Tag: Meg Downie

2020 AFL Women’s previews: Round 5 – Conference leaders go head to head

ROUND 4 of AFL Women’s 2020 is set to shake up the competition, with a top-of-the-tables clash to end the round coming in as the biggest match of the long weekend. Fremantle will look to go five from five, while Richmond are still aching to put a win on the board.

Friday, March 6

Gold Coast v. Geelong,
Great Barrier Reef Arena, 6.10pm AEST

Sophie Taylor

Opening Round 5 is an interesting match between two sides with only one win between them so far this season, with both sides’ victories coming against winless the Richmond; for the Suns in Round 2 and the Cats just last round. Both teams have the ability to score well and score quickly, but Geelong has a season under its belt already while their ability to improve on every week to put progressively better efforts on the board makes them a tough battle for the Suns this round. The Suns will need to draw on all the tenacity and pressure that kept them neck and neck with the Lions in Round 3 to put a win on the board against the Cats – something that is ultimately achievable, especially since it’s Geelong that is travelling up the coast for this one.

The likes of Jamie Stanton, Lauren Ahrens and Jade Pregelj will be key for Gold Coast this round, while the omission of Hannah Dunn (calf) will be a frustrating loss for the side which has really relied on Dunn’s tenacity and hunt for the ball, leading the side in both clearances and tackles. Ahrens’ ability to impact the play will be key with clean hands and vision to boot, collecting 27 intercept possessions for the season so far to go with Stanton’s 38 contested possessions, able to create something out of nothing. With the loss of Dunn a real blow, the side will need to tighten up across the field to deny Geelong easy entry inside 50 and rebound the ball.

For the Cats, this is a great opportunity to prove their growth since last season with a win on the road. Olivia Purcell has had a major impact this season as expected, averaging 20.5 touches per match so far, ultimately mostly unstoppable with an ability to not only find the footy but create opportunities for her teammates. Purcell is unafraid to enter the contest, averaging 12 contested possessions across the first four matches of the season while racking up 23 clearances, with her clean skills providing a huge bonus for the Cats. While Purcell leads many of the stats for the Cats, the likes of Rebecca Webster, Nina Morrison, Mel Hickey and Julia Crockett-Grills have been key throughout the season so far, finding plenty of ball and working well as a unit to create a formidable opposition, though the side will certainly suffer without their tackling machine in Jordan Ivey, out with suspension this week and leading the side’s tackle count with 22. Geelong ruck, Aasta O’Connor (57 hitouts) will have a tough time taking on Lauren Bella who sits third for hitouts with 78, though the Cats have the tenacity and hunt for the ball to impact off the tap regardless of who wins the ruck contest.

Tip: Geelong by 8 points.

GOLD COAST

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

Emerg: S.Riley 8 A.Hamilton 30

In: T.Groves-Little
Out: H.Dunn (Calf)

GEELONG

B: M.Brown 19 M.McMahon 24
HB: M.Keryk 45 M.McDonald 11 M.Hickey – C 18
C: N.Morrison 9 R.Webster 21 S.Van De Heuvel 27
HF: R.Garing 12 P.McWilliams 23 D.Higgins 2
F: R.Cranston 30 K.Darby 8
Foll: A.O’Connor 14 J.Crockett-Grills 6 O.Purcell 16
I/C: R.Goring 44 G.Rankin 10 A.McDonald 3 A.Teague 40 G.Clarke 17

Emerg: N.Garner 22 C.Blakeway 4

In: G.Rankin
Out: J.Ivey (Suspension)

Saturday, March 7

North Melbourne v. Adelaide,
North Hobart Oval, 3.10pm

Troy Hanning

The Kangaroos and the Crows battle on Saturday for the second spot on the Conference A ladder. The Kangaroos, who currently second on the ladder, seek to prevent the Crows in third from snapping their four game win streak. The biggest question mark for Adelaide will be how they go into this match without Erin Phillips once more, having only one game under her belt in an understandably slow return last round and omitted with soreness coming into Round 5. Meanwhile, the Kangaroos will want to carry on from their impressive performance from last week, and lift their winning streak to five on the hop.

Being second and third on the ladder, the teams’ differences in efficiency and statistics are very minuscule, however one important distinction is that the Kangaroos average many more kicks per game. This could show that they are the more composed team, able to maintain possession by marking and not relying on their midfielders to get it back. However, that’s not much of a problem for the Crows when you have someone like Anne Hatchard in the side, who averaged 18.9 disposals last season and is still improving. Hatchard has been dangerous in the midfield all season, being strong on both the inside and the outside of packs, and this game will likely be no different. Defensively, Ebony Marinoff, who averaged 22.8 disposals and 8.3 tackles per game last season and who holds the record for both the most tackles (21) and the highest number of disposals (33), will not make it easy on the Kangaroos’ forward line.

The Kangaroos are going to rely on their superior tackling abilities this game, averaging 10 more tackles per round with 60 compared to the Crows’ 50. The Crows only had 39 while the Roos had 53 in round four, meaning they will need to really address this element of their game. Along with the Kangaroos averaging slightly more possessions, North Melbourne clearly are the much stronger forward line scoring seven goals to the Crows’ five a game. Mostly because of Emma King, the forward ruck threat standing at 187cm tall and who kicked eight goals last season. Nevertheless, all signs point towards the North Melbourne side just finding their groove, as they came off a very impressive performance last round. They smashed their handball average of 77, hitting 91, highlighting their development of moving through contests on the run. Similarly, they tallied 253 disposals while so far averaging 215. Led by stars like Jasmine Garner, North could have a real chance of spoiling the Crows’ party. 

Tip: Kangaroos by 12 points

NORTH MELBOURNE

B: N.Bresnehan 12 T.Randall 16
HB: B.Gibson 18 D.Hardiman 31 A.Gilroy 8
C: J.Grierson 19 E.Kearney – C 9 J.Bruton 35
HF: S.Abbatangelo 1 K.Gillespie-Jones 5 K.Ashmore 10
F: Em.King 60 D.Bateman 11
Foll: V.Saad 39 A.Riddell 7 J.Garner 25
I/C: S.Wright 17 J.Trend 21 E.Gavalas 22 M.King 23 T.Nestor 24

Emerg: E.Humphries 6 M.Seoighe 13
In: N.Bresnehan
Out: El.King (Knee)

ADELAIDE

B: D.Cox 31 S.Allan 39
HB: N.Allen 8 M.Rajcic 32 S.Li 19
C: A.Foley 3 E.Marinoff 10 J.Mules 23
HF: A.Considine 16 D.Ponter 15 R.Forth 27
F: J.Tabb 28 S.Thompson 14
Foll: R.Metcalfe 11 A.Hatchard 33 C.Gum 5
I/C: N.Campbell 20 C.Gould 1 M.McKinnon 21 N.Gore 7 M.Newman 17

Emerg: C.Biddell 12
In: C.Gould, M.McKinnon, M.Newman
Out: E.Jones (Shoulder), J.Foley (Foot), C.Biddell (Omitted)

GWS GIANTS v Richmond,
Robertson Oval, 5.10pm

Sophie Taylor

This clash between the GIANTS and Tigers is set to be a big one for both sides but ultimately the Tiges need a win on the board stat after a horror start to their inaugural season. The GIANTS on the other hand have had an up and down season, and while they’ve gotten two impressive wins on the board, have missed a bit of consistency. A loss last round puts them in a good position to bounce back, going off their form in earlier rounds, meaning the Tigers will have to watch out against a side that can well and truly put teams under the pump.

The GIANTS will be without the experienced Alicia Eva this week, out with a foot injury alongside Yvonne Bonner (ankle), though the impact the former has on the side is decidedly more, making it a real question mark for the side. Alyce Parker will need to step up once more, something that shouldn’t be hard for the talented 19-year-old, averaging 17.8 disposals and three tackles for the season so far. Parker is another who doesn’t shy away from the contest, getting down and dirty to ensure her side finds the footy while Jess Dal Pos and Elle Bennetts have proven handy down back aiding Parker to propel the footy forward. Jessica Allan has been a solid mainstay in the ruck, averaging 17.5 hitouts per match though has not had too much of an impact on the ground – though had her best performance for the season last round so will hope to replicate that effort. Haneen Zreika and Rebecca Privitelli will hope to flourish against the Tigers, with the classy players both able to impact both across the field and on the scoreboard.

The Tigers will hope to provide some shock value to the GIANTS this week and pull out a win, but will need to put in a shared effort with a few players putting on consistent performances but ultimately unable to have much of a team victory. The side will be without ball magnet Katie Brennan thanks to a third quarter concussion last round, making this a tough one for the side which has struggled to impact on field even with all their star players at their best, while the loss of Courtney Wakefield (also concussion) is just as impactful after a dominant three-goal performance last round put her side in real contention for an inaugural victory. Monique Conti impressed last week on the track with 28 touches so will want to put her best foot forward once more while the likes of Phoebe Monahan and Kodi Jacques have been fairly consistent, able to impact the contest and could be a real hard unit. Christina Bernardi will want to lift after a couple of rough weeks on the field, and while she booted a goal last round her four touches were just not enough.

Tip: GIANTS by 20 points

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

B: P.Randall 21 T.Hetherington 9
HB: J.Dal Pos – C 7 E.Bennetts 22 A.Lister 14
C: L.Steane 20 B.Tully 36 N.Barr 8
HF: H.Zreika 24 T.Mackrill 32 J.Hicks 5
F: C.Staunton 13 J.Barclay 34
Foll: J.Allan 39 A.Parker 3 R.Beeson 6
I/C: S.Halvorsen 30 E.McKinnon 23 R.Privitelli 19 L.Stephenson 12 A.Schmidt 11

Emerg: I.Nielsen 25 T.Davies 16

In: T.Mackrill, S.Halvorsen, E.McKinnon
Out: Y.Bonner (Ankle), A.Eva (Foot), I.Nielsen (Omitted)

RICHMOND

B: A.Makur Chuot 34 G.Seymour 28
HB: H.Whitford 20 P.Monahan 2 R.Miller 15
C: H.Burchell 9 S.Molan 1 K.Dempsey 19
HF: L.Bailey 12 S.Frederick 14 C.Bernardi – C 6
F: L.McClelland 16 T.Stahl 24
Foll: A.Edmonds 11 M.Conti 4 G.Campbell 43
I/C: S.Sansonetti 18 E.Wood 17 K.Jacques 10 L.Tesoriero 7 M.Brancatisano 5

Emerg: A.Woodward 13 N.Butler 22

In: K.Dempsey, T.Stahl, L.Tesoriero
Out: K.Brennan (Concussion), A.Woodward (Omitted), C.Wakefield (Concussion)

Carlton v. St Kilda
Ikon Park, 7.10pm

Sophie Taylor

The high flying Blues will want to prove their point in the competition this round when they take on St Kilda, a side with only one win under its belt but a great one at that. Carlton has had a stellar start to the season having recruited well at the end of last year, and are sure to put the Saints under the pump with their ability to apply pressure both on the footy and on the scoreboard. While the Saints have not necessarily had a bad start to the season, they are yet to really apply the scoreboard pressure that would ensure them wins, though a pressurised defensive unit against Melbourne got the job done in Round 3. The Saints also pushed Fremantle to the final seconds last round to prove they can apply phenomenal pressure when required, but will need to do a lot more up forward to give opposition sides little opportunity to come from behind and win.

For the Saints, it seems to be more of a consistency issue with the side floundering in the first few rounds before taking advantage of the likes of Caitlin Greiser, Tilly Lucas-Rodd and Darcy Guttridge who have all had some good games in the mix, while Rosie Dillon and Alison Drennan were key players in the almost-victory last week. However, the side was also shot with season-ending injuries last round forcing some changes, with Tarni White and Kate McCarthy forced to watch from the sidelines and seeing Kelly O’Neill, Samantha Johnson and Emma Mackie enter the fray. The Blues have had an impressive start to the season, and bar a loss to Collingwood in Round 2 have scarcely missed a beat in season 2020.

Darcy Vescio proved last round why she is such a key cog for Carlton and, while she missed more than she kicked (2.3), Tayla Harris had no issue finding the footy inside 50 against the reigning premiers last week in a real hark back to her 2018/19 season form. In her second season on the big stage, Maddy Prespakis is having a stellar start to 2020 with an innate ability to find the footy and the tenacity to get the job done in any scenario. Carlton have made no changes this round and ultimately they had no need to after a solid outing last week, with Kerryn Harrington and Lucy McEvoy also putting on impressive performances. While St Kilda has the defensive pressure to deny the Blues some easy goals, Carlton has a plethora of players who can have an impact forward making them hard to stop once they get going.

Tip: Carlton by 15 points.

CARLTON

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

Emerg: B.Vernon 31 C.Jones 22
In: None
Out: None

ST KILDA

B: K.O’Neill 20 C.Fitzpatrick 24
HB: H.Priest 14 A.Brown 2 T.Lucas-Rodd 18
C: N.Exon 15 R.Dillon 25 M.McDonald 1
HF: D.Guttridge 5 S.Johnson 6 C.Greiser 17
F: K.Shierlaw 12 G.Patrikios 21
Foll: P.Kelly 16 N.Xenos 27 C.Phillips 35
I/C: E.Mackie 3 R.Watt – C 7 O.Vesely 23 A.Drennan 8 I.Shannon 11

Emerg: C.Whitfort 4 S.Karlson 26
In: K.O’Neill, S.Johnson, E.Mackie
Out: T.White (ACL), C.Munn (Omitted), K.McCarthy (Knee)

SUNDAY, MARCH 8

Collingwood v. Western Bulldogs,
Morwell Recreation Reserve, 1.10pm

Michael Alvaro

It is do-or-die for Collingwood as it takes on the Western Bulldogs in Morwell on Sunday, looking to remain in the finals hunt despite a spade of key injuries. In facing a fellow Conference B and inaugural AFLW side, the Magpies can get a true measure of their improvement this year against another developing list.

But the Pies will have to endure their finals tilt without star key defender Ash Brazill, who heartbreakingly went down last week with an ACL injury, while Ruby Schleicher has also been ruled out for the season with a wrist injury. Ringing in the changes, Collingwood have brought Ebony O’Dea and Maddie Shevlin back into the fold among the back five, while Sophie Alexander slots in up forward and Eliza Hynes has been named on an extended bench. The changes mean Sophie Livingstone will have to shoulder much of the defensive responsibility, with Bri Davey a chance to drift back to her customary defensive role.

Injuries have hit the Dogs too, with Bonnie Toogood’s knee complaint from last week ruling her out for this clash. But in a reprieve for the struggling Footscray unit comes in the form of vice-captain Brooke Lochland’s return, with ruck Celine Moody slotting straight back into the starting lineup and Deanna Berry featuring on an extended bench full of young talent. At 1-3 and equal-last in Conference B, Nathan Burke’s side will hope their current stock has enough in the tank to outgun the wounded Magpies.

The spines of both sides are a key feature, with some high-end movers making up the core of each developing squad. Ellie Blackburn has been ever-present at the heart of the Bulldogs’ side, while young guns Isabel Huntington and Gabby Newton are set to bookend the lineup, but are not locked down to just one role. On the other hand, Collingwood boasts the likes of Davey and Jaimee Lambert through midfield, while Chloe Molloy and Livingstone provide the height up either end, with the former four also all able to have their magnets shuffled.

The youth on show is also notable, with many young pups trusted with key roles. Round 4 Rising Star, Newton heads an impressive list of Under-20s including Elisabeth Georgostathis, Gemma Lagioia, Britney Gutknecht, Hannah Munyard, and Eleanor Brown, while Collingwood is set to line up with Alana Porter, Lauren Butler, Mikala Cann and Jordyn Allen among the starters. With plenty of future guns on show, this match-up should pique the interest of neutrals, especially if either side can get the free-flowing ball movement they are capable of, going. It seems more is on the line for Collingwood, but the Dogs will be in for the hunt and can never be counted out if it all clicks.

Tip: Collingwood by 10 points.

COLLINGWOOD

B: A.Porter 9 S.Livingstone 12
HB: L.Butler 23 E.O’Dea 50 M.Shevlin 35
C: S.Rowe 7 M.Cann 25 S.Chiocci – C 17
HF: S.Alexander 24 S.D’Arcy 4 B.Davey 3
F: J.Lambert 13 C.Molloy 2
Foll: S.Layton 1 B.Bonnici 8 J.Allen 6
I/C: A.Sheridan 14 E.Fowler 15 S.Casey 22 J.Membrey 21 S.Dargan 46 E.Hynes 11 K.Lynch 16

In: E.O’Dea, M.Shevlin, S.Alexander, E.Hynes
Out: A.Brazill (ACL), R.Schleicher (Wrist)

WESTERN BULLDOGS

B: E.Gamble 14 L.Spark 11
HB: K.Herron 31 I.Huntington 4 N.Ferres 16
C: B.Hunt 21 K.Lamb 27 B.Lochland 1
HF: G.Newton 5 K.Rennie 24 K.McLeod 6
F: D.Marshall 26 E.Georgostathis 17
Foll: C.Moody 13 E.Blackburn – C 2 A.McCarthy 15
I/C: E.Brown 9 D.Berry 7 G.Lagioia 12 H.Scott 22 H.Munyard 20 A.Guest 19 B.Gutknecht 18

In: B.Lochland, C.Moody, D.Berry
Out: B.Toogood (Knee)

Melbourne v. West Coast,
Casey Fields, 3.10pm

Michael Alvaro

Round 4 winners Melbourne and West Coast are primed to go head-to-head at Casey Fields, with the chance to notch consecutive victories up for grabs on Sunday afternoon. Home ground advantage should play into the Dees’ favour, unbeaten at their usually blustery fortress this season while the Eagles are yet to notch up an away win from two attempts.

Fresh off a defeating an injury-hit Collingwood side, the Demons will have to manage a string of their own forced omissions, with ruck Meg Downie ill and Lauren Pearce only lasting a week back in the side – out with knee soreness after playing predominantly forward in Round 4. But the Dees have managed to cover their losses in the tall department with youngster Eden Zanker taking up ruck duties, while Adelaide premiership forward Sarah Perkins may be in for an AFLW return having been named on an extended bench. She comes in as a supplementary player, with untried rookies Brenna Tarrant and Krstel Petrevski also again featuring as emergencies in the squad.

The Eagles will take a reasonably steady squad into this clash as they look to back up a memorable maiden AFLW win, with only one change confirmed as they too opt for an extended bench. Mature-age draftee Chantella Perera has been managed for the trip across the Nullarbor, with Melissa Caulfield set to take her spot in the starting side – not exactly as a like-for-like. The uncapped Mhicca Carter and social media coordinator Katherine Orme also slot in as inclusions as the Eagles look to maintain their winning formula on the road.

Engine room operator Karen Paxman, the only Demon to average over 20 disposals to date, will again look to outwork the opposition’s prime movers through midfield, with Dana Hooker and skipper Emma Swanson the Eagles’ key ball winners and in serious form. While Daisy Pearce has injected some drive and class to the competition’s stingiest backline, Melbourne have somewhat fallen short up the other end with a points total only good enough for ninth in the league. But given West Coast boast the lowest points total of any side, it is hard to see the Eagles boot a winning score on this long away trip – with their victorious effort of 30 last time out sticking out among a trio of totals in the teens, and no player kicking more than one goal across the board.

The Eagles will need to get creative forward of centre to break down the experienced and sturdy Dees, but the likes of Hooker, Swanson, Mikayla Bowen, and Imahra Cameron can all find the goals from further afield. In the face of those threats, the Demons will back themselves to outgun their opponent on each line and quell whatever the Eagles can produce in their own half, with a winning score of 46 last week boding well for their chances here against Conference B rivals.

Tip: Melbourne by 15

MELBOURNE

B: H.Cordner 21 L.Birch 9
HB: S.Lampard 8 D.Pearce – C 6 S.Goldrick 23
C: C.Sherriff 18 E.O’Dea 5 C.Emonson 11
HF: K.Hore 10 A.Newman 16 S.Scott 12
F: T.Cunningham 1 J.Parry 19
Foll: E.Zanker 29 K.Paxman 4 M.Gay 3
I/C: G.Colvin 32 N.McEvoy 17 L.Mithen 14 B.Tarrant 20 T.Hanks 28 K.Petrevski 31 S.Perkins 33

In: L.Mithen, B.Tarrant, K.Petrevski, S.Perkins
Out: M.Downie (Illness), L.Pearce (Knee soreness)

WEST COAST

B: C.Davidson 33 T.Radan 26
HB: S.McDonald 35 B.Smith 14 C.Guard 4
C: M.Bowen 1 I.Cameron 19 N.Kelly 12
HF: M.Collier 8 G.Kelly 15 M.Caulfield 10
F: K.Gibson 2 A.Atkins 9
Foll: P.Laurie 25 D.Hooker 17 E.Swanson – C 13
I/C: M.Dowrick 5 E.McGuire 31 H.Bullas 24 E.Bonser 6 B.Devlyn 7 K.Orme 32 M.Carter 21

In: M.Caulfield, K.Orme, M.Carter
Out: C.Perera (Managed)

Fremantle v. Brisbane,
Fremantle Oval, 5.10pm

Michael Alvaro

The two conference leaders, Fremantle and Brisbane are set to locks horns at Fremantle Oval on Sunday in a clash between the only remaining undefeated sides.

The hosts sit pretty atop Conference B with an unblemished 4-0 record, one game clear of their next best rivals and with a sizeable percentage of 167.7. Having only travelled once this season, it is fair to say the Dockers have revelled in front of adoring home fans in a successful campaign to date. But a real test on the road in Round 4 against expansion side, St Kilda got a little close for comfort, meaning the Dockers will need to lift this week to stay perfect in season 2020.

On the other hand, the Lions have been the surprise packet of the year, going from strength to strength since downing reigning premier, Adelaide in Round 1 to sit half a game clear atop Conference A. A draw against Gold Coast in the competition’s first-ever Q-Clash remains the only blemish on the Lions’ record thus far, with experienced heads and outstanding rookies helping the them to put a heavy list turnaround firmly in the past.

Both sides look set to come in unchanged, but have the potential to shuffle the magnets with two players each named on respective extended benches. The Dockers have selected Evangeline Gooch and Mia-Rae Clifford as their inclusions, with both looking to break back into a steady line-up after featuring earlier in the season. Similarly, the Lions have added Gabby Collingwood and Jordan Zanchetta to the squad, with the latter yet to get on the park this year.

Each engine room features hardened ball winners, with Fremantle standout Kiara Bowers leading her side for disposals, contested possessions, clearances, tackles, and metres gained to be one of the leading candidates for the league MVP at the mid-way point. She may well be the match-up for exciting Brisbane mature-age draftee Cathy Svarc, who is coming off a breakthrough 23-disposal and two-goal performance against GWS – all while maintaining a tag on GIANTS star, Alyce Parker. But the Lions’ options through midfield seems a touch deeper, with the pair of Emily Bates and Ally Anderson running riot of late to comfortably lead the club’s disposal count.

The area where Fremantle will look to stretch its opponent may be in the tall department, with first-year players Roxanne Roux and Mim Strom already impressing, while Gemma Houghton has been productive both in the air and at ground level – albeit sometimes lacking the finishing touch. Brisbane mainstay and defensive rock Katie Lutkins is sure to have her hands full with the trio should all three drift forward, but will be confident in her ability to intercept given she leads the league in marks, and is only second behind teammate, Svarc in intercept possessions.

The ground-level movers on either side should provide some highlights too, with Fremantle’s Sabreena Duffy and Ebony Antonio always dangerous, while Brisbane’s Lily Postlethwaite and Jess Wuetschner are as classy as any player on the ball under competition leading goalkicker, Jesse Wardlaw. With tantalising match-ups and match-winners across the ground for either side, this one looks poised to go down to the wire as one team’s 0 is set to go.

Tip: Fremantle by 6

FREMANTLE

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

In: E.Gooch, M.Clifford
Out: None

BRISBANE

B: N.Grider 10 S.Webb 4
HB: S.Campbell 20 K.Lutkins 13 C.Svarc 25
C: R.Lugg 11 A.Anderson 18 S.Conway 12
HF: L.Arnell 16 J.Wardlaw 30 G.Bodey 15
F: D.Davidson 14 E.Zielke – C 8
Foll: J.Keeffe 27 B.Koenen 3 E.Bates 1
I/C: I.Dawes 17 O.O’Dwyer 9 L.Postlethwaite 6 J.Wuetschner 23 M.Moloney 28 G.Collingwood 7 J.Zanchetta 2

In: G.Collingwood, J.Zanchetta
Out: None

ROUND 5 TIPS: [Total tips in brackets]

Michael Alvaro [21]: Gold Coast / North Melbourne / GWS / Carlton / Collingwood / Melbourne / Fremantle
Taylah Melki [20]: Geelong / North Melbourne / GWS / Carlton / Collingwood / Melbourne / Fremantle
Sophie Taylor [20]: Geelong / North Melbourne / GWS / Carlton / Western Bulldogs / Melbourne / Fremantle
Peter Williams [17]: Geelong / North Melbourne / GWS / Carlton / Collingwood / Melbourne / Fremantle

2019/20 AFLW off-season review: Melbourne

THE 2019 AFLW season was an interesting one for the Demons, who found themselves in a difficult conference playing against premiers, Adelaide and flag favourites, North Melbourne, winning four of their seven matches and ultimately would have made finals in the alternate conference. However, the Dees have proved they have consistency over the first three seasons, finishing mid-range on the ladder every season. Melbourne were one of the lucky teams heading out of the 2019 AFL Women’s season, managing to retain a large portion of their lineup while adding some impressive names to the list. Ultimately one of the biggest ins to the side is the return of Daisy Pearce following a season out of the sport with pregnancy, something that will surely bolster the Demons’ already impressive midfield. The addition of Western Bulldogs defender, Libby Birch will kick Melbourne’s defensive pressure up a notch, while the core side sticking together will ensure Melbourne continue their consistency and hopefully go one better in 2020.

With Birch the key cog and retaining Pearce key, the Demons had a mostly uneventful off-season, delisting four players and picking up four late picks in the AFL Women’s Draft. Interstaters Jacqueline Parry (Canberra) and Brenna Tarrant (East Coast Eagles) join the side alongside Calder Cannons’ Krstel Petrevski, while Darebin Falcons’ Gabby Colvin will have the chance to prove herself at the top level after three seasons at VFL Women’s. The Dees will also benefit from the addition of Irish recruits, Sinead Goldrick and Niamh McEvoy who join the rookie list for 2020.

OFF-SEASON CHANGES:

IN: Libby Birch (Western Bulldogs), Brenna Tarrant (East Coast Eagles), Gabby Colvin (Darebin Falcons), Krstel Petrevski (Calder Cannons), Jacqueline Parry (Canberra), Shae Sloane (promoted from rookie list to primary), Sinead Goldrick (gaelic), Niamh McEvoy (gaelic)
OUT: Maddy Brancatisano (Richmond), Ashleigh Guest (Western Bulldogs), Cat Phillips (St Kilda), Claudia Whitfort (St Kilda), Jordann Hickey, Talia Radan, Brooke Patterson, Ashleigh Woodland (delisted)

2020 TEAM LIST:

Libby Birch
Gabrielle Colvin
Harriet Cordner
Tegan Cunningham
Meg Downie
Maddison Gay
Madeleine Guerin
Tyla Hanks
Shelley Heath
Kate Hore
Bianca Jakobsson
Ainslie Kemp
Sarah Lampard
Lily Mithen
Aliesha Newman
Elise O’Dea
Jacqueline Parry
Karen Paxman
Daisy Pearce
Lauren Pearce
Krstel Petrevski
Shelley Scott
Casey Sherriff
Shae Sloane
Katherine Smith
Brenna Tarrant
Eden Zanker

Rookies: Chantel Emonson, Sinead Goldrick, Niamh McEvoy

POTENTIAL 2020 SIDE:

B: Meg Downie, Harriet Cordner, Chantel Emonson
HB: Sarah Lampard, Libby Birch, Karen Paxman
C: Elise O’Dea
HF: Maddison Gay, Kate Hore, Shelley Scott
F: Eden Zanker, Tegan Cunningham, Aliesha Newman
R: Lauren Pearce, Lily Mithen, Daisy Pearce
INT: Bianca Jakobsson – Tyla Hanks – Katherine Smith – Maddy Guerin – Ainslie Kemp
EMG: Jacqueline Parry – Shae Sloane – Shelley Heath

DEPTH: Gabby Colvin, Krstel Petrevski, Casey Sherriff, Brenna Tarrant, Sinead Goldrick, Niamh McEvoy

It will likely be difficult for some of the new recruits to break into the 2020 lineup, with the Demons maintaining a number of key combinations across the field. Harriet Cordner proved her dominance defensively last season and with the addition of Birch they could form a real formidable trio down back. Through the midfield, look to key ruck, Lauren Pearce who had a fantastic run in the 2019 season. She followed up her form awarded with the VFL Women’s Lambert-Pearce Medal over the off-season. Pearce’s ability to find co-captains Elise O’Dea and Shelley Scott plays a massive role in making headway down the field, with key ball movers the likes of Lily Mithen and Daisy Pearce able to have an impact both in the air and at ground level, while young gun Tyla Hanks found her form in a similar manner, playing up the ground with ball magnets Aliesha Newman, Eden Zanker and Kate Hore.

Melbourne’s first draft pick in Jacqueline Parry is a relatively unknown quantity with plenty of class traits but will have to fight her way into the side, while the likes of Krstel Petrevski, Gabby Colvin and Brenna Tarrant will also provide good support and try and force their way in.

VFLW weekly wrap: Round 15 – Plenty of ladder movement in the penultimate round

IN the penultimate round of VFL Women’s there were a number of big results, with ladder leaders Collingwood going down to Essendon – albeit resting most of their big name players, while Casey, Geelong and Western Bulldogs all recorded impressive wins.

CARLTON 1.2 | 1.2 | 2.3 | 4.5 (29)
DAREBIN 0.4 | 1.6 | 1.8 | 2.9 (21)

GOALS

Carlton: A. McKay 2, S. Craige, B. Gurr.
Darebin: S. David, B. Kennedy.

BEST

Carlton: B. Gutknecht, S. Cubasch, S. Wright, A. McKay, K. Loynes, A. Prins
Darebin: J. Stanton, K. Roe, R. Hicks, E. McLaughlin, B. Patterson, L. Arnell

It was a disappointing loss for Darebin in the opening match of Round 15, going down by only eight points despite plenty of chances to get ahead of Carlton. Both sides only had pride on the line with no chance of making finals, but it was the Blues that got the points and their third win on the board. It was a match with constant lead changes, however Carlton ultimately made the most of their opportunities while the Falcons struggled with inaccuracy, spraying the goalposts and getting very little return. The Falcons were missing a big name in Lauren Pearce, and while Erin McLaughlin was impressive in the ruck regardless with 29 hitouts and 15 touches, the Falcons clearly missed Pearce’s forward presence. Also impressive were Jamie Stanton (24 disposals, four marks), Annalyse Lister (18 disposals, 11 tackles) and Reni Hicks (17 disposals, 15 tackles) while young gun Nell Morris-Dalton was threatening forward but ultimately unable to get a goal on the board, managing three minor scores. Katie Loynes was among the best for the Blues, collecting 22 disposals and 11 tackles while Abbie McKay kicked two goals from 13 touches. Bry Gurr was also right up in the contest, racking up 16 touches, eight tackles and a goal while Sidney Cubasch and Jaime Nelson combined for 47 hitouts.

COLLINGWOOD 1.2 | 1.2 | 3.2 | 3.4 (22)
ESSENDON 2.1 | 4.6 | 5.7 | 7.7 (49)

GOALS

Collingwood: R. Grant 2, K. Lynch.
Essendon: G. Patrikios 2, M. DeMatteo 2, M. Fogas, A. Quigley, L. Stepnell.

BEST

Collingwood: A. Porter, K. Lee, C. Bunker, N. Xenos, N. Hales, R. Grant
Essendon: G. Patrikios, G. Nanscawen, C. McIntosh, L. Ahrens, S. Nalder, M. Fogas

It was an interesting match for the table topping Magpies, ultimately putting out a team that was missing a number of big name players yet still going down to Essendon, a side that has struggled to get wins on the board all season. With a big source of firepower in Jaimee Lambert missing from the fray the Pies were still in with a chance despite their inexperience, however it was the Bombers’ mix of skilled youth and experience that got them over the line with impressive performances from 18 year old Georgia Patrikios (15 disposals, two goals) and veteran Cecilia McIntosh (18 disposals, six marks) combining for a solid 27-point victory. Also solid for the Bombers were Georgia Nanscawen (21 touches, seven tackles) and Lauren Ahrens (20 disposals, five marks) who combined well across the field, finding the likes of Patrikios, Monique De Matteo (two goals) and Alex Quigley (one goal, four behinds) inside 50. For Collingwood, Caitlin Bunker put out ultimately her best performance of 11 matches this season, collecting 25 touches and providing a vital run downfield while Emily Bliss, Emily Hastie and Katelyn Lee combined for 22 tackles. Meanwhile, Rebecca Grant (two goals) and Katie Lynch (one goal) contributed to the scoreline, keeping the Bombers on their toes.

RICHMOND 1.1 | 1.1 | 2.2 | 3.2 (20)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 4.0 | 4.1 | 7.1 | 10.3 (63)

GOALS

Richmond: A. Woodward, J. Colwell, S. Frederick.
Western Bulldogs: E. Georgostathis 3, K. Rennie 2, D. Marshall 2, D. Berry 2, B. Lochland.

BEST

Richmond: S. Frederick, A. Woodward, M. Conti, P. Monahan, K. Jacques, G. Seymour
Western Bulldogs: N. Ferres, D. Berry , D. Marshall, L. Spark, K. McLeod, C. Moody

While the Bulldogs were the side that started Richmond’s month-long losing streak, for the Dogs to pull out another big win against the Tigers proves that the side should not be underestimated in finals. While the Pies purposely played over the weekend with little experienced players named, the Tigers have no such excuse with a number of big names on the field who were unable to spark the side into action. Monique Conti and Kate Dempsey were among the best for Richmond, collecting 18 touches apiece and combining for seven tackles while Alana Woodward managed a team-high seven tackles and a goal. While Alice Edmonds impressed in the ruck with 31 hitouts and five tackles, she was controlled well by the Bulldogs’ shared rucks in Nicole McMahon (19 hitouts) and Celine Moody (16 hitouts). Also impressive for the Dogs were Bailey Hunt (20 disposals) and Naomi Ferres (19 disposals, seven tackles) while Elisabeth Georgostathis was one of four multiple goalkickers for the Bulldogs with three majors and six tackles from 14 disposals, combining well with Kimberley Rennie (two goals, five tackles), Deanna Berry (two goals, six tackles) and Danielle Marshall (two goals, six marks, five tackles).

CASEY 4.4 | 4.5 | 9.7 | 11.9 (75)
NT THUNDER 1.0 | 2.0 | 2.0 | 3.0 (18)

GOALS

Casey: K. Hore 3, C. Sherriff 2, M. Downie 2, L. Mithen 2, M. Hogg, S. Scott.
N Thunder: D. Ponter 2, R. Killian.

BEST

Casey: L. Mithen, B. Winbanks, K. Hore, M. Hogg, C. Sherriff, R. Edmeades
NT Thunder: J. Hickey, S. Riley, M. Ellis, E. Morrison, G. Cusack, M. Johnston

Similarly to the Bulldogs, while Casey managed an impressive win over Thunder last time they met there was no guarantee the inconsistent Demons would be able to pull a similar performance out of the bag. While the Dees may not have produced the same impressive score as their Round 11 victory, they were convincing from the get-go flying down field and finding plenty of forward options to put scores on the board. Thunder had patches of solid play, but were ultimately let down once again by their inconsistency and inability to string quarters together. Lily Mithen starred for the Dees, collecting a whopping 35 disposals and seven tackles, also going forward to kick two goals. Meg Downie was solid with 21 touches and two goals while Maddy Guerin put in her best performance since her early season form with 20 disposals, six tackles, three marks and two behinds. Kate Hore (three goals, five tackles) and Casey Sheriff (two goals, six marks, eight tackles) also provided valuable options inside 50 while Bridie Winbanks dominated in the ruck with 41 hitouts and seven tackles, while Thunder collected nine hitouts overall. For Thunder, Lisa Roberts (23 disposals, four tackles) and Sally Riley (20 disposals, 11 tackles) were solid, while Danielle Ponter added two more goals to her season tally and Jordann Hickey put in a season-best performance with 18 disposals and five tackles to her name.

SOUTHERN SAINTS 1.0 | 4.3 | 4.4 | 7.9 (51)
HAWTHORN 1.3 | 1.5 | 2.6 | 3.6 (24)

GOALS
Southern Saints:
M. McDonald 2, K. McCarthy 2, E. Mackie, T. Bohanna, K. Shierlaw.
Hawthorn: P. McWilliams 2, T. Kelly.

BEST

Southern Saints: K. O’Neill, S. Johnson, T. Lucas-Rodd, K. McCarthy, M. McDonald, O. Vesely
Hawthorn: T. Radan, R. Beeson, R. Dillon, P. McWilliams, L. Wotton, J. Membrey

The Southern Saints leapfrogged the Magpies into top spot this round with a convincing win over Hawthorn. While the Hawks are all but locked in for finals unless Round 16 goes drastically wrong, this win proves the Saints – and Magpies – in top spot are worlds apart from the rest of the top six. Despite a quiet third term the Saints kicked 3.5 to 1.0 in the last quarter to run away with the 26 point win. It was a shared effort by the Saints, with Olivia Vesely leading the disposal count with 19, while Alison Drennan returned for a solid performance collecting 17 disposals and seven tackles, matched by Samantha Johnson with 17 and eight tackles. Kate McCarthy (two goals from nine touches) and Molly McDonald (15 disposals, two goals) impressed while Jemima Kelly and Lou Wotton were well-matched in the ruck, collecting a respective 14 and 13 hitouts with neither really able to take control. For the Hawks, Talia Radan was solid with 18 touches while Jayde Van Dyke collected 16 disposals and four tackles and Phoebe McWilliams added two more goals to her tally, having put a score on the board in all but one of her matches this season.

WILLIAMSTOWN 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 (6)
GEELONG 1.0 | 2.0 | 4.3 | 8.4 (52)

GOALS

Williamstown: E. Gardner.
Geelong: J. Woollett 2, R. Caris 2, T. Love, M. Maguire, D. Taylor, S. Van De Heuvel.

BEST

Williamstown: A. Shannon, E. Straford, T. Merrett, M. Williamson, N. Wallace, E. Gardner
Geelong: S. Van De Heuvel, T. Love, R. Webster, D. Taylor, J. Woollett, R. Caris

Despite an impressive final margin, this match was likely too close for comfort for the Cats, who needed a win this week to raise their chances of a finals berth, very much reliant on a victory next week as well as relying on other results in Round 16. It was an even start to the match that gave Williamstown some hope, however the Cats were just far too good against the cellar dwelling Seagulls, kicking six goals nil in the second half to race away 46 point victors. For the Seagulls, Megan Williamson was impressive with 22 touches and eight tackles, aided by Danica Pederson (21 disposals, three marks, three tackles) and Rachel Achampong (27 hitouts) while Emily Gardner put Williamstown’s only goal on the board midway through the first. For the Cats, Amy McDonald (21 disposals, five tackles) and Tarryn Love (18 disposals, seven tackles, one goal) proved to be big ball movers around the field while Rene Caris (16 hitouts, 12 disposals, five marks, two goals) and Jaime Woollett (13 disposals, six tackles, two goals) provided solid options inside 50. Caris shared the role in the ruck with Kate Darby, who collected 13 hitouts and 16 disposals, also racking up four marks and four tackles.

BYE: Melbourne Uni

Number Crunching: AFLW – Round 3

A record-breaking effort from Adelaide star, Ebony Marinoff was the highlight in a round of big individual performances across AFLW. The Round 3 edition of number crunching reveals who fared best in each stat, including a nod to the players who managed to dominate multiple areas.

The epitome of dominance this week was Marinoff, who helped herself to a record 33 disposals against the Cats to eclipse Emma Kearney‘s pervious feat of 30, and Erin Phillips‘ club record of 28. The versatile Crow also managed round-highs in uncontested possessions (20), kicks (18), and goal assists (two), while placing second for inside 50s (eight) and clearances (seven) in one of the more remarkable individual AFLW games to date.

Her closest rival in the disposals department was teammate, Anne Hatchard (27) who led the way in contested possessions (16) and handballs (18). North Melbourne’s Jenna Bruton fell just short of Marinoff’s kicks stat to have 17, but beat her out in the inside 50 count with a league-best of nine. Another to better Marinoff’s efforts was Demon, Lauren Pearce who managed an impressive nine clearances to lead the way from four players on seven.

One of those was GWS Giant, Rebecca Beeson who was the highest ball-winner of those to record a disposal efficiency of 90 per cent. Melbourne’s Meg Downie was one of 15 players to go at 100 per cent, claiming the most amount of ball of them all with eight disposals.

Beeson’s teammates, Yvonne Bonner (eight marks) and Erin McKinnon (26 hit-outs) dominated the air, with McKinnon only beaten out by Cat, Erin Hoare (29 hit-outs) in the ruck stakes. It took two Blues talls to nullify the impact of McKinnon though, with Breann Moody and Alison Downey combining for 34 taps to eclipse the Giant’s efforts. Fellow Blue, Tayla Harris also had a good day out, putting on a marking clinic to be one of three players with six marks – including a round-high four contested and equal-best of three inside 50 to go with three goals.

Harris was joined by young Carlton gun, Madison Prespakis on three majors, along with two others who managed the feat. They were all outdone in front of goal though by AFLW newcomer, Courteney Munn who booted four goals in an incredible breakout performance for the ‘Roos. On the flip-side, Fremantle’s Ashley Sharp had the dishonour of being the only player to notch three behinds, while three others had two.

It is hard to go past Marinoff in terms of the week’s best all-round performers, but teammate Phillips put her hand up with 19 disposals (14 contested) at 84 per cent, six tackles, four clearances, three goals, two assists to snap up a perfect 10 coaches votes. Another to do so was Round 2 Rising Star nominee, Prespakis, who had 21 disposals (14 contested) at 76 per cent, seven clearances, three goals, two assists. Undeniably a round for top individuals, with a good dose of free-flowing footy.

Bulldogs dominate AFLW Awards

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

AFLW Premiers

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

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

AFLW Grand Final Best on Ground award

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

AFL Women’s Rising Star Award

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

AFL Women’s Best and Fairest Trophy

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

AFL Women’s Leading Goalkicker award

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

AFLW Mark of the Year

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

AFLW Goal of the Year

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

AFL Women’s All-Australian team

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Captain: Chelsea Randall
Vice-captain: Daisy Pearce

Scouting notes: AFLW – Round 7

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

GWS vs. Brisbane

 By James Halley

#1: Sabrina Frederick-Traub- Brisbane

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

#2: Ally Anderson- Brisbane

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

#3: Emma Zielke- Brisbane

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

#4: Emily Bates- Brisbane

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

#5: Jess Wuetschner- Brisbane

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

#6: Alicia Eva- GWS

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

#7: Kate Lutkins- Brisbane

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

#8: Tahlia Randall- Brisbane

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

#9: Sophie Conway- Brisbane

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

#10: Brittany Gibson- Brisbane

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

#11: Britt Tully- GWS

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

#12: Jamie Stanton- Brisbane

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

#13: Pepa Randall- GWS

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

#14: Amanda Farrugia- GWS

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

#15: Jessica Dal Pos- GWS

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

#16: Sharni Webb- Brisbane

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

#17: Emma Swanson- GWS

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

#18: Jacinda Barclay- GWS

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

#19: Breanna Koenen- Brisbane

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

#20: Cora Staunton- GWS

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

 

Fremantle vs. Carlton

#1: Dana Hooker- Fremantle

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

#2: Kara Donnellan- Fremantle

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

#3: Ebony Antonio- Fremantle

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

#4: Sarah Hosking- Carlton

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

#5: Tayla Harris- Carlton

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

#6: Lisa Webb- Fremantle

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

#7: Hayley Miller- Fremantle

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

#8: Amy Lavell- Fremantle

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

#9: Alison Downie- Carlton

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

#10: Stephanie Cain- Fremantle

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

#11: Kellie Gibson- Fremantle

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

#12: Katie Loynes- Carlton

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

#13: Tiah Haynes- Fremantle

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

#14: Melissa Caulfield- Fremantle

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

#15: Breann Moody- Carlton

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

#16: Maddison Gay- Carlton

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

#17: Ashley Sharp- Fremantle

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

#18: Tilly Lucas-Rodd- Carlton

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

#19: Lauren Arnell- Carlton

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

#20: Cassie Davidson- Fremantle

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

 

Western Bulldogs vs. Melbourne

By Connor Ferris 

#1: Emma Kearney- Western Bulldogs

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

#2: Karen Paxman- Melbourne

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

#3: Jenna Bruton- Western Bulldogs

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

#4: Ellie Blackburn- Western Bulldogs

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

#5: Hannah Scott- Western Bulldogs

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

#6: Daisy Pearce- Melbourne

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

#7: Elise O’Dea- Melbourne

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

#8: Lauren Pearce- Melbourne

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

#9: Katherine Smith- Melbourne

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

#10: Monique Conti- Western Bulldogs

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

#11: Kirsty Lamb- Western Bulldogs

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

#12: Aisling Utri- Western Bulldogs

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

#13: Brooke Lochland- Western Bulldogs

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

#14: Kate Hore- Melbourne

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

#15: Harriet Cordner- Melbourne

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

#16: Libby Birch- Western Bulldogs

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

#17: Bianca Jakobsson- Melbourne

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

#18: Hayley Wildes- Western Bulldogs

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

#19: Meg Downie- Melbourne

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

#20: Lauren Spark- Western Bulldogs

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

Collingwood vs. Adelaide

 By Taylah Melki 

#1: Jasmine Garner- Collingwood

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

#2: Jaimee Lambert- Collingwood

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

#3: Jess Duffin- Collingwood

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

#4: Ebony Marinoff- Adelaide

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

#5: Erin Phillips- Adelaide

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

#6: Moana Hope- Collingwood

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

#7: Christina Bernardi- Collingwood

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

#8: Ruth Wallace- Adelaide

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

#9: Chloe Molloy- Collingwood

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

#10: Chelsea Randall- Adelaide

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

#11: Emma King- Collingwood

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

#12: Ash Brazill- Collingwood

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

#13: Amelia Barden- Collingwood

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

#14: Sarah Allan- Adelaide

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

#15: Caitlyn Edwards- Collingwood

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

#16: Marijana Rajcic- Adelaide

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

#17: Melissa Kuys- Collingwood

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

#18: Justine Mules- Adelaide

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

#19: Stevie-Lee Thompson- Adelaide

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

#20: Brittany Bonnici- Collingwood

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

AFLW Previews: Round 5

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

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

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

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

Melbourne v Brisbane Lions

Friday, March 2, 7.05pm ACDT at Casey Fields

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

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

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

Fremantle v GWS

Saturday, March 3, 2.05pm WST at Fremantle Oval

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

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

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

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

Adelaide v Carlton

Saturday, March 3, 6.40pm CDT at Norwood Oval

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

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

Collingwood v Western Bulldogs

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

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

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

A takeaway from round four is, anything is possible.

Team Selection: AFLW – Round 5

TAYLA Harris has been named in Carlton’s new-look side this weekend, after the Blues made drastic team changes following their devastating loss to the Dogs last week. Harris will be expected to return to her impressive form after being sidelined in round four due to suspension. Carlton are clearly hungry for a win against Adelaide with five bold changes to their team line up, including the addition of experienced defender, Danielle Hardiman and exciting forward, Lauren Brazzale. These players should add the tenacity that Carlton will be needing this weekend, as they look to get their season back on track.

Former Waratah Warrior, Abbey Holmes will not be taking the field for Adelaide this Saturday against the desperate Blues, following her disappointing performance in round four. Georgia Bevan is a surprise out of the Adelaide side, after stringing together a couple of consistent performances in recent weeks. However, the Crows regain defender, Dayna Cox for the match at Norwood Oval.

A series of changes to Melbourne’s round five side should give Demons fans lots to look forward to, after a disappointing loss to Collingwood last week. This comes in the form of two young guns in former Bendigo Pioneer, Eden Zanker and former state netballer, Claudia Whitfort. Unfortunately, the Demons will be without star defender, Meg Downie who is riddled with injury. Their opposition, Brisbane have only made one change for the week sitting comfortably at second on the ladder.

Fremantle and GWS have each made two changes to their side in preparation for their clash this Saturday. Swan Districts recruit, Tayla McAuliffe will make her debut for the Dockers, and will start at centre half-back. She is likely to be used in the ruck as well, alongside teammate, Alicia Janz. Therefore, McAuliffe will have the tough job of battling against GWS’ Erin Mckinnon, who has impressed on multiple occasions this season.

While the teams will not be finalised for Sunday’s match until Friday at 5:00pm, Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs have each included two players in its sides. One exciting in for Collingwood is Western Spurs recruit, Bree White. Her experience in the midfield should continue to bring stability and skill to Collingwood’s side, as they hope to continue from last week’s success. For the Bulldogs, Deanna Berry comes back into the side, hoping to help get her side over the line in Moe. 

Friday, March 2

Melbourne v Brisbane at Casey Fields, 7.05pm AEDT

MELBOURNE

B: H.Cordner 21, A.Teague 40, B.Jakobsson 7
HB: K.Paxman 4, K.Smith 13, A.Guest 17
C:                     E.O’Dea 5                   
HF: K.Hore 10, R.Cranston 30, C.Phillips 35
F: A.Newman 16, T.Cunningham 1, S.Scott 12
Foll: L.Pearce 15, D.Pearce 6, M.Hickey 18
I/C: L.Mithen 14, J.Grierson 19, B.Patterson 24, E.Zanker 29, C.Whitfort 20                       

Emerg: E.Humphries 3, M.Guerin 22             

In: L.Pearce, B.Patterson, E.Zanker, C.Whitfort
Out: M.Downie (injured), L.Duryea, E.Hoare, A.Mifsud

BRISBANE

B: B.Koenen 3, L.Kaslar 11, A.Clarke 21
HB: J.Stanton 17, T.Randall 16, K.Lutkins 13
C:                     E.Bates 1                     
HF: K.McCarthy 9, S.Webb 4, E.Zielke 8
F: J.Wuetschner 23, S.Campbell 20, K.Ashmore 10
Foll: S.Frederick-Traub 14, B.Gibson 25, A.Anderson 18
I/C: N.Hildebrand 22, I.Ayre 2, N.Exon 15, G.Collingwood 28, J.Zanchetta 7

Emerg: E.Pittman 29, M.Hunt 6                     

In: S.Campbell
Out: E.Pittman

Saturday, March 3

Fremantle v Greater Western Sydney at Fremantle Oval, 2.05 AWST

FREMANTLE

B: A.Williams 9, E.Antonio 12, E.Gooch 8
HB: L.Mascall 14, T.McAuliffe 25, D.Hooker 17
C:                     L.Filocamo 4               
HF: L.Webb 16, A.Lavell 7, K.Donnellan 15
F: J.de Melo 28, S.Barr 10, A.Atkins 37
Foll: A.Janz 30, G.O’Sullivan 22, H.Miller 19
I/C: B.Smith 18, E.McGuire 31, M.Caulfield 29, C.Davidson 33, S.Cain 20

Emerg: T.Haynes 6, G.Houghton 27               

In: T.McAuliffe, J.de Melo
Out: A.Sharp, J.White

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

B: A.Farrugia 18, T.Hetherington 9, E.Bennetts 22
HB: N.Barr 8, E.Swanson 17, P.Randall 21
C:                     A.Eva 2           
HF: J.Dal Pos 7, P.McWilliams 3, A.Schmidt 11
F: J.Barclay 34, C.Staunton 13, R.Beeson 6
Foll: E.McKinnon 23, C.Gum 26, B.Tully 16
I/C: E.Brush 10, P.Monahan 28, R.Tomkins 1, J.Hicks 5, M.Collier 14                      

Emerg: A.Saundry 4, M.Freckelton 20                       

In: R.Tomkins, M.Collier
Out: R.Forth, P.Smyth

Adelaide v Carlton at Norwood Oval, 6.40 ACDT

ADELAIDE

B: S.Thompson 14, A.Hatchard 33, J.Hewett 20
HB: A.Foley 3, C.Randall 26, D.Cox 31
C:                     E.Phillips 13                
HF: D.Varnhagen 9, S.Allan 39, J.McCormick 5
F: R.Wallace 15, S.Perkins 28, E.Jones 2
Foll: R.Metcalfe 11, C.Cramey 22, E.Marinoff 10
I/C: M.Rajcic 32, J.Sedunary 17, R.Lugg 45, J.Mules 23, S.Armitstead 16

Emerg: G.Bevan 4, T.Radan 6             

In: A.Hatchard, D.Cox, R.Lugg, S.Armitstead
Out: R.Killian, A.Holmes, J.Allan, G.Bevan

CARLTON

B: G.Pound 6, D.Hardiman 31, R.Hicks 24
HB: K.Loynes 2, A.Downie 30, K.Gillespie-Jones 5
C:                     S.Audley 26                
HF: N.Stevens 21, D.Vescio 3, K.Harrington 9
F: S.Hosking 10, T.Harris 22, B.Kennedy 23
Foll: B.Moody  16, T.Lucas-Rodd 18, S.Li 35
I/C: C.Webb 17, G.Gee 19, L.Arnell 13, L.Brazzale 12, M.Gay 8                    

Emerg: M.Keryk 4, J.Hosking 11                     

In: D.Hardiman, K.Loynes, T.Harris, G.Gee, L.Brazzale
Out: K.Shierlaw, J.Hosking (rested), N.Plane, M.Keryk, S.Last

Sunday, March 4

Collingwood v Western Bulldogs at Ted Summerton Recreation Reserve Moe, 2.35 AEDT

COLLINGWOOD

B: E.Grant 5, R.Schleicher 18, I.Ross 21
HB: C.Molloy 2, C.McIntosh 20, M.Kuys 9
C:                     C.Edwards 1               
HF: S.D’Arcy 4, J.Garner 43, S.Chiocci 17
F: M.Hutchins 25, M.Hope 23, C.Bernardi 6
Foll: E.King 60, J.Lambert 13, B.Bonnici 8
I/C: from: H.Whitford 28, S.Dargan  46, L.Tesoriero 7, J.Duffin 27, A.Barden 38, K.Stratton 41, B.White 33                    

In: K.Stratton, B.White
Out:

WESTERN BULLDOGS

B: H.Wildes 17, L.Birch 18, N.Callinan 10
HB: H.Scott 22, A.O’Connor 4, A.Gogos 36
C:                     E.Blackburn 2             
HF: B.Lochland 1, L.Spark 11, M.Conti 8
F: K.McLeod 6, B.Toogood 28, K.Rennie 24
Foll: T.Ernst 19, E.Kearney 5, K.Lamb 27
I/C: from: D.Berry 7, J.Bruton 35, B.Hunt 21, A.Utri 23, L.Bailey 13, N.Ferres 16, E.Mackie 25     

In: E.Mackie, D.Berry
Out:

 

Team of the Week: AFLW – Round 4

RECORDS tumbled on Friday night as Brooke Lochland kicked a competition-high seven goals for the Western Bulldogs, contributing to the AFLW’s highest team score of 86 points. Many thought that the Bulldogs would not have a clear path to goal with star goal-kicker and captain, Katie Brennan out of the team. But in stepped Lochland, who took the AFLW by storm with a dominant display against an undermanned Carlton backline, which was missing captain, Brianna Davey and consistent defender, Danielle Hardiman. Lochland’s perfect game was highlighted by 10 Coaches Association votes, and a place in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week.

Many would see Cora Staunton’s inclusion in the Team of the Week as a shock. However, the former Gaelic footballer was a standout in the wet conditions against Adelaide. Her stability was impressive, as she hardly fell to her feet, moving the ball along the ground with her impressive soccer skills. She kicked a goal in a low-scoring contest in the wet, which is not favoured by marking forwards. Looking forward, some might question whether her unorthodox kicking style needs attention, however it is obviously getting the job done.

The Bulldogs have dominated this week’s best 21, after their demolition of Carlton on Friday night. This was highlighted by star goal-kicking duo Brooke Lochland and Bonnie Toogood. The forwards kicked a combined 10 goals in a scintillating performance, and were unstoppable inside 50. Collingwood also fared well, with four representatives in the Team of the Week, after they defeated flag favourites, Melbourne by 34 points.

After succumbing to the biggest defeat in AFLW history, the Blues will do a lot of soul-searching on the track this week, with no players selected in the Team of the Week. Meanwhile Fremantle captain, Kara Donnellan was selected for the second week running, and is the sole player for the Dockers in this week’s best 21.

Magpie Caitlyn Edwards was unlucky to miss out on being selected in the Team of the Week, with a tantalising display of skill across the forward line. She booted two goals, and was one of the most dangerous forwards on the night. But she could not match the likes of teammate, Christina Bernardi and Brisbane’s Jessica Wuetschner, who slot into the forward line in this week’s best 21. 

FB: Hannah Scott (WB), Kate Lutkins (Bris), Libby Birch (WB)

HB: Chelsea Randall (Adel), Chloe Molloy (Coll), Meg Downie (Mel)

C: Emma Kearney (WB)

HF: Ruth Wallace (Adel), Cora Staunton (GWS), Christina Bernardi (Coll)

FF: Jess Wuetschner (Bris), Bonnie Toogood (WB), Brooke Lochland (WB)

F: Tahlia Randall (Bris), Ebony Marinoff (Adel), Alicia Eva (GWS)

I/C: Jaimee Lambert (Coll), Karen Paxman (Melb), Kara Donnellan (Frem), Ellie Blackburn (WB), Stephanie Chiocci (Coll)

Scouting notes: AFLW – Round 4

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

Western Bulldogs vs. Carlton

#1: Brooke Lochland- Western Bulldogs

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

#2: Emma Kearney- Western Bulldogs

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

#3: Hannah Scott- Western Bulldogs

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

#4: Bonnie Toogood- Western Bulldogs

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

#5: Monique Conti- Western Bulldogs

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

#6: Libby Birch- Western Bulldogs

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

#7: Ellie Blackburn- Western Bulldogs

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

#8: Sarah Hosking- Carlton

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

#9: Kirsty Lamb- Western Bulldogs

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

#10: Madeline Keryk- Carlton

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

#11: Lauren Arnell – Carlton

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

#12: Aisling Utri- Western Bulldogs

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

#13: Breann Moody- Carlton

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

#14: Angelica Gogos- Western Bulldogs

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

#15: Jenna Bruton- Western Bulldogs

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

#16: Aasta O’Connor- Western Bulldogs

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

#17: Tilly Lucas-Rodd- Carlton

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

#18: Kate Shierlaw- Carlton

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

#19: Alison Downie- Carlton

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

#20: Shae Audley- Carlton

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

 

Brisbane vs. Fremantle 

By Taylah Melki

#1: Kate Lutkins- Brisbane

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

#2: Jess Wuetschner- Brisbane

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

#3: Kara Donnellan- Fremantle

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

#4: Nicole Hilderbrand- Brisbane

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

#5: Lara Filocamo- Fremantle

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

#6: Nat Exon- Brisbane

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

#7: Ally Anderson- Brisbane

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

#8: Emily Bates- Brisbane

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

#9: Jamie Stanton- Brisbane

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

#10: Brittany Gibson- Brisbane

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

#11: Gabby O’Sullivan- Fremantle

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

#12: Tahlia Randall- Brisbane

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

#13: Ashlee Atkins- Fremantle

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

#14: Dana Hooker- Fremantle

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

#15: Lisa Webb- Fremantle

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

#16: Sabrina Frederick-Traub- Brisbane

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

#17: Emma Zielke- Brisbane

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

#18: Hayley Miller- Fremantle

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

#19: Jordan Zanchetta- Brisbane

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

#20: Leah Mascall- Fremantle

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

 

Melbourne vs. Collingwood

By Connor Ferris 

#1: Christina Bernardi- Collingwood

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

#2: Stephanie Chiocci- Collingwood

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

#3: Karen Paxman- Melbourne

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

#4: Jaimee Lambert- Collingwood

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

#5: Elise O’Dea- Melbourne

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

#6: Amelia Barden- Collingwood 

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

#7: Jasmine Garner- Collingwood

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

#8: Emma King- Collingwood

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

#9: Caitlyn Edwards- Collingwood

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

#10: Brittany Bonnici- Collingwood

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

#11: Harriet Cordner- Melbourne

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

#12: Moana Hope- Collingwood

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

#13: Daisy Pearce- Melbourne

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

#14: Richelle Cranston- Melbourne

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

#15: Emma Grant- Collingwood

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

#16: Meg Downie- Melbourne

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

#17: Iilish Ross- Collingwood

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

#18: Bianca Jakobsson- Melbourne

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

#19: Kate Hore- Melbourne

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

#20: Shelley Scott- Melbourne

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

 

GWS vs. Adelaide

By James Halley 

#1: Alicia Eva- GWS

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

#2: Ebony Marinoff- Adelaide 

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

#3: Chelsea Randall- Adelaide

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

#4: Jessica Dal Pos- GWS

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

#5: Angela Foley- Adelaide

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

#6: Amanda Farrugia- GWS

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

#7: Cora Staunton- GWS

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

#8: Courtney Cramey- Adelaide

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

#9: Emma Swanson- GWS

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

#10: Rebecca Beeson- GWS

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

#11: Pepa Randall- GWS

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

#12: Justine Mules- Adelaide

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

#13: Nicola Barr- GWS

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

#14: Erin Phillips- Adelaide

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

#15: Eloise Jones- Adelaide

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

#16: Deni Vernhagen- Adelaide

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

#17: Britt Tully- GWS

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

#18: Ruth Wallace- Adelaide

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

#19: Elle Bennetts- GWS

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

#20: Rhiannon Metcalfe- Adelaide  

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