Tag: Mua Laloifi

AFL Women’s Sunday wrap: Dockers come from behind in final quarter showcase

FREMANTLE proved just how good they are with a huge final quarter effort against Carlton on Sunday, downing the Blues by four points credit to a three goal final term. The 6.9 (45) to 6.5 (41) outcome was not a reflection of majority of the match however, with Carlton’s explosive start and continuous pressure well and truly shutting down the Dockers.

In a must-win for Carlton, the side came out firing from all cylinders with three goals to nil in the first as experienced trio Nic StevensDarcy Vescio and Tayla Harris were quick to get on the board, as Charlotte Wilson and Mua Laloifi well and truly shut down the Blues backline and relegated the Dockers to just the one behind. A tighter second quarter was credit to Fremantle’s increased pressure around the footy, lifting in intensity and contesting much better as Kiara BowersHayley Miller and Sabreena Duffy stepped up to win the quarter. The winning end continued in the third as the Blues once again lifted, adding another two majors to their tally, but it was an outstanding final quarter from the Dockers that saw the side really showcase what they are made of and their winning form, booting 3.2 to Carlton’s 1.0 to take their first and only lead of the day at a vital time in the match and coming away with the four point win.

For the winning side, it was a two goal effort from both Jasmin Stewart and Duffy that helped get the side over the line, whilst Gemma Houghton was kept quiet for much of the contest bar a late conversion to seal the win. Bowers was exceptional with 28 disposals and 10 tackles, while Miller (13 touches and 10 tackles), Ebony Antonio and Steph Cain also had an impact. For the Blues, Stevens booted two from 14 touches, whilst Kerryn Harrington was kept busy with 22 touches and Breann Moody collected 19 and six marks, as Maddy Prespakis stepped up once more to create chaos through the middle.

Bar fixture changes due to COVID-19 protocols interstate, Carlton will hope to take on Gold Coast next Friday night in Queensland, while Fremantle will host Melbourne next Sunday night in a do-or-die encounter for the red and blue.

CARLTON 3.4 | 3.5 | 5.5 | 6.5 (41)
FREMANTLE 0.1 | 2.3 | 3.7 | 6.9 (45)

GOALS
Carlton: N. Stevens 2, D. Vescio, T. Harris, S. Gibbs, G. Gee
Fremantle: J. Stewart 2, S. Duffy 2, S. Cain, G. Houghton

BEST
Carlton: M. Prespakis, N. Stevens, B. Moody, D. Vescio, K. Harrington, V. Laloifi
Fremantle: K. Bowers, E. Antonio, S. Duffy, S. Cain, L. Pugh, J. Stewart

Image credit: AAP: James Ross

Image credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images

LIONS DISRUPT HOT PIES

A last minute fixture change saw the Brisbane Lions take on the Collingwood Magpies on neutral territory in Melbourne on Sunday afternoon to complete the round, with the Lions taking to Whitten Oval and its lack of crowd like a duck to water, exposing the Magpies in a relatively inaccurate encounter from two of the top sides. The Lions dealt the Pies their first loss of the season, running out three-point victors in the 4.11 (35) to 4.8 (32) matchup in windy conditions.

It was a shocking first quarter from the Lions, booting eight behinds in a huge start that they really did not capitalise upon. The Magpies, to their credit, kept their foot on the accelerator and proved that they could cope defensively but it was realistically Brisbane’s inability to convert off set shots that shot them in the foot, only leading by 13 at the first change despite dominating the inside 50 count. Despite the Magpies applying better pressure for the remainder of the match, their first quarter struggle was too much for the side to come back from even as they kept the Lions to a goal per quarter in the second and third, and put just the one behind on in the last. The Magpies rallied in the final term after losing Jordyn Allen and Lauren Butler before the second half began, mounting their comeback and booting 2.4 in the final term. But it was too little, too late as the Lions held on for the three-point victory, knocking the Magpies out of top spot with huge performances from Ally Anderson (26 disposals and four marks) and Cathy Svarc (10 disposals, five tackles and a goal) topping off a solid day at the office.

Svarc was largely responsible for keeping Bri Davey quiet as Chloe Molloy was also relegated to a quiet performance with just five touches to her name. Sophie Conway (15 touches, three behinds), Nat Grider (13 and six tackles) and Emily Bates (13 and nine) were all impressive for the Lions as Bree Koenen locked down the backline, while for the Pies it was Britt Bonnici (28 touches, five marks and four tackles), Jaimee Lambert (22 touches) and Sharni Norder (Nee Layton, 17 touches, four tackles) who kept the ball rolling.

Next week the Magpies will play yet another match in Victoria as they host St Kilda on Saturday afternoon, while the Lions intend to host North Melbourne during Saturday’s twilight fixture, pending COVID-19 protocols in Queensland.

BRISBANE 2.8 | 3.8 | 4.10 | 4.11 (35)
COLLINGWOOD 1.1 | 2.4 | 2.4 | 4.8 (32)

GOALS
Brisbane: C. Hodder, S. Campbell, J. Wuetschner, C. Svarc
Collingwood: A. Sheridan 2, S. Alexander, J. Lin

BEST
Brisbane: A. Anderson, S. Conway, E. Bates, C. Svarc, K. Lutkins
Collingwood: B. Bonnici, S. Norder, R. Schleicher, J. Lambert, S. Chiocci

AFL Women’s Saturday wrap: Dogs salute for four consecutive wins

FIVE consecutive goals to the Western Bulldogs after quarter time has seen them claim a fourth straight win in front of home fans at Whitten Oval. The Dogs proved too clinical up front for GWS GIANTS, with Bonnie Toogood and Isabel Huntington dominating the GIANTS’ defence – particularly in the second term with two goals apiece – to prove too much in Indigenous Round, 7.5 (47) to 3.4 (22).

The first term was an even tussle, with Toogood getting the opening goal seven minutes into the match. A Rebecca Privitelli major five minutes later put the GIANTS in front for the first and only time in the match, with a late behind to Ellie Blackburn levelling the scores at quarter time for both sides to be 1.2 (8).

The second term is where the Dogs lit it up, booting four straight goals to storm to a 24-point lead at half-time. Not conceding a single score, the Bulldogs witnessed their two big key forwards take control, with Huntington snagging two majors, and then it was Toogood’s turn, matching it with two of her own. Despite the GIANTS best efforts, they were unable to match their athleticism and power.

Blackburn was leading her side at half-time with 10 touches alongside Kirsty Lamb, while Alyce Parker was having another standout performance with 11 disposals to the main break. Rebecca Beeson (10 disposals), Naomi Ferres (eight), Alicia Eva (eight) and Cora Staunton (eight) were the other prime ball-winners in the match.

With the game firmly in the Bulldogs’ grip, the home side put through the all-important first major thanks to a brilliant piercing kick from Jess Fitzgerald to Kirsten McLeod. Luckily for the GIANTS, Britt Tully was able to respond, but then an unlucky bounce in the goalsquare off a Taylah Davies intercept at half-forward prevented the GIANTS from nailing back-to-back goals.

Instead it was Huntington who slotted her third major to match Toogood, while a towering mark from Erin McKinnon in the goalsquare helped the visitors maintain some hope heading into the break, cutting the deficit by one back to 23 points. Lamb and Beeson had strong third terms to end the quarter with 17 disposals each with Parker next on 14.

The final term was a tight tussle to start, as the Bulldogs peppered the goals with a couple of behinds. Just when it looked like the game would slowly run to its conclusion, Fitzgerald put in another highlight effort with a couple of bounces running towards inside 50. While the GIANTS manage to spoil a potential mark and clear, it was one highlight in an otherwise tight quarter.

The Western Bulldogs’ win did not come without a cost though, with a number of injuries in the final term, including captain Blackburn, but the more serious one was a knee injury to Deanna Berry who had to be helped from the field. Blackburn returned to the field and almost immediately kicked a goal in the final term, but was rushed through by Tarni Evans on the line.

WESTERN BULLDOGS 1.2 | 5.2 | 7.2 | 7.5 (47)
GWS GIANTS 1.2 | 1.2 | 3.3 | 3.4 (22)

GOALS:

Western Bulldogs: B. Toogood 3, I. Huntington 3, K. McLeod
GWS GIANTS: R. Privitelli, B. Tully, E. McKinnon

DC BEST:

Western Bulldogs: I. Huntington, B. Toogood, K. Lamb, E. Blackburn, B. Lochland
GWS GIANTS: A. Parker, R. Beeson, A. Eva, B. Tully, G. Garnett

Image Credit: Will Russell/AFL Photos

LIONS RAID FREMANTLE TO SNAP DOCKERS’ RECORD RUN

Fremantle’s record 11-game winning run has come to an end at the hands of Brisbane, as the Lions raided the Fremantle Oval fortress and took home an 11-point victory. In a low-scoring armwrestle which saw pressure and structure shine, the visitors established themselves as a bonafide premiership contender by restricting Freo to just seven behinds in the first three terms, before holding on in the clutch to win 3.7 (25) to 1.8 (14).

It took a brilliant feat from Brisbane forward Courtney Hodder to open the major scoring, as she bent home a classy checkside finish late in term one to give Brisbane the ascendancy. The disciplined Lions then structured up and absorbed plenty of pressure to deny Fremantle in the second term, before Orla O’Dwyer soccered home in the third to help set up her side’s defining two-goal buffer. It came on the back of some immense Brisbane pressure, which saw no easy outs from its forward 50.

Late drama ensued in the run home as Brisbane’s lead was threatened in the final two minutes. Fremantle had previous opportunities to cut the margin, but it was left to Roxy Roux to get the Dockers back to within a goal as she cooly sunk a set shot with 90 seconds left. Somehow, Fremantle had the opportunity to strike. The game was put to bed shortly after though, as the Lions won an all-important centre clearance and Ally Anderson finished with class to seal her side’s victory.

Brisbane’s Emily Bates led all comers with 26 disposals in a best afield performance, while the likes of Anderson and O’Dwyer proved productive moving forward and both hit the scoreboard. Hodder and Greta Bodey were others in that boat with terrific run and a bit of spark, as Kate Lutkins and Shannon Campbell were among the Lions’ key figures in the defensive setup.

Kiara Bowers continued her outstanding form in purple to record 24 touches and eight tackles in a trying effort, with the experience and class of Kara Antonio also proving important. Laura Pugh and Hayley Miller were others to contribute well for the Dockers in their first loss at Fremantle Oval since 2017.

The newly minted Round 6 fixture sees Brisbane travel again to face GWS at Manuka Oval, while Fremantle will look to reload and rebound with a second Western Derby for the season, taking on West Coast at Optus Stadium.

FREMANTLE 0.2 | 0.7 | 0.7 | 1.8 (14)
BRISBANE 1.1 | 1.2 | 2.7 | 3.7 (25)

GOALS:

Fremantle: R. Roux
Brisbane: C. Hodder, O. O’Dwyer, A. Anderson

DC BEST:

Fremantle: K. Bowers, K. Antonio, L. Pugh, H. Miller, R. Roux
Brisbane: E. Bates, A. Anderson, G. Bodey, K. Lutkins, O. O’Dwyer

Image Credit: Steve Bell/Getty Images via AFL Photos

ROOS SHAKE OFF BLUES TO BOUNCE BACK ONTO WINNERS LIST

North Melbourne returned to the winners list on Saturday night, kicking clear of Carlton to finish 22-point victors at UTAS Stadium. After two-straight losses, the Roos rebounded in style with seven goals to Carlton’s three during the second half, seeing them reclaim the lead and a momentary spot in the top six with the 9.5 (59) to 6.1 (37) result.

North skipped away to a two-goal lead thanks to snaps from Kate Gillespie-Jones and Jasmine Garner within the first three minutes, but the Blues charged back into the game in term two via Darcy Vescio. The dynamic forward booted two goals and assisted another to inspire her side to a half time lead, which would carry on late into the third stanza.

Daisy Bateman slotted a set shot chance to put the Kangaroos back in front, but Daria Bannister‘s one-on-two mark deep inside 50 proved the pivotal moment. The grab may have initially been handled by Blues defender Mua Laloifi, but that mattered little as Bannister converted and gave her side an 11-point lead at the final break.

Despite the best efforts of first year Blue Mimi Hill, who twice cut the margin in the final term, Carlton fell short of North Melbourne’s firepower and could not resist it for long enough. The absence of league best and fairest, Maddy Prespakis through suspension played an inevitable role in the Blues’ fortunes, with the Roos’ midfield strong as ever.

Garner led North’s fab four ball winners with 32 and a goal, as the quartet all managed to gather over 23 disposals. Skipper Emma Kearney, Jenna Bruton, and Ash Riddell were the other members of that group, which has overpowered many an opposition midfield. Bateman and Sophie Abbatangelo both finished on two goals, while Jess Duffin made her long-awaited return to the Roos’ defence.

Nicola Stevens was outstanding for Carlton, leading the way with 19 touches and a goal up forward. The two-goal bursts of Vescio and Hill very nearly proved game-changing, while Jess Hosking was typically reliable and Laloifi helped hold up the defence in another balanced display. Young tall Serena Gibbs had four touches and two marks in her senior debut.

North Melbourne’s fight to establish a spot within the top six continues with a clash against Richmond at Punt Road Oval in Round 6, while Carlton will fancy a bounce-back win of its own when it hosts Geelong at Princes Park next time out.

GOALS:

North Melbourne: S. Abbatangelo 2, D. Bateman 2, K. Gillespie-Jones, J. Garner, D. Bannister, G. Campbell, M. King
Carlton: D. Vescio 2, M. Hill 2, L. Brazzale, N. Stevens

DC BEST:

North Melbourne: J. Garner, E. Kearney, J. Bruton, A. Riddell, S. Abbatangelo
Carlton: N. Stevens, M. Hill, D. Vescio, J. Hosking, M. Laloifi

2021 AFL Women’s: Round 3 preview – Four of the top six lock horns on blockbuster weekend

ROUND 3 of the 2021 AFL Women’s season sees two sets of undefeated sides lock horns to find out whose ‘0’ will go, while teams just outside the top six battle to emerge as finals threats. As was the case last time around, fixtures have been shuffled and one matchup – between Brisbane and West Coast – is on hold. But with a couple of mouthwatering clashes and one Victorian grudge match set to go down, there is still plenty to look forward to from this weekend’s action.

Note: All start times are local.

GEELONG (14th, 0-2) vs. WESTERN BULLDOGS (7th, 1-1)
Friday February 12, 7:10pm
Kardinia Park

History will be made in red, white, and blue on Friday night as the Western Bulldogs’ first ever father-daughter selection, Isabella Grant makes her AFLW debut against Geelong at Kardinia Park. The daughter of 341-game Bulldogs champion, Chris missed all of her maiden season through injury, but comes into a winning side in place of the injured Bailey Hunt (calf). Her team will be sniffing out a positive record here, especially seeing that Geelong is currently bolted to bottom spot after losses of a combined 91 points.

The Cats have made a couple of changes, with the experienced Bec Goring called up to help bolster her side’s defence, while mature-age coup Nicole Garner also comes in for her senior debut. The pair’s additions come at the expense of youngsters Darcy Moloney and Georgia Clarke. Having lost handily to premiership fancy North Melbourne at home in Round 1, the Cats will be keen to make good on their advantage this time around and give fans something to cheer about.

The Bulldogs’ youthful exuberance and counter-attacking nature may pose some problems for Geelong, especially given the home side has only scrounged three majors in its first two outings. The Cats are also known for their young talent, but that has seen them fall away in lapses of concentration after positive periods. That could be a worrying factor if they don’t get up or stay level early, because we all saw how the ‘Dogs came back with force against Carlton last week.

Tip: Bulldogs by 13

GWS (11th, 0-2) vs. GOLD COAST (13th, 0-2)
Saturday February 13, 3:10pm
Blacktown International Sportspark

Two sides coming off hefty losses will look to get off the mark for season 2021, when Greater Western Sydney (GWS) hosts Gold Coast in Blacktown on Saturday afternoon. The Suns were kept to the lowest-ever AFLW score (two points) last time out in a one-sided Q-Clash, which should serve as fuel enough for this game. GWS went down to somewhat a rival of its own in Adelaide last week, making this a clash between two winless teams in desperate need of a confidence boost.

An improved Suns forwardline saw hardly any of the ball last week, but showed in Round 1 that when given the opportunity, goals will come. GWS has also had trouble moving forward with its fluency on the ball – or lack thereof – underselling the dominance of Alyce Parker and Rebecca Beeson at the clearances. Whichever team can click into gear quicker and find its groove in the front half should coast clear for a much-needed maiden win.

Tip: Giants by 5

ST KILDA (8th, 1-1) vs. CARLTON (9th, 0-2)
Saturday February 13, 5:10pm
RSEA Park

Carlton faces a tricky must-win fixture as it rolls into Moorabbin to take on St Kilda on Saturday night, with both sides poised outside the top six. Touted as a premiership chance coming into the season, the Blues have stumbled in two surprise losses with short bursts from opposition sides hurting them in the long run. The Saints loom as another tricky test having beaten the Blues’ last opponent and remained competitive against North Melbourne a week later.

Perhaps mercifully, the Carlton looks likely to call upon the recently recovered trio of Lucy McEvoy, Mua Laloifi, and Gab Pound, who would all normally feature in the starting lineup. While McEvoy will prove another classy midfield choice, the latter two should shore up the backline. Sturdiness will be important against an improve Saints attack, spearhead by Caitlin Greiser.

The midfield battle will also be an interesting one, with the likes of McEvoy and Maddy Prespakis locking horns with in-form St Kilda jets Georgia Patrikios and Tyanna Smith. The hardened ball winning ability of Carlton’s pair against the classy running Saints should form an intriguing matchup of styles. Making the most of their impact will be key for either side, especially after their respective faults up forward thus far.

Tip: Blues by 15

MELBOURNE (4th, 2-0) vs. NORTH MELBOURNE (2nd, 2-0)
Saturday February 13, 7:10pm
Casey Fields

A mouthwatering contest between two undefeated Victorian sides goes down at Casey Fields on Saturday night, as Melbourne takes on North Melbourne. The Roos have been near-flawless across the opening two rounds; first dismantling Geelong on the road and then pulling away from the plucky St Kilda last week. Melbourne has found its grove after slow starts in both of its opening two fixtures, but now faces easily its toughest test to date.

While the Roos are renowned for their vast avenues to goal, Melbourne has proven somewhat of a surprise packet through its seemingly revitalised attacking nous. The engine room has played a big part, with Tyla Hanks slotting in seamlessly alongside Karen Paxman and Lily Mithen, but North is known to boss the ball and bat incredibly deep. A Kangas midfield quintet of Emma Kearney, Jenna Bruton, Jasmine Garner, Ash Riddell, and Ellie Gavalas has proven unbeatable across four quarters thus far, and will be tough to top.

The ruck battle will be another area of interest given how much class lies in either sides’ midfields, with Melbourne’s Lauren Pearce set to tackle an in-form Emma King. King, who has also rediscovered her scoring form, averages nearly double her opponent’s hitouts, but aide from rotating key forward Eden Zanker will likely even the contest up.

Tip: Kangaroos by 11

ADELAIDE (3rd, 2-0) vs. FREMANTLE (5th, 2-0)
Sunday February 14, 12:40pm
Norwood Oval

The round’s second top six clash sees Adelaide do battle with Fremantle at Norwood Oval, with the two undefeated teams battling to maintain their perfect records. Freo’s nine-game unblemished run has continued on from last season and while a tense derby only saw them get up by nine points with two majors on the board last week, the Dockers look every bit the premiership contender. Adelaide is right up there as well, emphatically returning to form in 2021 with the chance now to prove just how serious its flag tilt will be.

The Crows’ elite ball winners in Ebony Marinoff, Anne Hatchard, and Erin Phillips will be difficult to match, while the dynamic wildcard that is Chelsea Randall could prove a game-breaking factor in roles at either end. A heap of responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Fremantle’s Kiara Bowers in midfield, though a greater team spread up and down the spine is more the Dockers’ go.

It is no secret that Gemma Houghton poses a massive threat up forward alongside Sabreena Duffy, while Janelle Cuthbertson has been an absolute rock down back. With running power on the outer and many avenues to goal, Freo should have little trouble managing a winning score. Adelaide will again look to its midfield to fill out the scorebook, while the likes of Danielle Ponter, Ashleigh Woodland, and Teah Charlton loom as individuals who can break the game open.

Tip: Dockers by 1

RICHMOND (12th, 0-2) vs. COLLINGWOOD (6th, 2-0)
Sunday February 14, 3:10pm
Punt Road Oval

A late fixture shuffle sees traditional rivals Richmond and Collingwood go head-to-head on Sunday afternoon, set to provide some nostalgia to fans at Punt Road Oval. The Tigers are still out to claim their first points in the competition having shown signs of improvement thus far, but ultimately fallen short of better opposition. Collingwood looms as another difficult test, currently holding up the top six with a perfect 2-0 record.

The two sides have not yet met in the women’s competition, making for a fresh start and opportunity for either team to grab bragging rights. Collingwood’s rejigged forwardline which boasts Chloe Molloy and Brianna Davey benefitted last week with the inclusion of Sarah Rowe, and will again be in good shape to overpower the opposition. Conversely, scoring continues to be a sore spot for Richmond despite the dominance of Monique Conti in midfield and promise of Ellie McKenzie on the outer.

Tip: Magpies by 33

Note: The Brisbane Lions vs. West Coast Eagles fixture is TBC.

Featured Image: Western Bulldogs’ Isabella Grant (right) with her famous father, Chris | Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

2021 AFL Women’s: Round 2 preview – Pioneer Blues and Bulldogs open Pride Round

PRIDE is the theme of Round 2 in the 2021 AFL Women’s season, as the competition holds its inaugural Pride Round. The Western Bulldogs and Carlton, who have previously hosted annual Pride matches, will open the weekend’s action on Friday night as the remaining fixtures fall into place after multiple shake-ups. Remarkably, all seven games are set to go ahead in the rejigged round, with results as important as ever among the continual pandemic-produced unpredictability.

Note: All start times are local

Western Bulldogs vs. Carlton
Friday February 5, 7:45pm
Whitten Oval

Western Bulldogs and Carlton kick off Pride Round at Whitten Oval on Friday night, marking a historic and important event on the AFL Women’s calendar. Both sides remain searching for their first wins in 2021 after opening round losses, with a dreaded 0-2 start awaiting the team which goes down once again.

Bulldogs coach Nathan Burke has enacted four changes to the side which lost to St Kilda, with young pups Gemma Lagioia and Britney Gutknecht among the casualties. Carlton has been forced into just one change, as key defender Mua Laloifi misses through the updated concussion protocols and is replaced by Jess Edwards at half-back.

Laloifi’s absence may open the door for the Dogs to excel in attack, leaving Charlotte Wilson to shoulder a heap of intercept work against a forwardline spearheaded by Izzy Huntington. But the ball will have to get there first, with Carlton’s hardened midfield out to prove a point having been definitively blitzed by Collingwood in the second term last time out.

Tip: The Bulldogs are slowly finding their feet, but the Blues should come out firing after a shock loss. Wet weather will play a factor in the margin, Blues by 11.

Collingwood vs. Geelong
Saturday February 6, 3:10pm
Victoria Park

A fixture shuffle has seen Collingwood and Geelong land each other in Round 2, with football returning to the Magpies’ spiritual home of Victoria Park on Saturday afternoon. The Cats are coming off a 62-point drubbing at the hands of North Melbourne, while Collingwood opened the season with an impressive upset victory over traditional rival, Carlton, making for very contrasting formlines.

The Magpies’ midfield was excellent last time out and a new-look forwardline featuring Chloe Molloy and Bri Davey looks poised for more success in 2021. One of the Cats’ best lines is its defence though, with skipper Meghan McDonald supported well by the likes of Maddy McMahon, Amy McDonald, and Millie Brown.

Collingwood will be without recruit Aliesha Newman after she was handed a one-week ban for her sling tackle on Carlton’s Laloifi, but the Pies’ confidence should be sky high nonetheless. On the other hand, Geelong will have to quickly pick up the pieces to recover here, especially after an impotent display forward of centre in Round 1.

Tip: Collingwood looks set to be one of the big risers in 2021 and while Geelong has potential, its young side will likely work in peaks and troughs. Another trough here for the Cats, Pies by 23.

Melbourne vs. Richmond
Saturday February 6, 5:10pm
Casey Fields

Riding the wave of a Round 1 win, Melbourne hosts Richmond at Casey Fields on Saturday night looking to go two from two. Both sides took on Queensland teams last week but came out with contrasting results; as the Dees clicked into gear after quarter time to trump Gold Coast, while Richmond could only hang with Brisbane for a half before giving way in a five-goal loss.

The Lions may have uncovered a continued area of weakness for Richmond after tagging Monique Conti out of the first half, with Melbourne’s engine room typically an area of depth and prosperity. The Dees should again thrive in the midfield battle, though look for the likely tussle between first year jets Ellie McKenzie and Eliza McNamara to provide great entertainment on the outer.

Melbourne could quickly stake its claim for another finals berth should it string together some early wins, but the Tigers have shown signs of improvement and will hardly go down easily. Still searching for their maiden AFLW win, the Tigers have plenty to play for and will hope to avoid being the league’s cellar dweller for a second year running.

Tip: Melbourne looks a side determined to keep touch with the true premiership contenders, but cannot be caught lacking against the hungry Tigers. Still, the red and blue side should be too good all around the ground, Dees by 27.

North Melbourne vs. St Kilda
Sunday February 7, 1:10pm
Arden Street Oval

North Melbourne will be out to build on its formidable early form, if possible, when St Kilda rolls into Arden Street Oval for their Sunday afternoon clash. The Roos set a high ceiling with their maiden 2021 performance, which yielded the greatest opening round percentage in AFL/AFLW history. St Kilda is also in winning form, though having shaken off the Western Bulldogs in Moorabbin.

It is no secret that North Melbourne bats a ridiculously deep midfield, boasting arguably the most damaging brigade of ball winners in the competition. St Kilda’s young pair of Georgia Patrikios and Tyanna Smith will do their best to match the forward run-and-carry of North’s prime movers, especially after such promising showings last week.

North Melbourne has plenty of avenues to goal, with rotating ruck Emma King back to her scoring ways after three goals last week, while the Saints also showed they will not be entirely dependant on spearhead Caitlin Greiser to kick a winning score. Matching the Roos’ firepower will be tough, but could be manageable depending on the conditions and North Melbourne’s mood.

Tip: St Kilda will likely provide a much greater test for North and should stick with them in patches, but do not quite have the stock to go with a switched-on blue and white outfit for four quarters, Roos by 21.

Brisbane vs. Gold Coast
Sunday February 7, 2:10pm
Hickey Park

The second-ever AFL Women’s Q-Clash is set to go down on Sunday afternoon, as the Lions and Suns meet at Hickey Park having initially been poised against Victorian opponents. The makeshift fixture should provide fireworks, with last year’s inaugural all-Queensland dig ending in an enthralling draw, meaning bragging rights are well and truly up for grabs here.

Brisbane will look to replicate last year’s early run of form with a second win on the trot, while Gold Coast is still out to open its account for the season after an opening round loss to Melbourne. Both sides boast some terrific young talent, with the Lions’ Isabel Dawes fresh off a best-afield performance, and Gold Coast’s Kalinda Howarth hungry to hit the scoreboard after a goalless outing last week.

The experience is also there, headlined by Brisbane’s strong foundation crop – which may soon be bolstered by Jess Wuetschner – and opposed by Gold Coast’s new-look forwardline, which features vice-captain Sarah Perkins. Jamie Stanton and Alison Drennan will have plenty to do in midfield against the Lions’ strong ball winners, making for an intriguing clearance battle.

Tip: You can never count the fighting Suns out, especially with their youthful exuberance, but the Lions look a slight step ahead and should come away with bragging rights over their neighbours. Lions by 10.

GWS vs. Adelaide
Sunday February 7, 5:10pm
Blacktown International Sportspark

GWS is back home after a well-travelled preseason, set to host Adelaide at Blacktown International Sportspark on Sunday evening. Both teams were thrown into isolation after Round 1 and have undergone improvised solo training sessions for most of the week, which will inevitably show in how either side adjusts to the disruptions thrown their way.

Adelaide looks like quickly returning to its fearsome best in 2021, with the Crows’ many stars aligning to win big las week. Erin Phillips will hope to again take hold as she gets a clean run at it, while some added dynamism in the potential moving parts of Chelsea Randall, Ebony Marinoff, and Sarah Allan will give GWS plenty of headaches.

The Giants have showcased their fighting spirit and have the experience to give the Crows a good run here. An even five-goal loss to Fremantle in Round 1 was less than ideal on a pure results basis, but some strong contested work in the first half should put GWS in good stead to compete against top sides, like Adelaide, for periods of time.

Tip: Revenge will be in mind after GWS ended Adelaide’s finals hopes last year, and the visitors should have too much grunt going forward from midfield. Crows by 26.

Fremantle vs. West Coast
Sunday February 7, 4:15pm
Fremantle Oval

The Western Derby is on in Round 2 after last-minute confirmation of the bout came today, with Fremantle and West Coast set to lock horns in the weekend’s closing fixture. Akin to players in the Adelaide-GWS clash, both teams have been limited training-wise with just an hour of exercise permitted under Western Australia’s lockdown laws.

Freo looks every bit the powerhouse last year’s undefeated run suggested, maintaining their winning streak with a powerful Round 1 victory. West Coast looks an improved side despite falling well short of Adelaide in the end. While the Eagles managed 2.6 (18), the Dockers excelled with 8.10 (58) in their opening fixture.

That immense gap in scoring should again prove telling, with Fremantle’s dynamic and game-breaking forward movers in Gemma Houghton and Sabreena Duffy difficult to keep down, especially as Kara Antonio and Kiara Bowers move the ball forward with class from the outside and inside of midfield.

Tip: Fremantle has the early bragging rights in this rivalry and will likely continue to hold as much after Sunday’s clash. With too much going forward, Dockers by 40.

Image Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos

Pies shock Blues on AFLW’s return

THE long awaited return of AFL Women’s for season 2021 arrived on Thursday night, with traditional rivals Carlton and Collingwood shaping up at Ikon Park for a huge start to season five. A tribute to Jacinda Barclay opened the match with a moment of silence, before football returned at full throttle with Victorian fans treated to their first live match since mid-2020. While a slow start from both sides kept a full house of fans on the edge of their seats, a stagnant Blues outfit and a huge four-goal second term from the Magpies saw the tides quickly turn as fast-paced footy began, with the Pies running out six-point winners 5.3 (33) to 4.3 (27) to open the season with a bang.

While the match may not have started with the bang many fans were expecting from the two sides, it was a tight battle early with neither side willing to give through the midfield and very little going the way of the scoreboard. Both backlines worked in overdrive limiting movement, with the first score of the game – a behind – going the way of Jaimee Lambert, rendered inaccurate by the continuous efforts of the likes of Mua Laloifi and Charlotte Wilson, who tracked the ball well. But much the same was happening at the other end, with the Blues missing targets and Ruby Schleicher proving a ball magnet and rebounded with ease.

But things quickly switched into gear for the Magpies in the second, with Chloe Molloy moved forward and turned on the foot candy with two goals from right out in front. It saw the Pies pile on the pressure as the Blues remained scoreless in the first half for the first time since 2019. Where the Blues’ defence had held strong in the first, they scrambled in the second term with no answers for the combination of Molloy and Bri Davey out the front, while Aliesha Newman turned on the speed – later reported for a dangerous tackle – and Lambert continued to fire on all cylinders as the Pies went four goals up, looking dangerous as the Blues wasted opportunities. Maddy Prespakis was unafraid of the contest, throwing herself at the footy and at former Blue Davey, while all eyes were on the matchup between Stacey Livingstone and Tayla Harris as the game hit the midway point, with the duo matching in intensity and hunt for the footy.

A talking to from Carlton coach Daniel Harford seemed to do the trick for the Blues, coming out with a renewed sense of intensity and pressure after half-time, hitting back with three straight goals. Nicola StevensDarcy Vescio and Jess Hosking all put majors on the board – with the third coming from a pinpoint precise Prespakis – as a scoring end shaped up. While the Baggers showed a lot more fight, the Pies retained the lead with an excellent running goal from Aishling Sheridan, courtesy of Lambert, seeing the Magpies head into the final change with an 11-point advantage.

After a busy second and third quarter, scoring dried up in the last with neither side able to really break through the fierce defensive buffers down back. While the Pies missed a couple of early chances to extend their lead, Carlton had their own fair share of opportunities too with the footy locked inside their forward 50 for much of the last five minutes. While the last score of the match was a goal to Kerryn Harrington after the siren, it was a sombre celebration as the Magpies started off their 2021 campaign with the solid 33-27 victory and plenty of confidence.

On the stats sheet, Britt Bonnici led all comers with 22 disposals, five marks and four tackles, while Lambert (18 touches, five tackles) and Prespakis (18 and three) were not far behind. Abbie McKay proved she has more in her wheelhouse leading the tackle count with seven to go with her 10 touches, while two players from each side racked up six tackles apiece in the physical battle.

Both teams have just over a week to prepare for their next respective matches, with the Blues heading to VU Whitten Oval next Friday night to take on the Western Bulldogs, while the Pies host the Gold Coast Suns in their first home match of the season next Saturday afternoon at Victoria Park.

CARLTON | 0.0 | 0.0 | 3.1 | 4.3 (27)
COLLINGWOOD | 0.1 | 4.2 | 5.2 | 5.3 (33)

GOALS
Carlton: Stevens, Vescio, Hosking, Harrington.
Collingwood: Molloy 2, Sheridan 2, Davey.

ADC BEST
Carlton: Prespakis, Laloifi, Wilson, Egan, Hosking
Collingwood: Bonnici, Lambert, Davey, Molloy, Schleicher

Team selection: VFLW – Round 7

A host of TAC Cup Girls will make their Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s debut this week, as they prepare for the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships commencing on July 9. A couple of traditional rivals will go head-to-head this weekend as well with both Carlton and Collingwood and Hawthorn and Essendon battling it out for a round seven victory.

 

SOUTHERN SAINTS v. NT THUNDER

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

11:15AM

SkyBus Stadium

The Southern Saints will have to fight hard to get back on the winner’s list this week as they face the undefeated NT Thunder this Saturday. Sandringham Dragons duo, Eleanor Brown and Jemma Owen will retake to the field this week after representing Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. They have been named in alongside Carlton AFLW player, Laura Attard, Eastern Ranges pair, Gabriella De Angelis and Charlotte Wilson as well as Dandenong Stingrays duo, Shelley Heath and Courtney Jones.

NT Thunder have made 11 changes with lots of Northern Territory talent being re-injected into the side. Tabitha May will be making her senior debut this week after being named most valuable player in round one of the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. Coming back to the side will be defenders, Tahlia Holtze, Jemma Iacono, Morgan Johnstonand Lisa Roberts. Similarly, Jasmine Anderson, Lucy Adam and ruck, Jess Allan will be welcomed back into the midfield. For the forward line, the skillful Jasmyn Hewett will return from rest alongside Jordann Hickey and Ruth Wallace. However, the Thunder has rested AFLW Adelaide Crows stars, Sophie Armitstead, Georgia Bevan, Courtney Cramey, Chelsea Randall, Deni Varnhagen, Jenna McCormick and Sally Riley in line with an AFL Victoria directive to reduce the number of South Australian-based players in the team each weekMadeline Gault, Sue Nalder and Kristy Irvine will also miss this week’s match up.

Southern Saints
B: 29. M. Macdonald, 14. I. Quintal, 30. C. Wilson
HB: 17. L. Olsen, 38. S. Karlson, 31. G. Walker
C: 39. E. Brown, 2. A. Brown, 52. T. Gordon
HF: 21. D. Lawrence, 15. T. Bohanna, 27. K. Macqueen
F: 35. G. De Angelis, 13. C. Munn, 33. J. Owen
R: 28. R. Watt, 8. A. Drennan, 32. S. Johnson
Int: 10. L. Arnell, 18. L. Attard, 43. S. Heath, 40. M. Maitland
Emg: 49. A. Allsopp, 24. K. Ripari, 19. A. Silver, 22. D. Smith
23P: 42. C. Jones

In: E. Brown, J. Owen, L. Attard, G. De Angelis, C. Jones, C. Wilson, S. Heath
Out: S. Bolding, A. Ryan, K. Thompson

NT Thunder
B: 5. M. Roberts, 7. L. O’Shea, 44. M. Johnston
HB: 18. T. Holtze, 37. S. Allan, 13. L. Roberts
C: 12. J. Anderson, 3. A. Foley, 32. K. Streader
HF: 31. J. Sedunary, 11. J. Hickey, 15. R. Wallace
F: 28. R. Forth, 20. J. Hewett, 6. L. Motlop
R: 25. J. Allan, 17. E. Swanson, 43. K. Duggan
Int: 1. L. Adam, 10. S. Barnett, 41. A. Chittick, 19. J. Iacono
Emg: 42. G. Cusack, 23. S. Mauboy, 47. T. May
23P: 48. N. Gore

In: T. May, J. Hickey, T. Holtze, M. Johnston, J. Iacono, J. Hewett, L. Adam, R. Wallace, N. Gore, L. Roberts, J. Anderson, J. Allan
Out: D. Varnhagen, C. Cramey, S. Riley, G. Bevan, S. Armitstead, M. Gault, C. Randall, K. Irvine, J. McCormick, S. Nalder

 

COLLINGWOOD v. CARLTON

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

01:00PM

Warrawee Park

Collingwood will be coming off a week’s rest when it takes on Carlton at Warrawee Park this weekend. The Magpies have made four key changes to their line-up, bringing in AFLW talents, Ruby Schleicher, Kristy Stratton and Emma GrantLeah French will also join the side this week, while Mua LaloifiGabrielle Biedenweg-Webster, Sarah Cameron and AFLW player, Holly Whitford have been named out. Oakleigh Chargers forward, Daisy Bateman comes back into the side as the 23rd player after scoring three goals on debut for the Magpies.

Carlton has made five changes in the lead up to this week’s match, starting with the exciting inclusion of this year’s TAC Cup Girls Northern Knights captain, Maddy Brancatisano. She will come in as the 23rd player and bring her leadership experience after leading her side to the inaugural TAC Cup Girls Grand Final. She will be joined by another TAC Cup Girls leader in Gippsland co-captain, Tyla Hanks, who was one of the best on ground for Vic Country in its first Nationals hit-out. Carlton AFLW players, Natalie Plane and Bridie Kennedy have also been named to take the field this week, as well as sister of Breann Moody, Celine Moody. They will have big shoes to fill with AFLW teammates, Jess Hosking and Sophie Li being rested. Oakleigh Chargers forward, Isabella Gietzmann and Rachel King have been omitted while Courtney Bromage has shifted her focus from football back to her studies for the remainder of the season.

Collingwood
B: 52. N. Hales, 61. A. Malander, 72. K. Lee
HB: 22. S. Casey, 18. R. Schleicher, 47. J. Edwards
C: 81. B. Jones, 4. S. D’Arcy, 99. S. Marsh
HF: 49. S. Alexander, 77. C. Leighton, 2. C. Molloy
F: 54. H. Grubb, 75. E. Fowler, 13. J. Lambert
R: 11. E. Hynes, 5. E. Grant, 55. L. French
Int: 65. E. Browning, 50. G. Buchan, 63. P. Nash, 41. K. Stratton
Emg: 56. P. Davey, 53. R. Grant, 62. E. Korteman, 68. S. Yoannidis
23P: 66. D. Bateman

Carlton
B: 24. R. Hicks, 7. S. Last, 56. C. Williams
HB: 34. A. Chuot, 5. D. Pedersen, 40. K. Harvey
C: 55. C. Dalton, 32. N. Plane, 18. T. Lucas-Rodd
HF: 38. L. McCarthy, 50. J. Borg, 90. B. Walker
F: 27. K. Cox, 42. C. Hardeman, 41. K. Cunico
R: 16. B. Moody, 26. S. Audley, 51. T. Hanks
Int: 82. N. Burns, 23. B. Kennedy, 36. C. Moody, 37. B. Schultz
Emg: 45. R. King, 35. S. Li, 66. T. Plowman, 63. O. Vesely
23P: 8. M. Brancatisano

In: O. Vesely, N. Plane, T. Hanks, M. Brancatisano, B. Kennedy, C. Moody
Out: J. Hosking, C. Bromage

 

CASEY DEMONS v. WESTERN BULLDOGS

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

04:00PM

Casey Fields

Both the Casey Demons and Western Bulldogs come into round seven with one win under their belt and hungry for more. Coming off last week’s bye, the Demons have brought in AFLW players, Laura Duryea and Kate Hore, Bianca Jakobsson and Katherine Smith. They will be joined by Dandenong Stingrays and Vic Country captain, Jordyn Allen, as well as Taylor Mesiti and Sally Fyfield. This week the Demons also signed Shae Sloane, sister of Rory Sloane, who will don the red and blue jumper for the first time this weekend as the 23rd player. The former Volleyroos captain is an exciting addition to the team.

Coming off their first win of the season, the Bulldogs have pulled the ace from their sleeve this week, bringing in AFLW premiership captain, Ellie Blackburn for her VFLW debut. She will be joined by another debutant in AFLW premiership forward, Deanna Berry. Both girls are no stranger to a tough game of football and are sure to add class to the Dogs’ line-up. Laura Bailey, Nicole Paul, Brittney Wunhym and Katerina Rebuffo have also been named in for the round seven clash.

Casey Demons
B: 37. L. Lowerson, 27. A. Harrison, 15. S. Phillips
HB: 34. D. Guttridge, 21. H. Cordner, 16. C. Sheriff
C: 25. M. Shevlin, 22. K. Guttridge, 8. M. Tatham
HF: 18. K. Bentvelzen , 29. E. Zanker , 41. T. Mesiti
F: 38. J. Allen, 12. G. McLean, 7. B. Jakobsson
R: 14. T. Orgill, 13. K. Smith, 2. A. Newman
Int: 48. S. Fyfield, 9. A. Johnson, 6. A. McDonough, 5. S. Poke
Emg: 3. R. Clayton, 47. M. Hogg, 30. A. Marshall, 33. L. Rutter, 49. B. Struylaart
23P: 26. S. Sloane

Western Bulldogs
B: 9. T. Dinuccio, 42. N. Paul, 5. R. Martinuzzo
HB: 26. T. Morgan, 18. E. Birch, 38. C. O’Brien
C: 13. L. Bailey, 21. B. Hunt, 10. S. Jolly
HF: 1. B. Lochland, 12. J. Francke, 6. K. McLeod
F: 7. D. Berry , 32. A. Mifsud, 41. A. Scott
R: 24. K. Rennie, 2. E. Blackburn, 17. H. Wildes
Int: 31. A. Gunn, 29. T. Hamilton, 47. N. McMahon, 51. K. Rebuffo
Emg: 16. N. Ferres, 40. N. Gills, 36. A. Gogos , 27. E. Muller
23P: 37. B. Wunhym

In: L. Bailey, N. Paul, B. Wunhym, N. Gills, D. Berry , E. Blackburn, K. Rebuffo
Out: E. Mackay, R. Ashley, A. Tessari

 

MELBOURNE UNI  v. DAREBIN

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

06:30PM

Melville Oval, Hamilton

Melbourne Uni will go into this week’s clash against Darebin missing two Kangaroo recruits, Jamie Stanton and Danielle HardimanMarta Cantwell has also been named out. In their place, Vic Metro captain, Madison Prespakis will be welcomed back to the field alongside the fearless Sophie Abbatangelo, Asha Price, Alexandra Saundry, Candice Adams and Lauren Munday.

Darebin has made six changes to its round seven side. This involves the inclusion of AFLW player, Nicole Callinan as well as Cherelle Byrne, Janelle Bertoni, Shree Fairchild and Eastern Ranges and Vic Metro defender, Lauren Szigeti who comes in as the 23rd player. The Falcons will be going into the game without powerhouse, Lily Mithen, who is a former captain of Vic Country, and Melbourne AFLW player. Fellow AFLW midfielder, Nat Exon is another big out for the Falcons this week.

Melbourne Uni
B: 27. J. Anderson, 29. K. Klatt, 6. E. Keaney
HB: 53. J. Grierson, 43. L. Munday, 24. S. Wilson
C: 10. K. Ashmore, 15. E. Kearney, 44. A. Runnalls
HF: 11. P. Cordes, 9. K. Price, 2. H. Ibrahim
F: 1. S. Abbatangelo, 34. A. Price, 7. A. Riddell
R: 33. C. Adams, 41. K. Gillespie-Jones, 18. A. Tupper
Int: 19. L. Ahrens, 38. K. Angelis, 20. L. Belza, 4. A. Saundry
Emg: 28. A. Dalley, 45. M. McDonald, 35. M. Shone, 16. T. Watson
23P: 46. M. Prespakis

In: S. Abbatangelo, C. Adams, L. Munday, A. Price, T. Watson, A. Saundry, M. Prespakis
Out: J. Stanton, D. Hardiman, M. Cantwell

Darebin
B: 32. G. Colvin, 27. S. Hogan, 49. R. Hibbert
HB: 48. L. Jacobs, 14. M. McDonald, 21. K. Roe
C: 2. N. Callinan, 9. M. Eastman, 15. A. Lister
HF: 26. T. Olcorn, 24. K. Shierlaw, 56. M. Wilson
F: 22. G. Hammond, 43. H. Mouncey, 17. S. Simpson
R: 41. A. O’Connor, 20. M. Guerin, 12. J. Dal pos
Int: 36. C. Byrne, 44. S. Fairchild, 31. E. Gardner, 11. K. Tyndall
Emg: 37. J. Bertoni, 1. E. Honybun, 29. S. Normington – Dickens, 30. E. O’Dea
23P: 35. L. Szigeti

In: S. Fairchild, L. Szigeti, G. Hammond, N. Callinan, S. Normington – Dickens, C. Byrne, J. Bertoni
Out: L. Skipper, N. Exon, L. Mithen

 

HAWTHORN  v. ESSENDON

Round 7 – 24/06/2018

11:45AM

Box Hill City Oval

Hawthorn will be looking for repeat efforts of last weekend when it takes on the winless Essendon. They have brought in two debutants for the occasion, including Eastern Ranges duo, Emerson Woods and Mikala Cann. Both girls have proven to be tough competitors after their TAC Cup Girls experience this year. Clare O’Donnell and Nicky Cormack have had to make way for the young midfielders.

Yet to experience victory, Essendon will be desperate for a win, coming off the bye. The Bombers have trusted in three debutants to bring them the result they desire. Greater Western Sydney defender, Tanya Hetherington and 17-year-old Calder Cannons defender, Molly Warburton will hopefully bolster the Dons’ defensive pressure. Another 17-year-old Cannons recruit, Carla Rendelmann will also play her first game, being named as the 23rd player. Aysha Ward and Monique DeMatteo have also been named in while Jessica Anwyl, Danielle Ponter, Alex Quigley, Jenna Barker and Erin Bult have been named out.

Hawthorn
B: 22. T. Luke, 21. P. Randall, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 4. S. Carroll, 36. J. Van Dyk, 13. E. Nixon
C: 17. S. David, 1. E. Mackie, 9. M. Kuys
HF: 14. O. Flanagan, 25. M. Hutchins, 33. E. Gilder
F: 8. R. Beeson, 28. S. Perkins, 5. C. Perera
R: 32. K. Ebb, 39. S. McNamara, 6. J. Crockett-Grills
Int: 45. M. Cann, 40. E. Macdonald, 16. C. Papadopoulos, 19. L. Wotton
Emg: 37. J. Barnden, 24. R. Dillon, 11. D. Haines, 29. A. Tanner
23P: 43. E. Woods

In: D. Haines, M. Cann, A. Tanner, R. Dillon, E. Woods, J. Barnden
Out: C. O’Donnell, N. Cormack

Essendon
B: 25. R. Neaves, 7. K. Hicks, 5. M. Warburton
HB: 17. T. Hetherington, 16. L. Morecroft, 27. A. Morcom
C: 44. M. Collier, 37. I. Malliaras, 46. C. Ugle
HF: 35. V. Moreau, 18. K. Heil, 47. A. Ward
F: 4. N. Hardy, 12. B. Kearney, 22. N. MacDonald
R: 30. S. Nalder, 9. L. Williams, 8. H. Bullas
Int: 15. L. Caruso, 3. M. DeMatteo, 32. T. Mackrill, 1. J. Trend
Emg: 14. J. Barker, 49. E. Bult, 26. A. Madden, 28. C. Portlock
23P: 36. C. Rendelmann

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 2

IT is only round two in the new-look Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition, but we already have our first draw! Carlton and Hawthorn also headlined the round, with both teams taking their win tally to two from two early on in the season. 

 

Essendon 4.4 (28) defeated by Melbourne Uni 5.6 (36) 

Melbourne Uni’s straight kicking was a huge factor in the game, with five straight majors at three-quarter-time giving them the lead, which Essendon held at half-time. A goalless fourth quarter made for a nerve-wracking contest for both sides but it was ultimately the Mugars who prevailed. 

Diamond Creek recruit, Ashleigh Riddell was the star of the day for Melbourne Uni, kicking three of her side’s five goals and racking up 22 disposals. AFLW best and fairest, Emma Kearney was the leading disposal-getter on the ground, recording 25 disposals which included 15 kicks. Bendigo Pioneers graduate, Aisling Tupper also had another successful outing for the Mugars, racking up 13 disposals and laying seven tackles. 

Danielle Ponter once again got on the scoreboard for the Bombers and was joined by Canadian teammate, Valerie Moreau. Jessica Anwyl also got on the board, which complemented her 11 disposals and three tackles. Captain, Lisa Williams was the Bombers’ leading disposal-getter, racking up 19 of them to go along with her 10 tackles. Canadian, Kendra Heil, who has recovered from two ACL injuries, recorded five disposals and five tackles. 

 

Richmond 0.4 (4) defeated by Darebin 6.7 (43) 

By: James Halley 

Darebin was able to bounce back after its big round one loss to NT Thunder with an emphatic victory over Richmond, who were red-hot after their impressive maiden club victory last week. But on Saturday, Richmond could not back their performance up, although they fought gallantly against the experienced Darebin side in drizzly conditions.

Darebin blazed away early in the match and kicked four unanswered goals in the first 10 minutes. But the Tigers kept them at bay for the remainder of the game, which proved to be an armwrestle. After the first quarter, Richmond boosted their intensity around the ball and drove harder into contests. Darebin scored just one goal in the second term, three points in the third, and one goal in the fourth. It was a much fiercer battle than what the scoreboard suggested.

Hannah Mouncey was a level above in this match. Whether it was in a one-on-one contest or on the ground, she was hard to stop. She was huge for Darebin as she kicked three goals with two coming from outside 50. Stephanie Simpson was also quite prolific for the Falcons as she kicked two goals to go along with her 13 disposals in a tantalising display. Meghan McDonald was another important contributor for Darebin in the middle of the ground as she collected 23 disposals, which was the most on the ground.

Among the best for the Tigers was Jenna Colwell with 25 disposals, as the midfielder showed her all-round game. She even had a stint in the ruck! Tiger, Alana Woodward was really effective in putting pressure around the ball, gathering 11 tackles, the highest on the ground. Kate Dempsey was prolific for the Tigers with 18 touches and 14 kicks.

 

Casey Demons 3.6 (24) defeated by Hawthorn 4.7 (31) 

At three-quarter time, the Casey Demons were on the verge of making history. But the Hawks flexed their muscles and kicked two goals to the Demons’ three behinds in the fourth quarter, which kept their winning momentum going.

Chantella Perera led the way for Hawthorn, and complemented captain, Emma Mackie, who was able to back up her solid round one performance at Casey Fields. Adelaide AFLW forward, Sarah Perkins also played a convincing game despite not hitting the scoreboard on Sunday. Jayde Van Dyk, Ebony Nixon and Louise Wotton were the other standout performers on the day. 

For Casey, it was Melbourne AFLW defender, Katherine Smith who was the shining light. Smith found some consistent form at the end of the AFLW season and continued to deliver in the Demons’ first match in the VFLW competition. She was complemented by fellow AFLW defender, Darcy Guttridge, who also had a solid outing at Casey Fields. Rebecca Guglielmino was the history-maker for the Demons, kicking their first goal of the competition early on in the first quarter. 

 

Carlton 9.7 (61) defeated Western Bulldogs 2.3 (15)

The Blues made it two from two in their inaugural VFLW season. But the Bulldogs managed to also make history on the day, with Hayley Wildes kicking the team’s first ever goal.

Carlton had three multiple goalkickers at RAMS Arena, with Jess Hosking, Kimberley Cunico and Kate Shierlaw each kicking two goals. Hosking in particular was a star, as she was at the bottom of every pack and generated great run throughout the day. AFLW ruck, Breann Moody was sensational, as she worked around the ground to make her impact felt. Midfielder, Sophie Li also did some nice things on the day, running hard and using the ball really well to get the Blues going forward. Jorja Borg was another standout, particularly making her presence known with some aggressive tackles.

Hayley Wildes was unstoppable for the Bulldogs, as she accumulated plenty of the ball and made history in front of goals. She was joined by Rachel Ashley on the scoreboard, who scored the Dogs’ second goal of the day, and in their VFLW history, in the last quarter. Kimberley Rennie also played a fantastic game for the Bulldogs, racking up the disposals all over the ground. Tayla Dinuccio and Emma Mackay also contributed with some nice moments in the 46-point loss.

 

Collingwood 3.9 (27) drew Geelong 4.3 (27) 

By: Taylah Melki

It was a tight tussle throughout the game but neither side could be separated with 27 points each. In difficult windy conditions the first major was not scored until the ninth minute of the second quarter. Both teams fought hard but the Pies were plagued with inaccuracy in front of goal, slotting nine behinds for the match. For most of the game the play seemed to take part in the midfield with both teams struggling to keep it in their forward 50, making scoring opportunities few and far between.

For the Pies, the likes of Jaimee Lambert stood tall in tricky conditions, slotting a goal and using her run and carry to help propel the Magpies forward. Lambert impressed with her ability to impact the contest and use her quick hands at stoppages to help open space for Collingwood. Sarah D’Arcy was another key player for the black and white, making her presence felt across the field and using her long clearing kick to help relieve the pressure. Mua Laloifi was named amongst Collingwood’s best with her strong performance against the Cats, winning plenty of the footy and imposing herself on the contest.

Hannah Burchell helped to kick start the scoring for Geelong, kicking an important major and sparking a forward flurry for Geelong. The likes of new Geelong AFLW recruit Richelle Cranston also dominated for the Cats in the first quarter, imposing herself on the contest and laying plenty of bone-crunching tackles. Renee Garing was also a standout  for the Cats while Evelyn Dhamarrandji provided a good option up forward and impressed with her follow-up work across the ground