Tag: kristy stratton

2020 AFL Women’s Round 2 preview: Expansion sides to face off as inaugural sides do battle under lights tonight

ROUND 2 of the AFL Women’s is sure to bring plenty of big clashes and ignite old rivalries with Collingwood and Carlton set to do battle on Sunday while Fremantle and West Coast will take place in their inaugural Western Derby.

Friday, February 14

Western Bulldogs v. Melbourne at Whitten Oval, 7:40pm, AEDT

Taylah Melki

With one win on the board each expect a high intensity battle from the opening bounce in search of each teams’ respective second win. The Demons announced themselves to the rest of the competition last round, downing premiership favourites North Melbourne by two points and will be riding a wave of confidence heading into their Round 2 match-up. Similarly, the Dogs inflicted their fair share of pain on newcomers St Kilda with an impressive 25-point win. The Bulldogs were slick from the beginning, exploiting their oppositions’ inexperience and making them pay while the Dees fought hard to just get over the line and set up the makings of what could be a strong season.

After waiting 693 days the return of Daisy Pearce was exactly what the doctor ordered for Melbourne and their fans. The talented midfielder-turned-defender was right back in the mix, throwing her weight around and winning plenty of the pill around the contest, something that was sorely missed last season. Karen Paxman is as experienced as they come, able to sense the moment and have an impact while the likes of Elise O’Dea and Lily Mithen could prove a handful for the Dogs who lost a couple of key players during the off-season. Forward, Tegan Cunningham will be looking to have a big game after failing to trouble the scorers last round, only registering a point. But if Cunningham and Kate Hore get going the two could pose a dominant force inside forward 50, plus throw in the likes of Eden Zanker and the Dees have a lot to work with.

With Katie Brennan and Monique Conti both departing the kennel, the likes of Ellie Blackburn and Kirsty Lamb have taken their game to another level and will be hoping to have the same dominant impact as last round. Blackburn is a class act, able to read the play, apply strong tackles and consistently get involved while Hannah Scott has upped the ante. Number one draft pick Gabby Newton did not look out of place in Round 1 with her contested ball work and cleanliness, but will be keen to prove it was not a one-off with a strong showing against Melbourne. Up forward, Bonnie Toogood will have to deliver for the Dogs if they are to apply scoreboard pressure and get over the line.

Tip: Melbourne by 15.

WESTERN BULLDOGS

B: A.Gogos 36 L.Spark 11
HB: K.Herron 31 E.Gamble 14 N.Ferres 16
C: B.Hunt 21 K.Lamb 27 G.Lagioia 12
HF: G.Newton 5 B.Toogood 8 K.McLeod 6
F: E.Georgostathis 17 D.Berry 7
Foll: K.Rennie 24 E.Blackburn – C 2 A.McCarthy 15
I/C: E.Brown 9 D.Marshall 26 N.Callinan 10 H.Scott 22 A.Van Oosterwijck 28
Emerg: N.Morris-Dalton 25 H.Munyard 20

In: E.Brown, A.Van Oosterwijck
Out: I.Huntington (concussion), C.Moody (ankle)

MELBOURNE

B: L.Birch 9 M.Downie 2
HB: S.Lampard 8 S.Goldrick 23 D.Pearce – C 6
C: S.Heath 30 T.Hanks 28 C.Emonson 11
HF: K.Hore 10 E.Zanker 29 S.Scott 12
F: T.Cunningham 1 A.Newman 16
Foll: H.Cordner 21 K.Paxman 4 M.Gay 3
I/C: G.Colvin 32 C.Sherriff 18 N.McEvoy 17 A.Kemp 36 E.O’Dea 5
Emerg: B.Tarrant 20 M.Guerin 22

In: N.McEvoy
Out: M.Guerin

Saturday, February 15 

North Melbourne v. GWS GIANTS at University of Tasmania Stadium, 3:10pm AEDT

Michael Alvaro

North Melbourne will be looking to make good on a shock Round 1 loss when it hosts the GWS GIANTS in Launceston. Premiership points may soon become a premium for Scott Gowans‘ side as it looks to top a tricky Conference A, and the pre-season premiership fancies will expect to pick up their first set in this clash. But the GIANTS are one of the few sides which can match the ‘Roos for experience throughout their squad, and already ground out a win against league newcomer, Gold Coast in an opening round thriller. While North’s home ground advantage paid dividends in its inaugural season, the GIANTS were already made to endure tough conditions last time out, which should put them in good stead to tackle the often-windy Launceston afternoons. Last year’s result – which swung convincingly to the way of the ‘Roos – will also be in the back of players’ minds, but North knows it cannot take anything for granted.

The debut of Lisa Steane looms as one of the stories of the weekend, with the 24-year-old teacher surprised mid-week with news of her inclusion while working. Steane’s replacement of Ellie Brush in the side is the only change for GWS, with its strong and experienced core remaining for what should be a tough test. The midfield combination of skipper Alicia Eva and young gun Alyce Parker will again look to lead from the engine room, and their work will be cut out for them given the depth and strength of North’s midfield. The Kangaroos have made two changes as Daria Bannister (collarbone) and Bethany Lynch come out of the side for Jas Grierson and local girl, Abbey Green, whose inclusion could free up Emma King to play a more permanent key forward role. It makes the North Melbourne forward line one to behold, with a couple of capable tall targets and the likes of Daisy Bateman and Katlyn Ashmore at their feet.

Given how deep the hosts’ talent runs through midfield and around the ground, they are rightly fancied to bounce back to more typical form. The ‘Roos should also take solace in the feats of reigning premier Adelaide, as the Crows overcame a surprise first round loss in 2019 to go undefeated throughout the rest of the season. While last week’s outcome should drive North Melbourne to better results, the pressure will be on given not many would expect GWS to trouble them a whole lot. Nonetheless, the Kangaroos should fare much better in this clash against a side which looks like battling for mid-conference status, so do not be surprised if a statement is made.

NORTH MELBOURNE

B: T.Randall 16 B.Gibson 18
HB: T.Nestor 24 D.Hardiman 31 A.Gilroy 8
C: J.Trend 21 E.Kearney – C 9 A.Riddell 7
HF: S.Abbatangelo 1 K.Gillespie-Jones 5 K.Ashmore 10
F: E.King 60 D.Bateman 11
Foll: V.Saad 39 J.Garner 25 J.Bruton 35
I/C: E.King 4 S.Wright 17 J.Grierson 19 E.Gavalas 22 A.Green 26
Emerg: M.King 23 B.Lynch 20

In: J.Grierson, A.Green
Out: D.Bannister (collarbone), B.Lynch

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

B: P.Randall 21 T.Hetherington 9
HB: R.Beeson 6 L.Stephenson 12 A.Lister 14
C: E.Bennetts 22 A.Eva – C 2 N.Barr 8
HF: H.Zreika 24 C.Staunton 13 J.Hicks 5
F: R.Privitelli 19 I.Nielsen 25
Foll: E.McKinnon 23 J.Dal Pos 7 A.Parker 3
I/C: Y.Bonner 27 L.Steane 20 J.Allan 39 A.Schmidt 11 B.Tully 36
Emerg: T.Mackrill 32 S.Halvorsen 30

In: L.Steane
Out: E.Brush (unavailable)

Tip: North Melbourne by 20 points

Gold Coast v. Richmond at Metricon Stadium, 5:10pm AEDT

Taylah Melki

Two expansion teams are set to face off in an exciting clash at Metricon Stadium, the Suns’ first home game of the season. Both teams will be looking for their inaugural AFLW win, meaning there is plenty at stake for each side. The Suns were highly competitive over the weekend, narrowly edged out by the Giants by a mere one point while the Tigers simply had no answers for the rampaging Blues. Gold Coast went down in trying conditions with rain and wind impacting their ability to handle the ball cleanly and hit the scoreboard. On the other hand, Richmond were simply outclassed – unable to combat the torrential storm that was Carlton credit to their onslaught of pressure in the forward 50. But the girls in yellow and black know how to fight, not willing to be bullied across the field and will be hoping to assert themselves on a relatively young and inexperienced Gold Coast Suns outfit.

Richmond has a plethora of star power across the footy field, none bigger than captain Katie Brennan who has showcased her ability to turn a game on its head. Brennan will have to push up through the midfield, more to give players a chop out and provide added support despite her best work being done inside forward 50 with her leading patterns and strong hands. Full forward Sabrina Frederick could prove to be a handful for the Suns given her strength around the contest and ability to gobble up anything that comes her way while the nifty Monique Conti has shown she is all class with ball in hand, able to hit a target from a mile away. Phoebe Monahan was a ball magnet last round along with Christina Bernardi. The two will have to combine once again if they are to trouble the Suns.

Despite not being top-loaded in a-list class the Suns have a wealth of young up and coming stars that can do damage anywhere on the field. Youngsters in Serene Watson and Ellie Hampson offer plenty of excitement for the Suns’ line-up which could give them that upper hand thanks to their raw talent and unpredictability. Lauren Aherns led from the front last round, recording an equal team-high 15 touches running around ragged and burrowing in hard while Jamie Stanton was strong across the ground for the Suns. Captain Leah Kaslar will have her work cut out for her up against a strong Tigers side.

Tip: Richmond by 5.

GOLD COAST

B: J.Pregelj 42 J.Hickey 4
HB: S.Virgo 22 L.Ahrens 7 S.Watson 14
C: T.Ernst 19 J.Stanton 17 C.Hammond 29
HF: P.Parker 1 K.Surman 26 L.Kaslar – C 11
F: E.Hampson 21 B.Perry 16
Foll: L.Bella 2 J.Yorston 5 H.Dunn 24
I/C: J.Hewett 20 M.Ritson 12 S.Riley 8 D.Heslop 25 K.Howarth 23
Emerg: T.Thorn 15 T.Groves-Little 3

In: E.Hampson
Out: A.Hamilton

RICHMOND

B: R.Miller 15 G.Seymour 28
HB: S.Sansonetti 18 P.Monahan 2 A.Makur Chuot 34
C: K.Jacques 10 K.Brennan – C 3 H.Burchell 9
HF: S.Frederick 14 C.Wakefield 8 T.Stahl 24
F: L.McClelland 16 C.Bernardi 6
Foll: A.Edmonds 11 M.Conti 4 A.Woodward 13
I/C: L.Tesoriero 7 L.Bailey 12 S.Molan 1 M.Brancatisano 5 G.Campbell 43
Emerg: E.Wood 17 C.Fitzgerald 26

In: G.Campbell
Out: H.Whitford (injured)

West Coast Eagles v. Fremantle Dockers at Optus Stadium 7:10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

The Western Derby is the pride of Western Australia and for the first time ever at AFL Women’s level, the two sides can continue the tradition. West Coast and Fremantle go head-to-head in a Saturday night blockbuster with both teams coming off varying form. Last week, West Coast looked strong up against Collingwood at Victoria Park, booting the first goal and holding the Magpies scoreless in the opening term, before Collingwood took control and ran away comfortable victors in the end. Fremantle on the other hand did finish the job, knocking over fellow finalist Geelong in Western Australia in an effort that saw youngster, Sabreena Duffy win Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the week with four of her side’s six goals in the win. Both in Conference B – the more competitive conference – every win is absolutely crucial and neither side will want to relent against its biggest rival.

West Coast is the new kid on the block and they showed last week that they will be competitive, it will just be for how long. Dana Hooker plays her former side this week and it will unlikely faze the star who booted the club’s inaugural – and in the end, only – goal last week with a clever snap out of the pack. She was simply sensational across the four quarters, while Emma Swanson was also impressive with the pair leading from the front as vice-captain and captain respectively. Mikayla Bowen brought her tackling pressure from the Under 18s up to the elite level, while Imahra Cameron showed she has a nice set of wheels to burst away from stoppages and cause headaches for the opposition. Add in the smooth skills of McKenzie Dowrick coming off half-back and the reliability of Chantella Perera and Talia Radan on the last line and the Eagles are strong defensively. The Eagles have made just the one change for the this game, with the club’s social media coordinator Kate Orme making her debut for the injured Ashton Hill.

The expansion side will need to be strong defensively against a forward line that has plenty of excitement and X-factor, including Roxanne Roux, who showed exactly why she was the first West Australian taken last year with her high leaping and booming kick. She is a franchise player at centre half-forward, and with fellow teenage talent Mim Strom, the Dockers have a couple of gems they can build a side around through the ruck and key forward spots. Also up forward is Duffy who was simply sensational, and Ebony Antonio, who with partner and captain Kara and tackling machine Kiara Bowers rotating inside 50, there is no shortage of scoring options. The Dockers have made two changes for the team in Round 2 with Leah Mascall and debutant Bianca Webb coming in for Steph Cain – who unfortunately did her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) – and Mia-Rae Clifford. The question this season will be around the Dockers’ defence given the young rucks have already earned their stripes, but against an Eagles side still looking to gel, they should be able to contain their yellow and blue state-based rivals. In order to win they will want to shut down Hooker and restrict the flow forward while putting plenty of pressure on the opposition defence. Given many of the Eagles have come from the Dockers, the remaining Fremantle players would love nothing more than to get one-up on them early in the season and it will likely happen.

Tip: Fremantle by 35.

WEST COAST

B: C.Perera 27 T.Radan 26
HB: B.Smith 14 S.McDonald 35 M.Dowrick 5
C: M.Collier 8 I.Cameron 19 N.Kelly 12
HF: A.Atkins 9 K.Gibson 2 M.Bowen 1
F: G.Kelly 15 D.Pisconeri 11
Foll: P.Laurie 25 D.Hooker 17 E.Swanson – C 13
I/C: T.Tester 23 C.Guard 4 H.Bullas 24 B.Devlyn 7 K.Orme 32
Emerg: E.Bonser 6 C.Davidson 33

In: K.Orme
Out: A.Hill (knee)

FREMANTLE

B: J.Cuthbertson 29 L.Pugh 32
HB: A.Stannett 24 E.Gooch 8 L.Mascall 14
C: L.Rohde 11 H.Miller 19 J.Stewart 7
HF: E.Antonio 12 R.Roux 17 S.Duffy 6
F: G.O’Sullivan 22 G.Houghton 27
Foll: M.Strom 21 K.Bowers 2 K.Antonio – C 15
I/C: K.Flood 44 B.Webb 26 P.Seth 18 K.Grieve 13 A.Sharp 1
Emerg: E.O’Driscoll 3 M.Clifford 4

In: L.Mascall, B.Webb
Out: S.Cain (knee), M.Clifford

Sunday, February 16

Geelong Cats v. Brisbane Lions at GMHBA Stadium, 1:10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

This Conference A clash on Sunday looms as one of the more intriguing contests of the weekend. The teams head into the match with differing results from Round 1, as Brisbane toppled the Crows at home while the Cats fell to a Duffy-inspired Dockers outfit in the west. Heading into the clash, Geelong will start favourites against the current conference leaders, playing at home and with more experience in the line-up. For the Lions, they have youthful excitement about them and will worry a few teams. They will not win every game in the manner they did in Round 1, but you get the feeling they will push most teams and show that they are building something special for the future.

The Cats have not had to make any major changes to its line-up that fell to the Dockers last Sunday evening, bringing in Rene Caris and Maddy Boyd to their extended squad. Last week it was the developing midfield of Olivia Purcell and Rebecca Webster, teaming with fellow 19-year-olds, Sophie Van De Heuvel and Nina Morrison, while Julia Crockett-Grills found plenty of the ball as well. They are still missing All Australian defender, Meg McDonald from their back five, but the Cats have the reliable Mel Hickey and Maddy McMahon helping youngsters Millie Brown and Denby Taylor. Geelong is growing a great culture of youth all coming through together, and with Phoebe McWilliams and Richelle Cranston bringing experience to the forward half, there is a nice balance of talent that should get the job done in this match.

Brisbane does not necessarily have the names on paper that Geelong has, but some of the players will become household names sooner rather than later. Jess Wuetschner is a big loss for the Lions, having been rested after being struck by lightning on the eve of the season. While she got through the first game, the Lions have erred on the side of caution for a game-by-game basis. Coming into the side on an extended bench are Gabby Collingwood, Jordan Zanchetta and Jade Ellenger. Of the trio, Ellenger has played just the two games and is one of a number of teenagers who are in the Lions line-up alongside recent draftees, Lily Postlethwaite and Isabel Dawes, and second year players, Nat Grider and Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw. Sophie Conway made a successful return from a long term knee injury last round, and along with Ally Anderson and Emily Bates providing plenty of run and hardness through the midfield. Throw in the impenetrable Kate Lutkins at centre half-back and they have enough about them to worry the Cats.

Tip: Geelong by 15.

GEELONG

B: M.Brown 19 M.McMahon 24
HB: M.Keryk 45 M.Hickey – C 18 D.Taylor 28
C: S.Van De Heuvel 27 R.Cranston 30 N.Morrison 9
HF: J.Crockett-Grills 6 M.Maguire 7 R.Garing 12
F: P.McWilliams 23 J.Ivey 5
Foll: A.O’Connor 14 R.Webster 21 O.Purcell 16
I/C: A.McDonald 3 D.Higgins 2 G.Rankin 10 R.Goring 44 G.Clarke 17 R.Caris 1 M.Boyd 26

In: R.Caris, M.Boyd
Out: None

BRISBANE

B: N.Grider 10 S.Campbell 20
HB: R.Lugg 11 K.Lutkins 13 C.Svarc 25
C: E.Zielke – C 8 B.Koenen 3 S.Webb 4
HF: L.Arnell 16 J.Tawhiao-Wardlaw 30 S.Conway 12
F: D.Davidson 14 G.Bodey 15
Foll: J.Keeffe 27 A.Anderson 18 E.Bates 1
I/C: I.Dawes 17 M.Moloney 28 G.Collingwood 7 O.O’Dwyer 9 L.Postlethwaite 6 J.Zanchetta 2 J.Ellenger 5

In: G.Collingwood, J.Zanchetta, J.Ellenger
Out: J.Wuetschner (managed)

Carlton v. Collingwood at Ikon Park, 3:10pm AEDT

Michael Alvaro

Traditional rivals and Conference B hopefuls Carlton and Collingwood are set to do battle at Ikon Park for a four time in their histories, in what promises to be a test of either sides’ true credentials. Both teams come in having feasted on competition newcomers in their opening fixtures, both running out on home turf in comfortable starts to the season. Bizarrely, last week’s season opener was an away match for Carlton, but the Blues once again hold home status against the ‘Pies in this match-up. While the extended history between these two powerhouse clubs is storied, their AFLW meetings have been much more one-sided – with Carlton taking out all three fixtures but the Magpies getting closer to a win every year. The Blues also fared much better in season 2019, embarking on a grand final run while Collingwood floundered and took out the Conference B wooden spoon. But with marked improvement already shown, Collingwood has the elite talent to take it to the Blues.

Much of the off-season talk and narrative coming in to the match surrounded ex-Carlton skipper and new Magpie, Bri Davey. Unfortunately for both neutrals and ‘Pies fans, the 2017 All Australian is set to miss this game after picking up a lower leg injury in Round 1. Davey’s sole omission opens the door for one of Kristy Stratton, Eliza Hynes, or Ebony O’Dea to enter the winning lineup, which has struggled at times to fill out depth outside of its formidable spine. With Davey out, the emphasis down back will be firmly placed on the pairing of Stacey Livingstone and Ash Brazill, while Brittany Bonnici and skipper Stephanie Chiocci will have to dig in hard to combat a powerhouse Carlton midfield. The ruck battle between Sharni Layton and Carlton’s pairing of Breann Moody and Alison Downie will also be one to watch, with Layton’s ability to provide use to her midfielders potentially key to shutting down a usually dominant Carlton engine room.

Twins Sarah and Jess Hosking will take the field together for the first time this year in navy blue, as the latter slots in on the wing while Jess Edwards and Abbie McKay help make up an extended bench. The Carlton core of Madison Prespakis, co-captain Katie Loynes, Grace Egan, and Georgia Gee remains, while the forward targets of Tayla Harris, Darcy Vescio, and Nicola Stevens should also work to stretch the aerial capabilities of Collingwood’s back five. Round 1 Rising Star nominee Lucy McEvoy is also primed to back up an eye-catching debut performance as part of the midfield-forward rotation, only adding to the hardness of Carlton’s overall unit. The only potential concern for the Blues may come down back as Jayde Van Dyk exits the side through injury, but the half back line of Kerryn Harrington, Lauren Brazzale, and popular mature-age draftee Vaomua Laloifi has already proven solid and will have to be as much against the likes of Chloe Molloy and Sarah Dargan. While this fixture has been somewhat of a mismatch in previous years, the increasing number of intriguing match-ups on across the field suggests this one should be a corker, with the Pies looking to elevate their game against the better-established Blues.

CARLTON

B: G.Pound 6 C.Wilson 20
HB: K.Harrington – C 9 V.Laloifi 8 L.Brazzale 12
C: C.Dalton 15 G.Gee 19 J.Hosking 11
HF: N.Stevens 21 T.Harris 7 L.McEvoy 13
F: A.Downie 30 J.Doonan 26
Foll: B.Moody 16 G.Egan 1 M.Prespakis 4
I/C: S.Hosking 10 N.Plane 32 B.Walker 14 K.Loynes 2 D.Vescio 3 J.Edwards 25 A.McKay 5

In: J.Hosking, J.Edwards, A.McKay
Out: J.Van Dyk (injured)

COLLINGWOOD

B: A.Porter 9 S.Livingstone 12
HB: L.Butler 23 A.Brazill 10 E.Fowler 15
C: S.Rowe 7 B.Bonnici 8 S.Chiocci – C 17
HF: C.Molloy 2 S.D’Arcy 4 S.Dargan 46
F: M.Cann 25 J.Allen 6
Foll: S.Layton 1 A.Sheridan 14 J.Lambert 13
I/C: S.Casey 22 K.Stratton 41 S.Alexander 24 J.Membrey 21 M.Shevlin 35 E.Hynes 11 E.O’Dea 50

In: K.Stratton, E.Hynes, E.O’Dea
Out: B.Davey (shin)

Adelaide Crows v. St Kilda at Hisense Stadium, 5:10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

This is expected to be an exciting show of talent for the future, with one side having been there and done it all – twice – while the other is still looking to find its feet in the new league as part of the expansion. A wounded Adelaide Crows side welcomes back some troops for the Round 2 clash against St Kilda with this match considered a must-win contest for the reigning premiers. The Crows were well beaten by a hungry Brisbane Lions side in Queensland, showing how tight the competition has become. Not even a record-breaking disposal count from Anne Hatchard (35) was enough to help the Crows get up in Round 1, and they will want to get a win on the board before the top sides in their conference get too far away. The benefit for the Crows was that fellow premiership contender, North Melbourne also lost, while last year’s finalist Geelong went down too. For the Saints, there are no expectations on their season with such a young list, but being competitive is the bare minimum expected, and after a nervous first quarter last week, the Saints settled and seemed to match it with the Western Bulldogs for large parts of the second half.

The Crows are still missing a host of names heading into this game led by Erin Phillips and Chelsea Randall – the latter of whom will play no further part in the season – but have brought in a couple of debutants in Caitlin Gould and Montana McKinnon. Gould hails from Glenelg and provides a tall presence up either end, while McKinnon is a dual All-Australian at Under 18s level, and could genuinely start ruck if they required her to. Expect her to spend time as a forward however, a role she played in South Adelaide’s premiership side, while rotating through the ruck and providing some strong contested marking ability around the ground. Ebony Marinoff, Hatchard and SANFL Women’s best and fairest winner Najwa Allen form a strong onball brigade and with former MVP, Courtney Gum in the team up forward alongside Danielle Ponter and Stevie-Lee Thompson, they still have the firepower to get the job done. Sophie Li has also come into the side for the Crows, as the only omission was Rachelle Martin – a top-up player who was brought on due to Adelaide’s expansive injury list.

The Saints have made three confirmed changes, with South Australian Nadia Von Bertouch – missing a return to the state where she captained North Adelaide last season – while Kelly O’Neill and Emma Mackie have been omitted. Coming into the side is a mix of youth and experience with former Collingwood talent, Darcy Guttridge and ex-North Melbourne players Alison Drennan and Courteney Munn named in the extended side. Also in to potentially make their debuts are ruck, Poppy Kelly and tall utility, Isabella Shannon who continue the trend of youth at the club. Georgia Patrikios starred in Round 1 with a Rising Star nomination, and expect her to show just as much excitement out on Hisense Stadium. Teaming up with the likes of Molly McDonald, Nicola Xenos and Tarni White, the youth of the Saints will come good in time. They still have experience on the list, with former Crow Jess Sedunary set to make her return to the AFL Women’s having kicked one of the Saints’ two goals last week. While the Saints have plenty to like, expect the Crows to do enough to win in a tight one, even with a few still out. They are desperate, hungry and at home, so a win is non-negotiable when it comes to their premiership aspirations.

ADELAIDE

B: D.Cox 31 C.Biddell 12
HB: A.Foley 3 S.Allan 39 M.Rajcic 32
C: S.Li 19 E.Marinoff 10 J.Mules 23
HF: E.Jones 2 C.Gum 5 R.Forth 27
F: D.Ponter 15 S.Thompson 14
Foll: J.Foley – C 24 A.Hatchard 33 N.Allen 8
I/C: C.Gould 1 A.Considine 16 M.Newman 17 N.Campbell 20 N.Gore 7 M.McKinnon 21 J.Tabb 28

In: S.Li, C.Gould, M.McKinnon
Out: R.Martin (ineligible)

ST KILDA

B: T.White 29 C.Fitzpatrick 24
HB: H.Priest 14 C.Phillips 35 T.Lucas-Rodd 18
C: D.Guttridge 5 J.Sedunary 10 M.McDonald 1
HF: N.Exon 15 K.McCarthy 9 C.Greiser 17
F: K.Shierlaw 12 G.Patrikios 21
Foll: R.Watt – C 7 O.Vesely 23 R.Dillon 25
I/C: I.Shannon 11 A.Brown 2 C.Munn 13 N.Xenos 27 C.Whitfort 4 A.Drennan 8 P.Kelly 16

In: D.Guttridge, I.Shannon, C.Munn, A.Drennan, P.Kelly
Out: K.O’Neill, N.Von Bertouch (knee), E.Mackie

ROUND 2 TIPS: [Total tips in brackets]

Michael Alvaro [5]: Melbourne / North Melbourne / Richmond / Fremantle / Geelong / Carlton / Adelaide
Taylah Melki [5]: Melbourne / North Melbourne / Richmond / Fremantle / Brisbane / Collingwood / Adelaide
Sophie Taylor [4]: Melbourne / North Melbourne / Richmond / Fremantle / Brisbane / Carlton / Adelaide
Peter Williams [4]: Melbourne / North Melbourne / Richmond / Fremantle / Geelong / Carlton / Adelaide

2019/20 AFLW off-season review: Collingwood

IT was a disappointing 2019 season for Collingwood, with a combination of rebuilding through youth and unlucky losses culminating in a Conference wooden spoon. The Magpies were competitive in all their cross-conference games and were unlucky not to potentially get an extra couple of wins, but ultimately could not match it with sides for the full four quarters. After a massive influx of youth walked into the club at the start of last season, it was a different approach 12 months later as Collingwood poached the player of the trade period by securing arch rival Carlton’s captain, Brianna Davey for most of the Magpies’ picks. With pick two and AFL Women’s Rising Star Chloe Molloy also returning after missing the entire 2019 season, the Magpies effectively have two elite talents walking into the Round 1 side.

Aside from Davey, Collingwood had a relatively quiet off-season, with Darcy Guttridge and Iilish Ross departing to expansion clubs, Cecilia McIntosh retired, while the Magpies also delisted a further five players. One of those – Jordan Membrey regained a spot on the Magpies’ list, picked up in the recent AFL Women’s Draft alongside Oakleigh Chargers’ speedster Alana Porter who spent the VFL Women’s season on Collingwood’s list, fellow speedster Machaelia Roberts, former GWS GIANTS’ player Ebony O’Dea and Casey Demons key utility, Kaila Bentveltzen. While the AFL Women’s season was fairly disastrous in terms of wins and losses, the VFL Women’s side took home the premiership, with plenty of AFLW-listed players standing out across the year. That belief, along with the vital inclusions are likely to spur the Magpies on to move up the ladder in season 2020.

OFF-SEASON CHANGES:

IN: Brianna Davey (Carlton), Aishling Sheridan (gaelic), Kaila Bentveltzen (Casey Demons VFLW), Alana Porter (Oakleigh Chargers), Ebony O’Dea (GWS GIANTS), Machaelia Roberts (NT Thunder)
OUT: Darcy Guttridge (St Kilda), Iilish Ross (Richmond), Cecilia McIntosh (retired), Nicole Hildebrand, Melissa Kuys, Georgie Parker, Holly Whitford (delisted)

2020 TEAM LIST:

Sophie Alexander
Jordyn Allen
Kaila Bentveltzen
Britt Bonnici
Ashleigh Brazill
Lauren Butler
Mikala Cann
Sophie Casey
Steph Chiocci
Sarah D’Arcy
Brianna Davey
Sarah Dargan
Erica Fowler
Emma Grant
Georgia Gourlay
Eliza Hynes
Jaimee Lambert
Stacey Livingstone
Katie Lynch
Jordan Membrey
Chloe Molloy
Ebony O’Dea
Alana Porter
Machaelia Roberts
Ruby Schleicher
Maddie Shevlin
Kristy Stratton

Rookies: Sharni Layton, Sarah Rowe, Aishling Sheridan

POTENTIAL 2020 SIDE:

B: Sophie Casey – Stacey Livinstone – Jordyn Allen
HB: Ash Brazill – Ruby Schleicher – Maddie Shevlin
C: Britt Bonnici
HF: Steph Chiocci – Sarah D’Arcy – Sarah Dargan
F: Chloe Molloy – Sophie Alexander – Katie Lynch
R: Sharni Layton* – Brianna Davey – Jaimee Lambert
INT: Eliza Hynes – Emma Grant – Mikala Cann – Georgia Gourlay – Ebony O’Dea
EMG: Sarah Rowe* – Kaila Bentvelzen – Lauren Butler

DEPTH: Erica Fowler, Jordan Membrey, Alana Porter, Machaelia Roberts, Kristy Stratton.

The Magpies’ best 21 is more stable than many other sides, with the draftees likely having to force their way into the side being later picks. Given O’Dea’s links with Steve Symonds through Norwood, the former GWS GIANTS midfielder could well play a specific role within the team and could be a Round 1 starter. The Collingwood defensive back six is pretty settled, with about the last two spots able to be rotated between a number of players, but the likes of Livingstone, Schleicher, Brazill and Casey are pretty set, with Allen and Shevlin able to fill there, or in each of the other thirds on the ground. Bentveltzen has transformed into a defender and could stake a case for a starting role, while Molloy can play at either end. We have her up forward with D’Arcy and Alexander who are the two locks inside 50, while captain Chiocci showed she can play that defensive half-forward role with scoreboard impact as well. Dargan and Lynch fill out the front six because of their upside and rotational ability on wings or through the middle.

The onball brigade is an interesting one. Given Layton’s form at VFLW level, she might well be given first crack at the ruck role, but it is expected they could play the two rucks and Collingwood’s number one ruck from last year – Hynes – will rotate both through that position and up forward. The three midfielders are fairly straight forward, with Davey, Lambert and Bonnici all offering different aspects to the team. The last five to seven spots between the bench and emergency is tough to pick, with the remainder of the list fairly even, and the newbies in Membrey and Roberts already readymade for senior football, while Porter will take some time but could get some games later in the year. Gourlay and Cann made our bench because of their continued improvement at VFLW level and the upside they have, while Grant is a terrific team player likely to be given an early crack to maintain her spot in there.

Weekend wash-up: AFLW – Round 5

ROUND 5 of the AFL Women’s competition saw some huge wins and some firsts, with Brisbane recording the lowest score and Adelaide handing North Melbourne the Roos’ first defeat.

Brisbane 1.2 (8) defeated by Geelong 5.5 (35)
By: James Halley

Geelong defeated Brisbane by 27 points in their Round 5 encounter to earn themselves top spot in Conference B. With only two rounds remaining, Geelong is one game clear on top of Conference B and has a great chance to qualify for the finals.

After a tense first half, Geelong hit the front moments before the siren due to a goal from Mia-Rae Clifford, sparking a dominant second half by the Cats and keeping Brisbane to the lowest AFLW score in the league’s short history, winning 5.5 (35) to 1.2 (8).

Richelle Cranston starred for Geelong in the midfield, amassing 22 disposals, while Olivia Purcell was equally as dominant, picking up 20 disposals and a whopping ten tackles. Cats forward Kate Darby kicked three of Geelong’s five goals, after being axed from the side in Round 4. This performance should give her some confidence to keep her spot going forward.

The Cats’ manic pressure was astounding, and will be hard to beat leading into the finals if they can sustain it in the coming weeks.

Carlton 4.10 (34) defeated Collingwood 4.5 (29)
By: Sophie Taylor

It was a scorching evening for footy at Ikon Park, but that didn’t stop a crowd forming for the Round 5 matchup between traditional rivals Carlton and Collingwood. It was a do or die match for both sides, as Collingwood worked to get a victory for the first time in 2019, while Carlton were pushing for a top 2 position in Conference B. There was plenty of action in the low scoring affair, as Carlton overcame a mid-match slump to beat the Magpies 4.10 (34) to 4.5 (29).

It was Carlton that came to play in the opening quarter, kicking the first goal after five minutes of play. It was an unfortunate night for goal kicking, however, as the Blues struggled with inaccuracy, kicking 1.5 in the first quarter but keeping the Magpies scoreless. Despite their speedy start it was the Magpies that jumped into action in the second quarter, kicking 2.4 to 0.1 to be up by four points at half time, thanks to a goal apiece to Katie Lynch and Jordyn Allen. Some on the line defence work from the Blues kept them in the game throughout the middle quarters as inaccuracy continued to be an issue all over the field. Collingwood remained in control throughout the third term, kicking two more goals in the hopes of keeping their 2019 season alive, while Carlton kicked another goal and behind to stay in the match.

Despite lighting issues plaguing the Carlton forward pocket in the final term, a two goal, three behind final quarter to nil brought the Blues’ second win of the season, turning the tides and bringing back the confident start they had in the first term. Despite her three behinds in the first quarter, Darcy Vescio finally got a major on the board and kicked her only goal of the game to put the Blues ahead in the dying minutes. Madison Prespakis starred for the Blues, leading the disposal count with 21 touches and a goal, while captain, Brianna Davey dominated across the ground with 20 disposals and four tackles. Along with Vescio and Prespakis, Tayla Harris and Alison Downie also managed a major each in what was an inaccurate day out in front of goal.

For the Blues, Gabriella Pound and Kerryn Harrington impressed with 31 disposals between them, along with their eight and seven respective marks. Jaimee Lambert led the tackle count with seven tackles to go with her 18 disposals, while Britt Bonnici and Kristy Stratton weren’t far behind on six and five tackles respectively. Sarah Rowe and debutant, Darcy Guttridge also both made it onto the scoreboard, kicking a debut goal apiece for the Pies.

GWS Giants 2.6 (18) defeated by Melbourne 8.9 (57)
By: Michael Alvaro

Melbourne earned four points and a crucial percentage boost against GWS as the Demons push for a spot in the Conference A top two. The home side was not able to match it with the surging Dees for long, as the winners broke a quarter time deadlock to open up a 16-point lead at the main break – all while keeping the Giants goalless in the second stanza. With the third term spoils shared at an even 1.2 apiece, there was still a chance for the hosts to snatch a victory with one final push. That was not to be though, as a clinical Melbourne outfit again kept its opponent goalless after the last break and piled on another four majors to run out 39-point victors.

Tegan Cunningham was the star Dee inside forward 50 as she put 3.2 on the board to be the game’s lone multiple goal kicker. Melbourne midfielders Maddison Gay and Karen Paxman also found the goals, and were their side’s best ball winners with 19 and 17 disposals respectively. Not to be outdone, Giants star, Alicia Eva had 20 of her own and was matched by 2018 draftee, Alyce Parker who continued her outstanding debut season to date.

Looking forward, Melbourne is set to play part in a Marvel Stadium double-header on Saturday against the battling Bulldogs in a Conference A clash, while GWS will look to keep its finals hopes alive as it travels to face the red-hot Adelaide Crows at Unley Oval.

North Melbourne 4.5 (29) defeated by Adelaide 10.4 (64)
By: Nikki Jamieson

In the blockbuster match between the top-two conference A teams, Adelaide proved that the new North Melbourne side could be stopped by making their winning streak come to a crashing end. The Crows were able to thump the Roos by 35 points, throwing a spanner into the premiership race for North Melbourne.

The Roos started out strong, with performances by Moana Hope and Kaitlyn Ashmore leading to the first two goals on the board. However, it didn’t take long for Adelaide to strike back by the thirteenth minute, from which point onward the Crows were able to maintain the lead for the rest of the match.

An impressive competition took place in the midfield between the Crows’ Erin Phillips and the Roos’ Emma Kearney. Naturally, Phillips had an excellent game with 2 goals and 23 disposals, but it was Kearney who took out the disposal count with 31.

As the game continued, Adelaide were responsible for ten of the last 12 goals, comfortably placing them far in front of North Melbourne, who were only able to put up 8 points in the entire second half. This was exemplified through the work of Stevie-Lee Thompson who was able to easily brush past a dormant North Melbourne defence and kick two goals and one behind.

Next round on the Saturday, North Melbourne face off against a winless Collingwood at Marvel Stadium in a double header and on the Sunday Adelaide return home to play GWS at Unley Oval.

Fremantle 8.4 (52) defeated Western Bulldogs 5.4 (34)
By: Carly McClen

It was a crucial 18-point win for a much improved 2019 Fremantle Dockers outfit on their home turf over the reigning premiers. The Bulldogs flew to Fremantle to get back to their brand of football and play with heart, which they accomplished, and they’d be rightly satisfied with achieving that. Also on the flight was 2017 number one draft pick, Isabel Huntington and 2018 leading goal kicker, Brooke Lochland, both returning from injury. Both played their roles well, as did Katie Brennan, Aisling Utri and Aisling McCarthy. The Dogs were out there on the day against a better side with a bigger hunger to win the footy and more grunt and poise to get it done.

It was a tight game throughout the four terms, with the Dockers kicking clear halfway through the final term. Sabreena Duffy was pivotal late on her home track with two crucial goals, showing the depth Freo have in their forward line. Fremantle gun, Kiara Bowers was a consistent standout all day with 23 disposals, 16 tackles and a goal for her side.

The Dockers had a few of these above-the-rest individual efforts from the usual suspects in Dana Hooker, Kellie Gibson, Kara Donnellan and Gemma Houghton. The well-rounded Dockers had the whole team to fall back on, making them a polished side to contend with. Every time the Bulldogs were looking to get in front, the Freo midfield would form a wall, tackling fiercely head on and taking Bulldogs to the turf. Bowers really lead that charge with her 16 tackles.

Conference A is tight right now. Today’s win positions the Dockers to be level with leaders North Melbourne and Adelaide. A win against Geelong next week and a jump on percentage will flag the Dockers as a real and present danger to qualify for the top two.

Weekend previews: AFLW – Round 2

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

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

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

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

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

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun facts:

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

 

DRAFT CENTRAL TIPPING

Leaderboard:

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

 

Peter Williams

Chief Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Collingwood
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Taylah Melki

Assistant Chief Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

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AFLW season previews: Collingwood

COLLINGWOOD has been hit the hardest by the introduction of the two expansion teams, losing a host of stars to North Melbourne. The Pies also lost the experience of Bree White and Meg Hutchins, as well as the exciting Caitlyn Edwards, as the trio retired at the end of the 2018 season. Collingwood had to capitalise on the draft pool and it did, selecting some exciting young talent and some Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s experienced players.

Last season: 6th – three wins, four losses.

Changes:

In: Nicole Hildebrand, Sarah Rowe, Sophie Alexander, Erica Fowler, Jordyn Allen, Katie Lynch, Lauren Butler, Mikala Cann, Maddie Shevlin, Georgia Gourlay, Jordan Membrey, Sharni Layton

Out: Caitlyn Edwards, Bree White, Christina Bernardi, Moana Hope, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner, Emma King, Amelia Mullane (nee Barden), Lauren Tesoriero, Meg Hutchins, Tara Morgan

Collingwood has lost seven of its top 10 in last year’s Best and Fairest, with Jasmine Garner, Christina Bernardi, Amelia Mullane, Jess Duffin, Emma King and Moana Hope all jetting off to other clubs. Add the loss of Chloe Molloy to injury and Caitlyn Edwards to retirement, and you have a depleted list. Thankfully, the Pies picked up one of most talented players in the Under-18 crop in Jordyn Allen. Allen is a known leader, captaining the Dandenong Stingrays and Vic Country in 2018, and is a pillar of strength through the midfield and the back line. To back that up, the Pies selected the powerful Katie Lynch, who thrives in the middle of the ground but can use her booming kick and strong hands to effect in the forward line. They also boast two of the most exciting new crosscoders in the league, with former Australian netballer, Sharni Layton and Gaelic footballer, Sarah Rowe, who broke a club record in the 2km trial, set to take the field in 2019.

Area of strength: Midfield

Out of all the areas left with holes by the departed players, the midfield is the least unscathed. The Pies still boast a potent midfield containing Jaimee Lambert, Emma Grant, Brittany Bonnici, Melissa Kuys and Kristy Stratton. They will also be able to add Eastern Ranges dynamo, Mikala Cann to the mix, who has intense tackling pressure and immense speed. The experience of Maddie Shevlin will also be a vital addition, as she starred for the Casey Demons during the VFLW season. There’s also some flexibility in the side, with Stephanie Chiocci able to move from defence to the midfield, while Katie Lynch and Sophie Casey can roam the forward line and move into the middle of the ground when needed.

Area of weakness: Defence

Collingwood’s defence has taken a big hit over the off season, waving goodbye to Jess Duffin, Meg Hutchins and Jasmine Garner. Although the Pies lost more forwards in the off season, they were able to fill the void quite well with the recruitment of Erica Fowler, Sophie Alexander, Jordan Membrey and Katie Lynch. However, their defence remains vulnerable, as the Pies will have a young defensive 50 leading the brigade. Darcy Guttridge and Georgia Gourlay are both a risk with injury troubles, but will be keen to play a big role for the Pies. Iilish Ross is still a developing player who has been in and out of the Collingwood line-up, but was convincing during the VFLW season. She does not often trouble the disposal count, so this could be an area where she seeks to improve in 2019. It will also be interesting to see how Lauren Butler fares in this defensive line-up with her light build. Expect the loss of Chloe Molloy to really be felt for the Pies this season as unpredictability surround their defensive make-up.

Players to watch:

Mikala Cann

It is hard to believe that this will be Mikala Cann’s second year of competitive football. Prior to 2018, Cann competed in athletics and basketball, and has brought those attributes over to Australian Rules. She has great acceleration and can tackle like no other, always willing to show her tenacity on the field. She was fortunate enough to represent Vic Metro in 2018, and played in Hawthorn’s VFLW premiership side, so she knows how to make an impact on the big stage. Nicknamed ‘the bull’ by her teammates, expect Cann to be one of the toughest players out there.

Sophie Alexander

A dangerous forward with a great leap, Alexander gave a lot of VFLW opposition defenders headaches. In her breakout game for the Pies, she kicked four goals against the in-form NT Thunder, showing she can make an big statement. She ended up with 14 goals from 14 games, and was named in the VFLW Team of the Year for her efforts. What makes Alexander stand out is her ability to rack up the disposals inside 50, which is something Collingwood will need in the 2019 season.

Sharni Layton

Sharni Layton has done it all in netball, winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2014, and winning two Netball World Championships with Australia in 2011 and 2015. Having come from the Collingwood netball team, Layton is accustomed to the attitudes of the club and has been hitting the track hard, working on her running technique in particular. Her leap will be invaluable for the club as will her strength, so it will be interesting to see where she will line up on the field, as these assets are valuable in any zone. With unpredictability comes excitement through, and Layton is sure to put on a show, following in the footsteps of fellow netballer/footballer, Ash Brazill.

2019 prediction: 5th in Conference B

Unfortunately with a list that takes a hit like that, it’s hard to see the Pies making any inroads in Conference B. They will be looking to make a statement in Round 1 against the new kids on the block in Geelong, but it will be hard to do so away from home. They could snag wins against Carlton and Fremantle in rounds three and five, but all eyes will be on the side in Round 6. Not only will they host the first ever AFLW game at Marvel Stadium, but they will be coming up against old teammates at North Melbourne, which will definitely be a challenge. Collingwood still has the players to be a top side, but gelling what is effectively a whole new team together is no easy task.

2019 AFLW Collingwood Fixture

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GMHBA StadiumRound 1
Victoria ParkRound 2
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Fremantle OvalRound 3
Morwell Recreational ReserveRound 4
Ikon ParkRound 5
Marvel StadiumRound 6
Victoria ParkRound 7
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Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 9

AFTER nine rounds of Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s action, all teams now have a win under their belt. The only winless team to date, Essendon recorded its first ever VFLW win while the Cats stumbled again for their second loss in a row.

 

Casey Demons 3.3.21 defeated Southern Saints 1.4.10

After defeating the red-hot NT Thunder two weeks ago, the Southern Saints slumped to the ninth-placed Casey Demons. The Demons kept the Saints goalless for three terms and managed to add on three themselves in a low-scoring affair.

In her return to the Casey line-up, Taryn Orgill played a blinder of a game in the ruck. She was complemented by midfielder, Madelaine Shevlin who backed up last week’s promising performance against the Bombers with another solid outing. Defender, Georgia McLean and forward, Melanie Hogg also played well in their side’s 11-point win. Hogg was complemented in the forward line with goals from Kaila Bentvelzen, Sophie Phillips and Taylor Mesiti.

For the Saints, it was up to the defenders to keep the Demons to a low score. They did this successfully and it was thanks to the likes of new Brisbane recruit, Lauren Arnell and Eastern Ranges gun, Ashleigh Allsopp. They were complemented by midfielder, Amy Silver who played a solid game for the Saints. Up forward, Danielle Lawrence kicked the side’s only goal while Kayla Ripari gave her all, earning her the best on ground accolade from her coaches.

 

NT Thunder 13.7.85 defeated Geelong Cats 2.8.20

By: James Halley

An aggressive mindset has helped lift NT Thunder to a massive 65-point win over Geelong. Geelong was down two on the bench after half time, losing Lara Williams (knee) and Anna Teague (shoulder) to injury. The Thunder’s manic pressure just did not give Geelong a chance from the first bounce until the last.

Thunder forward, Jessica Sedunary kicked the first three goals of the match, which demonstrated pure supremacy up forward. AFLW teammate, Jenna McCormick kicked another just after 19 minutes which was ultimately match over. Unable to score a major in the first term, the drought would continue for the Cats in the second. It was not through a lack of trying or possession though. They had the first four scoring shots of the term for the return of three behinds and an out of bounds on the full. Sally Riley profited from a 50 metre penalty to extend NT’s lead to 33 points at half-time and what started out as a positive quarter for the visitors had just got a lot worse. Minutes into the third term, Geelong was able to kick its first through Danielle Orr after a mark and a 50-metre penalty. Only one more major would be scored for the term to Thunder’s Emma Swanson, which was a great snap from the boundary.

The last term was not so even as the Thunder were hungry for goals and a percentage boost. McCormick and captain, Angela Foley kicked two each to take their side’s goal kickers to an impressive spread of seven. Sedunary and McCormick were real standouts for NT up forward, combining for seven goals. Angela Foley played a captains game with 20 disposals and two goal. Richelle Cranston was a real standout for the Cats in the midst of their hiding from the NT. She kicked one of Geelong’s two goals as well as finishing with 20 disposals, highlighting that she didn’t stop trying all day. Teammate, Madeline Keryk was a workhorse in the midfield, leading everyone in disposals with 23.

 

Hawthorn 6.6.42 defeated Williamstown 6.2.38

Hawthorn was given an almighty scare by the 12th-placed Seagulls on Sunday. Williamstown kicked four straight goals in the first quarter to open up an early 16-point lead, which shocked the Hawks from the get-go. The Seagulls’ lead narrowed at each of the breaks, and it ultimately turned into a deficit at full-time, as Hawthorn’s experience prevailed and slowly edged the margin in its favour.

Two goals from former Eastern Ranges forward, Olivia Flanagan and Greater Western Sydney (GWS) forward, Rebecca Beeson were extremely handy for the Hawks. The two goals from Beeson in particular were crucial, as she kicked them both in succession in the last quarter, with the second one giving her side the match-winning lead. The pair were complemented by majors from Samara David and Clare O’Donnell. In defence, Jayde Van Dyk stood up as usual while Ellie Macdonald tore it up in the midfield.

Williamstown was able to share its goal kicking around on the day, with Emily Paterno being the only multiple goal-kicker. Isabelle Porter, Western Jets star, Sharnie Whiting and North Melbourne duo, Jess Duffin and Jasmine Garner also got a major on the board. Meanwhile, Rebecca Dardengo and Jamilla Cranny held the fort down well in the back line, enabling the Seagulls to keep their lead for the majority of the game.

 

Essendon 5.4.34 defeated Richmond 3.8.26

It took them nine rounds to get a win, but the Bombers have finally got one on the board, defeating Richmond by eight points at their spiritual home, Windy Hill. Essendon kicked the first goal of the game before the Tigers fought back and kicked three second-term goals to wrestle the lead back. However, Essendon’s resilience and Richmond’s inaccuracy proved to be a recipe for disaster for the away side.

GWS talent, Maddy Collier played a fantastic game in the midfield for the Bombers, as she continues to play some wonderful football for her side. She was aided by good delivery from Simone Nalder in the ruck, who has not let her team down this season. Tait Mackrill also continued her good form in the middle of the ground while Rebecca Neaves was solid as always in defence. Up forward, Monique DeMatteo starred with two majors while Sunbury Lions duo, Natasha Hardy and Alex Quigley, and Canadian star, Kendra Heil were able to get solitary goals on the day.

Nalder’s opposite ruck also starred, with Alice Edmonds having another blinder for the Tigers. She was complemented by her back-up ruck in Murray Bushrangers star, Sophie Damon, who was also able to get a goal on the board to back up her solid debut in the yellow and black. On the receiving end of the duo’s solid ruck work was the likes of captain, Jessica Kennedy and Bethany Lynch, who were able to make the most of the tap work. Up forward, Lauren Tesoriero impressed while Courtney Wakefield did well in defence.

 

Melbourne Uni 6.3.39 defeated by Western Bulldogs 9.6.60

The Western Bulldogs kept their red-hot winning streak alive with a win over Melbourne Uni. The Bulldogs came out of the blocks early with the first four goals of the match before the Mugars fought back with two goals in the second term. They were then held scoreless in the third term before mounting a mini comeback in the fourth, ultimately falling short to a rejuvenated Bulldogs outfit.

AFLW leading goalkicker, Brooke Lochland starred for the Bulldogs, kicking three goals and being a workhorse for her side. Bulldogs AFLW teammate, Naomi Ferres was also impressive with another solid outing in the midfield in this VFLW season. This time, it was ruck, Nicole McMahon and winger, Rachel Ashley who joined the party, with each player having a solid outing in the red, white and blue. Inside 50, full forward, Mickayla Ward performed well, kicking a goal for her side and demonstrating a high work rate.

It was a strange situation for Emma Kearney on Sunday, as the new Kangaroos recruit went head-to-head against her former Bulldogs teammates for the first time since making the move over to Arden Street. She did not seemed fazed by the occasion though, playing another great game for the Mugars in the midfield. Bendigo Pioneers graduate, Aisling Tupper also performed well in the middle of the ground, as she continues to impress this season. Up forward, it was Western Jets forward, Caitlin Greiser who led the way, kicking three majors for the day. She was complemented by two goals from new North Melbourne recruit, Kaitlyn Ashmore who played a magnificent game for the Mugars.

 

Collingwood 7.3.45 defeated Darebin 2.3.15

By: Carly McClen

It was the first time a Collingwood women’s football team came out to play on the spiritual home ground of the mighty Magpies, the iconic Victoria Park. With star Brisbane Lions recruit, Nicole Hildebrand playing a fantastic game, and a usual class-above performance from Chloe Molloy, the Pies won convincingly and continued their undefeated run. 

In the first half, the teams matched up evenly providing a tough contested game to watch, with both teams applying consistent pressure and causing missed targets in kicking.  The rain favoured the Darebin Falcons but the talent and ball use of the Magpies and sheer pressure for four quarters made inside 50’s rare for the Falcons and it showed on the scoreboard. 

Important marks in defence by Magpie, Ruby Schleicher, and Grace Buchan’s consistent hunting of the footy all day helped keep Darebin to one straight shot in the first half when Esther Honybun was able to convert.  The Falcons applied consistent pressure on Collingwood with Elise O’Dea winning a lot of the ball. The first half majors Collingwood scored were from Molloy and Eliza Hynes

The third quarter was a different story and Collingwood was able to get away and play their game.  Emma Grant was strong and did her job well. Sarah D’Arcy took strong marks in defence right when Darebin were using more initiative with the ball and even a bigger presence and dominance from Aasta O’Connor did not hold back the Pies. 

Falcon, Kate Tyndall converted from a 50 metre penalty with 25 seconds to go in the third quarter but it was Collingwood’s second half. Nicole Hildebrand let loose, taking some strong marks and kicking two goals including one set shot from a 45 degree angle that never looked like missing when she peeled a little to the left and threaded it cleanly. Hildebrand then set up a goal passing cleverly to Gabrielle Biedenweg-Webster who played on and kicked their final goal in the last quarter.

There were two players taken off the ground with injuries. Shevaun Hogan was taken off for Darebin and Magpie, Kristy Stratton was taken off on a stretcher with a suspected knee injury.

Scouting notes: VFLW – Round 8

THE Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition has a new ladder-leader, as Geelong succumbed to its first loss of the season to lose the privilege. This gave top spot to Collingwood, who in the process handed the NT Thunder its second consecutive loss. At the halfway mark of the season, the competition is starting to take shape, and we watched three games on the weekend to see how some of the action panned out.

 

Essendon vs. Casey

Essendon:

#4 Natasha Hardy

Led well to the footy and took a great mark lace-out on the chest. Her on-field leadership is evident.

#28 Carlee Portlock

Portlock had some good moments in the red and black. She did well to smother the ball off her opponent’s boot. Portlock was good defensively as she bumped her opponent and contested well with another running opponent to send the ball out of bounds.

#32 Tait Mackrill

Laid an excellent bump on Katherine Smith, showing that she’s not afraid to go against experience. Mackrill showed courage again when she took on her opponent and did it well, kicking the ball long down the line and penetrating it forward.

#25 Rebecca Neaves

Showed great awareness to spot her opponent playing on quickly, as she then won the ball back for her side by laying a great tackle. Neaves also laid a great smother while being held by an opponent to send the ball out of bounds.

#18 Kendra Heil

Laid a great tackle while her opponent was off and running and was awarded a free kick for her efforts. Her forward pressure was outstanding as she still managed to push her opponent under the ball and put pressure on Aliesha Newman when she was ducking and weaving. The ball eventually spilt to Danielle Ponter who got her second goal of the day, thanks to Heil’s efforts.

#35 Valerie Moreau

Showed a ‘never say die’ attitude when she tapped the ball along, chasing it through the whole 50 metre arc. Moreau got reward for her effort in the next passage of play with a soccer off the ground in the goal square, converting Essendon’s first of the day. Also delivered a nice kick to Courtney Ugle on the outside, showing good awareness of her teammates.

#43 Danielle Ponter

Good return to the side with two goals, which were both snaps. Ponter was lively in the forward line and read the play well.

 

Casey:

#13 Katherine Smith

Smith got three early touches in the space of a minute, and you just knew she was in for another big game. She was able to deliver a good handball while being tackled, demonstrating strength in the contest. Smith showed nice run and carry and followed it up by executing a good effective kick to hit up a teammate. Brilliantly picked up a loose ball that bounced over her head and then ran into the space. Also did well defensively, which was shown when she laid an excellent tackle to stop Essendon captain, Lisa Williams on the run.  

#21 Harriet Cordner

Took a good mark and then delivered a nice kick down the line. She contested well wherever she was, shown by her taking a great intercept mark at the top of the 50 metre arc to send the ball back forward for Casey.

#7 Bianca Jakobsson

Jakobsson marked everything that came her way at RAMS Arena, clearly not fazed by the wet and slippery conditions. Her intercept marking was a highlight as usual and her overhead marking was superb. Delivered a good underground handball in a contest, showing her determination to get the footy forward. Jakobsson executed a great spin and kick while she was right near the boundary line, which I thought was a highlight of her game. Laid an excellent tackle to stop Courtney Ugle in her tracks in what was a great defensive performance by the Melbourne AFLW player.

#35 Catherine Phillips

Phillips displayed good run and carry throughout the game, always looking to play on with the ball in hand. Executed a great follow-up after she dropped the mark by getting a quick handball out to a teammate on the outside. Displayed great acceleration with the ball in hand on the boundary line.

#25 Madelaine Shevlin

I thought Shevlin was one of Casey’s best players on the day. She delivered a nice kick to the top of the square that set up Casey’s first goal of the day, which allowed her forwards to run onto the loose ball. She also beautifully pinpointed a kick out of the centre square that traveled all the way to the forward pocket into the hands of Taylor Mesiti, showing her ability to create forward thrusts for the Demons. Shevlin got a lot of the footy and used it well, demonstrated when she gave off a great handball while being tackled. A highlight of her game was when she kept running hard after she received a handball to take a great overhead mark down the line.

#41 Taylor Mesiti

Attacked the ball well and leapt very high for each forward marking attempt. Was proactive up forward, demonstrated through a quick snap out of a contest. Although she was unlucky to miss, she read the flight of the ball well. Mesiti displayed great hands throughout the day and was one of the most dangerous forwards on the ground. Did well when she lowered her eyes instead of going for goal, finding a better option which ensured it a certain major for Casey,

#18 Kaila Bentvelzen

Bentvelzen took some great marks inside 50 and did well to assist her teammates, as she often drifted up the ground. Took a mark about 45 metres out and lowered her eyes, spotting a great option in Eden Zanker and spearing it perfectly towards her lead.

 

Richmond vs. Hawthorn 

By: James Halley

Richmond:

#88 Phoebe Monahan

She wasn’t afraid to push back to defence and help out when needed. She was the Tigers’ best midfielder in my opinion with 26 possessions.

#80 Jacinta Louttit

After claiming a kick that found itself out of bounds on the full, she kicked a great set shot from the boundary in one of the goals of the day.

#68 Alice Edmonds

Dominated in the ruck and around the ground. She was also a threat in the air and managed to take five marks for the day.

#64 Emma Gunn

After receiving a handpass from Kate Dixon, she found herself in some space and kicked a goal on the run from 20 metres out. She has pace to burn and she used it to her advantage to dispose of her opponents out of a ball up and have a shot on goal, which hit the post.

#77 Justine Hocking

She manages to get a fist in many contests and halve the contest. She saved a goal in a one-on-one battle in the second term on the goal line, which was a highlight of her game.

 

Hawthorn:

#9 Melissa Kuys

After taking the advantage from a holding the ball decision, she burst inside 50 and scored an easy goal for Hawthorn. In this instance, she displayed her elite game awareness. Although she didn’t have as much ball as she has had in the past, she had important moments and touches that were vital for the Hawks.

#36 Jayde Van Dyk

She is a rock down back and took many intercept marks. She had a very nice kick and was able to pinpoint passes through the middle. She read the ball better than her opponents on many occasions.

#35 Clare O’Donnell

She has really good hands, shown when she took a one-handed mark in the first term. After a great pass from Jade Barnden, she was able to snap a goal in congestion.

#25 Meg Hutchins

A highlight of Hutchins’ game was when she kicked a wonderful goal from the boundary in a display of class. She was also really prolific for Hawthorn with 22 disposals.

#33 Emily Gilder

She was able to kick the first goal of the game through getting the ball out of the back in the goal square, using her speed to her advantage. 

 

NT Thunder vs. Collingwood

NT:

#20 Jasmyn Hewett

Took a great leading mark inside 50 and was unlucky to miss a long range shot at goal. Also showed nice hands in defence when she took a good intercept mark in defence. Hewett ran well on the boundary line in a passage of play in defence, which got the ball out of danger for her side.

#8 Sally Riley

Riley played a team role on the day, often playing the role as the link in the chain. Came and helped out a teammate who had to deal with a ducking and weaving Sarah D’Arcy. Riley came in and put pressure on D’Arcy and caused her to turn it over. Also picked up the ball well off the deck and ran into space nicely. Always wanted to keep the ball moving throughout the game, shown through nice kicks and good running.

#2 Eloise Jones

Executed great run and carry with the ball in hand and then did well to keep running after her efforts to win it, demonstrating good second efforts. Jones delivered an excellent long kick down the line, and followed this up with a great flying attempt for a mark. Did well to trap it in a stoppage and win a free kick for a shot on goal.

#28 Renee Forth

Read the ball well on the day. She was able to get a great clearance through the middle of the ground and tried to create a lively presence up forward.

#14 Courtney Cramey

Accelerated well and had a great clearance. Cramey was able to move the ball well through the ground and made an impact in the middle. She did well on many instances to keep the play calm in the most dangerous spot of the ground, avoiding turning the ball over in the corridor. Cramey also shared the ball well with her teammates on the day with her quick and clean hands.

#22 Jenna McCormick

McCormick was lively up forward and loved to take the game on. Laid a couple of great tackles, showing her intent to win the footy, Her kicking was good on the day, often hitting a teammate or finding space for them to run into.

 

Collingwood:

#2 Chloe Molloy

Molloy was a star for Collingwood and if it was not for Sophie Alexander’s four goals, she was best on ground in my opinion. Picked the ball up off the deck swiftly and kicked it well into space. Was able to fend off a couple of players and accelerate into space in the back line then kicked it into space for her teammates to utilise it. Delivered an excellent kick out of the middle of the ground that landed right in the hands of Cecilia McIntosh. Molloy showed good initiative to kick the ball off the ground after a string of handballs caused congestion, demonstrating her high footy IQ. A highlight of her game was when she took a sensational intercept mark in defensive 50, as she hid herself behind the ball in the goal square and claimed the mark cleanly. Read a kick out of full back brilliantly and took a fantastic overhead intercept mark. She followed this up by delivering a perfect centering kick after that slipped through her teammates’ hands. Molloy also gave off a great handball under pressure, showing that she was able to use the ball well almost every time she got it.

#28 Holly Whitford

Delivered a lovely kick down the line and took a good intercept mark in a matter of seconds later. Whitford executed a nice centering kick off one step under pressure, showing her knack of getting the ball and just kicking it when she needs to. Took a good mark and followed it up with a nice long range kick to find a teammate in the middle of the ground.

#20 Cecilia McIntosh

I thought McIntosh had the best set of hands on the ground. Whether it was a contested mark or letting the ball float into her chest, she always put herself in good positions to mark the footy. Did well in general defensively, which was shown by a great tackle that set up Collingwood’s first goal of the day. Also displayed excellent run and carry and followed this up with a great kick to the top of the square.

#21 Iilish Ross

Ross took a good one-on-one mark and did well to lower her eyes and find Leah French in space inside 50. Her side-step was a highlight of her game, and she used it to effect on two occasions in particular. In the first instance, this display of agility found a teammate inside 50 and on the second instance, it helped to calm down play for the Pies. Pushed her opponent under the ball later in the game, demonstrating an excellent ability to get it into space.

#41 Kristy Stratton

Delivered a great kick down the line to slow down play for the Pies. Had a great snap at goal, and was generally lively with the ball on hand. Stratton also took a great one-on-one mark and did well to play on quickly and get it forward for her side.

#49 Sophie Alexander

Sophie Alexander was best-on-ground for the Pies in my opinion, as her four goals were game-changing. She also did the little things such as when she took a great contested intercept mark to make up for her missed attempt at goal. In another instance, she initially shepherded an opponent for her teammate to run onto the ball, but then did the hard work herself. Alexander did really well to push her opponent under the ball, and followed it up by kicking a goal from outside 50 off one step. She showed that she can certainly kick the ball a long way as nearly all of her goals were from just inside 50! Her best goal was when she remarkably kicked a major from the boundary line from about 50 metres out. Alexander was never afraid to take it on and did the team thing whenever she was needed to. This was shown when she led well to a Chloe Molloy kick from outside 50 and was rewarded for her efforts with a goal. Also demonstrated good agility when she executed a great spin around her opponent and centering kick to Iilish Ross in the middle of the forward 50.

#47 Jessica Edwards

Edwards was solid for Collingwood throughout the day and never seemed to over-use the ball. Demonstrated excellent acceleration when she took the ball under her arm and kicked it long into inside 50 space from the centre square. Also delivered a great handball in space under pressure in defence. A highlight of Edwards’ game was when she ducked and side-stepped around her opponent to get the ball free. Followed that effort up with another great spin with the ball in hand to buy herself some more time, which shows how smart of a footballer she is.

Team selection: VFLW – Round 7

A host of TAC Cup Girls will make their Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s debut this week, as they prepare for the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships commencing on July 9. A couple of traditional rivals will go head-to-head this weekend as well with both Carlton and Collingwood and Hawthorn and Essendon battling it out for a round seven victory.

 

SOUTHERN SAINTS v. NT THUNDER

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

11:15AM

SkyBus Stadium

The Southern Saints will have to fight hard to get back on the winner’s list this week as they face the undefeated NT Thunder this Saturday. Sandringham Dragons duo, Eleanor Brown and Jemma Owen will retake to the field this week after representing Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. They have been named in alongside Carlton AFLW player, Laura Attard, Eastern Ranges pair, Gabriella De Angelis and Charlotte Wilson as well as Dandenong Stingrays duo, Shelley Heath and Courtney Jones.

NT Thunder have made 11 changes with lots of Northern Territory talent being re-injected into the side. Tabitha May will be making her senior debut this week after being named most valuable player in round one of the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. Coming back to the side will be defenders, Tahlia Holtze, Jemma Iacono, Morgan Johnstonand Lisa Roberts. Similarly, Jasmine Anderson, Lucy Adam and ruck, Jess Allan will be welcomed back into the midfield. For the forward line, the skillful Jasmyn Hewett will return from rest alongside Jordann Hickey and Ruth Wallace. However, the Thunder has rested AFLW Adelaide Crows stars, Sophie Armitstead, Georgia Bevan, Courtney Cramey, Chelsea Randall, Deni Varnhagen, Jenna McCormick and Sally Riley in line with an AFL Victoria directive to reduce the number of South Australian-based players in the team each weekMadeline Gault, Sue Nalder and Kristy Irvine will also miss this week’s match up.

Southern Saints
B: 29. M. Macdonald, 14. I. Quintal, 30. C. Wilson
HB: 17. L. Olsen, 38. S. Karlson, 31. G. Walker
C: 39. E. Brown, 2. A. Brown, 52. T. Gordon
HF: 21. D. Lawrence, 15. T. Bohanna, 27. K. Macqueen
F: 35. G. De Angelis, 13. C. Munn, 33. J. Owen
R: 28. R. Watt, 8. A. Drennan, 32. S. Johnson
Int: 10. L. Arnell, 18. L. Attard, 43. S. Heath, 40. M. Maitland
Emg: 49. A. Allsopp, 24. K. Ripari, 19. A. Silver, 22. D. Smith
23P: 42. C. Jones

In: E. Brown, J. Owen, L. Attard, G. De Angelis, C. Jones, C. Wilson, S. Heath
Out: S. Bolding, A. Ryan, K. Thompson

NT Thunder
B: 5. M. Roberts, 7. L. O’Shea, 44. M. Johnston
HB: 18. T. Holtze, 37. S. Allan, 13. L. Roberts
C: 12. J. Anderson, 3. A. Foley, 32. K. Streader
HF: 31. J. Sedunary, 11. J. Hickey, 15. R. Wallace
F: 28. R. Forth, 20. J. Hewett, 6. L. Motlop
R: 25. J. Allan, 17. E. Swanson, 43. K. Duggan
Int: 1. L. Adam, 10. S. Barnett, 41. A. Chittick, 19. J. Iacono
Emg: 42. G. Cusack, 23. S. Mauboy, 47. T. May
23P: 48. N. Gore

In: T. May, J. Hickey, T. Holtze, M. Johnston, J. Iacono, J. Hewett, L. Adam, R. Wallace, N. Gore, L. Roberts, J. Anderson, J. Allan
Out: D. Varnhagen, C. Cramey, S. Riley, G. Bevan, S. Armitstead, M. Gault, C. Randall, K. Irvine, J. McCormick, S. Nalder

 

COLLINGWOOD v. CARLTON

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

01:00PM

Warrawee Park

Collingwood will be coming off a week’s rest when it takes on Carlton at Warrawee Park this weekend. The Magpies have made four key changes to their line-up, bringing in AFLW talents, Ruby Schleicher, Kristy Stratton and Emma GrantLeah French will also join the side this week, while Mua LaloifiGabrielle Biedenweg-Webster, Sarah Cameron and AFLW player, Holly Whitford have been named out. Oakleigh Chargers forward, Daisy Bateman comes back into the side as the 23rd player after scoring three goals on debut for the Magpies.

Carlton has made five changes in the lead up to this week’s match, starting with the exciting inclusion of this year’s TAC Cup Girls Northern Knights captain, Maddy Brancatisano. She will come in as the 23rd player and bring her leadership experience after leading her side to the inaugural TAC Cup Girls Grand Final. She will be joined by another TAC Cup Girls leader in Gippsland co-captain, Tyla Hanks, who was one of the best on ground for Vic Country in its first Nationals hit-out. Carlton AFLW players, Natalie Plane and Bridie Kennedy have also been named to take the field this week, as well as sister of Breann Moody, Celine Moody. They will have big shoes to fill with AFLW teammates, Jess Hosking and Sophie Li being rested. Oakleigh Chargers forward, Isabella Gietzmann and Rachel King have been omitted while Courtney Bromage has shifted her focus from football back to her studies for the remainder of the season.

Collingwood
B: 52. N. Hales, 61. A. Malander, 72. K. Lee
HB: 22. S. Casey, 18. R. Schleicher, 47. J. Edwards
C: 81. B. Jones, 4. S. D’Arcy, 99. S. Marsh
HF: 49. S. Alexander, 77. C. Leighton, 2. C. Molloy
F: 54. H. Grubb, 75. E. Fowler, 13. J. Lambert
R: 11. E. Hynes, 5. E. Grant, 55. L. French
Int: 65. E. Browning, 50. G. Buchan, 63. P. Nash, 41. K. Stratton
Emg: 56. P. Davey, 53. R. Grant, 62. E. Korteman, 68. S. Yoannidis
23P: 66. D. Bateman

Carlton
B: 24. R. Hicks, 7. S. Last, 56. C. Williams
HB: 34. A. Chuot, 5. D. Pedersen, 40. K. Harvey
C: 55. C. Dalton, 32. N. Plane, 18. T. Lucas-Rodd
HF: 38. L. McCarthy, 50. J. Borg, 90. B. Walker
F: 27. K. Cox, 42. C. Hardeman, 41. K. Cunico
R: 16. B. Moody, 26. S. Audley, 51. T. Hanks
Int: 82. N. Burns, 23. B. Kennedy, 36. C. Moody, 37. B. Schultz
Emg: 45. R. King, 35. S. Li, 66. T. Plowman, 63. O. Vesely
23P: 8. M. Brancatisano

In: O. Vesely, N. Plane, T. Hanks, M. Brancatisano, B. Kennedy, C. Moody
Out: J. Hosking, C. Bromage

 

CASEY DEMONS v. WESTERN BULLDOGS

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

04:00PM

Casey Fields

Both the Casey Demons and Western Bulldogs come into round seven with one win under their belt and hungry for more. Coming off last week’s bye, the Demons have brought in AFLW players, Laura Duryea and Kate Hore, Bianca Jakobsson and Katherine Smith. They will be joined by Dandenong Stingrays and Vic Country captain, Jordyn Allen, as well as Taylor Mesiti and Sally Fyfield. This week the Demons also signed Shae Sloane, sister of Rory Sloane, who will don the red and blue jumper for the first time this weekend as the 23rd player. The former Volleyroos captain is an exciting addition to the team.

Coming off their first win of the season, the Bulldogs have pulled the ace from their sleeve this week, bringing in AFLW premiership captain, Ellie Blackburn for her VFLW debut. She will be joined by another debutant in AFLW premiership forward, Deanna Berry. Both girls are no stranger to a tough game of football and are sure to add class to the Dogs’ line-up. Laura Bailey, Nicole Paul, Brittney Wunhym and Katerina Rebuffo have also been named in for the round seven clash.

Casey Demons
B: 37. L. Lowerson, 27. A. Harrison, 15. S. Phillips
HB: 34. D. Guttridge, 21. H. Cordner, 16. C. Sheriff
C: 25. M. Shevlin, 22. K. Guttridge, 8. M. Tatham
HF: 18. K. Bentvelzen , 29. E. Zanker , 41. T. Mesiti
F: 38. J. Allen, 12. G. McLean, 7. B. Jakobsson
R: 14. T. Orgill, 13. K. Smith, 2. A. Newman
Int: 48. S. Fyfield, 9. A. Johnson, 6. A. McDonough, 5. S. Poke
Emg: 3. R. Clayton, 47. M. Hogg, 30. A. Marshall, 33. L. Rutter, 49. B. Struylaart
23P: 26. S. Sloane

Western Bulldogs
B: 9. T. Dinuccio, 42. N. Paul, 5. R. Martinuzzo
HB: 26. T. Morgan, 18. E. Birch, 38. C. O’Brien
C: 13. L. Bailey, 21. B. Hunt, 10. S. Jolly
HF: 1. B. Lochland, 12. J. Francke, 6. K. McLeod
F: 7. D. Berry , 32. A. Mifsud, 41. A. Scott
R: 24. K. Rennie, 2. E. Blackburn, 17. H. Wildes
Int: 31. A. Gunn, 29. T. Hamilton, 47. N. McMahon, 51. K. Rebuffo
Emg: 16. N. Ferres, 40. N. Gills, 36. A. Gogos , 27. E. Muller
23P: 37. B. Wunhym

In: L. Bailey, N. Paul, B. Wunhym, N. Gills, D. Berry , E. Blackburn, K. Rebuffo
Out: E. Mackay, R. Ashley, A. Tessari

 

MELBOURNE UNI  v. DAREBIN

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

06:30PM

Melville Oval, Hamilton

Melbourne Uni will go into this week’s clash against Darebin missing two Kangaroo recruits, Jamie Stanton and Danielle HardimanMarta Cantwell has also been named out. In their place, Vic Metro captain, Madison Prespakis will be welcomed back to the field alongside the fearless Sophie Abbatangelo, Asha Price, Alexandra Saundry, Candice Adams and Lauren Munday.

Darebin has made six changes to its round seven side. This involves the inclusion of AFLW player, Nicole Callinan as well as Cherelle Byrne, Janelle Bertoni, Shree Fairchild and Eastern Ranges and Vic Metro defender, Lauren Szigeti who comes in as the 23rd player. The Falcons will be going into the game without powerhouse, Lily Mithen, who is a former captain of Vic Country, and Melbourne AFLW player. Fellow AFLW midfielder, Nat Exon is another big out for the Falcons this week.

Melbourne Uni
B: 27. J. Anderson, 29. K. Klatt, 6. E. Keaney
HB: 53. J. Grierson, 43. L. Munday, 24. S. Wilson
C: 10. K. Ashmore, 15. E. Kearney, 44. A. Runnalls
HF: 11. P. Cordes, 9. K. Price, 2. H. Ibrahim
F: 1. S. Abbatangelo, 34. A. Price, 7. A. Riddell
R: 33. C. Adams, 41. K. Gillespie-Jones, 18. A. Tupper
Int: 19. L. Ahrens, 38. K. Angelis, 20. L. Belza, 4. A. Saundry
Emg: 28. A. Dalley, 45. M. McDonald, 35. M. Shone, 16. T. Watson
23P: 46. M. Prespakis

In: S. Abbatangelo, C. Adams, L. Munday, A. Price, T. Watson, A. Saundry, M. Prespakis
Out: J. Stanton, D. Hardiman, M. Cantwell

Darebin
B: 32. G. Colvin, 27. S. Hogan, 49. R. Hibbert
HB: 48. L. Jacobs, 14. M. McDonald, 21. K. Roe
C: 2. N. Callinan, 9. M. Eastman, 15. A. Lister
HF: 26. T. Olcorn, 24. K. Shierlaw, 56. M. Wilson
F: 22. G. Hammond, 43. H. Mouncey, 17. S. Simpson
R: 41. A. O’Connor, 20. M. Guerin, 12. J. Dal pos
Int: 36. C. Byrne, 44. S. Fairchild, 31. E. Gardner, 11. K. Tyndall
Emg: 37. J. Bertoni, 1. E. Honybun, 29. S. Normington – Dickens, 30. E. O’Dea
23P: 35. L. Szigeti

In: S. Fairchild, L. Szigeti, G. Hammond, N. Callinan, S. Normington – Dickens, C. Byrne, J. Bertoni
Out: L. Skipper, N. Exon, L. Mithen

 

HAWTHORN  v. ESSENDON

Round 7 – 24/06/2018

11:45AM

Box Hill City Oval

Hawthorn will be looking for repeat efforts of last weekend when it takes on the winless Essendon. They have brought in two debutants for the occasion, including Eastern Ranges duo, Emerson Woods and Mikala Cann. Both girls have proven to be tough competitors after their TAC Cup Girls experience this year. Clare O’Donnell and Nicky Cormack have had to make way for the young midfielders.

Yet to experience victory, Essendon will be desperate for a win, coming off the bye. The Bombers have trusted in three debutants to bring them the result they desire. Greater Western Sydney defender, Tanya Hetherington and 17-year-old Calder Cannons defender, Molly Warburton will hopefully bolster the Dons’ defensive pressure. Another 17-year-old Cannons recruit, Carla Rendelmann will also play her first game, being named as the 23rd player. Aysha Ward and Monique DeMatteo have also been named in while Jessica Anwyl, Danielle Ponter, Alex Quigley, Jenna Barker and Erin Bult have been named out.

Hawthorn
B: 22. T. Luke, 21. P. Randall, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 4. S. Carroll, 36. J. Van Dyk, 13. E. Nixon
C: 17. S. David, 1. E. Mackie, 9. M. Kuys
HF: 14. O. Flanagan, 25. M. Hutchins, 33. E. Gilder
F: 8. R. Beeson, 28. S. Perkins, 5. C. Perera
R: 32. K. Ebb, 39. S. McNamara, 6. J. Crockett-Grills
Int: 45. M. Cann, 40. E. Macdonald, 16. C. Papadopoulos, 19. L. Wotton
Emg: 37. J. Barnden, 24. R. Dillon, 11. D. Haines, 29. A. Tanner
23P: 43. E. Woods

In: D. Haines, M. Cann, A. Tanner, R. Dillon, E. Woods, J. Barnden
Out: C. O’Donnell, N. Cormack

Essendon
B: 25. R. Neaves, 7. K. Hicks, 5. M. Warburton
HB: 17. T. Hetherington, 16. L. Morecroft, 27. A. Morcom
C: 44. M. Collier, 37. I. Malliaras, 46. C. Ugle
HF: 35. V. Moreau, 18. K. Heil, 47. A. Ward
F: 4. N. Hardy, 12. B. Kearney, 22. N. MacDonald
R: 30. S. Nalder, 9. L. Williams, 8. H. Bullas
Int: 15. L. Caruso, 3. M. DeMatteo, 32. T. Mackrill, 1. J. Trend
Emg: 14. J. Barker, 49. E. Bult, 26. A. Madden, 28. C. Portlock
23P: 36. C. Rendelmann

AFLW Previews: Round 5

IF the multiple record breaking round four sets the tone for the rest of the season then we are in for another explosive round of footy this weekend.  At this point in the season we move into the round having a better idea of the sides who can win the premiership and just how crucial percentage can be.

With a 73-point win and Brooke Lochland’s seven goal haul when three of their forwards are out, the Bulldogs made it official. They have their paws in the door for a spot in the grand final.  As do the Brisbane Lions, after flying somewhat under the radar so far and seemingly sneaking into second spot on the ladder.  Brisbane will take their shared team effort to the Demons’ home ground where the Dees will be aiming to bring out their early round form and flow after a fruitless couple of weeks on the road. 

The Bulldogs take on the Pies who celebrated a well overdue win against Melbourne in the extreme heat having waited almost a year to sing the song.   

Round five on paper looks the most crucial this season, with each side still within reach of a top two spot on the ladder.  But that will all be over come Monday.  The ability to respond will be the difference this weekend. 

Melbourne v Brisbane Lions

Friday, March 2, 7.05pm ACDT at Casey Fields

The Brisbane Lions have showed they can adapt to whatever conditions may come, with their ability to play as a group and stick to their structures. They were triumphant over Melbourne in severe weather last time they met. After being on the road since round three the Dees are set to play at their home ground against the strong moving pride of the Lions and get some much needed relief from the extreme weather they’ve had to contend with. This is an opportunity for Melbourne to take back control of their final prospects, get the game on their terms and bring back the Demon style of football.  They will be looking to keep Jess Wuetschner under control and limit the effectiveness of Sabrina Frederick- Traub.

The Demons have named Eden Zanker, who will bring some great strength to the forward line with her excellent marking ability and good kick on goal. First gamer Claudia Whitfort also comes in, who has great speed and will likely be an excitement factor for the Dees. Lauren Pearce will be back in the ruck while defender Brooke Patterson also returns for Melbourne.  The backline will be without experienced defender Meg Downie after suffering a shoulder injury against the Pies. 

For the Brisbane Lions, Shannon Campbell is back into the side in defence replacing Emma Pittman, the only change from their round four side. 

Fremantle v GWS

Saturday, March 3, 2.05pm WST at Fremantle Oval

On the back of a painful draw against Adelaide, GWS desperately need a win to stay in touch with the competition ladder leaders. They will be keen to lay the memory of the 2017 draw with Fremantle to rest with both teams scoring 43 points a piece on that day.

Fremantle sits in fourth position and is in good contention for a top two position with impressive wins over Melbourne and Collingwood.  The Dockers will have to keep an eye out for star GWS recruit Alicia Eva to limit the amount of damage the midfielder can do. Eva has been dominant with ball in hand and the Fremantle midfield will need to have the ability to respond to her impressive form. Fremantle may look to the likes of Lisa Webb, Kara Donnellan and Dana Hooker to take up the task of stopping Eva. Fremantle has included ruck, Tayla McAuliffe along with forward Jade De Melo into the side.  Meanwhile, GWS has omitted midfielder Renee Forth and Pippa Smyth.

GWS’ Cora Staunton is a strong presence and an under-the-radar forward who has had eight scoring shots in 2018. Staunton has impressed in front of goal and has cemented her spot in the GWS line-up with her accuracy in front of goal and ability to take strong grabs.

For both sides, a loss will end any Grand Final hopes for the 2018 season. 

Adelaide v Carlton

Saturday, March 3, 6.40pm CDT at Norwood Oval

After a big loss to the Western Bulldogs, the Blues have made a heap of changes to this weeks line-up in hope to find some much needed form. In last year’s match against Adelaide, the Blues were competitive but fell away in the last quarter and no doubt realise this will be a great one to win if they bring their best to Norwood Oval, this Saturday.  The return of star forward Tayla Harris from her one week suspension may help to spark Carlton’s revival with her agility, accurate kicking and marking ability second to none. Harris is a true Blues’ game-changer and will be looking to get some early goals and momentum in the forward line.  Georgia Gee is a big factor too, she’s exciting to watch and back in the side this week for the clash in Adelaide. Katie Loynes is also in, the on-baller is hard to stop from playing her ‘tough’ style of footy.

After last weeks draw, the Crows have made some changes to the side with Rhianne Lugg and Sophie Armistead added to the midfield and Dayna Cox and Anne Hatchard in defence.  The Adelaide Crows are sitting seventh on the ladder on percentage below Fremantle and two points below Carlton.  The Crows are not out of the race just yet.  This is a must-win for both sides if they want to have a crack at making the grand final.

Collingwood v Western Bulldogs

Sunday, March 4, 2.35pm EDT at Ted Summerton Reserve

Both teams are coming off huge wins. Things went well for Collingwood in Alice Springs against Melbourne and if the momentum continues this will be a game of two in-form sides.  It makes sense that the same 21 Pies players are being named to travel to Moe for the clash against the ladder leaders with Kristy Stratton and Bree White on board.  Pies are on the bottom and have nothing to lose.  Last week their errors were low and Jasmine Garner and Christina Bernadi were pivotal.  Moana Hope was able to find some space and be a dominant figure for Collingwood in their forward. The Pies game plan seemed to fall into place with the fierce midfield pressure on the usual off-the-chain Melbourne midfield dynamic. The likes of experienced defender, Meg Hutchins, lead by example for the Pies scoring her first AFLW goal.

The Dogs launched an attack of their own against the Blues in round four.  They broke records with superstar Brooke Lochland slotting herself into the history books scoring a whopping seven goals for the game. The Western Bulldogs had a great day out, dominating across the ground and will be hard to beat coming off this form with the likes of Emma Kearney and Ellie Blackburn continuing to impress.  They’ve also included Emma Mackie and Deanna Berry up forward. 

A takeaway from round four is, anything is possible.