Tag: Rebecca Goring

Weekend previews: AFLW – Round 2

AFTER an exhilarating first round, which saw four of the five matches go down to the wire, teams prepare to tweak game styles or mix up team sheets in order to get an advantage over their opponents. Four of the first round losers face off, with Melbourne heading to Victoria Park on Saturday to face the Magpies, while Carlton hosts Adelaide at Ikon Park on Sunday. The two sides who head home without any points face an uphill battle in the race for finals action. The fifth losing side from Round 1, GWS GIANTS has its own mammoth effort – trying to take down North Melbourne who simply blitzed Carlton. A maximum of three sides can remain undefeated after Round 2 with first round winners, Geelong and Western Bulldogs, and Fremantle and Brisbane facing off over the weekend.

GWS GIANTS vs. NORTH MELBOURNE
Friday, February 8, 7.15pm
Drummoyne Oval

In the opening game of the round, new side North Melbourne fresh off a huge victory over Carlton, head to Drummoyne Oval to face the GIANTS. The GIANTS are playing just their second game at the venue, following a loss to the Blues this time last year. The battle within the contest is the All-Australian rucks going head-to-head with Kangaroos’ Emma King and GIANTS’ Erin McKinnon. North Melbourne’s midfield has great depth to it, lead by last year’s League Best and Fairest winner, Emma Kearney, Jamie Stanton, Jess Duffin and Ash Riddell, of whom the latter was ultra-impressive on debut. North Melbourne’s dynamic forward line features former Magpies, Jasmine Garner and Mo Hope, premiership-winning Bulldog Jenna Bruton, and former Lion Kaitlyn Ashmore. With the strength around the ground, it will be hard to contain the Roos if they win the midfield battle.

The one area the GIANTS could get an upper hand is through rebounding forward with an equally impressive, albeit underrated forward line. Jess Dal Pos, former Magpie Christina Bernardi and defender-turned-forward Cora Staunton are all capable of multiple goals, while Haneen Zreika was impressive on debut last week. The midfield simply has to win its fair share of head-to-heads, with Courtney Gum, Rebecca Beeson, Alicia Eva and Alyce Parker leading the way, while Amanda Farrugia, Emma Swanson and Tanya Hetherington will have big jobs coming out of defence. The Kangaroos took a massive 56 marks in last week’s huge win over Carlton, while still laying 66 tackles. The GIANTS laid just the 42 and only five in the forward 50, and will need to show more pressure inside 50 against a side capable of hurting you on the scoreboard really quickly. Both teams are generally good ball users and make the most of their opportunities so it will be fascinating to see which team can take the early advantage and put it on the scoreboard. North Melbourne will head in as favourites, but it is far from completely clear cut, and this will be a huge win for the GIANTS if they can get the job done at home.

H2H: GWS GIANTS 0 | North Melbourne 0 | Draws 0
Venue: GWS GIANTS 0-1-0 | North Melbourne 0-0-0

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

  • Emma Kearney averages 20 disposals, 6.5 tackles, 4.5 clearances, four inside 50s and a goal against the GIANTS from two clashes.
  • Both AFL Women’s All Australian rucks are set to go head-to-head with Emma King taking on Erin McKinnon. In the battle between the pair last year, King won convincingly with 11 disposals and 18 hitouts to McKinnon’s three disposals and 14 hitouts.
  • GWS GIANTS’ only game at the venue resulted in a loss to Carlton last year, while North Melbourne looks to back up its only game – a huge win over Carlton last week.
  • The GIANTS have won two, drawn two and lost three games in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory.

 

COLLINGWOOD vs. MELBOURNE
Saturday, February 9, 4.45pm
Victoria Park

At one of the homes of traditional football, Collingwood hosts Melbourne in what has become a must-win for both sides. After heart-breaking losses in Round 1 despite leading at the final change, neither team can afford to go 0-2, with the reality that teams need at least four wins to secure a finals berth. A second loss means they must win four of their final five games as a minimum and with both still to play their respective conference favourites, it would spell trouble for their post-season hopes. However, for the winner, it is a chance to balance the ledger and get back on track early in the season. Collingwood has been a slow starter in year’s gone by, and has been overhauled with youth since last season, while Melbourne has also brought a number of young players into the team, furthering the development of players who got their starts last season. With both teams defensively capable, it will make for a great clash. The sides also sit at one win each in the head-to-head, funnily enough after the losing side in each game got a head start, but was run over the top of in the second halves.

Both teams have made two changes, with a debutant and a return from a long-term injury headlining the selection moves. Oakleigh Chargers’ tall, Katie Lynch comes into the side after Sophie Alexander’s concussion last week ruled her out of the game. Kristy Stratton was also ruled out through injury, with the Magpies opting to go tall by bringing in Eliza Hynes to try and stretch the Melbourne defence when forward, while rotating with Sharni Layton and Eliza Fowler. Melbourne have brought in Ainslie Kemp who has not played since 2017 due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear – sadly replacing Shae Sloane who suffered the exact same injury. The Dees have also brought in Ashleigh Guest for Claudia Whitfort. The key to victory for the Demons is restricting the run of Collingwood’s defence, which helped the Magpies hold up against Geelong last week with Ash Brazill causing all sorts of headaches, while Jordyn Allen was equally as impressive. They also need to clamp down on Jaimee Lambert who has the ability to turn a game with great plays, while Catherine Phillips could be the one asked to restrict Sarah D’Arcy from dominating in the air. For the Magpies, they need to be wary of Melbourne’s firepower with Tegan Cunningham and Eden Zanker likely to stretch the defence, while Aliesha Newman has pace to burn and both Kate Hore and Maddison Gay are capable of getting over the back and hurting teams on the rebound. Elise O’Dea, Karen Paxman and Lily Mithen are up there with the best midfields in the competition, and will look to control the stoppages around the ground and give their forwards early opportunities.

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

Last time they met: Collingwood 9.4 (58) defeated Melbourne 3.6 (24) at TIO Traeger Park, Round 4, 2018

After booting the opening two goals of the match and keeping Collingwood goalless in the opening term, the Demons only managed 1.4 for the rest of the match as the Magpies piled on 9.4 to run away with the match by 34 points. Magpies captain, Steph Chiocchi played one of her best games under lights, booting a goal from 17 disposals, two marks, four clearances and three inside 50s, while Jaimee Lambert had a team-high 19 disposals as well as three inside 50s and two rebounds. Caitlyn Edwards and Mo Hope both booted two goals in the victory, but arguably the best performance was that of Brittany Bonnici who tagged Melbourne captain, Daisy Pearce and restricted her to a career-low nine disposals. For the Demons, Elise O’Dea was the top performer with 19 disposals, two clearances, three inside 50s and a goal, while Karen Paxman had 18 touches and three rebounds.

Fun facts:

  • Of the 42 players to take the field in last year’s clash in the Top End, just 24 players remain available for selection in season 2019. Even more remarkably, just eight players from Collingwood’s first match against the Demons – two years ago – remain on the list.
  • Elise O’Dea (17 disposals) and Karen Paxman (16.5 disposals) average the most disposals against the Magpies from their two clashes.
  • Sarah D’Arcy and Emma Grant average the most disposals against the Demons, with 10 touches apiece.
  • Both sides were in the lead at three quarter time after holding their opponent scoreless in the third term last week only to go on to lose the game in heartbreaking circumstances.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS vs. GEELONG
Saturday, February 9, 7.15pm
VU Whitten Oval

H2H: Western Bulldogs 0 | Geelong 0 | Draws 0
Venue: Western Bulldogs 4-3-0 | Geelong 0-0-0

In the other game that will be the first time these teams go head-to-head is between reigning premiers, Western Bulldogs and new side, Geelong. Both teams had a win in Round 1 and this weekend marks the first home game for the Bulldogs, which means they will unfurl the 2018 AFL Women’s flag in front of what is predicted to be a strong crowd at VU Whitten Oval. The winner will most certainly get an early advantage given the strength of their opponent, and it marks the first game for the sides which sees them pitted against a non-conference rival. Both teams also know how to close out tight games, having survived one-point thrillers in the opening round to secure the four points. Given their experience and depth across the field, Western Bulldogs will head in as favourites, but Geelong are expected to throw down a challenge with a couple of key players returning.

The Cats have welcomed back key forward, Phoebe McWilliams and ruck, Erin Hoare to bolster their side against the reigning premiers. Georgie Rankin and Maighan Fogas have been the two unlucky players omitted from the victorious side last Saturday night, with Fogas and key defender, Georgia Clarke named as emergencies for the clash. The Dogs will unveil Irish debutant, Aisling McCarthy who comes into the side, replacing the omitted Belinda Smith. The enticing battle will see which defence holds up the best as both sides proved to have their respective opposition’s measure last week. Co-captain, Katie Brennan booted the Bulldogs’ two goals against the Crows, while Meg McDonald, Rebecca Goring and Madeline Keryk were among the Cats’ best under pressure when the Magpies were attacking. While the heartbreaking story of Nina Morrison doing her ACL at training will dominate headlines, Geelong still has a huge core of youth including Denby Taylor, Olivia Purcell and Sophie Van De Heuvel who will face established young talents in Monique Conti and Bonnie Toogood, and first round draftee, Eleanor Brown. Co-captain Ellie Blackburn is always a crucial player for the Dogs and will look to take control in the midfield, while the Dogs’ defence of Lauren Spark, Libby Birch and Hannah Scott will provide plenty of rebound.

Last time they met: N/A

Fun facts:

  • The Western Bulldogs lost three consecutive matches at VU Whitten Oval in 2017, but have since won all three games they have played there, and is the Dogs’ first home game since winning the 2018 AFL Women’s flag.
  • Aasta O’Connor will play against her old side for the first time, lining up in the ruck to face Kim Rennie, while sharing the ruck duties with Erin Hoare in the blue and white hoops.
  • Ellie Blackburn averaged 16.9 disposals, 2.9 marks, 3.25 tackles and 3.25 clearances last season, the most of any current Western Bulldogs player.
  • With Brooke Lochland injured for the season, Phoebe McWilliams will be the leading goal kicker from last season in the match, booting seven goals for the GIANTS.

 

CARLTON vs. ADELAIDE
Sunday, February 10, 4.05pm
Ikon Park

H2H: Carlton 0 | Adelaide 2 | Draws 0
Venue: Carlton 4-1-2 | Adelaide 0-0-0

For the first time in 2019, Ikon Park hosts a match with the Blues heading back home to welcome the Crows in a Sunday evening game. The ground has traditionally been the host of the opening game of the year between bitter rivals, Carlton and Collingwood but that has changed in 2019. These teams are both heading into the match off the back of a loss, with Carlton’s heavy defeat to North Melbourne not the ideal start to the season following a wooden spoon, while the Crows will rue missed opportunities in front of goal after booting 1.11 against the Bulldogs at Norwood Oval. Adelaide is yet to play at Ikon Park, while Carlton has made it somewhat of a fortress winning four and drawing a fifth game from its seven matches at the venue. Considering they have only won one match outside Ikon Park, it has been a comfort zone and the Crows cannot afford to take them lightly. With Adelaide in the tougher conference, they would not want to drop this game and go 0-2 to start the season, while Carlton will look for its first win under Daniel Harford who would have learnt plenty from the round one defeat.

Looking at the Round 1 matches, efficiency inside 50 looks to be key, with Adelaide having a 75 per cent scoring efficiency with 18 shots from 24 attempts, while Carlton had just 10 shots from 29 attempts – 35 per cent scoring efficiency. Both sides have impressive forward lines on paper, but they will need to convert their opportunities. Any forward 50 with Darcy Vescio, Tayla Harris and Brianna Davey – who has actually been named in defence – is going to worry opposition defenders, while Erin Phillips is as good as anyone one-on-one and is lining up at full-forward, while Chloe Scheer is a young star who will only get better. Speaking of young stars, Madison Prespakis carried the weight of the midfield on her shoulders last week and was ultra-impressive on debut, so the Crows will need to be aware of her presence. The Adelaide midfield has greater depth and the Blues should look to limit the influence of Ebony Marinoff who racked up 23 disposals and laid 11 tackles in Round 1. If Carlton can restrict her influence on the inside and win the contested ball – with the likes of Jess Hosking and Katie Loynes getting on top, it will go a long way to causing an upset. Chelsea Randall leads the defence, while the experience of Renee Forth through the midfield will be important. Carlton will need to control the ruck contest through Breann Moody, and break even in the middle, while the Crows will focus on clearance domination to give their forwards first opportunity and more importantly, those forwards need to convert.

Last time they met: Adelaide 8.7 (55) defeated Carlton 2.8 (20) at Norwood Oval, Round 5, 2018.

Adelaide flexed their muscles against the Blues when the sides were heading in opposite directions. The Crows at home booted six goals to one after quarter time to run away from the Blues, but counted the cost of the win with injuries to Erin Phillips and Courtney Cramey. Ruth Wallace booted three goals, while Eloise Jones finished with two, as Ebony Marinoff and Chelsea Randall shared 31 disposals. Breann Moody was dominant in the ruck for the Blues with 29 hitouts from 11 disposals and four clearances, while Tayla Harris had 11 disposals, three marks and booted a goal.

Fun facts:

  • Despite winning the wooden spoon last season, Carlton has a strong record at Ikon Park, having won four and drawn one from seven attempts.
  • If Carlton lose the match, it will mark more than a year since they won their last match.
  • While she picked up an injury in the second game, Erin Phillips was everywhere in the Crows’ first win over the Blues, racking up 21 disposals and eight clearances. In the same game, Ebony Marinoff laid 14 tackles from 16 disposals, her exact disposal average against Carlton.
  • Of the Carlton players to play against Adelaide in both games, the omitted Tilly Lucas-Rodd averages the most disposals with 13.5, while Darcy Vescio averages two goals per game against the Crows.

 

FREMANTLE vs. BRISBANE
Sunday, February 10, 3.05pm
Fremantle Oval

H2H: Fremantle 0 | Brisbane 2 | Draws 0
Venue: Fremantle 2-3-0 | Brisbane 1-0-0

Both sides won against the odds in Round 1, with Fremantle toppling Melbourne in scorching weather at Casey Fields after being 14 points down at the final break, while Brisbane knocked off GWS GIANTS a fortnight after succumbing to the GIANTS in a heavy practice match loss. Both sides had plenty to be positive about last week, most importantly securing an early four points, while also having plenty to improve upon for this week. Fremantle are back at home in Western Australia, but at their only other clash at the venue, Brisbane took home the points, though it was two years ago. Both teams look to be very different to that clash, with the Lions having a host of youth coming through, as do the Dockers while also filtering in some experienced local talent. Brisbane will go in as favourites given their history in the competition, but Fremantle’s performance last week certainly raised eyebrows and showed that everyone could be underrating the Dockers.

Both sides play a different brand of football which is really exciting for this clash. In Round 1, Fremantle battered and bruised their way to an impressive contested ball style, getting the pull forward to record a huge 11 marks inside 50, while laying 10 tackles in the arc. They harassed and pressured the Demons into making uncharacteristic mistakes, laying 77 tackles in the process. The Lions have tall targets up forward, but opted for a balanced possession game and spread well around the ground. They intercepted the GIANTS 51 times and took the game on, trying to unsettle the defence with possession football, but going when required. This game could well be a combination of both styles and sets up for a huge clash. The Lions forward line is severely underrated with Sabrina Frederick-Traub the dominant key position player, while McKenzie Dowrick and Jess Wuetschner are incredibly clever and dangerous around goals. Throw in Jordan Zanchetta, Emma Zielke and the defensively-minded but strong, Lauren Arnell and the Lions front six is as good as any. Ebony Antonio and Tayla Bresland were strong in defence last week, while the midfield of Dana Hooker and Kara Donnellan are not huge ball winners, but always effective. They tackle the biggest ball-winning duo of Emily Bates and Ally Anderson who had the ball on a string last week, while the potential match-up of Kiara Bowers and Sam Virgo could be entertaining based on Round 1 form. Both teams have immensely talented youth coming through, and both teams’ first round picks, Sabreena Duffy and Paige Parker, have been named in the side.

Last time they met: Brisbane 3.4 (22) defeated Fremantle 2.3 (15) at South Pine Sports Complex, Round 4, 2018.

In a low-scoring affair that saw just one goal kicked in the first half, Brisbane held on in a thriller to win by seven points and remain on track for a grand final berth. Dynamic forward, Jess Wuetschner booted two goals from 18 disposals, three marks and four inside 50s, while Kate Lutkins and Ally Anderson both had 18 touches in the win. For the Dockers, Lara Filocamo had 18 disposals and laid five tackles. Kara Donnellan laid a whopping 10 tackles and had five clearances and 15 disposals.

Fun facts:

  • In their only clash at the venue, Brisbane defeated Fremantle by 13 points in Round 2, 2017. Fremantle has a 100 per cent winning ratio at Fremantle Oval over Victorian sides, but a zero per cent winning ratio over non-Victorian sides.
  • Jess Wuetschner has been the dominant goal kicker in the matches between these sides, averaging two goals per game.
  • Lara Filocamo averages the most disposals between the sides, with 17.5 per match.
  • Both sides won their opening round matches by less than a kick, with Fremantle getting a dress rehearsal for the scorching West Australian heat, winning at Casey Fields in 38 degrees Celcius.

 

DRAFT CENTRAL TIPPING

Leaderboard:

Eq. 1st : Sophie Taylor, Matthew Cocks [ 3 ]
Eq. 3rd : Peter Williams, Taylah Melki, Michael Alvaro [ 2 ]

 

Peter Williams

Chief Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Collingwood
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Taylah Melki

Assistant Chief Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Sophie Taylor

Women’s Football Editor

Last week: 3

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Michael Alvaro

Men’s Football Editor

Last week: 2

Round 2 selections:

North Melbourne
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

 

Matthew Cocks

Guest Tipster

Last week: 3

Round 2 selections:

GWS GIANTS
Collingwood
Western Bulldogs
Adelaide
Brisbane

AFLW season previews: Geelong

THE Geelong Cats are one of the two new sides entering the AFLW competition this year, and rather than finding players from other clubs, they have largely focused on adding local talent to their line-up. The Cats received the first two picks in the draft and snapped up two of the most exciting players in Nina Morrison and Sophie Van De Heuvel, who will certainly turn heads as the competition goes on.

List: Rene Caris, Danielle Orr, Hannah Burchell, Cassie Blakeway, Jordan Ivey, Julia Crockett-Grills, Mia-Rae Clifford, Kate Darby, Nina Morrison, Georgie Rankin, Meghan McDonald, Renee Garing, Maighan Fogas, Aasta O’Connor, Olivia Purcell, Georgia Clarke, Melissa Hickey, Rebecca Webster, Phoebe McWilliams, Madaleine McMahon, Elise Coventry, Madeleine Boyd, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Denby Taylor, Richelle Cranston, Hayley Trevean, Anna Teague, Rebecca Goring, Madeline Keryk, Erin Hoare

Local talent dominates this list, with 20 players featuring in Geelong’s 2018 Victorian Football League (VFLW) side. The Cats made the Grand Final and came up short against the Hawks, but showed what they are capable of with their list. Add experienced spearheads like Aasta O’Connor, Melissa Hickey and Phoebe McWilliams to the side and Geelong has a very potent line-up.

Area of strength: Midfield

The Geelong midfield is stacked with talent, led by Geelong Best and Fairest winner, Richelle Cranston. Cranston consistently racked up high numbers of disposals for the Cats during the VFLW season, and was complemented by a core group in Cassie Blakeway, Maighan Fogas and Hannah Burchell, who stepped up each week and are likely to do so again in the AFLW. Add in Geelong Falcons premiership duo, Nina Morrison and Olivia Purcell, who both also played in the Grand Final for the Cats. Morrison’s chase-down speed is unbelievable, and she has shown that she can come up against bigger bodies, having to deal with a Meg Hutchins tag in the VFLW Grand Final. Purcell is a tackling machine and led the way for both the Falcons and the Cats with her ferocity, so expect 2019 to be much the same from her.

Area of weakness: Defence

While Geelong has plenty of exciting forwards, its defence may come under pressure with the attacking forward lines that a lot of sides boast. Georgia Clarke will come into the mix as a calm and composed defender, and will have to work with the likes of Elise Coventry and Bec Goring, who were mainstays in the Cats’ defence in the VFLW. While Coventry is a consistent player, she often goes missing in the disposal count, so she will need to work on that coming into the AFLW season. Rebecca Webster is likely to be a key part of Geelong’s defence, even though she can play through the midfield too. Webster has a booming kick and strong hands, so if she floats into the midfield, it could leave a big gap in the defensive 50.

Players to watch:

Nina Morrison

Being the number one pick comes with a lot of pressure, but Morrison knows how to handle it. Having only picked up a football in a competitive environment three years ago, Morrison had a ripper 2018, sharing the TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award at the Under 18 Championships. Her outside run is incredible, and her take-off speed is really something to watch. She is a precise kick and has shown that she can use it anywhere, having spent some time up forward for the Falcons last year in the TAC Cup Girls competition. Expect her to get a Rising Star nomination this season.

Olivia Purcell

The Geelong Falcons Best and Fairest was one of the most fierce tacklers in the TAC Cup Girls competition. She’s also a great clearance player, and knows how to hack it out of congestion with ease. She thrived in the Geelong VFLW environment, having played alongside players like Richelle Cranston. Purcell represented Vic Country in 2018 as well and was one of the leading disposal-getters in every match, highlighting her ability to find the footy with ease.

Maddy Boyd

A player that already has experience in the AFLW, Boyd will be a pivotal player for the Cats this year. She thrived in the ruck and through the forward line for Geelong’s VFLW side, taking big grabs and kicking crucial goals when needed. With plenty of ruck support in the team in the form of Aasta O’Connor, Kate Darby and Rene Caris, expect Boyd to spend some time up forward, as her marking prowess will give defenders massive headaches.

2019 prediction: 3rd in Conference B
The Cats certainly have the line-up to turn a few heads this season. With all the focus on North Melbourne’s star-studded line-up, the Cats’ has largely gone unnoticed, which the side will not mind at all. With Melissa Hickey leading the brigade as skipper and VFLW Grand Final coach, Paul Hood at the helm, it is hard to see where the Cats could go wrong in 2019. Gelling together will be the main challenge, as it always is for a new side. They have a hard draw to start off with, taking on the AFLW’s two premiership teams in Adelaide and the Bulldogs in the first four weeks, but those games are bookended by matches against Carlton and Collingwood. Expect Geelong to come out firing in 2019 and turn a few heads.

 

2019 Geelong AFLW Fixture

DateEventTime/ResultsVenueArticleMatch Day
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GMHBA StadiumRound 1
Whitten OvalRound 2
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Norwood OvalRound 3
GMHBA StadiumRound 4
Moreton Bay Sporting ComplexRound 5
GMHBA StadiumRound 6
UNSW Canberra OvalRound 7

Season reviews: VFLW – Geelong

GEELONG had one of the most consistent Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s seasons. The Cats only suffered one big loss during the season with the other two being respectable margins. They turned it on in the finals and made it all the way to the big stage from fourth place.

 

Position: 4th (Runners-up)
Win-loss: 10-3
Percentage: 163%

Results:

Round 1: Defeated Melbourne University by 39 points
Round 2: Drew with Collingwood
Round 3: Defeated Williamstown by 53 points
Round 4: Defeated Carlton by seven points
Round 5: Defeated Melbourne University by one point
Round 6: Defeated Darebin by 15 points
Round 7: Bye
Round 8: Lost against Western Bulldogs by 22 points
Round 9: Lost against NT Thunder by 65 points
Round 10: Defeated Southern Saints by 38 points
Round 11: Defeated Casey Demons by 41 points
Round 12: Bye
Round 13: Defeated Richmond by 59 points
Round 14: Defeated Essendon by 45 points
Round 15: Defeated Casey Demons by 37 points
Round 16: Lost against Hawthorn by 16 points

 

Key players:

#7 Mia-Rae Clifford

Clifford was a deserved VFLW Team of the Year member after she transformed her game this season. After previously spending time as a defender, Clifford made the forward line her own at the Cats and had a consistent season in front of the sticks. She kicked 15 goals from 17 games and topped off her solid year with a fifth place finish in Geelong’s Best and Fairest count. One of her best games came in Round 5, when she kicked two goals, gathered 20 disposals, took eight marks and laid seven tackles.

#13 Maighan Fogas

Fogas was a ball magnet throughout the year for the Cats. She was an agile player who could use the football really well, whether it was by hand or by foot. Fogas finished second in Geelong’s Best and Fairest count after a solid year in the midfield. She was a crucial player in Geelong’s one-point win over Melbourne University, racking up 23 disposals and laying eight tackles.

#24 Maddy McMahon

McMahon was a real handy player for the Cats as they were able to throw her into a variety of positions. She impressed with her versatility throughout the year and looked like a ready-made AFL Women’s player, which earned her a spot on Geelong’s list. McMahon finished third in Geelong’s Best and Fairest count after averaging 14.1 disposals, 2.7 marks and 12 hitouts per game this season. She led the way in Round 4 with 22 disposals, four marks and five tackles in the Geelong’s win over Carlton.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Cranston was a deserved winner of Geelong’s VFLW Best and Fairest, with a stellar year in the midfield. Her strength in congestion was almost unmatchable as she was able to break the lines and use her long kick to propel her side forward. Cranston was also named in the VFLW Team of the Year as she consistently racked up high numbers of disposals throughout the season, proving to be a real headache for opposition sides. She had a stellar game in Round 5, gathering 26 disposals, taking five marks and laying six tackles.

#44 Rebecca Goring

The Geelong skipper led from the front all season, matching up on key players in defence and keeping them quiet. Goring was smart with her ball use, and used it well by hand and by foot. Her run and carry out of defensive 50 was also handy, as it allowed the Cats to go forward with ease. In Round 11, Goring played a great game against Casey, racking up 18 disposals and taking seven marks.

#45 Madeline Keryk

Keryk has probably been one of the most successful mid-season recruits in the VFLW. She played 12 games for the Cats this season (including finals) and her impact was profound. Keryk’s inside work was spectacular as she was able to feed the ball out of congestion with quick hands. Her run and carry was also key as it allowed her to break the lines and use her long kick to send the Cats forward. She had a remarkable finals series, but in terms of the home and away season, she dominated in Round 11 with 19 disposals, four marks and 11 tackles.

 

Season summary:

The future is certainly looking bright for Geelong, with the Geelong Falcons TAC Cup Girls side winning the premiership, the VFLW side featuring in the Grand Final and the AFL Women’s list starting to take shape. A lot of VFLW players showed plenty of promise and a lot of players could slot into an AFL Women’s side. The Cats produced some big winning margins during the year and scraped over the line on other occasions, showing their ability to get the job done. Geelong will certainly head into the VFLW next year as one of the premiership favourites.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Grand Final

THE stage is set for traditional rivals, Hawthorn and Geelong to make history in the inaugural Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Grand Final. The Hawks and Cats have been even all season on the ladder and will get to show what they’re made of in the first game played at Marvel Stadium.

 

HAWTHORN  v. GEELONG CATS

Sunday, September 23, 12.30pm
Etihad Stadium, Docklands

Form line:

Hawthorn:

Ladder position: 2nd
Wins: 12
Losses: 2
Percentage: 180%

Geelong:

Ladder position: 4th
Wins: 10
Losses: 3
Draws: 1
Percentage: 163%

 

Last time they met:

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. Madeline 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.

GOALS

Hawthorn: R. Beeson 2, S. Perkins 2, C. Dyett, R. Dillon
Geelong: M. Clifford, M. Keryk, K. Darby

BEST

Hawthorn: J. Van Dyk, R. Dillon, K. Ebb, S. Perkins, E. Mackie, M. Cann
Geelong: R. Cranston, A. Teague, E. Coventry, R. Goring, M. Keryk, K. Darby

 

Players to watch:

Hawthorn:

#1 Emma Mackie

Mackie has been outstanding this season and has managed to find her form from the start of the year in the last couple of weeks. Last time she faced the Cats, she racked up 20 disposals and five tackles, then followed this up with three goals, 18 disposals and four tackles in the qualifying final against the Pies.

#6 Julia Crockett-Grills

Crocket-Grills is an interesting situation, playing against the team that she has recently been recruited to in the AFL Women’s. An agile midfielder, Crockett-Grills can burst the game open with her speed and footy smarts. Against the Pies two weeks ago, she gathered 10 disposals and laid five tackles.

#8 Rebecca Beeson

Rebecca Beeson has been one of Hawthorn’s most consistent players throughout the season, playing roles in both the forward line and in the midfield. Lately, she has been in the midfield and has made a huge impact. She was dominant against Geelong in Round 16 where she gathered 22 disposals, five marks, six tackles and kicked two goals.   

#24 Rosie Dillon

Dillon has strung together a couple of good games in the lead-up to this match. She arguably played her best game of the season against Collingwood in week one of the finals, as she gathered 20 disposals, two marks and four tackles to go along with her major. Against Geelong in the home and away season, she was again one of the star players for the Hawks with one goal, 17 disposals, three marks and eight tackles.

#36 Jayde Van Dyk

Jayde Van Dyk well and truly deserved the VFLW Rising Star award after a breakout season in the brown and gold. Van Dyk was a lock in the backline each week and shut down her opponents extremely well. Her agile frame also allowed her to get involved in the contest with great run and carry. She got heavily involved against the Cats in Round 16 where she racked up 18 disposals, took four marks and laid five tackles.

#45 Mikala Cann

The Eastern Ranges midfielder has only played a handful of games for the Hawks, but they have all been of a high quality. Cann is an inside bull who tackles hard and runs hard in and out of stoppages. She’s one who can turn a game on its head with her explosive impact. Cann was the leading disposal-getter on the ground against Collingwood with 21 disposals, three marks and eight tackles.

 

Geelong:

#6 Maddie Boyd

Maddie Boyd’s aerial ability is really going to trouble the Hawks. Her contested and uncontested marking has been superb this season and has played a big part in getting the Cats to Marvel Stadium on Sunday. Against the Pies, she kicked two goals and took seven marks. Last time she faced the Hawks, she gathered 11 disposals and took five marks.

#7 Mia-Rae Clifford

Mia-Rae Clifford’s move into the forward line has been a revelation, as she has kicked 15 goals from 16 games. Clifford also made the VFLW Team of the Year thanks to her consistency with the ball in hand. She didn’t kick a goal against the Pies last week, so she would come into this game hungry for a couple of majors. Clifford still managed to rack up 11 disposals and lay six tackles in the fierce contest.

#16 Olivia Purcell

Olivia Purcell comes into this game with a chance to win her second premiership this season. She has rightfully earned her spot in the team with some great inside work and ferocity around the contest. This was highlighted last week when she laid 14 tackles against the Pies, not giving their midfielders an inch of space. Against the Northern Territory (NT), she got plenty of the ball, racking up 19 disposals and kicking a goal.

#20 Nina Morrison

Purcell’s premiership teammate, Nina Morrison is in the same situation as her, vying for her second premiership this season. There’s not much Morrison hasn’t won this season, winning both the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest alongside Madison Prespakis. Morrison missed last week’s game against the Pies after she was named best-on-ground in the Cats’ win over NT. In that game, she gathered 18 disposals and laid seven tackles. She is a key inclusion in this match.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Richelle Cranston will be a worrying prospect for Hawthorn with her strength around the contest. Cranston has the tenacity to bullock through packs and win the hard ball to get it out of congestion, which has played a big part in Geelong’s success this year. Her finals campaign has been outstanding with two goals, 19 disposals, five marks and six tackles against the NT. Against Collingwood, she racked up 15 disposals and laid seven tackles.

#45 Madeline Keryk

Madeline Keryk gets better as each week goes on, dominating the midfield with her tenacity and footy smarts. Keryk hits the packs hard and her kicking and handballing is precise. She is a ball magnet and has demonstrated this in her last two games. Against the Thunder, Keryk gathered 16 disposals and laid nine tackles. She bettered this when she faced the Pies, with 24 disposals and four tackles.

 

Preview:

These two teams have been evenly poised throughout the season, with both teams always in contention for the premiership flag. Both have knocked off minor premiers, Collingwood, and Geelong has had the added bonus of knocking out the NT. Hawthorn comes into this game off a break, giving a chance for players such as Olivia Flanagan to return from injury and slot back into the side. Geelong has kept it simple in the lead-up to the Grand Final, bringing in star draft prospect, Nina Morrison to impose her outside run on the Hawks’ midfield.

The midfield will be littered with Under 18 Victorian representatives, with Morrison, Olivia Purcell, Mikala Cann and Emerson Woods to all play a role on the day. Experienced players, Rebecca Beeson and Emma Mackie could go up against Richelle Cranston and Rosie Dillon in what should be an enthralling battle. In the 50s, Geelong captain, Rebecca Goring could see eye-to-eye with Adelaide Crows forward, Sarah Perkins while Jayde Van Dyk could match up on Mia-Rae Clifford.

It’s also a match-up of two of the best coaches, with Patrick Hill and Paul Hood matching up tactics against tactics. Geelong coach, Hood believes his side can get revenge on the Hawks after an improvement of form since their last meeting.

“We’re quietly confident we can improve our performance after that day,” he said. “Obviously we learn a bit from playing against the Hawks, they put in a really powerful performance. “It’s no great surprise to us that we’re here but obviously we needed a bit of luck along the way.  “We’re really grateful to get the opportunity to play this weekend.”

Patrick Hill is also grateful to grace Marvel Stadium with his Hawthorn players, admitting that he didn’t see a Grand Final berth coming so fast.

“If you told me I’d be here two years ago in a Grand Final, I probably would’ve laughed at you,” Hill said. “We’re incredibly well supported by our club. “I think it shows how many great athletes there are in women’s sport. “It’s not like men’s sport where they’ve already been through trials and a lot of development programs thrown at them since they were seven years old, they’ve had to sort of fight to be involved. “Once we opened up the doors to all our women in, you see how many amazing athletes there are out there, they’re extremely coachable and a delight to work with.”

Hawthorn has been one of the best offensive sides this year while Geelong has been one of the best defensive outfits, so if the game is played on the Hawks’ terms, it could be a fast-paced game. But if the game is played on the Cats’ terms, it could be a defensive, hard-fought slug which Geelong has been accustomed to this year. Either way, this will be a tight contest with both teams desperate to lift up the first ever VFLW premiership cup on Sunday.

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.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 11

GEELONG has the most representatives in the Round 11 Team of the Week, with five players making the cut after their side’s massive win over Casey. Similarly, NT Thunder and the Western Bulldogs have four and three representatives respectively, headlined by midfield bull, Ebony Marinoff with her 28 disposals against Richmond

After their 41-point loss to Geelong, the Demons failed to register a player in the best 22 this week with Kaila Bentvelzen’s two goals not quite enough to get into the forward six.

Marinoff was a lock in this week’s best 22 after dominating in the midfield against Richmond. In just her second game in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition, she is starting to hit her strides at the right time of the season. In the same game, Courtney Wakefield starred for Richmond up forward with three goals and an everlasting presence in the forward 50.

Jasmyn Hewett has been dominating in the ruck for the Thunder and once again has claimed her credentials for the VFLW Team of the Year. Madison Prespakis also slots straight back into the VFLW Team of the Week after finishing her Under 18 representative duties. She will be hoping to keep her spot and help drive Melbourne University out of the bottom three.

Geelong’s Kate Darby was unlucky to miss out this week with two goals and 16 disposals against Casey.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 11

LADDER leader, Collingwood was given a big scare by the gallant Blues while Melbourne Uni just scraped over the line in a tight contest at Frankston. The Pies now have the NT Thunder on their heels, after they recorded a handy win over Richmond. The Thunder sit second on the ladder and will be keen to push the high-flying Pies in the coming rounds.

 

Williamstown 4.5 (29) defeated by Western Bulldogs 10.9. (69)

After a close first quarter that saw the Seagulls and Western Bulldogs level, Williamstown was not able to keep that momentum after that. Instead the Bulldogs went bang in the second quarter, kicking four goals to none in a display of dominance. From then on, the away team was able to flex its muscles and come away with a comfortable 40-point win.

Alyssa Mifsud performed well inside 50 for the Dogs, kicking three goals from her seven disposals. She was complemented by Greater Western Victoria (GWV) captain, Lauren Butler, who also kicked three majors for the day to go with her 13 disposals and four tackles. Sarah Jolly was a ball magnet as she racked up 23 disposals, seven marks and six tackles to go along with a nice goal.

For Williamstown, Andrea Cameron was the shining light, recording 20 disposals and kicking a goal. The other goals came from Western Jets forward, Sharnie Whiting, Emily Paterno, Jorja Rowe and Chloe Portelli. Paterno in particular attacked the ball hard, laying seven tackles and accumulating 15 disposals.

 

Darebin 5.11 (41) defeated Essendon 2.2 (14)

Darebin has returned to its winning ways, defeating Essendon by 27 points. The Falcons held the Bombers scoreless in the second half while managing to kick two goals themselves in a tight battle.

Melbourne AFL Women’s ruck, Lauren Pearce starred in this match, kicking two of her side’s five goals, racking up 19 disposals and taking 10 marks. Eastern Ranges defender, Lauren Szigeti also racked up the possessions with 17 touches to go along with her four marks. Greater Western Sydney (GWS) star, Jessica Dal Pos also had a good day out with 17 disposals and eight tackles.

Dal Pos’ AFL Women’s teammate, Maddy Collier was one of the Bombers’ most influential players on the day, racking up 21 disposals, four marks and six tackles. She was complemented by tackling machine, Hayley Bullas who recorded 19 touches. Monique DeMatteo and NT Under 18 representative, Danielle Ponter were Essendon’s goalkickers.

 

Richmond 4.5 (29) defeated Northern Territory Thunder 7.10 (52)

By: James Halley 

After an even first term which saw just two points separating the teams, Northern Territory (NT) Thunder was able take control of the contest. Richmond started the better out of the two, kicking the first three scoring shots of the game, with Courtney Wakefield kicking 1.2.

Wakefield continued to cause headaches for NT in the second quarter, booting her team’s two majors for the term. After an Emma Swanson wonder goal from the boundary it left the visitors trailing by five points at half-time. NT owned the third quarter as Thunder piled on three goals to none and attempted to build a decent lead in a low-scoring match. The last quarter continued the Thunder dominance with another two goals piled on. Richmond was held goalless in the second half in superb defending by NT.

Wakefield was one of Richmond’s best with three goals, while Phoebe Monahan was one of the Tigers’ best midfielders in a hard day against seasoned AFLW players. While there were many standouts for Northern Territory, highlighted by Ebony Marinoff in the midfield. Marinoff is a contested freak. She was helped out by the ruck dominance of Jasmyn Hewett.

 

Geelong Cats 10.8 (68) defeated Casey Demons 4.3 (27)

A six goals to two second half earned the Cats a convincing victory at Queens Park. Geelong maintained its lead at every quarter break and didn’t look like slowing down throughout the match, holding a two-point lead at quarter time and booted five goals to one over the next two quarters to lead by 28 points at the last change. A four goals to two final term resulted in Geelong running away with a 41-point win to continue its fantastic form.

Up forward, Maddie Boyd and Kate Darby each kicked two majors. Maighan Fogas also chipped in with one goal and was the leading disposal-getter with 25 disposals as well as six tackles. Rebecca Goring also performed well with 18 disposals and seven marks.

Casey Sherriff played a wonderful game for the Demons with 14 of her 15 disposals being kicks. She also led the way for marks with nine and laid nine tackles. Consistent performers, Madelaine Shevlin and Katherine Smith also racked up 15 apiece while Kaila Bentvelzen kicked two majors.

 

Carlton 4.7 (31) defeated by Collingwood 6.12 (48)

By: Peter Williams 

Collingwood survived a scare from arch rivals Carlton to remain unbeaten, following a 17-point win over the Blues at RAMS Arena in Craigieburn. With the famous RAMS breeze blowing from the Grand Boulevard end, it meant nearly all the goals were kicked up the other end. In fact, Stacey Livingstone can hold claim to the only player to kick majors into the wind, booting two in the space of a couple of minutes, which were vital in the end. Carlton led by eight points at quarter time, but found themselves trailing at the half by five. It could have been a lot worse given the Magpies had eight scoring shots, but converted just the one goal, as the ball was trapped inside their forward half for the majority of the 20 minutes. Carlton nudged ahead with three goals to two in the third quarter, was Kristi Harvey and Livingstone both booted two, while young Blues star Tyla Hanks converted a tight-angled set shot from the boundary. The final term saw the Magpies predictably run away with it courtesy of the breeze and Sophie Alexander booted two majors and ensured the Magpies returned to the top of the table.

Harvey was a star at both ends, camping up the end with the breeze, converting when in attack and rebounding when in defence. Sarah Hosking was her usual dominant self around the stoppages and probably the best midfielder on the ground. Tilly Lucas-Rodd was also impressive, while Hanks and fellow TAC Cup Girls’ captain Madeline Brancatisano also showed glimpses of what they are capable of, as did Mika Sukuzi who came in as the 23rd player and showed good hardness at the ball.

The Magpies did not have a standout, rather having many contributors in the win, as Alexander and Livingstone both booted two majors, while Iilish Ross was impressive with her run and carry out of midfield into attack. Brittany Bonnicis attack on the football from half-back, and Nicole Hales‘ work in defence was also admirable. Ruby Schleicher used the ball well by foot in tough conditions, while Emma Grant, Chloe Molloy and Sarah D’Arcy worked hard through midfield.

 

Southern Saints 5.6 (36) defeated by Melbourne University 6.3 (39)

By: Peter Williams

In a thrilling contest that was never quite over until the final siren, Melbourne University toppled the Southern Saints in chilly conditions at Skybus Stadium in Frankston. The game brought plenty of AFL Women’s recruiters to Frankston, with some of this year’s top prospects battling away for their VFL Women’s sides. Melbourne Uni had all the ascendancy in the first term, booting the only two goals of the quarter, including a pin-point curling on-the-run goal from Calder Cannons star Madison Prespakis who set the tone for the match, right after fellow TAC Cup Girls player Caitlin Greiser had got on the board early. The second term was a tight affair, with both sides slotting a goal and competing relatively well with the blustery conditions. A two goals to one third term gave the Mugars a three-goal advantage heading into the final term and looked to have done enough. But when Ashleigh Allsopp and Tara Bohanna slotted goals, the deficit was less than a kick. Bohanna would have been kicking herself, missing two more gettable chances, as the Mugars’ Imogen Milford made them pay with the visitors only score of the final term – a goal. Bohanna kicked a major in the dying minutes, but great work from Melbourne Uni to hold up play in the final minute and ensure a narrow three-point win. There was some controversy at the end with young gun Courtney Jones going down with an injury in the final seconds of the game and the umpire called time off, but the siren sounded a few seconds later. With reportedly five seconds left on the clock, it mattered little what could have happened and all concern from both teams was with Jones’ injury which eventually saw her limp from the field a promising sign from first glance.

Prespakis was the clear standout once against for the Mugars, finding the ball everywhere and copping knocks left, right and centre and just getting straight back up again. Asha Price was impressive up forward, constantly leading for the football, while the likes of Elizabeth Keaney and Hannah Ibrahim were also named in the best. Captain Ashleigh Riddell lead from the front, while Sophie Abbatangelo and Elyce Hay were also good around the ground.

For the Saints, Rhiannon Watt was massive in the ruck and around the ground, while Bohanna, Kayla Ripari and Gabriella De Angelis formed a dynamic trio up forward, all offering something different to the Saints’ set-up. Eleanor Brown was ultra-impressive with her ability to read the play and chop off a number of passes directed inboard by her opposition. Jones was also good in transition, while Jemma Owen stepped up around the contest and put her body on the line on a number of occasions.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 10

WITH the end of the season nearing and ladder positions becoming increasingly important, all clubs will be looking to secure another win. The Magpies have continued their impressive ways, yet to drop a game this season and have a well-earned rest, while the Falcons will be looking to bounce back and redeem their Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s campaign.

 

Darebin vs. NT Thunder

Saturday July 14, Preston City Oval, 12:00PM

After suffering a big loss in the previous round, Darebin will be hoping to join the winners list. The Falcons struggled to hit the scoreboard, only slotting two goals for the game and will be wanting their stars such as Elise O’Dea, Nat Exon and Meghan McDonald to stand up for them once again. They were influential across the ground, applying plenty of pressure and racking up a number of touches. But Darebin will need more of a team performance to bring down the Thunder, who have been firing on all cylinders. With six wins under their belt, the Thunder will be wanting to secure their spot in the top four with another dominant performance. In round nine’s outing, Jessica Sedunary wreaked havoc up forward with four goals between them and will be aiming to bring that same accuracy and intensity. The likes of Emma Swanson and Jasmyn Hewett were also influential for NT, making for a very hotly contested battle across the ground.

 

Geelong vs. Southern Saints

Saturday July 14, Deakin University, 1:00PM

Both Geelong and the Southern Saints have had an up and down season so far and will be fighting hard to get some consistency. After a disappointing loss in round nine, the Cats will want to put out an impressive four quarter performance. Geelong will be relying on Richelle Cranston’s ability to go in hard and win the contested footy, while Rebecca Goring has also been in hot form in recent weeks.  The Southern Saints are coming off a loss, but have shown some good signs over the past dew rounds. The likes of young gun Ashleigh Allsopp impressed, while experienced player Lauren Arnell found plenty of the footy.  

 

Carlton vs. Williamstown

Sunday July 15, Ikon Park, 11:30AM

The Blues have struggled this season, only managing two wins, but a victory over Williamstown could help to keep them off the bottom of the ladder. A shining light for the side has been Darcy Vescio, who is sitting third in the leading goal kickers. Vescio has been running hot since returning, scoring nine goals in four games and will be hoping to continue her impressive form. Her teammates such as Kristi Harvey and Katelyn Cox have also been instrumental and will play a major role in trying to secure Carlton’s third win of the year. On the other hand, the Seagulls will want to prove themselves after coming off four straight losses. Experienced players such as Jess Duffin and Jenna Bruton will need to stand up once again if the Seagulls are any chance to secure their second win.

Western Bulldogs v. Essendon

Sunday July 15, Henry Turner Reserve, 1:00PM

Essendon will be going into this round 10 match up with their tails up after securing their first win of the season. But the Western Bulldogs will be looking to dampen Essendon’s season and increase their chances of playing in the finals. Currently, the Bombers have only managed one win for the season and with the Dogs coming off an impressive win, they could be in for some more hardship. The Bulldogs have plenty of star players such as Ellie Blackburn and Naomi Ferres who can really open the game up and provide some good run and carry, which will make it hard for the Bombers. For the Dons, they will be wanting to wriggle off the bottom of the table and claim another big scalp. Monique Dematteo starred last week bagging two goals while Maddy Collier impressed with her tackling pressure and kicking efficiency, and will be hoping to keep that form going.

 

Melbourne University v. Hawthorn

Sunday July 15, Melbourne Uni Main Oval, 2:30PM

Hawthorn is in hot form, sitting pretty in second position on the ladder and will be looking to make it five straight wins on Sunday. The Hawks have been in ominous form with the likes of Rebecca Beeson and Jayde Van Dyk firing. Their cleanliness around the contest and ability to hit up a target has been important for the brown and gold and they will be looking to maintain that form. Meanwhile for Melbourne Uni, youngster Caitlin Greiser has stood out, slotting three goals and proving how damaging she can be up forward. Teammates such as Kaitlyn Ashmore and Emma Kearney have also been influential and will be looking to make an impact on the contest against the Hawks. 

 

Richmond v. Casey

Sunday July 15, Queen Elizabeth Oval, 2:30PM

With neither side officially out of finals contention, it will make for a hotly contested match with the Tigers sitting eighth on the ladder and the Demons ninth. After a disappointing start to the season, the Casey Demons have found some recent form, winning their past two games and will be looking to extend their winning streak against the Tigers. The Demons showed some good grit last week to hang on with the likes of Holly Bailey starring in her first game and Taryn Orgill at her damaging best. On the other hand, Richmond is coming off a narrow loss and will be looking to bounce back. Youngster, Sophie Damon left a lasting impression last week, named amongst the best and scoring a major, while the likes of Lauren Tesoriero also stood tall, winning plenty of the footy. Jessica Kennedy and Evelyn Burry will also be influential in shaping the outcome of Sunday’s game.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 4

THE Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season rolls along into round four with a number of huge games throughout the weekend. The Hawks enjoy the bye after a huge win over Carlton, helping further establish them as league leaders. The Thunder, Cats and Pies all look to build on impressive starts, while the Bombers and Seagulls desperately try to notch up their first wins.

 

Melbourne Uni vs NT Thunder

Saturday May 26, 11:50AM, Avalon Airport Oval

The NT Thunder sent another huge message last week in its demolition of the Bombers, moving to 2-0 for the season with both wins being dominant. Terrific performances from captain, Angela Foley with 28 possessions and two goals, alongside Emma Swanson, who also added two goals herself, contributed to the big win in Darwin. The Thunder look to continue its unbelievable run against a rested and ready Melbourne Uni, who is fresh off the bye. The Mugars will need a huge game from AFLW MVP winner and North Melbourne recruit, Emma Kearney through the middle of the ground if they wish to stop the prolific offence of the Thunder and improve on their 1-1 beginning to the season.

 

Darebin vs Casey Demons

Saturday May 26, 12 Midday, Bill Lawry Oval

The Demons come off a disappointing loss to the Saints last week, where poor goal kicking, along with a poor last quarter ultimately did them in. Despite the loss, Casey was impressive throughout the game and showed great signs without getting the four points. Former Bendigo Pioneer, Eden Zanker was particularly impressive as she works to continue developing throughout the competition. AFLW teammate, Kate Hore also had a terrific game in her own right. Big performances from these two could help the Demons to get back on track. The Falcons on the other hand come off a bye and will look to establish dominance early on after having two weeks of preparation. Hannah Mouncey will look to continue her spectacular start to the season, building off her three-goal effort in the Falcons’ last encounter.

 

Western Bulldogs vs Collingwood

Saturday May 26, 2PM, Victoria University Whitten oval

Collingwood is looking to continue their great run of form in round four in a clash against the Western Bulldogs. Undefeated from their three games (two wins, one draw), the Magpies have built quite the impressive squad to begin the season. Jaimee Lambert found form last week in a two goal, 24 possession effort to lead the Pies to a comfortable win. This came alongside another impressive performance from former Calder Cannon, Sarah Dargan, who continues to grow in leaps and bounds. The Bulldogs come into the contest in desperate need of a win to get their season going, having lost their first two encounters, and rested with a bye last week. Hayley Wildes has been off to a great start in the opening two games for the Bulldogs, tallying up a high amount of possessions and using the ball extremely well. They will need another great game from Wildes, as well as a step up overall from the team at large if they wish to notch up their first win.

 

Geelong vs Carlton

Saturday May 26, 4:30PM, GMHBA Stadium

The Cats come into round four in a great run of form, having smashed Williamstown by 53 points last week. A terrific effort saw the Cats hold Williamstown to just four behinds for the entire game, with relentless effort down in defence, led by their captain, Rebecca Goring, who was spectacular. The emergence of NT recruit, Evelyn Dhamarrandji  in round three just added to Geelong’s dominance in the competition so far. The supporting cast such as Richelle Cranston have also stepped up and been great for the Cats in the first three weeks and will be pivotal again against a Carlton side who also find themselves in good form. Despite a loss to the Hawks last week, the Blues still come in with a great deal of hope against Geelong. Last week was a classic ‘’burn the tape’’ game for the Blues as they were beaten in all areas by a determined Hawthorn side who were firing on all cylinders. If the Blues are able to find their form from the first two games with players such as Darcy Vescio, Jess Hosking and Lauren Arnell continuing their good stretch, it will go a long way towards getting a rebound win.

 

 

Southern Saints vs Essendon

Sunday May 27, 11:30AM, Trevor Barker Beach Oval

The Saints fought their way to a well-earned victory last week, placing them at 2-1 heading into their clash against the bottom of the ladder Bombers. Alison Drennan continued her fantastic start to the season with another great outing of 22 possessions and a goal, and was instrumental in the Saints fourth quarter run to get them over the line in a close finish. Four goals in the final term showcased the Saints’ firepower, which they will look to put to great use in overwhelming an Essendon defence which has given up big scores throughout the early rounds. Essendon enter the round winless and are in desperate need of a big game to kick-start their season. For this to happen, they must put together a full four-quarter effort, something that has eluded them thus far. After being held scoreless from quarter time onwards last week, they will be looking to take control early and maintain that pressure to the end this time.

 

 

Williamstown vs Richmond

Sunday May 27, 2PM, Williamstown Football Ground

What a difference two weeks makes! After a terrific outing in round one, the Tigers come in off the back of two blowout losses and will look to get back on track against the equally struggling Williamstown. The Tigers had a strong performance last week from Jacqueline Graham in defence but struggled to get any other meaningful contributions down back, which resulted in an overall poor performance. With just two goals in the last two weeks the Tigers will also be looking for better results from the forwards.  A four goal game from co vice-captain, Kate Dixon propelled them to victory in round one and a similar effort from her or another Tigers player would go a long way towards a win. Williamstown, similar to Essendon find themselves winless from three games and will be doing everything they can to avoid going 0-4. An incredibly disappointing performance last week saw them fall to the Cats by nine goals, with them being dominated in all areas. Jess Duffin, however continues to be a shining light for the team, despite their poor performance overall. A better team effort could do wonders for the Seagulls and potentially yield their first win.