3

IN Round 3, forward Courteney Munn booted four goals on debut and highlighted a number of impressive draftee performances across the round.

Adelaide: Chloe Scheer
The South Australian champion exceeded her Round 1 performance in a big win over Geelong. She kicked two goals, with her last comfortably shutting the Cats out of the race in the final quarter. Her work overhead remains consistent as she leads well into space. She also displays an uncanny goal sense that makes her dangerous around the sticks. For the day, she tallied up 13 disposals, four marks and three inside 50s, as well as finishing as Adelaide’s second leading goal kicker behind Erin Phillips (three goals).

Brisbane: Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw
After missing her first shot on goal against Fremantle, Tawhiao-Wardlaw found her first in her side’s loss to Melbourne, coming at the end of a first quarter which seemed to be keeping Brisbane in contention. Unfortunately, those hopes were quickly quashed as Melbourne returned five consecutive goals in the second. For the day, Tawhiao-Wardlaw had eight disposals, three marks and two tackles.

Carlton: Madison Prespakis
A contender for the MVP, Prespakis has somehow smashed expectations with possibly a league-best performance against GWS GIANTS. After earning a Rising Star nomination in Round 2, the Carlton recruit took things up a notch with a game-high 21 disposals and three goals. She boasted an excellent goal sense and found her forwards well, combining well with Tayla Harris (three goals) on several occasions to hit the board. Her individual performance saw Carlton to their first win and possibly a revitalised season with a new brand of attacking football.

Collingwood: Jordyn Allen
Allen continues to improve despite Collingwood’s struggles. The former Dandenong Stingrays captain received her first shot on goal and a career-high 10 disposals alongside one mark and two tackles on her way to 33 AFL Fantasy Points.

Fremantle: Parris Laurie
After a shaky second round performance, Laurie doubled her efforts with a 17 disposal game, smashing her previous highest. The 24 year-old made waves throughout Fremantle’s midfield, assisting attacking chains and dishing the ball off effectively. She finished as the second highest accumulator behind teammate, Kara Donnellan, and currently sits at a 77 per cent disposal efficiency, looking set to take the game on more in the coming rounds.

Geelong: Olivia Purcell
Despite some issues with her disposal efficiency (37 per cent), Purcell currently sits as Geelong’s best young asset after Nina Morrison suffered her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. In her junior career she was selected for both TAC Cup Team of the Year and the All-Australian team and received the Geelong Falcons best and fairest during her under 18’s year. She brings Geelong a new level of intensity on the inside, dishing the ball out from congestion and bringing players to the ground. Against Adelaide she had nine disposals, one goal, one mark and two tackles. This was Purcell’s first score for the season and hopefully leads in many more.

GWS Giants: Yvonne Bonner
In only her fourth game of AFL, Bonner is playing like a veteran. In their loss against Carlton she remained a pillar in the forward line, marking everything that came her way and setting up multiple goals for her teammates. She also earned herself an early nod at the goal of the year with a gather and round the body snap from the boundary line. She assisted Christina Bernardi twice in front of goal and kept up the intensity despite Carlton’s dominance. For the day she tallied up 13 disposals and eight marks.

Melbourne: Tyla Hanks
The Gippsland Power and Carlton VFL gun was pivotal in Melbourne’s interstate win over Brisbane, with a career-high 12 disposals, four marks and three tackles. She dropped the ball in well to her forwards (three inside 50s), helping to assist Melbourne’s relentless goal pressure. She currently averages 10 disposals and 57 per cent disposal efficiency, but those numbers have only climbed since her debut.

North Melbourne: Courteney Munn
The debutant just showed another string to North Melbourne’s impressive forward bow, booting four goals in North Melbourne’s big win over the reigning premiers. Munn had 11 touches, four marks and two tackles in the victory, but it was her four goals, some of which were very impressive and showed maturity beyond her years. Her elite 91 per cent disposal efficiency was also a highlight and Munn certainly cemented her spot for Round 4.

Western Bulldogs: Celine Moody
Moody continues to prove herself a dominant ruckman as she beat out her Roos opponent, Emma King, in the weekend’s loss. With 15 hit-outs to 11, Moody has shown she knows how to scrap with the best, notching her average up to 11 after a weaker performance in Round 1. In the loss, she picked up four disposals, one inside 50 and two clearances. Moody is well on her way to a big career if she keeps improving like this.

Weekend preview: AFLW – Round 1

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

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

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

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

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

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun facts:

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

AFLW season previews: Brisbane

THE Brisbane Lions have come so close to winning an AFLW premiership, being runners-up in both years of the AFLW. They would love to go one step further in 2019, but it will be hard considering the mass exit of players to North Melbourne. They will field a new-look side in 2019 dominated by exciting youth rather than experienced guns, which has been the theme of the Brisbane line-up in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Last season: 2nd- four wins, three losses.

Changes:

In: Lauren Arnell, Paige Parker, Natalie Grider, McKenzie Dowrick, Lauren Bella, Tori Groves-Little, Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw, Jacqueline Yorston, Jade Ellenger.

Out: Kaitlyn Ashmore, Brittany Gibson, Tahlia Randall, Jamie Stanton, Nicole Hildebrand, Renee Cowan, Kalinda Howarth, Molly Ritson.

Brisbane was dealt with a mass exit of players with the introduction of expansion team, North Melbourne. The Lions saw four of their players head down south, as Kaitlyn Ashmore, Brittany Gibson, Tahlia Randall and Jamie Stanton opted to don the blue and white in 2019. On top of that, Nicole Hildebrand jetted down to the Pies, spending the 2018 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season with them, leaving a massive hole in Brisbane’s defence. But the Lions had a big advantage heading into the draft, with coach, Craig Starcevich coaching the Queensland Under-18 representative side and identifying the top talent that could slot into the Brisbane line-up. Six players from the Under 18 side made their way onto the Lions’ list after a successful Under 18 Championships campaign in which the side beat Vic Metro for the first time in its history. In addition, gun Western Australian, McKenzie Dowrick made the decision to take her footy up north, presenting a huge boost for the Brisbane line-up in 2019.

Area of strength: Midfield

Despite the loss of Ashmore, Gibson and Stanton in the middle of the ground, Brisbane drafted well enough to cover the loss. Tori Groves-Little is a clever footballer that is guaranteed to go hard at every contest. Her tackling is quite impressive, as is her run and carry. Jacqueline Yorston is likely to complement her well in the middle of the ground, as she is a natural ball-winner. Expect Jade Ellenger to also contribute, as her speed is quite impressive and will help her to burn opponents. Combine these exciting youth prospects with the experience of players like Nat Exon and Ally Anderson and Brisbane’s midfield looks quite potent. Exon had a wonderful VFLW campaign for Darebin, being named either the first or second best player on the ground in six of her seven games. Expect her to continue to turn it on for the Lions in 2019.

Area of weakness: Forward line

The Lions’ forward line still remains a problem in 2019. They’ve based their game in the past two seasons around their strong defence, which has managed to work considering the form of players like Kate Lutkins and Leah Kaslar. But they might find it difficult to play this style of football this year, with other clubs such as North Melbourne boasting potent forward lines. Sabrina Frederick-Traub has been the focal point up forward for the Lions in the past two seasons, but if she had a bad game, it would often spell trouble for her side. She will need some more assistance in 2019 if the Lions are to score more. Bella Ayre will need to return to the form that saw her get nominated for the Rising Star in 2017, while Kate McCarthy’s X factor will be even more important than ever in AFLW 3.0. The loss of the exciting Sophie Conway for the 2019 season hurts the forward line even more, as she had a sensational 2018 campaign inside 50.

Players to watch:

McKenzie Dowrick

Craig Starcevich and his coaching group would have been licking their lips when McKenzie Dowrick nominated to play her 2019 football in Queensland. Dowrick is originally from Western Australia and has played all her junior football there. A member of the AFL Women’s Academy, Dowrick hardly puts a foot wrong when she sweeps across the backline and through the midfield, as her booming left foot kick and reliable hands often got her side out of trouble. She has been a star for Western Australia in the Under 18 Championships, being named in the All-Australian side at half-back for the past two years. Expect her to add composure and class to Brisbane’s defence in 2019.

Nat Exon

Nat Exon is coming into the 2019 season off the back of some scintillating form for Darebin in the VFLW season. She came second in the Falcons’ best and fairest count despite only playing half of the season. She impressed with her ferocity at the contest for Darebin, averaging 5.9 tackles in her seven games. Her disposal average was also impressive in the VFLW, racking up an average of 18.4 disposals per game. She should be a key ball winner for the Lions in 2019, and will add some aggression to the midfield.

Jordan Zanchetta

Zanchetta showed promise in the 2018 AFLW season for the Lions after missing the inaugural season with an ACL tear. She showed good intent through the midfield and was a strong tackler. If she can match her aggression with disposals, she could be a dangerous player for Brisbane in 2019.

2019 prediction: 2nd in Conference B

The conference system becomes an interesting situation in this instance, because Brisbane certainly have the easier conference group. If the Lions were in conference A alongside teams like the Bulldogs, Demons and Crows, it would be likely that they would miss the finals. But in conference B, they sit alongside 2018 bottom side, Carlton, a depleted Collingwood outfit as well as the unknown side in Geelong. Greater Western Sydney (GWS) is likely to be Brisbane’s biggest challenge this year, with the GIANTS finishing 2018 strongly. Brisbane still has the line-up to be a strong side in 2019, despite the loss of experience.

2019 Brisbane AFLW Fixture

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Moreton Bay Sporting ComplexRound 1
Fremantle OvalRound 2
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Hickey ParkRound 3
Whitten OvalRound 4
Moreton Bay Sporting ComplexRound 5
Ikon ParkRound 6
Victoria ParkRound 7

AFLW Draft review: Brisbane

BRISBANE’S draft strategy looked highly defensive, with the recruitment of three defenders and one midfielder/defender out of their eight picks. Young talent has been the theme of Brisbane’s picks, with coach, Craig Starcevich bringing in players he had coached in the Queensland Under-18 representative side this year.

What they needed:

  • Midfielder/forwards to replace the loss of Kaitlyn Ashmore and Brittany Gibson
  • Defenders to to aid loss of Nicole Hildebrand and Jamie Stanton
  • Ruck to replace Tahlia Randall

 

Players selected:

Paige Parker – Coorparoo

Parker has been groomed as a Lion for two years, being part of their train-on squad. She finished equal fourth in the 2018 Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL), was awarded Gold Coast’s 2018 Winter Series Development Player award for her performances during the AFLW Winter Series and is a two-time premiership player. She will complement Queensland Under 18 captain, Natalie Grider in defence and add an element of agility to Brisbane’s back six.

Natalie Grider – University of Queensland

Grider shows incredible composure in defence, thanks to her deft kick and solid hands. She will help to fill the void left by Nicole Hildebrand, who showed these qualities in the Brisbane line-up last season. Grider was named in the 2018 AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australian squad, was the Queensland Under 18 captain, made the QWAFL Team of the Year and on top of that, won the competition’s Rising Star award. Grider obviously shows plenty of promise and will prove to be a very handy pick-up for the Lions for the 2019 season.

Mckenzie Dowrick – Subiaco

Dowrick was a star for Western Australia during her Under 18 years. She was a member of the AFL Women’s Academy and has been named at half-back in the AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australian team for two consecutive years. The 18 year-old can also provide versatility through the midfield thanks to her classy left-foot kick and football smarts. Nominating for Queensland was a huge plus for the Lions, who welcomed the talented prospect with open arms. Along with Grider and Parker, she too will account for the loss of Hildebrand as well as Jamie Stanton, who offers run and carry in the defensive 50.

Lauren Bella – Bond University

Bella slots right into Brisbane’s line-up as a replacement ruck for Tahlia Randall. She has been a star in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships for the past couple of years, being named the All Australian ruck in the last two teams. Bella was the tallest player in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships this year, and she used her height to her advantage. She is a clever player who has a great leap, giving her midfielders prime use of the ball. Bella is also agile at ground level, making her a player to watch in 2019.

Tori Groves-Little – Coorparoo

Groves-Little played exceptional football on the wing for Queensland’s Under 18 side this year, breaking the lines with her run and carry and long kicks. She also dominated in the QWAFL for Coorparoo, being named the joint Best and Fairest winner of the competition. Groves-Little was a member of the AFL Women’s Academy as well. She will be able to fill the void of Kaitlyn Ashmore, who provides exciting speed and can make an impact in the middle of the ground.

Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw – Coorparoo

Tawhiao-Wardlaw is primarily a forward, but can provide some support in the ruck for Lauren Bella and Sabrina Frederick-Traub. She is able to position herself well inside 50 and is a good overhead mark. She was a handy player for Queensland in the AFL Women’s Under 18S competition, kicking two goals and being named in the best twice from five games. Tawhiao-Wardlaw knows the Lions side well, having represented them in the Winter Series.  

Jacqueline Yorston – Wilston Grange (compensation)

Yorston could be one of the biggest steals in the draft, with the Under 18 All Australian midfielder being one of the last two picks on the day. Yorston was a premiership player with Wilston Grange and was one of just three Queenslanders to be invited to the AFL Women’s Draft Combine. She will be able to provide some hardness in the midfield for Brisbane in 2019.

Jade Ellenger – Coorparoo (compensation)

Ellenger, like Yorston, can also provide some valuable run and carry for the Lions in the midfield. She can also contribute in defence, which will help fill the void of Stanton. Ellenger was a solid contributor in the QWAFL this year, playing all 14 matches as well as the Grand Final against Yorston’s Wilston Grange. She also represented Queensland at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships and was named in the best twice, so coach, Craig Starcevich is well aware of her ability, having coached the Under 18 side this year.

 

How they went:

The Lions have managed to fill Tahlia Randall’s ruck void with the addition of Lauren Bella and Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw to complement Sabrina Frederick-Traub. The defence losses have also been well covered with the addition of Under 18 trio, Natalie Grider, Paige Parker and McKenzie Dowrick. Jade Ellenger can also play in defence. This will make Brisbane one of the strongest defensive line-ups in the 2019 AFLW season. Some exciting midfielders have also been recruited with the addition of young guns, Jacqueline Yorston, Jade Ellenger and Tori Groves-Little. Tawhaio-Wardlaw is a good addition to the forward line, but the Lions could have also drafted a smaller forward to dampen the loss of Kaitlyn Ashmore.

2018 AFLW Draft Order

2018 NAB AFLW DRAFT ORDER

FIRST ROUND
1 Geelong – Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
2 Geelong – Sophie Van De Heuvel (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)
3 Carlton – Madison Prespakis (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
4 Fremantle – Jasmin Stewart (Claremont/Western Australia)
5 Collingwood – Jordyn Allen (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
6 Melbourne – Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
7 Geelong – Rebecca Webster (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
8 Adelaide – Nikki Gore (South Adelaide/South Australia/Central Allies)
9 Brisbane –  Paige Parker (Coorparoo/Queensland)
10 Western Bulldogs – Eleanor Brown (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
11 Collingwood – Katie Lynch (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
12 Greater Western Sydney – Alyce Parker (Thurgoona Bulldogs/NSW-ACT/Eastern Allies)

SECOND ROUND
13 Collingwood – Mikala Cann (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
14 Geelong – Olivia Purcell (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
15 Melbourne . – Madeline Brancatisano (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
16 Carlton – Abbie McKay (father-daughter selection – Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
17 Fremantle – Sabreena Duffy (Peel Thunderbirds/Western Australia)
18 Collingwood – Lauren Butler (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)
19 Collingwood – Maddie Shevlin (Casey Demons)
20 Geelong – Denby Taylor (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
21 Carlton – Jayde Van Dyk (Hawthorn VFLW)
22 Brisbane – Natalie Grider (University of Queensland/Queensland)
23 Western Bulldogs – Aisling McCarthy (Ireland)
24 Geelong – Georgia Clarke (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)
25 North Melbourne – Daisy Bateman (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

THIRD ROUND
26 Western Bulldogs – Kate Bartlett (Peel Thunder/Western Australia)
27 Carlton – Charlotte Wilson (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
28 Fremantle – Phillipa Seth (East Fremantle/Western Australia)
29 Collingwood – Sophie Alexander (compensation)
30 Adelaide – Jessica Foley (Fitzroy/South Australia)
31 Melbourne – Jordann Hickey (NT Thunder VFLW)
32 Collingwood –  Georgia Gourlay (Casey Demons VFLW)
33 Brisbane – McKenzie Dowrick (Subiaco/Western Australia)
34 Western Bulldogs – Selena Karlson (Southern Saints VFLW)
35 Geelong – Rene Caris (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)
36 North Melbourne –  Courtney Munn (Southern Saints VFLW)

FOURTH ROUND
37 Adelaide – Chloe Scheer (Central District/South Australia)
38 Carlton – Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
39 Fremantle – Courtney Stubbs (Subiaco/Western Australia)
40 Carlton – Rhiannon Watt (Southern Saints VFLW)
41 Adelaide – Katelyn Rosenzweig (Central District/South Australia)
42 Carlton – Jessica Edwards (Collingwood VFLW)
43 Greater Western Sydney Brittany Perry (North Adelaide/South Australia)
44 Melbourne –  Shelley Heath (Southern Saints VFLW)
45 Brisbane – Lauren Bella (Bond University/Queensland)
46 Western Bulldogs – Jessie Davies (Western Bulldogs VFLW)
47 Geelong – Maighan Fogas (Geelong VFLW)
48 Adelaide – Danielle Ponter (Northern Territory/Central Allies)

FIFTH ROUND
49 Fremantle – Parris Laurie (Claremont/Western Australia) *Carlton passed this pick
50 Collingwood – Jordan Membrey (Wilston Grange/Queensland)
51 Adelaide – Hannah Martin (West Adelaide/South Australia)
52 GWS – Lisa Whiteley (South Adelaide/South Australia)
53 North Melbourne – Chloe Haines (Burnie Dockers/ Tasmania)
54 Brisbane – Tori Groves-Little (Coorparoo/ Queensland)
55 Geelong- Elise Coventry (Geelong VFLW)
56 North Melbourne- Libby Haines (Burnie Dockers/ Tasmania)
57 Fremantle- Laura Pugh (West Perth/Western Australia)
58 Greater Western Sydney- Ingrid Nielsen (UNSW Hawks)

SIXTH ROUND
59 Brisbane – Jesse Tawhaio-Wardlaw (Bond University /Queensland)
60 Geelong – Madeline Keryk (Geelong VFLW)
61 North Melbourne – Nicole Bresnehan (Clarence Roos/Tasmania)
62 Fremantle – Matilda Sergeant (Claremont/Western Australia)
63 Greater Western Sydney – Renee Tomkins (Auburn Giants/NSW-ACT)

SEVENTH ROUND
64 Fremantle – Ebony Dowson (Peel Thunder/Western Australia)
65 Greater Western Sydney – Delma Gisu (Wilston Grange/Queensland)

EIGHTH ROUND
66 Greater Western Sydney – Haneen Zreika (Auburn Giants/NSW-ACT)
67 Collingwood – Erica Fowler (Collingwood VFLW)

NINTH ROUND
68 Fremantle – Ebony O’Dea (Adelaide University/South Australia)
69 Brisbane – Jacqueline Yorston (Wilston Grange/ Queensland) *compensation
70 Brisbane – Jade Ellenger (Coorparoo/ Queensland) *compensation

Wilston Grange claims QWAFL flag with come-from-behind victory

WILSTON Grange has claimed the 2018 Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL) premiership with a come-from-behind victory over a determined Coorparoo outfit on the weekend. The Grand Final was tight and contested as expected, and the Kings looked to be switched on from the first bounce. The tide turned on the back of an inspirational tackle from a 17 year-old Under 18s state representative, changing the course of the grand final.

The first key play of the day saw a mis-kick from Kings forward, Jenae Govan luckily landed in front of Brisbane AFL Women’s star, Jess Wuetschner who slid in, took the mark and then converted from 15 metres out to hand the Kings their first goal. Moments later, a 50 metre encroachment penalty helped Samantha Hurst move to almost point blank range, and within five minutes, the underdogs had two goals on the board. It took until the nineteenth minute for the minor premiers to get on the board, when an “overzealous” Wuetschner was penalised for a tackle on Gorilla opponent Jordan Membrey. From 15 metres out on a slight angle, Membrey shook the collective monkey off Wilston Grange’s back with a dead-eye goal. The Kings still held an eight-point lead at quarter time and were deserving leaders at the first break.

The highlight of the second term came when Tori Groves-Little pumped the ball long inside 50, but a smart Michaela Campbell, who had been prolific in rebounding out of the Gorillas’ defence, gave it off and received it back via Courtney Daniec. Her kick went long to a contest, but while it wrapped up the perfect work from the stoppage saw AFL Women’s Lions star, Kate Lutkins win the footy and pump it long. Creating a contest, Maddison Peeters forced the ball out for Tahlia Randall to give it off to Jamie Stanton who made no mistake off a couple of steps, putting the Gorillas back within a point and breaking the goal drought. A couple more chances went begging late in the term, but it gave Wilston Grange a two-point lead at the main break.

Emerging from the half-time break, Wuetschner opted for the long sleeves in the second half, and it seemed to work. After Ally Anderson won a free kick for another encroachment, Wuetschner knew her teammate could not make the distance and made a couple of leads, changing direction before Anderson drilled a pass onto her chest. She made no mistake, converting from straight in front and putting her side back in the lead just two and a half minutes into the third quarter. The pair had been amongst Coorparoo’s best to date, along with youngster Jade Ellenger, while for Wilston Grange, Campbell and Lutkins were superb in defence, and Isabel Dawes was creative in midfield.

Coorparoo teenager, Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw was battling hard in the ruck at times against the experienced All-Australian Lutkins. But if you are looking at big moments, none bigger came when bottom-ager Isabel Dawes stopped a certain free kick with a run-down tackle in the goal square. Tawhiao-Wardlaw blocked an opponent, handballed to Wuetschner who kicked into the vacant square where it was marked by Govan, who thought she would stroll in for the easiest of goals. But instead, Dawes blindsided her and brought her down before she could get boot to ball. Had she kicked it, Coorparoo would have gone 10 points up midway through the third term. Just two minutes later, Wilston Grange locked the ball inside 50 and Jemma Abbott chipped in to Membrey who took a step and nailed a goal from 35 metres out to hand the Gorillas the lead.

From there, the Gorillas never looked back. Another attack was thwarted by Ellenger who sidestepped an opponent on the last line and kicked out of defence, with the Queensland Under 18 representative among the top players on the day. The Kings were desperate in defence, but the Gorillas press was causing headaches. Unfortunately for Ellenger, she tried to get out of one too many tackles when she was caught holding the ball and Lutkins delivered from the set shot. A couple of minutes later, Brittany Gibson kicked a brilliant goal off a couple of steps and handed the Gorillas a vital 15-point lead. Wuetschner had a chance to cut the deficit, but played on and miskicked towards Govan in the square and the ball was rushed across the line for a three quarter time deficit of 14 points.

The final term saw just four behinds scored, as the damage was done. From that Dawes tackle to stop the Kings lead going into double figures, the Gorillas had booted the last three goals of the game. They were fierce in their attack going forward, with so many options looking to kick long inside 50 and seemingly putting pressure on the Kings defence. In response, the Kings held up strongly, but with Lutkins and Campbell in the back half, they could not penetrate the stringent defence, falling short and going down 5.7 (37) to 3.5 (23).

Anderson was arguably Coorparoo’s best in the defeat, quelled a little more by Dawes in the second half, but created great run and carry kicking long inside 50. Wuetschner had her chances up forward, converting two majors, while Ellenger was willing to take the game on in defence. For the winners, there was not shortage of top performers, but Lutkins, Campbell and Stanton were enormous, while Dawes was terrific in midfield.

WILSTON GRANGE 1.0 | 2.3 | 5.5 | 5.7 (37)
COORPAROO 2.2 | 2.2 | 3.3 | 3.5 (23)

GOALS:

Wilston Grange: J. Membrey 2, K. Lutkins, J. Stanton, B. Gibson.
Coorparoo: J. Wuetschner 2, S. Hurst.

QWAFL Weekly wrap: Round 17

IN the final round of the season, the top three sides of the Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL) asserted their dominance with three big wins. We take a look at how the final ladder finished up and a look ahead to finals.

Round 17:

YERONGA SOUTH BRISBANE 2.1 | 2.3 | 3.3 | 4.4 (28)
WILSTON GRANGE 2.0 | 6.2 | 9.4 | 11.6 (72)

GOALS:

Yeronga: J. Ransfield 2, C. Burnett, C. McDonnell.
Wilston Grange: D. Gisu 3, M. Campbell 3, S. Campbell, C. Daniec, J. Abbott, J. Yorston, I. Collings.

BEST:

Yeronga: E. Bliss, J. Ransfield, K. Cantrell, M. Walsh, G. Brehmer, J. Zanchetta
Wilston Grange: K. Lutkins, S. Campbell, C. Svarc, C. Daniec, M. Campbell, T. Payne.

Wilston Grange has finished the regular season with a bang, knocking off a determined Yeronga South Brisbane by 44 points to show exactly why they are deserving of top spot on the QWAFL ladder. The Devils had the Gorillas’ measure early, breaking even with two goals apiece and heading into the first break one point up. But that was about as far as they got with Wilston Grange putting the foot down in the second term, piling on four goals to zero and opening up a 23-point lead. Any chance of a comeback was soon squashed after half-time after a three goals to one third term pushed the margin beyond 40 points, before finishing off with a modest two goals to one final term. Delma Gisu and Michaela Campbell both booted three goals for the winners, while the goals were otherwise spread around for the Gorillas, with Queensland Under-18 representative Jacqueline Yorston one of five single goal kickers. AFL Women’s player Kate Lutkins was named the Gorillas best, along with Shannon Campbell and Catherine Svarc. For the Devils, Jade Ransfield booted two goals and was named in the best with Emily Bliss and Kaitlyn Cantrell.

 

COOLANGATTA TWEED 0.0 | 0.4 | 2.6 | 2.7 (19)
COORPAROO 3.1 | 7.1 | 10.7 | 16.8 (104)

GOALS:

Coolangatta Tweed: L. Turney, B. Brymer.
Coorparoo: J. Wuetschner 6, J. Govan 3, M. Protheroe 2, T. Groves-Little 2, J. Tawhiao-Wardlaw, M. Ingram, N. Iduteyiteka.

BEST:

Coolangatta Tweed: M. Whiticker, B. Brymer, L. Alder, L. Turney, M. Roberts
Coorparoo: J. Wuetschner, J. Tawhiao-Wardlaw, E. Pittman, J. Ellenger, P. Parker, A. Perry

Coorparoo has flexed its muscles to dismantle finals-bound Coolangatta Tweed on the eve of the finals series. Coolangatta Tweed have done enough to finish fourth, but the second placed Coorparoo outfit showed no mercy during a 85-point away victory. The visitors booted the only 10 goals of the first half, as they barely missed, booting 7.1 to the home side’s four behinds to lead by 39 points at the main break. Coolangatta Tweed managed to stem the tide in the third term, booting 2.2 to Coorparoo’s inaccurate 3.6 as their accurate goal kicking went amiss in the premiership quarter. It mattered little however, as Coorparoo stormed home in the final term to pile on six goals to zero and run out very comfortable winners. AFL Women’s star Jess Wuetschner booted six goals in a best on ground performance, while Jenae Govan also chipped in with three majors. Queensland Under-18 representatives Tori Groves-Little (two goals) and Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw (one) also hit the scoreboard, with the latter named in the best along with Emma Pittman and fellow Under-18 representative Jade Ellenger. For the losing side, Lucy Turney and Brittanny Brymer both booted goals, named among the best with Meg Whiticker and Leigh Alder.

 

MAROOCHYDORE 2.0 | 2.1 | 4.2 | 4.3 (27)
UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND 8.0 | 11.2 | 12.3 | 14.7 (91)

GOALS:

Maroochydore: J. Sills 2, M. Banks, T. Day.
University of Queensland: M. McGorm 4, M. Wood 4, G. Collingwood 2, J. Childes, A. Moran, R. Vetter, B. Barnes.

BEST:

Maroochydore: C. Croyden, R. Crack, J. Sills, A. Hales, T. Dale, T. Gesch
University of Queensland: R. Vetter, C. Wharton, S. Webb, M. McGorm, G. Collingwood, J. Stone

Third placed University of Queensland locked up its place with an impressive 64-point win over Maroochydore on the weekend. The visitors were on from the first bounce, piling on eight goals to two in a huge opening term to already blow the margin out to 36 points. Over the next two quarter the Roos restricted the visitors to just four majors, including outscoring them in the third term with a two goals to one quarter. A final term of two goals to zero saw University of Queensland secure the big win and head into a semi-final against Coolangatta Tweed next weekend. Marnie McGorm and Maddison Wood both booted four goals, while Brisbane AFL Women’s player Gabrielle Collingwood also hit the scoreboard with two majors. Rachael Vetter, Claudia Wharton and Sharni Webb were named in the winning side’s best. Maroochydore had the three individual goal kickers, with Jessee Sills booting two majors and Taylah Day and Marybeth Banks kicking one each. Sills was named among the Roos’ best with Claire Croyden and Rachel Crack.

Next weekend, Wilston Grange takes on Coorparoo for a spot in the grand final, while the loser will face the winner of the cut-throat semi-final between University of Queensland and Coolangatta Tweed.

QWAFA Division 1:

Elimination finals:

Broadbeach 2.7 (19) defeated by Burleigh 4.3 (27)
Moreton Bay 4.6 (30) defeated Kedron 2.1 (13)

Burleigh upstaged Broadbeach at home to win by just eight points and advance through to the semi-finals. The fifth placed Bombers led by just one point heading into the final term, but managed to hold on with a great last quarter goal, while keeping the Cats scoreless, to get the win. Pia Plagens and Lydia Pingel were named the winners’ best, while Tara Smith and Madeleine Watt were the Cats’ top players in the loss. Meanwhile in the other game, third placed Moreton Bay proved too good for the sixth placed Kedron to advance through to the semi-finals. Amy Higgins booted two goals for the winners, while Under-18 representative Lily Postlethwaite was named best on ground yet again, scoring a goal for the winners. Massa Kesselly and Sophie Anderson were named Kedron’s best in the defeat.

Next week, Moreton Bay faces Burleigh in a do-or-die semi-final, with the winner to face the loser of Coorparoo and Aspley Hornets in the preliminary final the week after for a spot in the decider.

QWAFL: The run home

AFTER looking at both Western Australia and South Australia’s top female competitions, we delve into Queensland’s highest grade, with the Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL) and also take a glimpse into the first division.

QWAFL:

1 Wilston Grange (11 wins, 1 loss | 381.14% | 44 points)

After a near perfect season, Wilston Grange had a shock loss to sixth placed University of Queensland in the last round, going down by 18 points at home. Prior to that, they had answered every challenge thrown at them and still sit in pole position for the overall premiership favouritism. They face Coolangatta Tweed and Yeronga South Brisbane in the final three rounds, either side of a bye. Courtney Daniec has been the star player for the ladder leaders, named in the best seven times of a possible 10 matches, whilst booting nine goals for the season. Catherine Svarc has been equally as impressive with four goals in 10 games and named in the best six times, but the future of Queensland football has been on show with talented bottom-ager Isabel Dawes who has been named among the best in every game she has played – six matches – and continued that form at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Jacqueline Yorston (seven goals in six games) is another youngster who has stood out, while the experience of Kate Lutkins and Jamie Stanton – before her move to Victoria – has proved invaluable. The Gorillas are well placed heading into the final few rounds.

 

2 Coorparoo (8 wins, 4 losses | 181.92% | 32 points)

Heading into its third and final bye for the season, Coorparoo have locked away second spot with a superior percentage to Coolangatta Tweed. The byes have proven to come at opportune times, with the second placed side losing three of its matches leading into them. They lost two consecutive games early in the season, including one to Bond University in Round 3, have lost both games to Wilston Grange, and went down to Yeronga South Brisbane in its most recent encounter just last weekend. The team has had an even contribution of stars, with Charlotte Edmunds named in the best five times from 11 matches, while Hayley Moore (nine matches), Kayla Geddes (11) and Maili Forbes (11) have all found their way into the team bests four times. Jenae Goven has started up forward with an impressive 25 goals in 10 games, including a haul of eight goals against Bond University. Brisbane Lions’ AFL Women’s player Jessica Wuetschner has made an impact in limited appearances, booting 23 goals in six games, named in the best three times. In terms of youth, Coorparoo has top talents Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw and Tori Groves-Little playing important roles in the side. Both players stood out at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, and in their combined nine appearances, they have booted 13 goals.

 

3 Coolangatta Tweed (6 wins, 5 losses | 123.12% | 24 points)

The Blues had an initial shaky start to the season, losing three of its first six games, but two of its three wins were by a combined 165 points, restricting their opponents to just two goals total. In a remarkable fixture, they played just one game in three rounds with byes either side of the match, and played blocks of six and seven games throughout the season. They come up against the top team Wilston Grange this weekend, as well as Coorparoo in the final round. Maddy Roberts has played just the seven games, but her talent has been evident, named in the best on six occasions, likewise Georgia Breward with five bests from five games. Lauren James has been the dominant goal kicker for the side, booting 16 goals in 11 matches and named in the best four times. Talented youngster and NSW/ACT All-Australian player Brianna McFarlane has booted nine goals in six games and been impressive up forward. Selina Goodman and Tayla Jay Daly have also booted six goals this season.

 

4 Yeronga South Brisbane (5 wins, 6 losses | 56.03% | 20 points)

Yeronga South Brisbane have a game in hand compared to Bond University and hold a narrow percentage advantage over their nearest rivals. They take them on in the penultimate round of the season, after University of Queensland next week and the ladder leaders, Wilston Grange in the final round. Emily Bliss has been the standout player for Yeronga, named in the best an impressive eight times from 10 games. Assisting Bliss are young stars, the small but talented top-age Georgia Brehmer, and bottom-age tall utility Dee Heslop. Both players have been named in their sides’ best in five of the six games they have played. They do not have a dominant goal kicker, with Courtney McDonnell (nine goals), Jade Ransfield (seven), Demi Leach (six) and Kaitlyn Cantrell (five) the leading goal kickers. Brisbane AFL Women’s player Emily Bates has also stood out from five games, booting two goals and named in the best four times.

 

5 Bond University (5 wins, 7 losses | 50.35% | 20 points)

Bond University has a bye in the final round of the season, with games against bottom-placed Maroochydore and fourth placed Yeronga South Brisbane ahead. Their five wins have come against Coolangatta Tweed (two), University of Queensland (one), Maroochydore (one) and an upset win over Coorparoo in Round 3. Kristyl Smith has been the standout player for Bond Uni so far this season, named in the team bests nine of a possible 11 times. Alexandra Evanshas also been a standout performer, named in the best six of a possible 12 matches, while Arianna ClarkeErin Sundstrom and Tamsin Perry have been consistent players as well. Teenage ruck Lauren Bella has played six games and named in the best five times, while bottom-agers Charlotte HammansEmmii-Lee Zanker CloseGeorgia Ellerand Serene Watson have stepped up in the senior side and continued their form at the national carnival. Fellow state representative Taylor Smith has also managed six games and was named in the best twice.

 

6 University of Queensland (4 wins, 7 losses | 87.82% | 16 points)

Whilst the University of Queensland has had just the four wins this season, but their game of the year came last round when they toppled the premiership favourites, Wilston Grange. It was a memorable away match which saw the sixth placed side head home with an 18-point victory. They have also beaten each of the bottom four sides once so far this season. Breanna Koenen has not missed a beat this year in her six games – named best in all of them – while also booting four goals. Megan Hunt has found her way into the best five times from nine games and also booted three goals. But with an eye to the future, Queensland Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the recent AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, and All-Australian squad member, Natalie Grider has been a promising up-and-coming talent, playing eight games, booting four goals and has been named in the best five times. Dakota Davidson is the only goal kicker in double figures with 10 majors, while Sabrina Frederick-Traub has booted seven goals in just three games when not playing for Brisbane in the Winter Series. Gabby Collingwood and Kate McCarthy are other Brisbane AFL Women’s Players who have played limited games with the club.

 

7 Maroochydore (1 win, 10 losses | 36.42% | 4 points)

The bottom-placed Maroochydore started the season with a bang, defeating University of Queensland by 12 points. In that match they booted 10 goals and showed what they are capable of, but have just managed the maximum of three goals a game since. They pushed both Yeronga South Brisbane and Bond University all the way in rounds six and seven, and have restricted their opposition to less than 10 goals in all but three matches showing a good defensive effort. The Roos have also had the benefit of some stability at the top end, with Rachel Crack (10 games), Tayla Gesch (11), Tiffany Dale (11) and Kate Surman (10) all named in the best a total of 27 of a possible 43 times between them. Up forward, Isabella Freeman leads the goal kicking with eight majors, courtesy of a bag of five in the opening round win over University of Queensland. Georgia Doherty has booted seven goals in nine matches, while Marybeth Banks has five in nine. The Roos face Bond University and University of Queensland either side of Coorparoo in the final three rounds, and will be hoping to finish the season off on a high note.

 

QWFA Division 1:

In the 11-team, division one grade, Coorparoo, Aspley Hornets and Moreton Bay lead all comers, with massive percentages to be the clear flag favourites in a three-team race. Broadbeach is fourth with seven wins and a draw from 12 matches, while Burleigh and Kedron are ready to pounce six points behind. Wilston Grange and University of Queensland trail with five wins from 12 matches, while Coolangatta Tweed and Yeronga South Brisbane have two wins apiece ahead of the winless Maroochydore.

In the leading goal kicker stakes, Aspley Hornets’ Chloe Macdonald looks to be a class above the grade with 37 majors in 13 matches, including bags of nine, seven and six. Meg Pullinger is a clear second with the Coorparoo product averaging three goals a game from her eight matches, having booted 24 majors for the season. Aspley Hornets have two more goal kickers in the top five, with Sarah Madden (19) and Shaye Easton (15) either side of Moreton Bay’s Cassandra Chamings with 17. Wilston Grange’s Tamika Hansen (14), Kedron’s Lisiti Asimcdonald (12), Broadbeach’s Talena Irvine (11), Burleigh’s Wendy Bristow (eight), Yeronga South Brisbane’s Erin Sargeant (seven), University of Queensland’s Katherine Heliotis (seven) and Coolangatta Tweed’s Macey-Leigh Gore (seven) as their respective club’s leading goal kickers, while Abbey Main and Jessica Champion are the two multiple goal kickers for Maroochydore.

Sargeant and Moreton Bay’s Amy Higgins are the two leading players so far this season, named in the best 10 times from 12 games, while University of Queensland’s Jessica Middleton has had a perfect start to the season with nine bests from nine games. Teammate, Philomena Stephen, Yeronga South Brisbane’s Charmaine Hass and Coorparoo’s Amy Duxfield have also made their way into their respective team’s best. Looking at the top youth in the grade, Queensland bottom-ager Lily Postlethwaite has been named in the best five times in seven matches, booting eight goals in the process for Moreton Bay.

Scouting notes: AFLW U18 Championships – Friday, July 13

IN an entertaining final day of AFL Women’s Championships football, Vic Metro, Queensland and Vic Country came out on top in their respective matches. Overall, Metro and Country only dropped one match over the tournament’s two series, which is credit to some great team performances. Peter Williams and Julia Montesano travelled down to Bond University to note down the great individual performances on the final day of matches. 

 

Vic Metro vs. Central Allies 

Vic Metro:

By: Julia Montesano

#6 Madison Prespakis

The star of the day and the tournament for Vic Metro, Madison Prespakis was simply unstoppable. Her kicking was fantastic throughout the game, as her long kicks would create many forward thrusts. In particular, she delivered a great kick into the goal square that favoured her teammate in a one-on-one position, which was great lowering of the eyes by Prespakis. Repeated these efforts when she displayed an excellent second effort to get the ball back after being spoiled, brushed off her opponent and delivered a perfect kick to the advantage of Gabby Newton who goaled. She then hit up Madeline Brancatisano perfectly in the middle of the ground with a nice kick. Her tackling too was superb as she laid an excellent tackle on Janet Baird while she was trying to fend Prespakis off. Prespakis kept holding on and got a dropping the ball free kick in the end, which is not easy to do against a player of Baird’s speed. Followed this up with an excellent run-down tackle on Madeline Gault, displaying excellent closing speed on another speedy player in the Central Allies outfit. Capped off her day with an unbelievable goal which came about when she received the handball off Katie Lynch in the forward 50 and threaded the needle to kick her first goal of the day on a difficult angle close to goal.

#8 Georgia Patrikios

Executed good run and carry along the boundary line and followed this up with a nice kick down the line. Displayed excellent agility and run and carry through the middle of the ground and topped it off with a long kick that could’ve been her goal if Daisy Bateman didn’t kick it off the line. A highlight of her game was when she ran towards the ball, picked it up off the deck, side-stepped and kicked it forward. Kicked a nice goal to cap off her hard work throughout the day.

#9 Daisy Bateman

Executed a great spoil to get the ball out of bounds, continuing to display that same effort that she’s been displaying all tournament. Was able to read the play well when she spotted that Georgia Patrikios’ long bomb towards goal wasn’t going all the way, managing to get her toe on the ball on the goal line to make it a sure goal. Her second goal was courtesy of a good mark on the lead, which she has been able to do so well at during the tournament. 

#14 Isabella Grant

One of Grant’s best games of the tournament for mine. Displayed good agility and run and carry through the middle of the ground, managing to dodge her opponents really well. Repeated this effort in the forward line where she was able to evade her opponents once again and get the ball to Daisy Bateman. Also executed great bodywork to save a goal in the goal square and then pounced on the ball to ensure that it didn’t sail through. At this point, she displayed great run and carry once again and handballed the ball out of trouble. In another instance, she did well to push her opponent under the ball when it was looking likely that she was going to get a goal.

#18 Abbie McKay

Executed a nice pick-up off the deck and then fired off a quick handball to Madison Prespakis. Managed to pick up the ball cleanly off the deck and handball it out of congestion, displaying great hands throughout the day. Executed a great chase to tackle on her opponent, which was credit to her putting on great pressure. Followed this effort up with another chase tackle, exemplifying how good her tackling was on the day. Displayed great strength in the contest to battle through and get a kick away. Also showed great speed to get a nice clearance out of the middle of the ground.

#20 Gabby Newton

Nicely snapped a good goal for Metro’s second of the day. Took an excellent contested mark against Montana McKinnon, who was marking everything on the day for Central Allies. Newton also positioned herself at the back of the pack and used her strong hands and bodywork to get the mark inside 50, which was one of the best marks of the day in my opinion. She went back and made no mistake, kicking her second major of the day, finishing off her tournament with yet another bout of multiple goals.

#21 Eleanor Brown

Brown showed intent to win the footy all day and exemplified this through taking a great one-on-one mark. She also picked off a loose ball well and gave off nice quick hands to the middle of the ground. Executed a good pick-up of a loose ball and followed this up with a nice burst of run and carry. Displayed a good second effort after she dropped a mark, demonstrating her ability to find the footy, which she did plenty of times on the day. Executed a good trap of the footy and then gave off a nice handball out to the running Katie Lynch.

#22 Katie Lynch

A really consistent tournament topped off with another great performance from Lynch. Executed a good pick-up and quick clearing kick out of a stoppage. Did one better in another instance when she picked up the ball cleanly off the deck again and just bullocked her opponent off her and streamed forward. She showed great strength in that one-on-one battle and showed that same strength when she gave off a great handball out of the pack in a forward stoppage to Madison Prespakis who goaled. Showed great hands on the deck again with a nice pick-up and run and carry through the middle of the ground. Lynch continually stood up in tackles and often managed to follow up with deft kicks, showing good contrasts in her game.

#23 Sarah Kendall

Kendall had a superb game against the Central Allies as she had to shoulder the ruck duties in Carla Rendelmann’s absence. I thought she won the ruck battle on the day and showed this when she executed a great tap to Eastern Ranges teammate, Mikala Cann. Also made an impact around the ground when she executed a good pick-up and gave off a nice handball from the stoppage to Isabella Grant. Took a great intercept mark and followed this up with nice hands to a running teammate beside her. Displayed nice run and carry and followed this up with a good kick into the forward line.

#25 Cleo Saxon-Jones

Kicked one of the goals of the day when she executed an excellent pick-up and snap from the boundary line that went through the goals. I thought she played well as the back-up ruck, which was shown when she got a good tap to get it to the advantage of her teammate. Executed an excellent high kick to the goal square which set up a spectacular Gabby Newton mark. Picked up the ball cleanly off the deck in another instance and was able to switch the ball nicely across the ground. Did well when she fended off her opponent and got a nice high kick away towards goal.

#31 Britney Gutknecht

Another player who got on the board with two majors, Gutknecht was a dangerous forward for Metro. Executed a great pick-up off the deck and nicely ran into goal for her first of the day. She played as a deep forward and I thought she did well, thanks to her good body work. This was exemplified when she took a nice one-on-one mark. Kicked a nice goal for her second of the day, which she crumbed off a dropped mark.

 

Central Allies:

By: Peter Williams

#1 Madison Bennett

Small in stature but big in heart, Bennett always threw herself into the packs or any sort of danger with disregard for her own safety, but to help the team. She hunts the footy and spreads well. Was unlucky not to get a free after good positioning in the final term in a one-on-one in the goal square.

#2 Rachelle Martin

Kicked a fantastic goal from a quick pick up off the deck and snap, showing natural goal sense and game smarts with limited time under pressure. Another highlight was a third quarter tackle on Madison Prespakis, bringing her to ground, which is hard to do.

#4 Madeline Gault

One of Central Allies’ best, playing a fantastic role in defence. She had a good balance between offence and defence in the back half, providing run and drive, while also matching up well one-on-one. She saved a goal in the second term with a quick kick out of the danger zone outnumbered on the last line. She won a free in the third term at half-forward for going in hard, and pushed up the ground through the midfield and had a good inside 50 in the second half.

#7 Janet Baird

A real speedster who laid a fantastic early tackle on Emerson Woods and created options up forward in the second half in particular, leaping for the ball, but not quite clunking it. She followed up well with good second efforts.

#8 Danielle Ponter

A quieter first half, but finally hit the scoreboard in the fourth term where she showed off great running to receive the ball, give the quick handball off, receive it back and run into a goal from 20m under pressure and calmly slot it. She won more of the footy playing up the ground and was one of the more noticeable players in the last term.

#10 Hannah Munyard

Had her as Central Allies’ best in the match because of her four quarter efforts. She won numerous clearances throughout, and just won a truckload of the football. Munyard found space and provided an option on the outside, while also burrowing in and winning the pill on the inside. She attacks the contest with vigour and nailed a great goal in the final term with a snap after picking it up off the deck. Just a well-balanced player across the board.

#28 Montana McKinnon

A big opening half, McKinnon just moved really well for a taller player, clunking some big grabs and creating a presence both in the ruck and around the ground. She has good vision and she took a huge grab on the last line at full-back to save a certain goal. Really important early in the clash.

#29 Esther Boles

The captain played a hard working inside role and has quick hands at ground level. She attacked the contest well and earned a free kick for a high fend off in the final term. A real contested player who loves the going tough.

 

Queensland vs. Eastern Allies 

Queensland:

By: Julia Montesano

#4 Chloe Gregory

Executed a nice hack kick out of a stoppage, demonstrating her ability to get it and kick it. Picked the ball up well cleanly off the deck and followed this up with good run and carry to get the ball forward. Executed a great spin and step around her opponent followed by a beautifully delivered kick to Isabel Dawes. Picked up the ball off the deck cleanly again and managed a lovely kick down the line while she was getting tackled. This kick landed into the hands of her teammate perfectly, demonstrating her ability to spot up a teammate. Gregory also displayed excellent run and carry on the boundary line.

#5 Lily Postlethwaite

Executed a great holding the ball tackle in the opening minutes to win a free kick out of the middle. Took a great running mark and followed this up with a lovely stream into the forward line. She just missed the snap at goal but nonetheless it was a great effort to stream down there. Executed an excellent pick-up and followed this up with great running down the line, displaying excellent pace. Did well to push off her opponent off the ball and force her over the line, showing great strength. Highlights of her game included when she burst out of the middle for a fantastic clearance and followed this up with a centering kick from a boundary throw in to earn Charlotte Hammans a set shot on goal.

#6 Zimmorlei Farquharson

Farquharson’s hands were spectacular during this match. She took a nice lead-up mark to a Serene Watson kick and also took an excellent running mark. In this instance, she dived on the low ball and it landed into her chest, demonstrating her ability to read the play brilliantly. Also took a great overhead mark in a one-on-one contest. Farquharson executed an excellent spin and kick forward that nearly sailed through the goals. She also showed great strength to get a handball out while being tackled.

#7 Isabel Dawes

Smothered the ball well in one instance, managing to execute one percenters in her game. Won a free kick moments later and hacked it down the forward line with a nice kick to Lily Postlethwaite. Hacked a kick out of congestion again, showing her ability to just get the ball and kick it. Also took a nice mark on the lead, capping off a solid tournament for her.

#8 Jade Ellenger

Executed a good pick-up off the deck and a nice hack kick. Displayed a great second effort when she didn’t get the ball in the first instance as she then got a handball out on hands and knees. Picked up the ball well off the deck again cleanly, spun and then followed this up with quick hands. Ellenger displayed excellent run and carry and also took a nice mark, followed by delivering a nice kick into the forward line. Executed a fantastic run-down tackle in the middle of the ground on one of the most dangerous players, Alyce Parker who was streaming through for a clearance, which I thought was a highlight of her game.

#14 Tori Groves-Little

Groves-Little’s tackling stood out from the rest on the day. She laid an excellent strong tackle to win herself a dropping the ball free kick in the middle of the ground. Followed this up with another great tackle that disposed her opponent of the ball. In another instance, she wrestled the ball out of her opponent’s hand and ran and carried through the midfield. Followed up this great run with a nice kick down the line.

#18 Ellie Hampson

Hampson displayed her remarkable agility during this match, side-stepping many opponents that came her way. In one instance, she side-stepped two opponents and then got the ball away and followed up this same effort again in the third quarter. Hampson took an excellent mark on the last line of defence to save a goal, complementing her agility with strong hands. Throughout the match, she continued to side-step opponents with ease and also managed to hit targets after some incredible footwork. At one point, she grabbed the ball and held it in one hand, fended off a player and got a clean handball out. Hampson used her big, long kicks to kick well out of full back when she was required to. Also executed a fantastic run-down tackle to earn herself a set shot on goal.

#20 Natalie Grider

Was brave to run back with the ball in defence and executed a nice kick out of defensive 50 after that. Grider took a nice one-on-one mark, displaying strong hands. A highlight of her game was when she executed an excellent goal-saving tackle on the goal line, making her opponent kick it off her knee which therefore didn’t count for a goal. Followed this effort up by chasing another nimble player on the ground in Netty Garlo.

#24 Charlotte Hammans

Another great game from Hammans who did plenty of nice things during the match. She was able to chase the ball down and get a handball out while being tackled. Also executed great run and carry and followed this up with a good handball into space. Laid an excellent strong tackle to win the holding the ball free kick and then followed this up with another solid tackle to stop her opponent from hacking it out of defensive 50. She kicked what turned out to be the winning goal after reading a perfect centring kick from Lily Postlethwaite.

#26 Serene Watson

One of the most consistent players on the day, Watson was huge for Queensland. Executed a nice pick-up and followed this up with a good spearing pass to a teammate who was able to get it forward. This started the link that led to Queensland’s first goal of the day. Watson displayed great run and carry throughout the day and also took a great intercept mark off an Allies hack kick. Was able to pick up the ball cleanly and kicked the ball well down the line.

#34 Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw

Led up well to the ball in the forward line and got two goals for her hard work inside 50. She led to the ball well in the first quarter to register Queensland’s first major of the day. Tawhiao-Wardlaw won a free kick and got her second goal of the day before half time. She took another great forward line mark in the third quarter, demonstrating her strong hands throughout the day.

 

Eastern Allies:

By: Peter Williams

#1 Alyce Parker

One of the performances of the carnival. Practically would have topped most statistical categories, and only needed to just finish off a few shots on goal that missed or fell short. But the list of what she did do well is fairly extensive as she cracked in hard, laid big tackles, won the contested ball, continually cleared it out of congestion and burst away with a first few quick steps. At times it looked like there were three of her out there, winning the ball in defence and being on the end of it in attack. Strong in the air or at ground level, stands up in tackles and wins the ball on a string, she just continually runs, and despite her team going down, she never gave in and thought she was best on ground in the loss.

#10 Camilla Taylor

Had a few opportunities throughout the game, winning a free kick in the second term and kicking long, then kicked inside 50 to a contest later on, but the ball was a bit high in the air and could be spoiled. Taylor also had a shot on goal from 30m out but just missed. She was presenting up forward which was good to see.

#11 Eliza Cumming

Had a busy first term just buzzing around the stoppages and showed good hands at half-forward and a strong body at the contest. Faded out a little bit then took a great intercept mark in the final term and kicked forward. Presented up the ground.

#14 Mia King

Another impressive game from King, who gets in under the pack and wins the footy, while also running hard to the outside to be on the receiving end as well. Almost got herself a goal in the first term, but could not quite get boot to ball in space. She worked it well out of defence at a stoppage in the second quarter and did well later on to spoil the ball across the line and stop a mark.

#16 Lauren Stevenson

A solid game from the defender who showed good composure under pressure and was able to kick calmly out of defence. She got involved in each term and just moved the ball well and also laid some big tackles and added defensive pressure to the ball carrier. Stevenson took a good intercept mark and kicked forward in the fourth term.

#17 Netty Garlo

Stepped up again after a solid game too and has that great acceleration and teamwork to use her speed to advantage. Laid a great tackle in defence in the opening term, and then bumped an opponent off the ball deep in defence to save a likely goal. Moved into the midfield at times and won a free for going in hard, then showed off her jets by putting the after burners on and bursting away from a would-be tackler.

#20 Alexis Hamilton

The player of the first term, Hamilton nailed two vital goals. Her first was from a free kick and the subsequent set shot from 35m out was perfect. Then, with a second to go, Hamilton clunked a huge mark – she had to get it one bite before the siren – and kept her composure to slot the goal at put the Eastern Allies up at quarter time.

#21 Chloe Haines

Was one of many trying to hold up the fort in defence, thumping the ball long. It was hard work back there later in the game, but she worked hard one-on-one and rebounded as best she could.

#25 Libby Haines

Was a quieter game compared to her past two, but worked hard in the back half, diving down for a mark in the fourth term but could not quite hold it. Kicked out on occasions and used her long boot to advantage.

#28 Alice Mitchell

Another solid effort from Mitchell who is strong overhead and presents around the ground. A reliable user who has solid vision, she just worked hard throughout the match.

 

Vic Country vs. Western Australia

Vic Country:

By: Peter Williams

#1 Shelley Heath

One of the best on the ground in the first term, she ran and ran and ran. She had a fantastic run along the wing and worked hard for second and third efforts, playing the role that got her into the side. Nimble with great agility, she broke down the opposition defence and continually pushed hard throughout. Still solid throughout the game presenting, but the first term was huge. Took a good mark one-on-one in the final term as well.

#6 Tyla Hanks

Started well with some early touches on the inside and rotated between midfield and forward. Had a good sidestep and a lovely weighted kick to Gippsland Power teammate Amy Dunn in the forward pocket in the second term. Hanks showed good tackling pressure inside 50 in the third quarter and produced a good spoil on the wing to knock it out of bounds. I probably mozzed her for her set shot from 20m out saying ‘you can put this one in the books’ before as what always happens, she missed, hitting the post.

#7 Olivia Purcell

The next best behind Sophie Van De Heuvel, Purcell was fantastic throughout the match, racking up the ball at will and winning plenty of clearances. She played up forward too and had a big role transitioning between midfield and forward. She set up Van De Heuvel with great hands in the opening term, and in the third quarter, narrowly missed a shot on goal herself. Produced a fantastic weighted kick to half-forward in the third quarter and kept running throughout the game.

#8 Sophie Van De Heuvel

The star of the show, bounced back from missing opportunities in the last game, to nailing her chances in this one. Kicked a great running goal in the first term, clunked a big mark in the forward 50 in the third term and delivered, then pounced on a loose ball and snapped truly just after that. She also pushed up the wing and took some strong marks and set the play up for her teammates up forward.

#9 Nina Morrison

Morrison showed great vision at half-forward and gave off quick hands, using her pace and agility to advantage. Had a good charge in from half-back to lay a tackle in the middle and then ran forward and and gave the quick hands to Sophie Van De Heuvel in the forward 50. Took a good mark in the forward 50 but her shot just fell short.

#18 Denby Taylor

Created good run and intercept work throughout the game. Taylor pushed up from half-back and took the game on which was good to see. In the third term, she broke a tackle with the arm break, and kept running before kicking long inside 50.

#21 Rene Caris

The AFLW Academy ruck worked hard around the ground and took some big grabs in the defensive half of the ground. She was strong overhead and pushed out to the wing, spreading well.

#22 Rebecca Webster

Another good game on the inside, Webster played well on the inside and won a lot of the ball in contested situations. She also dropped back and used the ball cleanly coming out of defence. Worked well with Olivia Purcell in the middle and was able to execute the ball out to the running teammates on the outside.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

Had the opportunities she had the past two games but just missed the set shots. She was still very strong overhead, led really well and took some great marks, trapping the ball and making sure her defender had no opportunity to spoil. She seemed unbeatable in the air, and while she missed three gettable chances, she got on the board with a great snap on goal in the fourth term. Still a very good performance and dominant in the air.

#24 Millie Brown

The bottom-ager showed some tricks, twisting and turning in midfield and across half-back. She danced around a few opponents and was able to dispose of the ball cleanly, while also showing good defensive pressure in attack to knock a defender off her kick.

#25 Georgia Clarke

Prominent early when the going was hot. Took a couple of vital intercept marks and possessions, kicking long up the wing. She was able to move the ball well and in the second term kicked to Tyla Hanks’ advantage up forward.

#32 Courtney Jones

Her best game of the carnival for mine. Just presented all day long, was clean by foot and delivered low darts into the forward line, hitting up Lucy McEvoy twice, and Jordyn Allen at half-forward. Kicked a good goal from a set shot in the final term after setting up all her teammates. Great movement and agility throughout, a really strong performance.

 

Western Australia:

By: Julia Montesano

#3 Brianna Hyde

Executed a great pick-up and calm kick to a teammate on the wing. Read the play well to get it out the back and also delivered a nice kick out of full back, rather than rushing it and hacking it. Hyde did well on the last line of defence and took a great intercept mark to complement her good work. Also delivered a nice kick to a teammate down the line, which demonstrated her nice kicking throughout the day.

#5 Mikayla Hyde

Led well to the footy and took a good mark on the boundary line. Executed a good pick-up off the deck and followed this up with a great second effort to tackle Emily Haeusler after she got dispossessed. Consequently, she won the free kick, which was the start of a passage of play that turned into a scoring shot. Hyde delivered a nice kick down the line and was rewarded for her hard work with a goal. In this instance, she read the ball well off the back of the pack to kick her first goal of the day.

#9 Sabreena Duffy

Duffy was Western Australia’s best player in this match in my opinion. She chased the ball well and gave off a nice handball in close. Picked the ball up cleanly off the deck and delivered a nice kick into the forward line. Executed a great hack kick off the ground to get it forward, which showed great awareness because she knew she couldn’t pick it up otherwise players would come at her. Delivered some good long kicks out of full back when she needed to and also showed great agility from the kick-ins, as she ran one way then the other, evading her opponent. Executed a great fend-off and then gave off a good handball back to McKenzie Dowrick. Duffy shifted to the midfield in the third quarter and did well to lower her eyes from a centre square free kick and spot up Roxanne Roux on the lead. Did a great job to get a kick off the side of her boot to an outside teammate as well.

#17 McKenzie Dowrick

Like her sister, Dowrick’s long kicks were a common feature in her game. She delivered a great long ball into the forward line and also executed a nice long kick down the line on multiple occasions. Did well to break away from a tackle and head forward. Showed great strength when she still managed to get a handball away while being tackled by Olivia Purcell, who is a strong tackler. Also demonstrated great work to spoil it over the line with two opponents near her.

#20 Abbey Dowrick

Cleanly picked up a spilt ball off the pack and followed this up with a nice long kick. This was a trait of her game as she used her kick to penetrate the ball forward. Demonstrated great run and carry throughout the day, and loved to get into space. Dowrick showed good agility and got a nice handball away.

#22 Sonia Dorizzi

I thought Dorizzi was able to win the ruck battle at times and tried hard when she was not winning that battle. Did well to come to the ball and caresses it into her chest, rather than waiting for it. Gave off a good handball back to reset the forward structure, rather than just hacking it inboard. This showed her football smarts on the day. She also executed a long kick into the forward line and took a great intercept mark, capping off a good day for her.

#23 Emma O’Driscoll

O’Driscoll was a solid rock in defence for the Black Swans. Took a great intercept mark and also executed a great spoil to get the ball away from a mark. Did extremely well to accelerate to the ball and spoil. Picked up the ball cleanly and then burst out of defence. Took a great intercept mark where she positioned herself well and got forward of the ball to take it uncontested.