Tag: Naomi Ferres

AFL Women’s preview: Round 3 – Make or break games set the scene for third round of action

IT is now or never for a number of teams who sit on a knifes-edge when it comes to their finals aspirations. While some sides will finish the round undefeated with three wins, other teams will head into Monday doing the maths as to how many wins they need to make finals. With many teams at 1-1, this is the earliest junction in the season where sides can make a getaway from the sides around them, or fall back and have to play catch-up football in the run home.

Friday, February 21

St Kilda v. Melbourne at RSEA Park, 7:10pm, AEDT

Taylah Melki

With St Kilda still looking for their first win in AFLW history, Melbourne will be hoping to keep the good times rolling and make it three from three. it has been a tricky initiation for the Saints who have been competitive for large chunks of time but lack that little bit of finesse and experience in the crucial moments as opposed to the Demons. Melbourne have been in hot form downing premiership favourites North Melbourne in Round 1 and dismissing the Dogs by 20 points last round proving just how damaging they can be when on song.

It is hard to deny that Melbourne look like a much better side with Daisy Pearce back in the mix. The skilful footballer can extract the footy out of congestion and use the ball efficiently by hand or foot adding that touch of class to an already strong side. Teammates, Karen Paxman and Elise O’Dea provide an experienced head across the field something they will be hoping to use against a relatively young and inexperienced Saints side. Libby Birch is a ball magnet and will be hoping to once again have a profound impact across the ground with her silky skills. In their second year of AFLW youngsters Tyla Hanks and Shelley Heath have been building into some hot form with their tackling pressure the key aspect of their game play.

Despite taking it to the Crows last round, St Kilda let it slip when it counted and will be hoping for a more rounded four quarter performance against some tough opposition. The Saints have plenty of young talent with Rising Star nominee Georgia Patrikios leading the pack with her cleanliness below her knees, quick hands and spatial awareness. Patrikios has made a seamless transition into AFLW with fellow draftee Tarni White also making a splash with an impressive 18 disposals last round while Molly McDonald and Nicola Xenos will be hoping to leave a lasting imprint this round. Expect the young guns to look to the likes of Tilly Lucas-Rodd, Jessica Sedunary and Rhiannon Watt to lead the way and provide some guidance given their experience and high footy nous.

Tip: Melbourne by 22 points.

ST KILDA

B: T.White 29 T.Luke 22
HB: H.Priest 14 A.Brown 2 T.Lucas-Rodd 18
C: N.Exon 15 J.Sedunary 10 M.McDonald 1
HF: C.Munn 13 K.McCarthy 9 C.Greiser 17
F: K.Shierlaw 12 G.Patrikios 21
Foll: R.Watt – C 7 O.Vesely 23 C.Phillips 35
I/C: D.Guttridge 5 R.Dillon 25 A.Drennan 8 N.Xenos 27 I.Shannon 11

Emerg: S.Johnson 6 P.Kelly 16

In: T.Luke, I.Shannon
Out: C.Fitzpatrick (concussion), C.Whitfort

MELBOURNE

B: L.Birch 9 M.Downie 2
HB: S.Lampard 8 S.Goldrick 23 D.Pearce – C 6
C: S.Heath 30 T.Hanks 28 C.Emonson 11
HF: K.Hore 10 E.Zanker 29 S.Scott 12
F: T.Cunningham 1 A.Newman 16
Foll: H.Cordner 21 K.Paxman 4 M.Gay 3
I/C: G.Colvin 32 C.Sherriff 18 N.McEvoy 17 M.Guerin 22 E.O’Dea 5

Emerg: B.Tarrant 20 K.Petrevski 31

In: M.Guerin
Out: A.Kemp (knee)

Saturday, February 22

Western Bulldogs v. Carlton at Whitten Oval, 3:10pm, AEDT

Taylah Melki

The Western Bulldogs will be hoping to take advantage of their home ground and inflict pain on the Blues who were well and truly shocked last round by Collingwood. The Dogs have had an up and down start to the 2020 season getting an easy win in the opening round and then well held in Round 2 much like their opposition making for an interesting battle on Saturday. Both sides will be vying for their second win and given it is a short season a win here means everything. But after a seething comment last round expect the Blues to come out firing on all cylinders.

After a relatively disappointing outing the Dogs will be hoping to right their wrongs and get back on the winners list. Once again Bonnie Toogood provided the pressure up forward and will have to keep that going if they are to topple the Blues. The likes of Aisling McCarthy and Naomi Ferres have stepped up to the plate with their ball winning ability on full display while the likes of best and fairest winner Ellie Blackburn is in ripping form. Blackburn is a machine in the midfield able to dig deep and provide a constant threat. Both Elisabeth Georgostathis and Gemma Lagioia still have plenty to develop but have shown promising signs with their physical pressure and ability to hunt the footy.

Carlton have a plethora of stars across the ground, none bigger than ball magnet and bull Maddy Prespakis with the 20-year-old not afraid to burrow in. She struggled at times throughout Round 2 given the heavy tag but has shown that she has the class, strength and smarts to think her way through challenges pairing with the likes of fellow youngster Grace Egan. The two proved to be a dominant force last round and will be seeking to replicate their form again this round. After an early goal Tayla Harris faded out of the game against Collingwood something that she won’t let happen twice with the talented footballer able to pluck balls from the sky and kick truly. Another one in the forward brigade that will be seeking retribution is Darcy Vescio who failed to find the big sticks but has shown that she is a force to be reckoned with her goal sense and forward pressure.

Tip: Carlton by 14.

WESTERN BULLDOGS

B: A.Gogos 36 L.Spark 11
HB: K.Herron 31 E.Gamble 14 N.Ferres 16
C: B.Hunt 21 K.Lamb 27 G.Lagioia 12
HF: G.Newton 5 B.Toogood 8 K.McLeod 6
F: E.Georgostathis 17 D.Berry 7
Foll: K.Rennie 24 E.Blackburn – C 2 A.McCarthy 15
I/C: E.Brown 9 D.Marshall 26 I.Huntington 4 H.Scott 22 B.Lochland 1

Emerg: N.Callinan 10 H.Munyard 20

In: I.Huntington, B.Lochland
Out: N.Callinan, A.Van Oosterwijck

CARLTON

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

Emerg: B.Vernon 31 C.Jones 22

In: J.Edwards
Out: J.Doonan

Gold Coast v Brisbane, Metricon Stadium, 4.10pm AEST

Tom Cheesman

The first ever AFLW Q Clash will be played on Saturday in the Sunshine State, as expansion side Gold Coast look to topple their undefeated Conference A rival Brisbane. The Lions are sitting pretty on top of the table thanks to a dominant round one victory over Adelaide and a come-from-behind win on the road against Geelong. Meanwhile, the Suns evened their ledger at 1-1 last weekend with an 11-point victory over fellow newcomers Richmond. Both sides have strong percentages to work with and are building momentum heading into round three, so this contest should be a belter.

Ex-North Melbourne and Brisbane midfielder Jamie Stanton has been Gold Coast’s most reliable player through the opening two rounds, rated best for the SUNS by Draft Central in both matches. She averages 18 disposals, four tackles and two marks so far this season. Leah Kaslar was great last week with 15 disposals and four tackles, while Kate Surman is proving to be an excitement machine for the Suns up forward. Northern Territory recruit Tayla Thorn will look to make an impact in defence for the hosts in what will be her first match of the season.

Brisbane NAB rising star nominee Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw plans on replicating last week’s entertaining three-goal performance. She trails Fremantle’s Sabreena Duffy by one in the race for the AFLW Leading Goalkicker award and would love to take the lead through a dominant performance against the Suns. Lion midfielders Emily Bates and Ally Anderson led from the front in Geelong with 38 disposals between them, while Lily Postlethwaite is showing plenty of physicality early in her debut season. She has amassed 11 tackles over the first two rounds and with a physical clash set to take place on Saturday, this number should continue to rise.

Tip: Brisbane by 9.

GOLD COAST

B: J.Pregelj 42 J.Hickey 4
HB: S.Virgo – C 22 L.Ahrens 7 S.Watson 14
C: T.Ernst 19 H.Dunn 24 C.Hammond 29
HF: B.Perry 16 L.Kaslar 11 K.Surman 26
F: E.Hampson 21 K.Howarth 23
Foll: L.Bella 2 J.Yorston 5 J.Stanton 17
I/C: J.Hewett 20 D.Heslop 25 P.Parker 1 M.Ritson 12 T.Thorn 15

Emerg: S.Riley 8 A.Hamilton 30

In: T.Thorn
Out: S.Riley

BRISBANE

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

Emerg: J.Ellenger 5 J.Zanchetta 2

In: None
Out: None

Fremantle v. Collingwood at Fremantle Oval, 7:10pm

Taylah Melki

The top of the table clash will bring plenty of excitement with both sides undefeated and looking to make it three straight wins. It is fair to say that both the Dockers and Collingwood have shocked the competition with just how well they are going with Fremantle romping it home last round against cross-town rivals. Collingwood have found a new lease on life with their running style of play paying dividends and often giving them first purchase on the footy whereas the Dockers have a more attacking style.

Scoring has proven no issue for the Dockers posting some hefty totals already this season with the likes of leading goal kicker Sabreena Duffy doing a wealth of damage on the scoreboard. Both Kara Antonio and Ebony Antonio have proven to be a deadly duo with their tackling pressure and intensity a constant feature of their game. Roxy Roux bounded into Rising Star contention last week with a couple of impressive grabs and two goals to her name an effort she will want to repeat again this week while Mim Strom is continuing to ply her trade. Kiara Bowers had a best on field performance last week getting her hands to ball with ease and disposing of it cleanly with teammates Evangeline Gooch and Katie-Jayne Greive others who can inflict pain on the Pies if left unattended.

The return of Magpies star Chloe Molloy has been everything the club could have asked for with her running ability, hard edge and cleanliness along with her versatility a key aspect to the line-up. Molloy is a real excitement machine while livewire Jaimee Lambert has gone from strength to strength already and it is only entering Round 3. The potential return of the injured Bri Davey could further bolster Collingwood’s midfield stocks making them an ominous threat for the Dockers. Defensively the Pies have stood up to the task with damaging duo Stacey Livingstone and Ash Brazill acting as a wall down back and propelling anything that comes their way while in the ruck Sharni Layton has taken her craft to a whole other level. Brittany Bonnici and Mikayla Cann have been in ripping form for the black and white army and will be hoping to front up once again to get their side over the line.

Tip: Fremantle by 10.

FREMANTLE

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

Emerg: E.O’Driscoll 3 M.Clifford 4

In: None
Out: None

COLLINGWOOD

B: A.Porter 9 S.Livingstone 12
HB: L.Butler 23 A.Brazill 10 C.Molloy 2
C: S.Rowe 7 S.Casey 22 S.Chiocci – C 17
HF: A.Sheridan 14 J.Lambert 13 B.Bonnici 8
F: M.Cann 25 R.Schleicher 18
Foll: S.Layton 1 E.Fowler 15 S.D’Arcy 4
I/C: S.Dargan 46 B.Davey 3 J.Allen 6 J.Membrey 21 K.Stratton 41

Emerg: M.Shevlin 35 E.O’Dea 50

In: R.Schleicher, B.Davey, K.Stratton
Out: E.O’Dea, S.Alexander, M.Shevlin

Sunday, February 23

Greater Western Sydney v West Coast, Blacktown International Stadium, 1.10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

Kicking off proceedings on Sunday, one of the expansion clubs makes its longest trip yet when West Coast crosses the country to face GWS GIANTS at Blacktown. The Eagles have shown signs in their opening two games, but have ultimately been overwhelmed, while the GIANTS survived an almighty scare in Round 1 to just get the points against Gold Coast, before going down to North Melbourne last week. It was lucky the GIANTS did get the win against the SUNS, or they could be all but out of the finals race if they dropped this match as well. As it stands, that is the predicament facing West Coast, with realistically three losses the maximum a team could have and still make finals, though not many would expect West Coast to make the post-season series in its first season. The GIANTS on the otherhand are desperate to get there having not yet tasted finals action in three seasons.

The GIANTS have a consistent list across the board with a lot of underrated stars. Alicia Eva and Alyce Parker are a damaging duo in the competition, with Parker one of the top few talents in her second year. She has worked well winning the hard ball out of the middle and using her skills, while Eva’s evasion and speed make her a damaging prospect out of congestion or in space on a wing. The GIANTS have an experienced defence that just nullifies opposition forwards, with Tanya Hetherington and Pepa Randall back on the last line, and Jess Dal Pos providing the touch of class off half-back. Up forward, Cora Staunton is always a player you have to watch out for as an opposition defender, while Rebecca Privitelli is enjoying career-best form. Also in good form is ex-Crow Jess Allen, who becomes even more crucial in this clash in the absence of All-Australian ruck Erin McKinnon.

Parris Laurie will look to continue her great form through the middle as the leading tap ruck, amassing more than 20 hitouts a game so far. She has a very strong midfield at her feet, with Dana Hooker a top five player in the league, and captain Emma Swanson a real talent with ball-in-hand. Imahra Cameron has genuinely lit up moments in games with her breakaway speed and has been a huge inclusion into the side as a mature-age recruit. Mikayla Bowen provides the toughness around the contest, and McKenzie Dowrick adds the class and skill playing off half-back. While the Eagles forward line is still learning to function as a unit, former Dockers, Kellie Gibson and Ashlee Atkins make a damaging duo, and once the midfield and forward lines can link-up regularly, they will be a strong force.

Tip: GWS by 20.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

B: P.Randall 21 T.Hetherington 9
HB: J.Dal Pos 7 E.Bennetts 22 A.Lister 14
C: Y.Bonner 27 A.Eva – C 2 R.Beeson 6
HF: A.Schmidt 11 C.Staunton 13 J.Hicks 5
F: I.Nielsen 25 R.Privitelli 19
Foll: J.Allan 39 B.Tully 36 A.Parker 3
I/C: N.Barr 8 L.Steane 20 J.Barclay 34 L.Stephenson 12 H.Zreika 24 T.Mackrill 32 S.Halvorsen 30

In: J.Barclay, T.Mackrill, S.Halvorsen
Out: E.McKinnon

WEST COAST

B: C.Perera 27 T.Radan 26
HB: B.Smith 14 S.McDonald 35 M.Dowrick 5
C: M.Bowen 1 I.Cameron 19 N.Kelly 12
HF: A.Atkins 9 K.Gibson 2 M.Collier 8
F: G.Kelly 15 T.Tester 23
Foll: P.Laurie 25 D.Hooker 17 E.Swanson – C 13
I/C: B.Devlyn 7 C.Guard 4 H.Bullas 24 E.Bonser 6 K.Orme 32 C.Davidson 33 D.Pisconeri 11

In: E.Bonser, C.Davidson
Out: None

Richmond v North Melbourne, Ikon Park, 3.10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

The Sunday mid-afternoon game pits an expansion side against one of last year’s expansion teams when Richmond plays host to North Melbourne at Ikon Park. The Tigers enter this game without a win on the board just yet, and suffered defeats at the hands of Carlton and Gold Coast SUNS who are also 1-1 having lost their other respective matches. North Melbourne also sits at 1-1 from its two games, having gone down to Melbourne in a tight one out at Casey Fields, before bouncing back with a win over the GIANTS in Tasmania last week. It is fair to say the star-studded talent of North Melbourne will head in as strong favourites for this game, but with a number of fresh faces coming into Richmond’s team, it will be interesting to see how they line-up.

Joining Richmond’s extended squad in the game are debutant Ella Wood – with the former Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels midfielder named on the wing – as well as potential debutants, Ciara Fitzgerald and surprise non-listed call-up, Hannah McLaren. Both have been named on the extended bench in case of any injuries, while Tayla Stahl misses with a hamstring problem. The Tigers have a strong top-end with Monique Conti and Katie Brennan leading the midfield. Brennan copped flak throughout the week in the media and is likely to come out firing to silence the critics, which the North Melbourne midfield will have to be aware of for this game. Up forward, Sabrina Frederick provides a tall marking target, while Christina Bernardi and Kodi Jacques have been in good form this season. In defence, Akec Makur Chuot and Phoebe Monahan are just quietly going about their business but are statistically the top one-two duo when thinking about marks and rebounds. Wood adds extra hardness at the contest, and joins GWV teammate Sophie Molan, and a number of other youngsters, such as Laura McClelland and Sarah Sansonetti in the team.

North Melbourne’s depth is one of the envies of the competition and there is a reason the Roos headed into the 2020 season as the premiership favourites. With a strong list despite missing one of its stars in Jess Duffin (maternity leave), North Melbourne has more players that stand up in big moments than any other side. Emma Kearney is a Most Valuable Player (MVP) winner a couple of seasons ago and well heralded, but the work of Jenna Bruton and recently, Ash Riddell should not be underestimated. With Jasmine Garner in career-best form – which is saying something – and Kaitlyn Ashmore roving at the feet of Emma King up forward, the Roos have plenty of scoring options.They are missing that Duffin-type role off half-back, though Tahlia Randall and Danielle Hardiman have provided good strength in the air for the midfielders who drop back and help out to run the ball down the field. Overall, this North Melbourne side on paper should win this game fairly easily, but as we know with any match, games are not won on paper.

Tip: North Melbourne by 28.

RICHMOND

B: S.Sansonetti 18 A.Makur Chuot 34
HB: L.McClelland 16 P.Monahan 2 G.Seymour 28
C: E.Wood 17 K.Brennan – C 3 R.Miller 15
HF: S.Frederick 14 K.Jacques 10 C.Bernardi 6
F: C.Wakefield 8 M.Brancatisano 5
Foll: A.Edmonds 11 M.Conti 4 G.Campbell 43
I/C: L.Tesoriero 7 L.Bailey 12 S.Molan 1 A.Woodward 13 H.Burchell 9 H.McLaren 29 C.Fitzgerald 26

In: E.Wood, H.McLaren, C.Fitzgerald
Out: T.Stahl (hamstring)

NORTH MELBOURNE

B: T.Randall 16 B.Gibson 18
HB: T.Nestor 24 D.Hardiman 31 J.Grierson 19
C: J.Trend 21 A.Riddell 7 E.Kearney – C 9
HF: S.Abbatangelo 1 K.Gillespie-Jones 5 E.King 4
F: E.King 60 K.Ashmore 10
Foll: V.Saad 39 J.Garner 25 J.Bruton 35
I/C: A.Gilroy 8 D.Bateman 11 S.Wright 17 B.Lynch 20 E.Gavalas 22 M.King 23 A.Green 26

In: B.Lynch, M.King
Out: None

Geelong v Adelaide, GMHBA Stadium, 5.10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

The final game of the round might well be the best of the lot, perhaps barring the top of the table clash between the Dockers and Magpies. Geelong is hungry for a win, sitting at 0-2 despite statistically looking pretty good across the board and plenty of their teenage talents stepping up already in season 2020. Adelaide has been the walking wounded, having to bring in a top-up player back in Round 1 due to the multitude of injuries, and then bouncing back with a win – albeit not entirely convincing – over newcomers St Kilda. This feels like a game that could make or break both these side’s seasons. Geelong win, and the Cats are back in contention, while they lose and it is pretty much curtains for season 2020 unless they really get on a roll. Adelaide win, and the Crows are flying high on confidence and can sustain it long enough to receive some extra troops in the run home to finals, while they lose and the reigning premiers will be in a bit of trouble for their title defence aspirations.

Geelong lost at home last week to Brisbane, and will want to give the home fans who turn up for the second week in a row something to cheer about. The Cats have lost promising youngster, Denby Taylor to an ankle injury, but have regained All-Australian defender Meg McDonald, which would be a huge relief for coach Paul Hood. Maddy Boyd and Rebecca Goring have been added to the squad as well for the clash, as Geelong understands the importance of a win here for its finals calculations. The core group of second year players in the blue and white hoops have been simply sensational and a blueprint for clubs going forward. Olivia Purcell is in the top five ball winners across the league, while Rebecca Webster has been a marking machine and is the most improved player in the competition. Along with Sophie Van De Heuvel and 2018 AFL Women’s number one draft pick Nina Morrison, the Cats have a plethora of talent across the board. They still have more to get out of some of the depth around the ground, but with McDonald back, it releases some of the pressure off captain Mel Hickey, while Phoebe McWilliams will enjoy having Boyd back in the side as another target up forward.

The Crows go in with top selection from last year’s draft, Montana McKinnon – who dominated in the SANFL Women’s competition last week – and Courtney Cramey of whom both have been added to the extended side. The midfield duo of Anne Hatchard and Ebony Marinoff is ranked first and second in terms of disposals won, while Eloise Jones have gained some important minutes in the absence of star, Erin Phillips. Up forward, Nikki Gore and Danielle Ponter have improved in their second year, adding extra dimensions to the side, while Courtney Gum‘s new role as a deep forward has been important in providing leadership around the young players. The midfield battle between these teams will be fascinating, and if the Crows can continue their ball-winning and stoppage ways, then expect their forwards to have a good day in Geelong. But if the Cats can neutralise the midfield, then they will also have a huge chance of taking out the contest.

Tip: Geelong by 4.

GEELONG

B: M.Brown 19 M.McMahon 24
HB: M.Keryk 45 M.McDonald 11 M.Hickey – C 18
C: S.Van De Heuvel 27 R.Webster 21 N.Morrison 9
HF: J.Crockett-Grills 6 P.McWilliams 23 J.Ivey 5
F: M.Boyd 26 R.Garing 12
Foll: A.O’Connor 14 R.Cranston 30 O.Purcell 16
I/C: M.Maguire 7 D.Higgins 2 G.Rankin 10 R.Caris 1 G.Clarke 17 R.Goring 44 A.McDonald 3

In: M.McDonald, M.Boyd, R.Goring
Out: D.Taylor (ankle)

ADELAIDE

B: D.Cox 31 S.Allan 39
HB: S.Li 19 M.Rajcic 32 C.Cramey 22
C: A.Foley – C 3 A.Hatchard 33 J.Mules 23
HF: N.Gore 7 C.Gould 1 S.Thompson 14
F: C.Gum 5 D.Ponter 15
Foll: J.Foley 24 E.Marinoff 10 E.Jones 2
I/C: A.Considine 16 M.McKinnon 21 C.Biddell 12 N.Allen 8 M.Newman 17 N.Campbell 20 R.Forth 27

In: C.Cramey, M.McKinnon
Out: None

ROUND 3 TIPS: [Total tips in brackets]

Michael Alvaro [10]: Melbourne / Carlton / Brisbane / Fremantle / GWS / North Melbourne / Adelaide
Taylah Melki [12]: Melbourne / Carlton / Brisbane / Collingwood / GWS / North Melbourne / Adelaide
Sophie Taylor [10]: Melbourne / Carlton / Brisbane / Fremantle / GWS / North Melbourne / Adelaide
Peter Williams [9]: Melbourne / Carlton / Brisbane / Fremantle / GWS / North Melbourne / Geelong

2019/20 AFLW off-season review: Western Bulldogs

AFTER claiming a maiden AFL Women’s premiership in 2018 and looking impressive from the get-go in 2019, the Western Bulldogs fell away in the second half of the 2019 season to finish wooden spooners in Conference A. There was far from any shame in that, because had they been in the other conference, chances are they would have played finals, but it is what it is and the Dogs missed out on finals in 2019.

The AFL Women’s most active team over the off-season – which is saying something considering there are four expansion sides – the Western Bulldogs had eight players walk out the door to other clubs, and made three further changes with Hayley Wildes the sole retiree. Of the 2019 departures, Katie Brennan and Monique Conti would sting the most, with both genuine top 10 players in the competition, but now will don the yellow and black in season 2020. It leaves the Western Bulldogs with one elite established talent in Ellie Blackburn, but unlike a lot of sides, the Dogs have plenty of next tier talent either ready to break into that elite group, or sub-elite group.

Given the departures over the off-season, the Bulldogs headed into the draft with eight selections having only brought in Melbourne’s Ashleigh Guest as part of a trade that saw reliable defender, Libby Birch off to the Demons. With four selections in the top 10, and a new coach in Nathan Burke at the helm, AFL Women’s Draft Day was always going to be an optimistic one. The recruiting team leaned on Vic Metro Under-18 coach Burke, with the seven selections taken on the day coming from his Metro squad. It not only meant the chemistry between coach and players would already be established, but the team cohesion would also be impressive.

Gabby Newton was picked out as the first selection in the draft and can play any role across the ground, but will likely start in the middle. She could be joined by Northern Knights teammate, Britney Gutknecht in there, while Western Jets’ Elisabeth Georgostathis has the versatility to play anywhere, particularly in that back half. Gemma Lagioia and South Adelaide’s Hannah Munyard – the latter of whom was taken post-draft after the Bulldogs passed and the Crows opted not to select her – running down the ground will be a sight to see for Dogs fans. The Bulldogs also addressed the fact they lost some talent inside 50, with father-daughter selection Isabella Grant and Nell Morris-Dalton providing an aerial presence, as well as ground support in the form of Amelia van Oosterwijck.

OFF-SEASON CHANGES:

IN: Ashleigh Guest (Melbourne), Katy Herron (rookie – Gaelic), Danielle Marshall (rookie – soccer), Gabby Newton, Nell Morris-Dalton, Britney Gutknecht (Northern Knights), Gemma Laioia, Amelia van Oosterwijck (Oakleigh Chargers), Elisabeth Georgostathis, Isabella Grant (Western Jets), Hannah Munyard (South Adelaide).
OUT: Katie Brennan, Monique Conti (Richmond), Selena Karlson, Emma Mackie (St Kilda), Tiarna Ernst (Gold Coast), Belinda Smith, Kate Bartlett (West Coast), Libby Birch (Melbourne), Tessa Boyd, Jesse Davies (delisted), Hayley Wildes (retired).

2020 TEAM LIST:

Deanna Berry
Ellie Blackburn
Eleanor Brown
Nicole Callinan
Naomi Ferres
Ellyse Gamble
Elisabeth Georgostathis
Angelica Gogos
Isabella Grant
Ashleigh Guest
Britney Gutknecht
Bailey Hunt
Isabel Huntington
Gemma Lagioia
Kirsty Lamb
Brooke Lochland
Aisling McCarthy
Kirsten McLeod
Celine Moody
Nell Morris-Dalton
Hannah Munyard
Gabby Newton
Kim Rennie
Hannah Scott
Lauren Spark
Bonnie Toogood
Aisling Utri
Amelia van Oosterwijck
Rookies: Katy Herron, Danielle Marshall

POTENTIAL SIDE:

B: Nicole Callinan – Hannah Scott – Ashleigh Guest
HB: Eleanor Brown – Lauren Spark – Elisabeth Georgostathis
C: Gabby Newton
HF: Bonnie Toogood – Isabel Huntington – Aisling Utri
F: Aisling McCarthy – Isabella Grant – Brooke Lochland
R: Kim Rennie – Ellie Blackburn – Kirsty Lamb
INT: Angelica Gogos – Nell Morris-Dalton – Gemma Lagioia – Naomi Ferres – Britney Gutknecht
EMG: Deanna Berry, Hannah Munyard, Celine Moody

DEPTH: Kirsten McLeod, Amelia van Oosterwijck, Bailey Hunt, Ellyse Gamble, Katy Herron*, Danielle Marshall*

Trying to work out a best 21 for the Western Bulldogs in season 2020 is near impossible, with so many fresh faces coming into the side. It will be a challenge for Burke to balance experience with youth, given that naturally the youth coming through are more developed than their predecessors and could have a greater impact sooner. But the balance is there to ensure that they are not complete pups, and that there are experienced heads guiding the team. Of the new recruits, Ashleigh Guest could fill a role in defence, with the Dogs’ back six going to be interesting outside of Hannah Scott, Lauren Spark and Nicole Callinan, with Burke possibly looking to adopt a running game, which means Eleanor Brown, Elisabeth Georgostathis and Gemma Lagioia could rotate through there, with all of them easily in that best 21. Gabby Newton should play from Round 1 with Knights’ teammate Britney Gutknecht also in the running, as could Isabella Grant and Nell Morris-Dalton, but the forward line structure will be one for the Bulldogs to try and work out given the depth of both talls and smalls up that end. Of the draftees to miss out at this stage, it was the later selections of Amelia Van Oosterwijck and Hannah Munyard, though all two could come in and play a role, with Munyard having tasted senior football, while van Oosterwjck is more of a long-term prospect, but a real goer inside 50. Of the five experienced Dogs we left out – Deanna Berry, Ellyse Gamble, Bailey Hunt, Celine Moody and Kirsten McLeod – Moody is one who could play depending if the Dogs opt for a second ruck with Kim Rennie, Berry is a player who could be in the starting line-up on talent, it is just finding that consistency, while McLeod played six games last season, but with the influx of talent coming in, will be competing for a pot. Hunt and Gamble were on the fringes last season but still managed the three games.

VFLW weekly wrap: Finals Week 2 – Bulldogs earn 2019 Grand Final spot

THE Western Bulldogs progressed through to the 2019 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Grand Final with a hard fought win over ladder leaders Collingwood, forcing the Pies to a preliminary final against the Southern Saints who claimed a 17-point victory over Melbourne Uni. The loss marks the end of the road for the Mugars, while the Dogs have earned a week off to prepare for the grand final.

COLLINGWOOD 0.4 | 1.6 | 1.8 | 1.8 (14)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.2 | 4.4 (26)

GOALS:
Collingwood:
C. Molloy.
Western Bulldogs: B. Lochland 2, S. Molan, N. McMahon.

BEST:
Collingwood:
B. Bonnici, J. Lambert, G. Buchan, S. Casey, C. Molloy, S. Layton
Western Bulldogs: N. Ferres, N. McMahon, A. Guest, K. McLeod, M. Sandral, K. Lamb

Despite registering more shots at goal, the Magpies simply could not convert while the Bulldogs punished them piling on the pressure and nailing crucial goals. The Bulldogs will be licking their lips able to sit back and relax this week after an impressive effort. With a spot in the grand final up for grabs, Collingwood came out hard peppering the goals and nudging ahead at half-time before the tables turned. The black and white did not manage a score in the final term, while the Dogs went on a scoring spree nailing two goals and clenching victory to progress through to the grand final. Collingwood missed Bri Davey who was a late out replaced by Sharni Layton. Davey’s absence around the stoppages was obvious but Brittany Bonnici flexed her muscles going in hard and winning the ball with nothing but sheer grit and determination with a game-high 22 disposals. Chloe Molloy did her part around the ground leading up at the footy and providing an option inside 50 albeit inaccurate in front of goal with 1.2 for the afternoon. Teammate Jaimee Lambert was electric across the field gathering 20 disposals with 13 of them kicks plus seven tackles. The Dogs had no shortage of stand out players with Brooke Lochland showcasing her explosiveness in front of goal with two majors along with 11 touches. Naomi Ferres was a beast around the contest notching up eight tackles and 13 possessions while highlighting her strong hands with four marks. Ellie Gavalas and Ashleigh Guest were both crucial for the Doggies with both players absorbing the pressure and thinking their way through the contest. The win sees the Western Bulldogs earn a spot in the final hoorah, while the Magpies will face off against the Southern Saints in hope to win their way into the grand final.

SOUTHERN SAINTS 3.1 |6.4 | 10.5 | 10.5 (65)
MELBOURNE UNI 2.1 | 5.2 | 5.3 | 7.6 (48)

GOALS:
Southern Saints:
C. Greiser 4, K. Shierlaw, H. Stuart, C. Phillips, E. Mackie, C. Munn, M. Kuys
Melbourne Uni: D. Bateman 2, J. Garner 2, A. Riddell, S. Abbatangelo, J. Bruton

BEST:
Southern Saints:
E. Mackie, C. Greiser, C. Phillips, T. Lucas-Rodd, O. Vesely, K. O”Neill
Melbourne Uni: K. Gillespie-Jones, J. Bruton, J. Garner, E. Kearney, A. Riddell, A. Runnalls

The Southern Saints skipped out to an early lead and did not look back maintaining the pressure throughout the four quarters. Despite not scoring in the last term the Saints did enough to establish a commanding lead and keep Melbourne Uni guessing, spurring them into the prelim. The Saints slotted four consecutive goals in the third term to all but end the hopes of the Mugars and although they did mount a fourth quarter comeback it was little too late. With only six disposals to her name Caitlin Greiser made the most of her chances posing a dominant threat inside the forward 50 with her lethal boot on full display. Greiser nailed four goals straight while applying a bucket load of forward pressure with five tackles. She was ably assisted by teammate Emma Mackie who slotted one major for the game to accompany her 20 touches and nine tackles. It was a comprehensive performance by the Saints midfield with Tilly Lucas-Rodd and Alison Drennan doing their part in close with 20 and 17 disposals respectively. Melissa Kuys also had the ball on a string with 17 touches, one goal and five marks showcasing her strength in the air while Rhiannon Watt was no mean feat competing hard in the ruck with 18 hit outs to her name. Ashleigh Riddell put on a show for Melbourne Uni going in hard and winning the ball at the coalface, notching up 30 disposals and a goal for her efforts. Emma Kearney and Jenna Bruton were both crucial for the Mugars who struggled to have their usual impact. Bruton slotted a major in the second quarter to keep her side in the hunt while also showing is not afraid to throw her weight around with seven tackles. In front of goals, Daisy Bateman led the way converting two goals straight credit to her lead up at the footy and goal sense. The loss ends the Mugars 2019 journey while the Saints keep marching on to play Collingwood in the preliminary final.

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

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

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

GOALS

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

BEST

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

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

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

GOALS

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

BEST

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

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

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

GOALS

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

BEST

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

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

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

GOALS

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

BEST

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

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

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

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

BEST

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

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

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

GOALS

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

BEST

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

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

BYE: Melbourne Uni

VFLW Round 2 weekend preview: Pies bolster experience, while Cats and Dons head to Colac

CARLTON, Western Bulldogs and Williamstown all begin their campaigns this week coming off byes, while Richmond has a break from the VFL Women’s competition to test themselves against GWS GIANTS in an invitational match. With plenty of entertaining contests across the weekend, expect some great clashes.

CASEY DEMONS v. CARLTON
Round 2 – 18/05/2019
11:30
Casey Fields

In the opening game down at Casey Fields, Carlton comes into the 2019 VFL Women’s season for the first time, meeting a relieved Casey Demons outfit who just got over the top of last year’s wooden spooners Essendon last week. Maddy Guerin played her best game in the red and blue with three goals, while Bianca Jakobsson booted two, in the five-goal all game. Key forward Eden Zanker was named best for the Demons in the win, while former Dog Libby Birch was prolific.  The Blues have a number of Carlton AFL Women’s players in their side with the likes of Sarah Hosking, Emerson Woods, Abbie McKay, Charlotte Wilson and Nicola Stevens among those included in the side for the clash tomorrow morning. The Demons deservedly go in as favourites with some more AFLW experience, especially with Birch and Jakobsson in the side, and at home will be home to play well and make it two consecutive victories. For Carlton, it has a young side and will be keen to try and start the season off on the right note and build on its AFLW form.

Casey Demons

B: 40. H. Dyson, 8. S. Lampard, 50. G. McLean
HB: 11. C. Emonson, 29. E. Zanker , 7. B. Jakobsson
C: 42. H. Bailey, 48. E. Archer, 34. A. Kirkwood
HF: 22. M. Guerin, 9. A. Johnson, 13. K. Smith
F: 33. R. Clayton, 27. B. Winbanks, 37. T. Nash
R: 38. K. Bentvelzen , 23. E. Birch, 24. N. Garner
Int: 16. M. Hogg, 32. A. McDonough, 54. K. Oates, 15. T. Tatterson
Emg: 57. L. Davies, 51. A. Francese, 47. K. Guttridge, 56. A. Harris
23P: 46. B. Pratt

In: A. Harris, T. Nash, A. Francese, R. Clayton
Out: R. Edmeades

Carlton

B: 31. N. Burns, 66. M. Neill, 11. J. Hosking
HB: 50. J. Borg, 55. G. Wright, 41. I. Dakis Rofe
C: 21. T. Cassar, 35. M. Clifford, 27. E. Woods
HF: 8. C. Bromage, 7. S. Wright, 39. C. Leighton
F: 9. B. Gurr, 20. C. Wilson, 33. L. Munday
R: 15. K. Neumann Stone, 32. N. Plane, 5. A. McKay
Int: 63. S. Craige, 26. C. Faulks, 17. J. Malouf, 40. S. Mason
Emg: 22. C. Balshaw, 34. I. Gietzmann, 37. A. Prins, 16. N. Stevens
23P: 18. M. Jarvis

 

GEELONG CATS v. ESSENDON
Round 2 – 18/05/2019
12:00
Central Reserve (Colac)

Heading out west, Geelong will be licking its wounds after a 44-point defeat at the hands of a rampaging Melbourne University side, while Essendon will rue a narrow loss against Casey. Young talent Denby Taylor, and the experienced Bec Goring have been brought into the team to change fortunes given the team is relatively settled from the AFLW and last year’s VFLW side. Falcons premiership players, Taylor, Tarryn Love, Zoe Inei and Sachi DeGiacomi are all named in the team, with fellow former TAC Cup players, Georgia Clarke and Rebecca Webster also in the side showing their youth. Essendon has former Calder Cannon, Molly Warbuton and former Murray Bushranger, Eloise Ashley-Cooper in a side that does not have a great deal of AFLW talent outside of West Coast’s Maddy Collier, but has good team cohesion and took it right up to Casey last week. The other AFLW listed player, Maighan Fogas has the unique opportunity to play against her AFLW teammaes in the match. While Geelong got a shock to the system last week, they are still one of the teams to beat this season, although Essendon will put up a fight in this game.

Geelong Cats

B: 44. R. Goring, 17. G. Clarke, 11. J. Woollett
HB: 20. R. Pearce, 4. C. Blakeway, 49. E. Ramsay
C: 3. A. McDonald, 5. J. Ivey, 10. G. Rankin
HF: 45. M. Keryk, 26. M. Boyd, 43. M. Maguire
F: 42. B. Beckley, 8. K. Darby, 7. R. Benham
R: 1. R. Caris, 21. R. Webster, 9. T. Love
Int: 41. A. Haigh, 33. Z. Inei, 23. H. Rowe, 28. D. Taylor
Emg: 15. G. Deller, 14. N. French, 13. L. Taylor
23P: 19. S. DeGiacomi

In: D. Taylor, R. Goring, G. Deller

Essendon

B: 7. K. Hicks, 4. A. Saundry, 29. C. Laan
HB: 18. K. Heil, 27. A. Morcom, 34. F. Puruntatameri
C: 28. R. Svarc, 8. H. Bullas, 1. C. Ugle
HF: 46. L. Ahrens, 38. E. Gogerly, 3. M. DeMatteo
F: 23. M. Collier, 40. A. Moreen, 25. L. Stepnell
R: 30. S. Nalder, 22. N. MacDonald, 39. M. Fogas
Int: 9. A. Anderson, 2. I. Currenti, 21. K. McFadyen, 11. M. Warburton
Emg: 15. L. Caruso, 33. E. Hosking, 20. A. Madden, 14. T. Zagontinos
23P: 45. E. Ashley-Cooper

In: L. Caruso, F. Puruntatameri, L. Ahrens, E. Ashley-Cooper, A. Anderson, E. Hosking,
A. Madden
Out: G. Nanscawen, J. Stassi, S. Audley, S. Wilson

 

COLLINGWOOD v. HAWTHORN
Round 2 – 18/05/2019
02:00
Victoria Park

Last year’s semi finalists both suffered losses in Round 1, with Collingwood having a shock loss at the hands of Southern Saints in the standalone game a fortnight ago, while the Hawks lost to Northern Territory Thunder, the side it booted out of last year’s finals series. Collingwood has recalled a host of AFLW talent including last year’s draftees, Jordyn Allen, Katie Lynch and Georgia Gourlay and key position players Sophie Livingston and Sophie Alexander who will straighten the side up. Add in Ruby Schleicher and Maddie Shevlin and the Magpies team on paper looks considerably more experienced than Round 1. The reigning premiers have backed themselves in with just the one confirmed change in the side this round. It means Collingwood will go in as favourites and keen to atone for the semi-final loss, but one can never discount the strength of the Hawthorn squad and what it is capable of under coach Patrick Hill.

Collingwood

B: 75. E. Bliss, 12. S. Livingstone, 22. S. Casey
HB: 52. N. Hales, 18. R. Schleicher, 13. J. Lambert
C: 32. G. Gourlay, 41. K. Stratton, 49. K. Newton
HF: 6. J. Allen, 70. J. Ferguson, 72. K. Lee
F: 24. S. Alexander, 16. K. Lynch, 25. M. Cann
R: 92. S. King, 60. D. Calautti, 63. P. Nash
Int: 48. A. Bild , 50. G. Buchan, 55. C. Bunker, 35. M. Shevlin
Emg: 58. J. Blecher, 23. L. Butler, 59. A. Levin
23P: 51. A. Curley

In: G. Gourlay, A. Curley, S. Alexander, J. Allen, S. Livingstone, M. Shevlin,
K. Lynch, R. Schleicher
Out: E. Browning, B. Bonnici, A. Malander, M. Doherty, S. Mastras

Hawthorn

B: 5. C. Perera, 6. T. Radan, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 11. D. Haines, 25. M. Hutchins, 13. E. Nixon
C: 33. E. Gilder, 14. O. Flanagan, 40. E. Macdonald
HF: 26. C. Dyett, 29. A. Tanner, 35. C. O’Donnell
F: 12. N. Cormack , 22. T. Luke, 2. K. Henderson
R: 20. L. Kelly, 10. P. Peschke, 24. R. Dillon
Int: 4. S. Carroll, 17. A. Dowler, 15. B. Struylaart, 18. E. Wroe
Emg: 32. N. Bjelan, 16. T. Reiter, 30. A. Sarec, 27. K. Scott
23P: 23. G. Macpherson

In: N. Bjelan, T. Reiter, L. Kelly

 

NT THUNDER v. SOUTHERN SAINTS
Round 2 – 18/05/2019
03:30
TIO Stadium

Both these teams come into the game in winning form, with NT Thunder overcoming Hawthorn and Southern Saints giving Collingwood a touch-up in the opening round of the season. The Thunder bring in the likes of Danielle Ponter and Hannah Martin, the latter of whom has enjoyed a good season for West Adelaide in the SANFL Women’s competition. The Thunder have lost a number of experienced players with Chelsea Randall, Angela Foley and Deni Varnhagen among some very experienced outs, while the Saints have made minimal changes to their side with just bringing in four players to the squad and four emergencies. NT Thunder are one of the teams to beat this season and it is expected at home they take the points in this one, but the Saints have plenty of exciting youngsters that are coming through, such as Caitlin Greiser who crossed from Melbourne University and booted two goals last round, and former AFL Women’s Academy member, Courtney Jones. The Thunder are favourites, but the Saints will be hoping to make it a tight contest.

NT Thunder

B: 50. A. Sheridan, 33. T. Thorn, 31. A. Stanley
HB: 23. E. Miller, 9. L. Jeffrey, 15. D. Ponter
C: 13. L. Roberts, 21. K. Irvine, 12. K. Streader
HF: 11. J. Hickey, 10. A. Chittick,
F: 17. S. Bishop, 7. M. Ellis, 27. A. Considine
R: 20. J. Hewett, 47. A. Hatchard, 1. M. Johnston
Int: 4. K. Duggan, 24. S. Hoogeveen-Hill, 42. H. Martin, 5. M. Roberts, 48. K. Rosenzweig
Emg: 32. B. Byers, 29. C. Deegan
23P: 2. J. Baird

In: B. Byers, A. Hatchard, C. Deegan, D. Ponter, A. Sheridan, H. Martin,
K. Duggan
Out: M. Rajcic, T. Holtze, D. Varnhagen, C. Randall, A. Foley

Southern Saints

B: 26. F. Steiert, 47. F. Hocking, 11. H. Stuart
HB: 30. E. Keaney, 41. R. Neaves, 4. G. Ricardo
C: 22. C. Jones, 2. A. Brown, 20. K. O’Neill
HF: 35. L. McCarthy, 15. T. Bohanna, 16. K. Thompson
F: 49. A. Allsopp, 43. C. Greiser, 10. J. Vogt
R: 12. C. Fitzpatrick, 8. A. Drennan, 7. C. Phillips
Int: 5. D. Jolliffe, 31. T. Lucas-Rodd, 3. D. Smith, 18. O. Vesely
Emg: 34. G. De Angelis, 17. L. Olsen, 36. J. Owen, 46. S. Ryan
23P: 48. J. Kelly

In: L. Olsen, T. Lucas-Rodd, S. Ryan, D. Smith

 

WILLIAMSTOWN v. WESTERN BULLDOGS
Round 2 – 18/05/2019
07:00
Downer Oval

Neither of these sides took part in Round 1 and therefore have a clean slate heading into this Round 2 contest. Williamstown look likely to struggle this season after the off-season losses, while the Western Bulldogs have also lost some big names. The Seagulls’ combination of Mo Hope and Aliesha Newman, two players who have the X-factor and bring plenty of excitement to the team and crowd. While Newman is the only currently listed AFLW player, the Seagulls also have the likes of former Bendigo Pioneers skipper Megan Williamson and Western Jet, Ruby Tripodi, the latter of who is making her debut in the game. The Western Bulldogs have a good core of AFLW players in their team, and will look to Bonnie Toogood – who has been named in defence, alongside Hayley Wildes and Naomi Ferres. First round pick last year, Eleanor Brown has also been named in the Bulldogs’ midfield. The Bulldogs will be favourites, but this is a game the Seagulls can win.

Williamstown

B: 19. E. Meade, 15. D. Pedersen, 30. A. Melnikas
HB: 1. R. Dardengo, 24. J. Thomson, 5. N. Wallace
C: 23. A. Shannon, 7. M. Williamson, 3. L. Suleiman
HF: 4. G. Anderson, 25. S. Whiting, 44. I. Porter
F: 12. S. Navarro, 17. M. Hope, 18. E. Straford
R: 20. S. Seabrook, 2. A. Newman, 6. J. Reid
Int: 38. S. Barbas, 14. K. Carew, 34. E. Crawford, 21. S. Dixon, 29. K. Koropeckyj, 22. M. Lowe, 16. J. Paten
23P: 39. R. Tripodi

Western Bulldogs

B: 35. S. Ruedin, 30. A. Tessari, 17. H. Wildes
HB: 51. R. Christgoergl , 8. B. Toogood, 29. J. Davies
C: 34. E. Mackay, 16. N. Ferres, 50. C. Mullins
HF: 33. S. Jolly, 32. T. Dinuccio, 39. M. Sandral
F: 38. J. Crundall, 44. M. Ward, 41. A. Scott
R: 47. N. McMahon, 9. E. Brown, 48. K. Betts
Int: 49. L. Bibby, 43. E. Gavalas, 31. A. Gunn, 26. D. Marshall
Emg: 54. J. Austin, 52. M. Chadwick, 42. L. Dundon, 53. A. Xanthos
23P: 46. K. McAloon

 

MELBOURNE UNI v. DAREBIN
Round 2 – 19/05/2019
02:30
Melbourne University Main Oval

These two sides come into the match with differing Round 1 results, after Melbourne Uni knocked off Geelong in a 44-point win, while Darebin fell to Richmond by 35 points. Holly Whitford, Ash Riddell and Jessica Trent are among the ins for the Mugars, while Melbourne AFLW ruck, Lauren Pearce comes in as a crucial inclusion for the Falcons against a side that is missing Emma King. Kate Gillespie-Jones will step up to the role and make it an entertraining contest, and with the likes of Jenna Bruton and Jasmine Garner in the midfield, the Mugars will be strong favourites in this clash. Darebin do not quite have the AFLW depth to match it with a premiership contender, but will be hoping the youth in the side such as former Eastern Ranges’ defender, Lauren Szigeti and former Kangaroo Jamie Stanton can have an impact. Stanton is playing against her former side and will be keen to prove a point in this game. Melbourne Uni should win this game with the firepower they have.

Melbourne Uni

B: 45. A. Arundel, 3. T. Mesiti, 17. E. Hay
HB: 32. C. Daniec, 37. K. Ebb, 13. A. Roan
C: 40. A. Runnalls, 36. N. Julian, 21. J. Trend
HF: 19. J. Grierson, 57. A. Price, 14. M. McDonald
F: 38. K. Angelis, 22. J. Anwyl, 7. A. Riddell
R: 5. K. Gillespie-Jones, 35. J. Bruton, 25. J. Garner
Int: 4. L. Amelung, 34. K. Cox, 18. A. Tupper, 16. H. Whitford
Emg: 47. M. Hare, 52. M. Shone, 51. J. Tancred, 50. S. Webb
23P: 39. V. Saad

In: S. Webb, H. Whitford, J. Trend, A. Riddell, K. Ebb
Out: E. King

Darebin

B: 19. R. Hibbert, 21. K. Roe, 16. B. Kennedy
HB: 34. R. Hicks, 32. G. Colvin, 7. L. Szigeti
C: 1. E. Honybun, 9. M. Eastman, 15. A. Lister
HF: 17. S. Simpson, 22. G. Hammond, 23. M. Wilson
F: 39. S. David, 31. E. Gardner, 37. E. McLaughlin
R: 40. L. Pearce, 33. J. Stanton, 43. N. Wolfe
Int: 56. R. Ashley, 36. E. Buckley, 18. C. Byrne, 28. A. Morrow
Emg: 46. R. Coombs, 25. C. Delbridge, 55. M. Hubbard, 50. M. Suzuki
23P: 57. P. Kearney

In: L. Pearce, R. Coombs, M. Suzuki, R. Hicks
Out: S. Fairchild

Season reviews: VFLW – Western Bulldogs

THE Western Bulldogs took a while to get going in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season. But when they got going, they looked unstoppable, winning six consecutive games to get their season back on track. With seven wins and seven losses in their first season of VFLW, the Dogs can be happy with their 2018 campaign.

 

Position: 6th
Win-loss: 7-7
Percentage: 84%

Results:

Round 1: Lost against Richmond by 38 points
Round 2: Lost against Carlton by 46 points
Round 3: Bye
Round 4: Lost against Collingwood by eight points
Round 5: Lost against NT Thunder by 36 points
Round 6: Defeated Williamstown by 56 points
Round 7: Defeated Casey Demons by three points
Round 8: Defeated Geelong Cats by 22 points
Round 9: Defeated Melbourne University by 21 points
Round 10: Defeated Essendon by six points
Round 11: Defeated Williamstown by 40 points
Round 12: Bye
Round 13: Lost against Southern Saints by 31 points
Round 14: Lost against Hawthorn by 55 points
Round 15: Lost against Melbourne University by 33 points
Round 16: Defeated Darebin by four points

 

Key players:

#10 Sarah Jolly

Jolly impressed with her run and carry through the midfield and ability to win the ball in congestion. She played all 14 games this season and kicked six goals. Jolly was also named in the best four times, with one of her standout performances coming in Round 10 when she racked up 20 disposals.

#16 Naomi Ferres

Ferres was one of the Bulldogs’ most consistent midfielders all season, consistently going in hard for the football. She won the Western Bulldogs’ Best and Fairest count on 76 votes, highlighting her ability to capture the attention of others. Ferres had an impressive performance against the Mugars with 20 disposals, two marks and six tackles.

#18 Libby Birch

Birch continued her great AFL Women’s form in defence with the Bulldogs’ VFLW side. She was agile and great in the air and impressed with her run and carry as well as her marking. She came third in the Western Bulldogs Best and Fairest count and made the VFLW Team of the Year, which is a remarkable effort considering she only played eight games this season. One of her best games was in Round 6, when she gathered 19 disposals, took six marks and laid two tackles.

#20 Ashleigh Guest

Guest never disappointed in the midfield for the Bulldogs, impressing with her football smarts. She had clean hands under pressure and kicked the ball well too. Like Birch, she only played eight games this season, but she finished ahead of the defender in the Best and Fairest, coming second with 60 votes. Guest was named in the best five times, with one of her stellar performances coming against Darebin. In that game, she led the way on the ground with 23 disposals, and also took six marks to go along with her four tackles.

#47 Nicole McMahon

In her first year of football, McMahon looked right at home in Bulldogs colours. She was trusted with the ruck duties for the season, and did well to give her midfielders first use of the football. She was awarded the Best First Year player at the Bulldogs’ Best and Fairest after a great year.

 

Season summary:

The Bulldogs looked in trouble at the start of the season, losing their first four games. But after this, the side kicked into gear, bringing some of its AFL Women’s talent back in to score some much-needed wins. From Round 6, the Dogs won six straight games and looked like possible finals contenders at that point. But a couple of late losses gave them a sixth place finish, which is a respectable feat in their first season of VFLW.

Number crunching: VFLW – Round 11

THE Best and Fairest is by far one of the most coveted awards in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s. They say that personal awards should not matter in a team sport, but credit is due to the fantastic individuals who can lead their teams to finals or just show unmatched skill on the field. In the Round 11 edition of Number Crunching, we will try to predict the 2018 VFL Women’s Best and Fairest winner. This was done by tallying the amount of times a player was named either the first or second best by their coaches in each match. 

Leading the table is Darebin player, Nat Exon. Exon has made it into the top two six times out of the seven games she has played in. The midfielder has shown to be strong for Darebin, with an average of five tackles per game. Exon’s ability to command her midfield has led to four wins out of the seven games she has played.

Second to Exon is AFLW Best and Fairest winner, Emma Kearney. Despite only have played five games this season, Kearney’s style of play has proven her to be just as great as a player in the VFLW as she in the AFLW. With an average of 23 disposals per game, her ability to move the ball around does not go unnoticed. The Melbourne Uni star continues to make a statement on the field, with the drive to win Best and Fairest twice this year.

The third most likely to win the VFLW Best and Fairest is Collingwood’s Jaimee Lambert. With six goals already this season, Lambert is Collingwood’s second highest goal kicker. The midfielder’s skill doesn’t stop there with an average of five tackles per game. Lambert’s attacking style of play has proven to be very successful for Collingwood with six wins out of the eight games she has played for the Pies. Lambert is a quieter personality, but with Collingwood’s great season so far, she shouldn’t be overlooked for the Best and Fairest.

With the season only just over half completed, there is still plenty of chances for the list to change. In saying that, these players have shown great individual merit and therefore deserve to be acknowledged for that.

Top Prospects for VFLW Best and Fairest

Player

Team

Number of times

in top two club bests

Nat Exon

Darebin Falcons

6

Emma Kearney

Melbourne Uni

5

Jaimee Lambert

Collingwood

4

Lauren Pearce

Darebin Falcons

3

Sarah D’Arcy

Collingwood

3

Jessica Duffin

Williamstown

3

Richelle Cranston

Geelong

3

Katherine Smith

Casey Demons

3

Maighan Fogas

Geelong

3

Kristi Harvey

Carlton

3

Courtney Ugle

Essendon

3

Kate Gillespie-Jones

Carlton

3

Jasmyn Hewett

NT Thunder

3

Naomi Ferres

Western Bulldogs

3

Kayla Ripari

Southern Saints

3

Maddy Collier

Essendon

3

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 11

ROUND 11 of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season has arrived as we get closer and closer to finals with several teams continuing to jockey for position. The current ladder leaders Hawthorn will enjoy its bye before they continue their quest for a premiership in the back half of the season, the Pies look to continue their undefeated season and the red hot Bulldogs look to continue their recent run of form as they stake their claim for a finals spot, all in a busy round 11.

 

Williamstown vs Western Bulldogs

Saturday July 21, 11:30am
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

The Bulldogs come into their round 11 encounter in as good of form as anyone in the competition having won their past five matches after beginning the season with four straight losses. Now sitting at 5-4 and in sixth position the Bulldogs have set themselves up nicely, playing their best football at an important time of the year as they push for a finals spot. Superstar Ellie Blackburn has been a catalyst for their winning ways, averaging well over 20 disposals per game during the win streak. She was terrific in their win over the Bombers last week with 26 possessions and a goal. Her fellow AFLW premiership player and rising star nominee in the past season; Naomi Ferres has also been developing nicely and has strung together a number of strong performances for the team.

For Williamstown they sit at the bottom of the table, only percentage above last placed Essendon, having won only one game from their nine encounters. Despite consistently strong individual performances from the likes of Jess Duffin and Jenna Bruton, the Seagulls just cannot seem to put it all together as a team to score a victory. Duffin recorded yet another 30 possession game the past week and continued to show why she is one of the best players in the league. Bruton was also impressive with 29 possessions and a goal however it was not enough as they fell to Carlton by five goals. If Williamstown are able to get an all-around team effort, it will go a long way towards a potential upset and ending the Bulldogs five-game win streak.

 

Richmond vs NT Thunder

Saturday July 21, 12pm
Swinburne Centre, Richmond

The struggling Tigers return home to Punt Road on Saturday afternoon with the hope of causing a monumental upset over the in-form NT Thunder.  Two weeks ago the Tigers sat at 3-4 from their seven games, with two games against the Bombers and the Demons ahead in what were looked at as very winnable. Having dropped both games, the Tigers season is now all but over, sitting three games outside the top four. They have a chance to make a huge statement in a matchup against the juggernaut that is the Thunder. Lauren Tesoriero has been spectacular for the Tigers, showing great heart and giving 100 per cent effort each week. She had 25 possessions and a goal last week, as well as laying a game high nine tackles in a great individual performance. For the Thunder they look to continue their dominance over the lesser sides and proceed to increase their already huge percentage.

The Thunder are far and away the highest scoring team in the competition, averaging 65 points per game and have blown several teams out of the water this season. Scoring will not be easy this week however as they take on the Tigers who only give up an average of 32 points per game. Abbey Holmes played a great game last week, making the most of her opportunities every time she went near the ball, kicking four goals from just seven possessions and will look to have another big impact against a Richmond defence which has been able to shut down many small forwards this season.

 

Darebin vs Essendon

Saturday July 21, 12pm
Bill Lawry Oval, Northcote

The Bombers have found their feet in recent weeks, having notched their first ever victory only two weeks ago before pushing the in form Western Bulldogs to the limit last week before falling by only six points. After a poor start to the season, in which they were simply overwhelmed from a talent standpoint, a number of players have shown continued improvement and a willingness to buy into the game plan, with the results now beginning to show. The likes of Hayley Bullas have been impressive all season with her tenacious attack on the footy and never say die attitude but it’s been the efforts of players such as Valerie Moreau and Tanya Hetherington which have propelled them into a competitive side. Moreau was particularly impressive last week, with two goals and 11 possessions, alongside three marks as she presented a great target for the Bombers up forward and took advantage of her opportunities in front of goal.

The Falcons have had an inconsistent season to date; having notched a number of impressive wins, only to be followed by a number of poor losses in what has been a struggle to put together a string of good performances. This was evidenced last week as they were completely uncompetitive against the Thunder, registering their one and only goal in the dying minutes of the match. Their midfield has been a strength for them most of the season, with Lauren Pearce playing well in the ruck and setting up opportunities for midfielders such as Elise O’ Dea who has been impressive in her own right. They will need a bounce back game from forward Hannah Mouncey who was held goalless last week, something unusual for the leagues leading goal scorer.

 

Geelong vs Casey

Saturday July 21, 1pm
Queens Park, Highton

After a disappointing couple of weeks for Geelong, they bounced back nicely last game with a statement victory over the Saints. They sit in fourth position on the ladder, with six wins, two losses and a draw to their name and will look to push for a home final in the coming weeks. After missing a couple of games in the middle of the season, Richelle Cranston has come back, looking as dangerous as ever and taking games away from the opposition. Cranston had 29 possessions last week and was all over the ground for the Cats in a great performance. This looms as a crucial game for the Cats as a loss will see them drop back to the pack in what is becoming a crowded race around the middle of the ladder, while a win will create clear separation and establish them as a legitimate premiership contender.

They take on the Demons, who have won two straight games and put themselves back in contention for a finals berth. Bianca Jakobsson was once again great for Casey in their win last week; tallying up another 20 possessions game whilst young gun and goal sneak Eden Zanker booted two majors. Maddie Shelvin also played a great game however she will be hoping to take more advantage of her opportunities on goal after she failed to convert, kicking zero goals and four behinds to go along with a strong 18-possession game.  A win will go a long way to the Demons moving back towards the top contenders; however a loss could be damaging towards their chances of post season action.

 

Carlton vs Collingwood

Sunday, July 22, 12pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

The Blues ended a six game losing streak last week after a dominating five-goal win over Williamstown. Carlton’s VFLW season has been extremely similar to their AFLW season in which they won their first two games before dropping several matches in a row in what has been another disappointing stretch. They have a huge opportunity to re-announce themselves to the competition with a win over the undefeated Collingwood. Darcy Vescio has been absolutely unbelievable all season long and this was exemplified in her performance last week with four goals and 14 possessions. Vescio has been a constant shining light for the Blues this season and only sits one goal behind Darebin’s Hannah Mouncey for the competition lead with 14 goals to this point. After a bye last week, the Pies come in unbeaten in eight games and have a chance to return to top spot on the ladder, as the Hawks enjoy their bye week.

There have been stars aplenty for Collingwood this season, led by Chloe Molloy, Sarah D’Arcy, Jaimee Lambert and Jessica Edwards to name a few. Molloy in particular has shown herself to be a class above her competitors, having not lost a step after missing the early rounds of the season. A move forward, after spending the AFLW season down in defence has been successful and shown her versatility as a player. These two sides faced off a little over a month ago, with Collingwood dominating en route to a six goal victory. Carlton will need to make some adjustments if they are to beat the flag favourite Pies and record their second consecutive victory.

 

Southern Saints vs Melbourne Uni

Sunday, July 22, 3pm
SkyBus Stadium, Frankston

In the final game of the round, the Saints host Melbourne Uni in a Sunday afternoon encounter. The Saints find themselves in the midst of an up and down season, sitting in the middle of the table with four wins and four losses from eight games. A win would see them join the pack of teams on five wins and be only a game out of the finals with a little over a month to go in the season. Alison Drennan will play a huge role in the matchup as she looks to add to what is already an impressive portfolio for the 2018 season.

Melbourne Uni have just struggled to get it together thus far this season with only two wins to date. Despite not getting the win last week, they will enter this game with great confidence having pushed the top of the table Hawthorn right to the limit in a five point loss. This was particularly impressive given that their star Emma Kearney struggled with only nine possessions, in a rare off game for her. Ashleigh Riddell stepped up when it mattered most and almost led Melbourne Uni to victory but ultimately was not enough. This presents them with an opportunity to put together some strong performances and get some wins on the board in the back half of the season, with finals seemingly out of the question.

Number Crunching: VFLW – Round 10

WHEN it comes to Australian Rules, if kicks are the bread, then surely handballs are the butter. In keeping with last weeks’ theme, we are continuing with taking a deeper look into disposal stats in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition. This time we specifically are looking at most handballs in round ten and all throughout the season. Round ten saw a outstanding effort from all teams, proving that despite the season drawing to a close, no team has the dream of finals out of its sight.

Alison Drennan of the Southern Saints topped with 69 per cent handball efficiency as well as having the most handballs in the league with 115 in eight games. Bulldog’s Naomi Ferres and Sarah Jolly both made the top 10 with their win over Essendon (35-2), with 80 per cent and 83 per cent efficiency respectfully. Geelong also saw three of its team making the list. Midfielder Richelle Cranston showed a dominant performance against the Saints with 79 per cent efficiency and topping disposals for that game. Following Cranston was Madaleine McMahon with 62 per cent and Kate Darby 80 per cent efficiency.

In the season so far, Drennan once again has shown clear command as far as individual handballs go. Drennan has three separate positions in the top 10, taking out both the first, second and seventh spots. Other honourable mentions include Renee Garing who feature three times on the list too, as well as keen utility player Kate Gillespie-Jones with two spots also. There is a clear distribution among the list where players of teams that are high and low on the ladder are presented, which really shows how spectacular the talent in the VFL Women’s really is.

Most Handballs: Round Ten

Player Team Handballs in Round 10
Alison Drennan Southern Saints 16
Naomi Ferres Western Bulldogs 15
Richelle Cranston Geelong 14
Madaleine McMahon Geelong 13
Tahni Nestor Hawthorn 13
Sarah Jolly Western Bulldogs 12
Lauren Tesoriero Richmond 11
Emily Paterno Williamstown 11
Clara Fitzpatrick Melbourne Uni 11
Kate Darby Geelong 10

Most Individual Handballs: Season so Far

Player Team Number of Handballs Round
Alison Drennan Southern Saints 22 4
Alison Drennan Southern Saints 20 2
Renee Garing Geelong 18 5
Lily Mithen Darebin 17 4
Renee Garing Geelong 16 1
Kate Gillespie-Jones Melbourne Uni 16 5
Alison Drennan Southern Saints 16 10
Renee Garing Geelong 15 2
Kate Gillespie-Jones Melbourne Uni 15 4
Bianca Jakobsson Casey Demons 15 9
Emma Mackie Hawthorn 15 9
Naomi Ferres Western Bulldogs 15 10

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 10

HAWTHORN has regained top spot on the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s league after an important victory in round 10. Meanwhile, former ladder-leaders, Geelong regained some form after defeating the Southern Saints in a compelling round of football.

 

Darebin Falcons 1.4 (10) def. by NT Thunder 7.8 (50)

By: Taylah Melki

The NT Thunder set the pace early in this game, scoring three goals in the opening term and keeping the Falcons goalless to three quarter time. The Thunder applied plenty of physical pressure, tackling hard and getting numbers around the contest to win the ball at the coal face. Darebin seemed to struggle with the ferocity and intent of the Thunder, unable to move the ball into its attacking 50 throughout the game and failing to convert opportunities in front of goal.

The Thunder had a number of major contributors with the likes of Angela Foley dominating across the ground with her ability to win the footy in the contest and dispose of the ball cleverly and efficiently. Meanwhile, Abbey Holmes dominated on the scoreboard once again with her accuracy in front of goal proving to be deadly. Holmes slotted four goals and looked ominous up forward with her clean hands and ability to read the play. Fellow teammates, Ebony Marinoff and Georgia Bevan also showed their composure while under pressure, showcasing their ability to take the game on with clever kicks and good bursts of speed. Katie Streader also impressed with her fierce tackling and clean hands around the contest.

For the Falcons, the likes of Nat Exon stood up, especially in the third quarter, where she put her body on the line and competed for everything. She worked tirelessly all game and demonstrated her strength to be able to shake off a strong tackle and then deliver a clever ball inside 50. Though Hannah Mouncey did not impact the scoreboard, she did provide a strong option inside 50, taking some big strong grabs. Down back for the Falcons, Meghan McDonald was really solid and more importantly showed great composure with the ball in hand, using her long penetrating kick to clear the footy. The likes of Esther Honybun and Annalyse Lister were also solid throughout the match for the Falcons.

 

Geelong Cats 8.7 (55) defeated Southern Saints 2.5 (17)

Geelong got back on the winners list with a comprehensive 38-point win over the Southern Saints. After gathering momentum in recent rounds, the Saints have failed to register a victory after the bye, succumbing to their second loss in a row.

As usual, Kate Darby was solid up forward for the Cats with two goals and 14 disposals. She was complemented by Jordan Ivey who booted the first goal of the day with an amazing kick which brought the house down, as she played her first game in 14 months after she ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament. In the midfield, it was Richelle Cranston who wreaked havoc once again, racking up 29 disposals, four marks and five tackles. Hayley Trevean also racked up numbers in the 20s, recording 21 disposals, as well as a goal and six marks.

Alison Drennan starred for the Saints yet again, recording 27 disposals, four marks and six tackles. She got a heap of the ball on the day, as she almost doubled the second best amount of disposals accumulated by a Saint on the day. Leah Olsen recorded 15 disposals and laid three tackles, trying hard throughout the match for the Saints. Courtney Munn and Tara Bohanna were the goal kickers on the day.

 

Carlton 8.4 (52) defeated Williamstown 3.5 (23)

Carlton recorded its first win since round two, beating Williamstown by 29 points at the home of female football. The Blues controlled the game from start to finish, making it difficult for the Seagulls to wrestle back the lead.

AFLW star, Darcy Vescio returned to the Blues’ lineup this week and proved extremely valuable, kicking four of her side’s eight goals. Katelyn Cox also chipped in with two majors ad created great run and carry across the field. Captain, Kristi Harvey used her strong hands to advantage while Chloe Dalton showed her tackling prowess.

For the Seagulls, Western Jets tall, Sharnie Whiting starred with two goals on the day. In the midfield, Jess Duffin stood up once again, using the ball well to get it forward for her side. Fellow North Melbourne recruit, Jenna Bruton returned to the lineup against the Blues and contributed well on the day with a goal and an intent to win the footy at all costs.

 

Western Bulldogs 5.5 (35) defeated Essendon 4.5 (29)

The Western Bulldogs were given an almighty scare by Essendon. The Bombers looked to back up their first win of the year with a huge upset and did so by keeping the Dogs scoreless in the third quarter. The experienced side fought right back though, kicking 1.3 to 0.1 in the last quartet to seal the win.

Mickayla Ward was crucial on the day for the Dogs, kicking two of her side’s five goals. She was complemented by fantastic performances by Ellie Blackburn and Naomi Ferres in the midfield. Annabel Scott also contributed well on the day, kicking a goal and showing intent to win the ball all day.

Canadian forward, Valerie Moreau scored half her side’s goals on the day with another memorable performance inside 50. Up the other end, it was the dangerous duo of Rebecca Neaves and Courtney Ugle who battled hard for the Bombers all day. Usual defender, Lauren Morecroft even streamed up forward to kick a goal, proving her versatility.

 

Melbourne Uni 3.4 (22) defeated by Hawthorn 3.10 (28)

Inaccuracy hurt the Hawks on Sunday, as their victory came solely from a superior amount of behinds. However, they managed to sneak over the line to record their eighth win of the season and snatch top spot fromf Collingwood on the ladder.

Up forward, it was Nicky Cormack, Rebecca Beeson and Emily Gilder who booted through crucial goals on the day. Olivia Flanagan also stood tall inside 50 and contested well, despite not scoring a goal. In the back line, Jayde Van Dyk starred once again for Hawthorn and she was complemented by a great game from midfielder, Julia Crockett-Grills, who continues to rack up the disposals this season.

For the Mugars, their three goals came from Caitlin Greiser, Katie Angelis and Elizabeth Keaney. In defence, new Kangaroos recruits, Kate Gillespie-Jones and Danielle Hardiman teamed up to trouble the Hawks forward, which proved effective, as they kept the opposition to three goals.

 

Richmond 2.9 (21) defeated by Casey Demons 5.9 (39)

Both sides travelled over to Bendigo in a game that went down to the wire. Richmond led at the first and third changes but a three-goal to none fourth quarter undid all the hard work for the Tigers, as they succumbed to their third consecutive loss.

Young guns, Kasey Guttridge and Eden Zanker starred up forward, kicking two goals a piece for their side. They were complemented by new Melbourne AFLW recruit, Shae Sloane, who was able to get a major on the board and contribute well in a solid win. As usual, Katherine Smith tore it up in the midfield and continues to have a good season for the Demons.

Richmond’s goals came from Collingwood AFLW player, Lauren Tesoriero and Murray Bushrangers tall, Sophie Damon. In the midfield, captain, Jessica Kennedy has continued to back up her solid form, competing hard in the middle of the ground. Courtney Wakefield, Bethany Lynch and Emma Gunn also contributed well in the side’s loss.