Tag: Rhiannon Watt

AFLW Draft review: Carlton

AFTER finishing on the bottom of the table last season, the Blues needed to go big in the 2018 AFL Women’s Draft. That’s just what they did, acquiring the services of Madison Prespakis, Abbie McKay, Jayde Van Dyk, Charlotte Wilson, Emerson Woods, Rhiannon Watt and Jessica Edwards. To add to that, Carlton added 32 year-old former Fremantle star, Kirby Bentley to its line-up in a bid to move up the ladder in 2019.

What they needed:

  • Defenders to fill the void of Kate Gillespie-Jones, Danielle Hardiman, Lauren Arnell and Laura Attard
  • Midfielders to replace Maddison Gay and Madeline Keryk
  • Tall forward to fill the absence of Kate Shierlaw

 

Players selected:

Madison Prespakis – Calder Cannons

Prespakis was the first metropolitan player to be picked in the draft, after one of the most stellar Under-18 careers. This year alone, Prespakis won the joint Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, Vic Metro’s MVP, was the joint TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest winner and won the Calder Cannons Best and Fairest. She is a bull in the midfield who racks up plenty of the football. Undoubtedly, she is one of the most exciting prospects for next year, as her run and carry and booming kick can break open a game for any team.

Abbie McKay – Sandringham Dragons

McKay has been long touted to go to the Blues, after her dad, Andrew played 244 games for the club. But the famous name is certainly not the only reason why the 17 year-old got drafted to the Blues. She is a skilful midfielder that was one of the standouts in the Sandringham Dragons line-up this year. She displayed quick hands and superb run and carry, not only for the Dragons but for Vic Metro as well. McKay drew plenty of interest from other clubs, so the Blues cleverly selected her early to ensure that she was their game-changer.

Jayde Van Dyk – Hawthorn

Van Dyk’s Hawthorn Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s coach, Patrick Hill touted her as a potential number one pick. So Carlton getting her in the 20s is a steal, as the defender dominated in all areas of the VFLW this year. She was the recipient of the VFLW Rising Star award, was named in the VFLW Team of the Year and won her club Best and Fairest award. Van Dyk is a classy defender who looks ready-made for AFLW. She can shut down players well and displays amazing composure on the last line of defence. Van Dyk will play a big part in preventing Carlton from enduring another season like 2018.

Charlotte Wilson – Eastern Ranges

The Eastern Ranges co-captain was a rock in defence this year with her great overhead marking and ability to shut down players. She was also able to rotate through the ruck to provide some support there, highlighting her versatility. Wilson still plays basketball now, but it could change with the addition of an AFL Women’s contract. She enjoyed representing Vic Metro this year and also tested well in the AFL Women’s Draft Combine, coming first in the standing vertical jump, and finishing in the top five in the running vertical jump (left and right), 20-metre sprint and the yo-yo intermittent test. Her athleticism will be quite valuable for the Blues this season.

Emerson Woods- Eastern Ranges

Woods had a very successful Under-18 year, representing Vic Metro, co-captaining the Eastern Ranges and winning a premiership with Hawthorn in the VFLW. Woods has the ability to go forward or play in the midfield, thanks to her elite endurance and blistering speed. She is very smart with the ball in hand and displays quick hands in congestion. She also has a great overhead mark and is agile in the air. Woods dominated the AFL Women’s Draft Combine, breaking the 20 metre sprint record with a time of 3.129 seconds. She also came in the top 10 for the vertical jump, the agility test, the yo-yo intermittent test and the 2km time trial.

Rhiannon Watt – Southern Saints

The Southern Saints ruck was quite impressive in the VFLW this year, being named as the leading ruck in the VFLW Team of the Year and winning the Southern Saints Best and Fairest alongside Alison Drennan. Watt displayed all the classic qualities of a ruck, and complemented this with her great ball-use at ground level. She will provide great support for Breann Moody, making Carlton’s ruck stocks a formidable force.

Jessica Edwards – Collingwood

The Collingwood VFLW captain was unexpectedly snapped up in the AFL Women’s Draft by traditional rivals, Carlton. Edwards is highly deserving of an AFLW contract after leading her side to a minor premiership this year in the VFLW. She is quite a smart footballer, knowing where to position herself to find space. Her hands are clean and her kicks are quite accurate, making her a handy acquisition for Carlton’s midfield.

Kirby Bentley – Fremantle

Bentley was a star for Fremantle in the first season of the AFLW, averaging 10 disposals a match in her role at half-back and through the midfield. She was named as a part of the 40-player All Australian squad. However, a knee injury suffered in that year’s State of Origin game ruled her out of AFLW 2.0, and she made the decision to retire from AFL Women’s. But now, ready to play again, Bentley has been snapped up by the Blues and will add some much-needed experience to their line-up.  

 

How they went:

Carlton has recruited exceptionally well in the AFL Women’s Draft. The Blues have been able to fill the void of Danielle Hardiman and Kate Gillespie-Jones through picking up Van Dyk, Wilson and Bentley, who will all give the opposition forwards plenty of headaches. Bentley can also provide support in the midfield, and replaces the experience of former Blues captain, Lauren Arnell. The Blues’ midfield has also received a huge boost with the acquisition of one of the best Under 18 midfielders in the country, in Madison Prespakis. Prespakis will add an element of aggression and will be able to break the lines with her football smarts. Together with Jessica Edwards, Abbie McKay and Emerson Woods, Carlton’s new-look midfield will certainly turn some heads. To add to this, the Blues’ ruck department has received a boost with Wilson able to head into the ruck alongside Rhiannon Watt and Breann Moody. Emerson Woods can also head into the forward line, and could present well like Kate Shierlaw did for Carlton last year.

2018 AFLW Draft Order

2018 NAB AFLW DRAFT ORDER

FIRST ROUND
1 Geelong – Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
2 Geelong – Sophie Van De Heuvel (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)
3 Carlton – Madison Prespakis (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
4 Fremantle – Jasmin Stewart (Claremont/Western Australia)
5 Collingwood – Jordyn Allen (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
6 Melbourne – Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
7 Geelong – Rebecca Webster (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
8 Adelaide – Nikki Gore (South Adelaide/South Australia/Central Allies)
9 Brisbane –  Paige Parker (Coorparoo/Queensland)
10 Western Bulldogs – Eleanor Brown (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
11 Collingwood – Katie Lynch (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
12 Greater Western Sydney – Alyce Parker (Thurgoona Bulldogs/NSW-ACT/Eastern Allies)

SECOND ROUND
13 Collingwood – Mikala Cann (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
14 Geelong – Olivia Purcell (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
15 Melbourne . – Madeline Brancatisano (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
16 Carlton – Abbie McKay (father-daughter selection – Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
17 Fremantle – Sabreena Duffy (Peel Thunderbirds/Western Australia)
18 Collingwood – Lauren Butler (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)
19 Collingwood – Maddie Shevlin (Casey Demons)
20 Geelong – Denby Taylor (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
21 Carlton – Jayde Van Dyk (Hawthorn VFLW)
22 Brisbane – Natalie Grider (University of Queensland/Queensland)
23 Western Bulldogs – Aisling McCarthy (Ireland)
24 Geelong – Georgia Clarke (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)
25 North Melbourne – Daisy Bateman (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

THIRD ROUND
26 Western Bulldogs – Kate Bartlett (Peel Thunder/Western Australia)
27 Carlton – Charlotte Wilson (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
28 Fremantle – Phillipa Seth (East Fremantle/Western Australia)
29 Collingwood – Sophie Alexander (compensation)
30 Adelaide – Jessica Foley (Fitzroy/South Australia)
31 Melbourne – Jordann Hickey (NT Thunder VFLW)
32 Collingwood –  Georgia Gourlay (Casey Demons VFLW)
33 Brisbane – McKenzie Dowrick (Subiaco/Western Australia)
34 Western Bulldogs – Selena Karlson (Southern Saints VFLW)
35 Geelong – Rene Caris (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)
36 North Melbourne –  Courtney Munn (Southern Saints VFLW)

FOURTH ROUND
37 Adelaide – Chloe Scheer (Central District/South Australia)
38 Carlton – Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
39 Fremantle – Courtney Stubbs (Subiaco/Western Australia)
40 Carlton – Rhiannon Watt (Southern Saints VFLW)
41 Adelaide – Katelyn Rosenzweig (Central District/South Australia)
42 Carlton – Jessica Edwards (Collingwood VFLW)
43 Greater Western Sydney Brittany Perry (North Adelaide/South Australia)
44 Melbourne –  Shelley Heath (Southern Saints VFLW)
45 Brisbane – Lauren Bella (Bond University/Queensland)
46 Western Bulldogs – Jessie Davies (Western Bulldogs VFLW)
47 Geelong – Maighan Fogas (Geelong VFLW)
48 Adelaide – Danielle Ponter (Northern Territory/Central Allies)

FIFTH ROUND
49 Fremantle – Parris Laurie (Claremont/Western Australia) *Carlton passed this pick
50 Collingwood – Jordan Membrey (Wilston Grange/Queensland)
51 Adelaide – Hannah Martin (West Adelaide/South Australia)
52 GWS – Lisa Whiteley (South Adelaide/South Australia)
53 North Melbourne – Chloe Haines (Burnie Dockers/ Tasmania)
54 Brisbane – Tori Groves-Little (Coorparoo/ Queensland)
55 Geelong- Elise Coventry (Geelong VFLW)
56 North Melbourne- Libby Haines (Burnie Dockers/ Tasmania)
57 Fremantle- Laura Pugh (West Perth/Western Australia)
58 Greater Western Sydney- Ingrid Nielsen (UNSW Hawks)

SIXTH ROUND
59 Brisbane – Jesse Tawhaio-Wardlaw (Bond University /Queensland)
60 Geelong – Madeline Keryk (Geelong VFLW)
61 North Melbourne – Nicole Bresnehan (Clarence Roos/Tasmania)
62 Fremantle – Matilda Sergeant (Claremont/Western Australia)
63 Greater Western Sydney – Renee Tomkins (Auburn Giants/NSW-ACT)

SEVENTH ROUND
64 Fremantle – Ebony Dowson (Peel Thunder/Western Australia)
65 Greater Western Sydney – Delma Gisu (Wilston Grange/Queensland)

EIGHTH ROUND
66 Greater Western Sydney – Haneen Zreika (Auburn Giants/NSW-ACT)
67 Collingwood – Erica Fowler (Collingwood VFLW)

NINTH ROUND
68 Fremantle – Ebony O’Dea (Adelaide University/South Australia)
69 Brisbane – Jacqueline Yorston (Wilston Grange/ Queensland) *compensation
70 Brisbane – Jade Ellenger (Coorparoo/ Queensland) *compensation

Season reviews: VFLW – Southern Saints

THE Southern Saints were one of the surprise packages of the season, finishing eighth with only two AFL Women’s player on their list in Lauren Arnell and Laura Attard. Many would have expected the new team to finish on the bottom of the ladder but the Saints snuck away with a few crucial wins, including handing NT Thunder its first defeat of the season.

 

Position: 8th
Win-loss: 5-9
Percentage: 92%

Results:

Round 1: Lost against Carlton by 22 points
Round 2: Defeated Williamstown by 30 points
Round 3: Defeated Casey Demons by eight points
Round 4: Defeated Essendon by 36 points
Round 5: Bye
Round 6: Lost against Hawthorn by 33 points
Round 7: Defeated NT Thunder by 20 points
Round 8: Bye
Round 9: Lost against Casey Demons by 11 points
Round 10: Lost against Geelong by 38 points
Round 11: Lost against Melbourne University by three points
Round 12: Lost against Hawthorn by nine points
Round 13: Defeated Western Bulldogs by 31 points
Round 14: Lost against Darebin by four points
Round 15: Lost against Collingwood by 38 points
Round 16: Lost against Richmond by three points

 

Key players:

#8 Alison Drennan

Drennan was one of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s premier midfielders, constantly racking up the touches week-in, week-out. She was classy with the ball-in-hand and strong in congestion. She took out the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest, along with Rhiannon Watt, and made the VFLW Team of the Year in what was a stellar season for her. Her season earned her an AFL Women’s contract with North Melbourne. One of her standout games was in Round 2, when she gathered 35 disposals to go along with seven tackles and a goal.

#15 Tara Bohanna

Tara Bohanna was a star up forward for the Southern Saints, kicking 15 goals from 14 matches. She presented well at the football and was able to peel off players inside 50. Bohanna finished inside the top 10 in the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest and finished equal third in the VFLW goal kicking tally. Bohanna had two three-goal hauls during the season, highlighting her impressive ability to hit the scoreboard.

#17 Leah Olsen

Leah Olsen was an extremely reliable defender for the Southern Saints. Often playing on a half-back flank, Olsen could match up on key players and produce exciting run and carry. She finished fourth in the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest with 86 votes. Olsen was a key contributor in almost every game for the Saints. She played a great game in Round 9, when she gathered 18 disposals and laid four tackles.

#24 Kayla Ripari

Ripari excited with her dash across half-forward and her clever ball-use. She was often calm with the ball in hand and aggressive without it, laying some bone-crunching tackles during the season. Ripari finished seventh in the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest after playing every game and making solid contributions. One of her more impressive games was against the NT Thunder when she was named best-on-ground for her side with 14 disposals and two tackles.

#28 Rhiannon Watt

Watt was arguably the best ruck in the VFLW competition, using her height to advantage to give her midfielders prime use of the ball. She was agile at ground level as well, as she was able to rack up the numbers during the season as well. She won the Southern Saints’ Best and Fairest, along with Alison Drennan, and made the VFLW Team of the Year as the leading ruck. She had a standout game in Round 12, with 20 disposals, four marks and seven tackles.

 

Season summary:

The Southern Saints should be extremely proud of their season, having hardly any AFL Women’s players on their list. They trusted their young talent to pull through and they did, recording a respectable five wins this season. While the losses outweighed the wins, it wasn’t by much, as five of their nine losses were under 10 points. The Saints are building their list along nicely for an AFL Women’s berth in 2020, and could be a key contender in the VFLW next year if they get some more AFL Women’s talent on their list.

Duffin headlines successful VFLW Best and Fairest night

THE Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Best and Fairest took place on Monday night and recognised the standout players from a successful inaugural season. We recap the main award winners, as well as the VFLW Team of the Year.

 

Lambert-Pearce Medal

Williamstown midfielder, Jess Duffin has become the first league best and fairest winner to come from a team that did not make the finals. Her Seagulls finished eleventh with a record of four wins and 10 losses.

The former Collingwood AFL Women’s player polled 23 votes, which was six ahead of Darebin ruck, Lauren Pearce. NT Thunder captain, Angela Foley came third with 16 votes while Carlton forward, Darcy Vescio and Hawks captain, Emma Mackie rounded out the top five with 15 votes a piece.

Duffin ranked first in the VFLW this year for total disposals, uncontested possessions, marks and rebounds. She was also ranked third for contested possessions and inside 50s, while also kicking 13 goals from her 13 matches.

The North Melbourne AFL Women’s recruit held the lead (either outright or shared) from Round 6 to Round 12. After falling behind Angela Foley in Round 12, the Melbourne Renegades cricketer finished strong with three consecutive best-on-ground performances to win the Best and Fairest with one round to go.

Duffin polled in 12 of her 13 matches this season with five three-vote performances, one two-vote and six one-vote efforts.

 

Rohenna Young Medal/ Choose Tap leading goalkicker

Carlton forward, Darcy Vescio capped off her stellar season inside 50, receiving the Rohenna Young Medal.

Vescio kicked 26 goals from nine games, averaging 2.89 goals per game. This was highlighted by a nine-goal performance against Essendon in Round 16.

Vescio finished seven goals ahead of Darebin’s Hannah Mouncey (19 goals from 12 games), and 11 goals ahead of NT’s Jessica Sedunary (15 goals from 11 games), who finished third. The Carlton forward won the AFL Women’s inaugural leading goal kicker award in 2017, kicking 14 goals, and has now backed it up with the VFLW leading goalkicker award.

 

Debbie Lee Medal/ VFLW Rising Star

Hawthorn defender, Jayde Van Dyk capped off a remarkable year in the brown and gold with an individual accolade to reward her for her efforts.

Van Dyk averaged 15 disposals this year and was named in the best in 11 of her 15 games. She was also named in the VFLW Team of the Year in the back pocket.

Van Dyk now has a an opportunity to become a premiership player after the Hawks defeated the Pies on Saturday to win through to the decider.

 

VFLW Coach of the Year

Collingwood VFLW coach, Penny Cula-Reid has won the VFLW Coach of the Year award after taking her side to a minor premiership.

In her first year of coaching, she took the Pies to a near-perfect season tally, with 12 wins, one loss and one draw. Cula-Reid formerly played for Collingwood in the AFL Women’s competition and represented the St Kilda Sharks in the Victorian Women’s Football League (VWFL).

 

VFLW Team of the Year

B: Jayde Van Dyk (Hawthorn), Bec Goring (Geelong), Kate Gillespie-Jones (Melbourne Uni)

HB: Ashleigh Riddell (Melbourne Uni), Meghan McDonald (Darebin), Bianca Jakobsson (Casey)

C: Alison Drennan (Southern Saints), Jess Duffin (Williamstown), Rebecca Beeson (Hawthorn)

HF: Sarah D’Arcy (Collingwood), Jasmine Garner (Williamstown), Jessica Sedunary (NT)

FF: Hayley Bullas (Essendon), Darcy Vescio (Carlton), Mia-Rae Clifford (Geelong)

F: Rhiannon Watt (Southern Saints), Richelle Cranston (Geelong), Angela Foley (NT)

I/C: Emma Swanson (NT), Sophie Alexander (Collingwood), Alice Edmonds (Richmond), Libby Birch (Western Bulldogs), Lauren Pearce (Darebin), Emma Mackie (Hawthorn)

 

Hawthorn and Geelong lead the way in the VFLW Team of the Year with three representatives a piece.

Hawks skipper, Emma Mackie and Greater Western Sydney’s (GWS) Rebecca Beeson made their way into the sides after stellar years in the midfield.

Geelong’s had stars across the field in the Team of the Year, with Bec Goring leading the way down back, Richelle Cranston being selected in the midfield and Mia-Rae Clifford being named in the forward line.

Melbourne University, Darebin, Southern Saints, NT Thunder, Williamstown and Collingwood each had two members in the Team of the Year.

North Melbourne AFL Women’s duo, Ashleigh Riddell and Kate Gillespie-Jones were both selected in the back line for the Mugars and were joined by Darebin’s Meghan McDonald. Runner-up Best and Fairest, Lauren Pearce made her way onto the interchange best for the Falcons.

She was joined by NT’s Emma Swanson, who averaged 19 disposals in her 11 matches. Swanson’s Thunder teammate, Jessica Sedunary made her way into the forward line after kicking 15 goals from 11 games this season.

The Southern Saints had two members in the midfield with Rhiannon Watt getting the main ruck spot while Alison Drennan took up a position on the wing.

As expected, Jess Duffin got a spot in the middle for the Seagulls while Jasmine Garner was named at centre-half forward.

For the minor premiers, it was Sarah D’Arcy and Sophie Alexander who led the way, with D’Arcy getting a spot on the half-forward flank while Alexander was named on the bench.

Darcy Vescio, Hayley Bullas (Essendon), Libby Birch (Western Bulldogs), Bianca Jakobsson (Casey) and Alice Edmonds (Richmond) were the sole representatives for their sides in the Team of the Year.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 15

HAWTHORN has spoiled the party for the Northern Territory (NT) Thunder in Round 15 of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s, knocking them back to second on the ladder after a 25-point win at TIO Stadium. Collingwood regained top spot on the ladder with a big win over the Southern Saints, while the other top-four side, Geelong secured a big win over the Casey Demons.

 

Western Bulldogs 2.2 (14) defeated by Melbourne Uni 7.5 (47)

Melbourne Uni is ending its season on an emphatic high, winning its last two games. In the process, the Mugars defeated the once top-four favourites, the Western Bulldogs. The Bulldogs were held scoreless for the first half of this game, with Melbourne University piling on 5.1 to take a handy 31-point halftime lead. The home side finally got that coveted goal in the third quarter but it wasn’t enough, as Melbourne University’s early lead proved to be too big to overcome.

Kaitlyn Ashmore led the way for the Mugars inside 50, kicking two goals from her nine disposals. The North Melbourne recruit also laid six tackles, and was complemented in that department by Maddison Smith, who laid seven. Captain, Ashleigh Riddell also laid six tackles for the day and led the way with a game-high 26 disposals and three marks. Vic Metro midfielder, Madison Prespakis wasn’t far behind with one goal, 25 disposals and two tackles.

For the Bulldogs, Sarah Jolly led the way in disposals with 19 for the day. Ashleigh Guest also contributed well in that department, with 18 disposals as well as four marks and eight tackles. Tayla Dinuccio went one better, laying nine tackles for the day and making an impact, despite recording only three disposals. Premiership players, Kirsten McLeod (one goal, 13 disposals, five tackles) and Hannah Scott (one goal, 17 disposals, five tackles) were the goal kickers for the Dogs.

 

Collingwood 6.6 (42) defeated Southern Saints 0.4 (4)

Collingwood has returned to form very quickly this week, bouncing back from last week’s loss with a 38-point win over the Southern Saints. The Pies got out of the blocks quickly, kicking the first three goals of the match to go on and kick six unanswered majors. After no goals were kicked in the second quarter, Collingwood fought back with two majors in the third, extending its margin to 36 points at the last break. Unfortunately, inaccuracy hurt the Saints, kicking just four behinds for the match.

Vic Metro forward, Daisy Bateman led the way inside 50, kicking three of her team’s six goals as well as gathering nine disposals and laying six tackles. Her Vic Metro and Oakleigh Chargers teammate, Katie Lynch was also a pivotal player with 24 disposals, two marks and three tackles. Sophie Alexander was able to back up her solid game last week with a game-high 27 disposals. Erica Fowler led the way in tackles with a whopping 13 to go with her six disposals. AFLW ruck, Eliza Hynes led the way in marks for the Pies, taking four grabs to go with her one goal and 13 disposals.

Alison Brown was dominant for the Saints, gathering 24 disposals and laying five tackles in another good midfield performance from her. She was complemented by good delivery from ruck, Rhiannon Watt, who racked up 21 disposals, three marks and five tackles. Jas Rolland took four marks for the day and also laid four tackles to go with her six disposals. TAC Cup Girls players, Shelley Heath (12 disposals, two tackles), Gabriella De Angelis (10 disposals, three tackles), Ashleigh Allsopp (eight disposals, five tackles), Jemma Owen (eight disposals, four tackles) and Courtney Jones (seven disposals, two tackles) all contributed well on the day.

 

Essendon 1.3 (9) defeated by Williamstown 5.7 (37)

By: James Halley

Williamstown was able to outlast Essendon in terrible winter conditions, kicking away in the last term to win by 28 points. For the second time this year, the two sides have played in terrible conditions, yet last time was worse as play had to be halted for five minutes due to hail.

Jasmine Garner was huge for Williamstown up forward, kicking two fourth-quarter goals. She was a threat up forward all day but in the second term was when she managed to convert. Williamstown’s engine room was once again outstanding with Jess Duffin and Jenna Bruton leading the way. Duffin ended up being an obstacle in the air for Essendon, taking numerous intercept marks. A highlight for the game was Emily Paterno’s impossible goal on the boundary in the last quarter, which was a kick of high difficulty and capped of a great day for Williamstown. 

Simone Nalder can hold her head up high, as she won the ruck for the Bombers. Due to the conditions, they were not able to capitalise on her dominance. Valerie Moreau was also a shinning light for Essendon on a dark day, kicking the side’s only goal and being lively all day. In Round 16, the Seagulls face Melbourne University while Essendon will take on Carlton at home to finish the home and away season.

 

NT Thunder 4.4 (28) defeated by Hawthorn 8.5 (53)

In the second game of the year at Alice Springs, Hawthorn secured a big win over flag favourites, NT Thunder. The Hawks got out of the blocks early, kicking the first goal of the game and piling on another three in the second quarter to take a comfortable lead into half time. The trend continued in the third quarter when the away side kicked another three goals, making it very difficult for the Thunder to make a comeback.

Greater Western Sydney (GWS) forward, Phoebe McWilliams returned to form with three majors for the day, taking her season tally to five goals from five games. McWilliams’ GWS teammate, Rebecca Beeson continued her good form with a best-on-ground performance at TIO Traeger Stadium. She was complemented by a player who has been in consistent form in Sarah Perkins, who kicked two goals to take her tally to 12 goals from 10 games. Skipper, Emma Mackie also got on the board with two majors and has been solid ever since returning from injury.

It was all single goal kickers for the Thunder with Jordann Hickey, Sue Nalder, Jasmyn Hewett and Angela Foley all kicking one major each. Hickey is closing in on her teammate, Jess Sedunary on the goal kicking tally, as she has kicked 14 goals from 13 games while Sedunary has kicked 15 goals from 10 games. Foley was also named best-on-ground for the Thunder in another blistering performance from her. She was complemented by AFLW contingent, Ebony Marinoff and Emma Swanson, as well as Katie Streader, Kristy Irvine and Tayla Thorn.

 

Darebin 1.3 (9) defeated by Carlton 4.10 (34)

Carlton nearly lost this game with its inaccuracy, kicking five behinds to start the first quarter. Darebin then kicked its first and only goal in the second quarter while the Blues kicked three more behinds to take their score to 0.8.8 at half time. They then kicked into gear in the third quarter, kicking two goals to none and wrestling back the lead. The Blues did the same in the fourth quarter, ultimately earning them a surprise 24-point win against one of the better sides in the competition.

Northern Knights captain, Madeline Brancatisano was named best afield for the Blues in a breakout game for her at Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s level. She was aided by good performances from AFLW players, Alison Downie, Tilly Lucas-Rodd and former Dandenong Stingrays winger, Georgia Gee. Nicola Burns and Celine Moody were also solid contributors in the win, with Moody kicking one of the Blues’ four goals. Gee was one of the other goal kickers and was joined by Bailey Schultz and Darcy Vescio on the scoreboard. Vescio now sits one major behind VFLW leading goal kicker, Hannah Mouncey. Mouncey has kicked 18 goals from 11 games while Vescio has kicked 17 goals from eight games, with an average of 2.12 goals per game.

There was not much happening on the goal kicking side of things for the Falcons, with Stephanie Simpson the only one getting on the board. That goal took her tally to 11 goals from 10 games in what has been a good season inside 50 for her. Simpson also earned a spot among the best players for Darebin on the day. Melbourne AFLW ruck, Lauren Pearce played another blinder of a game, being named best-on-ground for her side. Melbourne teammate, Lily Mithen also continued her solid season by being named among the best as well. Gabrielle Colvin, Meghan McDonald and Kathleen Roe also contributed well at Bill Lawry Oval.

 

Casey Demons 2.4 (16) defeated by Geelong Cats 8.5 (53)

The Casey Demons jumped the Cats early, kicking the first two goals of the game to take an eight-point lead into quarter time. Geelong responded immediately though, kicking the next two goals in the second quarter to wrestle back the lead at the main break. The goal kicking continued in the third quarter, as the Cats outscored the Demons three goals to none. After the first quarter, Casey could not register a major, giving the Cats licence to secure a big win as they approach the finals.

Two of Geelong’s eight goals came from Mia-Rae Clifford, who has had a solid season for the Cats. Clifford has kicked 13 goals from 13 games and continues to be a vital player for her side. She shares the same goal kicking tally as Danielle Orr, who was also able to get on the board with a major, and equal her goal kicking tally with Clifford’s. Millie Klingbeil, Courtney Stevens, Kate Darby, Jordan Ivey and Geelong Falcons midfielder, Nina Morrison were the other goal kickers on the day. Ivey was also named best-on-ground for the Cats, while Morrison and Darby also featured in the best. Morrison was complemented by Vic Country duo, Olivia Purcell and Georgia Clarke, who played great games for the Cats. Richelle Cranston also continued her marvellous season with another appearance in Geelong’s best players.

Another player who has had a marvellous season is Maddie Shevlin, who kicked one of Casey’s two goals on Sunday. New Melbourne AFLW recruit, Maddison Gay was the other goal kicker for the Demons, booting a major late in the first quarter. Kaila Bentvelzen was named as the Demons’ best, continuing a solid season in the red and blue. Former Gippsland defender, Darcy Guttridge and former Bendigo forward, Eden Zanker also stood out for Casey. Georgia McLean and Melbourne AFLW recruit, Shae Sloane were the other players named in Casey’s best, contributing well in the loss.

Scouting notes: VFLW – Round 14

MELBOURNE University, Darebin and the NT Thunder all recorded crucial wins in Round 14 of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition. Our writers were there to watch these three teams on their way to victory, and noted down some of the top performers in each cracking match.

 

Casey Demons vs. Melbourne Uni

By: Peter Williams

Casey Demons:

#11 Eden Zanker

Showed good strength around the ground playing through the ruck and spending time forward. Zanker showed off her athletic capabilities, often leaping much higher than the opposition ruck and getting a clean tap to her midfielders. She also laid some great tackles and looked comfortable in the position.

#12 Georgia McLean

Had a few classy moments in the second half, breaking up a series of stoppages with great acceleration, but her shot on goal just missed. She applied good pressure on the ball carrier to force a ball over the boundary line, and read the taps from her rucks well, hitting the ball at top speed to burst away from her opponents.

#16 Casey Sherriff

A prominent player in defence who stepped up in the second half. In the third term she stopped a certain Sophie Abbatangelo goal, going back with the flight to earn a free kick, and then in the next play, used her smarts to keep the ball in play and in front of her, kicking it along the ground to gain extra distance. In wet conditions, Sherriff was one of the cleanest players around and showed good vision and disposal by hand or foot to teammates around the ground. Laid some vital tackles too, balancing between offensive and defensive traits.

#19 Amy Dunn

The Gippsland Power tall contributed in patches on debut, lining up at full-forward as the 23rd player. In the second term she contested strongly one-on-one and won a free kick on the wing for in the back and gave the handball off to a running teammate. In the final quarter, she marked the first ball inside 50, working hard on the lead. Her shot on goal missed to the right and was rushed over.

#22 Jordyn Allen

Showed off her trademark penetrating kick, leading out from half-forward and weighing her disposal well. She applied pressure to the ball carrier and was neat by hand or foot in transition and while she did not win a heap of the football, she laid some great tackles.

#24 Darcy Guttridge

A general in defence, Guttridge just patrolled the backline and showed great attack on the ball carrier. In the opening term she showed good strength to shrug off a tackler at half-back and kick cleanly to the wing. She constantly pushed up to the wing and hit the contest at full speed, trying her best to pump the ball long. She is a straight runner and can kick long inside 50. Copped a knock in the final term and was helped off, but could at least walk to the bench which was promising.

#25 Maddie Shevlin

Had a big day out around the ground, winning plenty of the football in the midfield and taking a kick-first approach. She laid some good tackles, but her highlight of the day was a monster kick from 50 metres which bounced through for a huge goal.

 

Melbourne University:

#1 Sophie Abbatangelo

Played a perfect forwards game, finishing with two goals, but also assisting her teammates in a couple more. She lead out and took strong marks, missing an early chance but then conjured something out of nothing, snapping a ball from the pocket. In the second term she set up Caitlin Greiser with a great lead out and then pass to her advantage, then nailed a second goal from a set shot which bent around the post to curl in. In the final term she marked deep and was unselfish to handball off to Kaitlyn Ashmore who ran in and kicked the easiest of goals.

#7 Ashleigh Riddell

The Melbourne University captain was prominent throughout the four quarters, cracking in hard and winning the ball in tight. She would spread to the outside, and hit the scoreboard with a fantastic goal off a step from the left boot deep in the pocket under pressure. She showed how clean she was at ground level on the wet turf, and also had good vision and decision making to kick to her teammates’ advantage in space. She continued to run hard all game and won her fair share of the ball.

#21 Rebecca Webster

Had a good inside game, working hard and putting pressure on the ball carrier, as well as using her stronger frame to assist her teammates. She laid some good tackling pressure in the opening term to force a turnover, and had a highlight reel moment in the second term where she charged from congestion. Unfortunately she found out how wet the ground was, taking a bounce which saw the ball roll away from her, but she recovered and handballed clear. Really strong in the midfield and clean at ground level.

#26 Caitlin Greiser

A prominent forward on the day who was one of Melbourne Uni’s best, dropping into the hole in the first term and intercepting a quick kick from a Demons defender. Her shot was on target but touched on the line. Not long after she used footy smarts to keep the ball in front of her while being chased, enabling a teammate to pick it up in space. She worked hard inside 50 to outbody her opponent in the second term, turn around and kick the goal from 15m out. She had another chance moments later with a snap under pressure but just missed. In the third term she lead out, protected the ball drop well and kicked inside 50. But her highlight-worthy moment came with less than two minutes to go as she won a one-on-one, picked up the ball tucked against the boundary line and snapped on goal, bouncing once before going through for goal of the day.

#29 Kathryn Klatt

Liked her work out of defence, she rarely made a mistake in her ability to peel off her player, take a good intercept mark and kick long, or think her way out of trouble. She was clean and accurate with her disposal on a day which made it tough considering the conditions, and had a number of crucial rebounds throughout the game.

#37 Libby Haines

Just a handful of touches on debut, but she put pressure on her opponents when down back. She used quick hands to keep the ball moving, and the one thing that stood out, perhaps more than any other player, was her closing speed and tenacity at the ball carrier. She mowed down opponents and in the final term, laid two huge tackles in a row, rewarded for her second effort, working super hard defensively.

#38 Kate Angelis

A tackling machine, Angelis just thrived on the contested ball and applying pressure all over, tackling an opponent in the second term to force a turnover. She also pounced on a loose ball and kicked it off the ground for a great goal.

#48 Madison Prespakis

You begin to run out of things to say about this talent, and it is easy to see why. She wins the ball at ease and just has fantastic vision and ability to fire handballs to teammates at will. She missed a shot at goal running in early, as the breeze tucked it away, and another only after which was intercepted. In the third term, Prespakis showed unbelievable courage going back with the flight to spoil a mark and managed to avoid giving away a free, then got up and a moment later, snapped a goal out of nothing. Bounced off opponents at stoppages and never stopped running, having the ball on a string and dominating. Best on ground again.

 

Darebin vs. Hawthorn

By: Taylah Melki

Darebin:

#2 Nicole Callinan

She was solid throughout the game, winning plenty of the ball and taking a heap of good contested marks. Callinan’s use of the ball was efficient and effective, hitting up targets while under pressure, showing good composure with ball in hand.

#7 Lily Mithen

Mithen applied plenty of physical pressure, laying a really strong tackle and winning a holding the ball call in their forward 50 leading to a goal from a teammate who played advantage. She used the footy well throughout the game showing great composure with ball in hand to check her kicks and hit up a teammate.

#14 Meghan McDonald

Solid down in defence once again, hitting the packs hard and showed good composure under pressure. She showcased her class with a clean pick up off her toes and then good hustle to break a tackle and get boot to ball in the second quarter. McDonald continued her impressive intercept marking game, taking some goal saving grabs down back once again for the Falcons. She was a key player down back proving how important she is to their side.

#15 Annalyse Lister

Lister took a good strong mark going back with the flight in the second quarter and showed good agility to get around her opponent and then bomb it inside 50. Her second efforts were good all game, showing she was not afraid to put her body on the line and win the ball at the coal-face.

#22 Georgia Hammond

Good strong juggling mark just outside the goal square and converted in front of goal. Hammond showed some good hustle to trap and win the footy at ground level in the forward 50 and was clean in and around the stoppages with a really good pick up off the deck in the middle of the ground. She highlighted her footy smarts to dish off to a teammate and create a forward thrust for her side.

#40 Lauren Pearce

Pearce continued her good form, taking a heap of good strong intercept marks which was credit to her ability to read the flight of the ball. She consistently impacted the contest and showcased her footy smarts, winning plenty of taps in the ruck and hitting it to her team’s advantage. She laid a crunching tackle in the third term where she chased down her opponent and won a holding the ball call, showing how important the one percenters are.

# 43 Hannah Mouncey

Mouncey had a really good game for the Falcons taking a heap of contested marks under pressure and offering good leads through the middle of the ground for her teammates to hit up. She provided a good presence in the forward line and was effective in the ruck, showcasing her footy smarts with some good taps to advantage. She worked herself into the game and hit the scoreboard at a critical moment with a clever scrumming goal in the third term. Mouncey also bagged another major in the fourth quarter, helping to secure the win for the Falcons.

 

Southern Saints:

#2 Alison Brown

Brown showcased her good hands in tight and around the stoppages. She used her long kick to clear the ball and move it forward for her team. She really started to work herself into the game in the second half, highlighting her strong hands and ability to read the flight of the footy. Brown worked tirelessly throughout the game, impacting the contest and scrapped hard at ground level to extract and win the footy.

#28 Rhiannon Watt

Watt was solid across the ground for the Southern Saints and showcased her good quick hands to release teammates into space. Her leads up at the footy were strong, helping to create space in the forward half and took a big contested mark. Watt created a real presence up forward and worked tirelessly throughout the game, proving to be one of the key players on the field. 

#36 Sophie Bolding

She showed some good dash and covered the ground with ease, highlighting her ability to run both ways. Bolding burnt off her opponent in the third term while streaming into the forward 50 but missed her shot at goal. She had some good passages of play but just missed a sense of composure with ball in hand, needing a few more steps to balance and compose herself before having a shot at goal or dishing off to a teammate.

#39 Eleanor Brown

Had a really solid game for the Southern Saints and was not afraid to go in hard and win the footy at the stoppages. Brown showcased good clean hands in close and worked hard to release her teammates on the outside. Her ability to get into damaging positions and use the footy effectively and efficiently was second to none. She was strong around the stoppages, scrapping hard and imposing herself on the contest as well as laying some strong tackles across the field.  

#42 Courtney Jones

Jones was cool, calm and collected throughout the game, taking a good strong mark under a heap of pressure from the Falcons. She slotted a big goal from about 40 metres out, showing her footy smarts and composure to go back and take her time to keep the Saints in it. Jones flicked the ball out of congestion with ease and was relatively accurate by foot, ensuring that she checked her kicks and hit her targets.  

#43 Shelley Heath

Heath showed some good break-away speed to burst away from the pack and was good in tight, dishing off effective and clever handballs. She worked herself into the game, gathering a few possessions and tackling well to win the ball for her team. Her strong hands were a highlight of her game along with her good leads into space through the middle of the ground.

 

Collingwood vs. NT Thunder

By: Julia Montesano

Collingwood:

#3 Nicole Hildebrand

Hildebrand delivered a good kick inside 50, penetrating the ball forward. She won a good one-on-one battle against Jenna McCormick. Also delivered a nice centering kick into the centre square.

#8 Brittany Bonnici

Laid some great tackles, showing her intent to win the footy. A highlight of her game was when she streamed through a couple of players and gave off the handball. Also took a good intercept mark.

#28 Holly Whitford

Delivered a magnificent pinpointed pass to Kristy Stratton on the lead inside 50. In another instance, Whitford sold the candy, evaded two tackles and thumped the ball forward, which was a highlight of her game. She also displayed good run and carry towards forward 50 during the game.

#54 Hillary Grubb

Grubb won a lot of the footy and got a well-deserved goal on the board for her efforts. Executed a great fend-off and followed it up with a nice kick inside 50. Grubb also displayed great run and carry through the middle of the ground.

#59 Katie Lynch

Lynch was able to read the play well and show good composure. Delivered a nice short kick to Hannah McLaren and took a good mark on the edge of defensive 50 out of the full back kick-in. Also delivered a good kick to Jessica Edwards, which started a forward thrust.

#66 Daisy Bateman

Had excellent awareness to chip a kick to Stacey Livingstone in the goal square rather than try to attempt the goal from a difficult angle. In another instance, Bateman read the bounce of the footy beautifully and converted her first major of the day.

#67 Hannah McLaren

Played a sensational game for the Pies and was their best-on-ground in my opinion. She executed a good burst of speed and followed this up with quick hands out of the pack. Was able to play on out of defensive 50 to find a target, highlighting her footy smarts out of the back half. McLaren also took some good defensive marks and did whatever she could to get the ball moving. This was demonstrated when she gave off a great handball on hands and knees which opened up the play for the Pies. In another instance, she evaded her opponent well and got the ball forward. Also gave off a nice high handball to get it out of the contest.

 

NT Thunder:

#3 Angela Foley

Took a good intercept mark off a Brittany Bonnici kick. Also read the the play well to get her boot on the ball and kick a goal to bring the margin within one point.

#5 Machaelia Roberts

Roberts did well to kick the ball inside 50, always trying to penetrate the ball forward. She was able to hit targets with her kicks and even did so while being tackled on one instance. Roberts executed a great pick-up of the footy and followed this up by streaming inside 50 to put the Thunder in front in the dying stages.

#11 Jordann Hickey

Hickey was the main target up forward and led hard to the footy all day. She was able to kick the ball nice and straight through the goals, highlighting her sound kicking action. Hickey too showed great run and carry inside 50 with an exciting element of acceleration. She was able to use this acceleration on her leads, bursting away from her opponents to mark the ball lace-out.

#22 Jenna McCormick

Like Thorn, McCormick played a sensational game for NT. Delivered a nice spearing pass to the wing, getting the ball on her boot plenty of times. Also delivered a nice long ball down the wing and also used her hands well, executing a long handpass. Executed a nice kick toward forward 50 and backed it up with some great intercept marking throughout the game. A highlight of her performance was when she stopped Jessica Edwards in her tracks when she was streaming inside 50. Laid another great tackle to dispossess her opponent and kick it down the line.

#31 Jessica Sedunary

Executed a good kick while being pushed, showing her strength in the contest. Did well to burst through traffic and showed good run and carry out of the back half. Sedunary also hit up Sue Nalder nicely inside 50.

#55 Tayla Thorn

She was NT’s best for mine. Executed a good fend-off and burst well into the forward line. She evaded a couple of players and kicked it to Jordann Hickey for a set shot in a marvellous piece of play. Thorn fended off well again in another instance, this time against the strong Emma Grant. Worked well with Hickey inside 50, delivering another good kick to her. Thorn displayed excellent run and carry and combined this with good bursts of speed. Took a great uncontested mark off a Sue Nalder kick that dropped short to give her a shot at goal. Also laid a great tackle on Stacey Livingstone.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 14

COLLINGWOOD lost its first game of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s after 14 rounds of action and consequently lost top spot on the ladder. At the bottom of the ladder, the Seagulls experienced a rare highlight for their season when they clinched a thrilling one-point win over Richmond. With only two rounds to go, the ladder could still change in what looks to be a thrilling finals series.

 

Casey Demons 1.6 (12) defeated by Melbourne University 10.5 (65) 

By: Peter Williams

Melbourne University has claimed a huge 53-point win over Casey Demons, courtesy of a dominant first half. The Mugars booted the only five goals of the first two quarters, with the Demons managing just the one behind in challenging conditions. With the ground wet and the blustery wind causing problems for some, the Mugars made the most of it. Casey played well in the third term, with Maddie Shevlin producing a huge 50 metre goal for the Demons’ only of the game, to outscore the visitors. Unfortunately for the home team, Melbourne University got back on top in the final term, booting two goals early to wrap up the match, and then two in the final two minutes to blow the margin out to almost nine goals.

Madison Prespakis starred again for the winners, doing some unbelievable things, including a snap out of nowhere for a goal, on her way to 28 disposals, two marks, six tackles and a goal. Captain Ashleigh Riddell was prominent with 18 disposals and an important first quarter goal, while Sophie Abbatangelo (15 disposals, four marks and two goals) and Caitlin Greiser (12 disposals, three marks and two goals) worked hard together in attack.

For Casey, Shevlin was the big ball winner, racking up 22 disposals and booting the Demons’ only goal, while Casey Sherriff was arguably the best for her clean ball use in defence, racking up 14 disposals and laying six tackles. Sherriff teamed well with Darcy Guttridge back there, who picked up 11 disposals and three marks, while Eden Zanker was promising in the ruck.

 

Darebin 7.1 (43) defeated Southern Saints 6.3 (39)

By: Taylah Melki

It was a good old fashioned shoot-out at Bill Lawry Oval, with both the Falcons and Saints going goal-for-goal. In a hotly contested match, Darebin looked to have broken away in the second term, but the Saints fought back to go in even at half-time. Accuracy did not seem to be a problem for either team with no behinds scored in the first half of footy, credit to their cleanliness by foot. But in the end, it was the Falcons that secured the win by four points in a very tight game to keep their finals hopes alive.

The Falcons were on song with the likes of Hannah Mouncey finding the goals and imposing herself around the contest with her strong hands. Teammates, Lily Mithen and Georgia Hammond were also impressive with their clean hands at the coal face and ability to dish off clever handballs under pressure. Down in defence, Meghan McDonald played her usual role, taking a heap of intercept marks and controlling the defensive 50 for the Falcons.

Meanwhile for the Southern Saints, Alison Brown showcased her good hands in tight, extracting the footy out of the congestion cleanly and cleverly. Rhiannon Watt provided a good target up forward and worked tirelessly throughout the match to win the footy. Courtney Jones was impressive for the Saints, opening their scoring account and getting involved in the contest, as was Alison Drennan who was influential across the ground with her silky skills.

 

Collingwood 4.4 (28) defeated by NT Thunder 5.8 (38)

Collingwood experienced the losing feeling for the first time this year on the hallowed turf of Victoria Park. The Pies couldn’t kick a goal during the whole second half while the Thunder kicked three crucial majors to claim a vital win, and top spot on the ladder.

Captain, Angela Foley had a blinder of a game, being one of two multiple goal kickers for the Thunder, as well as racking up 29 disposals and taking four marks. The other multiple goal kicker was 23 year-old, Jordann Hickey, who booted home two majors from her 10 disposals. In terms of disposals, Adelaide AFLW forward, Jenna McCormick led the way with 31 touches to go along with seven marks.

Vic Metro forward, Daisy Bateman was one of four single goal kickers for the Pies, and also racked up nine disposals. Her Oakleigh Chargers teammate, Hannah McLaren racked up the disposals, gathering 20 touches for the Pies. She was complemented by a great all-round game from Sophie Alexander, who gathered 23 disposals and laid six tackles. Former Murray Bushrangers defender, Iilish Ross led the way in the tackling department, laying 11 for the match.

 

Geelong Cats 8.11 (59) defeated Essendon 2.2 (14)  

Geelong took care of business at GMHBA Stadium, recording another big win over another cellar-dweller in the competition. This time, Essendon was on the end of the big margin, only managing two goals for the game, while the Cats booted eight.

Danielle Orr and Mia-Rae Clifford were the two multiple goal kickers for the Cats with two majors each. In the midfield, it was Richelle Cranston who dominated yet again with 24 disposals, two marks and three tackles. Geelong Falcons duo, Olivia Purcell (18 touches) and Nina Morrison (16 touches) also contributed well on the day.

For the Bombers, Hayley Bullas provided some positives with her 20 disposals, three marks and a whopping 17 tackles. She was complemented by the consistent Jessica Trend, who racked up 18 disposals, five marks and nine tackles. Trend led the way for marks in the match, taking the most grabs out of any player in the match. Alex Quigley and Monique DeMatteo were Essendon’s goal kickers.

 

Richmond 5.7 (37) defeated by Williamstown 5.8 (38) 

Williamstown has recorded a thrilling come from behind win to secure its second win of the season. The Seagulls hadn’t scored a goal up to half time, but found their mojo in the second half, outscoring Richmond five goals to two.

North Melbourne recruit, Jasmine Garner had a marvelous game for the Seagulls, kicking two goals and racking up 21 disposals as well as five marks. Her fellow Kangaroos recruit, Jess Duffin led the way in disposals, gathering 30 touches as well as two marks and four tackles in another sensational performance. Jenna Bruton’s fierce attack on the ball was key to Williamstown’s victory, as she laid a game-high 12 tackles to go with her 19 disposals.

Phoebe Monahan once again led the way in disposals for Richmond, gathering 25 disposals and seven tackles. Of those 25 disposals, 23 were kicks, highlighting her ability to get the ball on the boot and penetrate it forward. She was complemented by Lauren Tesoriero, who gathered 22 touches and took three marks. Kate Dixon was a focal point up forward, kicking two majors to go with her 10 disposals.

 

Hawthorn 11.13 (79) defeated Western Bulldogs 4.0 (24) 

The Bulldogs succumbed to their second consecutive loss, but this time the margin was much greater, hurting their late finals charge. The Hawks led at each break and did the most damage in the third quarter, where they kicked three unanswered goals.

The Hawks had three multiple goal kickers in Sarah Perkins (three), Emily Gilder (two), Phoebe McWilliams (two) and Rosie Dillon (two). One player that could have kicked multiple goals was Rebecca Beeson, who finished the match with one goal and three behinds. That didn’t seem to faze her though, as she was the leading disposal-getter on the ground, gathering 25 disposals. Julia Crockett-Grills and Meg Hutchins also found plenty of the footy, racking up 18 touches each.

For the Bulldogs, it was Lauren Spark who led the way in disposals. She gathered 17 touches and took six marks on the day. Ashleigh Guest was next best with 14, while Bonnie Toogood racked up 12 touches in her first VFLW game. Bailey Hunt provided some positivity for the Dogs, as she kicked a goal and led the way in tackles, laying eight for the match.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 13

BIG wins from NT Thunder and Geelong combined with a loss to Hawthorn made for a shake-up of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s top four in Round 13. In other games, the Casey Demons defeated the Blues, the Saints upset the Dogs and the Pies took care of business at RAMS Arena against the bottom of the table Bombers. 

 

Casey Demons 5.7 (37) defeated Carlton 3.9 (27)

By: James Halley

The Casey Demons held on to a 10-point victory against Carlton as the Blues failed to capitalise on their chances late in the final quarter at Casey Fields. Carlton was 16 points down at the final change, needing four goals in the last quarter to win. However, the Blues had only kicked three majors for the game, making for a very difficult task. They had the advantage of a major breeze in the last term but unfortunately for the Blues, they only were able to kick six behinds in the last quarter, missing crucial chances in front of goal.

The Demons’ dominant first term negated Carlton of any chance of scoring, as they locked the ball inside their forward 50 for the majority of the quarter. Their first quarter dominance was soon squandered as Carlton got its chance to attack with the breeze, as Vescio showed why she is such a star. The Blues denied Casey for a large part of the third term, as they placed a number behind the ball, but Katherine Smith broke the drought with a smart goal out a pack moments before three quarter-time, allowing the Demons to hold on for victory. 

Eden Zanker starred for the Demons up forward as she kicked two goals within the first five minutes of the game, ending up with three for the match. For Carlton, Darcy Vescio stood up when needed, taking big marks and kicking a crucial goal. She made her Demon opponents nervous whenever she was near the ball.

 

Williamstown 4.2 (26) defeated by NT Thunder 11.5 (71)

NT Thunder got another win on the board in stunning fashion, defeating the struggling Seagulls by 55 points. The Thunder led at every break and did the most damage in the third quarter. The away side kept Williamstown scoreless and kicked four unanswered goals to sit a at second on the ladder and a game ahead of Hawthorn.

In her return to the NT lineup, Anne Hatchard did not disappoint. The Adelaide AFLW forward booted four goals while Crows teammates, Jessica Sedunary and Georgia Bevan each kicked one major. Bevan was named best on ground for the Thunder and was complemented by fellow goal kicker, Emma Swanson, who has been in fine form for the Thunder this season. Tayla Thorn also played a great game for NT, kicking two goals and making her way into the best as well.

It was all single goal kickers for Williamstown, as the side only scored four majors for the day. Georgia Harris, Jess Duffin, Sarah Chapman and Sharnie Whiting were the ones who got on the board with a goal each, doing what they could to provide a contest. A standout in that area was Rebecca Dardengo, who was named best afield for the Seagulls in the loss. She was complemented by Belinda Hateley, Chloe Portelli, Jenna Bruton and Jessica Bartolo.

 

Geelong Cats 10.7 (67) defeated Richmond 1.2 (8)

In one of the biggest wins of the season, the Cats took care of the Tigers, easily beating them by 59 points. Geelong held Richmond scoreless for three quarters and used the third quarter to blow the game out of the water. In that quarter, the Cats got out to a 65-point lead, thanks to kicking six unanswered goals.

Mia-Rae Clifford had an absolute day out in the blue and white hoops, kicking four majors for the day, two of which came in the first quarter. Maddie Boyd also joined in the scoring, kicking two goals and being named best on ground for her efforts. Richelle Cranston continued her stellar season at Geelong, as she booted a goal on the weekend and contributed well around the ground. She too was named in the best Geelong players for her great game. Maighan Fogas, Erin Hoare and Cassandra Blakeway also had performances to remember, playing solid games on the day.

For Richmond, it is no surprise to see who was named best on ground. Phoebe Monahan has been an exceptional midfielder for the Tigers this season and was no different on Saturday. Despite the heavy loss, she managed to make her efforts shine through which was a positive for Richmond on a dour day. Monahan was complemented by good games from Murray Bushrangers midfielder, Tamara Smith as well as Ella Ross, Alice Edmonds, Laura Bailey and Lisa Davie. Jess Gardner was the only goal kicker for Richmond, booting through a major in the last quarter.

 

Darebin 4.5 (29) defeated Hawthorn 3.7 (25)

By: Taylah Melki

In a relatively low-scoring affair, it was the Darebin Falcons that took home the four points, knocking off the third-placed Hawks. It was a scrappy game with neither side able to capitalise on their scoring opportunities and often fumbling the ball. Both teams struggled to break away from one another with the final margin being a mere four points, making for a hotly contested match. Most of the game was played between the arcs, resulting in a lot of stoppages and very few shots on goal.

For the Falcons, the experience and class of players such as Elise O’Dea and Jessica Dal Pos stood out with their ability to open up the space and create some good run and carry through the middle. O’Dea bagged an important goal for her side, and showed great leadership in trying times to will her side back into the contest. Teammate, Kate Shierlaw also impressed for Darebin with her composure and ability to take strong marks under pressure while Meghan McDonald starred down back, taking a number of good intercept marks to stop the flow of the Hawks.

The likes of Meg Hutchins and Phoebe McWilliams continued to impress for the brown and gold with their constant intent to win the footy and impact on the contest. Jayde Van Dyk was also amongst the Hawks’ best with her clean hands in close and ability to read the play well. Teammates, Rebecca Beeson and Jessica Sibley also worked tirelessly all game, racking up the touches and imposing themselves around the contest.

 

Western Bulldogs 1.3 (9) defeated by Southern Saints 6.4 (40)

In one of the biggest upsets of the round, the Bulldogs were knocked off their high horse and came crashing back down to Earth against the Southern Saints. They kicked their only goal of the game in the first quarter, and were completely shut down by the Saints for the rest of the game. The Saints were able to increase their lead at each quarter break and ended up taking home a 31-point win.

Tara Bohanna was the focal point up forward with three majors while Courtney Munn, Amy Silver and Holly Bate all chipped in with one major a piece. Kayla Ripari continued her solid season on Sunday, being named best on ground for the winning team. Ruck, Rhiannon Watt was just as impressive and has also had a consistent season, backing it up on Sunday by being named second best. The duo were complemented by Vic Metro Under 18 pair, Eleanor Brown and Gabriella De Angelis, who also earned a spot among the best players.

For the Bulldogs, April Goldring and Libby Birch were the standouts in the loss. In her first game for the season, Hannah Scott contributed well in her first VFLW game, although she would’ve liked to have taken home the win. Fellow AFLW teammates, Angelica Gogos, Lauren Spark and Ashleigh Guest all also did well on the day.

 

Essendon 3.5 (23) defeated by Collingwood 6.13 (49)

Collingwood got off to a fast start in this match, kicking the first four majors of the game. Essendon then fought back in the second quarter, outscoring the Pies two goals to one. But Collingwood’s winning form prevailed, holding onto victory in a tight tussle at RAMS Arena.

Oakleigh Chargers skipper, Hannah McLaren was named best on ground for the Magpies in what was a memorable performance for her. Her Chargers teammate, Daisy Bateman also made an impact by kicking a goal on the day. Iilish Ross, Jessica Edwards and Sophie Casey also kicked singles while AFLW captain, Steph Chiocci booted two majors. Collingwood AFLW teammates, Brittany Bonnici and Holly Whitford also put in solid performances in the win.

Irena Malliaras, Monique DeMatteo and Tanya Hetherington were the goal kickers for the Bombers in windy conditions. Hetherington was also named in the best for Essendon for her great game but she was bettered by one player in Jessica Anwyl, who was named best on ground for the losing side. The duo were complemented solid performances from Courtney Ugle, Natalie MacDonald, Maddy Collier and Alexa Madden.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 12

COLLINGWOOD remains on top of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s ladder without a loss, after scoring six straight goals and no behinds to defeat Melbourne Uni. NT Thunder and Hawthorn also recorded wins and remain in contention to take top spot, sitting comfortably in the top four.

 

Carlton 7.10 (52) defeated Richmond 1.5 (11)

After nearly upsetting Collingwood at RAMS Arena last week, Carlton recorded an emphatic win over Richmond this week. The Blues opened up the game by kicking four first-quarter goals, and kept the Tigers goalless for the first half.

Captain, Kristi Harvey and AFLW forward, Darcy Vescio each kicked two goals on the day and were complemented by single goal kickers, Sarah Hosking, Georgia Fisher and Bailey Schultz. Hosking in particular played a wonderful game, adding 21 disposals, five marks and 10 tackles to her major. In terms of disposals, it was AFLW defender, Gabriella Pound who led the way with 27. Katelyn Cox also touched the ball a lot, racking up 18 disposals, four marks and also laying five tackles.

Richmond’s only goal came from star midfielder, Phoebe Monahan, who also led the way for her side in disposals. Monahan recorded 20 touches, took three marks and laid nine tackles. She was complemented by Jacqueline Graham, who also recorded 20 disposals as well as taking seven marks. Graham led the way for marks on the day, while Kate Dixon wasn’t far behind with five.

 

Southern Saints 4.5 (29) defeated by Hawthorn 5.8 (38)

After a tight tussle throughout the match, Hawthorn escaped with a nine-point win. At half-time, the Hawks had only scored seven behinds while the Saints had kicked three straight majors. Then after the main break, Hawthorn straightened up and got the upper hand, kicking 5.1 to the Saints’ 1.5.

It was an even performance in terms of goals for the Hawks, with no multiple goal-kickers on the day. Instead, Rebecca Beeson, Emily Mcilvena, Sarah Perkins, Emily Gilder and Lou Wotton all kicked a major each. As usual, the experienced Jayde Van Dyk was as impressive as ever in defence, and earned best on ground honours from her coaches for her efforts in the back half. She was complemented by great games from Clare O’Donnell, Kim Ebb, Julia Crockett-Grills and Ebony Nixon.

The Saints too also shared the goals around with Danielle Lawrence, Tara Bohanna, Kayla Ripari and Ashleigh Allsopp all getting majors on the board. Rhiannon Watt dominated in the ruck and was consequently named the Saints’ best player on the day. Samantha Johnson, AFLW Academy member, Courtney Jones, Leah Olsen and star midfielder, Alison Drennan also performed well on Saturday.

 

NT Thunder 8.9 (57) defeated Casey Demons 7.3 (45)

With a 42-point lead at half-time, it looked like the Thunder was going to come away with a thumping win. But a late fightback from the Demons reduced the final margin to 12 points, after they kicked five goals to none in the second half.

Jordann Hickey and South Australia Under 18 representative, Katelyn Rosenzweig led the way in goals, each kicking two majors for the Thunder on Saturday. Rosenzweig also led the way in marks, taking five for the day to go along with her 14 disposals. Fellow forwards, Jenna McCormick and Emma Swanson also had stunning performances on the day, despite not getting on the scoreboard. McCormick racked up 26 disposals, two marks and five tackles while Swanson touched the ball 24 times, took four marks and laid four tackles.

Casey also had two multiple goalkickers, with Melbourne AFLW duo, Eden Zanker and Shelley Scott each kicking two majors. Bianca Jakobsson was one of the most impressive Demons on the day, racking up 20 disposals and taking five marks. Katherine Smith wasn’t too far off, as she recorded 19 disposals, laid five tackles and kicked a goal. Kaila Bentvelzen also did well with almost identical stats, kicking a goal to go along with her 18 disposals and eight tackles.

 

Melbourne Uni 2.7 (19) defeated by Collingwood 6.0 (36)

By: Taylah Melki

The Pies have made a name for themselves this season, sitting pretty at the top of the ladder, and this game was no different. Melbourne University set the tone early with plenty of forward 50 entries but was unable to capitalise on its scoring opportunities. The Mugars had some good glimpses of play but were unable to keep up with the relentless pressure of the Magpies who ended up coming away with a 17-point win. It took a while for the Magpies to get into the game but they showcased their dash across the ground and fierce intensity to win the footy.

For the Pies, the likes of young gun Chloe Molloy impressed once again with her silky skills and ability to read the play, taking some strong intercept marks across the back half. In the midfield, stars such as Steph Chiocci and Brittany Bonnici took control, showcasing their footy smarts with clever kicks. Grace Buchan starred for the black and white with her quick release handballs to teammates and work around the stoppages. Sophie Alexander was also important for Collingwood, scoring two majors and looking ominous up forward.

Melbourne University has plenty to look forward to, with the likes of youngsters Madison Prespakis and Caitlin Greiser showing great promise with their composure with ball in hand and ability to win the footy. Prespakis was in everything once again, imposing herself on the contest. Meanwhile, the likes of Emma Kearney and Kaitlyn Ashmore were impressive, showcasing their experience with ball in hand.  Kearney starred with her dash across the ground and long penetrating kick into the forward 50.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 11

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Darebin 5.11 (41) defeated Essendon 2.2 (14)

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

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

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

 

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

By: James Halley 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

By: Peter Williams 

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

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

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

 

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

By: Peter Williams

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

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

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