Tag: Melissa Caulfield

2020 AFLW Preview: Round 6 – Dees and Blues face off in conference-defining clash

ROUND 6 of AFL Women’s 2020 begins the race to finals with only two rounds to follow and still plenty of changes that could take place on both conference ladders. A few key wins are up for grabs with Richmond still hoping for an inaugural win while North Melbourne and Fremantle will both want to keep top spot on their respective leaderboards. Meanwhile, Melbourne and Carlton will battle it out in what looks like the match of the round.

Geelong v. North Melbourne
Friday 13 March, 7:10pm
GMHBA Stadium

Taylah Melki

The Cats host North Melbourne under lights on Friday night. Geelong currently sit fourth on the ladder while the Kangaroos have first spot locked up. North are on a four game winning streak and will be hoping to extend their run of hot form against a trying Geelong side who have won their past two games.

Although Geelong do not have a host of big name recruits, it is their brigade of young guns that is the most damaging aspect of their side. In her first uninterrupted season, Nina Morrison has enjoyed her time out on the park with her natural ball winning ability, game sense and dynamism on full display. Fellow second year player Olivia Purcell will also be hoping to continue her dominant form in the hotly contested match while the bull-like Richelle Cranston has impressed so far this season with her dash across the ground. Renee Garing has been another consistent performer for the Cats while Aasta O’Connor will once again be hoping to show her aerial strength with her marking ability. A livewire up forward, Phoebe McWilliams will be another to keep an eye on given her ability to bob up and hit the scoreboard while Anna Teague will be hoping to add to their goalkicking tally.

North Melbourne have gone from strength to strength so far this season with Emma Kearney leading the way with her contested ball work. Kearney is in a league of her own, constantly working hard to win the footy at the coalface while also showcasing her impressive defensive efforts laying strong tackles. Jenna Bruton is another key contributor for the Roos with her brute force while the likes of Ash Riddell and Jasmine Garner have upped their intensity throughout the season to round out a formidable side. Garner not only increased her influence around the footy but her presence in front of goal too, making her a key component to the Roos’ forward line. Kaitlyn Ashmore is coming off a four goal haul, an effort she will be hoping to repeat this round while Sophie Abbatangelo is also handy in front of the big sticks. Ruck Emma King is also key to the North Melbourne outfit. If King can have a dominant impact out of the middle with her clever taps and ruckwork it will put her side in a good position. Although she is still a young developing player, Mia King is another one to watch out for given her ability to find the footy and most importantly use it effectively.

Tip: 

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 J.Ivey 5
Foll: A.O’Connor 14 J.Crockett-Grills 6 O.Purcell 16
I/C: K.Darby 8 G.Rankin 10 A.McDonald 3 A.Teague 40 C.Blakeway 4

Emerg: N.Garner 22 R.Goring 44

In: J.Ivey, C.Blakeway
Out: R.Goring (Omitted), G.Clarke (Omitted)

NORTH MELBOURNE

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

Emerg: D.Bannister 2 E.Humphries 6

In: None
Out: None

Brisbane v. Collingwood
Saturday, 14 March, 2.10pm 
Hickey Park

Sophie Taylor 

Brisbane lost top spot in Conference A last round so are sure to be back with a vengeance this week when they host Collingwood on Saturday afternoon. While Brisbane have shone for the most part this season, a few blips in the radar have left them wanting and this chance against the Magpies is one they will want to take with both hands. But while the Magpies have had a hard time on the injury front this season, a solid win last week will have left them confident and ready for a tough slog this week when they travel up the east coast.

Brisbane have a host of talent that they aren’t afraid to put out on the field, with forward Jesse Wardlaw up there in the goal count across the competition and a keen eye in front of goal, able to have an impact inside 50 with her clever movement and tenacity going for the ground ball. Wardlaw has booted at least one goal per game this season and was knocked off the goalkicking perch last round so will want to continue her consistency with another bag this week. Emily Bates and Alex Anderson continue to be real threats across the field, averaging 22.6 and 20.8 disposals respectively, and creating a formidable opposition. Meanwhile, the side will rely on the likes of Catherine Svarc and Sophie Conway to continue their tackling ways and maintain possession. Young gun Lily Postlethwaite has had a solid few weeks on the track so will want to replicate that form while Jess Wuetschner booted two goals last round to prove she’s back with a vengeance.

For Collingwood, this is ultimately a make or break game. A win here would see them slot in nicely in the top four of Conference B and set up a good run home, but a loss could see the Magpies miss out on finals contention once more. Jaimee Lambert has continued her impeccable form in recent rounds, leading the way and proving a key cog in attack. Chloe Molloy has an ability to impact wherever she is on the field, creating an exciting contest with her intensity and clean hands. Meanwhile, Sharni Layton leads the hitout tally for the season so far and has had a breakout season in the ruck, with her strength, height and ability to get first to the footy making her a tough opponent to come across. Layton has been named across half back in the absence of Ash Brazill to injury, so will work with the likes of Stacey Livingstone to hold down the fort in defence. Britt Bonnici and Bri Davey have continued their consistent form, backing up Molloy and Lambert in their efforts.

Tip: Brisbane by 14 points.

BRISBANE

B: S.Webb 4 S.Campbell 20
HB: C.Svarc 25 K.Lutkins 13 E.Zielke – C 8
C: R.Lugg 11 A.Anderson 18 S.Conway 12
HF: L.Arnell 16 J.Wardlaw 30 J.Wuetschner 23
F: D.Davidson 14 I.Dawes 17
Foll: J.Keeffe 27 B.Koenen 3 E.Bates 1
I/C: N.Grider 10 O.O’Dwyer 9 L.Postlethwaite 6 M.Moloney 28 L.Bellinger 26

Emerg: J.Zanchetta 2 S.Priest 19

In: L.Bellinger
Out: G.Bodey (Injured)

COLLINGWOOD

B: A.Porter 9 S.Livingstone 12
HB: L.Butler 23 S.Casey 22 S.Layton 1
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: A.Sheridan 14 B.Bonnici 8 E.Fowler 15
I/C: E.Hynes 11 M.Shevlin 35 J.Allen 6 J.Membrey 21 E.O’Dea 50

Emerg: K.Stratton 41 S.Dargan 46

In: None
Out: None

St Kilda v. Richmond
Saturday, 14 March, 5.10pm AEDT
RSEA Park

Sophie Taylor

This match pits two lower ranked sides against each other, with both St Kilda and Richmond sitting at the bottom of their respective conferences. While St Kilda have at least gotten a win on the board, this match is a real opportunity for Richmond to get an inaugural victory before the season is up. Both teams omitted a plethora of names heading into this match, leaving both sides with fresh bodies out on the field in hope of getting a win on the board.

St Kilda are sure to put up a big fight against the ailing Tigers, with some solid form throughout the season despite not necessarily getting the wins. The side has continued to compete throughout the season, going close but no cigar with difficulty putting goals on the board a real issue. Caitlin Greiser will want to continue her solid form which sees her as the leading goalkicker for the Saints with seven majors for the season. Her ability to use her body to find the footy and follow up going for the ground ball is what makes her a real excitement machine for the side, and having booted two goals on three occasions this season, expect her to go one better this week. Georgia Patrikios and Olivia Vesely have been real ball magnets for the side throughout the season while Tilly Lucas-Rodd has been a machine off the half back with 36 intercept possessions and Nat Exon is averaging 6.2 tackles per game, applying solid pressure.

The Tigers will miss Katie Brennan again this week with the captain sidelined once more with concussion, making this a tough battle for Richmond as they continue to fight for their first win of the season. While the side has struggled to stop goals this season, they have also had a tough time putting goals on the board which is the real catch, unable to reduce the margin and ultimately putting in all the effort downfield but getting no return. Monique Conti has been a shining light throughout the season with the 20-year-old proving a constant threat while Sabrina Frederick has been left wanting forward, not having the desired impact but ultimately not getting the footy much inside 50. Kodi Jacques and Phoebe Monahan have continued to ply their trade and apply pressure while the loss of Lauren Tesoriero to precautionary coronavirus isolation is a frustrating blow to an already struggling side.

Tip: St Kilda by 29 points.

ST KILDA

B: T.Luke 22 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 J.Sedunary 10 C.Greiser 17
F: K.Shierlaw 12 O.Vesely 23
Foll: R.Watt – C 7 N.Xenos 27 C.Phillips 35
I/C: C.Whitfort 4 P.Kelly 16 G.Patrikios 21 A.Drennan 8 I.Shannon 11

Emerg: E.Mackie 3 K.O’Neill 20

In: T.Luke, J.Sedunary, C.Whitfort
Out: K.O’Neill (Omitted), E.Mackie (Omitted), S.Johnson (Omitted)

RICHMOND

B: A.Makur Chuot 34 G.Seymour 28
HB: H.Whitford 20 I.Ross 21 P.Monahan 2
C: C.Bernardi – C 6 S.Molan 1 K.Dempsey 19
HF: M.Brancatisano 5 S.Frederick 14 R.Miller 15
F: C.Wakefield 8 T.Stahl 24
Foll: A.Edmonds 11 M.Conti 4 G.Campbell 43
I/C: C.Fitzgerald 26 K.Jacques 10 H.Burchell 9 N.Butler 22 A.Woodward 13

Emerg: L.Bailey 12 E.Wood 17

In: I.Ross, C.Wakefield, C.Fitzgerald, N.Butler, A.Woodward
Out: L.Bailey (Omitted), E.Wood (Omitted), L.McClelland (Suspension), L.Tesoriero (Illness), S.Sansonetti (Rested)

Melbourne v Carlton
Saturday, 14 March, 7.40pm AEST
TIO Traeger Park

Sophie Taylor

Melbourne and Carlton head into Round 6 unchanged from last round, with both sides having put impressive wins on the board last week and only separated by percentage heading into the run home. Likely to be the best match of the round, the battle between the Dees and Blues is set to be a close one with both sides boasting a number of key players across the field.

Karen Paxman has been a ball magnet for the Dees in 2020, making her mark with clean hands, good run and carry and an ability to hit targets with ease, while the defensive pressure of Libby Birch, Daisy Pearce and Harriet Cordner down back has been a real task to be reckoned with, with the work off the half back relieving plenty of pressure close to goal. But while the Dees have a smattering of key players in the mix, they had a rough start last week against West Coast and they just can’t afford that this week against the Blues. Eden Zanker has had a breakout season for the Demons in the ruck and heading forward, booting four goals and ultimately a solid threat wherever she is on the field with her aerial ability and clean hands – traits she shares with fellow joint-leading goalkicker Kate Hore.

An even spread of talent across Carlton’s lineup is what will ultimately worry the Demons this round, with consistency and an ability to score quickly both real threats to a Melbourne victory. Maddy Prespakis has thus far backed up a stellar first season of footy, averaging 22 touches per game this season and providing a key run down the field for the Blues. Off the half back, Kerryn Harrington and Vaomua Laloifi have applied some solid pressure with the duo working well to crowd the play and bring the footy to ground, enabling Prespakis and fellow young gun Grace Egan to clear the footy. Tayla Harris continues to be a big threat up forward, having booted at least one goal every match this season and a great target up forward.

Tip: Melbourne by five points.

MELBOURNE

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

Emerg: K.Petrevski 31 G.Colvin 32

In: None
Out: None

CARLTON

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

Emerg: B.Vernon 31 J.Doonan 26

In: None
Out: None

Western Bulldogs v. Fremantle
Sunday, 15 March, 1.10pm AEDT
VU Whitten Oval

Michael Alvaro

Fremantle’s undefeated record is once again on the line as it travels to Melbourne for a second time this season, taking on the battling Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval. The Dockers stamped their authority as the league’s leading side with an impressive win over Brisbane last time out to take their record to 5-0, and will fancy their chances against a developing Dogs lineup. But in front of an adoring home crowd in Footscray, the young pups will be keen to arrest a four-game losing streak and showcase the promise their list reverberates on paper.

Another member of the class of 2019 is set to debut for the home side, with top 10 pick Nell Morris-Dalton beating out former Northern Knights teammate Britney Gutknecht for the final spot in the Dogs’ lineup to join her Under 18 skipper, Gabby Newton at the top level. Nicole Callinan was the other player in contention to replace the omitted Hannah Scott, but fell just short of returning for her first game since Round 2. Morris-Dalton should add some strength in the air for the Bulldogs inside forward 50, with fellow 2019 draftee Gemma Lagioia swapping defensive duties to lineup at her feet in the pocket. The midfield trio of Ellie Blackburn, Kirsty Lamb, and Aisling McCarthy will take their form into this clash, with their work set to be cut out for them against a strong Fremantle following set.

The Dockers are set to come in with just one change of their own, resting electric draftee Roxy Roux with Mia-Rae Clifford, Sarah Garstone, and Bianca Webb lined up to take the vacant spot. Fremantle will look to stretch the Bulldogs up forward, as is the case most weeks, with the match-up between Gemma Houghton and Isabel Huntington set to catch the eye. The Dockers’ dynamism with Sabreena Duffy – coming off four goals – and Ebony Antonio at ground level makes them hard to stop, and midfield service from Kiara Bowers and Kara Antonio constantly sets the tone for their success.

Expect the Dockers’ weapons from midfield to forward to be too much for the developing Bulldogs, but the travel factor may come into effect later on in the contest, with the Dogs a chance to snatch an unlikely win if they can stay in the contest for long enough.

Tip: Fremantle by 21

WESTERN BULLDOGS

B: A.Guest 19 L.Spark 11
HB: E.Brown 9 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: N.Morris-Dalton 25 G.Lagioia 12
Foll: C.Moody 13 E.Blackburn – C 2 A.McCarthy 15
I/C: K.Herron 31 D.Berry 7 E.Georgostathis 17 D.Marshall 26 H.Munyard 20 B.Gutknecht 18 N.Callinan 10

In: N.Morris-Dalton, B.Gutknecht, N.Callinan
Out: H.Scott (Omitted)

FREMANTLE

B: L.Mascall 14 J.Cuthbertson 29
HB: E.O’Driscoll 3 P.Seth 18 L.Pugh 32
C: K.Antonio – C 15 H.Miller 19 J.Stewart 7
HF: E.Antonio 12 A.Sharp 1 G.O’Sullivan 22
F: G.Houghton 27 S.Duffy 6
Foll: M.Strom 21 K.Bowers 2 K.Grieve 13
I/C: K.Flood 44 A.Stannett 24 E.Gooch 8 L.Rohde 11 S.Garstone 16 B.Webb 26 M.Clifford 4

In: B.Webb, S.Garstone, M.Clifford
Out: R.Roux (Rested)

Adelaide v. Greater Western Sydney
Sunday, 15 March, 3.10pm AEST
Hisense Stadium

Michael Alvaro

Adelaide will be out to make good on a two-game losing run when it hosts GWS at Hisense Stadium on Sunday. The reining premiers have endured an indifferent first half to their flag defence, holding a negative 2-3 record on the back of an injury-hit campaign to date and bearing the brunt of a tricky draw over the last fortnight. On the other hand, the 3-2 GIANTS have taken full advantage of the games they were expected to win – albeit with each one coming over three of the four 2020 expansion teams. The step-up in competition has proven difficult for the Sydneysiders, and Adelaide will provide as tough a test as any team despite its shortcomings this season.

Four inclusions are set to make the Crows side that bit more formidable this week, with dual AFL Women’s best and fairest Erin Phillips headlining the quartet of returnees. The Adelaide champ comes in alongside fellow midfielder Najwa Allen, while Deni Varnhagen and Eloise Jones also crack the extended squad. Coming the other way in terms of omissions will be Madison Newman and ruck Rhiannon Metcalfe, with 2019 draftee Montana McKinnon impressing in the tri-colours on debut last week and retaining her spot. The Crows’ midfield looks to be running smoothly with the combination of Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard winning plenty of ball, so the additional target of Phillips will hopefully aid them in terms of fluency going forward.

A trio of inclusions will be vying for one spot in the GIANTS’ side as Nicola Barr finds herself hamstrung, with Taylah Davies, Georgia Garnett, and Emily Goodsir all up for selection in the 23-player squad. The GIANTS’ wealth of experience will definitely match that of the Crows, with stand-in skipper Jess Dal Pos heading a team which is capable of returning consistent performances. Alyce Parker and Rebecca Beeson make up a dynamic midfield duo in the continued absence of Alicia Eva, with Beeson also set to rotate forward alongside Haneen Zreika. It may be fitting that the injury blows finally benefit Adelaide, and the fortnight of key casualties for GWS will really test its depth, but that experience should see the GIANTS through to a competitive result.

Speaking of depth, Adelaide’s wealth of genuine options to run through the middle of the ground should prove to be a vital factor as it comes into the game as favourite on home turf, with Phillips adding that third prong despite likely playing predominantly forward. The hard-nosed nature of Hatchard and Marinoff should hold up very well against the more athletic pairing of Parker and Beeson, with McKinnon’s job in the ruck crucial against GWS’ Jessica Allan. Count the GIANTS out at your own peril, but the Crows’ hard edge and top-end talent should see them over the line in front of home fans, with a win able to draw the two sides level on points in Conference A.

Tip: Adelaide by 18

ADELAIDE

B: D.Cox 31 S.Allan 39
HB: A.Foley 3 M.Rajcic 32 S.Li 19
C: J.Mules 23 E.Marinoff 10 A.Considine 16
HF: E.Jones 2 E.Phillips – C 13 S.Thompson 14
F: D.Ponter 15 C.Gum 5
Foll: M.McKinnon 21 A.Hatchard 33 N.Gore 7
I/C: N.Campbell 20 N.Allen 8 R.Forth 27 J.Tabb 28 C.Biddell 12 D.Varnhagen 9 C.Gould 1

In: E.Jones, E.Phillips, N.Allen, D.Varnhagen
Out: M.Newman (Omitted), R.Metcalfe (Omitted)

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

B: P.Randall 21 T.Hetherington 9
HB: L.Steane 20 E.Bennetts 22 A.Lister 14
C: J.Dal Pos – C 7 B.Tully 36 A.Schmidt 11
HF: S.Halvorsen 30 R.Privitelli 19 J.Hicks 5
F: C.Staunton 13 J.Barclay 34
Foll: J.Allan 39 A.Parker 3 R.Beeson 6
I/C: H.Zreika 24 E.McKinnon 23 T.Mackrill 32 L.Stephenson 12 T.Davies 16 E.Goodsir 1 G.Garnett 17

In: E.Goodsir, T.Davies, G.Garnett
Out: N.Barr (Hamstring)

West Coast v. Gold Coast
Sunday, 15 March, 5.10pm AEST
Mineral Resources Park

Michael Alvaro

Two sides coming off losses meet to round out the weekend’s action, with West Coast set to host Gold Coast in a battle of 2020 expansion clubs. The Eagles were hauled back down to earth with a thud in Round 5 after picking up their maiden AFL Women’s win the week before, copping a 59-point thumping at the hands of Melbourne. Gold Coast, only half a game to the better of its weekend opponent, has suffered consecutive losses for the first time in its short history, but the SUNS’ competitive spirit should put them in good stead for an improved performance in this clash.

The visitors are set to welcome back Hannah Dunn after a week on the sidelines, slotting straight back into the SUNS’ midfield to boost their ball winning stocks. Debutant Sally Riley also comes into the lineup as the second confirmed inclusion, with Tori Groves-Little and Jasmyn Hewett the two unlucky omissions while Maddy Roberts and Taylor Smith find their way onto an extended bench. Gold Coast’s engine room has been a highlight in its inaugural campaign, with Dunn adding to the likes of Jacqui Yorston and the red-hot Jamie Stanton this week, while Leah Kaslar and Lauren Aherns heading up a promising back five which features three 2019 draftees.

West Coast’s changes are a touch more forced, with McKenzie Dowrick and Emily Bonser both ruled out through illness, with Melissa Caulfield attached to the managed tag this week. Chantella Perera, the player to be managed in Round 5, returns to her customary full back role in a boost for the Eagles, with Mhicca Carter the second inclusion for the hosts. On an extended bench, Tarnee Tester, Katherine Orme, and Danika Pisconeri are all chances to sneak their way into the side should any more disruptions arise. While the midfield pairing of Dana Hooker and Emma Swanson has worked admirably for the Eagles, they have struggled to find a consistent spread across the field in 2020. The competition’s least potent attack and second most leaky defence are titles which do not bode well against any side, especially given the SUNS’ strength and competitiveness in the back five.

While both teams can only boast one win in their maiden campaigns, the SUNS have arguably made the bigger inroads and have been able to keep each game competitive on the scoreboard. Their better spread of contributors across the field, and an especially stingy defence in this game should carry them to a second AFL Women’s victory. But on home turf, the Eagles will be sure to put up a better fight than the previous week, though the travel factor may be lessened given West Coast is coming off a game in Melbourne.

Tip: Gold Coast by 13

WEST COAST

B: S.McDonald 35 C.Perera 27
HB: C.Davidson 33 B.Smith 14 C.Guard 4
C: M.Bowen 1 N.Kelly 12 K.Gibson 2
HF: M.Collier 8 G.Kelly 15 I.Cameron 19
F: A.Atkins 9 M.Carter 21
Foll: P.Laurie 25 D.Hooker 17 E.Swanson – C 13
I/C: T.Tester 23 E.McGuire 31 H.Bullas 24 K.Orme 32 B.Devlyn 7 D.Pisconeri 11 T.Radan 26

In: C.Perera, M.Carter, T.Tester, K.Orme, D.Pisconeri
Out: M.Caulfield (Managed), M.Dowrick (Illness), E.Bonser (Illness)

GOLD COAST

B: J.Pregelj 42 S.Watson 14
HB: L.Kaslar – C 11 L.Ahrens 7 E.Hampson 21
C: T.Ernst 19 J.Stanton 17 P.Parker 1
HF: K.Surman 26 B.Perry 16 K.Howarth 23
F: T.Smith 13 S.Riley 8
Foll: L.Bella 2 H.Dunn 24 J.Yorston 5
I/C: C.Hammond 29 D.Heslop 25 J.Hickey 4 M.Ritson 12 M.Roberts 10 T.Thorn 15 S.Virgo 22

In: T.Smith, S.Riley, H.Dunn, M.Roberts
Out: T.Groves-Little (Omitted), J.Hewett (Omitted)

ROUND 6 TIPS: [Total tips in brackets]

Michael Alvaro [27]: North Melbourne, Brisbane, St Kilda, Melbourne, Fremantle, Adelaide, Gold Coast
Taylah Melki [27]: North Melbourne, Collingwood, St Kilda, Carlton, Fremantle, Adelaide, Gold Coast
Sophie Taylor [26]: North Melbourne, Brisbane, St Kilda, Melbourne, Fremantle, GIANTS, Gold Coast
Peter Williams [24]: North Melbourne, Collingwood, St Kilda, Carlton, Fremantle, GIANTS, West Coast

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: West Coast

WEST Coast might have the biggest question mark against itself for the 2020 AFL Women’s season. It is not a question of talent – the names on the Eagles’ list attest to that – but it is more a question of how the team will adapt to the structures in place and with one another purely because of the four expansion sides, West Coast is the only side not to have played together. St Kilda and Richmond both had VFL Women’s sides, Gold Coast had a Winter Series team, while West Coast has picked up a host of experience and youth from all over the country and it will be fascinating to see how the coaching staff throw the team together and see how fast they can jell at the elite level.

The Eagles were quick to list a couple of young stars on their list back in January, with Mikayla Bowen a standout prospect from Western Australia’s Under 18s, while Rosie Deegan is a talented dual-code basketballer. When the expansion club period opened in April, West Coast immediately went straight to the top, snaffling Fremantle star, Dana Hooker, whilst also convincing former Dockers, Ashlee Atkins, Melissa Caulfield, Brianna Green and Courtney Guard to come across, along with GWS GIANTS’ talent, Emma Swanson. Swanson was soon joined by GIANTS teammate, Maddy Collier, as well as Dockers, Parris Laurie, Kellie Gibson, Alicia Janz, and Western Bulldogs’ Belinda Smith.

The Eagles were more than happy to hand over Pick 13 for Brisbane’s McKenzie Dowrick, then grabbed former West Australian Kate Bartlett from the Dogs, and Cassie Davidson from the Dockers for bargain basement prices. They pre-listed one of the unluckiest players not to be on and AFL Women’s list currently in Essendon’s Hayley Bullas at the end of August, along with local talents from the West Australian Women’s Football League (WAWFL) in Emily Bosner, Beatrice Devlyn, Ashton Hill, Danika Piscoceri and Emily McGuire. Rounding out the pre-draft list, the Eagles picked up twin sisters, Grace and Niamh Kelly from Gaelic football as rookies, as well as Rugby union player, Mhicca Carter.

The Eagles did not have a first round pick in the AFL Women’s Draft, selecting Imahra Cameron with the club’s opening selection down at Pick 19. They had previously matched a bid to pick up Academy athlete Sophie McDonald at Pick 39, then picked up locals Tarnee Tester and Katherine Orme – the latter of whom was able to post about her own recruitment as the social media coordinator at the club. West Coast wrapped up the draft with a couple of Hawthorn VFL Women’s teammates in former Crow and Demon, Talia Radan, and the best on ground in the 2018 VFLW Grand Final Chantella Perera.

2020 TEAM LIST:

Ashlee Atkins
Emily Bonser
Mikayla Bowen
Hayley Bullas
Imahra Cameron
Melissa Caulfield
Maddy Collier
Cassie Davidson
Beatrice Devlyn
McKenzie Dowrick
Kellie Gibson
Brianna Green
Courtney Guard (nee Stubbs)
Ashton Hill
Dana Hooker
Alicia Janz
Emily McGuire
Katherine Orme
Danika Pisconeri
Chantella Perera
Talia Radan
Belinda Smith
Emma Swanson
Tarnee Tester

Rookies: Mhicca Carter, Grace Kelly, Niamh Kelly
Inactive list: Rosie Deegan (basketball)

POTENTIAL 2020 SIDE:

B: Cassie Davidson – Talia Radan – Belinda Smith
HB: McKenzie Dowrick – Sophie McDonald – Emma Swanson
C: Dana Hooker
HF: Melissa Caulfield – Kellie Gibson – Ashlee Atkins
F: Kate Bartlett – Emily McGuire  – Tarnee Tester
R: Parris Laurie – Mikayla Bowen – Emily Bonser
INT: Maddy Collier – Hayley Bullas – Imahra Cameron – Alicia Janz – Brianna Green

EMG: Danika Pisconeri – Beatrice Devlyn – Chantella Perera

DEPTH: Courtney Guard, Ashton Hill, Katherine Orme, Mhicca Carter, Grace Kelly, Niamh Kelly, Rosie Deegan

By far, the West Coast line-up is the hardest to predict for 2020, with plenty of depth through the midifield and defensive end, but more medium and small forwards than talls. They have a number of ruck options who might develop into key forwards, but the Eagles’ strength lies in its inside ball winning ability and danger at ground level once in side 50.

Hooker is the standout player in the side, though the youth of Bowen, Dowrick and McDonald will add to the future, while Swanson and Gibson are quality players on their day. The Eagles will head into the season as one of the underdog teams and hard to predict given their relative lack of matchday experience, but they have a good base for the future.

Team of the Week: AFLW – Round 7

ROUND 7 sees the end of the 2019 AFL Women’s home and away season, and thus the end of the Draft Central Team of the Week for this year. This week saw four Crows make it into the squad after a magnificent win over Melbourne, while Geelong is the only side that doesn’t have a player represented.

Adelaide’s Erin Phillips (22 disposals, three tackles), Courtney Cramey (18 disposals and a goal), Jess Foley (15 disposals, six tackles, two goals) and Ebony Marinoff (19 disposals, eight tackles) all made it into the team of the week after a comfortable Round 7 win that cements them as Conference A’s minor premiers. The four were prolific through the midfield and forward against Melbourne, clinical in front of goal and being a battering ram through Melbourne’s defence. Defender, Harriet Cordner was the only Melbourne player to make the cut this week, standing up and managing 19 disposals, seven marks and three rebound 50s.

Collingwood won their first game of the season and were rewarded with three players listed in this round’s team of the week. Ash Brazill was pivotal down back against Brisbane, firing 19 kicks from her 23 disposals with nine rebound 50s, while Sarah D’Arcy (20 disposals, two goals) and Steph Chiocci (18 disposals, seven marks, three tackles) were also major contributors in the upset.

The Brisbane Lions and the Western Bulldogs both had two players make the team, despite their respective Round 7 losses. Brisbane’s Jacqui Yorston was named on the interchange as she impressed in what was only her fourth game at AFLW level, notching up 21 disposals and nine tackles on her way to 90 AFLW Fantasy Points, while Kate Lutkins was impressive down back against the Magpies, picking up 14 disposals, six marks and three rebound 50s. Bulldogs, Monique Conti and Ellie Blackburn also made the side, with Conti racking up a career high 25 disposals, four marks while Blackburn managed 23 touches and was pivotal in the Bulldogs’ final quarter comeback against Carlton, kicking a goal in the dying minutes to take the Dogs to within two goals of the Blues. Credit to Carlton’s resolve they held on to win the match with first year, Brooke Walker kicking a career high three goals, while Madison Prespakis (19 disposals, four tackles) continued her dominant debut season. Brianna Davey (21 disposals, 11 tackles) stood up as captain, leading her side to their first AFLW finals campaign.

GWS GIANTS, North Melbourne and Fremantle each had a trio of players make the list, with wins helping on the way to the GIANTS’ and Fremantle’s selection chances this week, while Geelong’s loss saw them miss out completely on the team of the week despite still making finals.

Alicia Eva, Christina Bernardi and Alyce Parker represent the GIANTS this week, as Parker racked up 19 touches and five tackles to pair well with Eva’s goal, 17 disposals and nine tackles, putting immense pressure on Geelong’s defence. Meanwhile, Bernardi’s two goals and 10 disposals gave the Cats a big fright on their way to finals.

North Melbourne saw their second big loss of the season to Fremantle, but still had some high flyers who deserved to be mentioned. Jess Duffin was phenomenal in the backline for the Kangaroos, notching up 22 disposals, five tackles and five rebound 50s. Emma Kearney continued her dominant form, picking up 24 disposals, seven tackles and a goal while Jenna Bruton produced her best performance of the season, racking up 26 touches and six tackles.

North Melbourne’s great stats just go to show how well the Dockers played to come away as 27 point victors, with Fremantle also having three players who made their case for team of the week this round. Kiara Bowers (23 disposals, 13 tackles) and Melissa Caulfield (17 disposals, two marks) were dominant on field, while Ebony Antonio, though not making a statement in statistics, was clinical down back in denying the Kangaroos access to the footy, notching up 11 disposals, three rebound 50s and five marks.

Weekend preview: AFLW – Round 3

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

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

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

Last time they met: N/A
 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last time they met: N/A

 

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

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

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

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

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

DRAFT CENTRAL TIPPING

Leaderboard:

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

 

Peter Williams

Chief Editor

Last week: 3

Round 3 selections:

Western Bulldogs
Carlton
Fremantle
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Taylah Melki

Assistant Chief Editor

Last week: 4

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
GWS GIANTS
Fremantle
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Sophie Taylor

Women’s Football Editor

Last week: 4

Round 3 selections:

North Melbourne
GWS GIANTS
Fremantle
Geelong
Melbourne

 

Michael Alvaro

Men’s Football Editor

Last week: 4

Round 3 selections:

North Melbourne
Carlton
Fremantle
Adelaide
Melbourne

 

Matthew Cocks

Guest Tipster

Last week: 2

Round 3 selections:

North Melbourne
GWS GIANTS
Fremantle
Adelaide
Brisbane

Weekend wash-up: AFLW – Round 1

WITH a new look 10 team competition, Round 1 of AFL Women’s 2019 was set to be a cracker. Two new sides in North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos and Geelong Cats took the field for the first time in AFLW history, both nabbing a historic win to start the season. Four of the five games were down to the wire, with less than five points margin at the final siren. Only the Kangaroos managed to pull away for a dominant win, with resilient Geelong and Fremantle sides coming from behind to win their respective matches.

 

Geelong 3.6 (24) defeated Collingwood 3.5 (23)
By: Taylah Melki

In a Round 1 thriller it came down to the wire with Geelong sealing the deal with a one-point victory over Collingwood, who are yet to win a first round match in the AFLW. The Magpies dominated the first quarter of play but Geelong fought back hard to take ascendancy going into the half time break. But the fight did not stop there with Collingwood coming back hard to fall agonisingly short come the final siren.

In their inaugural match, Geelong showed they have plenty of stars with the likes of number one draft pick, Nina Morrison tearing up the field. The youngster left her mark on the game with her silky skills, brute force to shrug off tackles and clean hands in traffic to hit up teammates. Other draftees such as Olivia Purcell, Denby Taylor and Sophie Van De Heuvel also showed their worth getting involved in the play. Darebin VFLW star, Meghan McDonald dominated down back taking a heap of marks and stopping the attacking flow of Collingwood with her clever positioning, strong overhead marks and quick recovery making her an integral player in the Cats lineup. Up the other end in the absence of Phoebe McWilliams, Madeleine Boyd made history nailing Geelong’s first goal. The former Melbourne and GWS GIANTS player made her presence felt up forward scoring two goals and getting her hands to plenty of the ball, giving Geelong fans plenty to cheer about.

With a host of stars gone, Collingwood proved they have plenty of depth and are versatile when it comes to positioning with the likes of Cecilia McIntosh moving into a more attacking forward role. But it was the likes of Ash Brazill and Jaimee Lambert that dominated across the field for the Pies. Brazill showed her extreme athleticism with her impressive vertical leap and good sidestep to work her way through traffic and deliver the ball to a teammate. Lambert sent scares through the Collingwood camp after going down with what seemed to be a leg injury, to only return and score an impressive dribble goal to keep the Pies in the game. Youngsters, Jordyn Allen and Mikala Cann also did their part, while the likes of code-crosser Sharni Layton worked well in the ruck. Sophie Alexander looked ominous up forward scoring 1.2 in the opening quarter but suffered a concussion later in the match.

 

Adelaide 1.11 (17) defeated by Western Bulldogs 2.6 (18)
By: Taylah Melki

In another close encounter it was the Western Bulldogs that came away with a one point victory over Adelaide. It is the first time two premiers have gone head-to-head in AFLW history and the match up did not disappoint with it all coming down to the final minutes of the game. The Crows had plenty of the play, but inaccuracy ultimately cost them game, with players unable to capitalise on their opportunities.

Bulldogs captain, Katie Brennan made her presence felt up forward slotting the only two majors for her side. While the likes of Ellie Blackburn starred once again getting her hands on the ball and using her elite skill to move the ball cleanly and quickly through traffic. Blackburn proved she is a real force to be reckoned with, highlighting her dash and general football smarts to hit Brennan up in the goal square with a perfectly weighted kick. Hannah Scott also dominated across the field for the Dogs racking up plenty of marks and using her clever kicks to try and alleviate pressure.

Tackling machine, Ebony Marinoff once again starred for Adelaide going in hard and laying a whopping 11 tackles for the match. Marinoff also accumulated plenty of touches thanks to her clean hands and hard work to go in and win the footy at the contest. Youngster, Eloise Jones showed plenty of courage going back with flight of the ball and taking an impressive mark while also highlighting her footy smarts trying to set up a chance at goal for her teammate.  In her debut match, Chloe Scheer also had her moments of brilliance nailing the Crows only major and showed she has good goal sense attacking the goal face on multiple occasions and taking some impressive marks in the forward 50. Veteran, Erin Phillips also starred thanks to her good hands in close and ability to open up space.

 

North Melbourne 7.10 (52) defeated Carlton 2.4 (16)
By: Carly McClen

The Kangaroos introduced themselves into the competition head on and with force, prevailing to start the second half of round 1 on Sunday, with a dominating 36-point win over the Carlton Blues. It was an ominous memo for every club in the competition, stating that the Roos are a gelled and composed outfit and have made capital of their pre season.

The great start by the Roos was a skilled show of star-studded players who came together, showed mutual respect, made the most of opportunities and played their individual roles. They followed process without dropping off throughout the four quarters and they got results. To win games, you have to kick goals. For Carlton, having Brianna Davey in the forward line meant that she wasn’t around the ball, getting it into the forward line and assisting her team to more inside 50 possessions. Carlton’s star players appeared to go missing throughout the game, reappearing for solid patches but unable to cement any scoring opportunities.

Although the Blues won the hit-outs, the North Melbourne midfielders were winning the possessions, providing the run and carry while haggling and stopping the Blues from penetrating and playing their game. The Blues got pushed under the ball, lacked structure and didn’t appear to have time to lower their eyes to hit targets, largely due to the relentless pressure from the Kangaroos. Ex-Collingwood player Emma King dominated in the Kangaroos colours and was likely the best on ground in her role as a versatile ruck playing forward, kicking two goals, tackling and taking marks. Another ex-Pie, Jasmine Garner also had a great day out, collecting 17 disposals and a goal in her first outing as a Kangaroo. 

Though Roos captain, Emma Kearney was tagged for the game, she collected a solid 18 disposals for her first game out of Bulldogs colours. The evenness and the spread of the side without reliance on their captain to dominate makes them a real threat to the competition in 2019. North Melbourne coach, Scott Gowans appears to be admired and well respected by his newly formed playing group. He was happy to enjoy some celebration post debut, but keen to get back to business and focus on the next encounter, the GWS GIANTS, for the quick turnaround Friday night match.

 

Melbourne 8.7 (55) defeated by Fremantle 9.5 (59)
By: Peter Williams

Fremantle claimed its first AFL Women’s interstate win over Melbourne in scorching temperatures at Casey Fields yesterday. With the maximum heat reaching more than 38 degrees, both sides took advantage of their respective change rooms at each break. The Demons kicked the first two goals of the game, before Fremantle – led by teenager Sabreena Duffy, booted the last three goals of the quarter to take the lead at quarter time. Just to show it was not a once-off, Fremantle piled on another three goals to one, opening up a 20-point lead by the main break.

It did not take long for a different, more direct Melbourne side to come out in the second half, as they banged home five goals to zero – including three in two minutes. Tegan Cunningham was rewarded for her hard running inside 50 with a perfect snap from the tightest of angles, Eden Zanker also snapped truly off a step, while Maddison Gay ran into an open goal for the easiest of six-pointers. By that stage they lead by eight, and when Bianca Jakobsson slotted home the side’s final major of the term, Melbourne fans found themselves 14 points in front.

Against the odds, the West Australian side showed they had plenty of fight left, with tackling machine, Kiara Bowers booting a goal on debut in the sixth minute to draw within eight points. When Ashley Sharp found the big sticks for the second time, Fremantle were just two points adrift midway through the final term. A minute later, Gemma Houghton booted what would be the match winning goal as Melbourne struggled with the breeze to get it out of the defensive 50 in the dying stages, allowing the Dockers to hold on to a terrific four-point win.

Despite the loss, Melbourne had plenty of big ball winners in the absence of Daisy Pearce, as Karen Paxman (21 disposals), Lily Mithen (18) and Elise O’Dea (17) all got amongst it. Zanker and Cunningham were dangerous up forward, but it was the speed and dare of the Dockers that got them over the line. Dana Hooker (15 disposals and 12 tackles) was a standout, as was Bowers who had 13 disposals and 12 tackles, as well as a goal. Ebony Antonio (14 disposals and a goal) and Melissa Caulfield (12 disposals, three marks and a goal).

 

Brisbane Lions 4.5 (29) defeated GWS GIANTS 4.3 (27)
By: Brandon Hutchinson

Capping off Round 1 of the AFL Women’s third season, fans bared witness to another tight finish with the Lions winning over the GIANTS at home. In the first half, however the Lions were a different side. They struggled to capitalise on their opportunities and failed to penetrate the GIANTS’ defence. Come the third term, the game flipped as Brisbane kicked three consecutive goals with Jess Wuetschner at the helm. The GIANTS attempted a comeback in the fourth, but could not free the ball in the dying minutes.

Lions star, Emily Bates impressed with a strong 22 disposals, two marks and four tackles. She showed great awareness and delivered effectively (77 per cent). Alexandra Anderson also picked up 22 possessions, exhibiting her talents more in her contested work, earning four marks and a game-high seven tackles. Up forward, Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Wuetschner led the charge. Frederick-Traub’s goal in the third secured the lead which won them the game, while Wuetschner kicked the remaining three with unmatched goal sense.

The GIANTS had stars in Cora Staunton, Alyce Parker and Rebecca Beeson. Parker and Beeson both picked up 18 disposals at 72 and 78 per cent efficiency respectively, with Parker also taking four marks and landing three tackles. Staunton remained a pillar up forward, kicking two goals with 14 disposals, two marks and two tackles. She did her best to keep her team in it, but alone could not withstand Brisbane’s pressure.

WAWFL weekly wrap: Round 16

IN the last round of the Western Australian Women’s Football League (WAWFL), controversy ensued as the Peel Thunderbirds lost top spot on the ladder after a loss against the third-placed Swan Districts. The Sharks’ 129-point thrashing of South Fremantle meant that they were able to swoop right in and snatch top spot at the last minute.

 

2018 League

SUBIACO 11.16 (82)
PERTH ANGELS 0.2 (2)

GOALS:

Subiaco: M. Dowrick 4, S. Lewis 2, A. Renshaw, H. Miller, K. Rogers, T. Lake, T. Haynes.
Perth Angels: Nil.

It was a one-way street in this game, as the fourth-placed Subiaco took care of the seventh-placed Perth Angels. AFL Women’s Academy member, McKenzie Dowrick starred in this match, kicking four goals for the Titans on Saturday. She was complemented by two majors from Sara Lewis, which took her goal kicking tally to 17 goals from 16 games in what has been a consistent year from her. Fremantle AFLW players, Hayley Miller and Tiah Haynes also got on the board with singles. The win gave the Titans a percentage boost, jumping from 139.69 in Round 15 to 154.75 at the end of Round 16.

 

CLAREMONT 7.8 (50)
WEST PERTH 3.5 (23)

GOALS:

Claremont: L. Kenyon 2, C. Lewis, A. Hayward, I. Zadnik, C. Colegate, P. Laurie
West Perth: C. Metcalf 2, L. Pugh

In a fifth versus sixth clash, sixth was able to get over the line as Claremont convincingly defeated West Perth by 27 points. Lindsey Alana Kenyon booted two goals on the day, while Caitlin Lewis, Angel Hayward, Isabella Zadnik, Chloe Colegate and Parris Laurie all kicked singles. Western Australia Under-18 representatives, Matilda Sergeant and Sarah Garstone also featured in the win. They came up against fellow state representative, Jacinta Valentini, who was on the loser’s side. Chloe Metcalf was the shining light up forward for West Perth with two goals while Laura Pugh contributed with one. Metcalf’s two goals meant she finished third in the goal kicking tally for the home and away season and led the way in terms of West Perth players. She ended up kicking 26 goals from 14 games.

 

SOUTH FREMANTLE 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 (1)
EAST FREMANTLE 6.5 | 8.8 | 15.9 | 20.10 (130)

GOALS:

South Fremantle: Nil
East Fremantle: B. Smith 5, K. Tinson 4, S. Sparke 4, M. Caulfield 3, A. Atkins 2, R. Roux, T. Doumanis

East Fremantle ended its season on a massive high, defeating cellar-dwellers, South Fremantle by 129 points. Everything seemed to go right for the Sharks, as the top-of-the-table Peel Thunderbirds suffered a shock loss against Swan Districts while they piled on 130 points to give themselves a huge win and percentage boost to take top spot ahead of finals. Former Fremantle AFLW player and now Western Bulldogs player, Belinda Smith starred inside 50, kicking five goals on the day. She finished the season leading the goal kicking for the Sharks after booting through 25 goals in 15 games this season. Against South Fremantle, she was complemented inside 50 by fellow AFLW players, Melissa Caulfield (three goals) and Ashlee Atkins (two goals). Western Australia Under-18 representative, Roxanne Roux also pitched in with a major.

 

SWAN DISTRICTS 2.3 | 4.3 | 5.3 | 8.4 (52)
PEEL THUNDERBIRDS 3.1 | 3.2 | 4.3 | 4.3 (27)

GOALS:

Swan Districts: G. Houghton 3, E. McGuire 2, R. Williams , A. Sharp, E. Bonser
Peel Thunderbirds: K. Phillips 2, K. Bartlett 2

This was the biggest upset of the round as ladder-leaders, Peel Thunderbirds were defeated by third-placed Swan Districts, who played magnificently. The Swans were behind at quarter time but regained the lead by half-time, thanks to a two goals to one quarter. After that, they did not look back and put the foot down in the last term especially, kicking three goals and keeping the Thunderbirds scoreless to record a memorable 25-point win. Fremantle AFLW duo, Gemma Houghton and Emily McGuire did all the damage up forward, combining for five goals between them. Dockers teammate, Ashley Sharp also contributed to the scoring with one major. There was also no shortage of Western Australian Under 18 stars with Rikkiesha Carling, Mikayla Bowen, Taylor Pescud and Emma O’Driscoll all featuring in the win. They came up against fellow state representative, Kate Bartlett, who kicked two of her side’s four goals on the day. WAWFL leading goal kicker, Kira Phillips kicked the other two majors, bringing her season tally to a remarkable 78 goals from 16 games. Western Australia Under 18s captain, Sabreena Duffy and ruck, Sonia Dorizzi also featured in the loss.

 

2018 Reserves

Claremont’s 129-point thrashing of West Perth was headlined by a remarkable performance up forward from Amy Smeding. Smeding kicked 14 of her team’s 20 goals and ended up finishing second on the goal kicking tally for the season with 39 goals from 10 games. She finished just one goal short of leader, Narelle McIntyre with 40 goals from 13 games. At Fremantle Community Bank Oval, East Fremantle was able to get the job done over South Fremantle by 63 points. Kymberley Lavell and Katelyn Catalano each kicked three majors for the Sharks. In a close encounter, Subiaco just got over the line against the Perth Angels, winning by 15 points. Kaley Cornell and Vanessa Letts each kicked two goals for the Titans. In the final game of the round, Swan Districts recorded a comfortable win over East Perth. Shannon Matthews kicked two majors while Emily Stott, Tayah Reed, Renee Holwill, Elizabeth Tuohy and Mackenzie Huggins all contributed with singles.

 

2018 Rogers Cup

In the first match of the round, Claremont got a convincing victory over West Perth, winning by 73 points. An accurate 12.4 meant that the Tigers were hard to tame at Claremont Oval. At Fremantle Oval, second and third went head-to-head, and it was the third-placed East Fremantle who came out on top, defeating South Fremantle by a goal. Jenna Bantick kicked a major in the loss, but equaled the leading goal kicker with that major, taking her home and away tally to 24 goals from 14 games. East Fremantle’s Gabriella Radojkovich was the only multiple goal kicker for the game in a tight battle. Over at Grenville Reserve, accurate kicking kept the Perth Angels in the hunt against the eighth-placed Subiaco, kicking six straight goals for the match. However, the cellar-dwellers went down by 22 points in the end. Shakira and Madelyn Kickett each kicked two majors for the Angels. In Swan Districts’ match-up against East Perth, Western Australia Under-18 representative, Mikayla Hyde got on the board with a major in her side’s 29-point win. She was complemented by two goals from equal leading goal kicker, Aimee Hiscock. Hyde came up against fellow state representative, Tanisha Anderson, who continued her goal kicking streak with a major for East Perth in the loss. Anderson finished the season with 22 goals from 10 games.

WAWFL weekly wrap: Round 14

SOME big wins headline Round 14 of the Western Australia Women’s Football League (WAWFL), as the sides head into the last two rounds of the home and away season. We take a look at how the weekend of footy went in the entertaining league.

 

2018 League

PEEL THUNDERBIRDS 5.3 | 6.5 | 11.6 | 14.8 (92)
SOUTH FREMANTLE 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)

GOALS:

Peel Thunderbirds: K. Phillips 6, B. Bond 2, C. Lange 2,G. McKinley, D.Okely
South Fremantle: Nil.

Peel Thunderbirds have backed up a 50-point Round 13 win with a 91-point victory in Round 14. The big wins help to boost their percentage to 370.93, which is within striking distance of East Fremantle’s percentage of 371.13 on top of the ladder. In the Thunderbirds’ battle against South Fremantle, the competition’s leading goal kicker, Kira Phillips booted home six majors to take her season tally to an astonishing 66 goals from 14 games, leading Subiaco’s Amy Lavell by 39 goals. On the day, Phillips was complemented by Bailey Molloy, Bethany Bond and Chalise Lange, who all kicked two goals each. All hope was lost for South Fremantle in the first quarter, as it was held scoreless while Peel piled on five goals. By the end of the game, the Thunderbirds were able to turn a 41-point half-time margin into a 91-point final margin and got a much-needed win.

 

EAST FREMANTLE 3.1 | 7.3 | 8.3 | 12.4 (76)
CLAREMONT 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.2 (8)

GOALS:

East Fremantle: R. Roux 2, J. de Melo 2, S. Sparke 2, M. Caulfield 2, G. O’Sullivan, C. Edwards, A. Atkins, B. Smith.
Claremont: A. Ugle-Hayward.

East Fremantle continued its winning ways on the weekend with a 68-point win over Claremont. After only narrowly getting the victory against Subiaco last week, the Sharks would have been glad to get a big percentage-boosting win to remain at the top of the ladder heading into the last two rounds of the season. After a slow start, East Fremantle put the game away with a four goals to none second quarter, and asserted its dominance further by keeping Claremont goalless for the rest of the game. Western Australia Under 18s representative, Roxanne Roux and Fremantle AFLW duo, Jade De Melo and Melissa Caulfield got two goals for the day. Stephanie Sparke also got on the board with two majors, taking her season goal kicking tally to seven goals from eight games.

 

WEST PERTH 4.1 | 4.1 | 5.2 | 5.5 (35)
SWAN DISTRICTS 4.0 | 8.1 | 9.1 | 9.2 (56)

GOALS:

West Perth: A. Szeliga 2, T. Garlett, B. Whyte, K. Jayasuria
Swan Districts: E. McGuire 2, R. Williams 2, G. Houghton 2, R. Holwill 2, T. Blight

In the closest match of the round which saw third and fourth go head-to-head, it was third that came out on top as Swan Districts defeated West Perth by 21 points. As a result, West Perth has now slipped out of the top four, making for an intriguing run home. On the day however, Amy Szeliga shone with two goals while Tyhara Garlett, Brooke Whyte and Kristen Jayasuria all did well to get one major on the board. For Swan Districts, Fremantle AFLW forward, Emily McGuire was the side’s only multiple goal kicker in what was a tight tussle. Ultimately, a four goals to none second quarter made it difficult for West Perth to make a come back and save its top four spot.  

 

PERTH ANGELS 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 (0)
SUBIACO 4.6 | 10.12 | 16.16 | 22.21 (153)

GOALS:

Perth Angels:
Subiaco: A. Lavell 7, J. Harken 3, H. Miller 3, L. Stammers 2, S. Lewis 2, T. Lake 2, D. Pisconeri, E. Blackmore, T. Haynes

Subiaco has stormed into the top four after a scintillating 153-point win over Perth Angels. The win takes its percentage to 140.25, which is a comfortable lead over West Perth’s 118.72. With both teams sitting on equal wins and losses, the win was huge for the Titans in the context of the season. They had six multiple goal kickers against the Angels, with Fremantle AFLW star, Amy Lavell leading the way with seven majors to take her goal kicking tally to 27 goals from 10 games this season. Fellow AFLW teammate, Hayley Miller kicked three majors for the day, as did Jayme Harken. Lauren Stammers. Sara Lewis and Trisha Lake also contributed to the big win with two majors apiece.

 

2018 Reserves

Peel Thunderbirds were the only team this week to have both their seniors and reserves sides come away with victories in the WAWFL. The Thunderbirds took home a big 84-point win over South Fremantle to remain at the top of the ladder. Chloe Colledge starred with four goals while Narelle McIntyre booted three. Second-placed Claremont are trying to chase Peel at the top of the ladder, and made big inroads to doing so by recording a 73-point win over Subiaco. Amy Smeding was a huge influence in the win with six goals to take her season tally to 35 goals from nine games. In a battle where eighth took on fifth on the ladder, eighth came out on top. While their seniors experienced a nasty loss, the Angels’ reserves experienced a memorable win, coming out on top against East Perth in a nail-biting two-point victory. West Perth, Swan Districts and East Fremantle had the bye this week.

 

2017 Rogers Cup

Some comfortable wins headlined the Rogers Cup, with Peel Thunderbirds, Claremont and East Perth getting the job done in their respective matches. The Thunderbirds got over the line against South Fremantle by 41 points where Shani Garrod performed solidly to get two majors on the board. She sits equal second on the goal kicking tally with 21 majors for the season. Although Claremont was inaccurate with 5.10 for the day, it still defeated Subiaco by 37 points. The bottom-placed Titans fought hard in the match with two majors on the board against the sixth-placed Claremont. Western Australia Under 18s representative, Tanisha Anderson stole the show for East Perth with five majors in her side’s 61-point win over Perth Angels. West Perth, Swan Districts and East Fremantle all had a bye this weekend.

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.

Scouting notes: AFLW – Round 3

SEESAWING contests and surprising victories headlined an action-packed round three. Melbourne stumbled at Fremantle Oval against the Dockers, who continue to rectify their disappointing start to the season, while the reigning premiers welcomed back superstar, Erin Phillips, who got her side over the line for their first win of the year. At Ikon Park, Lion Nat Exon ran amuck against her old side, who struggled without captain Brianna Davey. For the Pies, they sit winless at the bottom of the ladder, and are under pressure to kick-start their 2018 campaign. 

Carlton vs. Brisbane

#1: Emily Bates- Brisbane

Absolute bull. Worked well under pressure. Nearly beat three Carlton players to the ball at one point.

#2: Nat Exon- Brisbane

Got plenty of the ball throughout the night and kicked a ripper goal to sink her old side. Her best game in Brisbane colours.

#3: Jamie Stanton- Brisbane

Brilliant performance. 18 disposals including 14 kicks. Knows how to use the footy.

#4: Ally Anderson- Brisbane

Ball magnet as usual. 16 disposals, in which 10 of them were kicks. So smart with the ball in hand.

#5: Nicola Stevens- Carlton

Aggressive as usual. Imposed on the ball with 13 disposals.

#6: Kate Lutkins- Brisbane

Smart in defence and good run-and-carry. Never rushes her kick.

#7: Shae Audley- Carlton

Tackling was outrageous! 10 tackles to go with 10 disposals isn’t a bad night out.

#8: Jess Wuetschner- Brisbane

She’s the person you’d want kicking for your life from the boundary. Kicked a ripper at the beginning of the third quarter.

#9: Breann Moody- Carlton

Stood tall in defence and took three early marks. Has a booming kick and a great ability to smother the footy.

#10: Sophie Li- Carlton

Was proactive in defence. Didn’t stop trying all night. Deserved a goal but couldn’t convert on what should’ve been a gimme.

#11: Sophie Conway- Brisbane

Opened up the play by playing along the boundary and wider parts of the ground. Took four impressive grabs and kicked two goals.

#12: Maddison Gay- Carlton

Really good pressure player. Showed intent throughout the whole game. A third-quarter clearance exposed us to her immense pace.

#13: Kerryn Harrington- Carlton

Got plenty of the ball in defence. Her best game for the year.

#14: Katie Loynes- Carlton

Good, hard running all game. Such an aggressive player.

#15: Sabrina Frederick-Traub- Carlton

Was all over the ground. Took some killer marks, just not in the forward line.

#16: Brittany Gibson- Brisbane

Kicked a good left-to-right goal. Was active with the footy, collecting 12 disposals.

#17: Danielle Hardiman- Carlton

Calm and composed in defence. Straight down to business after taking a mark, always looks for the best option.

#18: Emma Zielke- Brisbane

Solid captain’s game again. Only nine disposals but laid five tackles. Really wanted to get involved in the pressure side of the game.

#19: Sharni Webb- Brisbane

Had 14 disposals but could not kick a goal. Tried hard all night.

#20: Leah Kaslar- Brisbane

Played really tight on Tayla Harris and kept her quiet. Forced her up the ground. Made Harris frustrated, as she gave away two free kicks in quick succession.

 

Adelaide vs. Western Bulldogs

By Connor Ferris 

#1: Erin Phillips- Adelaide

Unbelievable in her first game of the season. Played a huge part in getting the Crows on the board, kicking four goals from six opportunities. Dangerous with ball in hand all day, constantly creating scoring chances, and intimidating the Bulldogs defence.

#2: Ebony Marinoff- Adelaide

Great game across the board, with over 20 possessions. A number of those set the Crows up for forward attacks. Displayed relentless pressure, and was the leading tackler on the ground, laying an astounding 15 of them! One of the best players of the day.

#3: Chelsea Randall- Adelaide

Terrific contest with Katie Brennan when she pushed up into the midfield. Leading possession-getter on the ground with 24, and stood up when it mattered most.

#4: Monique Conti- Western Bulldogs

Solid game in all areas of the ground. Accumulated 15 possessions, and put in a tremendous effort in the final minutes, but could not quite get the Dogs over the line.

#5: Emma Kearney- Western Bulldogs

Opportunistic first goal. Should have had more than just one, missing two shots on goal later in the game. Was a key contributor for the Dogs.

#6: Ellie Blackburn- Western Bulldogs

Played a great game with 17 possessions and a behind, but just couldn’t snag a major. Provided good run through the midfield, and looked dangerous up forward.

#7: Brooke Lochland- Western Bulldogs

Continued what has been a terrific start to the season. The small forward took advantage of the opportunities coming her way with 16 possessions and a goal.

#8: Georgia Bevan- Adelaide

Quiet day at the office numbers-wise, but was still able to have an impact on the game. She laid six tackles, including a clutch tackle in the dying minutes to set up the winning goal.

#9: Katie Brennan- Western Bulldogs

Played her way into the game after a slow start. Ended up kicking two goals, but overall was held in-check well by the Crows defence and midfield.

#10: Sarah Perkins- Adelaide

The early move into the middle of the ground allowed her to find some form after a disappointing first two games. Moved back up forward in the second half, and registered a minor score.

#11: Jenna McCormick- Adelaide

Continued to build on what has been a good start to the season. Kicked two goals for the Crows from her seven possessions.

#12: Sarah Allan- Adelaide

Good composure down back to fend off a number of the Bulldogs’ scoring opportunities. Provided a tough contest across the back-line.

#13: Aisling Utri- Western Bulldogs

Got off to an excellent start with a lot of the ball early, including a goal in the first term. Was held down well for the remainder of the game.

#14: Tiarna Ernst- Western Bulldogs

Spent some time in the ruck throughout the day but was beaten by Rhiannon Metcalfe. Racked up eight possessions for the day through moving around the ground.

#15: Hannah Scott- Western Bulldogs

Another good outing down in defence, which was under constant pressure. Laid a number of tackles, and showed good composure with ball in hand.

#16: Marijana Rajcic- Adelaide

Played a solid game with 11 possessions. Impactful in a number of key moments down the stretch to set up a victory.

#17: Angelica Gogos- Western Bulldogs

So aggressive around the contest. Gogos was the Bulldogs’ leading tackler, with 10 for the day.

#18: Rheanne Lugg- Adelaide

Presented a strong target, taking three marks. Accumulated eight possessions, and showed positive signs through her effort around the contest.

#19: Dayna Cox- Adelaide

Was reported in the first quarter for a hit on Ellie Blackburn. Physicality was on display all day, and was something that seemed to inspire her teammates. 

#20: Rhiannon Metcalfe- Adelaide

Got the better of the ruck battle throughout the day with 25 hit-outs, a number of those to advantage. Not much impact outside of the ruck contests, with only three touches.

Collingwood vs. GWS

By Taylah Melki

 

#1: Courtney Gum- GWS

She had a stellar game with plenty of possessions, and a goal-saving smother in the second quarter. Showed great desperation and commitment, going hard at the footy and putting her body on the line. Her tackling was intense, yet she had great composure in front of goal, slotting two majors.

#2: Alicia Eva- GWS

Her kicking game was on show with 20 of her 23 touches being kicks. She had clean hands and showed great poise and decision-making with ball in hand. Great on-field leader.

#3: Amanda Farrugia- GWS

The captain was unstoppable once again with 15 disposals. She racked up 10 kicks for the game which were long, penetrating and accurate. Her intensity and aggression around the ground was felt, laying six tackles and imposing herself in the contest.

 #4: Emma King- Collingwood

She took plenty of good contested marks around the ground, and imposed herself on the contest throughout the match.

 #5: Brittany Bonnici- Collingwood

Skilful use of the footy, and slotted an extraordinary goal in the first term. She used her speed and agility throughout the game to manoeuvre herself into dangerous positions and rack up plenty of the footy.

 #6: Phoebe McWilliams- GWS

Dominant in front of goal and used the footy cleanly and accurately. Showed good awareness and skill with ball in hand. Took good contested marks and showed plenty of composure, slotting the match-winning goal.

 #7: Jaimee Lambert- Collingwood

Great on-field leader. Got plenty of disposals and displayed good decision-making. Dished the ball off cleanly to teammates. Impressed again for the Pies, racking up 19 disposals.

#8: Jessica Dal Pos- GWS

Her tackling intensity was up, laying six tackles for the match. She made her physical presence felt with her 11 touches, and used her poise to control the flow of the game. Good speed.

#9: Emma Grant- Collingwood

Belter of a first quarter, as she imposed herself on the contest from the outset. She tackled aggressively and chased down opponents, placing pressure on GWS. Got plenty of the ball with 12 touches.

 #10: Jacinda Barclay- GWS

Showed great composure to score an important goal late in the last quarter. Scrummed hard to win the contested ball and provide opportunities for teammates.

 #11: Stephanie Chiocci- Collingwood

The Collingwood captain stood tall again, bagging an important goal in the first quarter. She had clean hands around the footy, and kicked the ball with penetration.

#12: Chloe Molloy- Collingwood

Starred in the last quarter providing plenty of run and carry, helping to break up the congestion on the field. She also took a few intercept marks and racked up 14 touches, with 11 of those being kicks.  

 #13: Aimee Schmidt- GWS

She was accurate in front of goal. Helped to spark the onslaught for GWS with her forward pressure and leads to the footy. Hit the contest hard on the ground and in the air.

#14: Elle Bennetts- GWS

Her tackling pressure was intense, laying four tackles for the game. Got involved and competed for the ball in and around the contest.

#15: Meg Hutchins- Collingwood

She was her ever-reliable self, taking important intercept marks and racking up 11 touches. Good on-field leader for the Pies.

 #16: Moana Hope- Collingwood

She found some impressive form after being dropped from the team. She slotted two skilful goals; one around her body and another dribbling through the goals. Her bag of tricks was on display with clean pick-ups and classy finishes.

#17: Cora Staunton- GWS

Imposed herself in contests and fought hard to try and win the contested footy. Copped a nasty hit to the face but played out the rest of the match, showing her mental and physical toughness.

#18: Jess Duffin- Collingwood

Ran hard and opened up space for the Pies. Supported her teammates, through providing them with leads and options. Scored an important goal late in the third quarter.

 #19: Christina Bernardi- Collingwood

Got herself into space and contested for the ball. She made her physical presence felt laying three big tackles. Showed great speed.

#20: Amelia Barden- Collingwood

Clean pick up of the footy. Good footwork to move herself around opponents.

 

Fremantle vs. Melbourne

By James Halley

#1: Kara Donnellan- Fremantle

Great eyes in traffic to be able to spot teammates in space. Took responsibility and went to Pearce to try and nullify her impact in the last quarter. Took the match-saving mark in the dying seconds, which shows why she was named captain of the Dockers.

#2: Daisy Pearce- Melbourne

Showed Dusty-like traits with a ‘don’t argue’ on a Fremantle opponent! Dominated the middle of the ground with a game-high 24 disposals. A complete captain’s game.

#3: Lisa Webb- Fremantle

She had the skill and composure to convert a set shot in the third term on a relatively hard angle. Continued to impress in her debut season, with 17 disposals and four marks.

#4: Ebony Antonio- Fremantle

She is not scared to go back with the flight and take a gutsy mark. Puts her head over the ball in the contest. Has a great set shot for a defender, and kicked a beautiful goal in the second quarter.

#5: Emily McGuire- Fremantle

She has a fantastic goal-sense and showed tremendous skill on debut. Finished with two goals for the game, and created a buzz in the forward line. She had free reign inside 50, and showed Richelle Cranston-like attributes. 

#6: Karen Paxman- Melbourne

Wasn’t just influential in the middle of the ground, but was also able to go forward and take a contested mark, and convert from close range. Good intercept marker, and great intent on the ball. She was buzzing around the packs.

#7: Tegan Cunningham- Melbourne

Able to manhandle her opponents to get her hands on the ball. Being 186cm tall and having a basketball background gives her a supreme advantage over her opponents. She also has a good goal-kicking technique. She is able to chip in the ruck, which is very valuable for the Demons.

#8: Dana Hooker- Fremantle

Began where she left off last week with a lively start. Made an impact in the contest and racked up 13 possessions.

#9: Evangeline Gooch- Fremantle

She has great speed, and executed some impressive run-down tackles in the first quarter and second quarters. Appeared to be everywhere, and contributed nicely on the day.

#10: Katherine Smith- Melbourne

She has good rebounding speed and a penetrating kick. Was very determined to find the footy, and looks like she is benefiting from complementing Bianca Jakobsson in the back-line. 

#11: Cassie Davidson- Fremantle

Great pace and acceleration shown throughout the day. Did the little things right. Racked up 12 disposals, of which 11 of those were kicks.

#12: Shelley Scott- Melbourne

Her effort could not be questioned, as she showed impressive intent all day. Accumulated 11 possessions. Her tackling was a highlight for the Dees, laying seven for the day.

#13: Elise O’Dea- Melbourne

Impressed again with 11 disposals, and did the job that she needed to do. A rare brain fade for her in the dying minutes, as she rushed and missed an easy shot on goal.

#14: Melissa Caulfield- Fremantle

She beat Jakobsson inside 50 to kick an amazing goal in the final quarter. Has immense speed and class, and showed that to kick her third goal of the season.

#15: Hayley Miller- Fremantle

Miller has a huge kick, and can mimic Tayla Harris’ scissor kick! A promising 16 disposals for her in another great outing for the Dockers.

#16: Richelle Cranston- Melbourne

Loves to take her opponents on and break through tackles. Had a big influence on the match, with her big body being a roadblock for Melbourne.

#17: Aliesha Newman- Melbourne

She has great explosive speed, and has the ability to push her opponent under the ball. She is hard to catch, which was evident with her soccer goal in the third quarter.

#18: Kate Hore- Melbourne

She lead up to the ball all day, and took some nice marks on the lead. Never gave up and kept presenting.

#19: Stephanie Cain- Fremantle

She puts the team first, and loves the one percenters. She has a team-first attitude, and loves to tackle and smother.

#20: Amy Lavell- Fremantle

In the third term, she had good skill and composure to finish nicely with a goal on her left foot.