Tag: Lauren Arnell

VFLW wrap: Round 12 – Young guns star in the race to finals

ROUND 12 saw a number of big matches take place, with results that could change the course of the competition given the closeness of the ladder at this late stage of the season. Darebin got their third win on the board while Collingwood dealt Richmond their fourth loss in a row with a goal after the siren to win the tight match, keeping the Magpies in top spot on the ladder. Meanwhile, a smattering of young talent put their names in the spotlight with some impressive form following the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships.

WILLIAMSTOWN 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 (8)
ESSENDON 1.0 | 4.4 | 4.5 | 7.5 (47)

GOALS

Williamstown: M. Hope.
Essendon: A. Quigley 2, J. Stassi, F. Frew, M. Collier, S. Audley, S. Wilson.

BEST

Williamstown: M. Williamson, R. Tripodi, J. Thomson, D. Pedersen, N. Wallace, M. Hope
Essendon: A. Quigley, G. Patrikios, M. Collier, S. Audley, S. Nalder, E. Ashley-Cooper

It was a rough day at the office for Williamstown as they were dealt yet another big loss, going down to Essendon in the opening match of the round. With both sides sitting towards the bottom of the ladder the Seagulls were hoping for a better performance, but the Bombers found their form to run home 39 point winners after solid second and fourth quarters. It took the struggling Seagulls almost three quarter to get a goal on the board through Mo Hope, who also collected 19 touches and four tackles, aided by Megan Williamson who also managed 19 touches and eight tackles. Ashlea Melinkas (10 tackles) and Ruby Tripodi (15 disposals) provided valuable backup around the field with the Bombers all but running rampant for much of the game. For Essendon, young gun Georgia Patrikios backed up her phenomenal NAB League form with 20 touches, seven tackles and a behind to be named among the best along with Alex Quigley (two goals, five marks), Shae Audley (22 disposals, nine tackles, one goal) and Simone Nalder (16 disposals, 38 hitouts).

DAREBIN 2.0 | 2.1 | 3.3 | 6.5 (41)
GEELONG 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.1 | 4.1 (25)

GOALS

Darebin: N. Morris-Dalton 2, S. Simpson, L. Arnell, E. McLaughlin, G. Hammond.
Geelong: D. Orr, J. Ivey, R. Webster, L. McEvoy.

BEST

Darebin: L. Arnell, L. Pearce, E. O’Dea, G. Lawson-Tavan, N. Morris-Dalton, S. Simpson
Geelong: D. Taylor, J. Ivey, R. Cranston, R. Webster, R. Caris, D. Orr

The Falcons got another much-needed win on the board on their way up the ladder, capitalising in Lauren Arnell‘s two-hundredth game and getting an important win against the Cats who continued their frustrating post-bye form with another loss. For the most part it was an even match, with neither side able to take control before a stellar final quarter from the Falcons saw them soar to their third victory of the season. In her milestone match, Arnell racked up 17 touches, seven tackles and a goal, while Lauren Pearce was influential with a season-best performance of 39 hitouts and 24 disposals, leading Darebin’s tally for the day. It was a game of inches for Darebin, who found many players doing the little things right with eight players managing five or more tackles, while Northern Knights’ premiership player Nell Morris-Dalton was the only multiple goal kicker with two majors from eight touches and six tackles. For the Cats, Jordan Ivey (19 disposals, 12 tackles, one goal) and Renee Garing (26 disposals, seven marks, six tackles) impressed while Richelle Cranston racked up 11 tackles and 23 disposals.

MELBOURNE UNI 5.3 | 8.3 | 10.6 | 12.9 (81)
CARLTON 0.1 | 1.3 | 4.5 | 5.5 (35)

GOALS

Melbourne Uni: K. Angelis 3, K. Ashmore 3, C. Saxon-Jones 2, S. Abbatangelo, J. Duffin, K. Gillespie-Jones, J. Garner.
Carlton: A. Downie, S. Cubasch, G. Newton, N. Plane, B. Gurr.

BEST

Melbourne Uni: J. Trend, S. Abbatangelo, K. Ebb, K. Gillespie-Jones, K. Angelis, K. Ashmore
Carlton: M. Clifford, S. Wright, A. Downie, C. Bromage, A. Prins, G. Newton

Melbourne Uni bounced back from its Round 11 loss to Collingwood in the best way possible, beating Carlton by 46 points to jump back into the top four. It always looked to be a big game for the Mugars, who kicked five goals to one in the first to stake their claim on the match before extending their lead in every quarter despite every attempt the Blues threw at them to reduce the margin. Maddy Prespakis was among the best for Carlton in an otherwise uneventful match, leading the charge with 18 disposals, five marks and six tackles and well aided by the likes of Alison Downie (23 hitouts, 17 disposals, five tackles, one goal). For Uni, it was a battle of the forwards with Kaitlin Ashmore (17 disposals, six marks, four tackles, three goals), Katie Angelis (10 disposals, three goals) and Cleo Saxon-Jones (two goals) kicking a bag each, well aided by Jenna Bruton (28 disposals, four tackles) and Sophie Abbatangelo (24 disposals, six marks, one goal) who were influential coming down field.

WESTERN BULLDOGS 4.3 | 6.7 | 10.10 | 13.13 (91)
NT THUNDER 0.0 | 2.1 | 2.1 | 2.1 (13)

GOALS

Western Bulldogs: D. Berry 3, M. Sandral 2, M. Ward 2, K. Lamb, T. Dinuccio, B. Lochland, S. Molan, E. Georgostathis, D. Marshall.
NT Thunder: T. Hart-Aluni 2.

BEST

Western Bulldogs: V. Laloifi, D. Berry , B. Lochland, K. Lamb, S. Molan, A. Guest
NT Thunder: S. Armitstead, K. Streader, L. Roberts, T. Hart-Aluni, S. Riley, J. Baird

In a match that all but summed up the inconsistency of Thunder’s season, the Western Bulldogs started strong and finished stronger to record the highest score of the season so far with a 78-point win over NT Thunder. However, Thunder were fortunate to come away with the margin they did, with the Bulldogs missing as many goals as they attempts, with 13 behinds equalling their 13 goals and getting agonisingly close to 100 points. In a hard game it was young gun Tayla Hart-Aluni who picked up the slack in front of goal, putting two on the board in the second to help put her side back in the contest, before the side continued to struggle capitalising in front of goal and going scoreless in the second half. Sophie Armitstead (18 disposals) was among the best for the losing side, aided by Lisa Roberts with 15 touches and six tackles, one of seven players with over five tackles on the board. Kirsty Lamb was influential for the Bulldogs, getting a goal on the board to go with her 27 touches and eight tackles, finding plenty of the ball while also presenting a valuable option through the midfield to create opportunities forward for the Dogs. Deanna Berry (22 disposals, five marks, three goals), Mary Sandraal (two goals) and Mikayla Ward (12 disposals, two goals) were the side’s main goalkickers, while Elisabeth Georgostathis impressed with 16 touches, five tackles and a goal on debut.

RICHMOND 0.3 | 2.3 | 2.3 | 3.4 (22)
COLLINGWOOD 0.3 | 1.5 | 1.7 | 3.8 (26)

GOALS

Richmond: J. Kennedy, S. Frederick, C. Wakefield .
Collingwood: S. Alexander, J. Lambert, M. Cann.

BEST

Richmond: A. Woodward, P. Monahan, K. Dempsey, J. Colwell, S. Marsh, T. Stahl
Collingwood: J. Lambert, S. Alexander, S. Livingstone, B. Davey, S. Lawry, G. Lagioia

In what was ultimately the biggest match of the round, Collingwood found themselves in a sticky situation unable to convert in front of goal, before pulling out a big four-point win in the dying moments with a goal after the siren to Sophie Alexander who kicked true. However while a win to the Pies keeps them atop the ladder for another week, the four-point loss sees the Tigers with their fourth consecutive loss to drop out of the top four, needing some big wins in the coming weeks to return to the top, with teams hot on their heels. Bri Davey had a big impact in her fourth game for the club, racking up 28 touches, four marks and five tackles, while Gemma Lagioia and Jaimee Lambert found plenty of the ball with 20 touches apiece. For Richmond, Alice Edmonds was impressive with 28 hitouts while Sabrina Frederick (15 disposals, one goal) and Alana Woodward (nine disposals, eight tackles) put in the hard yards across the field to deny ball to the Magpies. With plenty of opportunities in front of goal for both sides that went unconverted, both teams will look to pick up their game in the coming weeks regardless of ladder position.

SOUTHERN SAINTS 1.3 | 2.8 | 4.11 | 5.14 (44)
CASEY 0.0 | 0.1 | 1.3 | 2.3 (15)

GOALS

Southern Saints: T. Bohanna 2, C. Jones, M. McDonald, H. Stuart.
Casey: K. Smith, N. Webber.

BEST

Southern Saints: S. Johnson, A. Drennan, D. Guttridge, C. Munn, A. Brown, M. McDonald
Casey: S. Heath, H. Cordner, K. Smith, S. Scott, T. Hanks, B. Jakobsson

It was yet another match with a big margin, however Casey are fortunate to come away with only a 29-point loss given the Southern Saints’ volume of ball inside 50, finding plenty of space and opportunity to go forward to kick goals but ultimately missing majority of their shots. However the Dees also had plenty of opportunities, only trailing inside 50s by six, but failing to head for goal to finish with only five scores on the board to speak of for the match. Samantha Johnson (19 disposals, five tackles) and Alison Drennan (15 disposals, seven tackles) were phenomenal for the Saints, while Jemima Kelly (30 hitouts) was almost unstoppable in the ruck causing plenty of rotation headaches for the Demons. Tara Bohanna was the sole multiple goalkicker with two to her name. Despite a frustrating match, Melbourne AFL Women’s trio Bianca Jakobsson, Lily Mithen and Libby Birch put in the hard yards collecting majority of Casey’s possession, combining for 59 disposals, 15 marks and 15 tackles. Meanwhile, Kate Hore lead the tackle count with eight and 13 touches, along with two behinds.

VFLW wrap: Round 11 – Richmond drops three on the trot and Casey victory

ROUND 11 of the VFL Women’s saw Casey Demons finally break an eight match losing streak with an impressive win over NT Thunder, while Richmond’s current losing streak extended with a third loss in a row. Meanwhile, Collingwood remain at the top of the ladder after a narrow win against Melbourne Uni and Southern Saints continue to stake a claim on the competition after another confident victory.

ESSENDON 1.5 | 2.7 | 2.9 | 4.10 (34)
DAREBIN 0.1 | 2.2 | 2.2 | 4.2 (26)

GOALS

Essendon: C. McIntosh 2, L. Stepnell, M. Collier.
Darebin: L. Arnell 2, J. D’Amato, S. Simpson.

BEST

Essendon: L. Ahrens, M. Warburton, G. Nanscawen, K. Hicks, S. Audley, E. Hosking
Darebin: L. Arnell, B. Patterson, V. Blackwood, A. Lister, E. Gardner, E. O’Dea

It was a frustrating win for Essendon, who despite getting a third win had clear issues getting on the board. However defensively the side was strong enough to keep Darebin out of the contest, leading to an eight point victory won only by the side’s 10 behinds. While Darebin will be happy with their comeback effort to get back into the contest, their slow start left something to be desired with only one point scored in the first. For Essendon, Georgia Nanscawen was impressive with 21 disposals and eight tackles, while Lauren Ahrens (20 disposals, five marks, seven tackles) and Cecilia McIntosh (two goals) were equally important in the victory. Darebin’s Lauren Pearce put in the hard yards in the ruck with 33 hitouts while Elise O’Dea was solid around the ground with 19 touches. Reni Hicks (13 touches, 13 tackles) and Annalyse Lister (16 touches, 12 tackles) impressed with their defensive tackling pressure, while Lauren Arnell‘s two goals kept the Falcons right in the contest.

COLLINGWOOD 2.0 | 4.2 | 4.3 | 6.4 (40)
MELBOURNE UNI 2.3 | 2.3 | 3.4 | 5.6 (36)

GOALS

Collingwood: S. Alexander 2, A. Bild , K. Lee, K. Lynch, S. Chiocci.
Melbourne Uni: A. Riddell, K. Cox, K. Gillespie-Jones, S. Abbatangelo, E. King.

BEST

Collingwood: C. Molloy, G. Buchan, K. Lynch, S. Livingstone, M. Shevlin, S. Chiocci
Melbourne Uni: J. Trend, A. Riddell, J. Bruton, K. Ebb, K. Gillespie-Jones

It was a close contest between the two high-ranking sides on the weekend, with Collingwood prevailing to win by four points after a second half comeback from the Mugars. The first quarter saw Uni sit three points ahead before a goalless second term gave the Magpies a push to lead and dominate every contest. While Uni put in the hard yards defensively in the third to deny the Pies a goal, they still trailed by five heading into the final term. With both teams putting two goals on the board in the last it seemed like Uni had the ability to get the job done, however the Magpies held on well. Uni’s Ashleigh Riddell, Jasmine Garner and Jenna Bruton were solid across the field collecting plenty of ball and amassing a combined 76 disposals and 22 tackles while Riddell also got a goal on the board. Kate Gillespie-Jones had a quiet game compared to her usual lofty standards given the shared effort across the field, collecting 15 touches, 12 tackles and a goal, able to settle with the rest of the side contributing well. For the Magpies, Steph Chiocci lead the charge with 23 touches and a goal to her name, while Sophie Alexander booted two for the second week in a row and Grace Buchan racked up eight tackles from 10 touches.

NT THUNDER 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.2 | 3.2 (20)
CASEY DEMONS 3.3 | 7.5 | 9.7 | 13.7 (85)

GOALS

NT Thunder: A. Hatchard 2, S. Thompson.
Casey: D. Wearne 3, E. Zanker 3, K. Hore 2, C. Sherriff, B. Jakobsson, H. Cordner, N. Webber, G. Howes.

BEST

NT Thunder: A. Hatchard, L. Jeffrey, D. Cox, K. Duggan, L. Roberts, K. Streader
Casey: T. Hanks, K. Smith, R. Clayton, H. Bailey, S. Heath

Casey Demons finally got a win back on the board for the season, getting a convincing 65 point victory over Thunder. It was a massive four goal second and final quarter effort that got the side over the line, with Thunder unable to take control of any aspect of the match as the Demons ran rampant across the field. The Demons had plenty of ball from the get-go, sharing around possession and finding options with ease to head downfield. For the home side, Anne Hatchard was her usual impressive self with 31 disposals, 10 marks, eight tackles and two goals as arguably Thunder’s best, leading most of the side’s stats. Jordann Hickey and Lisa Roberts combined for 27 touches, five marks and 12 tackles in an altogether lack lustre performance by Thunder. For Casey, Eden Zanker (20 disposals, eight marks) and Danielle Wearne (nine disposals) kicked three goals apiece, aided by Kate Hore‘s two goals and singles to five other players. Libby Birch (22 disposals, eight marks, three tackles) and Lily Mithen (21 disposals, five marks, three tackles) shared plenty of the ball.

CARLTON 2.2 | 3.4 | 4.5 | 9.5 (59)
WILLIAMSTOWN 0.1 | 2.2 | 3.2 | 4.2 (26)

GOALS

Carlton: J. Hosking 3, C. Dalton 2, B. Gurr, M. Prespakis, S. Cubasch, N. Stevens.
Williamstown: S. Whiting, M. Hope, J. Kawa, G. Anderson.

BEST

Carlton: S. Wright, S. Hosking, A. Prins, E. Woods, N. Plane, J. Nelson
Williamstown: D. Pedersen, M. Williamson, E. Straford, R. Tripodi, I. Porter, A. Melnikas

Carlton finally got their second win on the board after weeks of close margins, securing a solid 33 point victory over the Seagulls. It was a confident start and finish for the Blues, who started well with two goals to nil on the board in the first before running away with it in the last quarter with five goals to one to secure the win. The Seagulls will be rueing missed opportunities, while their defensive efforts left something to be desired as the Blues took control and did not look back. Jess Hosking (11 disposals, four tackles, three goals) and Chloe Dalton (16 disposals, four marks, two goals) impressed for the Blues, while the likes of Nicola Stevens (19 disposals, five marks, four tackles, one goal) and Maddy Prespakis (13 disposals, six tackles, one goal) held up well against the Seagulls. For Williamstown, Danica Pederson (17 disposals, six marks, six tackles) stuck it out, while Sharnie Whiting and Mo Hope combined for 35 disposals and kicked a goal apiece.

HAWTHORN 2.1 | 4.4 | 6.6 | 7.9 (51)
RICHMOND 2.0 | 2.0 | 4.2 | 6.2 (38)

GOALS

Hawthorn: P. McWilliams 4, R. Dillon 2, S. Perkins.
Richmond: S. Frederick 2, C. Wakefield, A. Makur Chuot, G. Egan, G. Seymour.

BEST

Hawthorn: P. McWilliams, R. Beeson, R. Dillon, C. Dyett, G. Bevan, S. Perkins
Richmond: S. Frederick, R. Miller, G. Egan, G. Campbell, M. Brancatisano, G. Seymour

While Hawthorn got another big win on the board, it was a different story for Richmond who look a completely different side to their early season form. While it was an even contest through the first quarter, Hawthorn took control in the second and refused to let it go. They maintained their lead through the middle of the match before winning by 13 points despite a final quarter fight back from the Tigers. The Tigers are fortunate to still sit high on the ladder, with three losses in a row keeping them in third on the ladder based on percentage alone. Bec Beeson collected 35 touches, six marks and six tackles while Phoebe McWilliams was a dominant target with four goals from 17 disposals and five marks while Rosie Dillon had 19 disposals, seven tackles and two goals. Sabrina Frederick kicked two goals from 12 touches in her third match in yellow and black while Grace Egan (17 disposals, six marks, one goal) and Grace Campbell (16 disposals, 10 tackles) also made their mark on the game.

SOUTHERN SAINTS 2.1 | 3.3 | 4.4 | 5.6 (36)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS

Southern Saints: C. Greiser 3, T. Bohanna, A. Brown.
Western Bulldogs: M. Ward, C. Moody, E. Blackburn.

BEST

Southern Saints: C. Greiser, S. Johnson, D. Guttridge, K. Shierlaw, C. Fitzpatrick, R. Watt
Western Bulldogs: K. McLeod, B. Hunt, K. Lamb, N. Ferres, V. Laloifi, M. Ward

The Bulldogs will be rueing a missed opportunity to jump into third with this loss, going down to premiership contenders, Southern Saints by 15 points after a slow start all but gifted the Saints an easy victory. The Saints were clinical from the start, much cleaner with the ball than their opposition to deny them easy ball and keep the Dogs off the board in the first. Despite not being able to drag out the margin, the Saints kept drilling the ball forward to stay in the lead and hold on for an all important win heading into the final stretch. For the Dogs, Kirsty Lamb (24 disposals, five marks, seven tackles) and Ellie Blackburn (20 disposals, one goal) were among the best on field while Celine Moody held her own in the ruck with 17 hitouts and a goal. For the Saints, Tilly Lucas-Rodd was up to her usual tricks collecting 24 disposals and three marks, closely followed by Allison Drennan with 19 disposals and seven tackles while Caitlin Greiser kicked three goals from 14 touches.

VFLW review: Round 8

ROUND 8 of Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s saw some big matchups and some even bigger results as we hit the midway point of the season. Williamstown managed their first win of the season, while early flag contenders in the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne Uni fell to sides they should have beaten with ease. Ladder leaders, Collingwood still sit at the top of the ladder on percentage after a bye this week.

 

CARLTON 1.0 | 1.0 | 3.2 | 4.2 (26)
GEELONG 2.0 | 3.1 | 4.2 | 5.3 (33)

GOALS

Carlton: N. Stevens 2, B. Moody, S. Craige.
Geelong: D. Orr 3, M. Boyd, S. Van De Heuvel.

BEST

Carlton: C. Bromage, B. Gurr, B. Moody, C. Wilson, A. McKay, C. Dalton
Geelong: D. Orr, J. Ivey, J. Crockett-Grills, M. Keryk, R. Webster, M. Boyd

The opening match of Round 8 was a close one, seeing the Blues host the Cats in a tight tussle – the tightest margin of the round. It was a relatively even battle, with the Cats taking the lead early but Carlton unwilling to give up, gradually lowering the margin throughout the match befor drawing even early in the final term. An accurate start from both sides saw only majors kicked in the first term, while Danielle Orr (18 disposals, five tackles) kicked two of her three goals in the opening term to stake a claim on the Blues’ turf. While the first half was all Geelong, Carlton took control early in the second half with the likes of Nicola Stevens generating some excitement with a scoring opportunity 30 seconds into the second, but missing to the side. Stevens took her pressure back up, however, lowering the scoreline with her two goals from 11 touches and seven tackles. Regular ball magnets, Abbie McKay and Maddy Prespakis lead the disposal count for the Blues with 24 apiece and combining for 10 tackles while Courteney Bromage (seven touches, 12 tackles) and Natalie Plane (15 touches, 10 tackles) provided some much needed assistance piling on the pressure. Breann Moody also put in a solid performance with 18 disposals, 22 hitouts, five marks and a goal. For Geelong, Olivia Purcell (20 touches, seven tackles) and Jordan Ivey (19 touches, eight tackles) impressed in the win.

 

WILLIAMSTOWN 0.1 | 0.1 | 3.2 | 4.2 (26)
NT THUNDER 0.1 | 1.4 | 1.4 | 1.9 (15)

GOALS

Williamstown: J. Kawa, J. Heard, M. Williamson, G. Anderson.
NT Thunder: J. de Melo.

BEST

Williamstown: R. Dardengo, J. Heard, R. Tripodi, J. Kawa, E. Crawford, M. Williamson
NT Thunder: D. Varnhagen, E. Jones, N. Gore, T. Thorn, S. Miskin-Ripia, K. Irvine

A surprise win from the Seagulls all but set the tone for the weekend, beating the NT Thunder to move off the bottom of the ladder. A slow start from both teams only saw minor scores in the first half of the game before the Seagulls pulled out all the stops in the second half to win by 11 points. Despite a final quarter fight back, the Thunder were unable to capitalise in front of goal with five behinds (two rushed) while the harried Williamstown side piled on the pressure, desperate for their first win of the season. Mo Hope put up another fantastic performance, racking up 32 touches (28 kicks) and providing valuable ball forward toproduce scoring opportunities. It was the Seagulls’ ruck effort that got them over the line, with Jedda Heard putting up a solid performance with a goal, 11 disposals and 21 hitouts – more alone than Thunder’s combined effort of 20. Rebecca Dardengo racked up 21 touches, five marks and four tackles, while Ruby Tripodi piled on the pressure with nine tackles. For Thunder, Deni Varnhagen (23 touches, six marks) and Nikki Gore (13 touches, seven tackles) put in strong performances, while Jade de Melo kicked the only goal from her seven touches. Eloise Jones (eight touches, nine tackles) put in the hard yards forward but didn’t reap the reward with three behinds to her name.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 | 1.2 (8)
HAWTHORN 2.6 | 2.6 | 4.9 | 4.9 (33)

GOALS

Western Bulldogs: B. Hunt.
Hawthorn: P. McWilliams, R. Dillon, P. Peschke, S. Perkins.

BEST

Western Bulldogs: K. Lamb, E. Gavalas, M. Sandral, N. McMahon, L. Spark, S. Jolly
Hawthorn: J. Van Dyk, G. Bevan, R. Beeson, S. Perkins, R. Dillon, K. Henderson

Early contenders, Western Bulldogs have slowed down in recent weeks, going down by 25 points to Hawthorn on Saturday and dropping to sixth in the process. The Hawks dominated the first term, with eight scores on the board to nil as they forced their way inside 50. It was an inaccurate start, however, with only two goals on the board and six behinds leaving an opening for the Bulldogs to come back. Fortunately for the now fourth ranked Hawks, the Dogs piled on the pressure in the second to deny scoring opportunities but only put one goal on the board – their only major for the game, courtesy of Bailey Hunt (10 touches, six tackles). Hawks’ Rebecca Beeson was among the best with 26 touches (18 kicks), eight tackles and a behind proving her dominance around the ground, while Rosie Dillon found plenty of the ball to finish with 17 disposals, 11 tackles and a goal for a solid performance. Hawks ruck Lou Wotton only had the four touches but applied plenty of pressure around the ball with 13 tackles and 34 hitouts. For the Dogs, Emma Mackay lead the disposal count with 18 touches and six marks, while Kirsty Lamb was not far behind with 17 disposals and nine tackles.

 

SOUTHERN SAINTS 4.5 | 5.5 | 6.7 | 6.7 (43)
DAREBIN FALCONS 0.0 | 2.1 | 2.2 | 2.4 (16)

GOALS

Southern Saints: C. Greiser 3, S. Johnson, A. Silver, D. Guttridge.
Darebin: L. Arnell, G. Hammond.

BEST

Southern Saints: K. Shierlaw, C. Greiser, K. O’Neill, L. Olsen, C. Phillips, C. Munn
Darebin: G. Hammond, J. Stanton, A. Lister, L. Arnell, R. Hicks, M. Eastman

The outcome of this match was all but sorted early, with the Saints just too good attacking the ball in the first quarter, dominating to lead by 29 at quarter time and keeping Darebin scoreless. The Falcons came back hard in the second, only allowing the one goal and kicking two, but it wasn’t enough after giving the Saints the confident start, unable to kick any more goals for the rest of the match. Caitlin Greiser was among the best for the Saints with three goals, providing a valuable target up forward while Olivia Vesely (22 disposals, six tackles) and Cat Phillips (14 touches, 10 tackles) were dominant around the ground, pushing forward and sharing the footy around. For Darebin, Reni Hicks topped the tables in both disposals and tackles with 25 and 13 respectively, while Lauren Arnell (16 touches, five tackles) and Georgia Hammond (16 touches, six tackles, 12 hitouts) kicked a goal apiece. Falcons’ Jamie Stanton managed seven tackles and nine touches but put two behinds on the board, unable to provide the scoreboard pressure needed to push the Saints. The combined ruck efforts of Poppy Kelly (22 hitouts) and Rhiannon Watt (11 hitouts) was too much for the Falcons, who despite leading the tackle count were unable to produce opportunities inside 50.

 

RICHMOND 2.5 | 3.10 | 4.10 | 9.11 (65)
CASEY 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.2 | 4.2 (26)

GOALS

Richmond: T. Stahl 3, L. Bailey 3, J. Kennedy, K. Brennan, I. Milford.
Casey: C. Sherriff, A. McDonough, C. Emonson, E. Zanker.

BEST

Richmond: G. Campbell, L. Bailey, T. Stahl, A. Makur Chuot, K. Dempsey, R. Miller
Casey: C. Emonson, C. Sherriff, E. Zanker , S. Heath, B. Pratt, H. Cordner

Another disappointing week for Casey saw the Demons lose their fourth match on the trot to be three from seven midway through the season. Though Casey fought valiently, they couldn’t apply the scoreboard pressure to keep in the contest despite the Tigers peppering the posts, inaccurate with nine goals and 11 behinds from 31 inside 50s. Laura Bailey and Tayla Stahl switched on, kicking three goals apiece as they disassembled the Demons’ defensive unit and created opportunities early. The first quarter saw an inaccurate start from the Tigers, kicking two goals and five behinds while Casey was accurate with two goals from two attempts. Katie Brennan (23 disposals, one goal) was in among the action early with three scoring shots in the first quarter before being shut down in attack. However, Casey’s defensive pressure on Brennan inside 50 allowed both Bailey and Stahl better access to the ball, firing again and again. For the Demons, Eden Zanker found plenty of the footy with 19 touches, three tackles and a goal while Nicole Garner (15 disposals, 11 tackles) and Bianca Jakobsson (14 disposals, seven marks, six tackles) applied some much needed pressure around the ground. Despite the margin it was a relatively even ruck battle, with Richmond finishing with only four hitouts more than Casey and lower on the tackle count.

 

MELBOURNE UNI 0.1 | 1.3 | 2.4 | 3.9 (27)
ESSENDON 2.1 | 3.1 | 4.4 | 6.4 (40)

GOALS

Melbourne Uni: B. Gibson, E. Hay, J. Grierson
Essendon: J. Stassi 2, S. Wilson 2, C. McIntosh, L. Stepnell

BEST

Melbourne Uni: J. Trend, K. Gillespie-Jones, B. Gibson, C. Daniec, S. Abbatangelo, V. Saad
Essendon: C. McIntosh, K. Hicks, J. Stassi, S. Audley, M. Collier, K. Heil

A fast start from Essendon saw the side nab a surprise win over Melbourne Uni, who came into the match off the bye in Round 7. Not limited in the scoring department, Uni all but kicked themselves out of contention with a 1.5 final quarter while Essendon finished well in the 13 point victory. Though Uni certainly were not at their dominant best, all credit to the Bombers who put on a solid performance worthy of the win, starting strong courtesy of first quarter goals to Lori Stepnell and Jess Stassi, their respective first of two. While Jas Grierson kicked the first of the second to pull Uni back into the match, Essendon’s Sian Wilson followed shortly to take the lead to 10 points by the main break. It was a shared effort from the Bombers, with no one player standing out. Kendra Heil put out her best performance of the season so far with 17 touches and six tackles, while Shae Audley and Georgia Nanscawen combined for 27 touches and 18 tackles. For Uni, Jess Trend (24 disposals, four marks, three tackles), Jess Duffin (23 disposals, six marks, six tackles) and Brittany Gibson (23 disposals, three tackles and a goal) all put in the hard yards across the board to no avail. While Uni put on a stronger effort in the second half, it wasn’t enough against the hungry Bombers who have now lifed to tenth with their second win of the season.

COLLINGWOOD: BYE

VFLW weekend wash-up: Swooping season for Magpies, while Blues grab first win

IT was an interesting round of VFL Women’s action over the weekend, with Carlton shocking the undefeated Dogs, and the Saints continued their great year with another victory, while the Magpies, Tigers and Hawks won as expected thanks to goal bursts at different times of the match.

CARLTON 1.1 | 1.3 | 1.5 | 3.8 (26)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 0.3 | 0.4 | 0.4 | 1.4 (10)

GOALS:

Carlton: S. Hosking, N. Plane, C. Bromage.
Western Bulldogs: M. Sandral.

BEST:

Carlton: E. Woods, C. Bromage, M. Neill, J. Hosking, S. Hosking, N. Stevens
Western Bulldogs: E. Gavalas, K. McLeod, S. Ruedin, L. Bibby, E. Blackburn, K. Lamb

Carlton caused a massive boilover at Ikon Park on Saturday morning when the previously winless Blues upset the undefeated Western Bulldogs in a low-scoring game. The Blues only booted one goal in the first three quarters – just before the quarter time siren – but held the Bulldogs goalless in the first three teams to lead by seven points at the final break. A relatively open final term saw the Blues boot two of the final three goals to record a 16-point win which was vital in getting the AFL Women’s grand finalists VFL Women’s season off and running after five games. Madison Prespakis was enormous with 28 disposals, five marks and six tackles, bouncing back from twice being used as a stepladder in the first half, to produce a big game. Jess Hosking (23 disposals, two marks and nine tackles) and twin sister Sarah Hosking (20 disposals, three marks, four tackles and a goal) were superb, while Breann Moody (18 disposals, six marks, five tackles and 18 hitouts was strong in the ruck), as the youth of the Blues in Emerson Woods, Abbie McKay and Charlotte Wilson all stood tall playing the back half of the ground and McKay through the midfield. For the Western Bulldogs, Ellie Blackburn was a star throughout, picking up 26 disposals, four marks and four tackles, but did miss a couple of running shots on goal in the opening term. Kirsty Lamb (23 disposals, 10 marks and nine tackles) was the other Bulldogs player who impressed across the match.

ESSENDON 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.2 (20)
HAWTHORN 3.3 | 7.4 | 8.7 | 8.8 (56)

GOALS:

Essendon: S. Wilson 2, J. Stassi.
Hawthorn: O. Flanagan 3, P. McWilliams, R. Dillon, R. Beeson, J. Membrey, M. Hutchins.

BEST:

Essendon: K. Heil, S. Wilson, C. McIntosh, L. Ahrens, S. Audley, L. Stepnell
Hawthorn: P. Peschke, O. Flanagan, P. McWilliams, R. Dillon, R. Beeson, C. Dyett

Hawthorn moved to within percentage outside the top six after a dominant first half handed the Hawks a massive six-goal victory at Windy Hill over traditional rivals, Essendon. The Hawks looked on early, booting three goals from six scoring shots – including two majors to Olivia Flanagan – to Essendon’s one major, which came from a 50-metre penalty. The second term was all the Hawks with the Bombers struggling to get it inside 50, as Hawthorn piled on 4.1 to 0.0. Essendon reset for the second half and came out on top for the half, booting 2.2 to 1.4 for the rest of the game to avoid an even larger blowout in the 8.8 (56) to 3.2 (20) loss. Philippa Peschke picked up a game-high 24 disposals for the Hawks, while also laying five tackles. Flanagan played mostly in the forward half, converting three opportunities from her 12 touches, while Rebecca Beeson (23 disposals), Rosie Dillon (22 disposals) and Phoebe McWilliams (18 disposals) all converted one major apiece. For Essendon, Ally Anderson was busy with 23 disposals, two marks and five tackles, while fellow AFLW experienced midfielder, Shae Audley had 21 touches, one mark and a game-high 13 tackles. Kendra Heil (17 disposals, two marks) and Lauren Ahrens (15 disposals, two marks, five tackles) were others who impressed for Essendon.

DAREBIN 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)
COLLINGWOOD 4.3 | 7.5 | 7.10 | 11.13 (79)

GOALS:

Darebin: Nil.
Collingwood: C. Molloy 5, J. Lambert 4, B. Davey, K. Lynch.

BEST:

Darebin: L. Pearce, G. Colvin, B. Patterson, G. Lawson-Tavan, L. Arnell, R. Hicks
Collingwood: C. Molloy, J. Lambert, B. Davey, S. Layton, A. Curley, J. Blecher

A combined nine goals from Chloe Molloy and Jaimee Lambert saw Collingwood completely obliterate Darebin Falcons in the Magpies’ biggest win in the VFL Women’s competition to-date. The Magpies never looked like losing, standing up from start to finish, with just a disappointing third term – yielding three behinds – the one blip on the radar. A bake from coach Penny Cula-Reid at the final break got the Magpies up and about again, piling on four goals in the final term, after booting seven in the first half, to record a huge 78-point victory and gain valuable percentage. The win catapulted the Pies to the top of the table, albeit with one extra game compared to second placed Richmond. Molloy finished the match with a huge 25 disposals, eight marks, five tackles and five goals, while Lambert helped herself to 21 touches, four marks, six tackles and four goals. Both could have had even more with two behinds apiece. The other two standouts for the Magpies were Brianna Davey who had 21 disposals, two marks, seven tackles and one goal, while Sharni Layton played her best match in black and white on her VFL Women’s debut, notching up 18 disposals, 12 hitouts and five marks, while booting two behinds. For Darebin, Lauren Pearce tried hard around the ground with 24 hitouts from 12 disposals and four marks, while Brooke Patterson and Lauren Arnell both picked up a team-high 14 touches in the heavy loss.

NT THUNDER 1.5 | 2.7 | 3.8 | 3.10 (28)
RICHMOND 0.2 | 3.4 | 5.6 | 7.7 (49)

GOALS:

NT Thunder: A. Foley 2, D. Ponter.
Richmond: C. Wakefield 2, K. Brennan 2, T. Stahl, J. Colwell, E. Paterno.

BEST:

NT Thunder: T. Thorn, H. Martin, S. Riley, M. Johnston, K. Streader, K. Irvine
Richmond: G. Seymour, K. Brennan, H. McLaren, R. Miller, J. Colwell, T. Stahl

Richmond has spoiled Northern Territory (NT) Thunder’s homecoming at TIO Stadium, heading home with the four points after an impressive second half to remain undefeated. The Thunder were on top early, booting the only goal of the first term, but could not convert their opportunities with five behinds. Richmond took advantage of this in the second term, booting 3.2 to the Thunder’s 1.2, to hit the front by three points. It was all the Tigers after half-time, extending the lead to 10 points with a quarter to play, before piling on the only two majors of the last term to come away with a handy 21-point victory. Katie Brennan had no problems adapting to the climate, booting two goals from 19 disposals, seven marks and six tackles in a dominant performance, while Gabrielle Seymour was strong in the ruck, picking up 32 hitouts on debut to go with her 18 touches, one mark and six tackles. Kodi Jacques (18 disposals, four tackles), Jenna Colwell (16 disposals, one marks, two tackles, seven hitouts and one goal) and Tayla Stahl-Smith (15 disposals, four marks, one tackle and one goal) were also impressive. For the Thunder, Angela Foley had an unsurprising terrific game with 24 disposals, six marks, three tackles and two goals, while Hannah Martin (17 disposals, one mark and 13 tackles) and Machaelia Roberts (17 disposals, three marks and two tackles) found plenty of the football.

SOUTHERN SAINTS 1.2 | 1.3 | 4.7 | 6.13 (49)
MELBOURNE UNI 1.2 | 2.2 | 2.2 | 3.3 (21)

GOALS:

Southern Saints: C. Greiser 2, K. Shierlaw 2, J. Vogt, J. Owen.
Melbourne Uni: K. Gillespie-Jones, J. Garner, M. Muller.

BEST:

Southern Saints: L. Olsen, O. Vesely, S. Ryan, K. Shierlaw, C. Fitzpatrick, K. O”Neill
Melbourne Uni: K. Gillespie-Jones, A. Runnalls, J. Garner, K. Angelis, J. Bruton, B. Gibson

A dominant five goals to one second half has helped Southern Saints continued their remarkable rise this season with a victory over the highly fancied Melbourne University. The game was tight in the first half, with the Mugars taking a five-point lead into the main break in what was a low-scoring affair at Trevor Barker Beach Oval. After the main break it was all the Saints however, as the home side piled on an effective if not rather inaccurate, 5.10 to deny the Mugars enough time in forward half with the experienced side booting just 1.1 in the half. Tilly Lucas-Rodd was important for the Saints, producing 27 disposals, six marks and three tackles, while Alison Brown picked up 22 disposals, six marks and a tackle, and Olivia Vesely had 18 disposals, four marks and three tackles. Caitlin Greiser continued her strong form inside 50, though could have had an even bigger day than her two goals, booting five behinds to accompany her 12 touches and two marks. For Melbourne University, Jenna Bruton had a game-high 30 disposals, two marks and six tackles, while Jess Trend (25 disposals, seven marks), Kate Gillespie-Jones (22 disposals, five marks, two tackles and a goal) and Jasmine Garner (16 disposals, five marks, 10 tackles and a goal) were also among the Mugars’ best in defeat.

Weekend wash-up: AFLW – Round 7

THE final round of the 2019 home and away season saw potential finals bound teams take each other on to determine which sides made finals. Major premiership contender, North Melbourne got knocked out by Fremantle, while Collingwood managed their first win of 2019 to ruin Brisbane’s finals chances.

GWS GIANTS 6.5 (41) defeated Geelong (1.4) 10
By: Sophie Taylor

The GWS GIANTS almost denied Geelong finals chances on Friday night, running over the Conference B rivals, 6.5 (41) to 1.4 (10). Geelong were set to wait until Sunday’s clashes to find out their 2019 finals fate, while the GIANTS got the well deserved four points but were unable to make finals despite the win. Both sides wore black armbands to honour the victims of Friday’s Christchurch Massacre, while a minute of silence took place before the match began.

It was only the GIANTS’ second win for the season, dominating majority of the match and rendering the Cats goalless in the opening half. For Geelong, it was a tale of woe from the very beginning as the GIANTS took an early lead, relying on the Cats’ inaccuracy in front of goal before kicking four goals to one in the second half to snag victory. Despite Geelong’s free kick count vastly outnumbering the GIANTS (9 – 20), the Cats were unable to take advantage of their opportunities forward. Olivia Purcell and Renee Garing showed their worth to the side, as Purcell grabbed 19 disposals while Garing notched up 14 tackles to add to her season tally of 62. Mia-Rae Clifford was Geelong’s only goal kicker, showing some composure as she slotted the major in the third quarter.

The GIANTS’ Irish pair, Cora Staunton and Yvonne Bonner were exciting to watch, kicking a goal apiece and gathering 16 and 10 disposals respectively. Christina Bernardi added two goals to her season tally, while Alicia Eva and Alyce Parker continued to show their strength in the midfield as the pair racked up 36 disposals and 14 tackles between them. Haneen Zreika finished her season on a high with her first goal in AFLW, also picking up a career high 17 disposals and seven tackles. Veteran GIANTS midfielder, Courtney Gum announced her retirement following the match.

This match saw the last of the GIANTS for 2019, though the side will be able to hold their heads high come 2020. Geelong will head into finals, having finished second behind Carlton in Conference B.

Melbourne Demons 1.2 (8) defeated by Adelaide Crows 10.8 (68)
By: Brandon Hutchinson

In their last game of the home and away season, Adelaide handed Melbourne one of the biggest thrashings all season with a 60-point win at Casey Fields. Melbourne were kept completely scoreless in the first half while Adelaide opened the first quarter with 21-points – reaching 34 unanswered points by the main break. The Dees found their first score in the form of a rushed behind in the third and would not find their first goal until the final quarter. In a complete show of dominance, Adelaide rounded out the game with five more goals – kicking three in the third and two at the end of the fourth.

Erin Phillips was her usual classy self (22 disposals, three marks and three tackles) – having a season to potentially rival her 2017 Best & Fairest year. While she had some trouble hitting the scoreboard (three behinds), she combined well with Ebony Marinoff (one goal, 19 disposals and eight tackles) and first-year, Jess Foley (two goals, 16 hit-outs, 15 disposals, two marks, six tackles) to keep a firm grip of the game. Fellow first year, Ailish Considine, also impressed in front of goals with her first two career goals, seven disposals, two marks and one tackle.

Despite the heavy loss, Melbourne still had a few players who stood up to the onslaught. Lily Mithen (16 disposals, four marks and six tackles), Elise O’Dea (21 disposals and five marks) and Harriet Cordner (19 disposals and seven marks) all kept their head highs and remained prolific throughout. While bittersweet, first-year, Chantel Emonson (14 disposals and five tackles) managed to kick her first career goal as Melbourne’s only major for the day.

This marked Melbourne’s final game for the year while Adelaide head into the finals as the most successful teams across both Conferences, with a big chance of taking it all the way.

Fremantle 7.10 (52) defeated North Melbourne 4.1 (25)
By: Sophie Taylor

Fremantle knocked the predicted premiers out of finals contention on Saturday night, proving too strong for the Kangaroos at Fremantle Oval in front of a hostile 6386 strong crowd. The 27 point margin showed Fremantle’s improvement in the competition this season, and just goes to show that the two best Conference A sides in Adelaide and Fremantle are well deserving of their top two finish.

Fremantle started strong, kicking the first two goals of the game and rendering North goalless by quarter time. North Melbourne’s goalkicking once again stagnated through the second half, rendering their third quarter comeback frustrating as they were unable to take control of the match. Fremantle were fortunate for the Roos’ struggle as they were inaccurate in front of goal, kicking 2.6 in the final quarter.

Sabreena Duffy and Ashley Sharp were among the Dockers’ best up forward, kicking two goals apiece, while Ashlee Atkins and Gemma Houghton both kicked a major each but missed five goal opportunities between them. Kiara Bowers racked up 19 kicks from 23 touches, also managing 13 tackles on her way to 118 AFLW Fantasy Points. Fremantle will be sweating on the injury concerns of Duffy and Dana Hooker ahead of next week’s final after both players were helped from the ground in the second half.

Jenna Bruton (26 disposals, six tackles) paired well with Emma Kearney (24 disposals, seven tackles and a goal) in the loss, while half back, Jess Duffin was also prolific against Fremantle’s barrelling attack line with 22 disposals, five tackles and five rebound 50s. Mo Hope was also effective for the Roos, coming away with two goals and four tackles.

North Melbourne have found themselves knocked out of finals contention in 2019 despite a dominant inaugural season, while Fremantle will take on Conference B minor premiers, Carlton next week.

Collingwood 3.7 (25) defeated Brisbane 2.7 (19)
By: Taylah Melki

In the last game of the season the Magpies claimed victory over the Brisbane Lions to snatch away any hopes of finals. The upset win marked the first victory of the season for Collingwood who struggled all year after losing players to expansion clubs and injury. Both teams were inaccurate in front of goal but the Pies set the game up before half time going into the main break up by 16 points after scoring two goals in the second quarter. After making the grand final two years straight and falling agonisingly short this will be the first year the Lions will not feature in the quest for a premiership.

For the Pies, Sarah D’Arcy stood up in front of goals nailing two goals and amassed plenty of touches across the ground credit to her hard work and ability to get to the contest. Dual athlete Ash Brazill dominated once again with her clean hands, clever kicks, accuracy by foot and smothering defensive pressure. She also showcased her strong hands taking her fair share of marks and proved to be a key member of the Collingwood team thanks to her read of the play. Captain, Steph Chiocci was solid for the Pies through the middle going in hard to win the footy and applied plenty of strong tackles. Jaimee Lambert stood up again making her presence felt on the scoreboard and working hard in attack to try and create scoring opportunities for her teammates.

The Brisbane Lions failed to fire on all cylinders, with the likes of star forward Sabrina Frederick-Traub unable to capitalise on her scoring chances. Fellow forward and goal sneak Jess Wuetschner was well held for most of the game but got some separation in the first quarter slotting an important goal for the Lions. Former Carlton captain, Lauren Arnell played her part applying some strong tackles and getting her hands to plenty of ball, while youngster Jacqui Yorston impressed across the ground racking up plenty of touches.

Western Bulldogs 5.8 (38) defeated by Carlton 6.5 (41)
By: Nikki Jamieson

The 2019 home and away season of AFLW wrapped up with the Pride rematch between the Western Bulldogs and Carlton. The Blues were finally able to redeem their 76-point loss last season that also cemented them as Conference B’s finals hosts. Despite Bulldogs no longer being able to defend their premiership, they fought through the dying minutes of the match and notably kicked all five of their goals in the last quarter.

Missed opportunities proved to be the biggest downfall for the Dogs as a slow start followed with the failure to finish in front of the goals. Though dominating position in the second quarter, Bulldogs could not convert leading to five behinds instead of goals. Carlton made the Dogs pay in the third, keeping them scoreless. Alison Downie (12 disposals, three tackles) played a key role in Carlton’s defence, causing major disruptions to the Bulldogs’ play inside 50.

Brooke Walker had an impressive game, kicking three goals for the Blues. A favourite moment from the match came from Walker marking the ball 55 metres out from goal and absolutely launching it from inside centre square for a terrific goal. Skipper Brianna Davey (21 disposals, 11 tackles) was impactful for Carlton’s midfield as well as Madison Prespakis (19 disposals, four tackles).

The Bulldogs’ strongest plays came from the last 18 minutes of the match, as the side was finally able to decrease the score margin. Co-captain, Katie Brennan opened the scoring two minutes into the quarter and was followed by a goal from Libby Birch when she was awarded two 50m penalties to see the Dogs remarkably close the scoreline to be within 10 points. Monique Conti (25 disposals, three tackles) helped move the ball throughout but it still proved to be too little too late for the Bulldogs.

Carlton (4-3) will host Fremantle (6-1) in a preliminary final in Melbourne next weekend to playoff for a spot in the 2019 AFLW Grand Final.

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

Weekend preview: AFLW – Round 1

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

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

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

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

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

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun facts:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun facts:

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

AFLW season previews: Carlton

THE Blues did not see much success last season, finishing on the bottom of the ladder for the first time in their AFLW history. However, this result gave them some high-end picks in the draft, and they recruited quite well to fix the gaps of players lost. With new coach, Daniel Harford at the helm, Carlton is set for a big year, testing out its new-look line-up and coaching panel.

Last season: 8th – two wins, five losses.

Changes:

In: Amelia Mullane (nee Barden), Madison Prespakis, Abbie McKay, Jayde Van Dyk, Charlotte Wilson, Emerson Woods, Rhiannon Watt, Jess Edwards, Kirby Bentley, Brooke Walker, Chloe Dalton

Out: Maddison Gay, Lauren Arnell, Danielle Hardiman, Kate Gillespie-Jones, Maddy Keryk, Sarah Last, Laura Attard, Kate Shierlaw, Tiahna Cochrane, Katie Jayne-Grieve

Carlton’s defence was dealt a big blow with experienced trio, Lauren Arnell, Danielle Hardiman and Kate Gillespie-Jones all departing the Blues. They also made the interesting decision to let go of talented midfielder, Madeline Keryk, which could come back to bite them. Inaugural Best First Year player, Maddison Gay has also left a hole in the midfield with her departure to Melbourne. But Carlton has seemed to sew up those gaps in its midfield, picking up Vic Metro gun duo, Madison Prespakis and Abbie McKay. Prespakis was the equal winner of the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships Most Valuable Player (MVP) and TAC Cup Girls’ Best and Fairest, while McKay was pre-selected by the Blues due to a interest from other clubs. In defence, Charlotte Wilson and Jayde Van Dyk help fill the void of Gillespie-Jones, Hardiman and Arnell. Wilson was the co-captain of the Eastern Ranges in the TAC Cup Girls competition while Van Dyk won the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Rising Star award and Hawthorn’s Best and Fairest after a stellar 2018 campaign.

Area of strength: Midfield

Carlton’s midfield depth is quite threatening, as at any given time, it could contain the likes of Prespakis, McKay, Amelia Mullane, Sarah Hosking, Jess Hosking, Katie Loynes, Tilly Lucas-Rodd, Georgia Gee, Shae Audley and Natalie Plane. Not only does it contain plenty of talent, but the Blues have also managed to combine its experience and youth quite well. Coming across from Collingwood, Mullane should be a great addition as she has already worked under Daniel Harford, and adds valuable experience. Loynes will be raring to go after her Best and Fairest year last year, while Jess Hosking and Lucas-Rodd both enjoyed some key minutes in the Blues’ VFLW midfield.

Area of weakness: Forward line

It is hard to imagine that a forward line containing Darcy Vescio and Tayla Harris could be an area of weakness for the Blues, but it certainly was last season. Carlton finished miles below any other team in percentage, racking up just 54.1 per cent, with the next worst being Fremantle with 89.8. While Vescio and Harris are dangerous, they will require more support in the 2019 season if Carlton is to surge up the ladder. Emerson Woods is one player who could provide assistance, as she floated up forward and through the midfield for both the Eastern Ranges and the Hawks in the VFLW season. Being a member of the AFLW Academy, Woods has had plenty of experience at a high level, and is also an athletic machine. Carlton may also utilise Alison Downie up forward, as she can take a big mark and is an accurate kick. Thanks to the ruck support of Breann Moody and Rhiannon Watt, she may not be required in the middle as much, and can make herself a target inside 50.

Players to watch:

Madison Prespakis

If players were not able to select which region they wanted to go to, Prespakis would have seriously contended Nina Morrison for the number one pick. Prespakis led the Calder Cannons this year and also had a stint captaining Vic Metro in its rotating captaincy during the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. She is a fantastic on-field leader, as she demonstrates ferocity and a desire to win the ball. Prespakis has one of the most damaging kicks from the Under-18 draftees and is a genuine ball magnet. Carlton supporters should be excited to see her in the navy blue.

Jayde Van Dyk

Van Dyk had an outstanding year for Hawthorn in 2018. Not only did she take out Hawthorn’s Best and Fairest and the VFLW Rising Star award, she was also named in the VFLW Team of the Year and played in the Hawks’ historic premiership. She was a mainstay in the Hawks’ backline, often taking the most dangerous opposition forward. Her run and carry is something to be excited by and her football smarts are second to none. Strong in the air and on foot, Van Dyk should provide some serious presence in the Blues’ defensive 50.

Natalie Plane

A player who has gone under the radar in the last two seasons, Plane is a pretty consistent player and can play a team role when required. She had a solid year for Carlton in the 2018 VFLW season, coming fourth in Carlton’s Best and Fairest. Plane achieved this feat on the back of just eight games out of a possible 14. She averaged 13.4 disposals and six tackles from those games, demonstrating her ability to make an impact in the middle of the ground.

2019 prediction: 4th in Conference B

Improving from last to a finals berth in a year is a hard feat for any team, and it is hard to see Carlton storm into the finals in its conference, considering only the top two teams go through. The Blues will certainly improve with a potent midfield and defence, but their forward line will continue to come into question if Vescio and Harris are left to do all the work inside 50. It will be interesting to see the Blues in Round 1, as they face the Kangaroos, who seem to have one of the most dangerous line-ups in the competition. If they can get the win over in Hobart, they could be set for a big turnaround from 2018. But if they don’t get the win that game, they could be in for a losing streak to start their season, with their next three games coming against Adelaide, Greater Western Sydney (GWS) and Geelong. A good start will be crucial if Carlton is any chance to surge up the ladder in 2019.

2019 AFLW Carlton Fixture

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North Hobart OvalRound 1
Ikon ParkRound 2
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Blacktown International SportsparkRound 3
GMHBA StadiumRound 4
Ikon ParkRound 5
Ikon ParkRound 6
Whitten OvalRound 7

 

AFLW season previews: Brisbane

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

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

Changes:

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

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

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

Area of strength: Midfield

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

Area of weakness: Forward line

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

Players to watch:

McKenzie Dowrick

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

Nat Exon

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

Jordan Zanchetta

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

2019 prediction: 2nd in Conference B

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

2019 Brisbane AFLW Fixture

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

AFLW Draft review: Carlton

AFTER finishing on the bottom of the table last season, the Blues needed to go big in the 2018 AFL Women’s Draft. That’s just what they did, acquiring the services of Madison Prespakis, Abbie McKay, Jayde Van Dyk, Charlotte Wilson, Emerson Woods, Rhiannon Watt and Jessica Edwards. To add to that, Carlton added 32 year-old former Fremantle star, Kirby Bentley to its line-up in a bid to move up the ladder in 2019.

What they needed:

  • Defenders to fill the void of Kate Gillespie-Jones, Danielle Hardiman, Lauren Arnell and Laura Attard
  • Midfielders to replace Maddison Gay and Madeline Keryk
  • Tall forward to fill the absence of Kate Shierlaw

 

Players selected:

Madison Prespakis – Calder Cannons

Prespakis was the first metropolitan player to be picked in the draft, after one of the most stellar Under-18 careers. This year alone, Prespakis won the joint Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, Vic Metro’s MVP, was the joint TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest winner and won the Calder Cannons Best and Fairest. She is a bull in the midfield who racks up plenty of the football. Undoubtedly, she is one of the most exciting prospects for next year, as her run and carry and booming kick can break open a game for any team.

Abbie McKay – Sandringham Dragons

McKay has been long touted to go to the Blues, after her dad, Andrew played 244 games for the club. But the famous name is certainly not the only reason why the 17 year-old got drafted to the Blues. She is a skilful midfielder that was one of the standouts in the Sandringham Dragons line-up this year. She displayed quick hands and superb run and carry, not only for the Dragons but for Vic Metro as well. McKay drew plenty of interest from other clubs, so the Blues cleverly selected her early to ensure that she was their game-changer.

Jayde Van Dyk – Hawthorn

Van Dyk’s Hawthorn Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s coach, Patrick Hill touted her as a potential number one pick. So Carlton getting her in the 20s is a steal, as the defender dominated in all areas of the VFLW this year. She was the recipient of the VFLW Rising Star award, was named in the VFLW Team of the Year and won her club Best and Fairest award. Van Dyk is a classy defender who looks ready-made for AFLW. She can shut down players well and displays amazing composure on the last line of defence. Van Dyk will play a big part in preventing Carlton from enduring another season like 2018.

Charlotte Wilson – Eastern Ranges

The Eastern Ranges co-captain was a rock in defence this year with her great overhead marking and ability to shut down players. She was also able to rotate through the ruck to provide some support there, highlighting her versatility. Wilson still plays basketball now, but it could change with the addition of an AFL Women’s contract. She enjoyed representing Vic Metro this year and also tested well in the AFL Women’s Draft Combine, coming first in the standing vertical jump, and finishing in the top five in the running vertical jump (left and right), 20-metre sprint and the yo-yo intermittent test. Her athleticism will be quite valuable for the Blues this season.

Emerson Woods- Eastern Ranges

Woods had a very successful Under-18 year, representing Vic Metro, co-captaining the Eastern Ranges and winning a premiership with Hawthorn in the VFLW. Woods has the ability to go forward or play in the midfield, thanks to her elite endurance and blistering speed. She is very smart with the ball in hand and displays quick hands in congestion. She also has a great overhead mark and is agile in the air. Woods dominated the AFL Women’s Draft Combine, breaking the 20 metre sprint record with a time of 3.129 seconds. She also came in the top 10 for the vertical jump, the agility test, the yo-yo intermittent test and the 2km time trial.

Rhiannon Watt – Southern Saints

The Southern Saints ruck was quite impressive in the VFLW this year, being named as the leading ruck in the VFLW Team of the Year and winning the Southern Saints Best and Fairest alongside Alison Drennan. Watt displayed all the classic qualities of a ruck, and complemented this with her great ball-use at ground level. She will provide great support for Breann Moody, making Carlton’s ruck stocks a formidable force.

Jessica Edwards – Collingwood

The Collingwood VFLW captain was unexpectedly snapped up in the AFL Women’s Draft by traditional rivals, Carlton. Edwards is highly deserving of an AFLW contract after leading her side to a minor premiership this year in the VFLW. She is quite a smart footballer, knowing where to position herself to find space. Her hands are clean and her kicks are quite accurate, making her a handy acquisition for Carlton’s midfield.

Kirby Bentley – Fremantle

Bentley was a star for Fremantle in the first season of the AFLW, averaging 10 disposals a match in her role at half-back and through the midfield. She was named as a part of the 40-player All Australian squad. However, a knee injury suffered in that year’s State of Origin game ruled her out of AFLW 2.0, and she made the decision to retire from AFL Women’s. But now, ready to play again, Bentley has been snapped up by the Blues and will add some much-needed experience to their line-up.  

 

How they went:

Carlton has recruited exceptionally well in the AFL Women’s Draft. The Blues have been able to fill the void of Danielle Hardiman and Kate Gillespie-Jones through picking up Van Dyk, Wilson and Bentley, who will all give the opposition forwards plenty of headaches. Bentley can also provide support in the midfield, and replaces the experience of former Blues captain, Lauren Arnell. The Blues’ midfield has also received a huge boost with the acquisition of one of the best Under 18 midfielders in the country, in Madison Prespakis. Prespakis will add an element of aggression and will be able to break the lines with her football smarts. Together with Jessica Edwards, Abbie McKay and Emerson Woods, Carlton’s new-look midfield will certainly turn some heads. To add to this, the Blues’ ruck department has received a boost with Wilson able to head into the ruck alongside Rhiannon Watt and Breann Moody. Emerson Woods can also head into the forward line, and could present well like Kate Shierlaw did for Carlton last year.