Tag: reserves

Up the Grades: Which youngsters cracked senior footy?

WITH finals time finally upon us in state leagues around the nation, there are plenty of budding AFL Draft prospects who are stepping up on the big stage. In a look Up the Grades, we highlight some of the National Combine invitees, state squad members, and academy products who plied their trade at senior level this past weekend.

A talented quartet of South Australian Under 19 representatives plied their trade in the SANFL top flight this past weekend, headlined by pick one contender Jason Horne-Francis. After a relatively quiet National Championships dig by his lofty standards, the explosive midfielder-forward sent a reminder of his talents with 24 disposals, five clearances, nine inside 50s and a goal as the Panthers downed West Adelaide. Matthew Roberts also featured as South secured finals, snaring two goals from 13 disposals.

First round bolter Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera also returned to the League grade, though his Glenelg side lost its first game for the season right on the eve of finals. The 18-year-old wingman notched nine disposals and four marks for the Bays. Elsewhere, top-ager Max Litster was productive on debut with 23 touches and seven marks as Woodville-West Torrens trounced Central District. Raw Bulldogs defender and combine invitee Leek Alleer took two marks from eight disposals, while Tasmanian Oliver Davis (16 disposals) turned out for Adelaide’s last game of the season – a loss to Norwood.

There were a few more debuts in the Reserves, including North Adelaide midfield pair Hugh Jackson and Harvey Harrison. Both managed 11 disposals with the latter, an emergency for last week’s championships clash, also kicking a goal. Under 18s skipper and Adelaide Next Generation Academy (NGA) candidate Blayne O’Loughlin also featured for the Roosters, who beat Sturt.

The Double Blues were served well by state vice-captain Mani Liddy (26 disposals, eight clearances) who is in good touch, while Zac Becker also built on his representative form with 22 touches and a whopping 13 rebound 50s in the loss. Up the other end, it was a quieter day for fellow tall Morgan Ferres.

Woodville-West Torrens and Central Districts were the other two sides to field a bunch of Under 19 state squad members, as the Eagles got up by 15 points. Most of them turned out in Bulldogs colours, including debutant Luca Whitelum (21 disposals, nine marks) and Shay Linke (18 disposals, nine marks, eight tackles), who narrowly missed the starting squad.

Adelaide NGA small forward Isaiah Dudley was productive with 15 touches and a goal, while the speedy Lachlan Grubb had it 12 times. For the Eagles, bottom-ager Adam D’Aloia ran out at the level once more and laid six tackles to go with his 14 disposals. Northern Territory native Ronald Fejo was another to watch in the two’s, booting a goal from 24 disposals as West Adelaide downed South.

Over in Western Australia, a trio of state squad guns hit League level after helping the Black Ducks to last week’s Under 19 win. Peel Thunder utility Brady Hough was arguably the pick of the bunch, registering 22 disposals, nine marks, five inside 50s and a goal in his sparkling top flight debut.

Backman Jack Avery took five marks for Perth in a loss to West Perth, while Fremantle NGA prospect Jesse Motlop booted 2.2 from his 13 touches as South Fremantle beat West Coast. Classy Subiaco midfielder Matthew Johnson was also set to line up for the Reserves, but did not end up taking the field at any level.

Three seperate age groups were represented among the Tasmania Devils players to turn out in Sunday’s TSL preliminary final, which saw Launceston qualify for this week’s decider with a big win over Clarence. National Combine invitee Baker Smith was among the Roos’ best in the loss along with Darcy Gardner (one goal), as Noah Holmes again got stuck into his ruck duties.

Bottom-agers Tom McCallum and Bryce Alomes also lined up for Clarence, as did the 2002-born Lachlan Borsboom. In the navy blue of Launceston, Zach Morris continues to provide quality with his versatility, while top-agers Jayden Hinds and Bailey Gillow played their parts off the bench with a grand final appearance up for grabs.

The QAFL entered its second week of finals, leaving a couple more left to play, with a scattering of Brisbane and Gold Coast academy products hitting the senior grade. Suns Academy player of the year Bodhi Uwland turned out for Broadbeach, who secured a spot in the grand final by downing Labrador.

The exciting defender-midfielder was joined by Cody Harrington (one goal) and Ryan Pickering in the winning side. For Labrador, top-ager Bailey Reeves and Mackenzie Riddle were among the squad which will get a second chance at grand final qualification next week.

Maroochydore is the team the Tigers await, after the Roos defeated reigning premier Morningside in style on Saturday. Daniel Lanthois booted a goal for the victors, while big-bodied midfielder Toby Triffett was named the Panthers’ best, as fellow top-ager Saxon Crozier managed a goal and Max Nelson again played his part.

Featured Image: Brady Hough (left) earned a WAFL League debut this week | Credit: Shazza J Photography

State leagues wrap: Minor premiers crowned as regular seasons wind down

LOCKDOWN saw yet another round of VFL football postponed, but there was still plenty of state league action for football fans to enjoy around the nation. Minor premiers were officially crowned in South Australia and Tasmania as regular season fixtures wind down, while an established top five still has some shaking up to do over in Western Australia. We recap all the results and big performances in this week’s state league wrap.

South Australia (SANFL):

Glenelg found its way out of another tight spot on Saturday, overturning a 17-point deficit at the final break to surge past Norwood and claim the SANFL League minor premiership. The Bays made better on their chances having trailed at the first three breaks, enacting a seven-goal final term blitz to secure the 10-point victory.

Matthew Snook was again instrumental for Glenelg in midfield, leading all comers with 28 disposals and 10 clearances, while spearhead Liam McBean snagged three goals. Draft prospect Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera made an impact in his second senior outing, with his first League goal proving the sealer. For Norwood, Richard Douglas did all he could with 23 disposals and two goals.

The race for fifth spot is heating up, with Sturt applying plenty of pressure to current placeholder, Norwood after a statement-making victory. The Doubles Blues kept West Adelaide goalless in a 76-point drubbing on the road, putting them just a game behind the Redlegs in sixth but with superior percentage. In Sturt’s win, James Battersby and Casey Voss topped the disposal charts with 32-apiece, while Steven Slimming led a trio of Blues who booted two goals each.

Port Adelaide was the side Sturt snuck ahead of in sixth, after the Magpies suffered a 13-point Showdown loss at the hands of Adelaide. Up-and-coming senior players Lachlan Gollant and Dylan Williams snared four goals for their respective sides in a game which was lead by the Crows from the first goal. Bigman Billy Frampton was an ominous figure with 30 disposals and 13 marks, as James Rowe returned to the grade and snared a pair of majors, while Sam Mayes (35 disposals) had 15 more touches than any other Port player.

Back in the top half of the table, North Adelaide secured an important three-goal win over the second placed Woodville-West Torrens, strengthening the Roosters’ hold on third spot with the remaining chance to jump into second. The victors booted six goals to two after half time, with Aaron Young (29 disposals, six clearances, one goal) and Campbell Combe (27 disposals, eight clearances, one goal) instrumental in the result, while Daniel and Troy Menzel each snared two goals for the Eagles.

Pick one contender Jason Horne starred in South Adelaide’s 52-point victory over Central District, which keeps the Panthers a game clear in fourth. With his side trailing at the first break, Horne turned it on in term two with three goals to help gain the ascendancy. South never looked back from there, cruising to its ninth win of the season with finals less than a month away.

Tasmania (TSL):

A pair of thrillers were offset by Launceston’s ruthless 146-point belting of Glenorchy in Round 19 of the TSL, a result which saw the Blues officially claim this year’s minor premiership. Usual Tasmania Devils defender Zach Morris dominated with a swing to the front half, booting nine goals in a brilliant best afield performance. Brendan Taylor (four goals), Jake Hinds (three), Jay Blackberry and Jobi Harper (both two) also claimed multiple majors among the Blues’ 13 individual goalkickers in the 28.13 (181) to 5.5 (35) romp.

While North Launceston had the bye, fellow top four sides Tigers and Clarence locked horns on Saturday to spice up the race for third. After trailing at every break, Tigers slotted three goals to one in the final quarter to take home a crucial five-point win and jump Clarence into third spot via superior percentage. Marcus Davies was the victors’ sole multiple goalkicker in a brigade of eight scorers, as Zach Adams was named their best. Josh Green snared three goals for the Roos, but it was Sam Green who took home the coaches votes in a tight loss.

The round’s other close contest saw Lauderdale work back from a 33-point half time deficit to defeat wooden spooner North Hobart by two points, securing the result with seven goals to two after the main break. Allen Christensen was typically terrific for the Bombers in their remarkable win, while a bunch of Tasmania Devils prospects fared well for North Hobart. Will Splann (two goals), Dom White and Jye Menzie all found the big sticks, while Tyler McGinniss was named among the Devils’ best players.

Western Australia (WAFL):

The WAFL League top five remains unchanged after Round 18’s results, with East Perth the only side to climb the ladder on a four-game weekend of West Australian football. The Royals extended Perth’s losing streak with a 25-point triumph, having lead at every break on home turf to jump into sixth over East Fremantle. Aidan Lynch (32 disposals, 10 marks, one goal) led all comers, while Royals teammate Thomas Edwards-Baldwin was the game’s lone multiple goalkicker with three.

Arguably the weekend’s best and most important game saw Subiaco strengthen its standing atop the table with a five-point comeback win over fellow finals contender, Claremont. The Lions were jumped in the first term but worked back to within striking distance at 17 points adrift come the final break, before pouncing with four goals to one in the fourth quarter. Greg Clark was the only player to tick up to 30 disposals, while Ben Sokol booted six goals and Lachlan Delahunty (23 disposals, 25 hitouts) also proved instrumental in the win.

With the Tigers going down, reigning premier South Fremantle went a game clear in second after defeating East Fremantle by 61 points. The Bulldogs broke the game open after half time, running out the game with 11 goals to three in a ruthless showing of their firepower. Brandon Donaldson (five goals) and Mason Shaw (four) lead a strong core of eight goal kickers in the win, as Tom Blechynden notched a game-high 25 touches.

Meanwhile, Swan Districts remains three games clear of the finals drop in fifth after a kicking away from Peel Thunder in a 52-point win. The Swans were served well by Aidan Clarke (32 disposals, two goals) and Frank Anderson (30 and two), with all of their top seven ball winners also hitting the scoreboard. Tyrone Thorne saw the most ball though, registering 33 touches and nine tackles for Peel in their fourth-straight loss. West Perth and West Coast each have a game in hand after sitting out this weekend.

Image Credit: @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

State Leagues wrap: Youngsters press claims for senior call-ups

A BUNCH of up-and-coming talents pressed their claims for senior selection across the state leagues this past weekend, with finals time drawing closer in the top tier. The West Australian Football League (WAFL) made its return after a week away due to lockdown, while it was business as usual around the nation with just over a month of home-and-away action left to play out. We run you through all the results from around the nation and what they mean moving forward in this week’s state leagues wrap.

NSW-ACT / Queensland / Victoria (VFL):

The Battle of Bell Street headlined Round 13’s action in the VFL, with the Northern Bullants holding on to win by a single point against traditional local rival, Coburg. Players did justice to the resumption of this long-standing rivalry, though the Lions’ last ditch surge was not enough to snatch victory at Piranha Park. Bullants big man Daniel Hughes took home the inaugural Harold Martin Medal as best afield, having finished with 18 disposals and 35 hitouts.

While the Bullants picked up their third-consecutive win, Footscray avoided a major boilover to remain undefeated in 2021, defeating Sydney by seven points on the back of a six-goal final term. The Bulldogs twice trailed by as many as six goals throughout the contest, but did enough to power past the plucky Swans outfit. Patrick Lipinski‘s claims for a recall remain strong after 36 disposals and a goal, while tall Sydney pair Logan McDonald (14 marks, four goals) and Patrick McCartin (27 disposals, 11 marks) dominated the airways.

Collingwood and Geelong remain fixed in the top eight after earning their own closely contested victories, downing 2019 grand finalists Richmond and Williamstown respectively. The Cats lead at every break in their 12-point triumph, while senior-listed midfielder Charlie Constable (30 disposals, seven tackles, one goal) continuing his ominous form, while young forwards Jack Ginnivan (four goals) and Noah Cumberland (five) were sensational in the Magpies’ five-point salute on enemy territory.

While Port Melbourne was thumped by 95 points in Frankston on Friday, the Borough’s home deck was used on Saturday to field the clash between Greater Western Sydney (GWS) and Gold Coast. The Giants, who had a handy mix of AFL-listed players and academy products, ran out 40-point winners with Zach Sproule (five goals), Matt De Boer (35 disposals, three goals), and senior skipper Stephen Coniglio (36 disposals, eight tackles) proving a class above.

Casey and Sandringham were the other Victorian sides to register premiership points in Round 13, while Southport returned to the fray with a resounding 109-point romping of Brisbane. The result sees the Sharks sit a win clear in second, still an equal amount of points away from current frontrunner Footscray. The Round 14 fixture has also been announced, with both Sydney teams having the bye while Queensland travel is set to resume for a trio of Victorian clubs.

South Australia (SANFL):

Ladder position counted for plenty in Round 14 of the SANFL, as all of the top five sides registered wins against their bottom five counterparts. The handful of fixtures took part on a super Saturday of state league action, which did little to really shake up the order of things ranking-wise.

Reigning premier Woodville-West Torrens opened proceedings with a 19-point win over the bottom-placed West Adelaide, despite managing just nine goals from 30 scoring shots. Westies tidied up the margin with three final term consolation goals, but the Eagles’ scoring power was all too much in the end. Jack Hayes had a day to remember for the victors, clunking 20 marks (seven contested) and booting two goals, while prolific small forward Tyson Stengle managed 3.4 from eight touches.

Competition frontrunner Glenelg pushed its undefeated streak out to 13 games with a 30-point win over Sturt, kicking away in a five-goal to one third term. Bays spearhead Liam McBean booted six goals in a commanding display, as Lachie Wilsdon snared eight in North Adelaide’s 48-point salute over Central District. The likes of Harrison Wigg (42 disposals, nine clearances), Samuel McInerney (24 disposals, five goals), and Campbell Combe (29 disposals, two goals) were among the Roosters’ other outstanding individual performers.

North’s win opened up a gap to Port Adelaide in sixth, after the Magpies went down to Norwood by 36 points. The usual suspects were amongst it for the Redlegs, with Mitch Grigg (31 disposals, seven clearances, one goal), Richard Douglas (30 disposals, eight clearances), and Brad McKenzie (24 disposals, two goals) all in the thick of things. South Adelaide was the weekend’s other winner, with pick one contender Jason Horne (19 disposals, one goal) again catching plenty of eyes as his Panthers got the better of Adelaide.

Tasmania (TSL):

Launceston took out a crucial TSL top-of-the-table clash on Saturday, downing North Launceston by 53 points to strength its spot as the league leader. The Blues now boast a two-game gap to their closest rival, and consolidated their latest victory with five goals to nil in the final quarter. Brayden Pitcher booted six majors to spearhead the Blues’ win, Jake Hinds and competition stalwart Jay Blackberry took out votes as the best two players afield.

Fellow top four sides Tigers and Clarence also picked up wins against the bottom two teams, in North Hobart and Lauderdale respectively. The Tigers accelerated during a five-goal second term to end up 40-point victors on the road, while Colin Garland snared another bag of six goals as his Roos wrapped up a 49-point win on home turf. Both sides remain locked on 32 points, with Clarence ahead in third by 0.23 per cent.

Western Australia (WAFL):

The WAFL returned after last week’s lockdown with crowds enjoying five fixtures across a stacked Saturday of state league football. The home sides won out in four of those games, while Subiaco shot back to the top of the table as the race for minor premiership honours heats up.

Claremont’s one-point loss to South Fremantle opened the door for Subiaco to reclaim top spot on percentage, though all three teams now sit level on eight wins with a two-pronged chasing pack ready to pounce at just one game adrift. The top five looks relatively set, with a three-game gap now opened up between Swan Districts in fifth and Peel Thunder in sixth.

Swans scraped past the ever-improving West Coast by two points to remain in the hunt with West Perth, as the Falcons had a much easier time defeating East Perth by 30 points. Geelong champion Harry Taylor returned to East Fremantle and booted four goals as Corey Warner, the brother of Chad made his League debut, but their efforts were not enough to help overcome the Thunder in a 26-point loss.

Image Credit: Martin Keep/AFL Photos

State Leagues wrap: Finals-bound sides make moves

THERE is a new leader in the Victorian Football League (VFL) and some rising challengers in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) after full rounds of highly entertaining action over the weekend. The top of the tree looks settled down in the Tasmanian State League (TSL), while West Australian fans will have to wait another week for more West Australian Football League (WAFL) action after a lockdown-enforced bye.

We run you through all the results from around the nation and what they mean moving forward in this week’s state leagues wrap.

NSW-ACT / Queensland / Victoria (VFL):

A mixed bag of results saw margins stretched from one to 75 points in Round 12 of the VFL, with eight games played across Friday evening to Sunday night. Geelong opened proceedings with a comprehensive win over Essendon, thumping the Bombers by that round-high margin on home turf. The Cats kicked away early with 11 goals to two in the first half, as Charlie Constable again helped himself to over 40 disposals and Darcy Lang booted five majors. They are finding their groove.

Box Hill was another big winner in Round 12, and got things started on Saturday by feasting on a Gold Coast side littered with top-ups. Six goals to Fergus Greene meant he outgunned the five-goal Suns all on his own, as his Hawks saluted to the tune of 72 points at Box Hill City Oval. They move ahead of Casey in third after the Demons suffered a shock loss to GWS Giants – another team filled with top-ups and academy talent. Giants skipper Stephen Coniglio made his return via the reserves, while Matt de Boer responded well to his axing to claim 25 disposals, and Demon Sam Weideman booted three goals in his claim for a senior recall.

Standalone sides Coburg and Northern Bullants both secured wins over aligned opponents on Saturday afternoon, marking successful hitouts at their respective home venues. The Lions toppled Carlton by 37 points on the back of a seven-goal final term, as Marcus Lentini (39 disposals) and Sam Lowson (four goals) starred, while the Bullants held off Richmond to win by 13 points, with skipper Tom Wilson (31 disposals) leading the way.

Footscray became the new ladder leader on Sunday, ending North Melbourne’s winning run with an 11-point victory at Whitten Oval. The Bulldogs kicked six of their 10 goals in the second term to stream ahead after trailing at quarter time, and never looked back. Frankston and Collingwood also secured wins to retain their spots in the top eight by percentage alone. Jack Ginnivan could soon be in for a debut after booting four goals in the Magpies’ win over Sandringham, while Nathan Freeman (45 disposals) got back to his usual output as the Dolphins downed Sydney.

Six sides enjoyed bye rounds this past weekend, including all three Queensland teams – Aspley, Brisbane Lions, and Southport. Port Melbourne, Werribee, and Williamstown were the Victorian clubs able to put their feet up in Round 12, recharging for the weekend ahead.

South Australia (SANFL):

Woodville-West Torrens proved the big winner in Round 13 of the SANFL, moving clear of South Adelaide in second spot with a 36-point win on Saturday. The Eagles put through six goals to one after half time in a clinical effort, with former AFL-listed pair Tyson Stengle (five) and Troy Menzel (four) combining for nine majors. The top five could soon be in for a shake-up too, with Sturt and Port Adelaide knocking on the door after respective Round 12 wins.

The Double Blues beat fourth-placed Norwood in a low-scoring slog on Friday night, putting them within a game of the finals places. Port remains level on points with fifth after snapping its three-game losing run to get past Central District, with senior-listed youngster Zak Butters (21 disposals, two goals) making a positive return to action through the reserves side.

It was business as usual for the undefeated Glenelg, who picked up a 12th victory on the back of its eight-goal final term blitz. The Bays trailed at every break but flicked the switch when it mattered most, soaring past Adelaide to win by 15 points. North Adelaide was also victorious on Saturday, proving 44 points better than West Adelaide to maintain its top five standing. The Roosters were served by some big performers, namely Campbell Combe, Harrison Wigg (both 39 disposals) and Keenan Ramsey (five goals).

Tasmania (TSL):

North Launceston showed no signs of letting up in its quest to reign back ladder leader, Launceston, after thumping Glenorchy by 105 points to open Round 14 of the TSL. The Northern Bombers overwhelmed their opponents in the front half with 33 total scoring shots to 13, headlined by their 12-goal to one second half. Zach Burt and Brandon Leary both snared four majors in the win as two of their side’s 10 individual goalkickers.

Despite the result, Launceston remains clear out in front after 14 rounds, having accounted for Lauderdale to the tune of 38 points. The contest was effectively over by three quarter time, as the Blues led by 75 points with just one major score in the Bombers’ account. With that in mind, Launceston’s foot came off the gas and Lauderdale poured on eight goals in the final term to restore some respectability to the scoreboard. Leading the charge was Josh McGuinness, who booted seven of his side’s nine goals, while Cody Thorpe snared three for the Blues to be named best afield.

Clarence rounded out the weekend’s action with a 55-point win over North Hobart, feasting on the cellar dweller to move level on points with third-placed Tigers, who had the bye. Colin Garland spearheaded the Roos’ victory with six goals, as his side kicked away strongly to add seven majors in the final term. Tigers return next week against the Demons, while Glenorchy gets a rest in Round 15.

Western Australia (WAFL):

Western Australia’s lockdown enforced a bye round this week in the WAFL, even cancelling out the women’s grand final – which has since been rescheduled for Sunday. All WAFL and WAFLW clubs were allowed to resume training as of July 3 with restrictions still in place and set to be eased today. All three men’s grades are scheduled to resume this coming weekend for Round 14, with five games fixed on Saturday July 10.

Image Credit: Cory Sutton/SANFL

State Leagues wrap: Full-time action resumes

FULL-TIME fixtures were back in the South and West Australian state leagues, where a raft of upsets shook up proceedings, while Victorian fans were treated to nine games and it was business as usual down in Tasmania. We run you through all the results from around the nation and what they mean in this week’s state leagues wrap.

NSW-ACT / Queensland / Victoria (VFL):

One fixture was cancelled, but the show rolled on in the VFL as Round 11 came around. Geelong emphatically returned to the winners list on Friday night, opening proceedings with a 118-point trouncing of the Brisbane Lions in the Sunshine State. Three of the Cats’ 12 individual goalkickers booted four goals as their AFL-listed brigade took full toll, including Charlie Constable (44 disposals, nine marks, one goal) in the engine room.

All of the round’s remaining fixtures took place in Victoria amid interstate Covid chaos, with a new ladder leader crowned. The undefeated Footscray Bulldogs are that side after easing past Coburg by 32 points, with Patrick Lipinski (29 disposals) among those pushing for a senior call-up. Bulldogs father-son prospect Ewan Macpherson booted two goals from 11 touches after being overlooked for Under 19 Vic Metro honours, while another Northern Knights product in Marcus Lentini racked up 43 disposals for Coburg.

North Melbourne’s positive run of form continued as the Roos knocked off Werribee by under a goal, with the top eight squeeze getting ever-tighter. Collingwood snuck in with a win over Frankston, pushing the Dolphins out in the process, while Box Hill solidified its spot after blitzing Aspley after half time, and Sandringham compounded the hurt of a poor weekend for Richmond fans, getting up by five goals over the Tigers.

A memorable quartet of Sunday games was kicked off at Casey Fields, as the home side improved to 6-0 after beating Essendon to the tune of 48 points. Familiar faces in Ben Brown (five goals) and Nathan Jones (36 disposals) staked their claims for senior action, with the Demons flying at both levels in 2021. The Northern Bullants’ journey came full circle as they defeated Carlton by 32 points at Preston City Oval, making for a fitting first win on the season at their traditional home.

A heated derby clash between Williamstown and Port Melbourne resulted in the Seagulls claiming a 37-point win, with plenty of fines to be handed out after an all-in brawl at quarter time. The round was seen out by another derby, of the Sydney variety, as Greater Western Sydney defeated the Swans by 38 points. The game was played in Melbourne and a host of top-up players were fielded across either side, allowing a bunch of NAB Leaguers to gain some valuable state league experience.

South Australia (SANFL):

Full competition resumed in the SANFL for Round 12, with the weekend’s proceedings extended back out to five fixtures after last week’s two-game set. North Adelaide opened the show on Saturday by dislodging Port Adelaide from the top five, taking the Magpies’ spot with a 76-point beating. Harrison Wigg was excellent for the victors, claiming 30 disposals and two goals, while former Port midfielders Aaron Young and Andrew Moore combined for 49 disposals and 15 clearances. Keenan Ramsey was also key in establishing the Roosters’ ascendancy, finishing with 3.2 from 15 touches and 12 marks.

Norwood solidified its spot in the top five with a five-goal win over Central District, helping the Redlegs draw level on points with the two other sides chasing Glenelg. South Adelaide is one of those teams, but the Panthers faltered on Saturday in an upset loss to Sturt. Inaccuracy cost the top five side dearly, though it meant the Double Blues would send off premiership player Mark Evans off on the right note. In Sunday’s lone fixture, Glenelg stretched its unbeaten run to 11 games, downing reigning premier Woodville-West Torrens by 19 points to only further their flag credentials.

Tasmania (TSL):

TSL frontrunner Launceston flexed its muscle on Saturday, thumping fourth-placed Clarence by 69 points on home turf to stay clear in top spot. The Blues were again spearheaded by competition leading goalkicker Dylan Riley, who booted six majors, while games record holder Jay Blackberry was named best afield. Colin Garland got the votes for Clarence, who still sit two games clear in fourth.

Fresh off a bye, North Launceston kept touch with the Blues after beating Tigers by an even six goals, setting up a two-game buffer to their weekend rivals in the process. A three-goal haul from Northern Bombers player-coach Bradley Cox-Goodyer saw him earn best afield honours. Glenorchy chalked up a fourth win in the round’s other game, beating last-placed North Hobart by 25 points as five-goal hauls to Harrison Gunther and Nathan Hardy headlined either sides’ efforts.

Western Australia (WAFL):

South Fremantle was the only team to beat a side below it on the ladder in Round 12 of the WAFL, amid a weekend littered with upsets. The Bulldogs accounted for Perth with a 34-point win, proving too strong and drawing within a game of top spot. Competition frontrunners Claremont remain clear in first despite a 14-point loss to West Perth, as the Falcons were led by usual suspects Aaron Black (34 disposals, 12 tackles) and Tyler Keitel (12 disposals, five marks, 3.2)

Swan Districts knocked off the other top two side, Subiaco, holding off the Lions despite some goalkicking inaccuracy. Jesse Palmer was a key culprit with one goal and six behinds, though it mattered little as his side got the job done to keep its two-game buffer inside the top five. Looking to close on Swans is East Fremantle, though the Sharks went down by 51 points to West Coast, in the Eagles’ second win on the season.

West Coast remains in bottom spot despite the result, after East Perth also notched its second-straight victory by shaking down the Peel Thunder. The Royals trailed at the first three breaks but enacted a terrific comeback effort after half time, ending up seven points to the good and drawing level on premiership points with their weekend adversaries.

Image Credit: Jonathan Di Maggio/AFL Photos

State Leagues wrap: Dramatic grand final replay headlines Victorian return

POST-SIREN drama capped off a memorable Grand Final rematch in the VFL this weekend, as Victorian sides returned to the fold. While South and West Australian fans took in slightly condensed fixtures, it was business as usual in Tasmania as a new all-time games record was achieved. We run you through all the results and outstanding performances in this week’s state league wrap.

NSW-ACT / Queensland / Victoria (VFL):

A draw in Sunday’s 2019 Grand Final replay between Richmond and Williamstown highlighted Round 10’s action, with post-siren drama ensuring the rulebook was given a workout. Gun Seagull Mitch Hibberd sent a 50m free kick to the line which was initially slapped down by Richmond’s Garrett McDonough, only for Williamstown captain Adam Marcon to punch it back through the behinds. But given the final siren had sounded, Marcon’s touch was void and scored were left locked at 74 points apiece.

There were two other games decided by a goal or less, both occurring on Saturday. North Melbourne snared its second win of the season in a three-point thriller against Coburg, doing just enough in term four after scores were tied at three-quarter time. Ben Speight‘s fourth major came with just over two minutes left, putting the Roos back ahead for the game’s decisive lead change.

Gold Coast claimed victory in the day’s second thriller, coming back from 41 points down at half time to edge Aspley by one straight kick in a Graham Road Oval shootout. Competition leading goalkicker Matthew Hammelmann snared another six majors for the Hornets, while Josh Corbett (five goals) and Ben Ainsworth (four) proved impactful for the Suns. Table topper, Southport also won out on Saturday, thumping the Brisbane Lions by 107 points as Billy Gowers took full toll of the Sharks’ midfield domination with eight goals.

In the round’s sole top four clash, Footscray kept its perfect record in tact with a 33-point triumph over Geelong on the road. The Bulldogs were spearheaded by Josh Schache‘s six goals, with Patrick Lipinski (36 disposals, three goals) was also dominant. Frankston snuck into the top eight with a 29-point win over Northern Bullants, with Mitch Cox (28 disposals, five goals) and Josh Begley (25 and three) waxing nicely. Carlton, Werribee, Box Hill were the other sides to register Round 10 wins, with the latter two sitting clear in the top eight.

South Australia (SANFL):

Only two games were played in Round 11 of the SANFL, with Central District and Sturt kicking out to wins which see them move clear of the ladder’s bottom rung. Nicholas Gillard stepped up to boot half of Centrals’ goals (five) in their win over West Adelaide on Saturday, with the Bulldogs maintaining a three-goal buffer at each of the final three breaks. Travis and Jarrod Schiller combined for 52 disposals in red, white and blue, while Shay Linke notched 12 touches on his League debut. Elliot Dunkin racked up a game-high 35 touches for Westies, aided well by the reliable Kaine Stevens (31 disposals, one goal) and Thomas Keough (21 and two).

Meanwhile, Sturt snapped a four-game losing run to also claim its third win of the season, downing Port Adelaide by 41 points on Sunday. Senior-listed forward Dylan Williams booted six of Port’s seven goals in the loss, with skipper Cam Sutcliffe bagging the other major on his return. Joshua Hone snagged three for the Double Blues, who had a much more even spread of 11 individual goalkickers. Tom Lewis topped their disposal charts, collecting 26 en route to victory – only outdone by Port’s Sam Mayes (27).

Tasmania (TSL):

Launceston marked a record-breaking weekend of TSL football in style, thumping Glenorchy by 113 points on Saturday to move clear atop the table. The Blues were celebrating Jay Blackberry taking over the league’s games record, running out for the 213th time to move past former Magpies stalwart, Jaye Bowden. Blackberry marked the occasion with two goals, while competition leader Dylan Riley bagged five in another standout forward display.

Tigers also picked up a significant win among the top four picture, setting up a handy buffer to weekend opponent, Clarence on Saturday. The result was all but wrapped up by half time as Tigers led by 45 points on the back of nine goals to Clarence’s two, before the Roos claimed some consolation scores to see the final margin sit at 31 points. Marcus Gardner was adjudged best afield for the victors, contributing a game-high three goals.

Lauderdale was another side to create some separation in terms of ladder position, leaving North Hobart on the bottom rung after beating the Demons by 67 points away from home. The Bombers’ two wins in 2021 have both come against North Hobart, with this one set up by the goalkicking combination of Edward Stanley (five goals) and Harry Richmond (four). Full of confidence, Lauderdale will have to wait to perform again with its bye coming in Round 13.

Western Australia (WAFL):

Another condensed round of WAFL action saw three games played on Saturday, with away sides West Coast, West Perth, and East Fremantle all picking up valuable victories. The most remarkable of the lot went to West Coast, as the Eagles notched their first win for the season and spurned Subiaco’s quest to reclaim top spot in the process. Mark Hutchings (32 disposals, one goal) and Nathan Vardy (17 disposals, 26 hitouts, two goals) were terrific for the unlikely six-point victors, while Ben Sokol piled on six goals in an attempt to drag Subiaco over the line.

West Perth moved above Swan Districts with a 46-point win at Steel Blue Oval, in which the Falcons lead at every break. While the pair still sits clear among the top five, both East Fremantle and Perth are not far behind. The Sharks moved to within a game of the finals spots with their 26-point win over the Demons, overtaking their weekend rivals in the process. The race for finals qualification looms as a tight one with just under half of the regular season left to play.

Image Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

Stat Leaders: 2021 VFL – Round 3

THE 2021 Victorian Football League (VFL) season rolled on into its third round over the weekend, with 11 fixtures spread from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. There were a number of outstanding individual performances among the Round 3 action, as AFL-listed talent and state league guns alike topped a range of key categories. We take a look at this week’s stat leaders, as well as the season tallies to this point.

>> RESULTS: State League wrap

Usual forward Jake Riccardi swung into defence for GWS on Sunday and had a blinder, seeing him top the league for kicks and marks in Round 3. The 21-year-old racked up 40 disposals, with 31 of them delivered by foot and 19 earned via marks. His dynamic performance helped the Giants to a 30-point win over Southport, their first for the season.

It was no surprise to see Coburg ball magnet Marcus Lentini again tick over the 40-disposal mark, this time managing 42 against Brisbane in what was a battle of the Lions. The mid-season draft hopeful was just pipped atop the handball charts on the weekend by Gold Coast’s Will Brodie, who dished out 22 in the Suns’ narrow loss to Collingwood. In the same game, first year Magpie Reef McInnes got his hands dirty with a round-high 11 tackles.

Elsewhere, competition leading goalkicker Matt Hammelmann upped his season average (5.3) with a bag of six majors as Aspley went down to Frankston. The effort accounted for over half of the Hornets’ score, brining Hammelmann’s season tally to 16 after three games. Western Bulldogs ruck Jordon Sweet also excelled in his field, feasting to win 38 hitouts against inexperienced Northern Bullants’ talls.

Looking at the season leaders, Frankston jet Nathan Freeman has served a reminder of his class in 2021 with a clean run, topping the league for disposals and kicks. Jacob Dawson is another former AFL player finding plenty of ball, distributing more than any other player thus far by hand. Hammelmann and Casey’s James Munro are the other state leaguers topping charts, while AFL-listed bigmen Connor Ballenden and Ned Reeves have the most marks and hitouts respectively.

Find the full list of Round 3, and 2021 season stat leaders below.

ROUND 3 STAT LEADERS:

Disposals:
Marcus Lentini (Coburg) – 42

Kicks:
Jake Riccardi* (GWS) – 31

Handballs:
Will Brodie* (Gold Coast) – 22

Goals:
Matt Hammelmann** (Aspley) – 6

Marks:
Jake Riccardi* (GWS) – 19

Tackles:
Reef McInnes* (Collingwood) – 11

Hitouts:
Jordon Sweet* (Footscray) – 38

2021 SEASON STAT LEADERS:

Disposals:
Nathan Freeman (Frankston) – 117 total / 39.0 average

Kicks:
Nathan Freeman (Frankston) – 78 / 26.0

Handballs:
Jacob Dawson (Southport) – 56 / 18.7

Goals:
Matt Hammelmann (Aspley) – 16 / 5.3

Marks:
Connor Ballenden* (Brisbane) – 34 / 11.3

Tackles:
James Munro (Casey) – 28 / 9.3

Hitouts:
Ned Reeves* (Box Hill) – 118 / 39.3

* – denotes AFL-listed.
** – denotes season leader.

Image Credit: Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos

2021 VFL: Round 1 Draftee Focus – Tigers pair push for early debuts

THE Victorian Football League (VFL) returned over the weekend after a year away, with the revamped structure seeing 22 teams battle it out across 11 fixtures up and down the eastern seaboard, stretching from Friday to Sunday. Senior-listed players who missed AFL selection were able to get some run in their legs through the state league, with a bunch of 2020 draftees among them. We take a look at how prospects from the latest draft class fared in Round 1.

A pair of first year Richmond talents staked their claims for an early call-up in the competition’s season-opener, as the Tigers ran out 40-point victors over St Kilda’s VFL affiliate, Sandringham. Maurice Rioli Jnr was the first to garner some attention for a senior berth, after booting two goals from his 17 disposals in an exciting display. Loping ruck-forward, Samson Ryan was the other, having translated his preseason form to a three-goal haul on Friday afternoon.

For the Zebras, Tom Highmore pushed his case for a recall after being dropped from the Saints’ senior side. The marking defender reeled in seven grabs against Richmond, among his 16 disposals (13 kicks). The Saints’ first selection in last year’s intake, Matthew Allison also got a run for his new side, contributing five touches. Top-up selections Derek Eggmolesse-Smith and Mason Wood were also solid for their respective teams, leaning on their prior AFL experience.

Number one pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan continues his attempt to crack the Western Bulldogs’ forwardline, booting two goals from 11 touches in the reserve grade. Dominic Bedendo found the ball eight times as the Bulldogs beat Gold Coast, whose rookie selections proved the pick of their new crop. Aiden Fyfe (16 disposals, eight marks) and Rhys Nicholls (17 disposals) fit in nicely, as Category B rookie Hewago Paul Oea had it 19 times. Prized coups Alex Davies and Joel Jeffrey also ran out for the Suns in their 67-point loss.

While their statesmen went down to a Victorian opponent, the Brisbane Lions came up trumps against Essendon with a 66-point win on Saturday afternoon. Academy graduate Carter Michael found plenty of the ball with 25 disposals and four marks, while the hard-running Harry Sharp (19 disposals, six marks, four tackles) stakes his claim for another senior crack. Raw tall forward Henry Smith booted a couple of goals, as Blake Coleman and Deividas Uosis also ran out in the maroon, blue and gold. Versatile NGA product Josh Eyre (eight disposals, three marks) was Essendon’s lone 2020 draftee afield.

A state league Sydney derby saw the Swans defeat the Giants by 26 points on the same afternoon, with both sides fielding multiple fresh faces across both levels in 2021. Sydney rookie Malachy Carruthers accumulated 19 disposals (16 kicks) and 10 marks in an impressive first-up effort, while academy graduate Marc Sheather notched 10 touches and kicked a goal.

Prized GWS pick Tanner Bruhn got a good run on the ball to amass 27 disposals in the charcoal and orange, an effort capped by two goals. Fellow Victorian Ryan Angwin showed his potential with 18 touches of the ball, while mature-age selection Jacob Wehr had it 17 times with 12 kicks. Cam Fleeton and Category B bolter Will Shaw also got some run in their legs for GWS.

Collingwood’s bumper draft haul has already made an impact at the top level, but there were also plenty of first year players plying their trade in the twos last week. Most hit the scoreboard too, as Collingwood snuck past Werribee; with Oliver Henry (11 disposals, seven marks, two goals), Caleb Poulter (18 disposals, seven marks, one goal), Reef McInnes, Liam McMahon and Jack Ginnivan (all one goal) making their marks. Tasmania rookie Isaac Chugg was also promising, finishing on 15 disposals and six marks.

Sunday saw a couple of aligned units lock horns at Box Hill City Oval, as the hosts went down to Casey Demons by 51 points. First round Melbourne selection, Jake Bowey made a good start to end with 23 disposals and four marks in red and blue, as Deakyn Smith (20 disposals, seven marks, six tackles) and the dynamic Fraser Rosman (10 disposals, two goals) also showed plenty. The Demons’ side is currently hard to crack, though.

Preseason supplemental selection Lachlan Bramble showed his ability at the level by ticking onto 20 disposals for the Hawks, also getting his hands dirty to lay eight tackles in the loss. Hawthorn NGA product Connor Downie looked in line for an early senior berth – not as concussion sub – but had nothing doing. He notched 10 disposals in this VFL outing.

Geelong thumped North Melbourne to start its season on the ideal note, with repeat-run machine Max Holmes arguably the pick of the draftees with 22 disposals (16 kicks). Nick Stevens clunked eight marks in the hoops and snared a goal, as athletic West Australian tall Shannon Neale managed seven disposals.

For North, Eddie Ford made a promising start with 13 touches and three marks, while the speedy Phoenix Spicer also made an appearance. Elsewhere, Corey Durdin was Carlton’s lone draftee in action as the Blues went down by a point to Southport. He had 10 disposals and kicked a goal, playing the small forward role.

Image Credit: Graham Denholm/Getty Images via AFL Photos

2021 VFL Women’s Round 4 preview

THE 2021 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season rolls on into Round 4 this weekend, starting once again with a Western Bulldogs home game as they battle Williamstown at Whitten Oval on Saturday morning. Among the games of the round, Geelong and Port Melbourne do battle in a top four clash, while Casey and Southern Saints look to climb the rankings. We take you through all the key players and factors across each game in our weekend preview.

Western Bulldogs (7th, 1-2) vs. Williamstown (11th, 1-2)
Saturday March 20, 11:00am
Whitten Oval

Western Bulldogs and Williamstown will both look to shake off losing records when they clash at Whitten Oval on Saturday morning, opening Round 4’s action. The clash also serves as the Bulldogs’ third home game in four weeks, with a second win up for grabs. Both sides come in off consecutive losses having gained points in Round 1, but will field heavily shuffled lineups.

The hosts regain a big name in vice-captain Katelyn Betts returning to the fold among at least four changes. Senior-listed players Isabella Grant and Annabel Strahan are key losses who go the other way, though an exciting inclusion in the form of ex-Richmond youngster Nekaela Butler should buoy the Bulldogs.

Williamstown will also ring the changes as a handful of players come out of last week’s side, headlined by injuries to Tahlia Merrett and Bridget Costello. The Seagulls have named Allana Dickie to return after being managed, as Asha Price slots back into the forwardline and Bridget Hanrahan looks set to feature down the other end.

Geelong (4th, 2-1) vs. Port Melbourne (1st, 3-0)
Saturday March 20, 5:00pm
Deakin University

Arguably the game of the round sees top four sides Geelong and Port Melbourne lock horns at Deakin University on Saturday evening, making for the weekend’s sole top four clash. The Borough have been outstanding in their maiden VFLW campaign, but face arguably their toughest test yet when travelling to face Geelong, a fellow aligned team often littered with young talent.

That factor is set to be no different on Saturday, as the Cats welcome back Georgia Clarke to help fill out an in-form spine which features fellow senior-listed gun Maddie Boyd up the other end. Going the other way, midfielder Laura Gardiner may find herself among the top ranks once again, while Geelong Falcons Annie Lee and Renee Tierney return to the NAB League.

The Borough will also ring a few changes to what has looked a rather settled side, with Richmond-listed youngster Sarah Sansonetti among the inclusions alongside former Carlton utility, Bridie Kennedy. In term of the outs, Murray Bushrangers product Kate Adams stint comes to an end, with goalkicker Sarah McNamara also absent.

Casey Demons (3rd, 2-1) vs. Southern Saints (6th, 1-2)
Sunday March 21, 10:30am
Casey Fields

Casey Demons will hope to protect its winning record when the Southern Saints come to town, as the two sides clash at Casey Fields on Sunday morning. The Demons made an emphatic return to the winners list last time out, but should be tested well by another aligned team in Southern Saints, who will be keen to bounce back from consecutive losses.

The reserves-like system looks to have payed off for Melbourne-listed player Chantel Emonson, who comes out of the Demons’ side after a promising performance last time out. Young tall Bridie Winbanks is the other player missing from Casey’s Round 3 squad, though midfielder Megan Fitzsimon returns for her third game at the level.

Last week’s Saints debutants, Anna Harris and Madi Southam are among the four players to make way for their team, with senior-listed youngster Jess Matin also in that group. The inclusion of Renee Saulitis should buoy the travelling side though, along with Gabby De Angelis who slots back into the forwardline – in the opposite pocket.

Carlton (10th, 1-2) vs. North Melbourne (9th, 1-2)
Sunday March 21, 10:30am
Princes Park

Carlton hosts its second consecutive game at Princes Park on Sunday when fellow 1-2 team North Melbourne arrives for battle. The Blues will also be out for back-to-back wins after opening their account last week, while the Kangaroos’ form has resembled that of a yo-yo with that sole win sitting between their two losses.

In a boost for the home side, a couple of talented young senior-listed players come into the lineup after Charlotte Hammans earned a call-up, with Maddy Guerin set to take her spot at half-back while tall prospect Serena Gibbs promises to add a scoring threat at centre-half forward. The changes see a total of six senior Blues line up in the reserve squad.

North will also benefit from some handy inclusions this week, with Alexia and Jayde Hamilton both in line for returns. The latter will play her second game having recently suited up for the GWS Giants Academy in the NAB League. AFLW-listed forward Brooke Brown looks set to rotate through the ruck having been named there, while Western Jets product Marli Klaumanns-Moller is one of two outs.

Essendon (5th, 2-1) vs. Darebin (12th, 0-3)
Sunday March 21, 10:30am
The Hangar

Darebin’s search for its first win of the 2021 season continues on Sunday, as the Falcons take on Essendon for a morning battle at The Hangar. The travelling side has battled hard and faces a third standalone team in four weeks, while the Bombers will fancy a third victory here having won two on the trot.

With key pillars performing well, Essendon looks set to make just two changes to its winning side with Nicole Julian coming in for her first game in midfield, and Grace Dicker named on the bench for her second outing. Going the other way are Elizabeth Hosking and Elizabeth Snell, the latter of whom earned votes in her VFLW debut last week.

Darebin will have a couple of untimely absences, with the reliable Kathleen Roe and dangerous forward Hayley Munro among three players to come out of the team. In their place, Julia McArdle and Mikayla Meyer come in via the bench as Vanja Smiljanic gets her chance starting in midfield alongside skipper, Steph Simpson.

Collingwood (2nd, 3-0) vs. Hawthorn (8th, 1-2)
Sunday March 21, 11:00am
Victoria Park

Collingwood’s perfect record will once again be put on the line as the Magpies take on Hawthorn at Victoria Park on Sunday morning, rounding out the weekend’s action. This clash marks the home side’s first meeting with a non-aligned club, while the Hawks take on their second aligned team after suffering a second loss last time out.

The Pies’ creative stocks will take a bit of a hit as tall Bella Smith comes out of the side with Imogen Barnett, as well as fellow senior-listed players in Sarah Rowe and Kristy Stratton. Another AFLW Magpie, Abbi Moloney swoops back down to the level to bolster the forwardline, with Maddy Shevlin also in among the four changes.

Hawthorn will make at least three swaps to its Round 3 lineup, with talented Territorian Dominique Carbone among them. She returns home to play for local team, Darwin in the NTFLW grand final. Jemma Owen is out through injury, with Jenna Richardson and Katie Angelis given the opportunity to make their debuts in brown and gold.

2021 VFL Women’s Round 3 preview

THE 2021 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season rolls on into Round 3 this weekend, starting tonight as the Western Bulldogs host Collingwood in a Friday night showcase. Elsewhere, traditional rivals Port Melbourne and Williamstown face off in a historic fixture, while Carlton and Darebin will battle in a clash of the winless sides. We take you through all the key players and factors across each game in our weekend preview.

Western Bulldogs vs. Collingwood
Friday March 12, 8:00pm
Whitten Oval

Round 3 gets underway on Friday night as the Western Bulldogs host Collingwood under the Whitten Oval lights, with the visitors keen to remain unbeaten. A 2-0 start for the Magpies, who remain reigning premiers, has sent a statement to the competition, while the Bulldogs have seen both sides of the coin in 2021 at 1-1.

AFLW talent continues to flow through the grade, as both sides look set to welcome elite level players this week. The Bulldogs will field Bailey Hunt among its three changes, but see hot starter Britney Gutknecht and Nell Morris-Dalton come out of the team. Young pups have serviced the red, white and blue well, though vice-captain Katelyn Betts looms as a big out.

Sarah Rowe is Collingwood’s most significant inclusion as she returns to action, with the Irishwoman named in her usual half-forward post. On the other hand, fellow senior-listed Magpie Maddie Shevlin comes out of the side having impressed in the two games thus far. Collingwood’s forwardline should make for exciting viewing, with Rowe joined by Imogen Barnett and Matilda Zander inside 50.

Essendon vs. Hawthorn
Saturday March 13, 11:00am
The Hangar

Two Round 2 victors with some momentum behind them in Essendon and Hawthorn do battle at The Hangar, kick-starting a string of five Saturday fixtures. Both sides are standalone entities and got on the board last week after opening round losses, making this clash between traditional rivals an intriguing one based on form alone.

Essendon looks poised to make three changes, with Simone Nalder coming in for her first game in the ruck, while Elizabeth Hosking returns to her half-forward spot in the famous sash. Bendigo Pioneers product Elizabeth Snell has also been named, a reward for her promising NAB League form so far in 2021.

The magnets are also shuffling at Hawthorn, as the brown and gold side prepares to make four changes. A trio of Eastern Ranges prospects exit after debuting in Round 2, with the likes of Dominique Carbone and Alexandra Cuss set to make their returns to the starting lineup. This could prove to be one of the closest games of the weekend.

Casey Demons vs. North Melbourne
Saturday March 13, 1:30pm
Casey Fields

Two sides sitting on 1-1 records will look to break into the black as Casey Demons and North Melbourne lock horns at Casey Fields on Saturday afternoon. The Demons were mighty impressive in Round 1 but suffered their first loss last week, while North’s form has proven the opposite thus far as the Roos picked up their first win last time out.

Melbourne-listed tall Meg Downie looks set to return to action as she comes into the Casey lineup, joining fellow AFLW squad member Chantel Emonson in the side. The latter is poised to replace first year player Megan Fitzsimon, who has put her hand up for a senior recall in recent weeks.

North has been dealt an injury blow with last week’s three-goal hero Alice O’Loughlin set to miss, along with some key talent in the form of Brooke Brown, Alexia Hamilton, and Jayde Hamilton. The Roos still have some in-form talent to lean on, but may find the going tough against a Casey side which will be eager to bounce back quickly.

Geelong vs. Southern Saints
Saturday March 13, 2:00pm
Deakin University

Geelong will hold yet another home game this weekend, set to welcome the Southern Saints to Deakin University on Saturday afternoon. Both sides currently hold 1-1 records but found differing fortunes last time out; with the Cats picking up their first win in 2021 while the Saints went down in somewhat of an upset loss.

The hosts will again ring about the changes, with young talent coming in and out of the side. Georgia Clarke is a key out as she looks to be rewarded for promising form, while senior-listed midfielder Laura Gardiner falls back down to VFLW level this week. Geelong Falcons products Annie Lee and Renee Tierney will line up at opposite end of the ground, having staked their claims at NAB League level.

Southern Saints will have a raft of changes as well, with at least five impacting last week’s lineup. Senior-listed youngsters Alice Burke and Renee Saulitis are out alongside the injured Rebecca Ott, though Claudia Whitfort and Jess Matin are among the seven names included this time around. Whichever side can settle quicker will set themselves up for a positive outing.

Port Melbourne vs. Williamstown
Saturday March 13, 2:00pm
ETU Stadium

Traditional rivals Port Melbourne and Williamstown go to battle in a historic clash on Saturday afternoon, which marks their first ever VFL Women’s meeting. The Borough has proven a competition benchmark in its inaugural season, picking up two wins before its highly anticipated homecoming. Williamstown did just enough to win in Round 1, but comes in off a heavy loss last week.

A rotation of Richmond-listed players could prove significant for Port, with impressive youngsters Sarah Sansonetti and Laura McClelland major exclusions given their recent form. Phoebe Monahan is a big name set to come the other way though, along with versatile tall Cleo Saxon-Jones, who will suit up for her first game in 2021. Meanwhile, Williamstown will make two changes among what seems a settled side.

Carlton vs. Darebin
Saturday March 13, 2:00pm
Princes Park

A battle of the competition’s two winless teams in Carlton and Darebin is set to go down on Saturday afternoon, as the Blues return home to Princes Park. Things have not been easy for either side, with the hosts suffering dual losses and struggling in transition, while the Falcons have been competitive in patches without the end result to show for it.

For the second week running, Carlton will be boosted by some returning senior-listed talent, headed by the speedy Brooke Walker. She slots in on the bench, while Winnie Laing is back after a week away and Brooke Vernon is a handy inclusion to the defence. Courtney Jones is another to watch after her promising preseason performances, named at half-forward. Darebin is also set to make at least three changes, as it searches for the winning formula.