Tag: Melanie Bertuna

Weekend wash-up: NAB League Girls – Round 6

ROUND 6 of the NAB League Girls saw a host players out with AFL Women’s Academy duties but that did not stop the Geelong Falcons and Northern Knights from continuing their winning ways. Geelong once again proved to be the front runners of the competition while Oakleigh also flexed their muscles with a big win over Murray. The round also saw some close clashes between the Eastern Ranges and Calder Cannons along with Greater Western Victoria Rebels and Sandringham Dragons with both games coming down to two kicks or less.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER 0.0 | 0.2 | 2.3 | 3.4 (22)
NORTHERN KNIGHTS 1.2 | 4.3 | 7.4 | 10.7 (67)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Gippsland: G. McRae, N. Webber, S. Walker.
Northern: L. Picioane 3, J. Simpson 2,  J. Fitzgerald 2, N. Morris-Dalton, T. Smart, M. Ramsay.

BEST:

Gippsland: G. McRae, C. Abrahams , M. Fitzsimon, S. Walker, M. Van Berkel, N. Webber
Northern: J. Fitzgerald, P. Chisholm, N. Morris-Dalton, A. Snow, M. Chaplin, L. Picioane

After a slow start, Northern Knights pulled away from Gippsland Power to ensure they remained undefeated after six rounds and sitting just two points behind Geelong Falcons on top of the table. In the match against the Power, Northern booted nine goals to three after quarter time to secure the 10.7 (67) to 3.4 (22) win, but not without some resistance from the home side. After the match was moved from Preston City Oval to Garfield, the Knights became the visitors but looked all at home once they had settled in despite missing an number of their top stars – Gabby Newton, Britney Gutknecht, Ellie McKenzie and Sarah Sansonetti – who were all out on AFL Women’s Academy duties. The Knights’ depth stepped up in their absence, with Jess Fitzgerald being the key influencer through the midfield, collecting 16 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and booting two goals, while Phoebe Chisholm led her side for disposals with 19, as well as two marks, four tackles and five rebounds. Ash Snow was prolific around the ground, while Nell Morris-Dalton continued her strong season rotating between ruck and forward, while Lanarose Picioane who booted three majors in an impressive performance up forward. For Gippsland, Grace McRae was named the best for her 19 disposals, three tackles and a goal, while Chandra Abrahams and Megan Fitzsimon continued their great seasons, combining for 49 disposals, 12 tackles and eight inside 50s in a losing side. Nikia Webber also had a solid performance with a goal, while Matilda Van Berkel was strong at half-back.

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 2.2 | 5.3 | 8.7 | 11.8 (74)
MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 2.0 | 3.1 | 3.1 | 3.2 (20)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Oakleigh: J. D”Amato 2, M. Bertuna 2, T. Morton, A. Peck, E. Harley, N. Xenos, K. Kearns, T. Cowan, A. van Oosterwijck.
Murray: C. Boschetti 2, T. Verhoeven.

BEST:

Oakleigh: C. O”Malley, M. Bertuna, M. Hill, N. Xenos, J. Lin, G. Byrne
Murray: S. Locke, L. Sharp, K. Adams, C. Boschetti, A. Smith, A. Favell

Oakleigh Chargers have bounced back from their second loss of the season to record a huge nine-goal win over Murray Bushrangers. Both sides were close in the first term with two goals apiece, before the Chargers kicked away with a three goals to one second term to open up a 14-point lead. Despite their determination in the first half, Murray was unable to restrict Oakleigh in the second half as the Chargers booted six goals to zero to run out 11.8 (74) to 3.2 (20) winners. Jasmine D’Amato and Melanie Bertuna both booted two goals for the Chargers among nine individual goalkickers in a massive team effort. Captain Mimi Hill led from the front with 20 touches, two inside 50s and three rebounds, while Chloe O’Malley was named best on ground for her 14 disposals, three tackles and two inside 50s. Nicola Xenos was influential in getting the ball inside 50 with 13 disposals, one mark, four tackles, five inside 50s and a goal, while Emily Harley booted another goal to take her season tally to 11. For Murray, Sophie Locke was named the best, collecting 13 disposals, four marks and four rebounds while laying an equal-team high eight tackles. Abby Favell was the top disposal winner once again with 14 touches, three marks, four tackles and two inside 50s, while Teagan Brett had 13 disposals and eight tackles in the defeat. Oakleigh now sits sixth after the win, just two points outside the top four, while Murray are ninth but still clear of the Rebels, Jets and Power.

 

EASTERN RANGES 0.1 | 2.1 | 3.5 | 4.5 (29)
CALDER CANNONS 1.4 | 2.5 | 2.5 | 3.7 (25)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Eastern: S. Gibbs, S. Collard, T. Flintoff, J. Dunning.
Calder: G. Prespakis, T. Gillard, E. Yassir.

BEST:

Eastern: T. Flintoff, E. Horne, S. Gibbs, T. Merrett, M. Edwards
Calder: G. Prespakis, F. Theodore, N. Crowley, K. Lennox, T. Gillard, Z. Hardiman

Eastern Ranges have kept themselves in contention for finals heading into the last three rounds after an impressive four-point win over Calder Cannons. The Ranges are now within percentage of the top four, sitting just adrift of both Calder and Bendigo Pioneers who sit third and fourth respectively with 16 points apiece. It was a fairly scrappy game throughout with both sides applying plenty of defensive pressure around the ground as Eastern’s talls stood out with their strong marking at both ends. Where possible the Ranges moved the ball quickly with short, sharp passes, whereas Calder wanted to run the ball and kick long inside 50. Both methods were effective at times throughout the game, but the key defence of Eastern held strong with Tahlia Merrett taking a number of good intercept marks in defensive 50. Serena Gibbs also provided an option between half-back and half-forward, taking marks and booting the ball long to put it in front of the Eastern runners. Tahlia Gillard provided that target for Calder and early looked like breaking the game open, booting a goal and missing a couple of opportunities before the home side restricted the inside 50 entries. Georgie Prespakis and Tess Flintoff were impressive for their respective sides providing plenty of run, while Tarni Brown and Felicity Theodore assisted well through the midfield. In a see-sawing final term that almost saw Calder steal the win through Emelia Yassir, it took until the final minute for Flintoff to mark inside 50 against the boundary and calmly slotted the set shot for the four-point win.

 

WESTERN JETS 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)
GEELONG FALCONS 2.1 | 7.2 | 11.3 | 12.4 (76)

By: Sophie Taylor

GOALS

Western: Nil.
Geelong: M. Skinner 4, P Schaap 2, R.Tierney 2, T. Lewis 2, J. Robinson, A. McKee

BEST

Western: J. Woods, E. Georgostathis, A. Anthony, C. Singleton, N. Wright, R. Tripodi
Geelong: P. Sheppard, M. Skinner, L. Lesosky-Hay, R. Tierney, A. McKee, G. Featherston

It was tough muck for the Western Jets on Sunday afternoon as they hosted ladder leaders, Geelong Falcons at Williamstown. Despite a relatively even first quarter the undefeated Falcons were able to pull away and deny the Jets opportunities in front of goal, running away to a 75 point win. The Jets started well defensively, crowding the Falcons and making it difficult to get a clear kick on goal, but were unable to move the ball downfield to their advantage. A beautiful kick inside 50 from Geelong debutant, Gabbi Featherston set up the first goal of the game after almost eight minutes of play, showing how well the Jets held their ground early. However, Western’s good fortune dwindled from there as the Falcons used their depth of their talent to kick away.

The Falcons proved to be dangerous up forward as the Jets struggled to contain their opposition without two of their main ball magnets in Isabella Grant and Isabelle PritchardPaige Sheppard (22 disposals, four tackles, five inside 50s) and Luka Lesosky-Hay (20 disposals, two tackles) switched on as the Falcons started to pile on the majors, with the likes of Renee TierneyTamika Lewis and Poppy Schaap kicking two goals apiece while Mia Skinner (four goals, 18 disposals) put on her best performance so far this season. Tierney’s tackling pressure was crucial, notching up eight as the Jets tried to force their way through Geelong’s defensive setup, while Lesosky-Hay showed some good footy smarts as she continuously pushed the contest back up the ground.

The Jets were unable to break through Geelong’s midfield barricade as the Falcons crowded and contested every possession, outrunning the Jets and scooping up the ground ball with precision. The Jets showed some good signs in attack in the third quarter, managing some great passages of play through the middle of the ground. Though unable to capitalise, Western’s defensive pressure inside forward 50 granted them opportunities in front of goal, gifting them their only score of the game – a rushed behind off the back of a good attempt on goal from Taya MeiersElisabeth Georgostathis (14 disposals, six tackles, six rebounds) showed her versatility in the backline, with her ability to read the play enabling her to know where the ball would be placed. Georgostathis was arguably one of the best for the Jets, putting constant pressure on her opposition, while a fantastic tackle in the final quarter saved an almost certain goal. Taylah Kolevski dominated hitouts with 23 alone, also racking up four tackles.

 

BENDIGO PIONEERS 2.0 | 3.1 | 3.2 | 4.4 (28)
DANDENONG STINGRAYS 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.4 | 1.4 (10)

By: Peter Williams

GOALS:

Bendigo: J. Jolliffe 2, E. Snell, B. Hards.
Dandenong: S. Stratton.

BEST:

Bendigo: J. Jolliffe, T. Slender, B. Hards, E. Gretgrix, A. Strahan, M. Tupper
Dandenong: Z. Hill, G. Hodder, J. Radford, G. Howes, B. Vernon, K. McKenzie

Bendigo Pioneers have given themselves a terrific shot at finals after overcoming Dandenong Stingrays by three goals at Epsom Huntly Reserve on Sunday. In a low-scoring affair, the Pioneers got the job done by restricting the Stingrays to just one goal in the game, and only four behinds after quarter time. Despite this, the game was tight throughout and it was not until the final goal of the game that the Pioneers could relax and enjoy their fourth win of the season. Jordyn Jolliffe played the best game of the season with 20 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s, two tackles and two goals in a best-on-ground effort, while Tara Slender was terrific up the other end, racking up 12 disposals, five marks, three tackles and two rounds in the win. The midfield of Brooke Hards, Eloise Gretgrix, Maeve Tupper and Annabel Strahan again took control in the absence of key Stingrays, Molly McDonald, Tyanna Smith and Isabella Shannon. Hards and Tupper both had 18 touches with Hards also laying eight tackles and having three inside 50s and four rebounds. For the Stingrays, Zoe Hill stood tall in defence with 12 disposals, three marks and three rebounds, while Brooke Vernon‘s super season continued, amassing 18 touches, four marks, five inside 50s and six rebounds, while Grace Hodder laid seven tackles from her 15 disposals. With Geelong Falcons, Calder Cannons and Oakleigh Chargers in the final three rounds, the finals are within the Pioneers’ control in what is a tough draw on the run home. The Stingrays can still make finals if they can topple Oakleigh Chargers next round with Murray Bushrangers and Western Jets in the final two weeks.

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS 1.1 | 2.1 | 2.2 | 4.2 (26)
SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 1.1 | 3.2 | 5.3 | 5.3 (33)

By: Taylah Melki

GOALS:

GWV: E. Friend 3, R. Saulitis.
Sandringham: E. Angelopoulos 2, C. Murphy 2, I. Eddey.

BEST:

GWV: E. Wood, N. Dojiok, N. Butler, A. Trigg, E. Friend, G. Pidgeon
Sandringham: W. Laing, C. Cody, P. Staltari, G. Strangio, I. Eddey, C. Murphy

It was a tight contest from start to finish with Sandringham Dragons claiming a seven-point victory over Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. It was neck and neck in the first term with either side unable to pull away going into quarter time at seven points apiece. The Dragons piled on two goals in the third term, keeping GWV to just one point for the quarter. But the Rebels were not going down without a fight applying all the scoreboard pressure to come within striking distance but just falling short after a gallant effort. Without Sophie Molan and Maggie Caris, GWV looked to the likes of Renee Saulitis to lead the way. Saulitis made her presence felt on the field slotting a major, she was ably assisted by teammate Ella Friend. Friend dominated for the Rebels kicking three goals, racking up 10 disposals and laying a team high six tackles. Nyakoat Dojiok also led the way for her side with a team high 18 touches and four inside 50s showcasing the work she does across the ground. She was closely followed by Brook Thompson who also amassed four inside 50s, while 12 of her 15 disposals were kicks. Georgia Pidgeon also impressed with 14 touches while Ally Trigg took five marks to accompany her 10 disposals. Sandringham were missing some key players with Alice Burke, Eliza McNamara and Molly Denahy Maloney all out with AFL Women’s Academy duties but that did not seem to stop them from claiming the four points. Charli Murphy showed her hand up forward slotting two majors for the game while Ebony Angelopoulos also chipped in with her two goals. Through the midfield the Dragons were led by Winnie Laing who finished the afternoon with a game high 20 disposals and seven tackles. She was helped out by Chloe Saultry who amassed 16 touches with all of them kicks and a whopping six inside 50s. Bella Eddey was also impressive for Sandringham getting involved on the scoreboard, laying six tackles and racking up 13 touches for her efforts.

Team of the Week: TAC Cup Girls – Round 7

NORTHERN Knights and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ victories have seen them rewarded with the most nominees in the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Girls Team of the Week for round seven. The Knights had a 71-point victory over Bendigo Pioneers, while the Rebels just got home in a thriller against the Murray Bushrangers, but both had some standout players, particularly up forward.

The other four winning teams, as well as Gippsland Power and Western Jets also had two nominees, while the Bendigo Pioneers, Calder Cannons, Bushrangers and Oakleigh Chargers all had the one nominee for the week. It was a tough call this round with so many midfielders and forwards putting their hand up. So much so, that GWV Rebels midfielder Sophie Molan slipped onto a half-back flank, a role she has played at times throughout the season, to fit them in.

GWV Rebels most consistent trio of Molan, Sophie Van De Heuvel and Georgia Clarke made the side this week, with Clarke’s efforts at centre half-back and Van De Heuvel’s work through the mid-forward region earning them spots in the 22 with Molan. For the Knights, they had no shortage of firepower up front, with Britney Gutknecht (six goals), Ellie McKenzie (three) and Jess Fitzgerald (two) causing all sorts of headaches for the Pioneers, and therefore earned spots in the Team of the Week. The likes of Knights’ defender Olivia Dikranis and Rebels’ captain Lauren Butler were also considered, but just missed out.

Jazz Ferguson made her debut in the Team of the Week after a number of close calls, chosen as starting ruck for the team this round, while teammate and Power co-captain Tyla Hanks made it six teams from six games played, once again named in the 22. Eastern Ranges’ exciting mid-forward Gabriella De Angelis also made the side, as did her teammate and Ranges’ co-captain Emerson Woods, who slots onto a wing for her performance on the weekend. On the other wing is Geelong Falcons star Nina Morrison, named in the team with Sophie Walmsley, who booted two goals playing midfield and forward; named at centre-half forward for her height in a team littered with talented mid-forwards.

Rounding out the starting midfield was Calder Cannons’ captain Madison Prespakis, who like Hanks, has been named in the team every week she has played. Tough inside midfielder Chelsea Knight made the side for her efforts in the Bushrangers’ defeat, with Kate Adams and Tamara Smith others considered unlucky not to have squeezed in, for what was truly a team performance. Bendigo Pioneers’ midfielder Kodi Jacques has been no stranger to making the Team of the Week, named her side’s best once again, as was ruck Bridie Winbanks, with the Chargers’ tall rotating with Ferguson in this team. Forward Melanie Bertuna was also considered for Team of the Week, but just missed out.

The Dandenong Stingrays have been known for their strong defence, and it is no surprise to see two defenders made the team this week after a great win over Oakleigh. AFLW Academy member and Stingrays’ captain Jordyn Allen made the side once again, as did running machine Shelley Heath. In the other back pocket was Alice Burke who made the team for the second time this season, in the starting 18 with her teammate Holly Bate who booted five goals for the Sandringham Dragons in their win over the Western Jets. Speaking of the Jets, key defender Isabelle Pritchard made the side for the third time this season, locking down full-back, with the consistent Elisabeth Georgostathis named on the bench.

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup Girls – Round 7

ROUND seven confirmed the two grand finalists for the TAC Cup Girls competition. The Geelong Falcons and Northern Knights have now won seven games in a row, and sit two games ahead of Sandringham and Eastern at third and fourth (respectively). All four teams had a win on the weekend and were joined by Greater Western Victoria (GWV) and Dandenong on the winners’ list.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels  5.8.38 defeated Murray Bushrangers 5.2.32

By: Peter Williams

The Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels continued their fantastic form with their third straight win, following a thrilling six-point victory over the Murray Bushrangers. The Bushrangers have found themselves on the opposite side of the formline, with the loss making it three consecutive defeats since going nine games without a loss in the first season and a half of TAC Cup Girls football. Both sides were impressive throughout with a number of AFLW Academy stars putting on a show.

For the winners, Georgia Clarke was immense at centre-half back in the first half, rebounding all the Murray attacks, while up the other end, Sophie Van De Heuvel booted two goals and could have had a couple more had it not been for a few unlucky misses, or unselfish plays. Sophie Molan continued her fantastic form through the midfield and around the ground, while up forward, the exciting Renee Saulitis booted a goal and almost had a second, just looking dangerous every time she went near it. Captain Lauren Butler was another consistent player across four quarters playing all across the ground.

The Bushrangers’ midfield was the shining loss in the defeat, with Rebecca Webster leading the way despite being closely watched by her opponents, while Tamara Smith, Chelsea Knight and Millie Brown all threw themselves into the contest. Kate Adams was lively between midfield and forward, while Grace Egan was solid off half-back, producing some good rebounds and run-and-carry.

Oakleigh Chargers 4.4.28 defeated by Dandenong Stingrays 8.8.56

The Dandenong Stingrays backed up their first win of the season last week with a clinical 28-point win over the Oakleigh Chargers. The Stingrays led all day but in a positive for the Chargers, they outscored the away side by a point in the last quarter.

Alice O’Sullivan was the best afield for the Stingrays and was joined by usual suspect, Jordyn Allen among the top Dandenong players. The Stingrays captain has been a consistent performer in the back line all season and Saturday was no different. Isabella Shannon backed up her two-goal performance last week with another two goals against the Chargers. Amie Carroll was one of seven goal-kickers for the Stingrays, and also found her name in the best for the away side.

Playing without last week’s best-on-ground, Katie Lynch was always going to be a big challenge for Oakleigh. But the Chargers had plenty of players who stepped up in her place, including Chloe O’Malley, Melanie Bertuna and captain, Hannah McLaren. Bridie Winbanks was named the best player for Oakleigh after having another dominant performance in the black and white. Cricketer Isabella Gietzmann got on the board with a goal and also featured among Oakleigh’s best.

Eastern Ranges 4.5.29 defeated Gippsland Power 3.2.20

By: Taylah Melki

In a close encounter, it was the Eastern Ranges that came away with a nine-point win over the Gippsland Power. Both teams brought their a-game and competed hard throughout the game, with plenty of good match-ups across the ground. The Power threw everything at the Ranges in the last quarter but the Ranges showed great composure and held on to claim their fifth win for the season.

For the Ranges, Emerson Woods impressed both in the air and at ground level, going in hard to win the footy. Woods took a few good strong marks and consistently provided an option for her teammates. Nicole Cormack also played a big role in the Ranges win, slotting an important goal in the dying minutes to help secure the victory for Eastern. Georgia Macpherson applied plenty of pressure and was clean in and around the contest while Catherine Chamberlain imposed herself on the scoreboard, slotting a major.

Tyla Hanks was in impressive form yet again for the Power, slotting a big goal to keep them in the game and racking up plenty of touches. Her ability to read the play allowed her to release her teammates into space and propel her team forward. Jazz Ferguson also had a stellar game for the Power, laying plenty of strong tackles and taking a heap of intercept marks. Ferguson was really strong around the contest and showed her clean hands in tight. Emily Haeusler was in fine form once again winning plenty of the footy while teammate Chelsea Bray slotted an important goal for the Power.  

Sandringham Dragons 8.9.57 defeated Western Jets 1.1.7

By: Carly McClen and Julia Montesano

Sandringham kept the Western Jets goalless until late in the last quarter, making more noise on the ground than ever before and proving it near impossible for the Jets to get the ball- not just into their attacking 50, but across the halfway line. Nobody could get near Dragons forward Holly Bate, who kicked five majors for the day while Kaitlyn O’Keefe kicked the only goal for the Jets late in the last quarter.

Midfielder, Eliza McNamara was among the standouts on the weekend, continuing to show how much of an asset she is to the Dragons line-up. Alice Burke and Bryanna Arnold stood up in defence and had solid performances. But it was Holly Bate who stole the show for Sandringham, kicking five goals in a dominant performance inside 50. Abbie McKay also got on the board with two majors, and was named among the Dragons’ best players. 

For the Jets, Elisabeth Georgostathis had another fine day through the middle of the ground and never gave up throughout the match. Isabelle Pritchard was solid once again in defence and continues to trouble opposition forwards. Cleo Saxon-Jones had another commendable performance while Isabella Grant found her name in Western’s best once again, proving how valuable she is to the side. 

Northern Knights 14.7.91 defeated Bendigo Pioneers 3.2.20

By: James Halley

After an even first quarter, it was all the Knights from then on as they piled on 12 goals to two to stay undefeated after seven rounds. At quarter time, the match could have gone either way, but the Knights flicked the switch and kicked five goals to none in the second term to give themselves a game winning 35-point lead at half time.

Britney Gutknecht was enormous with six goals, jumping to second on the league’s top goal kickers list. Ellie McKenzie was influential in the middle of the ground, and was assisted by Neve O’Connor dominating the ruck and getting plenty of hit-outs throughout the game.

Kodi Jacques was clearly the best for the Pioneers, digging in deep in the midfield all day while also kicking a goal. Captain, Megan Williamson and Dayna Kelly-Guthrie were among the other leading performers for the Pioneers. 

The Knights will look to claim top spot in round eight against Geelong Falcons in a top-of-the-table clash, while Bendigo will face another tough game against third-placed Sandringham.

Calder Cannons 4.2.26 defeated by Geelong Falcons 7.4.46

At the end of the first quarter, the Cannons were leading the Falcons, prompting them to go bang with a six-goal second quarter. Calder fought back in the third quarter with three goals but Geelong’s second quarter was dominant enough to secure the victory at RAMS Arena.

Sophie Walmsley had a dominant performance for the Falcons, kicking two goals for the day and having a strong presence around the ground. Ella Mahoney also got on the board with two majors in her first game of the season. Nina Morrison continued her stellar season in the midfield with a high work ethic throughout the match, and was complemented by Zoe Inei in the ruck.

Madison Prespakis again starred for the Cannons, playing in the midfield and contributing at full forward. Prespakis kicked two goals for the day and her on-field leadership was second-to-none. Carla Rendelmann starred in the ruck and absolutely dominated, winning plenty of hit-outs. Midfielders, Felicity Theodore and Grace Dicker were among the best for the Cannons, providing important run throughout the day.

TAC Cup Girls previews: Round 5

WITH the AFLW Academy stars out of TAC Cup Girls action this week, it will undoubtedly be a test of depth for all sides across the board. Headlining the round five action is the battle between two undefeated teams in Murray and Geelong. This will be the last of a triple-header at Bendigo in what is set to be a huge day, and round, of TAC Cup Girls football.

WESTERN JETS V. EASTERN RANGES

Round 5 – Saturday April 7, 12.15pm
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

In the first true home match for the Jets, they go into the game relatively unscathed with Isabella Grant being the only AFLW Academy member for Western. But they come up against the Eastern Ranges who remain undefeated after four rounds of TAC Cup Girls football.

This will be an opportunity for Western’s defence to mimic the efforts of the Pioneers last week, who kept Eastern to four goals. Katarina Rebuffo has been one of the standouts for the Jets this season and could play a big role on the weekend. Caitlin Greiser has been named in the ruck, but could assert her dominance up forward after being the sole goal-kicker for the Jets last round.

For the Eastern Ranges who have to travel to the other side of town, it will no doubt be a big test for them to get a win. Although they are undefeated, Western is hungry for a victory and Eastern’s depth will have to match the pace of the young Jets. The Ranges can trust in Lauren Szigeti who played a wonderful game against Bendigo in defence. They will also have the speedy Mikala Cann in the midfield to provide some inside run and speed.

 

BENDIGO PIONEERS V. GIPPSLAND POWER

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 11am
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

This will be an intriguing battle between two young sides. The Pioneers boast the likes of Megan Williamson and Kodi Jacques in the midfield while the Power have plenty of depth to fill Tyla Hanks’ absence this week.

Co-captain Amy Dunn will have the opportunity to take the reigns on her own at Epsom and will undoubtedly be complemented by Jazz Ferguson and Alana Rippon, who have been among Gippsland’s best players each week. The Power also have a strong defensive set-up this week with Julia Redmond and Emily Haeusler floating across half-back.

Bendigo comes into the game with an unchanged side after restricting top side Eastern Ranges to just four goals last week. Keep an eye out for Jemma Finning and Maddie Baldwin who have been playing some wonderful footy for the Pioneers. Kate Douglass has been outstanding in defence and will look to minimise the impact of Chandra Abrahams and Nikia Webber, who booted two goals in a row last week in a match-winning performance.

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS V. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 12.15pm
Preston City Oval, Preston

All eyes will be on Oakleigh in this game as gun players Hannah McLaren and Gemma Lagioia will sit out the match at Preston this week after being involved in a head clash in round four. The story is not any better for the Knights as they will be without versatile leader, Gabby Newton who is in the AFLW Academy.

However Northern has a strong line-up of players and they will certainly step up in Newton’s absence. Abigail Bennett played another stellar game last week and would be keen to get on the scoreboard in this match, starting on the half-forward flank. A key name on the team sheet is Ellie McKenzie in the midfield. McKenzie has been playing fantastic in defence since her round three debut, and will be tested against Oakleigh’s Alana Porter and Mimi Hill .

One of the biggest ins for the Chargers is star midfielder, Katie Lynch who will undoubtedly provide some firepower through the middle of the ground. Lynch was one of the best performers in her last TAC Cup game in round three and she is likely to be up there again at Preston. Daisy Bateman and Melanie Bertuna also come into the side and will be looking to tear it up in the forward-line against a formidable Northern backline.

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS V. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 12.45pm
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

In the second game of a triple-header at Bendigo, the Stingrays and the Rebels will go head-to-head with some key players missing from the game. For Dandenong, Jordyn Allen, Courtney Jones and Brooke Struylaart will sit out the round five clash while Sophie Van De Huevel, Rene Caris and Georgia Clarke will watch from the sidelines for Greater Western Victoria (GWV).

But the Rebels still have plenty of firepower in their side, with Lauren Butler likely to dominate in the midfield. Nyakoat Dojiok has hardly put a foot wrong this season and will be looking to put the pressure on the Stingrays with her pace. Sophie Molan will also be a huge presence in the midfield alongside Butler and Dojiok, getting shifted there in the absence of Caris in the ruck.

Shelley Heath will line up for the Stingrays in the midfield as she always does and could go head-to-head with the likes of Butler and Molan, which should be an intriguing battle. Also keep an eye out for Eloise Allen-Burns and Lucinda Cripps, who have been as consistent as ever in defence. Samantha Ryan will start at full-forward for the Stingrays and will be hungry to kick some goals to lead her side to their first win of the season.

 

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS V. CALDER CANNONS

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 1.15pm
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham

The Sandringham Dragons are arguably one of the strongest sides going into this round with no AFLW Academy absentees holding them back. It is a different story for the Cannons though as captain, Madison Prespakis as well as Georgia Patrikios and Molly Warburton will have to sit out the match.

Prespakis has been Calder’s best player in pretty much every match they have played this season so her loss will be a massive test for the Cannons. To soften the blow of her absence, the Cannons have the speed and acceleration of Grace Dicker as well as the endurance of Faith Holloway to provide some run through the middle of the ground. Zoe Hardiman will line up forward alongside Georgia Marsland, who was proactive inside 50 last week.

But Hardiman and Marsland could have a battle on their hands with Sarah Hartwig, Alice Burke and Laura Amelung in great form across the back-line. Eliza McNamara and Jasmine Tait will look to nullify the impact of Dicker and Holloway in the midfield, and could also float around the ground to add some versatility to the Dragons line-up. Jemma Owen played a true captain’s game against Dandenong and will be looking to lead her side to a win at home.

 

GEELONG FALCONS V. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 2.30pm
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

Round five has saved the best until last with two undefeated teams going head-to-head at Epsom. But both teams have quite a lengthy list of outs. Geelong will be without Lucy McEvoy, Olivia Purcell, Denby Taylor, Eliza Shannon and Nina Morrison. The Bushrangers will be without Rebecca Webster, Eloise Ashley-Cooper and Millie Brown.

But Murray still has star player Grace Egan, who will start forward after playing in defence throughout the season. Julia Harvey and Tamara Smith will also still be running around for the Bushrangers, and will be looking to continue their red-hot form against Geelong. Chelsea Knight and Sophie Damon will be key players in the midfield as they aim to combat the Falcons who are fresh off a 70-point victory.

Despite the absence of five key players, Geelong’s side still looks strong as Sophie Walmsley, Paige Sheppard and Tarryn Love headline the midfield. Abbey Chapman and Mia Sheppard will look to hold down the fort in defence in the absence of Denby Taylor. The Geelong forward-line is still strong with Sachi DeGiacomi dominating at half-forward while Renee Tierney is coming off a four-goal performance last week.

Team Selection: TAC Cup Girls- Round 5

WITH round five upon us there have been plenty of changes across the board with the AFLW Academy playing Geelong in a practice match on Tuesday. The Geelong Falcons, Northern Knights and Eastern Ranges will be looking to keep their undefeated record intact while the Western Jets and Dandenong Stingrays will be searching for their first win of the 2018 season. Though many teams have been forced to make changes through losing players to the AFLW Academy, it will allow plenty of new and young talent to shine in the upcoming matches.

WESTERN JETS v. EASTERN RANGES 
Round 5 – Saturday, April 7, 12.15pm
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

The Western Jets and Eastern Ranges are set to kick off the round in Williamstown with the Ranges looking to continue their undefeated run. On the other hand, the Jets will be hoping to notch up their first win of the season, making seven changes to their line-up.

With the likes of co-captain Emerson Woods and fellow midfielder Olivia Meagher out for the match, the Eastern Ranges will be relying on their depth to get them across the line against the Jets. The absence of Ranges defender Abbey Tognazzini and Ashleigh Allsopp will test their strength down back as they are key players for their team, but the inclusion of Sophia Zappia will provide some much needed composure.

For the Jets, the loss of forward Isabella Grant will be hard to replace as she provides some good dash across the field and uses the footy well. Grant was one of seven changes for the Western Jets who have named the likes of Katarina RebuffoEden Cassar, Emily Hannett and Chelsea Jansen to take on the undefeated Eastern Ranges.

Western Jets

B: 29. E. Cassar, 31. K. Rebuffo, 2. C. Gashi
HB: 21. M. Fenech, 30. I. Pritchard, 44. C. Myors-Moore
C: 19. O.  Forsythe, 13. C.  Jansen, 27. P.  Ozols
HF: 3. A. Lowe, 36. J. Goodman, 26. I. Negri
F: 39. C. Saxon-Jones, 41. S. Forbes, 40. S. Whiting
R: 43. C. Greiser, 16. E. Georgostathis, 4. L. Spargo
Int: 22. A. Chivell, 8. E. Gardner, 28. E. Hannett, 12. K. O’Keefe

In: E. Cassar, L. Spargo, C. Jansen, E. Hannett, J. Goodman, S. Forbes, K. Rebuffo
Out: I. Grant, M. Gregory, K. Ratu,  A. Bolt 

Eastern Ranges

B: 17. M. Kendall, 50. S. Zappia, 45. M. Wandin
HB: 37. G. Macpherson, 49. C. Wilson, 48. L. Szigeti
C: 8. C.  Delbridge, 6. G.  De Angelis, 16. E.  Horne
HF: 38. L. McClelland, 36. J. Grace, 41. J. Richardson
F: 42. M. Taverna, 28. L. Kelly, 15. J. Torney
R: 46. S. Kendall, 21. M. Cann, 10. N. Cormack
Int: 19. I. Ball, 9. P. Buruma, 35. B. Cubitt, 51. J. McCormick

In: M. Kendall, N. Cormack , S. Zappia, C. Chamberlain, J. Grace, S. Bowden, T. Merrett, I. Ball
Out: A. Tognazzini, A. Allsopp, O. Meagher, E. Woods

 

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. GIPPSLAND POWER 
Round 5 – Sunday, April 8, 11am
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

After a gallant effort last week against the Eastern Ranges, the Bendigo Pioneers will be hoping to bring their impressive form into round five. They were sound in defence but were ultimately outclassed by their undefeated opponents. The Power however fought hard to secure a three-point win against Calder, resulting in minimal changes to the team’s line-up.

The Pioneers go in unchanged after their strong performance last week with the likes of Kate Douglass and Megan Williamson proving their worth with their impressive work across the ground.

On the other hand, Gippsland Power have made five changes, with star midfielders Tyla Hanks and Leyla Berry unavailable for the game. The likes of fellow teammates Jazz Ferguson and Alana Rippon will have to stand up in the contest. The Power have included Charlize Bird, Tahlia Dower and Leila Raymond in their squad for their trip to Epsom.

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 3. C. Isaac, 32. S. Reilly, 14. O. Taverna
HB: 24. E. Gretgrix, 20. K. Douglass, 25. T. Stewart
C: 11. J.  Finning, 28. M.  Williamson, 21. H.  Spencer
HF: 30. B. Heiden, 8. S. Knoll, 26. L. Newton
F: 27. B. Hards, 7. G. Barton, 1. M. Tupper
R: 9. D. Kelly-Guthrie, 19. K. Jacques, 2. M. Baldwin
Int: Unknown. A. Bodilly, 15. T. Goodrem, 5. E. Turnbull

Gippsland Power

B: 2. S. Beaton, 45. L. Van Berkel, 29. C. Bray
HB: 6. E. Haeusler , 65. J. Redmond, 17. S. Trewin
C: 1. E.  Jones, 57. J.  Ferguson, 30. A.  Rippon
HF: 10. T. Dower, 8. C. Abrahams, 12. M. Fitzsimon
F: 4. J. Ross, 60. E. Williams, 27. N. Webber
R: 58. A. Dunn, 13. H. Andrews, 49. M. Shaw
Int: 21. H. Balmer, 47. E. Cornish , 50. M. Van Berkel, 9. T. Whitehead

In: C. Bird, T. Dower, L. Raymond , C. Prestidge, M. Van Berkel
Out: T. Hanks, L. Berry

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 

Round 5 – Sunday, April 8, 12.15pm
Preston City Oval, Preston

With the Knights sitting second on the ladder they will be hoping to continue their red-hot form, even though they have had to ring through the changes. The Northern Knights were forced to make five changes due to the AFLW Academy game taking place. Meanwhile the Oakleigh Chargers have named a huge extended list after losing three players to the Academy game.

The Northern Knights will be set to take on the Chargers without Jessica Fitzgerald, who has been a standout for them throughout the first four rounds. Though the Knights are filled with midfield power with the likes of Maddy Brancatisano and Alyssa Bennett, they will be missing Gabby Newton who is a huge force in the ruck and can make her presence felt all over the ground. The Northern Knights have brought in Sarah Sansonetti who provides a good target up forward.

The Chargers have lost Hannah McLaren, who is a key up forward for them along with Gemma Lagioia, who is so important through the middle of the ground. Both were involved in a head clash in the first quarter of their round four clash against Geelong. The Chargers have their absence covered though, bringing in Katie Lynch, Daisy Bateman and Melanie Bertuna, who are some of Oakleigh’s most dominant players. 

Northern Knights

B: 12. O. Dikranis, 10. P. Chisholm, 20. J. McCarthy
HB: 17. C. Fitzgerald, 27. P. Kearney, 32. A. Snow
C: 6. A.  Bannan, 5. M.  Brancatisano, 2. M.  Jarvis
HF: 7. A. Bennett, 18. S. Sansonetti, 25. T. Mills
F: 1. M. Antypas, 3. N. Morris-Dalton, 24. A. Pronesti
R: 4. N. O’Connor, 22. B. Gutknecht, 21. E. McKenzie
Int: 9. M. Chaplin, 30. M. Rodezno, 31. T. Shell, 13. M. Suzuki

In: M. Rodezno, J. McCarthy, A. Snow, M. Chaplin, T. Shell
Out: M. Uwland,  G. Ceravolo,  J. Fitzgerald,  E. Clayton,  G. Newton

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 50. C. Nancarrow, 45. T. Cowan, 5. A. van Oosterwijck
HB: 26. A. Micallef, 39. T. Nichols, 17. N. Xenos
C: 31. K.  Hunter-Scott, 19. E.  Harley, 16. A.  Porter
HF: 29. M. Bertuna, 21. C. Moon, 43. E. Hastie
F: 70. P. Fennell, 38. D. Bateman, 18. I. Gietzmann
R: 11. B. Winbanks, 2. M. Hill, 41. K. Lynch
Int: 33. G. Byrne, 52. L. Harris, 6. T. Johnson, 15. A. Ling, 22. Z. Makris, 69. L. Mayne, 32. C. O’Malley, 51. G. Relph

In: L. Mayne, G. Relph, Z. Makris, D. Bateman, M. Bertuna, A. van Oosterwijck, K. Lynch
Out: E. Jackson, G. Lagioia, H. McLaren

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS 

Round 5 – Sunday, April 8, 12.45pm
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

The Dandenong Stingrays will be looking to notch up their first win of the season against the Greater Western Victorian Rebels (GWV) in Epsom. The Stingrays may be a bit deflated after another loss last week but will be hoping the changes will bring around some good fortune. The Rebels on the other hand will be hoping to get back into the winning books and claim their second victory for the season.

After another loss, Dandenong have not shied away from the changes, making six changes to their line-up. The Stingrays will be without Lauree Metcalfe and defender Courtney Jones who provides some strength down back. In to replace Jones is Jenna George who will have her hands full in defence.

After her short return for the Rebels, classy midfielder Sophie Van De Heuvel will be unavailable for selection leaving it up to the likes of teammates Nyakoat Dojiok and Denver Henson to compete in the midfield. Van De Heuvel is just one of four changes for GWV with Alyssa Humphries and Tess Heath set to come into the side for the likes of Rene Caris and Georgia Clarke. 

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 5. E. Allen-Burns, 51. Z. Hill, 37. J. Lilley
HB: 46. J. George, 35. L. Cripps, 12. M. McDonald
C: 1. S.  Heath, 32. M.  Layfield, 28. T.  Smith
HF: 19. B. Borchard, 31. B. Vernon, 48. A. Carroll
F: 7. L. O’Connell-Webb, 44. S. Ryan, 2. S. Stratton
R: 45. M. Graham, 26. I. Shannon, 20. E. Wilson-Macdonald
Int: 18. S. Bayne, 21. G. Hodder, 10. A. Jordan, 42. A. O’Sullivan

In: A. Carroll, A. Jordan, J. George, S. Bayne, M. Layfield, J. Guy-Toogood
Out: J. Allen,  C. Jones,  R. Clancy – Dillon,  B. Struylaart,  L. Metcalfe

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 6. N. Butler, 26. G. Pidgeon, 19. K. McAloon
HB: 10. H. Simpson, 15. T. Jasper, 14. L. Sykes
C: 27. N.  Dojiok, 21. D.  Henson, 7. A.  McAuliffe
HF: 13. C. Leonard, 28. I. Simmons, 2. R. Saulitis
F: 12. G. Douhadji, 45. A. Humphries, 34. S. Glover
R: 22. I. Rustman, 16. L. Butler, 23. S. Molan
Int: 20. T. Heath, 11. T. Marra, 9. J. McAuliffe , 1. A. Trigg

In: L. Moloney , K. Harris, A. Trigg, A. Humphries, G. Douhadji, T. Heath
Out: G. Clarke, R. Caris, S. Van De Heuvel, M. Caris

 

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. CALDER CANNONS 

Round 5 – Sunday, April 8, 1.15pm
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham

Sandringham will be looking to take advantage of its home ground and secure its third win of the season, while the Calder Cannons will be searching to claim their second victory. The Cannons have named an extended squad with two notable outs for the team, while Sandringham has only made a few changes for the clash on Sunday.

The Dragons have brought in a relatively unchanged line-up after last week’s strong win against the Stingrays. Sarah Hartwig stood up in defence in round four, showing her ability to tackle well and take important grabs. This will be needed again this week as Sandringham will be without Taylah Grasso and Grace Bridges who are key members of the Dragons backline. Meanwhile, Daisy Walker, Margie Purcell and Chloe Saultry have been named in the squad.

The Calder Cannons have made a few changes going into round five with the likes of Madison Prepakis and Georgia Patrikios lost to the AFLW Academy game. Molly Warburton (also in the Academy) will be missed down in in defence for the Cannons as she provides strength and composure. In their extended squad the Cannons have named Makeisha Muller to start at half-forward while Laura Cocomello and Ashton Driscoll are expected to play.

Sandringham Dragons

B: 46. A. Burke, 33. M. Denahy Maloney, 13. D. Walker
HB: 49. L. Amelung, 32. S. Hartwig, 23. C. Bowen
C: 30. E.  Brown, 43. A.  McKay, 5. J.  Tait
HF: 25. I. Eddey, 3. S. Rothfield, 36. J. Owen
F: 31. B. Arnold, 50. H. Bate, 1. M. Wilson
R: 20. A. Dalley, 64. E. McNamara, 2. W. Laing
Int: 56. G. Emberton, 39. M. Purcell, 65. C. Saultry, 60. G. Strangio

In: D. Walker, M. Purcell, C. Saultry
Out: T. Grasso,  G. Bridges

Calder Cannons

B: 44. I. McNeill-Wren, 48. C. Brown, 8. E. Vale
HB: 29. S. Elias, 17. E. Cornish, 35. I. Young
C: 32. T.  Fry , 31. K.  Petrevski, 37. F.  Holloway
HF: 34. Z. Hardiman, 46. G. Elarmaly, 22. M. Muller
F: 25. A. Magri, 49. T. Crook, 15. G. Marsland
R: 18. C. Rendelmann, 11. A. Barba, 23. G. Dicker
Int: 38. L. Cocomello, 4. T. Cook, 39. A. Driscoll, 2. F. Theodore

In: L. Cocomello, K. Sutton, G. Elarmaly, M. Muller, C. Macumber, A. Driscoll
Out: M. Warburton, G. Patrikios, M. Prespakis

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 

Round 5 – Sunday, April 8, 2.30pm
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

The final game of the round could shape up to be one of the best spectacles for round five, as both teams will be evenly poised with quality players being absent for both teams. With huge outs in the midfield such as Rebecca Webster for the Bushrangers and Olivia Purcell for the Falcons, it will be a battle to see who can win the contested ball.

The Murray Bushrangers have been forced to make six changes to their line-up, losing star midfielder Rebecca Webster and Eloise Ashley-Cooper, who is important across the ground for the Bushrangers. Millie Brown will also be a big loss to Murray as she provides a good target up forward. But the Bushrangers have brought in the likes of Kate Adams to fill the void of Ashley-Cooper and Mikayla Jones up forward for Millie Brown.

For the Falcons they have brought in Mia Skinner to help provide a target up forward. It will be hard to replace the class of Olivia Purcell and Nina Morrison in and around the contest, who provide clean hands around the footy and use the ball well.

Geelong Falcons

B: 15. J. Devarakonda, 37. A. Chapman, 22. K. Haustorfer
HB: 38. S. Dinneen, 35. S. Hungerford, 33. M. Sheppard
C: 2. E.  Vella, 11. L.  Lesosky-Hay, 36. S.  Walmsley
HF: 10. S. Atkins, 42. S. DeGiacomi, 27. M. Skinner
F: 31. S. Milsome, 39. R. Tierney, 4. B. Thompson
R: 34. Z. Inei, 20. T. Love, 6. P. Sheppard
Int: 48. E. Allan, 16. L. Gardiner, 46. E. Lawson, 21. D. Smith

In: M. Holdsworth, B. Thompson, M. Sherman, D. Smith, P. Sheppard, L. Gardiner, M. Skinner
Out: N. Morrison,  L. McEvoy,  D. Taylor,  O. Purcell

Murray Bushrangers

B: 26. E. Nicholson, 39. H. Doohan, 32. N. Watts
HB: 6. K. Adams, 23. E. Hibble, 24. Z. Spencer
C: 44. M.  Eze, 1. J.  Harvey, 33. M.  Trethowan
HF: 11. A. Chessor, 8. O. Hall, 36. C. Mckimmie
F: 40. M. Cook, 42. G. Egan, 35. M. Jones
R: 37. S. Damon, 22. T. Smith, 4. C. Knight
Int: 13. E. Balaburov, 25. E. Freeman, 31. S. Locke, 34. E. McPherson

In: K. Adams, S. Locke, E. Balaburov, H. Doohan, Z. Spencer, M. Jones
Out: O. Barber, C. Hargreaves, P. Crelley, E. Ashley-Cooper, R. Webster, M. Brown