Tag: Rebecca Neaves

2021 VFLW Round 6 wrap: Falcons break winless drought

ALL teams in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition have now recorded a victory in season 2021, after Darebin Falcons defeated North Melbourne at Arden Street by 12 points on Saturday. The victory meant the Falcons joined both Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs on one win, as as other bottom six sides Williamstown and the Kangaroos also suffered defeats.

At the other end of the ladder, Collingwood had a huge defensive effort in the wet against Carlton to knock the Blues out of the top six, whilst Port Melbourne, Essendon and Geelong all celebrated wins, the latter in a tight victory holding on against Casey Demons at Casey fields to leap frog the Demons into fourth spot.

HAWTHORN 0.4 | 1.5 | 1.8 | 1.10 (16)
ESSENDON 1.1 | 1.2 | 1.3 | 4.5 (29)

Picking themselves off the canvas after skipper Georgia Nanscawen‘s injury left them without a star midfielder, Essendon ground out a win at Box Hill City Oval against Hawthorn by 13 points. The Bombers started the stronger of the two sides thanks to a goal from Mia-Rae Clifford, but it was Hawthorn who managed to put all the scores on the board over the next two terms. The home team could not capitalise through the big sticks, with only Eloise Chaston‘s second quarter major the sole six-pointer. It meant the Hawks led by five points at the final break, but a flurry of three goals in the final term saw the Bombers overrun the Hawks and sit pretty in third spot.

Despite Nanscawen going down, it was the field tackling of Alana Barba and Eloise Ashley-Cooper (22 tackles apiece) who provided the grunt work, and Lori Stepnell, Eloise Gardner and Cecilia McIntosh who held up in the overcast conditions. Hawthorn had plenty of chances, with Eastern Ranges duo, Isabel Khoury (22 disposals, seven tackles) and Eloise Chaston (14 disposals, three marks, 1.3) lively, with the pair kicking 1.5 of the Hawks’ 1.10 score between them. Jess Grace shared the ruck work with Kate Dudley and Tamara Luke, while Gold Coast Suns’ Georgia Bevan teamed up with her ex-Crows coach Bec Goddard to have an impact for the team in a losing side.

GOALS:

Hawthorn: E. Chaston.
Essendon: M. Clifford 2, N. MacDonald, F. Frew.

BEST:

Hawthorn: T. Luke, E. Chaston, I. Khoury, N. Garner, N. von Bertouch, G. Bevan
Essendon: L. Stepnell, E. Gardner, C. McIntosh, A. Morcom, E. Ashley-Cooper, S. Nalder

SOUTHERN SAINTS 1.0 | 2.4 | 3.4 | 5.5 (35)
WILLIAMSTOWN 3.0 | 3.0 | 4.1 | 4.1 (25)

Having their work cut out for them early, and forced to come from behind, the Southern Saints also had a strong final term to boot the only two goals of the last term to run over the top of a gallant Williamstown at Trevor Barker Oval. The Seagulls burst out of the blocks in the first half, with three goals kicked in 13 minutes to lead by 12 at the first break, before the home team clawed their way back into it. Tayla Kearns‘ second goal five minutes into the third term put the Saints back up, before Lauren Gooden responded nine minutes later with her own second major to regain the lead at the final break for the Seagulls. Back-to-back goals to the Saints through Tara Bohanna and Gabi De Angelis in the final term saw the home team come from behind and secure the win in front of home fans.

Bohanna was sensation across the forward half with a goal and 13 hitouts from 22 disposals, whilst it was the defensive strength of Jacqui Vogt (11 tackles, 17 disposals), and class in front of goal from De Angelis (14 disposals, five tackles, 2.2) that stood out. Rebecca Neaves and Kearns also stood out, while Ebony Nixon and AFL Women’s Saint, Alice Burke found plenty of it. For the Seagulls, Megan Williamson was again the top-ball winner with 20 touches, whilst it was Ruby Tripodi (16 disposals, three tackles), Scarlett Dunell (19 disposals, four tackles) and Aimee Whelan (19 disposals, eight tackles and a goal) who supported the team strongly.

GOALS:

Southern Saints: T. Kearns 2, G. De Angelis 2, T. Bohanna.
Williamstown: L. Gooden 2, E. Fox, A. Whelan.

BEST:

Southern Saints: J. Vogt, R. Neaves, M. Capsalis, G. De Angelis, T. Kearns, G. McLean
Williamstown: R. Tripodi, E. Straford, L. Gooden, L. Loughnane, P. Nash, A. Whelan

NORTH MELBOURNE 1.2 | 2.4 | 2.4 | 4.6 (30)
DAREBIN FALCONS 2.1 | 2.3 | 4.5 | 6.6 (42)

A match between two bottom four sides, including a winless one, is not a match you particularly expect to keep you on the edge of your seat, but that is exactly what North Melbourne and Darebin did at Arden Street on Saturday. The teams were neck-and-neck in the first half, with the Kangaroos taking the one-point lead into half-time of the huge clash, but the Falcons, led by Stephanie Simpson (four goals) up forward, kept pressing to take a 13-point lead into the final break. Each time the Falcons kicked away with a major, the Kangaroos would answer it in the final term, but they could not bridge the gap with the Falcons getting up by 12 points in the end, 6.6 (42) to 4.6 (30).

Simpson’s four goals in a combined 10-goal game was hard to look past for the Falcons in a super effort, whilst Alice Caddy and Samara David also stood out in the win. Nicole Callinan provided the experience coming back into the side, as Victoria Blackwood was also a strong contributor to break the Falcons’ drought in season 2021. Alexia Hamilton slotted two crucial goals for the Roos in defeat, while Molly Eastman, Airlie Runnalls and Katelyn Cox were named the Roos’ best in the win, as the defence did well, but not enough to secure the four points.

GOALS:

North Melbourne: A. Hamilton 2, S. Skinner, C. Fitzgerald.
Darebin Falcons: S. Simpson 4, C. Byrne, A. Reibelt.

BEST:

North Melbourne: M. Eastman, A. Runnalls, K. Cox, M. Kiely, M. McDonald, A. Hamilton
Darebin Falcons: A. Caddy, S. David, N. Callinan, S. Simpson, V. Blackwood, M. Huta

PORT MELBOURNE 2.0 | 4.4 | 4.4 | 6.7 (43)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 0.1 | 0.1 | 1.2 | 1.2 (8)

Port Melbourne has continued streak to post a comfortable 35-point win over Western Bulldogs at ETU Stadium, moving to 6-0 for the season and handing the Bulldogs a fifth straight loss. The visitors were strong early, and even kept the home team at bay in the third term as the Dogs’ defence starred, but a couple of final term goals just pushed the final margin out to beyond five goals thanks to some strong efforts from Richmond-listed talents in the 6.7 (43) to 1.2 (8) victory.

Sabrina Frederick showed her strength and experience against state-level defenders with two goals from six marks and nine touches, and Emily Harley racked up 16 disposals, three marks and a goal in the win. Holly Bailey also slotted two goals, while Phillipa Peschke had a day of leather poisoning with 25 disposals to accompany her three marks, three tackles and a goal. Courteney Bromage 17 disposals, 11 tackles), Olivia Barton (19 disposals) and Elizabeth Wilson were also strong in the win. Oakleigh Chargers’ Taylah Morton had the 14 touches and three tackles on debut. For the Western Bulldogs, the return of Isabella Grant (15 disposals, three marks and five tackles), Isabelle Pritchard (14 disposals, three marks and three tackles) and Gemma Lagioia (11 disposals, four marks) added that extra run and class they were looking for, while Annabel Scott (20 disposals, six tackles) and Molly Denahy Maloney (17 disposals, six marks and 13 hitouts) also found plenty of it. GWV Rebels’ Lilli Condon was outstanding in the first half, and finished with 10 disposals, three marks and five tackles.

GOALS:

Port Melbourne: S. Frederick 2, H. Bailey 2, P. Peschke, E. Harley.
Western Bulldogs: M. Sandral.

BEST:

Port Melbourne: E. Harley, O. Barton, E. Wilson, H. Bailey, C. Bromage, S. McNamara
Western Bulldogs: M. Denahy Maloney, A. Tessari, I. Pritchard, V. Murphy, I. Grant, L. Condon

CASEY DEMONS 1.1 | 2.2 | 2.5 | 4.6 (30)
GEELONG 1.1 | 3.1 | 5.2 | 5.2 (32)

Geelong managed to hold its nerve against a fast-finishing Casey Demons outfit at Casey Fields on Saturday afternoon, getting up by two points in the contest. The returning AFL Women’s listed players hit the scoreboard early, with Carly Remmos, Darcy Moloney, Georgia Clarke and Laura Gardiner booting their first four goals of the contest, leading by 15 points at three quarter time courtesy of Madisen Maguire‘s fifth team goal. Isabella Simmons did her best in the final term to boot two fourth quarter majors, but it would not be enough as the home team fell two points short, 4.6 (30) to 5.2 (32).

Breanna Pratt led the way for the Cats with 22 disposals, nine marks and six tackles, working in tandem with in-form Theresia Meissner 20 disposals, four marks) and Paige Sheppard (19 disposals, 10 tackles). The return of Moloney (16 disposals, nine tackles and a goal), Gardiner (13 disposals, 13 tackles and a goal) and Remmos (13 disposals, five tackles and a goal) was noticeable in the win. Olivia Fuller also dominated the ruck with 28 hitouts to accompany nine disposals and six tackles. For the Demons, ball-winning midfielder Eliza West racked up 23 disposals and four tackles, while Simmons’ two goals from 17 touches and five tackles was an outstanding effort from the youngster. Fellow teenagers, Megan Fitzsimon (16 disposals, nine tackles) and Mietta Kendall (14 disposals, four tackles) also had their fair share of the ball, with Shree Fairchild named best-on for the Demons with 18 disposals and nine tackles, and Meg Macdonald and Emma Humphries also strong.

GOALS:

Casey: I. Simmons 2, H. Thomas, E. Humphries
Geelong: C. Remmos, G. Clarke, D. Moloney, L. Gardiner, M. Maguire

BEST:

Casey: S. Fairchild, M. Fitzsimon, M. Macdonald, E. Humphries, B. Winbanks, E. West
Geelong: T. Meissner, O. Fuller, D. Moloney, B. Pratt, T. Tatlock, C. Remmos

COLLINGWOOD 1.4 | 1.5 | 2.9 | 2.10 (22)
CARLTON 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.4 (4)

Collingwood has taken care of traditional rivals Carlton to remain undefeated from six matches in the VFL Women’s competition, keeping the Blues to just four behinds in wet and windy conditions. The Victoria Park venue gave Pies fans the chance to cheer on their heroes and there was plenty to cheer as they kept Carlton scoreless from three quarters, whilst kicking the only two goals of the match. Conditions made goalkicking difficult, and it showed with a dominant 12 scoring shots to four, but a 2.10 (22) to 0.4 (4) final scoreboard.

Tricia Cowan and Mollie Emond were the only players to eventually split the big the sticks for the Magpies, as plenty of players had their chances inside 50. Caitlin Bunker was outstanding for the black and whites in the win, as Maria Neal and Amelia Velardo looked lively, and Nicola Weston was also named in the Magpies’ best on the day. It was a challenging day for any forwards, but particularly Carlton’s forwards in enemy territory, but they had a number of standout players. Akayla Peterson continued her great form in 2021 named Carlton’s best alongside the AFLW-listed Maddy Guerin. Tereza Zampaglione and Stephanie Lawrence were also strong in defeat, as the Blues moved to a 3-2 record and slipped just outside the top six, while Collingwood maintained touch with Port Melbourne at the top of the table.

GOALS:

Collingwood: T. Cowan, M. Emond.
Carlton: Nil.

BEST:

Collingwood: C. Bunker, M. Neal, A. Velardo, T. Cowan, M. Emond, N. Weston
Carlton: A. Peterson, M. Guerin, T. Zampaglione, S. Lawrence, E. Honybun, J. Borg

2021 Draft Central’s VFL Women’s Team of the Year: Round 6

AS the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition prepares to restart after the Easter Weekend break, Draft Central, in conjunction with Women’s Australian Football Radio (WARF) has compiled a Team of the Year to date in Round 6. It is an even spread across the board with eight of the 12 competing teams recording two players, and the remaining three sides having the one representative in a realistic, 16-starter and four-bench side.

Ladder leaders Port Melbourne have two players in the side, with ex-Murray Bushrangers talent Sophie Locke named in the forward pocket, and experienced former AFL Women’s player in Mel Kuys in the centre. The other undefeated side in Collingwood just has the one player in there, with forward Imogen Barnett making the team after booting eight goals in the first five games, one less than leader Locke. In between the pair of forwards is Hawthorn’s Jessie Williams who straightens the team up at full-forward, the sole Hawk in the team.

At half-forward, ex-Cannon Alana Barba earned a place in the side with the inside midfielder booting a goal a game in her first five games to book a starting spot on the flank. She was named in the side with fellow midfielder Georgia Nanscawen with the ex-Roo named ruck rover. The other onballer in the side is ex-Geelong Falcon Paige Sheppard, with the rover’s teammate Tamara Smith – another ex-Bushranger – named on the bench. In the ruck is Western Bulldogs’ Nicole McMahon who has been superb all season, whilst teammate Simone Ruedin has been a rock in defence.

Holding up the fort at full-back is Carlton’s Jennifer Lew, who is in the back six with another Blue in Akayla Peterson, who has spent time at both ends, also kicking three goals this season. Ex-Magpie Grace Buchan is in the back pocket but instead for Casey Demons this season, whilst teammate Eliza West is on the interchange. At half-back, Williamstown’s Erin Meade will provide some run for the hypothetical team, whilst centre half-back Meagan Kiely rounds out the defence. The North Melbourne tall is in the side with talented Tasmanian goalkicker Sarah Skinner, with the reigning TSL Women’s league best and fairest winner making an impact at VFL Women’s level.

The last remaining starting player is centre half-forward Tara Bohanna with the Southern Saint able to chop out in the ruck when forward. She should not need to though, with Darebin Falcons’ sole representative in Sidney Cubasch to provide that rotation with McMahon, whilst Bohanna’s Saints’ teammate Hannah Stuart rounds out the interchange. In terms of emergencies and those unluckiest to miss out, it is a trio of defensive players in Southern Saints’ Rebecca Neaves, North Melbourne’s Molly Eastman and Darebin Falcons’ Gena Lawson-Tavan.

DRAFT CENTRAL’S VFL WOMEN’S TEAM OF THE YEAR: ROUND 6

B: Simone Ruedin (WB) – Jennifer Lew (CAR) – Grace Buchan (CD)
HB: Akayla Peterson (CAR) – Meagan Kiely (NM) – Erin Meade (WILL)
C: Mel Kuys (PM)
HF: Alana Barba (ESS) – Tara Bohanna (SS) – Sarah Skinner (NM)
F: Sophie Locke (PM) – Jessie Williams (HAW) – Imogen Barnett (COLL)
R: Nicole McMahon (WB) – Georgia Nanscawen (ESS) – Paige Sheppard (GEE)
INT: Sidney Cubasch (DF) – Tamara Smith (GEE) – Hannah Stuart (SS) – Eliza West (CD)

EMG: Rebecca Neaves (SS) – Molly Eastman (NM) – Gena Lawson-Tavan (DF)

Season reviews: VFLW – Essendon

ESSENDON’S first season in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition is certainly not what the side would have hoped for. But some close losses and pulling through for a win late in the season has given the Bombers some positives to take out of the year.

 

Position: 13th
Win-loss: 1-13
Percentage: 40%

Results:

Round 1: Lost against Hawthorn by 39 points
Round 2: Lost against Melbourne University by eight points
Round 3: Lost against NT Thunder by 72 points
Round 4: Lost against Southern Saints by 36 points
Round 5: Lost against Richmond by 34 points
Round 6: Bye
Round 7: Lost against Hawthorn by 27 points
Round 8: Lost against Casey Demons by 26 points
Round 9: Defeated Richmond by eight points
Round 10: Lost against Western Bulldogs by six points
Round 11: Lost against Darebin by 27 points
Round 12: Bye
Round 13: Lost against Collingwood by 26 points
Round 14: Lost against Geelong by 45 points
Round 15: Lost against Williamstown by 28 points
Round 16: Lost against Carlton by 75 points

 

Key players:

#1 Jessica Trend

Trend was one of Essendon’s most reliable players, often being a stalwart in defence. Her football smarts were second to none and allowed her to see plenty of the football. She finished fifth in Essendon’s Best and Fairest count and has earned herself an AFL Women’s contract at North Melbourne as a result of her consistent year at the Bombers. She was Essendon’s leading disposal-getter in Round 8 with 20 touches. Trend also took two marks and laid six tackles in that match.  

#8 Hayley Bullas

The most ferocious tackler in the competition, Bullas gave opposition midfielders headaches. She was a workhorse on the inside for the Bombers this season and won the Best and Fairest as a result. Bullas played all 14 games this season, consistently earning a spot in the side for her midfield efforts. Remarkably, she racked up more than 10 tackles on five separate occasions, with the standout being in Round 4 when she laid a whopping 19 tackles.

#25 Rebecca Neaves

Like Trend, Neaves was also a reliable player for the Bombers, playing a solid role in defence. Neaves was able to move the ball swiftly out of defensive 50 and was a good marker of the football. She came third in Essendon’s Best and Fairest count after an excellent year.

#44 Maddy Collier

The Greater Western Sydney (GWS) midfielder showed her experience in the red and black, playing some stellar games throughout the season. Collier seemed to find the football with ease and kicked it nicely. Her quick hands and tackling were also impressive features of her game. She led the way for the Bombers in Round 11, racking up 21 disposals, four marks and six tackles. Collier was also named best-on-ground by her coaches in five of her 12 games this season.

#46 Courtney Ugle

Ugle’s run and carry out of defence often saved Essendon from some big losses this season. She was smart with the ball in hand and could use it well both by hand or by foot. For a defender, she still managed to rack up plenty of touches, highlighting her ability to find the football under duress. She came second in Essendon’s Best and Fairest count. One of her best games was against Collingwood in Round 13 where she gathered 16 disposals and laid five tackles.

 

Season summary:

Despite just the one win, Essendon did come close on a couple of occasions. The Bombers were able to push the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne University right until the end, going down in both those games by less than 10 points. Two losses by more than 70 points would have dampened their spirits, but the Bombers would be going into the off-season excited about their young list. Additionally, exciting players like Valerie Moreau and Kendra Heil would boost their chances of getting a few more wins in 2019.

Scouting notes: VFLW – Round 15

GEELONG has secured its spot in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s finals after a come-from-behind win over Casey. At the other end of the ladder, Essendon and Williamstown battled it out at Windy Hill under three new rule changes. The Seagulls came away with the win, ending their season on a high.

 

Essendon vs. Williamstown 

By: James Halley

Essendon:

#25 Rebecca Neaves

With the ball often in Williamstown’s forward 50, Neaves was under a lot of pressure quite often and rose to the occasion. She gave the Bombers drive out of the backline on numerous occasions, whether it was a long kick or a searching run.

#30 Simone Nalder

She had a real clear dominance in the ruck from the start until the end of the game. She is a very capable ruck and gave Essendon first use all day.

#35 Valerie Moreau

She kicked the Bombers’ only goal in the second term when she streamed through the corridor and kicked a goal on the run. She was one of the best for Essendon as she was really lively across half forward.

#44 Maddy Collier

She was Essendon’s best player in my opinion. She tried her best in the midfield where she amassed 20 disposals but did not get enough help. In the wet conditions, she still managed to hit targets when a lot struggled to do so.

 

Williamstown:

#2 Jess Duffin

I thought she was once again one of the best for Williamstown. She not only got a lot of contested ball with 28 disposals but also was a threat in the air, taking many intercept marks in the tough conditions.

#4 Emily Paterno

In tough conditions, she managed to kick a snap from the boundary in the last quarter, which was one of the best goals of the game.

#25 Jasmine Garner

She had three chances early in the second term to kick away from set shots, but they all missed. Early in the final term, she took an impressive contested mark and kicked her first goal for the game. Only moments later, she repeated her efforts to kick two majors in two minutes and break away from Essendon. Garner had terrific hands in the miserable conditions, which allowed her to have numerous shots on goal as well as setting up teammates for shots.

#33 Sophie Van De Heuvel

After a brilliant chase-down tackle inside 50, she was awarded a free kick 30 metres out straight in front and converted truly for the first goal of the game. In the second term, she repeated her heroics with her tackling pressure, winning a free kick. She could not convert this time round. Van De Heuvel was really handy, winning her fair share of the contested ball and gathering disposals across the ground. She also snuck forward to kick a prized goal in the first quarter.

 

Casey vs. Geelong

By: Julia Montesano

Casey:

#12 Georgia McLean

Delivered a good kick to centre-half forward and also did well to find space and take a mark. Later in the game, McLean received a 50-metre penalty and demonstrated good awareness to handpass it to her running teammate in Eden Zanker.

#14 Tarryn Orgill

Did extremely well in the ruck and won the battle for mine. Did well to kick the ball off the ground after missing the tap, showing her ability to rove her own footy. In another instance, she took it out of the ruck and got a good kick out, following this up by selling some candy. Laid a good bump which allowed Maddison Gay to run onto the ball. Orgill also took a good intercept mark and bustled her way through players to kick the ball out of congestion.

#18 Kaila Bentvelzen

Did well to get a free kick after tackling Kate Darby, which occurred after Bentvelzen ran past the ball. Bentvelzen also applied good tackling pressure and got lots of the footy throughout the day. Took a good mark at half-back and followed the play up by selling some candy nicely.

#25 Madelaine Shevlin

Applied good pressure on Maddie Boyd to prevent her getting the ball out on hands and knees. Also took a strong mark up forward to have a shot from 40 metres out. Shevlin also kicked the first goal of game to get the momentum going for the Demons.

#31 Holly Bailey

Bailey was prominent early, gathering plenty of touches. She took a good intercept mark off a Richelle Cranston kick and delivered a good kick to the pocket to create a foot race between Georgia Clarke and Kasey Guttridge. Bailey was also ferocious in her attack, applying immense tackling pressure.

#38 Jordyn Allen

Took a good intercept mark off an Olivia Purcell kick. Also gave off a good quick handpass to get herself out of trouble, allowing her to propel back into the contest. Delivered a nice high kick to Eden Zanker at centre-half forward which was good. Allen’s pressure stood out on the day, often creating turnovers.

 

Geelong:

#2 Danielle Orr

Did well to kick the ball down the ground to keep it alive. Also executed a good pick-up and kicked a clever low ball for her first goal of the day.

#5 Jordan Ivey

Showed good run and carry to create the passage of play that resulted in a Kate Darby goal. She kicked the ball off the carpet then chased it up and got it back to kick it forward, which landed in the hands of Maddie Boyd for a set shot. Ivey also got a free kick and kicked her first goal of the day in heavy rain.

#7 Mia-Rae Clifford

Showed good awareness to pounce on Sally Fyfield’s mistake and kick the Cats’ first goal of the day. Had a good one-on-one battle from a high kick to try and get the footy. Clifford went into defence in third quarter, and executed a good quick pick-up off the deck and kick away.

#8 Kate Darby

Showed good endurance to get from the ruck contest to the forward line to chip through a goal. Did well to lay a good tackle on Shelley Scott after the ball flew over her head.

#20 Nina Morrison

Laid a strong tackle on Holly Bailey and kicked a nice goal in the third quarter. Demonstrated good run and dash with the ball and delivered a good kick forward. Morrison then chased hard to get the ball, pick it up and give off a handball inside 50, despite running pressure from Darcy Guttridge.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Delivered a good kick to centre-half forward and followed this up with a nice kick to centre wing. Cranston delivered yet another good kick when she booted a high ball towards the middle of the ground. In another instance, she was able to read the ruck tap well and get it out of the stoppage. Also did well to evade a tackle and get the ball forward.

#45 Madeline Keryk

Keryk demonstrated good hands throughout the day, starting off her day with a quick handball out of a stoppage. She followed this up with a good mark, showing her intent to hunt the footy early. Keryk was always at the bottom of the pack, digging in hard. She delivered a good kick inside 50 and showed good kicking and intent to win the footy in general. She was one of the key ball-winners on the day.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 10

AFTER their big wins on the weekend, Geelong and NT Thunder have the most representatives in this week’s best 22, with eight between them. The rest of the sides had quite an even group of contributors, with each team having at least one player in the Team of the Week.

This round was the week of the forwards, with numerous players kicking multiple goals. NT’s Abbey Holmes and Carlton’s Darcy Vescio headline the best 22 this week with four goals each.

Williamstown duo, Jess Duffin and Jenna Bruton were once again outstanding in a losing side against Carlton. Duffin gathered 33 disposals while Bruton amassed 29 disposals and a goal. They were both automatic locks for the Team of the Week alongside Holmes and Vescio in the forward line.

Katelyn Cox was quite impressive for the Blues in their win against Williamstown with 13 possessions and two goals, although it was not quite enough to gain a spot in this weeks team. Hawthorn’s Jessica Sibley edged out teammate and Team of the Week regular, Jayde Van Dyk, who can count herself as an unlucky omission from this week’s team. Sibley was instrumental down back for the Hawks in their six-point thrilling win against Melbourne University.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 10

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

 

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

By: Taylah Melki

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Carlton 8.4 (52) defeated Williamstown 3.5 (23)

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 9

ROUND nine of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s saw the gap at the top of the ladder widen, with Hawthorn, Collingwood and NT all notching up impressive wins over the weekend. On the other end of the table, Essendon was able to win its first game of the season against the Tigers at home.

NT smashed Geelong by 65 points in the Saturday twilight match and as a result has registered five players in this week’s best 22, which is the most a team has been represented this season. They had contributors all over the ground from Samantha Barnett in defence, Angela Foley in the midfield and Jessica Sedunary up forward. Contrarily, the Southern Saints did not manage to record a player in the best 22 this week after their loss against Casey.

Western Jets forward, Caitlin Greiser was really impressive, kicking three goals as the 23rd player for Melbourne University. She was not the only standout up forward this week with NT’s Jessica Sedunary and Jenna McCormick combining for seven goals in their side’s massive win against Geelong.

Nicole Hildebrand was unlucky to miss out this week with an impressive showing for Collingwood, recording two goals to her name. The ruck was a hard position to pick this week with three players putting their hands up for the role. The unlucky two were Nicole McMahon, who was instrumental in the Bulldogs’ 21-point win over Melbourne University, and Alice Edmonds, who dominated in the ruck against Essendon on Sunday.

It is a positive sign to see so many fresh faces in this week’s best 22. Richmond captain, Jessica Kennedy is one name that stands out of the pack in terms of new faces. 

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 3

AFLW experience is standing up in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition, with NT Thunder and Hawthorn getting big wins. However, the VFLW talent also made an impact in round three, with the Southern Saints, who have no AFLW players, getting their second consecutive win. The players endured sun, rain and even extreme heat to battle away at the task in an action-packed round three. 

 

Hawthorn 9.10 (64) def. Carlton 2.1 (13)

By: Taylah Melki 

In a dominant display, the Hawks stunned the Blues with a 51-point thrashing at Box Hill City Oval. The Hawks starred with their crisp ball movement and ability to shut down Carlton’s forward line, keeping them to two goals for the match. The Hawks had eight individual goal-kickers, highlighting their ability to share the workload up forward and get the footy into damaging scoring positions.

The likes of key forward Sarah Perkins stood up for the brown and gold, nailing two majors for the game. She provided a good target up forward for the Hawks while Emma Mackie was a tackling machine with 11 for the game. The captain also gathered 29 touches and scored a goal for the Hawks. The ever-reliable Meg Hutchins was also a key player for Hawthorn with nine tackles, 23 disposals and a major. Talented midfielder, Stephanie Carroll was another standout, imposing herself around the contest with 19 possessions and a goal to help get her team the four points.

In a disappointing outing for the Blues, Darcy Vescio was a shining light, scoring one of the two goals for Carlton while the other major came from Celine Moody. Lauren Arnell also imposed herself in and around the contest, applying 10 tackles for the game while young gun Kristi Harvey accumulated plenty of touches. Harvey was the leading disposal-getter for the Blues with 14-all of which were kicks.

 

Southern Saints 6.3 (39) def. Casey 4.7 (31)

By: Taylah Melki

In a last quarter thriller, it was the Southern Saints that claimed the eight-point victory. Casey had the majority of the play throughout the game, keeping the Saints to two goals up until three-quarter time. However, the Demons struggled to capitalise in front of goal, scoring seven behinds. The Saints on the other hand had a huge last quarter, bagging four goals to Casey’s one. The Saints lifted their intensity and applied plenty of physical pressure throughout the game, laying 30 more tackles with 97 to 67.

Kate McQueen helped to kick-start the last quarter comeback, scoring two goals in four minutes. McQueen was influential around the ground with 18 touches and four tackles. The likes of Alison Brown and Alison Drennan also starred for the Southern Saints, each booting a major in the final term and lifting their intensity in and around the contest to open up space for teammates.

Former Bendigo Pioneer, Eden Zanker stood tall for Casey, taking five big grabs and scoring a goal in the final term to try and get the Demons back into the game. Melbourne AFLW player, Harriet Cordner lead the way for Casey gathering 19 touches, four marks and three tackles, while the likes of Kate Hore also impressed with her one goal and 16 possessions.

 

NT Thunder 14.12 (96) defeated Essendon 4.0 (24)

By: Julia Montesano

The NT Thunder have once again sent a huge warning to the competition with another thumping win. The Thunder kept the Bombers scoreless after quarter time while piling on 11 goals to make their way onto the top of the VFLW ladder.

Captain, Angela Foley was a star for the Thunder with two goals, 28 disposals and six tackles. Greater Western Sydney (GWS) vice-captain, Emma Swanson played a similar game, also kicking two goals, as well as amassing 19 touches and laying seven tackles. GWS teammate, Renee Forth also had a good day out with one goal and 18 disposals.

Hayley Bullas and Rebecca Neaves were the leading disposal-getters for the Bombers, each amassing 16 touches. Canadian duo, Kendra Heil and Valerie Moreau each provided highlights for Essendon throughout the game, with Heil booting through the first two goals and Moreau amassing 12 disposals and five tackles. But it was Simone Nalder who was the star for the Bombers, clunking five marks and racking up 13 disposals.

 

Collingwood 9.3.(57) defeated Richmond to 2.2.(14)

By: James Halley

In tough conditions at the Swinburne Centre, Collingwood claimed a 43-point victory over the Tigers. After an even first quarter, the Pies flew away in the second term to score five goals to nothing, which proved to be a match-winning lead. However, Richmond showed some fight to not let the match blow out as it did in the second term.

In the Pies’ forward line, Gabrielle Biedenweg-Webster led with two goals. Vaomua Laloifi was exceptional in defence, playing the role of a rock and not letting anything get past her all day. She was a leading force in restricting Richmond to two goals all afternoon.

For the Tigers, Jacqueline Graham was once again solid in defence. At the other end of the ground, Ella Ross was able to kick a beautiful goal from the boundary to provide a rare highlight in the wet conditions.

 

Williamstown 0.4 (4) defeated by Geelong 8.9 (57)

By: Julia Montesano

Geelong bounced back from its draw against the Pies in round two with an emphatic win over the Seagulls. The Cats kept Williamstown goalless throughout the game and put on a clinical performance away from home.

Northern Territory recruit, Evelyn Dhamarrandji was turning heads throughout the afternoon with her strong hands and goal-kicking ability. The clever forward booted through a game-high two majors at Williamstown Football Ground. At the other end of the ground, it was captain, Rebecca Goring who held down the fort in defence, with her composed kicks and clean hands. Forward, Megan McMahon and midfielder, Mia-Rae Clifford were also key contributors on the day.

For Williamstown, former St Kilda Shark, Rachel Achampong showed some good signs  in the ruck while Jessica Kile impressed on debut. Newly named North Melbourne player, Jess Duffin showed just how valuable she is with plenty of possessions around the ground and a ‘never say die’ attitude on the day. Duffin led by example and nearly booted through a wonderful goal to top it off. She was complemented by Jacinta Reid and Belinda Hateley, who dug deep for the Seagulls on the day.

Team of the Week: VFLW – Round 1

ROUND one of the VFLW season was highly anticipated with the inclusion of new teams such as Northern Territory Thunder and the Richmond Tigers, who both sent warnings to the competition with convincing wins against two fancied opponents in the Bulldogs and the Falcons.

Every team has a representative in the Team of the Week, with players in losing sides such as Sophie Abbatangelo, Alison Brown and Jenna Bruton all earning spots. For the winning teams, it was NT Thunder who dominated the Team of the Week, with Angela Foley, Chelsea Randall, Emma Swanson and Marijana Rajcic all earning a spot in the best 22.

Kate Dixon was a walk-up into the Team of the Week, as she starred in the Tigers’ maiden VFLW win with four goals. Greater Western Sydney vice-captain, Emma Swanson was also superb with 31 disposals, dominating in the midfield. She also managed to go forward and slot two goals in the Thunder’s first win. Other AFLW players who made it into the team of the week include former Collingwood defender Meg Hutchins, current Magpies Jess Duffin, Sarah D’Arcy and Sarah Dargan, Carlton duo Darcy Vescio and Breann Moody and Western Bulldogs’ Hayley Wilde.

There are always some unlucky players and this week, it was Richmond’s Jenna Colwell, Hawthorn’s Emma Mackie and Carlton’s Sarah Hosking, who all put in great performances through the middle of the ground. In a stacked midfield, it was hard to fit them in in round one but they are sure to make an appearance later in the season.

Scouting notes: VFLW – Round 1

THE first week of the VFL Women’s competition produced a variety of different results. Many teams experienced historic wins while competition powerhouses such as Darebin and Melbourne University unusually kicked off their seasons with a loss. Each week, AFL Draft Central writers will be attending games and taking notes on the players from each side who performed well on the day. 

 

Darebin Falcons vs. NT Thunder 

By: Michael Alvaro 

Darebin Falcons:

#11 Kate Tyndall 

The former Western Bulldogs forward had a decent showing, kicking two of her side’s five goals. Tyndall got stuck in all day against a formidable Thunder defence, laying six tackles to help stop the flow of NT exiting the Falcons forward half. Her goal in the first quarter came from a handy Stephanie Simpson assist, and she proved to be a rare option up forward in solid patches throughout the day.

#14 Meghan McDonald 

McDonald was by far and away the Falcons’ best, providing a cool head across half-back. Often acting as the loose number in defence, she collected a team-high 26 disposals, and spared Darebin’s blushes many a time with some clutch intercept marking to finish with nine overall. She showcased her lovely, fluent kick when sending her side forward and was one of the few Falcons to successfully take the game on.

#17 Stephanie Simpson 

Somewhat of a Falcons veteran, Simpson was one of the more consistent players on the day. While she was caught in possession a couple of times early on, Simpson wasn’t afraid to use her dash and really bring it to her opposition on the break-away. She chimed in with a couple of clever plays, providing and assist for Kate Tyndall’s first quarter goal, while making the play from half-back to allow the Falcons to break for their second goal.

#20 Maddy Guerin 

Back at Preston City Oval where she played most of her TAC Cup football for Northern Knights, Guerin looked right at home in the VFLW. Attending most of the centre bounces and acting as the Falcons’ primary midfield option, she took on a fair workload throughout the game. Having collected 16 disposals, four marks and four tackles, it was a decent day for the youngster, and she was able to show off her trademark burst with a couple of nice centre clearances.

#40 Hannah Mouncey 

The VFLW debutant battled hard with limited opportunities coming for the Falcons forward line. While she wasn’t quite able to stick most of her marks, Mouncey used her body well in the contest and led up time after time from full forward. She broke countless tackles and used that skill to snare a goal from deep in the 50. Her repeat efforts were most impressive, but she lacked polish at times with her disposal – spraying two of her shots at goal quite badly. With the game all but over, Mouncey also had a brief stint in the ruck during the fourth quarter.  

 

NT Thunder:

#3 Angela Foley

Foley found plenty of the football pushing forward from half-back and the wing, finishing with 30 disposals. She proved damaging with her 24 kicks, using them to gain momentum and get the ball into dangerous areas quickly, where the NT forwards would finish the job. She kicked a nice check-side goal right on the half time siren to really sink the Falcons’ spirit, and her five tackles highlight her good work rate across the ground.

#16 Sophie Armitstead

The Crows midfielder showed no signs of ailment after her season-ending knee injury as she racked up 15 disposals and converted a free-kick goal. A handy touch-rugby player, Armitstead converted her skills well on the day with six tackles and some good pressure through both the midfield and forward half. A good return from a promising player.

 #17 Emma Swanson

The GWS marquee was at her best, dominating all parts of the ground on her way to collecting a game-high 31 disposals. A real smooth mover, Swanson looked quick and evasive with ball in hand and was near-on unstoppable around the contest. She was one of the better users of the ball on the day and lurked well around the stoppages. Her two first-quarter goals put the cherry on top of a good performance.  

#26 Chelsea Randall

The Adelaide Crows star was outstanding, putting on a clinic in all facets of the game. She wowed the crowd with her aerial marking, blind turns, and one-handed pick ups – having some of her AFLW teammates in the stands yelling ‘stop it Chels!’. It’s hard to miss her with her socks pulled up to her knees, which was handy since you always knew something was going to happen when she approached the contest. She collected 23 disposals, four marks, five tackles and two goals on a day out.  

#29 Marijana Rajcic

Deciding the votes for this game would be a hell of a task, with Rajcic one of many NT players to put their hand up for best-on honours. Spending most of her time forward of the ball, Rajcic provided a real focal point for the Thunder. She had a purple patch during the second quarter where she seemed to be everywhere – taking overhead marks, being hit upon leads and kicking 1.2 from a handful of attempts at goal. Finishing with 3.4 from her 25 disposals and eight marks, she stood out with her clean hands and the variety of avenues to goal that she creates.

 

Collingwood vs. Williamstown 

By: Peter Williams 

Collingwood:

#4 Sarah D’Arcy

By the end of the game, she was probably the Pies’ best player. Off half-back she was sensational, intercepting nearly anything that came her way, taking some towering marks and putting her body on the line in defence. She continually ran up the ground when needing to impact a contest on the wing and won free kicks for her strong tackles. Throughout the four quarters, D’Arcy showed strong hands and was willing to take the opposition on which was crucial on a wet ground. Had a shot on goal in the second term but it just went wide.

#11 Eliza Hynes

Not a day for the talls, Hynes continued to present around the ground. She dropped a number of marks but considering the wet football it was understandable. The more important aspect was the fact she brought the ball to ground when up forward and always provided a contest. In the ruck she was quite clever with the way she was able to palm the ball down and use her height to advantage.

#13 Jamee Lambert

Kicked a couple of goals early and was dangerous inside 50. Played a great portion of her game in the forward line leading out to the midfielders. She almost had a third late in the game, but was constantly involved, moving up the ground and kicking inside 50 as well as being on the receiving end. Made history with kicking the first Collingwood goal in the VFLW competition.

#46 Sarah Dargan

Relished the full-time midfield role with a number of Pies out, and was one of the best. Her work ethic was great and she continually put her body on the line. She matched up with Jenna Bruton and really took it up to her. She kicked long in the first term to help Lambert kick the first goal of the game and just cracked in hard throughout the match. She was smart around the stoppages and was on the receiving end of a few handballs, while also winning plenty of contested ball.

#65 Emily Browning

I could have gone for a number of non-AFLW listed players here, but I wanted to highlight Emily Browning’s game. The stats sheet probably won’t do her justice, but she continually worked hard inside 50 and as one of the youngest on the ground just pushed up and received the ball on the lead. She had a huge applause from the crowd when she landed a monster goal in the third term to give the Pies some breathing space.

 

Williamstown:

#2 Jess Duffin

The clear best on ground in my eyes, impressive from the first bell to the final siren. She had an impact everywhere she went, winning the first clearance and booting the first goal of the game. She took a number of intercept marks and had a shot on goal which just missed early, then had another crack with a snap from the boundary line but just missed again. She laid a bone-crunching tackle on D’Arcy as the latter was running into goal, and was steady in the back half. Just never wavered and was a huge reason the Seagulls were in the contest for the four quarters.

#16 Andrea Cameron

Cameron was one of the better Seagulls on the day, particularly early on in the contest. She has good core balance and this was shown by the way she was able to use her body well in a one-on-one at ground level. She protected the ball, shifted her balance and dished off the ball. Later on she took a strong mark leading out of the forward 50.

#25 Jasmine Garner

Played at both ends and caused some headaches for her AFLW side. She was good overhead and continually presented, bringing the ball to ground when she didn’t mark it. She won an early free kick and was always tightly watched, but a strong performance overall. She went back in the final term and did some nice things, taking some intercept marks and kicking long to the wing.

#34 Jacinta Reid

Felt Reid held up well in the defensive 50, matching it with a number of opponents. She provided drive out of defence and took a great diving mark early in the game. She was consistent throughout the match and will be one to watch going forward.

#35 Jenna Bruton

The Seagulls captain and Western Bulldogs AFLW premiership player just put her body on the line for four quarters. Opposed to Sarah Dargan most of the time, Bruton continued to crack in hard and won plenty of contested ball. She showed good vision to get the ball into space and used plenty of handballs to get the ball into space for teammates running on the outside. In the second term, Bruton showed her strength by fending off D’Arcy and getting the ball clear.

 

Western Bulldogs vs. Richmond 

By: James Halley

Western Bulldogs:  

#12 Jessica Francke

She is a really good mark and presented all day for the Dogs. Francke set a good example for her teammates to follow as she was usually at the bottom of packs. She just needed more teammates to help her out.

#14 Ellyse Gamble

Her football understanding was high as she sets up really well and as a result found herself on the end of some Richmond miskicks in the forward line. A highlight of the game was her intercept marking.

 #25 Rachel Gastin

She played as all footballers should and that is in front, and it worked for her a couple times as the rushed kick went straight into her lap. She was a constant for the Bulldogs and had a very good technique and kicking skills.

 #39 Kerrie Clarke

Clarke had a clever play when she hit-up a teammate for set-shot to end the quarter. She was really creative with her kicking throughout the match.

#45 Erin McLaughlin

Her second efforts were good but she just needs to present at the contest harder. She didn’t always mark the ball on the first go but she never gave up and gave second and third efforts, which would often would result in the Bulldogs making their way up forward. 

 

Richmond:

#53 Kate Dixon

With a good leading mark she converted the first ever goal for Richmond in the VFL Women’s competition. She put on great pressure to intercept a kick-in to set up Emma Gunn for the Tigers’ second major. Dixon slotted the Tigers’ third in a well-taken set shot. She kicked another goal in the third term from a downfield free kick where she got good penetration on her kick from a set shot. Dixon kicked her fourth major when Jenna Colwell set her up in the goal-square. She was the most damaging player on the ground for her 10 disposals.

#59 Alana Woodward

Great tackling and smothering. She had a shot at goal in general play and just missed, bit it was a good effort from the distance she kicked it from. Woodward managed to be around the ball enough to catch the eye of many and her speed and smarts landed her in many dangerous positions on the ground. She was the chain between the middle and the goals.

#68 Alice Edmonds

She played in the ruck for the Tigers and played her role well, winning her fair share of the taps. She is quite imposing on the field and accidentally took out a Bulldogs opponent in the second term due to her size. Edmonds had the confidence to grab the ball out of the ruck a couple of times towards the end of the match. Hopefully she keeps her spot when Collingwood AFLW ruck, Emma King pulls on the yellow and black.

#61 Jenna Colwell

She was really prolific for the Tigers up forward as she finished with two goals. Her and Kate Dixon created many headaches for the Bulldogs defence. A highlight of her game was when she kicked a miraculous goal from the boundary to register her first major for the game.

#63 Jacqueline Graham

She was a general down back. She was one of the reasons why the Bulldogs were held goalless, as she was a constant intercept-marking threat. Graham had very good closing speed and managed to get a spoil on many occasions. Her efforts rewarded her with 21 disposals. 

 

Essendon vs. Hawthorn 

Essendon: 

#32 Tait Mackrill

Has a really long kick and knows how to find space. Kicked it long down the line a couple of times. Mackrill executed a nice fend-off and high kick, giving her teammates the opportunity to run onto the footy. She saw she couldn’t kick a goal so she found the perfect option beside her inside 50. She also displayed a great spin out of trouble and went one better with a nicely delivered kick to the pocket. Was thrown into the middle in the fourth quarter and got two early clearances, often getting a quick kick away after her great clearance work. Displayed fantastic on-field leadership and was a bull in the contest.

#25 Rebecca Neaves

Did some good work to follow up her dropped mark, trapping the ball and giving away clean a handball. She was able to read the ball really well off a short kick from full back and curled the ball onto her chest. Did the little one per centers for the Bombers and was keen to be in every contest. A highlight of her game was when she executed a good pick-up on the boundary line and a nice kick into space. Neaves killed it in defence and worked so hard for her team throughout the game. Took plenty of contested marks to keep her side in the contest.

#15 Lauren Caruso

Had some really nice patches throughout the game but really made an influence in the last quarter. Laid an excellent tackle and won a free kick for it early on. Did some great work to hack the ball out of defensive 50 and was super lively around the contest. She was really composed around the ground, following the ball wherever it went. Took some nice marks and always pursued the ball after the ball after she kicked it. It was so good to see her playing footy again after captaining the Cannons to a premiership last year in the TAC Cup Girls competition.

#6 Alex Quigley

Took a good contested mark to start off her good day. Continued to dominate with her strong hands, showcasing some great marking on the lead. What impressed me most was after she took a mark, she would be composed with the ball in hand and not get carried away after a big grab. Quigley was so lively in the forward line and her hard work rewarded her with the ultimate accolade- making history. She won a downfield free kick and kicked the Bombers’ first goal. This generated a magnificent roar and every single one of her teammates got around her. It was brilliant to see.

#8 Hayley Bullas

Bullas is a great one per center player, doing all the little things to keep the Bombers momentum up throughout the day. She was able to lay a great smother that generated plenty of noise from the stands. Another highlight was when she grabbed the ball and reeled around to get a nice kick away, avoiding the player in her way. She was tenacious on the day, laying plenty of aggressive tackles and buzzing around the contest.

#43 Danielle Ponter

Did a really good job inside 50. Always presented even when the Bombers didn’t look like scoring. Took a great grab and kicked it nicely into space. Executed a really nice pick up off the deck and snapped it but just missed. Had a good handball receive about 45m out and bombed long for a great goal in the final term. Was lively throughout the day.

 

Hawthorn: 

#1 Emma Mackie

The Hawthorn skipper stood up on the big occasion and in my opinion, she was the best player on the ground. Displayed nice quick hands throughout the game, always getting her teammates into the contest. Had a great play when she executed a great overhead pick-up in the contest, bought the ball down to ground, which gave her teammates the opportunity to push forward. Displayed excellent tackling pressure all afternoon. Trapped the ball well and executed a wonderful underground handball. Delivered some nice long kicks down the line and also got on the end of some, taking some huge contested marks.

#7 Phoebe McWilliams

Laid some nice tackles in the heart of the contest inside 50, applying great forward pressure. She was lively throughout the game, itching her way into the contest. She delivered a well-directed kick to the top of square and took a good mark on the lead on the boundary line. Did all her nice work in the forward line and tried hard all day. She was unlucky to miss a set shot on goal but displayed high work ethic. A highlight was when she took a great overhead mark in a contested situation.

#25 Meg Hutchins

Hutchins’ on-field leadership is a huge asset in her game. She played the majority of her career in defence for the Pies but often found herself inside 50 against the Bombers. She did extremely well in the role, kicking a brilliant long-range goal. Hutchins took some nice marks and used them to get and go. Executed some clean run and carry and was so composed with ball in hand. It’s almost as if the ball just flew on her chest at multiple times because she was marking it so cleanly.

#28 Sarah Perkins

Perkins was the standout in terms of marks on the day. Whether it was contested or on a lead, you just knew she was going to clunk the ball. She was excellent in a one-on-one contest and often worked her opponent under the ball. She never took her eyes off the footy. Perkins also demonstrated her agility with a great side step. What stands out about Perkins is that she always backs herself on a set shot, as she would mark the ball and turn around straight away to begin her run-up. She kicked two goals for the game and got reward for her hard work inside 50.

#35 Clare O’Donnell

Ran hard throughout the game and didn’t stop trying for the Hawks. Displayed quick hands and also used the ball well by foot. O’Donnell kicked a really nice goal in the third quarter to put Hawks 28 points in front. Really good work ethic and was a key cog in the contest.

#6 Julia Crockett-Grills

Crockett-Grills was really lively around the contest and did some nice things with the ball in hand. Executed a great fend-off and delivered a stunning blind kick. Leapt fantastically in the air and took the mark on the chest. Delivered a great handball under pressure and followed up her kick. Took a nice agile mark inside 50, where lots of her hard work was done.

#9 Melissa Kuys

Delivered a great kick into space under pressure. Was running hard all game and executed some nice pressure acts throughout. Laid a wonderful run-down tackle where she showed electric pace.