Tag: nicole hildebrand

AFLW season previews: Collingwood

COLLINGWOOD has been hit the hardest by the introduction of the two expansion teams, losing a host of stars to North Melbourne. The Pies also lost the experience of Bree White and Meg Hutchins, as well as the exciting Caitlyn Edwards, as the trio retired at the end of the 2018 season. Collingwood had to capitalise on the draft pool and it did, selecting some exciting young talent and some Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s experienced players.

Last season: 6th – three wins, four losses.

Changes:

In: Nicole Hildebrand, Sarah Rowe, Sophie Alexander, Erica Fowler, Jordyn Allen, Katie Lynch, Lauren Butler, Mikala Cann, Maddie Shevlin, Georgia Gourlay, Jordan Membrey, Sharni Layton

Out: Caitlyn Edwards, Bree White, Christina Bernardi, Moana Hope, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner, Emma King, Amelia Mullane (nee Barden), Lauren Tesoriero, Meg Hutchins, Tara Morgan

Collingwood has lost seven of its top 10 in last year’s Best and Fairest, with Jasmine Garner, Christina Bernardi, Amelia Mullane, Jess Duffin, Emma King and Moana Hope all jetting off to other clubs. Add the loss of Chloe Molloy to injury and Caitlyn Edwards to retirement, and you have a depleted list. Thankfully, the Pies picked up one of most talented players in the Under-18 crop in Jordyn Allen. Allen is a known leader, captaining the Dandenong Stingrays and Vic Country in 2018, and is a pillar of strength through the midfield and the back line. To back that up, the Pies selected the powerful Katie Lynch, who thrives in the middle of the ground but can use her booming kick and strong hands to effect in the forward line. They also boast two of the most exciting new crosscoders in the league, with former Australian netballer, Sharni Layton and Gaelic footballer, Sarah Rowe, who broke a club record in the 2km trial, set to take the field in 2019.

Area of strength: Midfield

Out of all the areas left with holes by the departed players, the midfield is the least unscathed. The Pies still boast a potent midfield containing Jaimee Lambert, Emma Grant, Brittany Bonnici, Melissa Kuys and Kristy Stratton. They will also be able to add Eastern Ranges dynamo, Mikala Cann to the mix, who has intense tackling pressure and immense speed. The experience of Maddie Shevlin will also be a vital addition, as she starred for the Casey Demons during the VFLW season. There’s also some flexibility in the side, with Stephanie Chiocci able to move from defence to the midfield, while Katie Lynch and Sophie Casey can roam the forward line and move into the middle of the ground when needed.

Area of weakness: Defence

Collingwood’s defence has taken a big hit over the off season, waving goodbye to Jess Duffin, Meg Hutchins and Jasmine Garner. Although the Pies lost more forwards in the off season, they were able to fill the void quite well with the recruitment of Erica Fowler, Sophie Alexander, Jordan Membrey and Katie Lynch. However, their defence remains vulnerable, as the Pies will have a young defensive 50 leading the brigade. Darcy Guttridge and Georgia Gourlay are both a risk with injury troubles, but will be keen to play a big role for the Pies. Iilish Ross is still a developing player who has been in and out of the Collingwood line-up, but was convincing during the VFLW season. She does not often trouble the disposal count, so this could be an area where she seeks to improve in 2019. It will also be interesting to see how Lauren Butler fares in this defensive line-up with her light build. Expect the loss of Chloe Molloy to really be felt for the Pies this season as unpredictability surround their defensive make-up.

Players to watch:

Mikala Cann

It is hard to believe that this will be Mikala Cann’s second year of competitive football. Prior to 2018, Cann competed in athletics and basketball, and has brought those attributes over to Australian Rules. She has great acceleration and can tackle like no other, always willing to show her tenacity on the field. She was fortunate enough to represent Vic Metro in 2018, and played in Hawthorn’s VFLW premiership side, so she knows how to make an impact on the big stage. Nicknamed ‘the bull’ by her teammates, expect Cann to be one of the toughest players out there.

Sophie Alexander

A dangerous forward with a great leap, Alexander gave a lot of VFLW opposition defenders headaches. In her breakout game for the Pies, she kicked four goals against the in-form NT Thunder, showing she can make an big statement. She ended up with 14 goals from 14 games, and was named in the VFLW Team of the Year for her efforts. What makes Alexander stand out is her ability to rack up the disposals inside 50, which is something Collingwood will need in the 2019 season.

Sharni Layton

Sharni Layton has done it all in netball, winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2014, and winning two Netball World Championships with Australia in 2011 and 2015. Having come from the Collingwood netball team, Layton is accustomed to the attitudes of the club and has been hitting the track hard, working on her running technique in particular. Her leap will be invaluable for the club as will her strength, so it will be interesting to see where she will line up on the field, as these assets are valuable in any zone. With unpredictability comes excitement through, and Layton is sure to put on a show, following in the footsteps of fellow netballer/footballer, Ash Brazill.

2019 prediction: 5th in Conference B

Unfortunately with a list that takes a hit like that, it’s hard to see the Pies making any inroads in Conference B. They will be looking to make a statement in Round 1 against the new kids on the block in Geelong, but it will be hard to do so away from home. They could snag wins against Carlton and Fremantle in rounds three and five, but all eyes will be on the side in Round 6. Not only will they host the first ever AFLW game at Marvel Stadium, but they will be coming up against old teammates at North Melbourne, which will definitely be a challenge. Collingwood still has the players to be a top side, but gelling what is effectively a whole new team together is no easy task.

2019 AFLW Collingwood Fixture

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GMHBA StadiumRound 1
Victoria ParkRound 2
Fremantle OvalRound 3
Morwell Recreational ReserveRound 4
Ikon ParkRound 5
Marvel StadiumRound 6
Victoria ParkRound 7

AFLW season previews: Brisbane

THE Brisbane Lions have come so close to winning an AFLW premiership, being runners-up in both years of the AFLW. They would love to go one step further in 2019, but it will be hard considering the mass exit of players to North Melbourne. They will field a new-look side in 2019 dominated by exciting youth rather than experienced guns, which has been the theme of the Brisbane line-up in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Last season: 2nd- four wins, three losses.

Changes:

In: Lauren Arnell, Paige Parker, Natalie Grider, McKenzie Dowrick, Lauren Bella, Tori Groves-Little, Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw, Jacqueline Yorston, Jade Ellenger.

Out: Kaitlyn Ashmore, Brittany Gibson, Tahlia Randall, Jamie Stanton, Nicole Hildebrand, Renee Cowan, Kalinda Howarth, Molly Ritson.

Brisbane was dealt with a mass exit of players with the introduction of expansion team, North Melbourne. The Lions saw four of their players head down south, as Kaitlyn Ashmore, Brittany Gibson, Tahlia Randall and Jamie Stanton opted to don the blue and white in 2019. On top of that, Nicole Hildebrand jetted down to the Pies, spending the 2018 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season with them, leaving a massive hole in Brisbane’s defence. But the Lions had a big advantage heading into the draft, with coach, Craig Starcevich coaching the Queensland Under-18 representative side and identifying the top talent that could slot into the Brisbane line-up. Six players from the Under 18 side made their way onto the Lions’ list after a successful Under 18 Championships campaign in which the side beat Vic Metro for the first time in its history. In addition, gun Western Australian, McKenzie Dowrick made the decision to take her footy up north, presenting a huge boost for the Brisbane line-up in 2019.

Area of strength: Midfield

Despite the loss of Ashmore, Gibson and Stanton in the middle of the ground, Brisbane drafted well enough to cover the loss. Tori Groves-Little is a clever footballer that is guaranteed to go hard at every contest. Her tackling is quite impressive, as is her run and carry. Jacqueline Yorston is likely to complement her well in the middle of the ground, as she is a natural ball-winner. Expect Jade Ellenger to also contribute, as her speed is quite impressive and will help her to burn opponents. Combine these exciting youth prospects with the experience of players like Nat Exon and Ally Anderson and Brisbane’s midfield looks quite potent. Exon had a wonderful VFLW campaign for Darebin, being named either the first or second best player on the ground in six of her seven games. Expect her to continue to turn it on for the Lions in 2019.

Area of weakness: Forward line

The Lions’ forward line still remains a problem in 2019. They’ve based their game in the past two seasons around their strong defence, which has managed to work considering the form of players like Kate Lutkins and Leah Kaslar. But they might find it difficult to play this style of football this year, with other clubs such as North Melbourne boasting potent forward lines. Sabrina Frederick-Traub has been the focal point up forward for the Lions in the past two seasons, but if she had a bad game, it would often spell trouble for her side. She will need some more assistance in 2019 if the Lions are to score more. Bella Ayre will need to return to the form that saw her get nominated for the Rising Star in 2017, while Kate McCarthy’s X factor will be even more important than ever in AFLW 3.0. The loss of the exciting Sophie Conway for the 2019 season hurts the forward line even more, as she had a sensational 2018 campaign inside 50.

Players to watch:

McKenzie Dowrick

Craig Starcevich and his coaching group would have been licking their lips when McKenzie Dowrick nominated to play her 2019 football in Queensland. Dowrick is originally from Western Australia and has played all her junior football there. A member of the AFL Women’s Academy, Dowrick hardly puts a foot wrong when she sweeps across the backline and through the midfield, as her booming left foot kick and reliable hands often got her side out of trouble. She has been a star for Western Australia in the Under 18 Championships, being named in the All-Australian side at half-back for the past two years. Expect her to add composure and class to Brisbane’s defence in 2019.

Nat Exon

Nat Exon is coming into the 2019 season off the back of some scintillating form for Darebin in the VFLW season. She came second in the Falcons’ best and fairest count despite only playing half of the season. She impressed with her ferocity at the contest for Darebin, averaging 5.9 tackles in her seven games. Her disposal average was also impressive in the VFLW, racking up an average of 18.4 disposals per game. She should be a key ball winner for the Lions in 2019, and will add some aggression to the midfield.

Jordan Zanchetta

Zanchetta showed promise in the 2018 AFLW season for the Lions after missing the inaugural season with an ACL tear. She showed good intent through the midfield and was a strong tackler. If she can match her aggression with disposals, she could be a dangerous player for Brisbane in 2019.

2019 prediction: 2nd in Conference B

The conference system becomes an interesting situation in this instance, because Brisbane certainly have the easier conference group. If the Lions were in conference A alongside teams like the Bulldogs, Demons and Crows, it would be likely that they would miss the finals. But in conference B, they sit alongside 2018 bottom side, Carlton, a depleted Collingwood outfit as well as the unknown side in Geelong. Greater Western Sydney (GWS) is likely to be Brisbane’s biggest challenge this year, with the GIANTS finishing 2018 strongly. Brisbane still has the line-up to be a strong side in 2019, despite the loss of experience.

2019 Brisbane AFLW Fixture

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Moreton Bay Sporting ComplexRound 1
Fremantle OvalRound 2
Hickey ParkRound 3
Whitten OvalRound 4
Moreton Bay Sporting ComplexRound 5
Ikon ParkRound 6
Victoria ParkRound 7

AFLW Draft review: Brisbane

BRISBANE’S draft strategy looked highly defensive, with the recruitment of three defenders and one midfielder/defender out of their eight picks. Young talent has been the theme of Brisbane’s picks, with coach, Craig Starcevich bringing in players he had coached in the Queensland Under-18 representative side this year.

What they needed:

  • Midfielder/forwards to replace the loss of Kaitlyn Ashmore and Brittany Gibson
  • Defenders to to aid loss of Nicole Hildebrand and Jamie Stanton
  • Ruck to replace Tahlia Randall

 

Players selected:

Paige Parker – Coorparoo

Parker has been groomed as a Lion for two years, being part of their train-on squad. She finished equal fourth in the 2018 Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL), was awarded Gold Coast’s 2018 Winter Series Development Player award for her performances during the AFLW Winter Series and is a two-time premiership player. She will complement Queensland Under 18 captain, Natalie Grider in defence and add an element of agility to Brisbane’s back six.

Natalie Grider – University of Queensland

Grider shows incredible composure in defence, thanks to her deft kick and solid hands. She will help to fill the void left by Nicole Hildebrand, who showed these qualities in the Brisbane line-up last season. Grider was named in the 2018 AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australian squad, was the Queensland Under 18 captain, made the QWAFL Team of the Year and on top of that, won the competition’s Rising Star award. Grider obviously shows plenty of promise and will prove to be a very handy pick-up for the Lions for the 2019 season.

Mckenzie Dowrick – Subiaco

Dowrick was a star for Western Australia during her Under 18 years. She was a member of the AFL Women’s Academy and has been named at half-back in the AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australian team for two consecutive years. The 18 year-old can also provide versatility through the midfield thanks to her classy left-foot kick and football smarts. Nominating for Queensland was a huge plus for the Lions, who welcomed the talented prospect with open arms. Along with Grider and Parker, she too will account for the loss of Hildebrand as well as Jamie Stanton, who offers run and carry in the defensive 50.

Lauren Bella – Bond University

Bella slots right into Brisbane’s line-up as a replacement ruck for Tahlia Randall. She has been a star in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships for the past couple of years, being named the All Australian ruck in the last two teams. Bella was the tallest player in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships this year, and she used her height to her advantage. She is a clever player who has a great leap, giving her midfielders prime use of the ball. Bella is also agile at ground level, making her a player to watch in 2019.

Tori Groves-Little – Coorparoo

Groves-Little played exceptional football on the wing for Queensland’s Under 18 side this year, breaking the lines with her run and carry and long kicks. She also dominated in the QWAFL for Coorparoo, being named the joint Best and Fairest winner of the competition. Groves-Little was a member of the AFL Women’s Academy as well. She will be able to fill the void of Kaitlyn Ashmore, who provides exciting speed and can make an impact in the middle of the ground.

Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw – Coorparoo

Tawhiao-Wardlaw is primarily a forward, but can provide some support in the ruck for Lauren Bella and Sabrina Frederick-Traub. She is able to position herself well inside 50 and is a good overhead mark. She was a handy player for Queensland in the AFL Women’s Under 18S competition, kicking two goals and being named in the best twice from five games. Tawhiao-Wardlaw knows the Lions side well, having represented them in the Winter Series.  

Jacqueline Yorston – Wilston Grange (compensation)

Yorston could be one of the biggest steals in the draft, with the Under 18 All Australian midfielder being one of the last two picks on the day. Yorston was a premiership player with Wilston Grange and was one of just three Queenslanders to be invited to the AFL Women’s Draft Combine. She will be able to provide some hardness in the midfield for Brisbane in 2019.

Jade Ellenger – Coorparoo (compensation)

Ellenger, like Yorston, can also provide some valuable run and carry for the Lions in the midfield. She can also contribute in defence, which will help fill the void of Stanton. Ellenger was a solid contributor in the QWAFL this year, playing all 14 matches as well as the Grand Final against Yorston’s Wilston Grange. She also represented Queensland at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships and was named in the best twice, so coach, Craig Starcevich is well aware of her ability, having coached the Under 18 side this year.

 

How they went:

The Lions have managed to fill Tahlia Randall’s ruck void with the addition of Lauren Bella and Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw to complement Sabrina Frederick-Traub. The defence losses have also been well covered with the addition of Under 18 trio, Natalie Grider, Paige Parker and McKenzie Dowrick. Jade Ellenger can also play in defence. This will make Brisbane one of the strongest defensive line-ups in the 2019 AFLW season. Some exciting midfielders have also been recruited with the addition of young guns, Jacqueline Yorston, Jade Ellenger and Tori Groves-Little. Tawhaio-Wardlaw is a good addition to the forward line, but the Lions could have also drafted a smaller forward to dampen the loss of Kaitlyn Ashmore.

AFLW Draft preview: Collingwood

COLLINGWOOD has been hit hard in the AFL Women’s off-season, losing plenty of stars including Christina Bernardi, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner, Emma King and Meg Hutchins. Luckily, the Pies have gained some exciting prospects in former netballer, Sharni Layton and former Gaelic footballer, Sarah Rowe, while Brisbane defender, Nicole Hildebrand will add some experience to the line-up.

 

Last season: 6th

In: Nicole Hildebrand, Sharni Layton, Sarah Rowe
Out: Caitlyn Edwards, Bree White, Christina Bernardi, Moana Hope, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner, Emma King, Amelia Barden, Lauren Tesoriero, Meg Hutchins, Tara Morgan

COLLINGWOOD AFLW LIST (22/30)

  • Brittany Bonnici
  • Ash Brazill
  • Sophie Casey
  • Stephanie Chiocci
  • Sarah D’Arcy
  • Sarah Dargan
  • Emma Grant
  • Darcy Guttridge
  • Nicole Hildebrand
  • Eliza Hynes
  • Melissa Kuys
  • Jaimee Lambert
  • Sharni Layton
  • Stacey Livingstone
  • Cecilia McIntosh
  • Chloe Molloy
  • Georgie Parker
  • Iilish Ross
  • Sarah Rowe  
  • Ruby Schleicher
  • Kristy Stratton
  • Holly Whitford

DRAFT PICKS

5, 11, 13, 18, 19, 29, 32, 51

POSSIBLE DRAFT PROSPECTS

Given Collingwood’s connection with Oakleigh, it is hard to look past Chargers trio, Hannah McLaren, Daisy Bateman and Katie Lynch. The trio all represented Vic Metro and played for Collingwood’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s side. Bateman would be a great replacement for Moana Hope, as she positions well in the forward line, and is an solid mark and accurate kick. McLaren will boost the defensive stocks of the Pies while Lynch is a dominant force in the midfield. If Madison Prespakis isn’t taken in the draft yet, the Pies could have her on their radar as well. Eastern Ranges duo, Mikala Cann and Emerson Woods could also be thrown into the mix, as Cann impresses with her explosiveness and Woods is extremely athletic. Others they may consider include Gippsland Power co-captain, Tyla Hanks or Dandenong Stingrays captain, Jordyn Allen. They could provide support to captain, Stephanie Chiocci and vice-captain, Brittany Bonnici in Collingwood’s midfield.

Scouting notes: VFLW – Collingwood vs. Geelong

GEELONG has booked its place in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s decider, after knocking Collingwood out in straight sets with an impressive 14-point win. We took a look at some of the top players from both sides on the day.

Collingwood:

#3 Nicole Hildebrand

Did some nice things throughout the game, playing as the loose player in defence. Often she came across to help teammate, Jazz Ferguson who the Cats tried to isolate one-on-one inside 50. She also had a big moment punching a ball across the ground later in the game when Richelle Cranston had a shot on goal.

#4 Sarah D’Arcy

Was really good intercepting, but did miss a few kicks going forward. Had a forgettable moment in the third term dropping a mark in the back pocket, but worked hard to mop up. Got amongst it throughout the four quarters and never stopped trying.

#11 Eliza Hynes

Too tall for her opponents in the ruck and often punched it clear of the contest to keep the ball moving on the outside. Not overly mobile at ground level given her height, but laid tackles and put defensive pressure on opponents.

#13 Jaimee Lambert

One of, if not Collingwood’s best on the day. She worked hard at both ends, dropping back into the defensive 50 to take some good marks, laid great tackles on the wing, and kicked a consolation goal running hard to the goal square and quickly getting boot-to-ball. Her tackling pressure and intensity on the ball carrier was definitely the highlight.

#47 Jess Edwards

Stood tall against the flow and was one of the key reasons Collingwood was still in the contest early. She was composed in defence and able to use the ball well under pressure. Edwards had plenty of defensive efforts and then kicked a goal in the final term, four and a half minutes in to cut the deficit to 20 and give them a glimmer of hope.

#49 Sophie Alexander

Another player who kept trying throughout and had a few good moments, spreading to the wings and taking some good marks. She kicked Collingwood’s first major after making a half-lead inside 50, taking the grab and nailing the all-important set shot.

#70 Jasmine Ferguson

Superb in defence, along with Lambert was one of Collingwood’s best. She continually got to the right position one-on-one and ensured her opponents could not get a clean run at the ball. The opposition tried to isolate her one-on-one inside 50 against stronger bodies, but Ferguson held her own. She also ran off her opponent on a number of occasions trying to create drive off half-back. Took a strong mark on the wing late in the game, using her body well to outmark an opponent.

#75 Erica Fowler

Provided an aerial target when she flew for her marks, and did cause some headaches for the opposition when up forward. Won a free kick for being held in the last quarter, but her shot from 35m out just drifted in the breeze and narrowly missed.

#99 Shayla Marsh

Did not win a heap of it, but had some classy moments. One example was a clean pick-up off the deck and quick handball to a teammate who kicked long inside 50 late in the game.

 

Geelong:

#1 Jaime Woollett

Played in defence and laid a number of strong tackles. She provided a good run-down tackle on Jaimee Lambert in the third term, forcing Lambert’s kick to sail out on the full instead of hitting a target inside 50.

#3 Hannah Burchell

Set the tone early with a big tackle at half-forward to lock the ball up. Had a shot on goal after receiving a 50m penalty but just missed to the left. Her best work was done in close.

#6 Maddie Boyd

One of the most impressive players, she was so strong in the air, taking a ton of marks inside 50 and giving her team scoring opportunities. She could not quite capitalise on the set shots, but one-on-one she was fantastic and she positions herself so well.

#8 Kate Darby

Another player who impressed me with some good hands in the air to take a few important grabs. She also did the defensive things right with her highlight coming in the third term. With the time ticking down she laid a huge tackle on Hannah McLaren to win a free kick just inside 50 and then launched from long range to hand the Cats a 21-point lead.

#13 Maighan Fogas

Had a couple of eye-catching moments when she tried to burst away and break the lines, did not always come off but was still noticeable. she had a shot on goal in the third term which just missed.

#16 Olivia Purcell

The youngster stood up in the finals intensity and put her body on the line when she needed to. Her stoppage work is superb and she is not afraid to fend-off an opponent and give herself an extra few seconds to clear the ball out of congestion.

#24 Maddy McMahon

Very impressive in both attack and defence and one of the main reasons why Geelong strangled Collingwood in the first three quarters. Ran hard to receive the handball in the opening term and then kicked the first goal of the game. Dropped back into defence in the second quarter to mark well, then had an attempt from long range in the third term that just missed. In the fourth term she went back into defence and took a courageous mark at half-back between two opponents.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Thought she had a quiet game to start, but then turned it on in the third term when she seemed to be everywhere. Geelong needed a statement to stop the Pies coming, and Cranston did just that. Her combination of power, acceleration and penetrating kick really turned the game in the third term, fending off a number of players and just bombing long to give her teammates the best chance of scoring.

#44 Rebecca Goring

Defenders do not often get much love, but Goring was absolutely spectacular. Along with Maddy McMahon and a number of others who refused to let their opponents beat them, Goring just worked incredibly hard over four quarters to stand in front of her opponents and rebound well, taking a number of intercept marks. Goring also pushed up to the wing when required to chop off any quick kicks going forward for the Magpies.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Week 2 Finals

A do-or-die clash will take place at Stannards Stadium this weekend where one team will be hoping to secure its spot in the Grand Final. After the minor premiers stumbled against the Hawks last week, they will be keen to make amends on Sunday. But the Cats come into this clash with the confidence that they can knock off another strong team, after they defeated the Thunder in week one of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s finals.

 

Collingwood vs. Geelong

Sunday September 16, Stannards Stadium, 11.45am

This should be a highly entertaining clash between two strong sides with stars all-round. The midfield duo of Richelle Cranston, and Olivia Purcell will seriously threaten the Magpies brigade after all three had stellar performances against NT last week. Cranston came away with 19 disposals and two goals while Purcell racked up the same amount of disposals and also got on the scoreboard. However, they will have to come up against an in-form Chloe Molloy, who is extremely damaging at her best. She kicked two of her side’s three goals in the first week of finals and has been a key player for the Pies all season. Her Collingwood AFL Women’s teammate, Sarah D’Arcy also comes into this game off some good form, being the Pies’ leading disposal-getter on the weekend with 20. She complemented that effort with six marks and five tackles. Nicole Hildebrand and Stacey Livingstone will be key bookends for the Pies and will have to contend with the likes of Mia-Rae Clifford up forward and Rebecca Goring down back for the Cats. Both were recently named in the VFL Women’s Team of the Year and would be keen to do some damage in their respective 50s. Geelong and Collingwood both have strong defences so expect a tight clash between two formidable sides who are hungry to make history.

Scouting notes: VFLW – Collingwood vs Hawthorn

HAWTHORN has won its way through to the Grand Final after defeating minor premiers, Collingwood. AFL Draft Central‘s Carly McClen was there to witness the action. The notes for the NT Thunder vs Geelong game will be online tomorrow.

 

Collingwood vs Hawthorn

Collingwood: 

#2 Chloe Molloy

Collingwood AFLW star Chloe Molloy was in impressive form, in the second quarter after being on the ground a minute and a half she kicked the first goal for the Pies to level the scores. She kicked another in the last, a 40 metre goal on the run that bounced through. It was a rare individual effort and she laid eight strong tackles.

#3 Nicole Hildebrand

Played a steady defensive role, crucial to keeping the margin within two goals. She read the ball better than her opponent and was often prepared to play on and kick long out of defence to clear her team from danger. She was crucial in holding up the momentum of the Hawks.

#4 Sarah D’Arcy

Her speed and slick ball movement was a sharp contrast to the Collingwood outfit on the day. She had 17 kicks, her work rate was high for four quarters.

#8 Brittany Bonnici

Had 12 disposals and laid seven tackles. She was gutsy and attacked hard but found it difficult to break the lines of the Hawks defence.

 

Hawthorn:

#1 Emma Mackie

Continued her strong form with three goals and 18 possessions. Excellent captain’s game. Her influence set the tone for the Hawks and backed it up for four quarters.

#19 Lou Wotton

She outmuscled her in-form opponent Eliza Hynes, generating more positive outcomes from stoppages.

#21 Pepa Randall

Was a dominant force in the backline. She smashed packs for the contested ball and took three good marks.

#24 Rosie Dillon

She broke through traffic to boot the first major and set the tone for the Hawks. She racked up 11 kicks, nine handballs and four tackles and consistently troubled Collingwood’s trademark defensive pressure with her pace and agility at both ends of the ground.

#28 Sarah Perkins

A real team lifter on the day. The one percenters were paramount by Perkins. Her hard chase and run-down tackle followed by an overhead mark and goal before half time really lifted the Hawks.

#32 Kim Ebb

Provided plenty of run down the wing, ran all day and created opportunities for her team and consistently troubled her opponent.

#45 Mikala Cann

A force on the half back line. She had 21 disposals and laid eight tackles for the Hawks. Kept her opponent scoreless and hardly with the ball.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Week 1 finals

BOTH favourites suffered losses in a cracking first week of Victorian Football League (VFL) finals. Collingwood went down to the Hawks on Saturday, giving Hawthorn the first spot in the decider. Meanwhile, Geelong managed to knock out the high-scoring outfit, NT Thunder on Sunday, setting up a mouth-watering clash between the Pies and the Cats on Sunday.

 

Collingwood 3.3 (21) defeated by Hawthorn 5.2 (32) 

By: Carly McClen 

Led by captain Emma Mackie, Hawthorn capitalised on its double-chance by booking in a well-earned place in the VFLW Grand Final with a semi-final win over the Collingwood Magpies.

The Hawks despatched Collingwood with their characteristic spread game and run and carry that could not be interfered with, despite the Pies’ best defensive pressure attempts on the day.  Hawthorn leader, Meg Hutchins, who played 12 games for Collingwood across the 2017 and 2018 AFL Women’s seasons, was impressive with her pace and composure and showed her experience and leadership against her old side. The Hawks had 19 more handballs than the opposition, they stuck to their game plan, and created forward opportunities that converted on the scoreboard. Hawthorn applied consistent pressure, causing uncharacteristic turnovers and wasted opportunities in attack by the Magpies. Although it was an 11-point margin to the Hawks at half-time, the Pies had not found what would galvanise the group to lift and getting the job done looked out of their hands.  

The Hawks had team-lifters across the ground such as Sarah Perkins with her hard chase and run-down tackle followed by an overhead mark and goal. Rosie Dillon had 20 disposals and was dangerous at both ends. Lou Wotton was dominant with her ruck work, muscling out Eliza Hynes and winning in hitouts. The three goals by skipper, Emma Mackie, one being a long bomb from centre half forward to bounce through, proved the combination of these individual efforts was too lethal and most damaging in securing the upset victory.

The Pies needed team-lifters and there was the usual class from Chloe Molloy early in the second quarter when she cleverly collected the ball and easily ran past a defender to kick straight and bounce a goal through. Molloy was solid in her role throughout but some real magic was on display in the last quarter when she kicked a 40-metre goal on the run that bounced through. The steady defensive work from Nicole Hildebrand and the high disposals and hard hitting from Sarah D’Arcy impacted the game, but these efforts did not ignite the Collingwood mindset to play their game, and they were unable to hold up the momentum of the Hawks. Both teams stepped up their physical presence on the day, but it was the Hawks who put it on the scoreboard and were unperturbed by the off-the-ball chat from the Pies.

 

NT Thunder 6.6 (42) defeated by Geelong 7.9 (51)

By: Connor Ferris

Sunday’s elimination final saw a thrilling contest from start to finish. The Thunder got the jump at the start, benefiting from a strong breeze as they dominated time in forward half. Despite the dominance, the Thunder were only able to register one goal on the scoreboard, squandering several opportunities en route to kicking five behinds.

Geelong failed to take advantage of the wind in the second quarter as the Thunder extended their quarter time lead from nine points to 15 at the main break. As the wind died down in the third quarter, it was the Cats who took control of the game, kicking three goals to one and cutting the Thunder lead to just one point heading into the final term, setting up a grandstand finish.

In the end it was Geelong who came out on top with a dominant fourth quarter to run out nine-point winners and book their place in the preliminary final against Collingwood next week.

Richelle Cranston was spectacular all day long with two goals and 19 possessions as she willed her side to victory. Fellow midfielder, Olivia Purcell also impressed, kicking one goal to go along with 19 possessions. For the Thunder, Marijana Rajcic was dangerous up forward kicking three goals, while captain, Angela Foley led from the front with a terrific game. The loss signals the end of the Thunder’s season, which had incredible promise. They’ll look to re-group and return even stronger in 2019. For Geelong, their victory gives them the opportunity to take on Collingwood in another do-or-die contest for a position in the Grand Final against Hawthorn in two weeks’ time.

Scouting notes- VFLW- Round 16

IT was a big final round of Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s football. Williamstown got a big win against Melbourne University while Collingwood continued its remarkable season. We watched the Seagulls take on the Mugars as well as the Pies take on the Demons in an entertaining weekend of football.

 

Casey Demons vs. Collingwood 

By: Carly McClen

Casey:

#7 Bianca Jakobsson

Dominant in her role for the Demons. She had 10 kicks and seven marks. Took strong marks and kicked to targets and also scored from a 50 metre penalty. She was strong in defence, particularly in the first half.

#15 Sophie Phillips

Booted a much-needed goal in the third quarter. Had nine kicks and played her role well for four quarters.

#17 Shelley Scott

Kicked a goal from a 50 metre penalty early and presented well as a forward target in the first half.

#25 Madelaine Shevlin

Likes to get off the blocks first and create, she’s an exciting forward. Kicked the first goal of the game for the third week in a row.

#28 Maddison Gay

Had 15 kicks. Ran hard for all four quarters and was often first to the ball. Was pivotal in the first half at absorbing Collingwood’s pressure and sending the ball back into attack.

#29 Eden Zanker

Dominant in her role with six kicks and seven handballs, she ran hard all day and was pivotal in the Dees’ first-half dream start.

 

Collingwood:

#2 Chloe Molloy

Molloy had the usual class-above performance, particularly in the second half. After Eliza Hynes began controlling the clearances, Molloy swarmed, creating bursts from the centre and delivering the ball into the forward 50 directly for scoring opportunities. She even just missed a goal from 55 metres out with an unlucky bounce. Had 15 kicks for the game and converted from a 50 metre penalty. Molloy was pivotal in securing the win and the minor premiership.

#3 Nicole Hildebrand

Was an ominous presence on the half-back line and continued to send the ball back into Collingwood’s forward half. She intercepted an early burst in the third quarter from the centre clearance, and the ball rarely made into the Demons’ attacking zone for the quarter. Hildebrand was lethal at pushing up and getting to the ball first with five strong marks (the most in her team) and strong defensive kicking. It showed her versatility and her capacity to play multiple vital roles for her team.

#12 Stacey Livingstone

For a tall forward, she moved around the danger area like a small; hunting, gathering and snapping. With some bad luck and a couple of close misses, she was able to nail two goals for her side and prove herself as a reliable forward resource.

#13 Jaimee Lambert

Hunted in the forward line consistently and was rewarded with three opportunities she was never going to miss. She had 10 kicks for her side. In one instance, Lambert relished in the space provided when Eliza Hynes moved out into the ruck in the second half.

#18 Ruby Schleicher

Loved the forward line and used it to chase and create space, providing a solid target and securing two goals for her team. She also moved cleverly with Lambert and Molloy in the forward line to make space and get goals on the scoreboard.

#21 Iilish Ross

Coming back into the side, Ross resumed impressively with 10 kicks.

#58 Eliza Hynes

Hynes was really strong in the ruck. In the third quarter when it really counted, she was able to bring the Demons’ attack to a halt, with the ball rarely entering Casey’s forward line after the first bounce.

 

Melbourne University vs. Williamstown 

By: Taylah Melki

Melbourne University:

#3 Kaitlyn Ashmore

She used her speed and agility to get into damaging positions and worked tirelessly all game to try and keep her side in the game. Ashmore showed her impressive skills to keep the ball alive and juggle it around the boundary line. Executed a beautiful pick-up off her toes late in the fourth, highlighting her silky skills and ability to shake off an opponent.

#12 Martha Cantwell

Cantwell had a really good first quarter, hitting targets and showcasing her pin-point accuracy to create a scoring opportunity for her teammate. She went in hard at the stoppages and put her body on the line to win the footy at the coal-face. She showed good vision to lower her eyes and hit a leading target in the forward half of the ground.

#26 Caitlin Greiser

Greiser showed good hustle throughout the game to try and keep the ball in play in the Mugars’ attacking 50. Slotted a nice goal in the first quarter, showing good composure for a youngster. She was forced into the ruck late in the third term and proved her versatility. She showed good awareness to sneak out the back and bag another goal in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter, highlighting her ability to read the play and impact the contest.

#41 Katherine Gillespie-Jones

She was in everything in the opening quarter, making an impact around the stoppages and getting her hands to the ball. Her hands were strong throughout the game, taking a heap of marks and working tirelessly across the ground to win the ball and use it effectively. Continued to find the footy and used good speed to break away from stoppages and propel her team forward. Gillespie-Jones used the ball well and opened up space across the ground with her clever kicks, allowing teammates to create overlap run.

#50 Chloe Haines

Haines covered the ground with ease and proved that she is a force to be reckoned with, winning a lot of the footy and going in hard at the contests. She was not afraid to back herself in one-on-one situations and showed good footy awareness to keep her feet and hit up teammates. She was relatively effective by hand and foot, and took a heap of strong contested and uncontested marks, showing good composure under pressure. Haines also applied a lot of physical pressure, laying solid tackles to bring down her opponents.

 

Williamstown:

#1 Rebecca Dardengo

Really built into the game and used the footy effectively and efficiently. Dardengo’s beautiful kicking style was on display with long bombs into the middle of the ground to try and open up the space for her teammates. She was clean around the stoppages and was able to flick the ball out of congestion. Dardengo racked up a heap of the footy and showed her strength, taking a few good grabs.

#2 Jess Duffin

Duffin looked damaging in the forward 50, reading the flight of the ball well and positioning cleverly to protect the drop of the ball to take a good grab in the first quarter. Missed a relatively easy shot on goal in the first minute of the game, but made up for her misfortune by nailing three majors for the game. She was not afraid to get involved, body-lining the footy to win the hard ball. She found some really good space in the forward 50 and took a heap of strong marks. Duffin was a real play-maker, creating half chances for her teammates.

#8 Chloe Portelli

She started to accumulate the touches in the second term and used the footy cleverly to hit targets while under pressure. Portelli fought hard all game to win the footy and showcased her strong hands, taking a strong mark in the third. Led into space and created a good option across the ground. She showed great awareness to burn off her opponent and then check-side her kick to bag a major.

#25 Jasmine Garner

Hit the packs hard, applying heaps of pressure to trap the ball inside the Seagulls’ attacking 50. Garner read the play well and took a strong intercept mark about 20 metres out in front of goal. She showcased her strong kicking action by nailing a good goal in the opening quarter. She worked hard up the ground to win the footy and make an impact on the contest throughout the match. Her solid hands were on display, clunking a few big grabs and racking up a lot touches, highlighting her effectiveness and efficiency by hand and foot.

#30 Ashlee Melnikas

She was influential throughout the game, nullifying the impact of ball magnet, Emma Kearney. Melnikas showcased her running ability, going step for step with Kearney and applying plenty of physical pressure. She took a really strong mark in the defensive 50 and demonstrated her footy smarts with a clearing kick to a one-on-one in the middle of the ground in the second term. She was a tackling machine, proving that she is not afraid to put her body on the line to win the ball.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 16

MANY teams had pride on the line this week and were able to end their seasons in style, with struggling teams, Williamstown and Richmond getting victories. Meanwhile at Box Hill, a huge clash between traditional rivals, Hawthorn and Geelong saw the Hawks claim a coveted top-two spot, and a valuable double chance.

 

Southern Saints 3.4 (22) defeated by Richmond 4.1 (25)

This game was a tight one throughout with the biggest margin being nine points. At the first break, the scores were even with both sides kicking a goal each to open up the match. Only a point was scored in the second quarter, which gave the Southern Saints the slim one-point margin at halftime. The closeness continued in the third term, with both teams kicking a goal each. In the last quarter, the Saints and the Tigers both upped the ante, but it was Richmond who did it better, outscoring the Saints two goals to one to win the quarter, and the game.

The Tigers managed to win their first game in six rounds with just two goal kickers on the day. Kate Dixon and Christina Bernardi managed to each get two majors on the board, with Dixon’s second goal giving her side the biggest lead of the game. Bernardi also found a lot of the footy with 24 disposals, seven marks and eight tackles. It is no surprise to see that her teammate, Phoebe Monahan topped the disposal count for the Tigers, as she has been doing so for most of the season. In her side’s last game of the year, she racked up 28 disposals and laid six tackles, capping off an excellent year.

The Saints too had a multiple goal kicker, with Courtney Munn kicking two goals from her 12 disposals. Vic Metro representative, Gabriella De Angelis was the other goal kicker with one goal from her seven disposals. In the midfield, it was the Alisons who dominated with Alison Brown and Alison Drennan each racking up 28 disposals. Brown also took five marks and laid three tackles while Drennan laid four. TAC Cup Girls trio, Eleanor Brown (19 disposals, four marks and four tackles), Ashleigh Allsopp (16 disposals, four marks and four tackles) and Shelley Heath (15 disposals, two marks and seven tackles) were also prominent contributors in this game.

 

Hawthorn 6.5 (41) defeated Geelong 3.7 (25)

In the biggest match of the round, it was Hawthorn who got the early breakaway after an even first quarter. The Hawks kicked three goals to Geelong’s one in the second quarter, giving them a 14-point lead at the main break. They were able to extend their lead in the third with one goal, while keeping Geelong goalless. The Cats had a chance to fight back in the last quarter, but kicked 1.4, which gave Hawthorn the win.

AFLW duo, Sarah Perkins and Rebecca Beeson each kicked two majors on the day while Claire Dyett and Rosie Dillon booted through one each. Beeson had a dominant game with 22 disposals, five marks and six tackles and was complemented by fellow goal kicker, Rosie Dillon, who racked up 17 disposals and eight tackles. Skipper, Emma Mackie was huge on the day with 20 disposals and five tackles while Jayde Van Dyk was as resilient as ever down back with 18 disposals, four marks and five tackles.

Despite her side’s loss, Richelle Cranston was the leading disposal-getter on the ground with 25 touches as well as three marks and five tackles. Maddy Keryk wasn’t far off though with one goal, 24 disposals and nine tackles in another great game in the blue and white hoops. Kate Darby and Mia-Rae Clifford also got on the scoreboard with one major each. Darby gathered 12 disposals, three marks and eight tackles while Clifford was kept quiet with six disposals.

 

Casey Demons 4.5 (29) defeated by Collingwood 9.7 (61)

By: Carly McClen

In a blizzard of sun at Casey Fields, the combination of the return of captain, Jessica Edwards, the Nicole Hildebrand factor on the half-back line, a hungry-for-goals Jaimee Lambert, Ruby Schleicher loving the forward line, and the usual class-above performance by Chloe Molloy was more than enough to seal the minor premiership for the Collingwood Magpies. In its inaugural 2018 VFLW season the Pies have dropped just one game against NT Thunder. They have consistently held off growing-in-stature sides such as the Demons and Saturday was no different.  

The Demons were gallantly effective until half-time with the backline displaying a strong collective effort, absorbing the Pies’ forward attacking. For the third week in a row, the Demons’ first goal kicker was Maddie Shevlin. With solid forward pressure, she was able to snap an early goal, keeping the chase within eight points at quarter time.

In the second quarter, the Demons outscored Collingwood with goals to Bianca Jakobsson and Shelley Scott. But the game’s momentum changed in the second half when Pies coach, Penny Cula-Reid made a game-changing move which the Demons were simply unable to respond to. Eliza Hynes came out of the forward half and into the ruck. The Pies then quickly began dominating clearances and the move created crucial space for Lambert and Molloy to do their thing. The Pies comfortably played their style of game from that point on, keeping the Demons to just one major score.

Hildebrand was an ominous presence on the half-back line and continued to send the ball back into Collingwood’s forward half. Hildebrand intercepted an early burst in the third quarter from the centre clearance and the ball rarely made into the Demons’ attacking zone for the quarter. Hildebrand was lethal at pushing up and getting to the ball first with strong marks and defensive kicking. It showed her versatility and multiple vital roles she can play for her team. Cula-Reid’s message to the Magpies was ‘it’s there if you want it’ and they took it, booting 3.4 in the final term to seal another clinical victory.

 

Darebin 6.6 (42) defeated by Western Bulldogs 6.10 (46)

After being held goalless in the second quarter, the Bulldogs came from behind and ended their season on a high against Darebin. They were down by 18 points at the main break before kicking two goals to one in the third quarter to reduce the deficit. The Bulldogs then managed to clinch the lead for the first time in remarkable fashion, with premiership hero, Hannah Scott kicking the sealer after the siren to end the Bulldogs’ season on a high note.

Scott also booted a goal earlier in the game and was sensational throughout with 17 disposals, three marks and ten tackles. She was complemented by Ashleigh Guest, who was the leading disposal-getter on the ground with 23 touches to go with her six marks and four tackles. Sarah Jolly, Brittany Wunhym, Mary Sandral and Kirsten McLeod each got a major on the board for the Bulldogs. Jolly was the pick of the bunch with 12 disposals and five tackles while McLeod was not far off with 10 disposals and five tackles.

Melbourne AFLW duo, Lauren Pearce and Lily Mithen led the way for the Falcons, continuing to play consistent football for their side. Pearce gathered 14 disposals and took seven marks while Mithen led the way in disposals for Darebin with 18 touches to go with her six marks and six tackles. She also kicked a goal for the Falcons and was joined on the scoreboard by Kate Shierlaw, Kate Tyndall, Lauren Szigeti, Cherelle Byrne and Hannah Mouncey. Annalyse Lister led the way in tackles for Darebin with seven for the game to go with her 11 disposals.

 

Essendon 2.5 (17) defeated by Carlton 14.8 (92)

Carlton saved its best until last in this game, storming out of the blocks early to kick four first-quarter goals, giving Essendon a minimal chance to fight back. The onslaught continued in the second quarter with the Blues piling on another four majors to take their halftime lead to 49 points. Carlton’s eight goals all came off the boot of Darcy Vescio, who also saved her best until last. She ended up with nine goals for the day while the Bombers themselves could only manage two in the 75-point loss.

Not only did Darcy Vescio kick nine goals, but she also gathered 18 touches and seven marks in a dominant all-round game. She wasn’t alone inside 50, with Vic Metro’s Abbie McKay, Vic Country’s Rene Caris, Oakleigh’s Isabella Gietzmann, skipper, Kristi Harvey and former Williamstown player, Jess Malouf all kicking a goal at Windy Hill. Caris was the shining light with 20 disposals while Harvey racked up 10 touches to go with her six marks and four tackles. Gabriella Pound was the leading disposal-getter on the ground with 25 disposals to go with her four marks.

Although it was a miserable day for the Bombers, Kendra Heil and Alex Quigley both kicked a goal for their side. Quigley was also named in the best with 13 disposals, six marks and five tackles. She was not too far behind Essendon’s leading disposal-getter, Courtney Ugle, who gathered 19 disposals, four marks and four tackles. Hayley Bullas also racked up the disposals with 17 touches to go with her four tackles, which is a stat that she has been dominating in this season.

 

Melbourne Uni 4.5 (29) defeated by Williamstown 10.7 (67)

By: Taylah Melki

In what was a one-way affair after quarter time, Williamstown dominated against Melbourne University. The Seagulls made the most of their scoring opportunities with their crisp ball movement and two-way running. Melbourne University started off hot, showing good intent but struggled to combat both the offensive and defensive pressure that Williamstown applied after the first quarter.

For Williamstown, Jess Duffin had a day out, bagging three goals and gathering plenty of the footy. Her hands in close were second to none, dishing off handballs into space and running hard to create forward play for the Seagulls. Jasmine Garner was also among the Seagulls’ best, amassing a heap of touches and hitting the scoreboard. Rebecca Dardengo backed up her impressive performance from last week, applying plenty of pressure, while Emily Gardner was also busy across the ground imposing herself on the contest.

Gardner’s Western Jets teammate, Caitlin Greiser starred for Melbourne University, positioning well and booting two majors for the game. Teammates, Emma Humphries and Kaitlyn Ashmore were also instrumental for the Mugars, winning plenty of the ball and using the footy effectively and efficiently. In her first game of the season, Tasmanian Under 18 representative, Chloe Haines impressed with her ability to impact the contest and hit targets while under pressure.