Tag: Lara Filocamo

Weekend preview: AFLW – Round 3

TWO round down and the two conference ladders are already starting to show an alarming trend, with all Conference A sides ahead of every Conference B side. In the match of the round, the Western Bulldogs travel to Tasmania to face North Melbourne, while winless sides, GWS GIANTS and Carlton face-off with one team to finally score four points. In the other matches, Collingwood travels west to face Fremantle, Adelaide hosts Geelong, and Brisbane take on Melbourne in a unique round that sees all five games played interstate.
 
NORTH MELBOURNE v. WESTERN BULLDOGS
Friday, February, 15, 7:15pm
University of Tasmania Stadium

After a thumping win in Round 1, North Melbourne head back to the Apple Isle, this time to the University of Tasmania Stadium. While their opponents this time around will be much tougher in the reigning premiers, the Kangaroos will fancy themselves having seen off GWS GIANTS in torrential rain and thunderstorms, a week earlier. The Western Bulldogs will also fancy their chances and are likely the best side to topple the team of champions, which should see plenty of eyes glued to televisions tonight. The winner seems almost destined to secure a finals spot, given their respective opponent will arguably be the toughest opponent they come across, and will go 3-0 up with four rounds remaining. Western Bulldogs have one of the most potent forward lines in the league and that is how they can exploit the Kangaroos. If the Roos, led by former Dog Emma Kearney, can win the midfield battle, then it will go a long way to victory. The North forward line is ultra-impressive and has no trouble kicking goals, but the Bulldogs have a stern defence that will not give them an inch. It all adds up to being an absolute blockbuster with Kearney and Ellie Blackburn going head-to-head.

H2H: North Melbourne 0 | Western Bulldogs 0 | Draws 0
Venue: North Melbourne 0-0-0 | Western Bulldogs 0-0-0

Last time they met: N/A
 

GWS GIANTS v. CARLTON
Saturday, February, 16, 4:45pm
Blacktown International Sports Park

If a week is a long time in football, then a year is an eternity, with Carlton’s last victory coming in the Round 2 clash, last year. Carlton has made a habit of upsetting GIANTS fans, winning both of its matches against the GIANTS since the AFL Women’s began. Their contested brand of football tends to work well against the GIANTS and they restrict the run of GWS, however the GIANTS have ensured bigger bodies in the midfield this season. The teams almost match up identically across the board statistically, with Carlton’s tackling inside 50 a highlight – averaging 11 per game. The GWS midfield will be hard to combat, but if the Blues can get the ball forward, they are a huge chance of an upset. The winner gets back on track this season, while the loser will find it tough to recover, needing to win at least three games from its last four games to secure a finals spot. No doubt the match-up to keep an eye on is Madison Prespakis against Alyce Parker with both young guns unbelievably talented, strong and can go forward and have an impact. A head-to-head we will see plenty over the next decade.

H2H: GWS GIANTS 0 | Carlton 2 | Draws 0
Venue: GWS GIANTS 1-1-2 | Carlton 0-0-0

Last time they met: Carlton 3.12 (30) defeated GWS GIANTS 1.3 (9), Round 2, 2018

Carlton gave their fans some serious hope in the Round 2 clash between the sides when a inaccurate Blues team got the job done at Drummoyne Oval. The win was the club’s first victory outside Ikon Park, and with the Blues holding the GIANTS to just three behinds after quarter time, the defensive work was terrific. Captain, Brianna Davey had 16 disposals, two marks, six tackles and two rebounds, while Jess Hosking and Shae Audley shared 28 disposals and 10 clearances between them. But the biggest memory was that of Sarah Hosking who smashed the tackle record with 16 to go with 12 disposals. For the GIANTS, Alicia Eva had 17 disposals and a game nine tackles, while Amanda Farrugia and Courtney Gum both finished with 16 touches.

 

FREMANTLE v. COLLINGWOOD
Saturday, February, 16, 7:15pm
Fremantle Oval

In one of the first three cross-conference games, Fremantle hosts Collingwood at Fremantle Oval. The sides have been relatively even over the first two seasons, which is to say a little underwhelming overall. This year the teams have taken different paths, with the Dockers winning their opening two games, while the Magpies have suffered two defeats. Collingwood almost toppled Geelong in Round 1 and the Dockers almost fell to Melbourne, so the teams were very close to both being 1-1. With Sophie Alexander returning to the Pies side to strengthen them up forward, and Nicole Hildebrand named in defence; the latter will assist the in-form Ash Brazill in creating run out of defence. For Fremantle, Dana Hooker and Kara Donnellan have been dominant through the middle, and with an electric forward line, it will be hard for the Magpies to combat. If Fremantle win, they will move to second in Conference A with the other two undefeated sides facing off the day before. A Collingwood loss means the Magpies go 0-3 for the third consecutive year, almost ruling out finals before the midway point of the season.

H2H: Fremantle 1 | Collingwood 1 | Draws 0
Venue: Fremantle 3-3-0 | Collingwood 0-0-0

Last time they met: Fremantle 6.4 (40) defeated Collingwood 4.3 (27), Round 2, 2018

In front of a home crowd at Optus Stadium, Fremantle recorded an important 13-point win after having won just the one game in Western Australia the year before. Dana Hooker starred for the Dockers, racking up 20 disposals, two marks, five clearances, six inside 50s, six tackles and finishing off with two goals in a clear best on ground performance. Lara Filocamo and Lisa Webb both recorded 17 disposals, while Melissa Caulfield also booted two goals, from 12 disposals. Christina Bernardi was the key goalkicker for the Magpies with two majors, while Melissa Kuys had a game-high 21 touches.

 
ADELAIDE CROWS v. GEELONG CATS
Sunday, February, 17, 2:35pm
Norwood Oval

After escaping with a win last week, Adelaide will be keen to make it two on the trot and keep in touch with the top three in Conference A. The Crows were unlucky not to win against the Dogs at the ground in Round 1, while the Cats also suffered a defeat at the hands of the reigning premiers, last week. A win for Geelong will give them breathing space inside the top two in Conference B, while a Crows loss will make it tough given the relative strength of the Conference, and require them to win against the remainder of their Conference rivals. Chelsea Randall is a massive inclusion for the Crows to strengthen a defence which conceded seven goals to Carlton last week. Geelong captain, Mel Hickey, and the exciting Richelle Cranston return for the Cats in what makes for an entertaining battle around the ground. Expect both teams to bring the heat with everything on the line, especially for the home side.

H2H: Adelaide 0 | Geelong 0 | Draws 0
Venue: Adelaide 2-3-0 | Geelong 0-0-0

Last time they met: N/A

 

BRISBANE LIONS v. MELBOURNE
Sunday, February, 17, 5:35pm
Hickey Park, Stafford

In the final game of the round, top of Conference B hosts the bottom of Conference A with both teams even for the season with one win and one loss. The Lions will be keen to maintain top spot in their Conference, while the Demons can ill-afford to drop further behind given the strength of Conference A. A win for the Demons could see them leap-frog a couple of teams and keep in touch with the leaders. Last week both teams had different contests, with Brisbane going down in a high-scoring thriller in the west, while the Demons got their hands dirty against Collingwood in a low-scoring affair to earn the four points. Elise O’Dea was sensational in the win with 26 touches and a drought-breaking second quarter goal, while Ally Anderson recorded 26 disposals, four marks and a goal in the win, to be the highest disposal winner for season 2019 so far, with 48 disposals. The Demons are a contested based team that can clunk strong marks around the ground, while Brisbane are good at controlling the play around the ground, which spells for an entertaining contest when both teams clash.

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

Last time they met: Melbourne 4.10 (34) defeated Brisbane 4.4 (28), Round 5, 2018

Melbourne survived a scare in their clash with Brisbane last season with both sides keen to keep on top of their finals hopes. The Demons held the Lions scoreless in the first term, and led by 14 points at the final break, before Brisbane booted two of the last three goals to almost seemingly take the points under lights at Casey Fields. Karen Paxman had 25 disposals, while Daisy Pearce was dominant with 24 disposals, five clearances, four inside 50s and two goals. Elise O’Dea was equally as busy with 23 touches as the experienced trio ensured the Dees came away with the four points. Kate Lutkins was enormous in defence, racking up a massive nine rebounds as well as a game-high 26 possessions, while taking four marks and having three inside 50s as well. Sabrina Frederick-Traub was important up forward with three majors from 15 disposals and three marks.

DRAFT CENTRAL TIPPING

Leaderboard:

1st : Sophie Taylor [ 7 ]
2nd : Taylah Melki, Michael Alvaro [ 6 ]
3rd : Peter Williams, Matthew Cocks [ 5 ]

 

Peter Williams

Chief Editor

Last week: 3

Round 3 selections:

Western Bulldogs
Carlton
Fremantle
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Taylah Melki

Assistant Chief Editor

Last week: 4

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
GWS GIANTS
Fremantle
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Sophie Taylor

Women’s Football Editor

Last week: 4

Round 3 selections:

North Melbourne
GWS GIANTS
Fremantle
Geelong
Melbourne

 

Michael Alvaro

Men’s Football Editor

Last week: 4

Round 3 selections:

North Melbourne
Carlton
Fremantle
Adelaide
Melbourne

 

Matthew Cocks

Guest Tipster

Last week: 2

Round 3 selections:

North Melbourne
GWS GIANTS
Fremantle
Adelaide
Brisbane

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

 

Sophie Taylor

Women’s Football Editor

Last week: 3

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Michael Alvaro

Men’s Football Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Matthew Cocks

Guest Tipster

Last week: 3

Round 2 selections:

GWS GIANTS
Collingwood
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

AFLW season previews: Fremantle

PRIOR to the inaugural AFLW season, Fremantle was touted as a premiership favourite. But the Dockers have struggled in the competition, and will be hoping to improve with a new coach at the helm. They opted for experience over youth in the draft, hoping to fast-track their development and experience a taste of success.

Last season: 7th – three wins, four losses.

Changes:

In: Jasmin Stewart, Sabreena Duffy, Philipa Seth, Courtney Stubbs, Parris Laurie, Laura Pugh, Matila Sergeant, Ebony Dowson, Katie-Jayne Grieve

Out: Stacey Barr, Kirby Bentley, Jade de Melo, Beatrice Devlyn, Lara Filocamo, Tiah Haynes, Emily McGuire, Belinda Smith, Lisa Webb, Jodie White, Amy Lavell

Some tough calls were made by the Dockers at the end of the off-season, with a Rising Star-nominated player in Emily McGuire, consistent defender, Lara Filocamo and the experienced Kirby Bentley being shown the door. Fremantle also farewelled some experienced players with Amy Lavell and Lisa Webb departing for the coach’s box, after Lavell chose to hang up the boots and Webb was delisted. On the bright side, the Dockers have included two exciting young talents in Sabreena Duffy and Matilda Sergeant. Both players have represented Western Australia, with Duffy in particular making inroads as a five-time All-Australian.

Area of strength: Defence

Despite the loss of Kirby Bentley and Lara Filocamo, the Dockers still have a good enough defence that can challenge the opposition. Former Western Australian captain, Sabreena Duffy will slot straight into the backline, and as shown in the Under 18 Championships in 2018, she is able to do most of the kicking in and do it precisely as well. Expect her to be joined by Sergeant, as well as new draftee, Laura Pugh, who hails from the West Perth Falcons. Ebony Dowson will also slot into the backline after a consistent year for the Peel Thunderbirds, while the ever consistent Ebony Antonio will run around again in 2019, looking to punish forwards with her intercept marking and defensive pressure at the contest.

Area of weakness: Forward line

After delisting known goalkickers, Emily McGuire and Stacey Barr, as well as losing Amy Lavell, the Dockers did not really patch up these holes in the draft. They instead opted for midfield and defensive depth, which will hold teams in good stead, but will not win games. The delisting of Kira Phillips at the end of the 2017 season could come back and hurt the Dockers, as she was the leading goal scorer in the Western Australian Women’s Football League (WAWFL). Ashley Sharp is a player that will need to stand up if she plays forward, as she has the potential to dominate, having shown that for Swan Districts.

Players to watch:

Sabreena Duffy

Duffy is a wonderful on-field leader who leads by example. She was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for Western Australia in the 2018 Under 18 Championships, after having played a massive role through the midfield and the back line. A player with solid hands and composed under pressure, expect Duffy to control the back line with her finesse and precision with the ball in hand.

Matilda Sergeant

Matilda Sergeant is a hard nut who just knows how to find the football. Featuring prominently in the midfield for Western Australia, she attacked the ball hard and used her clean hands and smart kicks to get her teammates out of trouble. She can also play a support role in the defensive 50 if needed, adding versatility to the Fremantle line-up.

Dana Hooker

The club’s 2018 Best and Fairest winner will be raring to go again in 2019. She only just finished short of winning the league Best and Fairest, proving how important she is in the Dockers’ midfield. Her clean hands and precise kicking has been what has held Fremantle in good stead so far, and expect no different in 2019.

2019 prediction: 5th in Conference A  

The Dockers just do not have enough star-power to compete with the might of the other clubs in Conference A. In the first three rounds of the season, they will have to come up against two of last year’s top four teams, which will be a massive challenge. They may have a chance against the Pies in Round 3, but meet Adelaide the week after. The Dockers will also give themselves a chance at home, as they have been consistent over the past two seasons. They will play four home games this season in the hope that they can take home four wins, but the task will not be easy.

 

2019 Fremantle AFLW Fixture

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Casey FieldsRound 1
Fremantle OvalRound 2
Fremantle OvalRound 3
TIO StadiumRound 4
Fremantle OvalRound 5
GMHBA StadiumRound 6
Fremantle OvalRound 7

Weekly wrap: WAWFL – Grand Finals

EAST Fremantle, Claremont and Peel Thunderbirds have each added a premiership cup to their trophy cabinets after a wonderful day of Western Australian Women’s Football League (WAWFL) Grand Finals. The Sharks claimed the senior premiership, the Tigers got the better of Peel in the reserves before the Thunderbirds secured a 20-point win in the Rogers Cup.

 

WAWFL

East Fremantle claims 2018 WAWFL premiership in thrilling encounter

EAST FREMANTLE 2.2 | 5.3 | 5.4 | 6.5 (41)
SUBIACO 0.1 | 3.3 | 5.4 | 5.6 (36)

GOALS:

East Fremantle: A. Atkins 2, K. Sprlyan 2, R. Roux, B. Smith.
Subiaco: A. Lavell 2, M. Dowrick 2, A. Renshaw.

East Fremantle has claimed the WAWFL premiership with a 6.5 (41) to 5.6 (36) win over Subiaco. Despite the loss, Subiaco ruck, Danika Pisconeri was awarded the Player of the Match for her tireless work in the contests and her ability to rove her own ball.

East Fremantle co-captain, Ashlee Atkins kicked off the scoring for the Sharks when she roved the footy off a forward 50 stoppage and kicked her 16th major of the year. West Australian Under-18 representative, Roxanne Roux then got involved quickly with her first major, applying immense forward pressure and earning a free kick straight in front of goal.

The Lions’ first goal came off the boot of Under-18 state representative, McKenzie Dowrick who continued her stellar start to the game. She was able to take an intercept mark just outside the goal square and kick truly from a generous angle.

It did not take long for the Sharks’ first quarter goal kicker, Ashlee Atkins to get her second. She read the kick inside 50 beautifully and took a strong one-on-one mark straight in front of goal from close range.

It was then Subiaco’s turn to hit back, with Courtney Stubbs getting a blistering centre clearance and delivering a pass to Amy Lavell inside 50. Lavell read the ball perfectly at the back of the pack and slotted through her first of the day to put some pressure on the Sharks.

East Fremantle was then gifted with a golden opportunity when a free kick was rewarded from close range inside 50. All the players had stopped except for Belinda Smith, who cleverly picked the ball up off the deck and streamed into an open goal.

Not long after, Subiaco’s Dowrick executed a great smother just outside 50, then picked the ball up, spun around her player and booted it inside 50. Ashlea Renshaw had her work cut out for her in the goal square, but was gifted with a goal when Steph Wills ran past the ball, allowing Renshaw to pick up the ball and kick the major.

East Fremantle’s Katrina Tinson was then bizarrely grabbed by the hair as she was attempting to evade a tackle. The Shark still got away from her opponent and kicked a long ball inside 50, where Kahra Sprlyan took a great contested mark and slotted through the major late in the quarter.

In the third quarter, Dowrick was able to get her second goal when she got the boot on the ball quickly after it was fed out to her from a stoppage. Dowrick quickly got the boot on the ball in a great front and centre position, bringing her side’s deficit to five points.

At this point, Stubbs started to lift her game with some great kicking and run and carry for the Lions. AFLW star, Lara Filocamo also lifted her intensity with some strong tackling pressure, giving the Sharks no chance to go forward.

From a boundary throw-in, Dowrick kicked the ball around the corner on her non-preferred right foot which allowed Lavell to take a remarkable diving mark. On a tight angle on the boundary line, Lavell booted through her second goal to give Subiaco its first lead of the day.

The ball soon travelled to the other end of the ground where state Under-18 representative, Roux launched a ball from outside 50 that got the distance but hit the post. This made scores level at 5.4.34 a piece at three quarter time after a frenetic third term.

It took the Sharks 13 minutes to get the first goal of the quarter when Sprlyan took a strong contested mark just outside the goal square to get her second major of the day. Subiaco was pressing hard to wrestle the lead back ever since then, but a diving mark in defence from Julie-Anne Norrish saved the day for the Sharks, giving them a winning margin of just five points in a thrilling Grand Final.

 

Reserves

CLAREMONT 3.3 | 6.6 | 10.9 | 12.15 (87)
PEEL THUNDERBIRDS 2.0 | 3.0 | 3.0 | 4.0 (24)

GOALS:

Claremont: A. Hayward 3, A. Ugle-Hayward 2, J. Andros 2, M. Trimboli, L. Viska, N. Phillips, H. Cattermole, A. Smeding
Peel: K. Bland, T. Blackburn, N. McIntyre, M. Bedford

Claremont has been crowned the champions of the WAWFL Reserves competition with a big win over Peel Thunderbirds. The Tigers got the upper hand early, outscoring the Thunderbirds three goals to two in the first term. Peel’s deficit was increased in the second, only managing one major while Claremont kicked three. A four goals to none third term effectively put the game away for the Tigers, holding a 51-point lead at the last break. Claremont’s scoring was minimised in the last term when it was restricted to two majors while the Thunderbirds completed their accurate day in front of goal with their fourth straight major.

There were goal kickers a plenty for the Tigers with Angel Hayward (three), Amber Ugle-Hayward (two) and Jasmina Andros (two) all kicking multiple goals. As reward for her hard work, Ugle-Hayward was awarded best on ground in the Grand Final. Hayward’s three goals took her tally to 19 goals from 14 games this year. Claremont leading goal kicker, Amy Smeding increased her goal kicking tally to 40 goals from 12 games, kicking one major. Holly Cattermole, Nikki Phillips, Lolita Viska and Misty Trimboli were the other single goal kickers for the Tigers. The competition’s leading goal kicker, Narelle McIntyre was restricted to one major for the game, completing her season with 43 goals from 16 games. She was complemented by Krystie Bland, Tess Blackburn and Maddie Bedford, who all chipped in with majors in the 63-point loss.

 

Rogers Cup

PEEL THUNDERBIRDS 1.0 | 2.3 | 4.6 | 5.8 (38)
EAST FREMANTLE 1.0 | 2.0 | 2.0 | 3.0 (18)

It was all square at the end of the first quarter, with both Peel and East Fremantle kicking a goal apiece. The tight contest continued into the second, as only three behinds separated the sides at the main break. Peel made amends of the ‘premiership quarter’ by kicking two goals to none, which ended up being the gamechanger in the Rogers Cup win. The scoring was even again in the fourth with both teams scoring one goal, but it was too late for the Sharks as the Thunderbirds claimed a 20-point Grand Final victory. Peel’s Jacklyn Atkinson was named Player of the Match.

WAWFL weekly wrap: Semi-finals

SUBIACO has knocked off the reigning premiers and sent them packing, while advancing to the preliminary final themselves to take on Peel Thunderbirds. Minor premiers, East Fremantle moved on to book a spot in the decider and await the winner of the preliminary final.

 

WAWFL:

SWAN DISTRICTS 1.2  | 1.2 | 4.3 | 4.8 (32)
SUBIACO 3.0 | 5.0 | 8.1 | 9.2 (56)

GOALS:

Swan Districts: A. Sharp 2, R. Williams, E. McGuire
Subiaco: A. Lavell 4, L. Filocamo, M. Dowrick, T. Lake, C. Stubbs, L. Jeffers.

Subiaco took it up to the third-placed Swan Districts side early and made a statement against its highly fancied opponents, booting 5.0 to 1.2 in the opening half to hold a 22-point advantage at the main break. Swan Districts hit back in the third term with three goals, including a clever couple of pieces of play from Rhonda Williams and Emily McGuire to keep the home side in it, but it was still a 22-point deficit at the final change after another late goal to the Lions. Subiaco then booted the only goal of the final term, with Swan Districts ruing missed opportunities – booting five behinds for the game to go down by 24 points. Amy Lavell booted four majors for the winners, while Lara Filocamo and McKenzie Dowrick each got on the scoreboard and were among the best on the day. Ashley Sharp finished with two majors for the losing side. Now Subiaco heads to the preliminary final to face Peel Thunderbirds, while last year’s premiers are now out of the flag race.

 

EAST FREMANTLE 4.4 | 7.5 | 9.9 | 12.11 (83)
PEEL THUNDERBIRDS 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS:

East Fremantle: J. de Melo 4, B. Smith 2, K. Sprlyan 2, R. Roux, A. Atkins, C. Edwards, G. O”Sullivan.
Peel Thunderbirds: K. Phillips, E. Hardie, B. Molloy

East Fremantle advanced to the 2018 WAWFL Grand Final after a stunning win over Peel Thunderbirds in the semi-final. Despite the Thunderbirds holding the X-factor goalscoring machine in Kira Phillips, it took until late in the second term for Phillips to nail her first, and by then, the Sharks had piled on seven majors and led by 40 points. Their dominance continued after half-time, booting five goals to two – both of which came in the last term. Jade de Melo booted four goals to be the dominant goal kicker on the ground, while Belinda Smith and Kahra Sprlyan managed two majors each. Teenager, Roxanne Roux and former Collingwood AFL Women’s player Caitlyn Edwards both hit the scoreboard in the big win. For Peel. Ebonee Hardie and Bailey Molloy booted late goals to join Phillips as the only goal kickers on the day for the Thunderbirds. Now Peel heads into a do-or-die preliminary final with Subiaco.

 

Reserves:

Swan Districts 3.3 (21) defeated by East Fremantle 7.6 (48)
Peel Thunderbirds 2.1 (13) defeated by Claremont 9.15 (69)

A six-goal haul to Stephanie Sparke has handed East Fremantle a fantastic 27-point win to keep its premiership hopes alive. The Sharks defeated Swan Districts after a three goals to one final term meant that the visitors were too good for the third-placed side, led by Sparke’s fantastic effort up forward. Claremont peppered the goals, but proved too strong for minor premiers Peel Thunderbirds, booting nine goals from 24 scoring shots on their way to a 56-point win. Amber Ugle-Hagan booted three goals for the winners, while Holly Cattermole finished with two majors to see Claremont advance through to the Grand Final.

 

Rogers Cup:

East Fremantle 3.4 (22) defeated Swan Districts 3.3 (21)
Peel Thunderbirds 6.9 (45) defeated South Fremantle 0.2 (2)

East Fremantle has survived a huge scare to remain alive in the 2018 finals series, defeating Swan Districts by a solitary point in the do-or-die semi-final clash. Trailing at half-time, the Sharks booted two of the three second half goals to get over the top of Swan Districts to face South Fremantle next week. In the other game, Peel Thunderbirds overcame a tight first half to boot four second half goals and record a 43-point win and book a spot in the Rogers Cup Grand Final. Leading by just 14 points at half-time and 20 at the final break, the Thunderbirds showed why they were the premiership favourites, booting three goals in the last stanza to win comfortably.

Scouting notes: AFLW – Round 6

ROUND six has left us doing the maths for many teams who have the possibility to make finals. Adelaide continued its late resurgence, as did the Dees, while the Lions lost control of their own destiny when they went down to the Pies. The Western Bulldogs also stumbled against the Giants, thanks to another wonderful performance from Courtney Gum, who is a sneaky chance to win the AFLW MVP award this year. This round proved how even the competition is and entertained fans with its unpredictability. There is no definitive flag favourite coming into the last round of the AFLW season, making for compelling contests across the weekend. 

Adelaide vs. Fremantle

By James Halley

#1: Dana Hooker- Fremantle

Needs to work on discipline as within seconds before the quarter time siren she gave away a 50m penalty, which resulted in a goal that put the Dockers behind. But she quickly learnt her lesson, as she was able to kick a goal from a 50m penalty in the third term, which put Fremantle ahead on the scoreboard. Once again, she hit the scoreboard late in the last quarter with a beautiful goal on the run. She ended up being Fremantle’s best player of the game with 20 disposals and two goals.

#2: Angela Foley- Adelaide

Foley is a very enthusiastic tackler. Also, her pressure on the ball-carrier was intense. She is a great on-field leader for the Crows. 

#3: Chelsea Randall- Adelaide

She played in the middle of the ground for most of the game and was instrumental. She was at her usual best in the air, taking numerous intercept marks. Once again her courage was on show, showcasing that she has no fear in the contest. 

#4: Ebony Marinoff- Adelaide

She needs to work on her game-sense, as she gave away a 50 metre penalty by simply running through the mark, which could be easily avoided. Apart from that, she played a courageous game and is an on-field warrior. She still soldiered on after needing stitches on her face, laying 16 tackles for the match.

#5: Kara Donnellan- Fremantle

She was instrumental for the Dockers all day in the midfield with 16 disposals. Lead from the front as usual. 

#6: Lisa Webb- Fremantle

She was amongst the best with 16 disposals, and tried hard all day in the four-point defeat.

#7: Erin Phillips- Adelaide

Luck fell her way to start the game when a kind bounce gifted her the first goal of the game. Phillips kicked her second goal in the first quarter when she displayed her class one-on-one against Alex Williams. She had the opportunity to kick for her third goal early in the second quarter but she did the team thing and tried to help get Sarah Perkins into the game, setting her up for her first goal for the season. 

#8: Ebony Antonio- Fremantle

Her rebounding skills were once again on show against the Crows, and her damaging kick hurt them on numerous occasions. She started the third term perfectly, kicking a goal in the first 20 seconds. In this instance, she used her defensive smarts to beat her opponent and gift herself a set-shot on goal. 

#9: Evangeline Gooch- Fremantle

She has great courage, and is not afraid to go back with the flight of the ball. She seems to be improving in defence each game. Has been a really consistent contributor all season for the Dockers. 

#10: Lara Filocamo- Fremantle

Gained a free kick and a 50-metre penalty from a high hit which put her in range of goal. She acted swiftly to even up the scores, and played a huge part in Fremantle’s fight-back.

#11: Hayley Miller- Fremantle

Had a great burst out of the middle to start the second half and set up Antonio’s first goal of the game. She was really busy in the third term, it felt like she was everywhere.

#12: Rhiannon Metcalfe- Adelaide

Her tap power was instrumental in giving the Crows first touch off the contest, and this gave them the upper hand in the midfield.

#13: Courtney Cramey- Adelaide

Thirteen disposals with 12 of them being kicks. Knows she has a good kick and used it to advantage on Friday night. 

#14: Ashlee Atkins- Fremantle

Converted a set-shot after being awarded a free kick inside her scoring range in the second term. Also contributed eight disposals in another solid game for her. 

#15: Sarah Allan- Adelaide

Allan is a very good one-on-one player deep in defence, and is hardly beaten. She was able to take the match-saving mark in the dying seconds, showing her composure and safe hands.

#16: Cassie Davidson- Fremantle

She didn’t really have any big moments within in the game but still contributed well with 12 disposals.

#17: Eloise Jones- Adelaide

She had the game-sense to play on when there was nobody on the mark in the last quarter, which gifted Erin Phillips yet another goal, as she kicked to her perfectly on a platter to her advantage.

#18: Jess Sedunary- Adelaide

She has some impressive pace and fancy footwork to get away from opponents. She showed this in the second term when she got around two Fremantle opponents.  

#19: Alicia Janz- Fremantle

Probably played her best game in the ruck for Fremantle this year. Contested well with Metcalfe and was able to contribute eight disposals herself. Has quick hands for a tall player. 

#20: Gabby O’Sullivan- Fremantle

Her intent was great all night. Did not get a lot of the footy but was particularly active inside 50. 

 

Brisbane vs. Collingwood

By Taylah Melki 

#1: Christina Bernardi- Collingwood

Stellar performance. She was in everything, and contested hard for the footy. Accurate in front of goal, slotting three majors. Applied heaps of physical pressure and had clean hands when dishing the footy off. Displayed excellent awareness throughout the whole game.

#2: Chloe Molloy- Collingwood

Another dominant display showing her clean hands and footy smarts. Used her speed to propel the Pies forward in a huge win for the black and white. Excellent composure. 

#3: Jasmine Garner- Collingwood

Was important for the Pies, she contested hard for the footy and provided a target up forward. Bagged a good goal and lead up at the footy.

#4: Jamie Stanton- Brisbane

Ran hard to get herself into good positions. Opened up space for her teammates and got plenty of touches.

#5: Emily Bates- Brisbane

She was a ball-magnet and used the footy cleanly. Had good speed and a penetrating kick. Stood up in the contest and fought hard to win the footy for her team.

#6: Jess Duffin- Collingwood

Good intercept mark, helped to control the backline. Showed good on-field leadership

#7: Caitlyn Edwards- Collingwood

Clean hands and great awareness to help set up scoring opportunities for her team mates. Was a tackling machine, laying 10 tackles and imposing herself on the contest.

#8: Kate Lutkins- Brisbane

She was in everything and contested hard for the footy. She dominated across the ground and made sure her presence was felt. Had clean hands and used the footy well

#9: Amelia Barden- Collingwood

Racked up the touches and used the footy well. Showed her class and footy smarts with ball in hand.

#10: Brittany Gibson- Brisbane

Booming kick and helped to propel the Lions forward. She got plenty of touches and showed good decision-making with ball in hand. Used the footy cleanly. 

#11: Moana Hope- Collingwood

Impressive in front of goal, provided a spark up forward for the pies. Contested for the footy well at ground level and used her body well to get into a good position.

#12: Ally Anderson- Brisbane

Good speed and helped to propel the Lions forward. Had plenty of the footy and scrapped hard to win the contested ball.

#13: Kaitlyn Ashmore- Brisbane

Had strong hands and took good contested marks. Competed hard for the footy both in the air and on the ground. Showed her skill and class with an impressive last-quarter goal.

#14: Breanna Koenen- Brisbane

Hands were clean and she was able to find targets. Racked up the possessions and used the footy well. Had strong hands, taking big grabs for the Lions.

#15: Jaimee Lambert- Collingwood

Clean hands and an accurate kick. Used her pinpoint precision to hit targets. Threw herself in the contest and took plenty of contested grabs.

#16: Lauren Tesoriero- Collingwood

Applied heaps of pressure and imposed herself on the contest laying six tackles. Used the footy really well and hit her targets.

#17: Sophie Conway- Brisbane

Had a slow start to the game but worked her way into the contest. Applied good forward-pressure and competed hard for the footy.  

#18: Tahlia Randall- Brisbane

Good leap in the ruck. Went down with an injury but came back out. Height difference didn’t seem to bother her, as she competed well in the ruck and won a few hit-outs.  

#19: Cecilia Mcintosh- Collingwood

Laid a few tackles and used the footy well. Got plenty of disposals and applied heaps of pressure for the Pies.

#20: Nat Exon- Brisbane

Took good contested marks and scrummed well for the footy. Slotted a stellar goal and fought hard throughout the match. 


GWS vs. Western Bulldogs

By Connor Ferris 

#1: Courtney Gum- GWS

Fantastic performance once again, battled well in the contest all night with 23 touches and a much-deserved goal.

#2: Emma Kearney- Western Bulldogs

Among the best for the Bulldogs as she continued to rack up the possessions. Got off to a flyer with nine touches in the first quarter, and ended up with 22 overall. Added eight tackles in a great all-round performance. 

#3: Alicia Eva- GWS

Terrific game. Able to create separation from her opponent and kick-start a number of passages of play for the Giants. Racked up 19 possessions and a goal.

#4: Jessica Dal Pos- GWS

After struggling to get into the game early, she played extremely well from midway through the second quarter, and kicked the goal to put the Giants in front. Ended up with 15 possessions and was a constant presence for the Giants going forward.

#5: Amanda Farrugia- GWS

Once again amongst the Giants’ best, and was great in all aspects of the game, 13 possessions, two marks, four tackles and a goal to polish off her work and secure victory for the Giants.

#6: Ellie Blackburn- Western Bulldogs

Great game again in Bulldogs colours. She was able to complement her fellow midfielders, while racking up 18 possessions herself. Blackburn made it tough on the Giants midfielders all night, laying four tackles to go along with her high-possession game.

#7: Monique Conti- Western Bulldogs

Another breakout performance from the young star. Clean ball-use all game, showed off her elite speed moving around the forward-flank, and set up plenty of forward 50 entries. Kicked a goal (first of her career) from 14 possessions and was involved in several Bulldog scores.

#8: Rebecca Beeson- GWS

Had a good game in the forward line with 11 possessions. Was unable to convert a major herself but was instrumental in setting the Bulldogs up with scoring chances, including Jodie Hicks’ goal.

#9: Kirsty Lamb- Western Bulldogs

Played very well through the middle of the ground. Got plenty of the ball with 16 touches, and displayed high levels of pressure with five tackles.

#10: Jodie Hicks- GWS

Was able to convert a goal in the second quarter off a great passage of play from the Giants. Provided relentless pressure to the Bulldogs defence with six tackles.

#11: Brooke Lochland- Western Bulldogs

A strong target up forward all game, and found space extremely well, resulting in eight marks. Wasteful in front of goal with just two behinds, but she will undoubtedly bounce back next round in a big game against the Dees.

#12: Angelica Gogos- Western Bulldogs

Good all-round game. Got plenty of the footy, marked the ball well and was relentless with her pressure around the contest.

#13: Britt Tully- GWS

Got a lot of the ball through the middle of the ground. Racked up 10 possessions with nine of them being kicks, which were mostly effective.

#14: Jenna Bruton- Western Bulldogs

Kicked a crucial goal in the third quarter to bring the Bulldogs back to within a goal. Was a constant presence for them inside 50.

#15: Libby Birch- Western Bulldogs

Great game down in defence. Her pressure was unbelievable, laying a game-high nine tackles. Her overall effort was fantastic.

#16: Hannah Scott- Western Bulldogs

Another nice game off the half-back flank and up towards the wing. Had the 15 possessions and a number of intercept marks.

#17: Bonnie Toogood- Western Bulldogs

Played well up forward without troubling the scores. Led at the ball very well with four marks.

#18: Erin McKinnon- GWS

After a record-breaking performance last week, McKinnon was once again dominant in the ruck with an astounding 34 hit-outs. Also added a mark to her great performance.

#19: Nicola Barr- GWS

Solid game down back. Had the 10 possessions with eight of them being kicks. A number of these resulted in rebound 50s to shut down the Bulldogs’ attack.

#20: Jacinda Barclay- GWS

Looked dangerous inside 50, but unfortunately wasn’t able to convert a goal. Continued her consistency in Giants colours. 

 

Carlton vs. Melbourne 

#1: Elise O’Dea- Melbourne 

O’Dea moved up forward for this game but was all over the ground. She kicked two early goals and finished with three for the day. Really good goalkicking action. She was on the end of every centering kick, and found space inside 50 with ease. 

#2: Tegan Cunningham- Melbourne 

Her attack on the footy in the first five minutes was electric, you just knew she was in for a good day. Kicked three goals and presented a great target for the Demons midfielders. 

#3: Shelley Scott- Melbourne 

Another all-round performance from Scott. She is a fantastic on-field leader and should be a part of Melbourne’s leadership group next year. A solid 19 disposals from her, many of which helped the Demons penetrate the ball forward. 

#4: Richelle Cranston- Melbourne 

Was able to use her power in the middle of the ground, as she played in the ruck a lot. She displayed good energy all over the ground, and made good use of the footy every time she touched it. Her contested marking is almost a spitting image of Sabrina Frederick-Traub’s. 

#5: Kate Hore- Melbourne 

Hore was lively in the forward-line and got on the end of a couple of kicks inside 50. Was able to convert two goals. Her goalkicking action is relaxed and she always stops and looks for an option with the ball in hand. Never in a rush. 

#6: Daisy Pearce- Melbourne 

Got a lot of the ball but turned it over a bit, which is unusual for her. Still, she was able to break her way into the game by laying some great tackles in the second half. Played one of her most aggressive games yet. 

#7: Katie Loynes- Carlton

Stood up for her side once again. Knows how to handle a pressure situation. She took everything the Melbourne players gave her, and excelled. Really smart kicking and clean hands. She was calm and composed with the ball in one instance then in the next she would be laying a fierce tackle. 

#8: Lily Mithen- Melbourne

Mithen played her best game for Melbourne on Sunday. She played that in-and-under style game that made her burst onto the scene last year. She was always at the bottom of the contest, showing how hard she went in for the ball. Was involved in some fierce tackles, and was able to challenge the Carlton midfielders. 

#9: Lauren Pearce- Melbourne 

Displayed incredible ball use for a ruckman. Made an impact in other areas of the ground, not just in the middle. A whopping 17 disposals for her in her second outstanding game in a matter of weeks. 

#10: Katherine Smith- Melbourne 

Continued her good run of form late in the season. Seems to be improving week-by-week. Laid six tackles in defence to ensure that the Blues forwards did not have any of the ball. 

#11: Kate Gillespie-Jones- Carlton 

Probably played her best game in the navy blue. A very underrated defender. One of the best runners in the competition, and was able to use her endurance to run through the corridor multiple times. Also has immense strength, she’s an extremely hard worker behind the scenes, and you can tell on the field. Wants to go at the footy all the time. 

#12: Sarah Hosking- Carlton 

Another handy contribution from her in the midfield. One of Carlton’s best on the day. 

#13: Georgia Gee- Carlton 

I was so happy to see her do well. She plays with great spirit and is a hard worker. She is one of the players who has benefited from the TAC Cup pathway and it is evident in her style of footy. She is a very mature player and once she puts some size on, she will be unstoppable. I was sitting behind her family when she kicked her first goal, and that cheer was very special. 

#14: Aliesha Newman- Melbourne 

Her acceleration was so impressive. Was able to move the ball forward really effectively. Had some quiet patches but was electric when she got the footy. 

#15: Madeline Keryk- Carlton

I thought she put in a really good effort for the Blues. She dug in deep all day. Keryk covered ground in defence and stood tall when Melbourne was surging forward. She displayed great aggression and got a lot of the footy. A very mature player. 

#16: Nicola Stevens- Carlton 

Played on Daisy Pearce for most of the day and was able to minimise her impact. Could become a renowned tagger because she’s a great tackler and can stop players in their tracks.

#17: Claudia Whitfort- Melbourne 

I thought Whitfort showed she has what it takes to be a consistent player in Melbourne’s line-up. Gets the ball all over the ground and is able to control it. She is settling into AFLW really well.

#18: Jess Hosking- Carlton 

Carlton would’ve missed her aggression last week. Hosking laid six tackles and was a pest in the midfield. She came out raring to go after being rested last week. You can tell she’s a player that hates sitting on the sidelines. Passion for footy is evident in her game style.

#19: Darcy Vescio- Carlton 

Vescio got a lot of the ball on the wing and used it exceptionally well. Could be a potential position change for her since Carlton’s midfield is struggling against the elite midfield groups of the competition. Was able to showcase her good speed and ball-use, something that we haven’t seen as of late because of Carlton’s lack of scoring. 

#20: Breann Moody- Carlton

Won plenty of taps in the middle of the ground, but her midfielders couldn’t run onto them. Continues to be a valuable player for the Blues. 

Scouting notes: AFLW – Round 5

ROUND five’s matches made it even harder to predict who the 2018 AFLW premiers will be. The Crows got their season back on track with a huge win against Carlton, thanks to Ruth Wallace’s magic in the forward line. Despite Sabrina Frederick-Traub’s three goals, Brisbane suffered a loss against the Dees, who fought back after handing Collingwood its first win of the season last week. The Western Bulldogs were given a scare by the Magpies at Moe, but were able to hold on to keep their spot on the top of the ladder. Unfortunately for Carlton, the losses just keep coming, and they will have to do everything they can to finish off their season on a high note. 

 

Melbourne vs. Brisbane

By Connor Ferris 

#1: Elise O’Dea- Melbourne

One of the best players on the ground who made an impact whenever she got the ball. Tallied 26 possessions as well as a game-high 12 tackles to continue her terrific form. 

#2: Daisy Pearce- Melbourne

Bounced back like a true champion after being held in check last week. Kicked Melbourne’s first two goals, and kicked her first major of the season in the process. Ended with 24 possessions in what was a true captain’s effort.

#3: Kate Lutkins- Brisbane

A standout in what was a disappointing affair for the rest of her team. Was the leading possession-getter on the ground with 26 off the half-back flank and through the middle of the ground.

#4: Kaitlyn Ashmore- Brisbane

Got off to a great start. Presented a strong target all game, taking eight marks. Was able to set Brisbane up inside 50, however she was unable to convert any majors herself, with only two minor scores.

#5: Sabrina Frederick-Traub- Brisbane

Able to show off her strength throughout the game and looked unstoppable at times. Kicked three of Brisbane’s four goals and helped keep them within striking distance.

#6: Ally Anderson- Brisbane

One of the better players for Brisbane. Had 19 possessions, three marks and five tackles in what was an excellent all-round game.

#7: Lauren Pearce- Melbourne

Back into the side this week and played a good game. Competed well in the ruck contest and was able to impact the game around the ground.

#8: Karen Paxman- Melbourne

Fantastic once again. An absolute ball-magnet with 25 possessions, and was able to kick-start several forward drives for Melbourne.

#9: Richelle Cranston- Melbourne

Excellent passage of play with several running bounces, which led to a scoring opportunity for Melbourne. Continued what has been a good start to the season for her. 

#10: Shelley Scott- Melbourne

Solid game with 12 possessions. Had several opportunities to score but she couldn’t convert, ending with only a behind.

#11: Katherine Smith- Melbourne

Held up well under constant pressure in the third quarter from Brisbane’s attack. Also applied great pressure of her own with five tackles, and earning free kicks for holding the ball.

#12: Kate Hore- Melbourne

Looked very dangerous in the early stages, helping Melbourne get off to a fast start. Continued to be impactful late, kicking the crucial goal at the beginning of the last quarter, which gave Melbourne some breathing space when Brisbane looked threatening.

#13: Emily Bates- Brisbane

Played very well through the middle of the ground. Tallied 15 possessions at an efficient rate and applied relentless pressure, laying four tackles.

#14: Emma Zielke- Brisbane

One of Brisbane’s better players. Got a fair bit of the ball off the wing and the forward-flank. Laid four tackles to complete a good all-round performance.

#15: Anna Teague- Melbourne

Non-stop effort all day. Fought so hard down in defence to prevent Brisbane from scoring, and made good use of the footy when she got possession of it.

#16: Lily Mithen- Melbourne

Really impactful in the middle of the ground. Played an in-and-under style game that proved effective, as she was able to evade the Brisbane midfielders at important times throughout the contest. 

#17: Jess Wuetschner- Brisbane

Opportunistic in the forward line without troubling the scores. Provided good forward pressure, laying three tackles.

#18: Nat Exon- Brisbane

Possession-wise was quiet, however she laid six tackles and provided a terrific contest with Melbourne’s midfielders throughout the match.

#19: Melissa Hickey- Melbourne

Ran well around the ground and battled hard in the contest. Gained a lot of the ball in the first half and kept quiet late. However, she laid a massive tackle in the goal square to prevent Brisbane from levelling the scores with a little over a minute to go.

#20: Jamie Stanton- Brisbane

Proactive with the ball in hand, and laid some aggressive tackles throughout the evening. 

 

Fremantle vs. GWS

By Taylah Melki

#1: Courtney Gum- GWS

Gum has clean hands, worked hard, and starred all over the ground. Used her footy smarts to create overlap run and slot an important goal for the Giants. Made her physical presence felt, laying big tackles and imposing herself on the contest.

#2: Kara Donnellan- Fremantle

Used the footy efficiently, capitalised on her impressive kicking ability with 10 of her 15 touches being kicks. Helped to surge the Dockers forward and applied immense tackling pressure all over the ground. Showed great on-field leadership, standing up again for the Dockers. 

#3: Alicia Eva- GWS

Starred yet again for the Giants with her long kick, and got plenty of touches. Ran hard to create space for her teammates and imposed herself on the contest. Pushed forward in the fourth quarter, creating another target in the forward 50.

#4: Dana Hooker- Fremantle

Applied plenty of pressure and hunted the footy. Was a ball magnet particularly in the first quarter and used the footy effectively. Was lively and used the footy effectively throughout the match.

#5: Amanda Farrugia- GWS

Impressed with her excellent awareness. The captain hit targets and worked hard to create space, allowing her teammates to flow forward. She was in everything and fought hard to win every contest.

#6: Britt Tully-  GWS

Contested and scrapped hard to win the footy. Put her body on the line and applied plenty of crunching tackles. Good long, penetrating and clearing kick.

#7: Jacinda Barclay- GWS

Fought hard and imposed herself on the contest. Took a huge contested mark and had clean hands throughout the game. Read the play well.

#8: Stephanie Cain- Fremantle

Worked hard to get herself into damaging scoring positions. Took good intercept grabs and got plenty of the footy.

#9: Ebony Antonio- Fremantle

Got plenty of the footy and used the ball well, showing off her extreme class and football knowledge. Set her teammates up by creating space. Showed great athleticism to manoeuvre her body and run away from her opponent.

#10: Erin McKinnon- GWS

Fought well in the ruck and competed hard to win the contest. Tapped the ball down to her teammates’ advantage and got plenty of touches.

#11: Phoebe McWilliams- GWS

Was a key target for the Giants up forward and scored a goal early in the match to set up GWS’ day. Had strong hands and contested hard to win the footy in the air and on the ground. Used her speed and footy smarts to dominate her opponents.

#12: Cassie Davidson- Fremantle

Showed great courage and commitment to win the footy. Worked hard in the contest to get in and under and win the footy. Showed her physical prowess with her tackling ability.

#13: Lara Filocamo- Fremantle

Got plenty touches of the footy and dominated across the ground. Showed her class and competed hard to win the footy in packs. Took big grabs and was influential for the Dockers in helping to set up structures.

#14: Elle Bennetts- GWS

Got plenty of touches in the opening quarter of the game, contested hard for the footy and tried to help set teammates up. Had good speed to open up space and had clean hands.

#15: Evangeline Gooch- Fremantle  

Competed hard for the footy, going in hard at the contests. She was a tackling machine and applied a heap of pressure on the ball carrier.

#16: Belinda Smith- Fremantle

Got plenty of disposals and had clean hands in and around the contest. Tackled well and put pressure on her opponents.

#17: Rebecca Beeson- GWS

Never far from the contest. Had strong hands and took clean grabs. Was also able to capitalise on scoring opportunity. Showed her footy smarts and class setting teammates up in front of goal.

#18: Ellie Brush- GWS

Good defensive pressure, got herself into good positions to take intercept marks and propel the Giants forward. Had plenty of possessions, and used her clean hands to open up play.

#19: Nicola Barr- GWS

Good defensive pressure and was a ball magnet, racking up 15 touches for the game. Was never far from the contest and imposed herself on the game.

#20: Hayley Miller- Fremantle

Long, penetrating kick and used the footy well. Showed great speed and power to burst through packs and congestion. Clean pick up of the footy.

Adelaide vs. Carlton

By James Halley 

#1: Chelsea Randall- Adelaide

With Foley playing in the backline against Vescio, it allowed Randall to play up forward as she is dangerous across both ends of the ground. She was then forced to play against Harris after she was dominating in the air. She was one of the most influential players on the ground with 15 disposals.

#2: Ebony Marinoff- Adelaide

Was really strong throughout the contest all night. In one instance, she still managed to get her hands onto the ball, despite two opposition players tackling her. Backed up last week’s tackling efforts with another six on Saturday night. Got plenty of the ball, racking up 16 disposals. 

#3: Ruth Wallace- Adelaide

Early in the first quarter she managed to gather the ball from a spillage and finish nicely with a snap around the corner. Then about 10 minutes later, she snapped another goal from the opposite pocket, showing her versatility across the forward line. She has fancy footwork that allows her to sidestep her opponents. She kicked her third goal for the game in the last quarter that was an impressive long kick into an open goal.

#4: Katie Loynes- Carlton

She displayed an impressive mindset throughout the game, and was able to execute the one percenters. Went in hard at the contest, and did the little things, like when she smothered a kick to send it out of bounds. She also tackled very well. 

#5: Breann Moody- Carlton

Was in a good battle throughout the match against Metcalfe and probably got the better of her on the day. She finished with 11 disposals for the match.

#6: Courtney Cramey- Adelaide

Good intercepting and distributing of the ball throughout the evening. Has one of the longest kicks in AFLW, and was able to penetrate the ball forward multiple times thanks to her kicking ability.

#7: Marijana Rajcic- Adelaide

Kicked one behind for the day and finished with 14 possessions for the game. Good sweeping across the back-line. 

#8: Shae Audley- Carlton

Played a great shut-down role on Erin Phillips before she went off with an injury. Tackling pressure was high as usual, and played well in a rare outing for her in the midfield. 

#9: Deni Varnhagen- Adelaide

Always put her head over the footy but sometimes gave away high free kicks as a result of going too low for the ball. Intent was there, just needed to polish off her good work. 

#10: Kerryn Harrington- Carlton

Her best game in navy blue. The former basketballer dug in deep for her side all day and mopped up what she could in the back-line. A tough player who laid nine tackles for the evening. 

#11: Tayla Harris- Carlton

With her superior height and leap she managed to take plenty of impressive contested marks. In the dying seconds of the first quarter, she was able to finish off a goal from 45m out. She was the Blues’ only real target up forward, kicking one of their two goals for the match. 

#12: Jess Sedunary- Adelaide

She managed to kick the last goal of the night in the last minute, from a routine set-shot. Not a known goal-kicker but deserved to get on the scoreboard. She finished with seven disposals, and work-rate was high all night. 

#13: Sarah Hosking- Carlton

Has the class to evade tackles, and even evaded the game’s best tackler in Ebony Marinoff! Not afraid to go in hard for the footy, and was always at the bottom of the contest at the stoppages. 

#14: Tilly Lucas-Rodd- Carlton

She is very good in one-on-one scenarios, preventing her opponent from winning the ball, and often turning her inside-out. 

#15: Angela Foley- Adelaide

Played a new role this week in the back-line, matching up on Vescio. Kept her quiet and intercepted the ball really well in the process. 

#16: Jenna McCormick- Adelaide

She has good hands on the lead, but could not convert from a short distance on the run. Finished off a set-shot in the second term for the Crows’ sixth goal, which was Adelaide’s most impressive play of the match.

#17: Rhiannon Metcalfe- Adelaide

Was engaged in a tough ruck battle all day, but she lost the battle to Moody. She didn’t have any major impact in the forward-line or back-line, but gave her midfielders the opportunity to get their hands on the ball first at times. 

#18: Justine Mules- Adelaide

She was quite creative in the last play of the match with some handy footwork to get away from some opponents. Her centering kick from the boundary line to Sedunary in the goal square was exquisite. 

#19: Anne Hatchard- Adelaide

Intent was evident throughout the game, but she needs to be more aware of tacklers around her and not just take her time, as she isn’t the fastest player. 

#20: Maddison Gay- Carlton

Tried hard for the Blues in the middle of the ground. Clearance intent was good, but just couldn’t break through the elite Adelaide midfielders. 

 

Collingwood vs. Western Bulldogs

By Peter Williams 

#1: Ellie Blackburn- Western Bulldogs

Unbelievable effort on the weekend, she just stood up and led from the front after taking bump after bump from opposition players. Missed a goal tight on the boundary late in the game, but her work rate throughout the match saw her rack up 17 disposals, two marks and a major. She seems to be so underrated compared to other leaders in the game, but she is a champion.

#2: Caitlyn Edwards- Collingwood

Edwards was a tough nut in the forward 50, even without her trademark plaits which she was told were no longer acceptable as a hairstyle in the AFLW. Donning a ponytail as her hairstyle of choice, Edwards booted two goals and laid six crucial tackles to be the Pies’ top player and most dangerous forward. She plays that defensive forward role well, where she can nullify an attacking defender, while hurting the opposition team on the scoreboard. Had 11 disposals as well.

#3: Emma Kearney- Western Bulldogs

The skilful Bulldogs midfielder would have seen it as a privilege when Pies tagger Brittany Bonnici stepped up beside her at the opening bounce. After quelling Daisy Pearce the week before, Kearney knew she was in for a tough slog at the office. To her credit, she worked hard and ended up the winner in that battle, having 13 disposals – all kicks – as well as two marks and a tackle. She might not have had the free space she can be accustomed to at times, but showed she can win tough and she did just that.

#4: Kirsty Lamb- Western Bulldogs

An equal game-high seven tackles for Lamb, who also won her fair share of the football. While all eyes were on the prime Bulldogs movers, Lamb just continued to be an option and won 10 disposals, linking up well throughout the match and putting in a good four-quarter performance. Another underrated player on the Bulldogs list.

#5: Jasmine Garner- Collingwood

After being a prolific forward last season, Garner has relished her role in the defensive 50. She is a strong overhead mark, reads the play well and positions herself in the right spots. She was really impressive working with Chloe Molloy back there, and was the reason why the Dogs did not have it all their own way early on when the Dogs were dominating the clearances.

#6: Nicole Callinan- Western Bulldogs

A really solid performance from Callinan who effectively sealed the contest with her last quarter goal. She is a smart player who stands up in big moments and she did just that on Sunday, pushing the margin out to 23 points which was a bridge too far for the Pies, and turned out to be the difference. Callinan had 10 disposals, four marks and laid three tackles as well, so a good all-round game.

#7: Jaimee Lambert- Collingwood

The former Bulldog would have undoubtedly been a little nervous heading into the game, having transferred from the now top-of-the-table Dogs, to the cellar-dwelling Pies. But she shook off any nerves to play a vital role for the Magpies laying eight bone-crunching tackles and making her former teammates earn every touch. Just the eight disposals for Lambert, but her defensive work was impressive.

#8: Monique Conti- Western Bulldogs

It must have been a tad strange for the pocket rocket Conti to shake hands with former teammate and fellow dual-sport athlete Chloe Molloy. Both were so athletically similar, with Conti having that extra spring in her step, while Molloy was so good at reading the play. I thought they broke even in their one-on-one battles, with Conti even cracking a few smiles when she realised she was being tackled by Molloy. Nonetheless, Conti’s work when up the ground or opposing others just got her the nod overall, having 12 disposals for the game.

#9: Chloe Molloy- Collingwood

Molloy was her usual reliable self, getting down in the forward line to kick her first AFLW goal – something she became accustomed to in the TAC Cup Girls and VFL Women’s seasons last year. Her battle with Conti was intriguing, but when she got free she roamed through the defensive 50 and was a steady hand, directing traffic and switching play when required.

#10: Brooke Lochland- Western Bulldogs

After breaking the AFLW most goals record last week, Lochland knew she would not be flying under the radar at Moe. The Pies made their presence felt early, and Lochland was the subject of some pretty tough love. It must have felt good when she was the recipient in the best position for a goal-square goal to ease the pressure, and she finished the game with two majors from seven disposals and three marks.

#11: Jess Duffin- Collingwood

A key cog in the Collingwood defence, Jess Duffin was one of the best defenders on the day. She had her work cut out for her from the beginning but weathered the storm and finished with 11 disposals, seven marks and two tackles. She provided crucial rebound and often stopped Dogs’ attacks with strong marks inside the defensive 50.

#12: Brittany Bonnici- Collingwood

After a successful job on Pearce last week, Bonnici was given the role on Bulldogs star Emma Kearney. While Kearney took the points, Bonnici did manage to keep her from completely having the game on her own terms and played a tough inside role, winning 10 disposals herself and laying seven tackles.

#13: Jenna Bruton- Western Bulldogs

Another cog in the Bulldogs’ machine who just played her role to perfection. Bruton had eight disposals, three marks and laid five tackles in a strong offensive and defensive game. She has continued to improve week by week and is building up to have a big grand final, should the Dogs make it.

#14: Bonnie Toogood- Western Bulldogs

Kicked the opening goal of the game and presented well throughout the match. The exciting forward finished with eight disposals, two tackles and 1.1, but was constantly a danger in the forward 50.

#15: Emma King- Collingwood

Clearly won the hit-outs but the Dogs’ midfield was too strong. They began to read her taps and dominate around the stoppages, but you could not fault King’s efforts as she covered the ground well and asserted herself as the number one ruck on the ground. A whopping 29 hitouts, King could not be stopped in that area.

#16: Stephanie Chiocci- Collingwood

A passionate leader who unfortunately had a brain fade. The moment I saw her elbow lift, the signs were not good and she now will miss the remainder of the season. She has stepped it up this season compared to last and it took her a little while to shake off the nervous signs knowing she was in trouble – and the opponents’ wrath – but the Collingwood captain finished with 12 disposals and two tackles.

#17: Aasta O’Connor- Western Bulldogs

Was serviceable in the ruck against the league’s top ruck in Emma King. She had eight disposals and six hitouts, just playing her part through the midfield. Lost her battle to King, but was not disgraced and she presented around the ground as well.

#18: Christina Bernardi- Collingwood

Another Collingwood forward who continued to present and always looked dangerous around goals. Just the one major for Bernardi this week, but she laid four tackles and had nine disposals to be one of the Pies’ best.

#19: Kim Rennie- Western Bulldogs

Battled hard in the ruck and across the ground, finishing with just the four disposals. But Rennie had nine hit-outs and five tackles to work in tandem with O’Connor through the middle as they tried to combat King’s influence.

#20: Meg Hutchins- Collingwood

The Collingwood leader was strong in attack, booting the Magpies’ first goal and just went in hard for the four quarters. She was inspirational, willed herself to every contest and never took a backwards step. She had 14 hit-outs as well so was the second most dominant ruck on the field.

Scouting notes: AFLW – Round 4

DEFENSIVE efforts headlined a massive round four, where players were pushed to their limits by the unusual weather conditions. Melbourne’s Daisy Pearce was kept quiet by young gun, Brittany Bonnici, while GWS’ Pepa Randall nullified Erin Phillips’ impact at Blacktown. But all the talk surrounded Friday night’s Pride Match, where Brooke Lochland lit up the forward line, while Hannah Scott held down the back line, in a bid to prove that the Bulldogs are the real deal this year. 

Western Bulldogs vs. Carlton

#1: Brooke Lochland- Western Bulldogs

SEVEN GOALS! The most goals ever scored by an AFLW player in one game! Need I say more? Lochland was everywhere. Her reading of the footy was exquisite, and she always got into the perfect position in front of goal.

#2: Emma Kearney- Western Bulldogs

Acceleration was second-to-none.  Was able to consistently burst through the pack with the footy. Gets and goes.

#3: Hannah Scott- Western Bulldogs

Everybody wanted to see her play well and she did. What a great game for an inspiration like her to be a part of. Stalwart in defence. Great spoiling and great composure throughout the night.

#4: Bonnie Toogood- Western Bulldogs

Played deep in the forward line and was able to get herself into good scoring positions throughout the night. Her and Lochland were such a dangerous duo inside 50.

#5: Monique Conti- Western Bulldogs

Her start was electric, you just knew she was going to play a ripper of  a game. She was zipping around the footy all night. Great ball-handling, but would have been spewing that she didn’t get on the scoreboard. Deserved reward for all her hard work.

#6: Libby Birch- Western Bulldogs

Very reliable when matching up on small, dangerous forwards. Kept Vescio quiet, whilst working up the ground as well. Always attacked the footy, and came to the ball rather than waited for it.  

#7: Ellie Blackburn- Western Bulldogs

Self-confidence is growing. Got right in Arnell’s face when her turnover resulted in Blackburn kicking a goal. Racked up plenty of the footy. Got a lot of it in the forward line, compared to getting more in the heart of the contest in the midfield in recent weeks. Able to mop up deep in defence.

#8: Sarah Hosking- Carlton

Got a lot of the footy as usual. Perfect replacement for Brianna Davey – went in extremely hard at the footy. Ran through players of all sizes.

#9: Kirsty Lamb- Western Bulldogs

Stood up for her team as usual. Got plenty of touches again in a stellar performance.

#10: Madeline Keryk- Carlton

Put in the hard yards for the Blues. Was able to stream through the corridor at multiple times, and has a long, booming kick.

#11: Lauren Arnell – Carlton

Desperately tried hard for the Blues. Made two crucial errors in a matter of seconds, which resulted in a Blackburn goal. Finally converted late in the third quarter, with two deserving goals in quick succession.

#12: Aisling Utri- Western Bulldogs

Went in hard at the footy. Was able to get it in the heart of the contest, and use her quick hands to dish it off to her teammates.

#13: Breann Moody- Carlton

Tried really hard in the ruck contest throughout the night. Got some of the footy as well. Was troubled by calf soreness in the second half. Hopefully it is not anything serious.

#14: Angelica Gogos- Western Bulldogs

Tackling was on display again. Laid 10 tackles, and was able to do the little things all night.

#15: Jenna Bruton- Western Bulldogs

Solid game in the middle, including a long, booming kick that floated through the goals!

#16: Aasta O’Connor- Western Bulldogs

Long, penetrating kick was vital throughout the night. Made a solid contribution in the ruck as usual. Such an important on-field leader for the Dogs.

#17: Tilly Lucas-Rodd- Carlton

Was able to move the footy quickly throughout the game. Fell away at times though.

#18: Kate Shierlaw- Carlton

Great agility. Started one-out in the forward line in the third quarter, and did her best. Would’ve liked to see her snag a major.

#19: Alison Downie- Carlton

Put in the hard yards for her side, particularly in the second half. Stepped up where she could.

#20: Shae Audley- Carlton

Played another solid game in navy blue. Becoming a very reliable player that always performs.

 

Brisbane vs. Fremantle 

By Taylah Melki

#1: Kate Lutkins- Brisbane

Once again dominated across the ground. Got plenty of touches and used the ball cleanly and efficiently. Fought hard to win contested ball and tried hard to set up scoring opportunities, pressing hard into the forward 50.

#2: Jess Wuetschner- Brisbane

Continued her excellent form. Slotted another impressive two goals and showed her skill, class and general football know-how to get herself into damaging scoring positions. Dominated possession and got plenty of touches in the forward line.

#3: Kara Donnellan- Fremantle

The captain stood tall once again for the Dockers. Had clean hands and used the footy well, racking up plenty of touches. The majority of them were kicks that helped send Fremantle forward.

#4: Nicole Hilderbrand- Brisbane

Proved her fitness showing no sign of her injury concern. Showed plenty of courage going back with the flight of the ball on many occasions.

#5: Lara Filocamo- Fremantle

Was the leading ball-winner for the Dockers and used the footy well. Great on-field leader.

#6: Nat Exon- Brisbane

She was her ever-reliable self and laid an impressive nine tackles. Hit the packs hard and imposed her physical presence while scrapping for the footy.

#7: Ally Anderson- Brisbane

Imposed herself on the contest and racked up plenty of touches. Long penetrating kick.

#8: Emily Bates- Brisbane

She was efficient with the footy, hit targets and used the ball cleanly. Had plenty of touches and was busy across the ground.

#9: Jamie Stanton- Brisbane

Racked up 16 touches with 15 of those being kicks. Set up play for the Lions and hit her targets. Tackled hard and applied plenty of pressure

#10: Brittany Gibson- Brisbane

In difficult weather conditions, she used the footy well and looked lively with ball in hand. Stood up well throughout the game.

#11: Gabby O’Sullivan- Fremantle

Fought hard in the first quarter. Took plenty of contested marks and applied heaps of forward pressure.

#12: Tahlia Randall- Brisbane

Took plenty of contested and intercept marks for the Lions. Dominated in the ruck, getting plenty of hit-outs to advantage for Brisbane. Good elevation in ruck contests.

#13: Ashlee Atkins- Fremantle

 Started well in the first quarter, was in everything. Good tackling pressure. Bagged an important goal to keep her team in the game.

#14: Dana Hooker- Fremantle

Long penetrating kick. Was in every contest and scrummed well. Was not afraid to get down and dirty to try and win the footy to propel her team forward.

#15: Lisa Webb- Fremantle

Stood up under pressure and had good tackling pressure. Imposed herself on the contest and wasn’t afraid to scrap for the footy.  

#16: Sabrina Frederick-Traub- Brisbane

She was influential up forward though she didn’t hit the scoreboard. Created plenty of scoring opportunities for teammates and applied plenty of forward pressure to help trap the ball in Brisbane’s forward 50.

#17: Emma Zielke- Brisbane

She was in everything in the first quarter, scrumming hard to win the contested footy. Showed good on-field leadership for the Lions.

#18: Hayley Miller- Fremantle

Went down with a suspected finger injury but came back out firing. Contested hard for the footy, racking up 14 touches. Applied physical pressure with five tackles.  

#19: Jordan Zanchetta- Brisbane

Racked up 11 touches for the match in difficult conditions. Played her role well and did not over-complicate things.

#20: Leah Mascall- Fremantle

Played well and fulfilled her role to the best of her ability. Laid plenty of tackles and hit the pack hard.

 

Melbourne vs. Collingwood

By Connor Ferris 

#1: Christina Bernardi- Collingwood

Continues to be a force in the forward line. Great ability to find space. Gathered several uncontested marks and converted them into scores.

#2: Stephanie Chiocci- Collingwood

Reliable as usual through the midfield. Tallied up 17 possessions with good ball use, setting up several scoring chances. Scored a goal herself which took the game out of Melbourne’s reach in the last quarter. 

#3: Karen Paxman- Melbourne

Played a great game. Reliable with ball in hand and threw her body around in the contest well. A standout in an otherwise disappointing game for the Dees.

#4: Jaimee Lambert- Collingwood

Leading possession-getter on the ground with 19. Provided great run and carry for the Pies all day, and laid four tackles to polish off her efforts.

#5: Elise O’Dea- Melbourne

Early goal to really establish control of the game. One of Melbourne’s best, ended up being the leading possession-getter on the ground amongst both teams.

#6: Amelia Barden- Collingwood 

Most of her possessions came as a result of hard work and determination, with a majority of them being contested. Kicked a well-deserved goal in the last quarter.

#7: Jasmine Garner- Collingwood

Moved down back in the second quarter and was instrumental in holding the Dees scoreless for the quarter. Could be a permanent position for her.

#8: Emma King- Collingwood

Once again moved well around the ground getting plenty of the ball. Outplayed Melbourne’s Erin Hoare in the ruck contest

#9: Caitlyn Edwards- Collingwood

Kicked back-to-back goals in the third quarter to help Collingwood extend the lead, and remained threatening inside 50 throughout the match.

#10: Brittany Bonnici- Collingwood

Ran with Daisy Pearce to nullify her impact and did a terrific job. Held Pearce to nine possessions, while registering 13 herself.

#11: Harriet Cordner- Melbourne

Spent a bit of the game in the ruck, but was beaten by King when she was. However, she did display high levels of pressure throughout the match, laying six tackles.

#12: Moana Hope- Collingwood

The Melbourne defence applied great pressure on Hope, making her earn every possession. Two holding the ball decisions went against her early because she simply tried to do too much. But bounced back well, kicking two goals in the second quarter.

#13: Daisy Pearce- Melbourne

Struggled to break away from Bonnici, who battled her hard all day. Had a quiet day with just the nine possessions, but applied great pressure with six tackles.

#14: Richelle Cranston- Melbourne

Great pair of hands, and was able to read the ball really well in the air. Used her physicality to her advantage.

#15: Emma Grant- Collingwood

Very good game. Read the ball incredibly well down in defence, and showed great composure.  Has become an intercept-mark specialist.

#16: Meg Downie- Melbourne

Good defensive work on Moana Hope early. Tried hard all game despite Melbourne’s defence being under constant pressure.

#17: Iilish Ross- Collingwood

Ross’ impact was not defined by numbers. She displayed great efforts in defence, really shutting down the Melbourne forward line. Laid a team-high five tackles.

#18: Bianca Jakobsson- Melbourne

Good effort down in defence. Took a number of marks and stood up well under the Collingwood pressure. 

#19: Kate Hore- Melbourne

Kicked the first goal of the day for the Dees, but was kept quiet after that. This was mainly due to the limited scoring opportunities that Melbourne had.

#20: Shelley Scott- Melbourne

Had some early opportunities in front of goal but was unable to convert. However, she was involved in a great unselfish play to set up O’Dea’s first-quarter goal.

 

GWS vs. Adelaide

By James Halley 

#1: Alicia Eva- GWS

Despite the conditions she still managed to keep her skills pristine on most occasions. She was the best midfielder on the ground throughout the day, finishing with 23 possessions.

#2: Ebony Marinoff- Adelaide 

She set an all-time record in tackles, laying 21 of them. A tackling machine that was in-and-under all day. Used her size to her advantage at times- good to see some physicality from the youngster.

#3: Chelsea Randall- Adelaide

Her courage was immense when she took a mark running back with the flight, even though McWilliams was coming full of steam in the opposite direction. She kept a cool head at countless times, and her composure was paramount throughout the match. She was able to steady the flow and take plenty of important intercept marks.

#4: Jessica Dal Pos- GWS

Controlled her kicking really well in the heavy rain. Her desperation was pinnacle in saving many goals throughout the day.

#5: Angela Foley- Adelaide

Managed to have an impact on the game across half-back. She had sticky hands on a day where marks weren’t easy to come by, which was a positive for the Crows in the tough conditions. She is an integral cog in the Adelaide back-line.

#6: Amanda Farrugia- GWS

Her captaincy was on show throughout the day. Her ferocious tackling was a highlight, and her courage to constantly be in and around the contest was remarkable.

#7: Cora Staunton- GWS

Executed a snap from straight in front, which was a little bit strange. But she made it work despite the higher level of difficulty on the kick that she chose. It amounted in the Giants’ second goal of the game in the second quarter. Her Gaelic skills were evident, as it was easy for her to kick the ball to advantage in the wet. Managed to keep her feet all day, which showed her strong core.

#8: Courtney Cramey- Adelaide

After being awarded a free kick in the first quarter, she kicked the Crows’ first major of the day in hard goal-kicking conditions, which was impressive for a defender. But she couldn’t capitalise on a late shot at goal after a 50 metre penalty, which could have won Adelaide the game.

#9: Emma Swanson- GWS

The vice-captain showed great courage with a huge mark late in the third quarter, going back with the flight of the ball. Played her most impressive game of the year. 

#10: Rebecca Beeson- GWS

She capitalised on a set shot early in the first quarter to kick the Giants’ first goal of the game. It was impressive that her technique kept intact in the trying conditions.

#11: Pepa Randall- GWS

Played a great game, nullifying the impact of Erin Phillips. Played her role for the Giants.

#12: Justine Mules- Adelaide

Eight huge tackles to complement Ebony Marinoff’s immense pressure. Consistent throughout the afternoon. 

#13: Nicola Barr- GWS

Didn’t stop trying throughout the game. Twelve disposals is impressive enough, but her one percenters were what caught the eye of the fans. Did some wonderful things with the ball in hand. 

#14: Erin Phillips- Adelaide

Although the conditions were not ideal, she still managed to show why she is a major force in the AFLW with her vital leads in the forward line. She managed to take marks out in front with her hands, which most players were afraid to do.

#15: Eloise Jones- Adelaide

She was one of the better players for the Crows throughout the day. Looked proactive in the forward line, and is cementing her spot up there. 

#16: Deni Vernhagen- Adelaide

She played her role for the team. She also took some influential intercept possessions late in the game.

#17: Britt Tully- GWS

Was able to slow the play down in the conditions and apply pressure on the Adelaide forward line. Laid seven tackles for the game. 

#18: Ruth Wallace- Adelaide

Her pace was evident and got her into trouble sometimes, not knowing how much time she had and consequently, losing her feet. Halfway through the third quarter she was able to take an impressive mark in the wet, but couldn’t finish the job with an accurate shot for goal. However, she kicked an unbelievable banana-goal early in the last quarter, and was exciting all day with her evasive skills on show.

#19: Elle Bennetts- GWS

Hit the post with a shot on goal in the second quarter, which could’ve been avoided if she didn’t rush. However, she did manage 10 disposals and laid some fierce tackles. 

#20: Rhiannon Metcalfe- Adelaide  

She was off the field for a small amount of time in the second quarter with an eye injury, but came back on and seemed fine afterwards. She laid a great tackle on Erin McKinnon in the third quarter, which awarded her a free kick for holding the ball.

AFLW Weekend Wash-up: Round 4

TWO records were broken in round four, despite a weekend dominated by trying playing conditions. On Friday night, Bulldog, Brooke Lochland kicked seven goals in front of a packed VU Whitten Oval for the AFLW Pride Game. Then on Sunday, last year’s Rising Star, Ebony Marinoff regained the AFLW tackling record, laying 21 tackles against the Giants in the first draw of the year. The weekend also saw Collingwood move off the bottom of the ladder, after defeating the Demons in Darwin. Now, with no winless teams in the competition, the premiership race is more open than ever. 

Western Bulldogs 12.14 (89) def. Carlton 2.1 (13)

The Bulldogs annihilated the depleted Blues by a whopping 73 points, but all the talk was about Brooke Lochland’s seven goals. In a dominant display, the Dogs did not let up, piling on the goals and making themselves a force to be reckoned with throughout the night. Carlton had no answers for the masterclass that the Bulldogs put on, only notching up 13 points for the match. The Dogs’ stellar performance was headlined by their dominance in front of goal, as they created a staggering 26 scoring opportunities  and restricted Carlton to just three.

Key moment:

The forward pressure was the breaking point for the Blues, as they struggled to combat the onslaught of the home side’s scoring power. The Western Bulldogs did not seem to miss key forward and captain, Katie Brennan, with Brooke Lochland zipping around the forward line for each of her seven majors. Her effort and accuracy in front of goal was second to none, becoming the first player in AFLW history to kick seven goals, beating the previous high of four goals in a match. The former figure skater put on an absolute clinic, putting the rest of the competition on notice with her impressive bag of tricks. The Carlton backline struggled to contain the explosive forward, whose night got started with four second-quarter goals. Lochland showcased her amazing footy skills and ability to get herself into dangerous scoring positions without fuss, helping the Bulldogs hand the Blues their second consecutive loss. 

Impressers:

Though Brooke Lochland was a clear stand-out for the Dogs, the performances of Emma Kearney and Ellie Blackburn did not go unnoticed. The classy midfielders oozed extreme skill and poise with ball in hand, dominating all over the field. Kearney racked up an impressive 26 touches, with 25 of those being kicks. Blackburn also starred, amassing 18 disposals and contributing to the scoreboard with a goal. In her return game for the Blues, former captain Lauren Arnell dug in deep, scoring the only two goals for Carlton and racking up 13 possessions in what turned out to be a disappointing outing for the navy blues. Acting captain Sarah Hosking also stood tall for the Blues with 18 touches.

Brisbane 3.4 (22) def. Fremantle 2.3 (15)

A low-scoring affair in extremely difficult conditions made it hard for both teams to move the ball into their forward line. But it was the Brisbane Lions who found a way, and came away with a seven-point win. Both teams applied plenty of pressure, making for a highly contested match, but the pressure that the Lions applied in the opening half left the Dockers goalless. Brisbane proclaimed their dominance once again, especially in the second half, and were able to notch up their third win for the season. Though the Dockers fought back, they could not match the Lions, who dominated the inside 50s, contested and uncontested possessions, marks, and tackles.

Key moment:

Simple ball-handling became more difficult as the match went on, as the extreme conditions did not die down. The heat, humidity and wet weather plagued the players who struggled to control the footy, but it was Brisbane who managed to control the footy more. The Lions racked up 57 turnovers in comparison to the Dockers, who had 65 clangers, which proved to be the difference between the two teams. The game was also won and lost in the ruck contest with the Lions getting hands first to the ball, winning 44 to 14 hit outs. The Lions midfielders have Tahlia Randall to thank for this, as she ran a muck against Fremantle’s Alicia Janz at the stoppages. This allowed for Brisbane to control the flow of the match and apply pressure on the Dockers, who struggled to win the footy.

Impressers:

Star forward, Jess Wuetschner starred again for the Lions, bagging an impressive two goals. Her speed, agility and footy smarts up forward gave her plenty of scoring opportunities. Not only did the East Fremantle recruit impress in front of goal, but she was also one of the leading disposal-getters for the Lions, racking up 18 touches. Though Sabrina Frederick-Traub did not hit the scoreboard, her forward pressure and ability to penetrate the footy inside 50 allowed for her teammates to dominate in front of goal. For the Dockers, Lara Filocamo starred with 18 touches and five tackles, showing her ability to go hard at the footy, and apply plenty of pressure on her opponent. Fremantle captain, Kara Donnellan once again stood tall against the Lions, amassing 15 possessions, with 14 of those being kicks.

Melbourne 3.6 (24) def. by Collingwood 9.4 (58)

In 37-degree heat, it was the Magpies that claimed their first victory for the 2018 season. The heat and humidity did not seem to bother Collingwood, who mounted on the pressure against one of the premiership favourites to claim a much-needed win. Though the Dees controlled the first quarter, they could not sustain the energy, with Collingwood over-running them by 34 points. The Demons were out to redeem themselves after their shock loss to Fremantle, but the Pies had other plans, dominating across the ground and in front of goal.

Key moment:

After Melbourne’s dominant first quarter, the momentum switched with the Pies piling on the pressure for the remaining three quarters. The Magpies’ pressure was relentless all night, laying 11 more tackles than the Demons, which proved to be the difference in the trying conditions. Collingwood kept the Dees to one goal and four points after the first quarter, while they piled on nine goals to receive that coveted first win of the season. Collingwood ensured that their pressure was felt across the ground, as midfielder Brittany Bonnici shut down superstar Melbourne captain, Daisy Pearce. The smothering defence that the Pies put on the classy midfielder limited her destructiveness, only allowing her nine touches for the game.

Impressers:

Chloe Molloy continues to improve and impress with each game she plays. The former Calder Cannons star once again showcased her explosive speed and strength, racking up 11 touches. Teammate and former Western Bulldog, Jaimee Lambert also had a stellar game with 19 disposals. The Eastern Devils recruit imposed herself on the contest, and used the footy with great composure. Former Murray Bushranger, Iilish Ross played her best game for the season, taking plenty of intercept marks and hitting the packs hard. Moana Hope continued her convincing form in the forward line, slotting another two goals for the Pies in their first win of the year. In a disappointing night out for the Demons, the likes of Elise O’Dea and Karen Paxman stood up, and racked up plenty of disposals. Paxman followed the ball wherever it went while Darebin premiership captain, O’Dea bagged an important goal for Melbourne.

GWS 2.7 (19) drew Adelaide 2.7 (19)

An unpredictable game at Blacktown saw the Giants leading for the majority of the game. But an Adelaide fightback saw them take the lead late in the fourth quarter, but were unable to maintain their advantage. The wet and difficult conditions made for a challenging game, with GWS and Adelaide struggling to control the bounce of the footy at times. The Giants failed to slot a major after the half-time break, while the Crows went on to score a goal to help even the score up. Both teams suffered from inaccuracy in front of goal, with seven points each, and could not break the deadlock late in the game.

Key moment:

The game was evenly poised, with neither team able to break away from each other, making for a hotly contested match. Having to contend with the temperamental weather, both teams struggled to capitalise on scoring opportunities. The Crows had 13 shots from 27 inside 50s, compared to the Giants’ nine from 24, but that ultimately had no effect on the game, with scores being tied. GWS and Adelaide racked up very similar numbers in contested and uncontested possessions, as well as marks inside 50, showing how evenly spread the game was.

Impressers:

In her first game for 2018, All-Australian defender, Courtney Cramey had made her presence felt, scoring a pivotal goal for the Crows, and shutting down GWS star recruit, Courtney Gum. Teammate and Morphettville Park recruit, Ebony Marinoff made AFLW history, laying a whopping 21 tackles for the match, making sure her physical presence was felt around the ground. Marinoff hit the contest hard and put her body on the line with her crunching tackles. After a big hit last week, Giant Cora Staunton impressed in front of goal, showing her Gaelic roots with a set-shot snap to help secure a much-needed major for GWS. Alicia Eva picked up from where she left off last week, racking up another 23 touches for the Giants. Eva showed her great on-field leadership and composure with ball in hand, and kept fighting for a win, despite being heavily targeted by the Adelaide midfield.

AFLW previews: Round 2

AFTER an interesting first round of matches, AFLW sides are looking for ways to either improve or consolidate on their efforts from week one. Each week AFL Draft Central will preview the weekend’s matches and look ahead to what is set to be an entertaining sequel to the inaugural 2017 season.

GWS vs. Carlton

Friday February 9, 7.05pm at Drummoyne Oval

Last week Carlton once again claimed the four points in round one against the Pies in the season opener, while the Giants came up short against an experienced Melbourne line-up, after dominating for most of the match. 2017 AFLW leading goal-kicker, Darcy Vescio will be hoping for a big performance in navy blue, after she was kept quiet by the round one Rising Star nominee, Chloe Molloy. But at the other end, expect fireworks from exciting GWS forward, Phoebe McWilliams, who booted three goals to keep her side in the game when it began to slip away from them. Dandenong recruit Georgia Gee will get her chance in the midfield for Carlton, but former Stingrays teammate, Bridie Kennedy, will once again sit on the sidelines. This comes after an impressive performance by the Blues’ ruck, Alison Downie, who booted a goal against the Pies, and was lively throughout the game. The GWS recruits shined at Casey Fields last week, and expect no different this week. Despite being 36 years-old, Courtney Gum kept up with the 19-year-olds and was an efficient ball-user, while Irishwoman, Cora Staunton had some real X-factor with the ball in hand. Watch out for her in front of goal, in what will be a tight contest between two rapidly-improving sides.

 

Melbourne vs. Adelaide

Saturday February 10, 5.05pm at Casey Fields

Melbourne put its hand up for premiership contention with a come-from-behind win over the Giants last week, but it was not good news for the reigning premiers at Norwood Oval. The Crows unfurled their flag in their season opener, but came up short of last year’s runner-up, Brisbane. Expect a much better performance from the Crows, with the experienced Abbey Holmes slotting into their line-up. The goal-sneak will be able to help out Sarah Perkins in the forward line, who struggled against Brisbane’s Leah Kaslar’s  wonderful shut-down performance. But without the reigning AFLW MVP Erin Phillips in the midfield, it may mean that experienced spearheads, Daisy Pearce and Karen Paxman can run free in the middle of the ground. Paxman dominated early last week but was slowed by a lower-back injury, so a full game from her will cause huge issues for the Crows. Norwood recruit Ruth Wallace was up-and-about in the forward line last week, and even kicked a goal to complement her energy. Watch out for her and Glenelg product, Eloise Jones, who both had a solid run in the forward 50 last week. The second-gamers will be hoping to help their side secure its first win of the season, and get them back to the status that saw them claim the 2017 AFLW premiership.

 

Fremantle vs. Collingwood

Saturday February 10, 7.10pm at Optus Stadium

It has been the most talked-about game throughout the week, as a sell-out crowd is expected at Perth’s new Optus Stadium. Despite a lacklustre performance from the Dockers, their fans have stayed loyal and purchased tickets to what is expected to be a much better performance from the women in purple. However, they will be without experienced campaigner, Lara Filocamo, after she was left out of the side for the round two blockbuster. That was not even the most controversial omission of the week though. Collingwood star forward, Moana Hope, will not board the flight to Perth joined on the sidelines by suspended forward, Sarah D’Arcy. Hope did not score in the season-opener last week, and seemed frustrated at times throughout the night. But instead of redeeming herself this week on the field, she will have to sit back and watch as her team fights for its first win of the season. With TAC Cup joint Best and Fairest winner, Chloe Molloy in the backline, it gives the Pies every chance to claim the four points. At the other end, expect a huge debut from Cranbourne product, Holly Whitford, who looks set to light up the forward line for the Pies. But she will have to overcome the determined Dockers, who will be looking to put on a show for their home crowd. Coastal Titans recruit Amy Lavell was the shining light for Fremantle last week, and will be hoping to continue her good form this week to get the Dockers over the line.

 

Brisbane vs. Western Bulldogs

Sunday February 11, 4.35pm at South Pine Sports Complex

You know you are watching an entertaining competition when you get to witness a top-of-the-table clash in round two! The Bulldogs and Lions both got to enjoy impressive wins in their season-openers, but only one can win at South Pine Sports Complex. Brisbane will be hoping to silence the doubters again, with recruits Sophie Conway and Jordan Zanchetta raring to impress in round two. But they will come up against the Bulldogs’ brilliant Melbourne Uni duo Isabel Huntington and Monique Conti, who both starred on debut at VU Whitten Oval last week. Another Melbourne Uni product who had a stellar game was Ellie Blackburn, as she racked up plenty of possessions in her side’s thumping win over the Dockers. But all eyes will be on each side’s forward line, with Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Katie Brennan lining up at either end of the ground. Frederick-Traub starred for the Lions last week with a whopping 10 marks, but could not convert any into goals. But it was the opposite story for Katie Brennan, who slotted three first-half goals for the Dogs at VU Whitten Oval. Will it be Brennan who continues on her merry way or will Frederick-Traub hit the scoreboard in a big way for the first time in 2018?