Tag: Simone Nalder

VFLW weekly wrap: Round 14 – Big margins split the ladder

ROUND 14 saw the top sides in the competition all but separate from the lower sides on the ladder, with the top six only needing to continue winning in order to make finals. Wins to four of the top six this week – with the other two sides in Collingwood and Southern Saints having byes – all but locks finals up, with only positions within the six likely to change over the next few rounds. With only two matches left in the season the only side below the six that really has potential to make finals is Geelong, but the side will need to not only win its remaining two games but also rely on other results to go their way to make it through unscathed.

WILLIAMSTOWN 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.2 | 0.4 (4)
DAREBIN 2.4 | 2.5 | 6.11 | 7.11 (53)

GOALS

Williamstown: Nil.
Darebin: M. Wilson 2, L. Pearce, A. Lister, C. Byrne, S. Simpson, L. Arnell.

BEST

Williamstown: D. Pedersen, M. Williamson, J. Kawa, R. Tripodi, S. Whiting, A. Melnikas
Darebin: L. Pearce, A. Lister, R. Hicks, E. O’Dea, C. Byrne, L. Arnell

It was the second time these sides fought it out in 2019, and the Falcons were not going to let their last match define them with a massive 49-point victory over the weekend proving the side has the ability to be better than some of their scores this season suggest. This match spells disaster for the Seagulls however, with the side running out of opportunities to get a second win on the board and this round arguably their best opportunity of doing so. Elise O’Dea and Lauren Pearce paired well across the field to dominate the contest, managing 25 touches apiece while O’Dea also racked up five tackles. Pearce was phenomenal as ever in the ruck, booting a goal and collecting 49 hitouts and six tackles for her efforts. Maddison Wilson kicked two goals from 11 touches while Annalyse Lister also had a solid performance with 15 disposals, nine tackles and a goal. Reni Hicks was phenomenal as ever, as the number one tackler of the competition with another 17 tackles and 16 disposals to her name. For the Seagulls, Mo Hope and Sharnie Whiting were the usual suspects finding plenty of the footy, picking up 21 and 20 disposals apiece while Megan Williamson (17 disposals, 10 tackles), Ruby Tripodi (12 disposals, nine tackles) and Ashlea Melnikas (nine disposals, nine tackles) played their individual roles well to apply pressure on the Falcons but to no avail.

HAWTHORN 1.4 | 2.6 | 3.7 | 3.7 (25)
CASEY 0.0 | 1.1 | 2.1 | 3.4 (22)

GOALS

Hawthorn: P. McWilliams 2, T. Luke.
Casey: M. Guerin, H. Cordner, S. Notman.

BEST

Hawthorn: J. Membrey, G. Bevan, C. Perera, E. Nixon, R. Dillon, P. McWilliams
Casey: A. McDonough, T. Hanks, M. Hogg, S. Lampard, K. Hore, B. Winbanks

A late fightback by Casey saw the side almost get away with a shock win over the Hawks, but it was too little too late with the Hawks prevailing despite not putting a score on the board in the final term. This was not the percentage boosting win the Hawks wanted however, with the three point win only scraping by in the race for finals. While Casey will be happy with their ability to come back from the loss, they will be rueing missed opportunities after a dominant final term almost got them the win along with relatively even stats across the board. Phoebe McWilliams kicked two goals from six touches as a solid option forward, while a smattering of players did what they could to get on the board but could not convert. Lou Wotton (44 hitouts, 11 touches, 10 tackles) and Bec Beeson (24 disposals, 10 tackles, six marks) starred as usual for the Hawks, finding plenty of the footy while Georgia Bevan starred in the contest with 17 tackles. For Casey, Sarah Lampard put on a solid performance in ultimately her best match for the season with 28 touches, seven marks and five tackles while Maddy Guerin (seven tackles, five marks, one goal) and Lily Mithen (11 tackles, three marks) were next up with 16 touches apiece. Bridie Winbanks and Harriet Cordner combined for 32 hitouts in the ruck, while Shanara Notman kicked a goal in her second match for the side.

GEELONG 1.1 | 4.2 | 4.3 | 4.6 (30)
MELBOURNE UNI 3.0 | 4.1 | 7.2 | 7.2 (44)

GOALS

Geelong: M. Maguire 2, G. Clarke, S. Van De Heuvel.
Melbourne Uni: B. Gibson 3, K. Angelis, E. Kearney, J. Garner, J. Bruton.

BEST

Geelong: R. Cranston, K. Darby, A. McDonald, L. McEvoy, M. Maguire, M. Keryk
Melbourne Uni: J. Garner, B. Gibson, E. Kearney, K. Ebb, A. Runnalls, J. Bruton

Melbourne Uni prevailed in cold conditions down at Geelong, beating the home side by 14 points to maintain their position in the top six and go one game clear of the Cats. While Geelong perhaps didn’t get off to the start they desired, they evened up to lead at half time before failing to put another goal on the board after half time. With a definite scoring end it was the Mugars who made the most of their opportunities, slotting seven goals for the match to set up a solid win despite not putting a score on the board in the final quarter. Jasmine Garner lead the charge for Uni, collecting 31 touches, 10 marks, nine tackles and a goal on her way to dominating all aspects of the contest while Ashleigh Riddell and Jess Trend followed suit combining for 44 touches and 13 tackles. Meanwhile, Britt Gibson kicked three goals from 12 disposals for her best haul of the season so far while Emma Kearney collected 18 touches, seven tackles and a goal in her first match of the season. While it was an evenly matched ruck contest between Vivien Saad (26 hitouts) and Kate Darby (21 hitouts, 18 disposals, five marks, five tackles), Darby well and truly found her form to follow up with two attempts at goal which unfortunately did not hit their mark. Olivia Purcell was the prime ball magnet for Geelong with 20 disposals, while the likes of Richelle Cranston (18 disposals, five tackles) and Madisen Maguire (two goals) put in the hard yards across the field.

CARLTON 0.1 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 3.3 (21)
RICHMOND 0.6 | 4.7 | 8.8 | 10.9 (69)

GOALS

Carlton: L. Brazzale, A. McKay, S. Wright.
Richmond: T. Stahl 3, T. Brett 3, C. Wakefield , H. Ibrahim, M. Conti, J. Kennedy.

BEST

Carlton: S. Wright, C. Bromage, B. Gutknecht, B. Gurr, G. Wright, G. Pound
Richmond: A. Edmonds, T. Brett, T. Stahl, M. Conti, J. Kennedy, C. Wakefield

Richmond finally got the big win they have been waiting for over the weekend, confidently running over the Blues by 48 points. While the Tigers certainly had all the momentum early they had big issues meeting targets with six behinds on the board in the first that could have had them up by close to 40 points early. After the first quarter however they unleashed, with the Blues floored by the Tigers as they kicked 10 goals to one in the remaining three terms. With two players individually almost outscoring Carlton on their own, it was always going to be a big win for the Tigers. While a usual suspect in Tayla Stahl kicking three goals from 11 touches and four marks, it was the effort of debutant Teagan Brett that caught the eyes of many with a respective three goals and 12 disposals in her first match in yellow and black. Monique Conti was also impressive with 26 disposals, six tackles and a goal while Alice Edmonds shared the role in ruck well with 32 hitouts and 14 disposals, pairing with Gabby Seymour who collected a further 15 hitouts. For the Blues, Lauren Brazzale was pivotal with 18 disposals and a goal while Gabby Pound (15 disposals, eight tackles) and Britney Gutknecht (13 disposals, six tackles) put in the hard yards to find plenty of ball.

WESTERN BULLDOGS 2.3 | 3.6 | 5.7 | 6.11 (47)
ESSENDON 0.1 | 0.2 | 0.2 | 0.3 (3)

GOALS

Western Bulldogs: B. Lochland 2, M. Ward 2, K. McLeod, E. Blackburn.
Essendon: Nil.

BEST

Western Bulldogs: B. Lochland, N. Ferres, D. Berry , E. Georgostathis, A. Guest, M. Ward
Essendon: G. Patrikios, S. Audley, L. Ahrens, M. Fogas, A. Barba, E. Ashley-Cooper

The Bulldogs’ massive win this week mirrored their AFL side’s victory, with a 44 point win keeping the Bombers without a goal for the match in what was an impressive display at home. The Bulldogs got off to a solid start kicking five goals nil in the first half before matching it in the second half and denying the Bombers any easy ball. While their accuracy once again left plenty to be desired, the Dogs played a confidence game and were not scared to take advantage of opportunities to keep the Bombers out of the contest. Despite a disappointing performances from the Bombers as a whole, Georgia Patrikios (21 disposals, 11 tackles) and Georgia Nanscawen (21 disposals, six tackles) found plenty of the footy to spur the side forward while Kendra Heil applied some great pressure with nine tackles and 20 touches to her name. While Simone Nalder matched Celine Moody for hitouts (21 apiece), it was the Bulldogs’ use of a second ruck in Nicole McMahon (17 hitouts) that saw them run away with the match. Ellie Blackburn (25 disposals, seven tackles, one goal) and Ellie Gavalas (25 disposals, four tackles) were phenomenal for the home side, while Brooke Lochland and Mikayla Ward kicked two goals apiece, unstoppable inside 50 and Angelina Gogos provided plenty of ball back forward with 12 tackles.

VFLW preview: Round 14 – Top sides have bye round as battle for top six continues

TOP two of VFL Women’s have byes this week and while a number of sides are scrabbling for a position come finals, neither Collingwood nor Southern Saints need to worry about their position on the ladder with no chance of moving down regardless of this week’s results. A big match will see sixth placed Melbourne Uni take on Geelong in seventh, with both sides in dire need of a win this week to keep their respective seasons alive and plenty of teams still on the chase for finals chances. Meanwhile, it will be up to Richmond and Western Bulldogs to pull out solid wins this round to remain in control of third and fourth.

CARLTON v. RICHMOND

Round 14 – 10/8/19
11.00
La Trobe University, Bundoora

While Richmond are mostly safe in the top four at this point in the season, their four match losing streak will be right in the front of Carlton’s minds with plenty of firepower in the Blues side if they can drive the ball forward. The Blues may be sitting at the bottom with only two wins for the season but have well and truly put it all on the line a number of times this season with five of their matches resulting in margins less than 10 points. Richmond will be hoping their midseason slump was just that, ready to jump right into finals in the coming weeks. Maddy Prespakis has been impressive in recent weeks so will hope for another solid performance to lift the Blues, and with massive names in Sabrina Frederick and Katie Brennan two potentials up forward for the Tigers this week Carlton will certainly need to lift their game to get over the line or at least put up a fight. Meanwhile, twins Jess and Sarah Hosking were missing from the Blues lineup last week so the side will hope for their return and consistency this week.

WILLIAMSTOWN v. DAREBIN

Round 14 – 10/8/19
11.30
Downer Oval

It will be an interesting match between the two sides, with their last battle in Round 7 lifting Darebin off the bottom of the ladder with a 20 point victory. While both Darebin and Williamstown have improved this season, the Falcons have been able to convert their improvement to wins so are likely to come out of this round with another win on the board. However, the Seagulls do certainly have the talent and drive to get the job done, so Darebin cannot afford to let this one slip away. While the Seagulls are unlikely to lift off the bottom of the ladder with a win, it would be a massive boost for a mostly disappointing season. Lauren Pearce put on a show again last week against the Demons so will look to replicate her phenomenal Round 13 form, while Nell Morris-Dalton has been a great young player for the side adding plenty of firepower to the Darebin lineup. For Williamstown, Sharnie Whiting has stepped up in recent weeks to be a leader in the side while the side will hope for the return of Mo Hope‘s experience.

HAWTHORN v. CASEY

Round 14 – 10/8/19
1.00
Box Hill City Oval

This will be an interesting battle, with Hawthorn sitting toward the top of the ladder but Casey, thanks to a great winning tally at the beginning of the season, only sitting behind by one win and one draw. But while Casey have a chance to redeem themselves after a midseason slump, the Hawks will likely be too strong at home for the inconsistent Demons to get over the line. Hawthorn also have a big opportunity to elevate to a higher position on the ladder with two rounds left after this week so will want to capitalise to set themselves up for finals. Casey’s Kate Hore was fantastic last week kicking the side’s only two goals while Libby Birch and Lily Mithen provided plenty of run against the firing Falcons, so the side will look to maintain possession and push forward against the Hawks. Sarah Perkins and Tamara Luke kicked three goals apiece last round so if left undefended Hawthorn have plenty of players who can pose a dominant force up forward.

GEELONG v. MELBOURNE UNI

Round 14 – 10/8/19
1.00
Deakin University, Geelong

For Geelong, this matchup will be a do or die contest given they are hanging out of the top six by the tiniest of threads. For Uni, a win this week could lock away a finals spot with a bye next week and a final round clash against the wildly talented but inconsistent NT Thunder to end the season. But while Uni have a high scoring ability in their favour the Cats will have the home field advantage and plenty of experienced players ready to take it to the Mugars. Kate Gillespie-Jones is sure to once again be right up in the action after being one of the go-to players for Uni this season, while Katie Angelis also put in a solid performance again last week applying plenty of scoreboard pressure. Richelle Cranston‘s ability to find the ball is impressive so will be a big threat to the Mugars while Danielle Orr had one of her best performance for the season last week despite collecting four behinds so is sure to look to put on a similar but more accurate performance this round.

WESTERN BULLDOGS v. ESSENDON

Round 14 – 10/8/19
4.00
Whitten Oval, Victoria University

While an interesting matchup between two relatively traditional rivals, this game will be an opportunity for the Bulldogs to cement their finals chances with the Bombers putting in some solid performances this season but mostly yet to back it up on a weekly basis. That being said, the Bulldogs are coming into this round off the bye while the Bombers took it to the Southern Saints last round so there is definitely potential for the Bombers to come away with a shock win to finish up the round. For the Bulldogs, Tayla Dinuccio has been one of the most consistent for the side credit to her adaptability in the contest and impressive tackling pressure, aided by the likes of Kirsty Lamb who has been reliable when on the field. Meanwhile, Georgia Nanscawen has been similarly consistent with the likes of Simone Nalder providing plenty of ball from the ruck contest.

BYE: Southern Saints, Collingwood, NT Thunder

VFLW weekend wrap: Round 13 – Top teams remain on the hunt for big wins

ROUND 13 of Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s saw a number of big results, with two close matches and two blowouts all but predicting the final match of the round being a close but high scoring affair. With the top three once again putting away wins they are unlikely to slip out of finals contention, though percentage will certainly play a big role coming into the final rounds with a number of teams hoping to make the cut.

ESSENDON 4.0 | 5.0 | 7.1 | 7.2 (44)
SOUTHERN SAINTS 0.3 | 3.4 | 4.4 | 7.4 (46)

GOALS
Essendon:
J. Stassi 2, A. Quigley 2, M. Collier, M. DeMatteo, L. Stepnell.
Southern Saints: K. Shierlaw 3, E. Mackie, T. Bohanna, O. Vesely, C. Greiser.

BEST
Essendon:
A. Quigley, G. Nanscawen, M. Collier, K. Heil, F. Frew, J. Stassi
Southern Saints: K. Shierlaw, E. Mackie, R. Watt, T. Lucas-Rodd, S. Johnson, O. Vesely

The first match of the round was a down to the wire clash between two sides at completely different ends of the ladder, with the Bombers pushing the Saints at every turn and coming so close to a massive upset. Essendon came out strong, kicking four goals nil in the first to set up a solid lead, however were unable to consolidate their lead in the second, conceding 19 points as the game started to shape up to be an eight-point contest at the main change. The Bombers had another good quarter after the break, finding plenty of the footy and limiting the Saints access, before a massive final quarter from the Saints saw them snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. While Southern Saints fought hard for the victory to continue their winning ways, full credit to the Bombers side keeping the Saints on their toes with accuracy on their side. Jess Stassi and Alexandra Quigley impressed in front of goal, kicking two apiece as the Bombers sought to control the contest. Also right in the action was Georgia Nanscawen, collecting 23 touches and racking up 10 tackles, joined by Shae Audley (22 touches, 10 tackles) and Simone Nalder (30 hitouts). Kate Shierlaw was the sole multiple goalkicker for the Saints with three majors from 15 disposals and five marks, while Tilly Lucas-Rodd and Emma Mackie (21 disposals, four marks apiece) made their presence felt and Samantha Johnson, Alison Drennan and Fiona Steiert combined for 25 tackles.

RICHMOND 1.4 | 2.12 | 6.15 | 7.16 (58)
WILLIAMSTOWN 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.1 | 1.4 (10)

GOALS
Richmond:
S. Frederick 2, M. Conti 2, G. Egan, M. Brancatisano, J. Colwell.
Williamstown: S. Whiting.

BEST
Richmond:
M. Conti, K. Dempsey, M. Brancatisano, S. Frederick, A. Woodward, K. Jacques
Williamstown: J. Kawa, S. Whiting, J. Heard, A. Melnikas, I. Porter, E. Straford

It took a dominant performance by the Tigers to jump back into the top four after an average few weeks on the turf, beating a struggling Williamstown by a convincing 48-point margin. But while Richmond well and truly were in control from the get-go, there was little to be happy about with only a 24-point margin at half-time. Granted, the Seagulls had as yet been unable to put a score on the board, however the Tigers’ inaccuracy was a massive issue with 12 behinds and only two goals on the board at the main change – if it were not for the Tigers’ missed opportunities, they would have had a much bigger percentage boosting margin on their hands. The Tigers lifted their game in the second half, kicking five goals to one to cement a convincing win, however the side will be concerned with their accuracy – or lack thereof – heading into the last few rounds before finals. Monique Conti took the field for the first time since early June to bolster the side, kicking two goals on return and collection 18 disposals, five marks and five tackles on her way to best on ground for Richmond. Alice Edmonds was prolific in the ruck with 35 hitouts while Sabrina Frederick kicked two goals from 10 touches in her first win at the club and Alana Woodward collected a whopping 20 tackles. Despite a disappointing overall performance, the likes of Sharnie Whiting (24 disposals, five marks, one goal) and Gemma Anderson (12 disposals, seven tackles) were among the best for the Seagulls.

COLLINGWOOD 1.2 | 3.4 | 4.4 | 5.5 (35)
CARLTON 0.3 | 0.3 | 2.3 | 4.4 (28)

GOALS
Collingwood:
J. Lambert 2, S. Alexander, N. Hales, S. Chiocci.
Carlton: D. Vescio, C. Leighton, B. Gurr, C. Wilson.

BEST
Collingwood:
B. Davey, J. Lambert, G. Lagioia, A. Porter, S. Casey, G. Buchan
Carlton: C. Dalton, D. Vescio, K. Loynes, L. Brazzale, G. Parker, C. Wilson

It was another close match following Saturday’s battle, with Carlton well and truly taking it to the ladder-leading Magpies to only go down by seven points. The Blues struggled in the first half to put goals on the board, before a four goal to two late resurgence showed some of the impressive intent and intensity this Carlton side can apply. However it was a case of too little and too late with the Magpies just too strong this time around. Once again a match saving goal from Sophie Alexander was what the Pies needed to get over the line, leaving little opportunity for the Blues to claw back. For Collingwood Jaimee Lambert was impressive as ever, kicking another two goals to add to her tally while also picking up 23 touches as she used her footy smarts to both set up clever plays and put goals on the board. Steph Chiocci (20 disposals, seven tackles, one goal) continued her good form with another consistent performance while Bri Davey collected 19 touches against her former side despite being ruled out with injury in the final term. For the Blues, Maddy Prespakis was solid with 22 disposals and four marks while Katie Loynes (17 disposals, eight tackles) and Chloe Dalton (16 disposals, 10 tackles) were also right up in the contest.

CASEY 1.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 | 2.6 (18)
DAREBIN 0.0 | 1.2 | 1.3 | 2.5 (17)

GOALS
Casey:
K. Hore 2.
Darebin: S. Fairchild, N. Morris-Dalton.

BEST
Casey:
T. Hanks, K. Smith, H. Cordner, G. McLean, M. Downie, A. McDonough
Darebin: L. Pearce, E. O’Dea, V. Blackwood, S. David, A. Lister, K. Roe

In yet another match that kept players on their toes down to the final siren, Darebin gave Casey a scare in a one point thriller at Casey Fields. With two Falcons playing their AFL Women’s side there was a lot on the line for both teams in the relatively low scoring affair, with neither side able to capitalise in front of goal. The Demons started well defensively, keeping the Falcons scoreless in the first but having plenty of issues getting on the board with only one goal in the first half, before the Falcons shot back with one of their own midway through the second to even up the ledger, sitting ahead by one point at half-time. A highly contested third quarter came next, with neither team able to find the goals before a 1.4 final term from the Dees just barely got them over the line after trailing by one at the final change. Kate Hore was Casey’s saving grace, kicking both Demons goals and collecting nine tackles – only behind Shelley Scott with 11 tackles, while Lily Mithen (26 disposals, six marks, seven tackles) and Libby Birch (17 disposals, four tackles) combined well across the field. Meanwhile, Darebin’s Lauren Pearce showcased her versatility to finish with a whopping 35 hitouts, 25 touches, six marks and six tackles, aided by Elise O’Dea who continued her fine form with 24 touches and 10 tackles while Nell Morris-Dalton impressed in her second outing for the side with one goal from 12 touches and six tackles.

GEELONG 4.1 | 6.3 | 7.7 | 9.8 (62)
NT THUNDER 1.1 | 2.1 | 2.1 | 3.1 (19)

GOALS
Geelong:
S. Van De Heuvel 2, G. Clarke 2, R. Caris 2, J. Woollett, M. Maguire, R. Benham.
NT Thunder: T. Thorn, M. Roberts, C. Whan.

BEST
Geelong:
R. Webster, R. Cranston, T. Love, R. Caris, G. Clarke, S. Van De Heuvel
NT Thunder: E. Marinoff, M. Breed, T. Thorn, K. Streader, J. Baird, C. Deegan

In the second blowout margin of the round, Geelong got a convincing win over Thunder to put themselves in a position to push for a top-six finish. A convincing first half all but set up the victory, with six goals to two at the main change giving the Cats plenty of confidence coming into the second half. A more inaccurate second half saw the Cats unable to replicate their strong start, however their defensive effort left little to be desired with only one score on the board to Thunder in the second half. Sophie Van De Heuvel, Georgia Clarke and Rene Caris kicked two goals apiece in a shared effort, collecting a combined 36 touches while Caris followed up her effort in the ruck with 31 hitouts against young gun, Mattea Breed with 18 hitouts and 10 touches. Richelle Cranston racked up 24 touches and 11 tackles in an impressive effort, while Danielle Orr picked up 25 touches and four behinds. For Thunder, Ebony Marinoff made her triumphant return having sat out since Round 2, collecting 25 touches and a phenomenal 19 tackles to be best on ground. Lisa Roberts also put in the hard yards with 15 disposals and seven tackles while Tayla Thorn had 13 touches, five tackles and a goal for her best and most consistent performance this season.

MELBOURNE UNI 2.0 | 6.2 | 7.4 | 8.4 (52)
HAWTHORN 3.0 | 5.0 | 11.0 | 12.3 (75)

GOALS
Melbourne Uni:
K. Angelis 2, K. Gillespie-Jones 2, K. Ashmore, L. Walsh, H. Whitford, J. Garner.
Hawthorn: T. Luke 3, S. Perkins 3, S. Gibbs 2, O. Flanagan 2, P. McWilliams, R. Beeson.

BEST
Melbourne Uni:
K. Gillespie-Jones, J. Garner, J. Bruton, K. Ashmore, H. Whitford, B. Gibson
Hawthorn: S. Perkins, T. Luke, C. O’Donnell, S. Gibbs, O. Flanagan, J. Sibley

The highest scoring match of the round was always set to be the final game of the weekend with a big battle between fourth and sixth – only separated by percentage. A win to the Hawks sees the two sides all but swap their ladder positions, with Hawthorn jumping into fifth while Uni slip into sixth with Geelong hot on their tail. It was a relatively close affair up to half time with both sides finding patches of good form, before Hawthorn took hold of the lead in the third and refused to let go against a gallant Mugars outfit. The Hawks’ composure and cleanliness impressed, with the side kicking straight for the most part and 11 straight goals by three quarter time to well and truly control the contest. To Uni’s credit they stayed in the match with their tenacity going for the footy, but were unable to consolidate their halftime lead with only two goals after the main break. With six multiple goal kickers spread across the two teams it was an impressive contest, while both sides shared the load well across the field with no dominant standouts. The ruck match between Lou Wotton (34 hitouts, 10 touches, five tackles) and Vivien Saad (28 hitouts, 11 touches, four tackles) was relatively even, making for a very interesting contest with plenty of players getting good access to the footy. Sarah Perkins and Tamara Luke both kicked three for the Hawks, closely followed by Serena Gibbs and Olivia Flanagan with two apiece. For the Mugars, Kate Gillespie-Jones was consistent as ever with 21 disposals and two goals followed by Katie Angelis with another two goals and 14 touches, while Jasmine Garner had another strong performance with 19 touches and a goal.

VFLW preview: Round 13 – Collingwood look to consolidate good form

ROUND 13 of VFL Women’s will pit a number of close ladder positions against each other, with half the sides taking on close opposition while the other half are more likely to be big blowouts. The final match of the round will ultimately be the biggest in terms of ladder positions with Melbourne Uni hosting Hawthorn in a match that could shake up the ladder big time.

ESSENDON v. SOUTHERN SAINTS

Round 13 – 3/8/19
11.30
Windy Hill

An impressive season for the Saints has seen the side almost fly under the radar across the past 12 rounds, only dropping two matches and putting up impressive scores every week on their way to finals contention. The side has had the least points scored against them, only conceding a combined 195 points all season, showing their ability to control their opposition defensively and apply enough scoreboard pressure to win consistently meaning Essendon will have to pull out all the stops to get over the line. Simone Nalder has been in fine form for the Bombers this season in the ruck while young gun Georgia Patrikios had an instant impact on debut last round. For the Saints, Caitlin Greiser will be hard to stop given her ability to find plenty of ball inside 50 and apply pressure on the ground ball, while the side’s ability to play a team game has proven to be a real match-winner this season.

RICHMOND v. WILLIAMSTOWN

Round 13 – 4/8/19
11.00
Swinburne Centre

This match is likely to be an easy win for the Tigers, who despite dropping four games in a row still have a massively talented and experienced side ready to catapult back into the top four. The Seagulls have had a mostly unsuccessful season, only managing one win from 10 matches so are in dire need of some good news to finish the season. Williamstown have struggled getting points on the board this season, averaging only 19 points per game so will be in for a big test this week against the Tigers who have players like Tayla Stahl and Katie Brennan who can rack up similar tallies alone. While Mo Hope and Sharnie Whiting have been shining lights for the Seagulls this season, the side will need to put up a full field and four quarter performance to have any chance of matching the Tigers.

COLLINGWOOD v. CARLTON

Round 13 – 4/8/19
11.00
Victoria Park

This will be a real test for a feisty Carlton side, who have really taken it to some teams this season but not really to the calibre of the highly talented Magpies. While the Pies were tested last week by Richmond, the Blues will need to up their game to get a third win on the board this week with Collingwood proving again and again that they are the best team in the competition this season. Jaimee Lambert has proven to be a massive threat time and time again for the Magpies so if in the side again this week will be sure to wreak havoc on the side’s traditional rivals, while Gemma Lagioia was impressive in her second match last week to finish with 20 touches only behind the ever dominant Bri Davey. Maddy Prespakis was Carlton’s best last round to put herself in good stead to finish the season well, while Jess and Sarah Hosking have been among the most consistent for the Blues all season.

CASEY DEMONS v. DAREBIN

Round 13 – 4/8/19
11.30
Casey Fields

This is a must-win match for the Demons, who despite having a solid start to the season have fallen into the bottom half of the ladder with Darebin only one win behind after a late resurgence in recent weeks. For Darebin, a win this week will mean an almost certain chance at redeeming their average form to finish off the season strong. Both sides have struggled with inconsistency during the season, so will want to come in strong to assert their dominance and get another win on the board. Darebin’s aim will be to apply pressure on every ball, with the likes of Reni Hicks averaging 10 tackles per game and able to put immense pressure on both the player and ground ball, while Lauren Pearce sits second in hitouts, averaging 30.8 for the season so will look for another big match against her AFL Women’s side in the Demons. For Casey, Libby Birch has made a big impact in the side while the ever reliable Bianca Jakobsson and Eden Zanker continue to perform having both played 10 of a possible 11 games.

GEELONG v. NT THUNDER

Round 13 – 4/8/19
1.00
GMHBA Stadium

This will be an interesting matchup, with both sides coming into Round 13 off the back of highly disappointing losses last week. While Geelong had an average day out, losing by 16 points to now eleventh-ranked Darebin, Thunder suffered a complete blowout against the Bulldogs, going down by 78 points. Sitting at seventh and eighth on the ladder, the sides are sitting equal for wins with five apiece while Thunder only sit lower based on percentage and having played one more game. While both sides are unlikely to make finals based on percentage, they have multiple sides hot on their tail that have the potential to make their way up the ladder so are sure to fight tooth and nail for another win on the board. With only two players who have played every match this season, Geelong’s consistency has suffered. However, players like Richelle Cranston have provided valuable bolstering this season and could prove necessary against the likes of Thunder’s experience in Lateesha Jeffrey and Lisa Roberts.

MELBOURNE UNI v. HAWTHORN

Round 13 – 4/8/19
2.30
Melbourne University Main Oval

Coming into this round off the back of a bye last round could prove crucial for the Hawks this week as they take on a Uni side that slaughtered Carlton last week – the side that Hawthorn drew with back in Round 10. The Mugars are averaging almost 50 points per game this season despite losing five of their 11 matches, meaning that the side has plenty of firepower forward to win games with ease as long as their defensive setup holds up. The Hawks have a number of players who have dominated in turn, with the likes of Bec Beeson, Rosie Dillon and Lou Wotton putting on solid performances throughout the season. For Uni, Kate Gillespie-Jones has been a star playing 10 of 11 games and one of the most consistent players for the side, while the impact of Jasmine Garner and Katie Angelis has been felt in front of goal all season, combining for 23 goals.

BYE: Western Bulldogs

VFLW wrap: Round 12 – Young guns star in the race to finals

ROUND 12 saw a number of big matches take place, with results that could change the course of the competition given the closeness of the ladder at this late stage of the season. Darebin got their third win on the board while Collingwood dealt Richmond their fourth loss in a row with a goal after the siren to win the tight match, keeping the Magpies in top spot on the ladder. Meanwhile, a smattering of young talent put their names in the spotlight with some impressive form following the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships.

WILLIAMSTOWN 0.0 | 0.0 | 1.1 | 1.2 (8)
ESSENDON 1.0 | 4.4 | 4.5 | 7.5 (47)

GOALS

Williamstown: M. Hope.
Essendon: A. Quigley 2, J. Stassi, F. Frew, M. Collier, S. Audley, S. Wilson.

BEST

Williamstown: M. Williamson, R. Tripodi, J. Thomson, D. Pedersen, N. Wallace, M. Hope
Essendon: A. Quigley, G. Patrikios, M. Collier, S. Audley, S. Nalder, E. Ashley-Cooper

It was a rough day at the office for Williamstown as they were dealt yet another big loss, going down to Essendon in the opening match of the round. With both sides sitting towards the bottom of the ladder the Seagulls were hoping for a better performance, but the Bombers found their form to run home 39 point winners after solid second and fourth quarters. It took the struggling Seagulls almost three quarter to get a goal on the board through Mo Hope, who also collected 19 touches and four tackles, aided by Megan Williamson who also managed 19 touches and eight tackles. Ashlea Melinkas (10 tackles) and Ruby Tripodi (15 disposals) provided valuable backup around the field with the Bombers all but running rampant for much of the game. For Essendon, young gun Georgia Patrikios backed up her phenomenal NAB League form with 20 touches, seven tackles and a behind to be named among the best along with Alex Quigley (two goals, five marks), Shae Audley (22 disposals, nine tackles, one goal) and Simone Nalder (16 disposals, 38 hitouts).

DAREBIN 2.0 | 2.1 | 3.3 | 6.5 (41)
GEELONG 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.1 | 4.1 (25)

GOALS

Darebin: N. Morris-Dalton 2, S. Simpson, L. Arnell, E. McLaughlin, G. Hammond.
Geelong: D. Orr, J. Ivey, R. Webster, L. McEvoy.

BEST

Darebin: L. Arnell, L. Pearce, E. O’Dea, G. Lawson-Tavan, N. Morris-Dalton, S. Simpson
Geelong: D. Taylor, J. Ivey, R. Cranston, R. Webster, R. Caris, D. Orr

The Falcons got another much-needed win on the board on their way up the ladder, capitalising in Lauren Arnell‘s two-hundredth game and getting an important win against the Cats who continued their frustrating post-bye form with another loss. For the most part it was an even match, with neither side able to take control before a stellar final quarter from the Falcons saw them soar to their third victory of the season. In her milestone match, Arnell racked up 17 touches, seven tackles and a goal, while Lauren Pearce was influential with a season-best performance of 39 hitouts and 24 disposals, leading Darebin’s tally for the day. It was a game of inches for Darebin, who found many players doing the little things right with eight players managing five or more tackles, while Northern Knights’ premiership player Nell Morris-Dalton was the only multiple goal kicker with two majors from eight touches and six tackles. For the Cats, Jordan Ivey (19 disposals, 12 tackles, one goal) and Renee Garing (26 disposals, seven marks, six tackles) impressed while Richelle Cranston racked up 11 tackles and 23 disposals.

MELBOURNE UNI 5.3 | 8.3 | 10.6 | 12.9 (81)
CARLTON 0.1 | 1.3 | 4.5 | 5.5 (35)

GOALS

Melbourne Uni: K. Angelis 3, K. Ashmore 3, C. Saxon-Jones 2, S. Abbatangelo, J. Duffin, K. Gillespie-Jones, J. Garner.
Carlton: A. Downie, S. Cubasch, G. Newton, N. Plane, B. Gurr.

BEST

Melbourne Uni: J. Trend, S. Abbatangelo, K. Ebb, K. Gillespie-Jones, K. Angelis, K. Ashmore
Carlton: M. Clifford, S. Wright, A. Downie, C. Bromage, A. Prins, G. Newton

Melbourne Uni bounced back from its Round 11 loss to Collingwood in the best way possible, beating Carlton by 46 points to jump back into the top four. It always looked to be a big game for the Mugars, who kicked five goals to one in the first to stake their claim on the match before extending their lead in every quarter despite every attempt the Blues threw at them to reduce the margin. Maddy Prespakis was among the best for Carlton in an otherwise uneventful match, leading the charge with 18 disposals, five marks and six tackles and well aided by the likes of Alison Downie (23 hitouts, 17 disposals, five tackles, one goal). For Uni, it was a battle of the forwards with Kaitlin Ashmore (17 disposals, six marks, four tackles, three goals), Katie Angelis (10 disposals, three goals) and Cleo Saxon-Jones (two goals) kicking a bag each, well aided by Jenna Bruton (28 disposals, four tackles) and Sophie Abbatangelo (24 disposals, six marks, one goal) who were influential coming down field.

WESTERN BULLDOGS 4.3 | 6.7 | 10.10 | 13.13 (91)
NT THUNDER 0.0 | 2.1 | 2.1 | 2.1 (13)

GOALS

Western Bulldogs: D. Berry 3, M. Sandral 2, M. Ward 2, K. Lamb, T. Dinuccio, B. Lochland, S. Molan, E. Georgostathis, D. Marshall.
NT Thunder: T. Hart-Aluni 2.

BEST

Western Bulldogs: V. Laloifi, D. Berry , B. Lochland, K. Lamb, S. Molan, A. Guest
NT Thunder: S. Armitstead, K. Streader, L. Roberts, T. Hart-Aluni, S. Riley, J. Baird

In a match that all but summed up the inconsistency of Thunder’s season, the Western Bulldogs started strong and finished stronger to record the highest score of the season so far with a 78-point win over NT Thunder. However, Thunder were fortunate to come away with the margin they did, with the Bulldogs missing as many goals as they attempts, with 13 behinds equalling their 13 goals and getting agonisingly close to 100 points. In a hard game it was young gun Tayla Hart-Aluni who picked up the slack in front of goal, putting two on the board in the second to help put her side back in the contest, before the side continued to struggle capitalising in front of goal and going scoreless in the second half. Sophie Armitstead (18 disposals) was among the best for the losing side, aided by Lisa Roberts with 15 touches and six tackles, one of seven players with over five tackles on the board. Kirsty Lamb was influential for the Bulldogs, getting a goal on the board to go with her 27 touches and eight tackles, finding plenty of the ball while also presenting a valuable option through the midfield to create opportunities forward for the Dogs. Deanna Berry (22 disposals, five marks, three goals), Mary Sandraal (two goals) and Mikayla Ward (12 disposals, two goals) were the side’s main goalkickers, while Elisabeth Georgostathis impressed with 16 touches, five tackles and a goal on debut.

RICHMOND 0.3 | 2.3 | 2.3 | 3.4 (22)
COLLINGWOOD 0.3 | 1.5 | 1.7 | 3.8 (26)

GOALS

Richmond: J. Kennedy, S. Frederick, C. Wakefield .
Collingwood: S. Alexander, J. Lambert, M. Cann.

BEST

Richmond: A. Woodward, P. Monahan, K. Dempsey, J. Colwell, S. Marsh, T. Stahl
Collingwood: J. Lambert, S. Alexander, S. Livingstone, B. Davey, S. Lawry, G. Lagioia

In what was ultimately the biggest match of the round, Collingwood found themselves in a sticky situation unable to convert in front of goal, before pulling out a big four-point win in the dying moments with a goal after the siren to Sophie Alexander who kicked true. However while a win to the Pies keeps them atop the ladder for another week, the four-point loss sees the Tigers with their fourth consecutive loss to drop out of the top four, needing some big wins in the coming weeks to return to the top, with teams hot on their heels. Bri Davey had a big impact in her fourth game for the club, racking up 28 touches, four marks and five tackles, while Gemma Lagioia and Jaimee Lambert found plenty of the ball with 20 touches apiece. For Richmond, Alice Edmonds was impressive with 28 hitouts while Sabrina Frederick (15 disposals, one goal) and Alana Woodward (nine disposals, eight tackles) put in the hard yards across the field to deny ball to the Magpies. With plenty of opportunities in front of goal for both sides that went unconverted, both teams will look to pick up their game in the coming weeks regardless of ladder position.

SOUTHERN SAINTS 1.3 | 2.8 | 4.11 | 5.14 (44)
CASEY 0.0 | 0.1 | 1.3 | 2.3 (15)

GOALS

Southern Saints: T. Bohanna 2, C. Jones, M. McDonald, H. Stuart.
Casey: K. Smith, N. Webber.

BEST

Southern Saints: S. Johnson, A. Drennan, D. Guttridge, C. Munn, A. Brown, M. McDonald
Casey: S. Heath, H. Cordner, K. Smith, S. Scott, T. Hanks, B. Jakobsson

It was yet another match with a big margin, however Casey are fortunate to come away with only a 29-point loss given the Southern Saints’ volume of ball inside 50, finding plenty of space and opportunity to go forward to kick goals but ultimately missing majority of their shots. However the Dees also had plenty of opportunities, only trailing inside 50s by six, but failing to head for goal to finish with only five scores on the board to speak of for the match. Samantha Johnson (19 disposals, five tackles) and Alison Drennan (15 disposals, seven tackles) were phenomenal for the Saints, while Jemima Kelly (30 hitouts) was almost unstoppable in the ruck causing plenty of rotation headaches for the Demons. Tara Bohanna was the sole multiple goalkicker with two to her name. Despite a frustrating match, Melbourne AFL Women’s trio Bianca Jakobsson, Lily Mithen and Libby Birch put in the hard yards collecting majority of Casey’s possession, combining for 59 disposals, 15 marks and 15 tackles. Meanwhile, Kate Hore lead the tackle count with eight and 13 touches, along with two behinds.

VFLW weekend washup: Tigers lose first match of season

ROUND 9 of Victorian Football League Women’s (VFLW) was chock full of big games, with the most surprising result seeing Richmond dealt their first loss of the season among big wins to Collingwood and Southern Saints to sit comfortable in the top two. Meanwhile, Casey had their fourth loss on the trot and Carlton almost delivered a shock win over NT Thunder.

SOUTHERN SAINTS 4.1 | 5.1 | 6.4 | 9.5 (59)
WILLIAMSTOWN 0.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.1 (7)

GOALS
Southern Saints:
C. Munn 2, J. Vogt 2, C. Greiser 2, E. Keaney, K. Shierlaw, S. Astone
Williamstown: M. Williamson

BEST
Southern Saints:
C. Phillips, S. Johnson, K. Shierlaw, M. Kuys, R. Watt, C. Jones
Williamstown: E. Straford, M. Williamson, D. Pedersen, J. Reid, R. Dardengo, J. Kawa

It seemed the Williamstown Seagulls never had a chance when they took on the Saints to open Round 9, going down by a whopping 52 points in a massive win for the Saints side. A four goal first term all but set up the win for the Saints, dominating every stoppage and denying the Seagulls any access to their forward half. The Saints were clinical in their efforts even after a slow second quarter, drilling goals home with ease as the Seagulls struggled to maintain possession. Courteney Munn, Caitlin Greiser and Jacqui Vogt kicked two apiece in the victory, aided by big matches from Alison Drennan (27 disposals, six tackles), Rhiannon Watt (21 disposals, 25 hitouts) and Cat Phillips (16 disposals, 12 tackles). Watt was evenly matched in the ruck by Williamstown’s Jedda Heard (20 hitouts, 11 touches) but the Seagulls were unable to benefit off the taps and drill forward. Mo Hope had another prolific game for the losing side, racking up 21 touches while Megan Williamson kicked the Seagulls’ only goal.

HAWTHORN 2.2 | 2.2 | 3.5 | 3.6 (24)
GEELONG 0.1 | 2.3 | 3.5 | 4.7 (31)

GOALS
Hawthorn:
C. O”Donnell, R. Dillon, T. Luke
Geelong: R. Cranston 2, S. Van De Heuvel, B. Beckley

BEST
Hawthorn:
R. Beeson, R. Dillon, T. Luke, J. Van Dyk, G. Bevan, C. O”Donnell
Geelong: R. Cranston, M. Boyd, G. Rankin, M. Maguire, M. Keryk, A. McDonald

Despite the scoreline, the closeness of this match was palpable with neither side able to maintain a lead across the four quarters. A slow quarter from Geelong saw the Hawks take an early lead, but the Cats were persistent to draw ahead by one point at half time, proving they still had plenty in them. While the third term saw both sides draw even once more, opportunities at goal were floundered as both teams had the ability to draw out the lead but ultimately both kicking more behinds than goals. Geelong’s final quarter effort was what ultimately won them the game, creating a defensive unit like that of their second quarter to make it hard for Hawthorn to score. While Geelong came out the lucky winners with a final quarter goal, the Hawks certainly put them through their paces. Hawks’ Bec Beeson was dominant as ever with 25 disposals, five marks and four tackles, while Rosie Dillon picked up 24 touches, eight tackles and a goal. Lou Wotton dominated the hitouts, racking up 33 hitouts, well aided by Abbey Tanner with 15 hitouts and five tackles. For the Cats, Richelle Cranston made her mark with 28 disposals and two goals, while Rebecca Webster managed 22 touches and eight tackles and Madeleine Boyd finished with 13 touches and six marks.

CASEY 1.2 | 1.5 | 2.7 | 4.9 (33)
MELBOURNE UNI 4.2 | 4.4 | 5.7 | 5.8 (38)

GOALS
Casey:
H. Cordner, K. Hore, E. Zanker , E. Birch
Melbourne Uni: K. Angelis 2, K. Gillespie-Jones, E. King, K. Cox

BEST
Casey:
C. Sherriff, H. Cordner, E. Birch, E. Zanker , A. McDonough, G. McLean
Melbourne Uni: J. Grierson, K. Angelis, H. Whitford, J. Duffin, K. Gillespie-Jones, N. Julian

It was a disappointing fourth loss in a row to Casey on the weekend, who despite closing out the margin in the final term were unable to get the job done against Melbourne Uni. While Uni put in the hard yards early with four goals in the first, the Demons were not going to let the Muggars get away with a win easily, showing some of the grit they displayed in the early stages of the season and only letting one major past them for the rest of the game. Casey’s bad luck continued, however, with the side inaccurate in front of goal when they had the opportunity to even up the ledger. Melbourne Uni’s Jess Duffin and Kate Gillespie-Jones dominated possession, collecting a whopping 39 and 33 disposals and collecting a combined 21 marks and 23 tackles, while Katie Angelis kicked two goals from 10 touches. For Casey, Libby Birch (24 disposals, nine tackles, one goal) and Eden Zanker (21 disposals, seven marks, 16 hitouts and one goal) paired well to provide a target inside 50.

ESSENDON 1.0 | 1.0 | 2.1 | 3.2 (20)
COLLINGWOOD 1.0 | 4.2 | 4.3 | 6.4 (40)

GOALS
Essendon:
M. Fogas, J. Stassi, L. Stepnell
Collingwood: J. Lambert 3, M. Cann, G. Buchan, C. Molloy

BEST
Essendon:
S. Nalder, M. Fogas, G. Nanscawen, S. Audley, K. Hicks, I. Currenti
Collingwood: J. Lambert, K. Lee, S. Alexander, S. Casey, S. King, R. Schleicher

Despite an even start, it seems the Bombers may have gotten ahead of themselves after the first term, letting in three goals in the second as the Pies took the footy and ran with it. While the Bombers may have become complacent, the Pies stood strong and delivered their eighth win in a row, proving they have what it takes to go all the way. Jaimee Lambert added three more goals to her season tally, shooting up to the top of the goal kicking leaderboard and causing headaches to Essendon’s defensive unit with her ability to find the ball and create something out of nothing. Lambert also racked up 25 touches (20 kicks) in her best on ground effort, while Chloe Molloy (17 disposals, one goal) and Mikala Cann (10 disposals, nine tackles) also provided valuable options around the field. For Essendon, Shae Audley (18 disposals, 10 tackles), Georgia Nanscawen (18 disposals, 13 tackles) and Maighan Fogas (11 disposals, seven marks, one goal) put in the hard yards to apply pressure on the winning side, while Simone Nalder starred in the ruck with 40 hitouts.

NT THUNDER 0.1 | 2.3 | 3.4 | 7.5 (47)
CARLTON 2.4 | 4.4 | 6.7 | 6.9 (45)

GOALS
NT Thunder:
D. Ponter 3, G. Cusack 2, C. Couch, S. Thompson
Carlton: S. Mason, S. Wright, J. Hosking, M. Clifford, N. Stevens, S. Cubasch

BEST
NT Thunder:
Not supplied
Carlton: N. Stevens, C. Wilson, N. Plane, G. Wright, S. Hosking, J. Hosking

It was a slow start for Thunder that almost saw Carlton come away with a massive win in the Northern Territory, before a four goal final quarter saw the Thunder run the Blues out of the match. While Carlton had the lead for much of the game, it was the determination of the home team to get the job done that got them over the line, leaving a disappointed Blues outfit to rue missed opportunities. While Carlton had the opportunity to seal the deal in the final minutes but couldn’t convert, Thunder had plenty of missed opportunities early that they fortunately were able to brush aside and continue on. While Carlton may have come home without a win on the board, the side does come home with a convincing effort in the back of their minds as they come into the latter end of the season and the confidence in their six Round 9 goalkickers. Anne Hatchard (36 disposals, four tackles), Danielle Ponter (three goals, four tackles) and Gemma Cusack (two goals) starred for Territory, while Gabby Pound (29 disposals, seven marks), Jess Hosking (22 disposals, five marks, five tackles) and Breann Moody (25 hitouts, 15 touches, five marks) were among Carlton’s best.

WESTERN BULLDOGS 1.1 | 2.1 | 3.2 | 4.4 (28)
RICHMOND 0.2 | 1.8 | 2.9 | 2.10 (22)

GOALS
Western Bulldogs:
K. Rennie 2, N. McMahon, E. Mackay
Richmond: T. Stahl, S. Frederick

BEST
Western Bulldogs:
B. Hunt, S. Jolly, H. Scott, V. Laloifi, M. Sandral, N. Butler
Richmond: K. Dempsey, L. Bailey, G. Seymour, A. Makur Chuot, S. Last, M. Brancatisano

It was a different looking Richmond outfit this weekend with another massive name lining up for her first in the yellow and black, with Sabrina Frederick joining the side for the first time since her departure from Brisbane Lions AFLW in 2018. However the match just didn’t go the Tigers’ way, with the Bulldogs hungry for the form they had in the early stages of the season and ready to fight for it. It was a very different side to the usually clinical Richmond over the weekend, with a disappointing loss to the Bulldogs proving no side can afford to be complacent in the competition. It was the Tigers’ first loss for the season, seeing them stay in third but lose the winning edge they have had across the board this season. However, full credit to the Bulldogs for shaking the Tigers and only letting in the one goal in the first half. The Tigers’ usually meticulously accurate forward line had massive issues across the board, kicking six behinds in the second term alone, more than the Bulldogs kicked all match. Kimberley Rennie was up in the contest with two goals to her name, while Hannah Scott (25 disposals, four marks) and Bailey Hunt (18 disposals, five tackles) used the ball freely credit to the tackling efforts of Tayla Dinuccio and Ellie Gavalas (10 tackles apiece). For the Tigers, Kate Dempsey had 21 touches and five marks, aided by Grace Campbell and Grace Egan who combined for 17 tackles.

VFLW Round 6 preview: Fourth and fifth clash to stay in touch with the top

THREE more sides have the bye this week as the Victorian Football League Women’s (VFLW) competition heads toward the midway point of the season. With most sides playing teams at the opposite end of the ladder, matchups between the middle-ranked sides will set the scene for the competition come Round 7.

CARLTON v. WESTERN BULLDOGS

Round 6 – 15/06/19
10.30
IKON Park

Carlton have a tough slog on Saturday morning as they host top of the ladder Western Bulldogs to open Round 6. Sitting at zero from four after a bye in Round 1, Carlton’s start to the season has been far from ideal, scoring less than 20 points in each of their three away matches in Rounds 2, 3 and 4. However, the side put up a good fight last round when they hosted NT Thunder, kicking seven goals – more than their opening three rounds combined – and only going down by seven points. The Bulldogs have had an incomparable start to the season, starting on a high with a 47 point win over Williamstown in Round 2 before continuing their fine form, keeping all of their opposition to less than 15 points. The Blues will hope for Natalie Plane to have another big one, with an average of 20 touches and a score on the board in every match this season, while young-gun Maddy Prespakis will hope for another dominant performance after accruing 29 disposals and five tackles last week in her first match of the season. The Bulldogs’ success this season has largely been down to the dominant ruck work of Nicole McMahon, averaging 31 hitouts per game, while Bonnie Toogood (averaging 20 disposals) and Tayla Dinuccio (averaging nine tackles) have done a wealth of work around the ground.

ESSENDON v. HAWTHORN

Round 6 – 15/06/19
11.30
Windy Hill

In the first of two closely matched games of the round, ninth placed Essendon and eighth placed Hawthorn will face off with the winner hoping to stay in touch with the top sides. Both teams had a bye last round, and while sitting close on the ladder, Hawthorn will come into this match as the favourites with two wins under their belt – one a dominant 42 point victory over Darebin. Essendon have only won one of their four matches but have no issue getting access to goal having kicked five goals in three of their four matches, but have struggled defensively with an average of 38 points kicked against. The Bombers will hope for another strong performance from Hayley Bullas, who has averaged eight tackles and 18 touches per game this season, while the likes of Jess Sibley and Emily Gilder have shared the brunt of the goalkicking load for the Hawks. It will be an interesting ruck battle between Abbey Tanner (Hawks) and Simone Nalder (Bombers), who are sitting on 95 and 94 hitouts from four matches, respectively. Hawthorn have done a good job sharing the load across the field, with no one player who can be targeted and tagged out.

DAREBIN v. COLLINGWOOD

Round 6 – 15/06/19
12.00
Preston City Oval

Collingwood will aim for their fifth win on the trot this round as they take on cellar dwellers, Darebin Falcons. The Falcons have struggled so far this season, unable to string along consistent performances. While Darebin’s points scored in the opening rounds would have been enough to beat a number of sides, the first five rounds saw Darebin face three of the current top five. A four point win over Casey has solidified Collingwood’s spot in the top four after five rounds, so the side will likely come in confident this week against the severely depleted Falcons side. Collingwood AFLW captain, Steph Chiocci took the field in Round 5 for the first time this season, kicking two goals and gathering 13 touches and three tackles in a solid day out. Meanwhile, Bri Davey will be a big one for the Falcs to watch out for if she returns this week, collecting 57 touches and 14 tackles from just two matches. Jamie Stanton has been one of the big performers for the Falcons this season with an average of 20 touches while Lauren Pearce has had a good run in the ruck with an average of 18 touches and 24 hitouts from three matches.

NT THUNDER v. RICHMOND

Round 6 – 15/06/19
3:30
TIO Stadium

NT Thunder face a massive challenge this round when they host an undefeated Richmond side on Saturday afternoon. A dominant first few rounds was cut short by a bye, with Thunder dropping their next match before sticking it out in a close match against Carlton in Round 5. Richmond have scored over 50 points in three of their four matches, with their closest coming down to three points against sixth place Melbourne Uni in Round 4. Thunder will need to bring their A-game against the Tigers, but will have the added bonus of a home ground advantage in Darwin. Richmond’s Tayla Stahl has been one of the big names this season, sitting atop the goal leaderboard despite a bye in Round 2. Stahl has kicked nine goals and 10 behinds for the season so far, so if she kicks on target she could be a massive threat when coupled with the dominant force of ex-Western Bulldogs pair, Katie Brennan and Monique Conti. If Thunder have Chelsea Randall back in the side she could give them a massive boost, having only played two games but sitting on 59 touches, while Angela Foley has been solid with an average of 23 disposals across three matches. Thunder have struggled with consistency so far this season, unable to click given only five players have taken the field for all four matches.

SOUTHERN SAINTS v. MELBOURNE UNI

Round 6 – 16/06/19
12.00
Trevor Barker Beach Oval

The final match of the round is set to be the best matchup, with the Saints (fourth) taking on Melbourne Uni (fifth) in a bid to stay among the top sides in the competition. The Saints have had a fairly good run this season sitting on three wins from four matches and come into this round fresh off the bye in Round 5. Melbourne Uni had a dominant first few rounds before falling to two of the top sides in consecutive weeks, and were challenged by winless Williamstown last week, so will want to bounce back to prove their position on the ladder. Alison Drennan has been one of the most consistent for the Saints this season, averaging 24 touches and 5.5 tackles across four matches, while Caitlin Greiser has kicked a goal in every game so far. Despite only taking the field for three games, Uni’s Jasmine Garner is sitting second in the competition for goals (eight) and has an average of 26 touches, while Holly Whitford managed a massive 10 tackles against Williamstown last week, taking her season tally to 31. Uni will hope to put out a similar performance to their Round 4 match against Richmond, coming back from an 18 point margin to only go down by three points in the nailbiter.

BYE: Williamstown, Casey, Geelong

VFL Women’s wash-up: Round 4

ROUND 4 saw a number of big results in the VFL Women’s, with Casey losing top spot with their first loss for the season, dropping to fourth as the Bulldogs, Saints and Tigers got wins on the board. Meanwhile, three sides still sit winless, with Carlton, Williamstown and Darebin yet to secure the four points but all have had a bye.

HAWTHORN 2.1 | 3.4 | 4.8 | 4.11 (35)
WILLIAMSTOWN 2.1 | 2.1 | 2.2 | 4.2 (26)

By: Nikki Jamieson

GOALS
Hawthorn: R. Beeson 2, M. Hutchins, S. Perkins
Williamstown: S. Whiting 2, M. Hope, E. Crawford

BEST
Hawthorn: M. Hutchins, R. Dillon, T. Radan, O. Flanagan, R. Beeson, P. Randall
Williamstown: A. Melnikas, M. Williamson, L. Suleiman, N. Wallace, S. Whiting, G. Anderson

Hawthorn won their second match for the VFLW season, as Williamstown continues into round five without a win on the board. In what started as a close game with both teams tied at the end of the first quarter, Hawthorn’s defence were then able to keep Williamstown in check. The Hawks only let through one point from Williamstown before the final quarter. Williamstown was able to limit the Hawks’ strong offensive front, sparing them from a total blowout and limiting them to mostly behinds throughout the match. An impactful game from backline players such as Ashlea Melnikas and Nikki Wallace (12 disposals, six tackles) kept Hawthorn in check for most of the game. Seagulls’ Mo Hope (11 disposals, one goal) and Sharnie Whiting (18 disposals, two goals, four tackles) were also key in the final quarter comeback, kicking goals in the dying minutes.
Hawthorn’s season is starting to fare better but most would have expected a stronger performance from them against Williamstown who are at the bottom of the ladder. An important player for Hawthorn in defence was Pepa Randall (11 disposals, four tackles), helping keep the Seagulls’ forwards quiet for most of the match. Another key player for Hawthorn was Meg Hutchins (11 disposals, one goal, three tackles), consistently influencing the contest and winning the ball.Rebecca Beeson had a great match kicking two goals, and Olivia Flanagan (23 disposals, one behind, five tackles) led overall for disposals with 23. Also notable was Rosie Dillon (18 disposals, one behind, four tackles) who played tight on the ball all match.

MELBOURNE UNI 0.1 | 0.4 | 2.7 | 4.10 (34)
RICHMOND 2.3 | 3.4 | 3.5 | 5.7 (37)
By: Sophie Taylor

GOALS:
Melbourne Uni: J. Garner 3, K. Gillespie-Jones
Richmond: T. Stahl, M. Brancatisano, J. Colwell, K. Brennan, L. Bailey

BEST:
Melbourne Uni: J. Garner, K. Angelis, K. Gillespie-Jones, A. Riddell, N. Julian, J. Bruton
Richmond: K. Brennan, E. Burry, R. Miller, H. Burchell, T. Stahl, J.Colwell

A fast start from the Tigers saw the Muggars mount a comeback too little too late, as they peppered the goals without luck in an attempt to turn the tides with minutes left on the clock. Tigers were strong early, not only limiting Melbourne Uni to only four behinds by half time with no worries in front of goal as they kicked three goals four by half time. The main break sparked Uni into action, as the side put in the hard yards in an attempt to even up the ledger, only down by seven points at the final change and ready for a fight to the finish. It was the Tigers who had the last laugh however, as their pressing defence caused errors and inaccuracy in front of goal, with Uni finishing with more scoring shots on the board but going down by three credit to Richmond’s early lead and composure to fight through the momentum swing. AFLW players, Jasmine Garner (three goals, 22 disposals, eight marks) and Katie Brennan (31 disposals, nine marks, six tackles and one goal) were best on ground for their respective sides, while Uni’s Ash Riddell, Jenna Bruton and Kate Gillespie-Jones also made an impact around the ground with a combined 82 touches, 24 tackles and 14 marks between them. Tayla Stahl racked up a goal and two behinds from 15 touches, while Alice Edmonds and Jenna Colwell dominated the ruck, combining for 40 of Richmond’s 41 hitouts, compared to Uni’s 19. Richmond’s domination at centre bounce all but tells the tale of this match, with Uni’s ruck woes having a big impact on centre clearances.

ESSENDON 1.1|2.2|4.2|5.2 (32)
CARLTON 2.0|2.1|2.3|2.3 (15)

By: Brandon Hutchinson

GOALS:

ESSENDON: A. Quigley 3, H. Bullas, L. Stepnell
CARLTON: M. Clifford, N. Plane

BEST:
ESSENDON:
S. Nadler, A. Anderson, M. Collier, K. Heil, H. Bullas, A. Quigley
CARLTON: J. Hosking, N. Stevens, C. Wilson, N. Plane, G. Wright, B. Moody

Essendon proved better in the clash with their traditional rivals, the Blues, defeating the visitors by 17-points at Windy Hill. Both sides entered Round 4 winless, and though the Blues looked better in the first, Essendon’s efforts prevailed. The Bombers kept the Blues goalless for the remaining three quarters, adding four more of their own to close out the game. Despite the loss, Carlton dominated the hit-outs 51 to 23, and recorded more inside 50s (31), marks (33) and tackles (89). In the end, the Bombers’ defensive structures were too good for the Blues to penetrate – struggling to get any reward for repeat efforts. Carlton’s Breann Moody dominated in the centre with 14 disposals, four tackles and 31 hit-outs. Sarah Hosking (23 disposals, five marks and seven tackles) and Natalie Plane (25 disposals, one goal, five marks and five tackles) were also among Carlton’s best, as they impressed on-ball. For the Dons, Alex Quigley starred up forward, kicking three goals with nine disposals, four marks and two tackles, putting one away in every quarter except the second. Teammates, Simone Nalder (14 disposals, five marks and 21 hit-outs) and Hayley Bullas (28 disposals, one goal, 19 kicks and eight tackles), also starred through the midfield in Essendon’s win.

COLLINGWOOD 2.4 | 2.8 | 4.10 | 5.10 (40)
NT THUNDER 1.0 | 1.1 | 1.1 | 1.1 (7)
By: Sophie Taylor

GOALS:
Collingwood:
S. Dargan, G. Lagioia, J. Lambert, J. Allen, C. Molloy
NT Thunder: J. Hewett

BEST:
Collingwood:
B. Bonnici, B. Davey, G. Lagioia, K. Lynch, J. Allen, S. King
NT Thunder: J. Hewett, N. Gore, K. Streader, A. Sheridan, H. Martin, A. Foley

It was Brianna Davey‘s first match in her new colours and she certainly did not disappoint as the Pies well and truly dominated against the thus far high-flying Thunder. The Magpies did a great job to limit the Thunder’s options forward, and without the likes of Chelsea Randall and Ebony Marinoff to create pressure through the midfield, the visitors had a hard time maintaining possession. Davey, Britt Bonnici and Jaimee Lambert were excellent across the field, dominating possession as the Pies swooped on goal, peppering the sticks with attempts. Despite plenty of opportunities inside 50 the side struggled to convert at times, fortunate that the Thunder were cracking under pressure. Chloe Molloy was a big target forward, kicking one goal but missing a further four while Lambert and Jordyn Allen kicked 1.1 apiece. Sarah Dargan and Gemma Lagioia managed 12 touches and a goal apiece. Jasmyn Hewett was best afield for Thunder on an average day, picking up 15 touches, five marks, five tackles and kicking Thunder’s only goal. Leading the disposal count with 25 touches was Angela Foley, while Nikki Gore had low possessions but laid 14 tackles.

WESTERN BULLDOGS 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 3.1 (19)
GEELONG 0.1 | 0.2 | 1.5 | 1.6 (12)
By: Sophie Taylor

GOALS:
Western Bulldogs:
S. Jolly, D. Marshall, A. Scott
Geelong: K. Darby

BEST:
Western Bulldogs:
B. Lochland, D. Marshall, B. Toogood, S. Jolly, N. McMahon, J. Davies
Geelong: D. Taylor, J. Ivey, R. Webster, R. Goring, C. Blakeway, O. Purcell

The matchup between Geelong and Western Bulldogs was an interesting one, with both sides struggling to hit the board in the low-scoring contest before the Dogs eventually held on for a seven point victory. The Dogs had the momentum early courtesy of a goal from Danielle Marshall, and despite Geelong’s efforts the home side kept the lead for the first half. The third saw the Cats get into the contest, all but peppering the posts with four scoring shots to lead by five points by the final change thanks to a goal from Kate Darby, before the Bulldogs found some of their early offensive pressure to kick two final quarter goals to win the match. Brooke Lochland (24 disposals, six marks, three tackles), Sarah Jolly (21 disposals, five marks, one goal) and Emma Mackay (21 touches, three marks, six tackles) dominated the contest for the Dogs, while Bonnie Toogood racked up 20 touches, nine marks and six tackles. Though not a big ball winner, Nicole McMahon provided plenty of ball in the ruck with 34 hit-outs to dominate the contest. For Geelong, Jordan Ivey, Amy McDonald, Olivia Purcell and Rebecca Webster all collected 21 touches, with Ivey’s clean hands awarding her with five marks while Purcell racked up seven tackles. Geelong Falcons’ Luka Lesoksy-Hay made her mark in her first match for the side, only managing nine touches but applying plenty of pressure with her nine tackles.

CASEY DEMONS 0.1 | 0.1 | 1.1 | 1.6 (12)
SOUTHERN SAINTS 1.0 | 1.4 | 1.4 | 3.5 (23)
By: Sophie Taylor

GOALS:
Casey:
C. Emonson
Southern Saints: T. Bohanna 2, C. Greiser

BEST:
Casey:
E. Birch, S. Lampard, C. Emonson, B. Jakobsson, K. Oates, M. Guerin
Southern Saints: S. Johnson, E. Keaney, T. Bohanna, M. McDonald, F. Steiert, K. O’Neill

It was a rough day out for the Casey Demons, going down by 11 points in a low scoring affair that dropped the side from top spot to fourth. The Southern Saints were smothering from the get-go, not allowing the Demons any space to move the ball and forcing errors across the field. Yet another side with only one goalkicker for the match, it was Chantel Emonson who stepped up to the plate to boot Casey’s only goal for the match in the third term, also racking up 17 touches and seven tackles in her best performance for the season so far. Despite missing out on Round 3, Maddy Guerin did not seem to miss a beat back in the side with 20 touches, three marks and six tackles. Libby Birch (20 disposals, four marks, 10 tackles) and Bianca Jakobsson (19 touches, three marks, six tackles) were also solid, while Harriet Cordner and Tyla Hanks provided plenty of defensive pressure laying 10 and nine tackles respectively. The Saints did not have much more of the ball than the Dees did, but certainly used it better on the day with three goals on the board, two courtesy of Tara Bohanna who generated plenty of the footy. Samantha Johnson was best on for the Saints, racking up 24 touches, four marks and four tackles while Poppy Kelly dominated hitouts with 29 – the same amount as Casey’s three ruck options combined. Alison Drennan (20 disposals, two marks, four tackles) and Alison Brown (15 disposals, nine tackles) also put in the hard yards, and fortunately did enough to deny the Demons a fourth win on the trot.

Darebin Falcons: BYE

2019 VFLW weekend Round 1b preview: Eight teams begin their campagins

AFTER the Southern Saints made a statement in the opening round with a victory over last year’s minor premiers Collingwood, the other Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s sides take to the field, as four games are played across the competition. The Western Bulldogs and Carlton have the bye, as do Williamstown, however the Seagulls are facing off against GWS GIANTS in an invitational match which will see the GIANTS match-up against some of the Victorian sides. Below are the teams and season previews.

ESSENDON v. CASEY DEMONS

Round 1 – 11/05/2019
11:30
Windy Hill

Essendon

B: 7. K. Hicks, 11. M. Warburton, 29. C. Laan
HB: 18. K. Heil, 27. A. Morcom, 21. K. McFadyen
C: 28. R. Svarc, 39. M. Fogas, 1. C. Ugle
HF: 25. L. Stepnell, 23. M. Collier, 24. S. Wilson
F: 3. M. DeMatteo, 38. E. Gogerly, 40. A. Moreen
R: 30. S. Nalder, 22. N. MacDonald, 8. H. Bullas
Int: 13. S. Audley, 2. I. Currenti, 43. G. Nanscawen, 4. A. Saundry
Emg: 45. E. Ashley-Cooper, 15. L. Caruso, 33. E. Hosking, 14. T. Zagontinos
23P: 31. J. Stassi

Casey Demons

B: 50. G. McLean, 13. K. Smith, 15. T. Tatterson
HB: 34. A. Kirkwood, 7. B. Jakobsson, 8. S. Lampard
C: 23. E. Birch, 16. M. Hogg, 22. M. Guerin
HF: 42. H. Bailey, 29. E. Zanker , 11. C. Emonson
F: 24. N. Garner, 40. H. Dyson, 27. B. Winbanks
R: 38. K. Bentvelzen , 41. R. Edmeades, 47. K. Guttridge
Int: 48. E. Archer, 9. A. Johnson, 32. A. McDonough, 54. K. Oates
Emg: 57. L. Davies, 51. A. Francese, 37. T. Nash, 62. G. Speedy
23P: 46. B. Pratt

 

DAREBIN v. RICHMOND

Round 1 – 11/05/2019
12:00
Swinburne Centre

Darebin

B: 32. G. Colvin, 21. K. Roe, 19. R. Hibbert
HB: 16. B. Kennedy, 56. R. Ashley, 43. N. Wolfe
C: 1. E. Honybun, 9. M. Eastman, 28. A. Morrow
HF: 17. S. Simpson, 22. G. Hammond, 7. L. Szigeti
F: 36. E. Buckley, 31. E. Gardner, 23. M. Wilson
R: 37. E. McLaughlin, 15. A. Lister, 33. J. Stanton
Int: 18. C. Byrne, 39. S. David, 25. C. Delbridge, 20. S. Fairchild
Emg: 46. R. Coombs, 55. M. Hubbard, 49. A. Ladson, 50. M. Suzuki
23P: 57. P. Kearney

Richmond

B: 26. E. Burry, 41. S. Last, 15. R. Miller
HB: 19. K. Dempsey, 2. P. Monahan, 34. A. Makur Chuot
C: 25. G. Egan, 5. M. Brancatisano, 8. J. Graham
HF: 33. J. Colwell, 16. C. Wakefield , 36. E. Paterno
F: 17. E. Gunn, 24. T. Stahl-Smith, 46. H. Ibrahim
R: 11. A. Edmonds, 13. A. Woodward, 1. J. Kennedy
Int: 43. G. Campbell, 30. D. Edward, 37. M. Klingbeil , 22. S. Marsh
Emg: 39. M. Lindsay , 32. I. Milford, 23. T. Smith
23P: 29. K. Jacques

 

HAWTHORN v. NT THUNDER

Round 1 – 12/05/2019
11:30
Box Hill City Oval

Hawthorn

B: 25. M. Hutchins, 6. T. Radan, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 13. E. Nixon, 40. E. MacDonald, 21. P. Randall
C: 33. E. Gilder, 24. R. Dillon, 5. C. Perera
HF: 12. N. Cormack , 26. C. Dyett, 18. E. Wroe
F: 17. A. Dowler, 2. K. Henderson, 30. A. Sarec
R: 22. T. Luke, 10. P. Peschke, 8. R. Beeson
Int: 14. O. Flanagan, 11. D. Haines, 15. B. Struylaart, 29. A. Tanner
Emg: 4. S. Carroll, 35. C. O’Donnell, 27. K. Scott
23P: 23. G. Macpherson

NT Thunder

B: 37. M. Rajcic, 33. T. Thorn, 31. A. Stanley
HB: 23. E. Miller, 9. L. Jeffrey, 26. C. Randall
C: 13. L. Roberts, , 12. K. Streader
HF: 11. J. Hickey, 10. A. Chittick, 18. T. Holtze
F: 27. A. Considine, 7. M. Ellis,
R: 20. J. Hewett, 3. A. Foley, 1. M. Johnston
Int: 17. S. Bishop, 24. S. Hoogeveen-Hill, 21. K. Irvine, 5. M. Roberts, 48. K. Rosenzweig, 34. D. Varnhagen
Emg: 32. B. Byers, 29. C. Deegan
23P: 2. J. Baird

 

MELBOURNE UNI v. GEELONG CATS

Round 1 – 12/05/2019
02:30
Melbourne University Main Oval

Melbourne Uni

B: 45. A. Arundel, 3. T. Mesiti, 17. E. Hay
HB: 22. J. Anwyl, 26. N. O’Connor, 32. C. Daniec
C: 53. J. Grierson, 36. N. Julian, 14. M. McDonald
HF: 38. K. Angelis, 51. J. Tancred, 40. A. Runnalls
F: 4. E. King, 57. A. Price, 18. A. Tupper
R: 5. K. Gillespie-Jones, 25. J. Garner, 35. J. Bruton
Int: 34. K. Cox, 47. M. Hare, 46. A. Roan , 52. M. Shone
Emg: 42. L. Amelung, 44. E. Bult, 30. S. Farmer, 41. J. Thomas
23P: 39. V. Saad

Geelong Cats

B: 49. E. Ramsay, 4. C. Blakeway, 23. H. Rowe
HB: 20. R. Pearce, 44. R. Goring, 11. J. Woollett
C: 3. A. McDonald, 27. R. Webster, 10. G. Rankin
HF: 45. M. Keryk, 17. G. Clarke, 9. T. Love
F: 42. B. Beckley, 8. K. Darby, 7. R. Benham
R: 1. R. Caris, 5. J. Ivey, 41. A. Haigh
Int: 14. N. French, 33. Z. Inei, 43. M. Maguire, 13. L. Taylor
Emg: 26. M. Boyd, 15. G. Deller, 16. O. Purcell
23P: 19. S. DeGiacomi

 

SEASON PREVIEWS: (Including byes)

CARLTON BLUES

Coach: Shannon McFerran
Last year: 7th (6-8)

The entire Carlton side would be buzzing with the AFL Women’s achievement of making the Grand Final and hoping to follow in the senior side’s footsteps. Last year the Blues showed signs within games, but could not quite put together a four quarter effort. They had an enormous amount of future AFL Women’s talent on their list last season with Tyla Hanks and Madeline Brancatisano (both Melbourne), Rene Caris (Geelong) and Celine Moody (Western Bulldogs) all poached by other clubs in the draft, while Abbie McKay, Chloe Dalton and Brooke Walker made the transition up to senior football at the Blues. Darcy Vescio won the leading goalkicker award after another terrific season inside 50 and look for her to be a key player in Shannon McFerran‘s side. With the close bond between Carlton and Northern Knights – and the strength of the Knights program in 2019 – do not be surprised for the Blues to be bolstered mid-season by the likes of Gabby Newton and Britney Gutknecht among others. They have picked up Marnie Jarvis and Taylah Manson from the Knights last year, and with continued improvement and recruitment of Madison Prespakis, Emerson Woods and Charlotte Wilson – who all had TAC Cup Girls and VFLW experience prior to being drafted, the Blues are a sleeper side that is not to be taken lightly.

 

CASEY DEMONS

Coach: Damien Keeping
Last year: 10th (5-9)

Despite a disappointing season on the ladder, Casey Demons were raided at the AFL Women’s draft with six drafted on the night, and a further one (Taylor Mesiti) prelisted. Jordyn Allen, Georgia Gourlay and Maddie Shevlin all swapped red and blue for black and white, while Casey Sherriff, Chantel Emonson and Shae Sloane showed enough to be picked up the Dees. The Demons have brought in some height with the recruitment of former Oakleigh Chargers and Essendon ruck, Bridie Winbanks, while putting an emphasis on retaining Melbourne AFLW listed players, something they did not have the luxury of having with many playing at Darebin given the players history with the Falcons. Now just Elise O’Dea, Lauren Pearce and Brooke Patterson are at the Falcons, so the Demons can have a stronger link to the AFLW side. Harriet Cordner and Maddison Gay were two big improvers of the 2019 AFLW season and will be ones to watch for the Demons in the upcoming VFLW season. A couple of key pickups for the Demons include Gippsland Power duo, Nikia Webber and Shanara Notman who could provide service up opposite ends. Overall look for the Demons to improve this year.

 

DAREBIN FALCONS

Coach: Michael Ericson (NEW)
Last year: 5th (8-6)

Darebin Falcons defied odds by finishing fifth last season and on track for finals up until a couple of rounds out from the post-season series. Michael Ericson has taken over from Jane Lange at the helm, and with it faces a new challenge of keeping the side competitive. O’Dea, Pearce and Patterson loom as the keys to the team, while Jamie Stanton who moved from Melbourne University – to align with her shift from North Melbourne to Gold Coast AFLW – is another AFLW listed player. Bridie Kennedy also joins the team from Carlton after having that AFLW experience, but mostly the Falcons will be relying on the yourh of the team and experienced VFLW players. Captain Stephanie Simpson is one of six players with 30 or more VFLW games under her belt which in the scheme of the relatively new competition is vital. Northern Knights, Nell Morris-Dalton and Ciara Fitzgerald have also joined Darebin, while former Eastern Ranges’ Lauren Szigeti will have benefited from her six games last year. Overall the Falcons will still give the top teams something to think about on their day, and rack up wins against the bottom handful, but it will be a test to be a genuine contender.

 

ESSENDON BOMBERS

Coach: Brendan Major
Last year: 13th (1-13)

It was fair to say Essendon did not have the season it had hoped for, winning just the one game and taking out the wooden spoon in season 2019. With limited AFL Women’s experience, the Bombers just lacked that top-end talent that other clubs had, and while the Bombers had that tackling ferocity through best and fairest winner, Hayley Bullas and the class and skill of future Adelaide AFLW premiership player, Danielle Ponter, they did not have enough talent across the board to compete with the sides that were flushed with AFLW signatures. The one win against Richmond was terrific to see, as it meant the Bombers got some reward for effort after a long season. Along with Bullas, Courtney Ugle and Simone Nalder have returned to the club, while former Murray Bushrangers’ defender and Eastern Allies representative, Eloise Ashley-Cooper will add some class to the side. The Bombers have four players with AFLW experience, including Maddy Collier and Hayley Trevean. With NAB League Girls club, Calder Cannons having some great talent coming through the ranks, expect the likes of Georgia Patrikios to open some eyes late in the season with her agility and goal sense, while Felicity Theodore, Alana Barba, Gloria Elamaly and Krstel Petrevski will add a mix of skill and toughness to the Bombers’ team. The Bombers will still lack the star quality other AFLW experienced teams have, so the goal will be to be more competitive and try and get off the bottom of the table this season.

 

GEELONG CATS

Coach: Natalie Wood (NEW)
Last year: 4th (10-3-1) Grand final loss

Natalie Wood has taken over from Paul Hood who opted to just focus on the AFLW side in the blue and white hoops, but has inherited a genuine premiership contender. After Geelong had fewer AFLW listed players compared to others last season, they now have 20 on their VFLW books, topped up by local players including former Geelong Falcons premiership players, Tarryn Love, Zoe Inei and Sachi DeGiacomi who managed six games at VFLW level between them last season. They have not only retained the majority of the their list, but picked up teh likes of Julia Crockett-Grills (Hawthorn), Rebecca Webster (Melbourne University) and Sophie Van De Heuvel (Williamstown), keeping them in the Geelong system. It is hard not to picture a scenario where Geelong are not in finals considering the now deep and strong bond the players have and having reached the grand final, before strengthening their list even more. The Geelong AFLW side made finals in its first year and expect the VFLW side to follow suit with the same talent on its list.

 

HAWTHORN HAWKS

Coach: Patrick Hill
Last year: 2nd (12-2) Premiers

The reigning premiers had a number of players drafted including Rising Star Jayde Van Dyk, Emerson Woods and Mikala Cann in what was a perfectly timed season, finishing second, pouncing on Collingwood in the semi-final, and then making the most of their opportunities against Geelong in the decider. In great news for the Hawks, Van Dyk has returned to the club for the VFLW season, as have key forward Phoebe McWilliams (Geelong), Rebecca Beeson and Pepa Randall (both GWS GIANTS). With super coach, Patrick Hill at the reigns again, the Hawks will be predicted to be thereabouts again and a genuine premiership contender. Sarah Perkins will be primed for a big season in the brown and gold, hoping to force her way back onto an AFLW list after being delisted by the Crows following the 2019 season. The forward combination between Perkins and McWilliams is as good as it gets in the competition, and with Eastern Rangers youngsters Serena Gibbs and Laura McClelland in the side later in the year, expect the reigning premiers to have a potent forward line. Gippsland Power’s Maddison Shaw has also joined the Hawks, and is one of just two 2001-birth players on the list. A huge contender.

 

MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY MUGARS

Coach: Scott Gowans
Last year: 9th (5-9)

The Mugars were up and down at times throughout the 2018 VFLW season, finishing with five wins from 14 games, but having some great young talent come into the side last in the year, including Prepsakis and Webster who were both drafted by AFLW clubs. Sophie Abbatangelo, Ashleigh Riddell, Maddison Smith, Chloe Haines, Libby Haines and Nicole Bresnehan all stepped up to the senior side, with many showing their ability to adapt to the faster pace of the game. After a huge season that ultimately fell short of a finals berth in the AFLW, North Melbourne and Melbourne Uni coach, Scott Gowans will be keen to continue the form shown by the Kangaroos at AFLW level, into the VFLW system. Emma Kearney was terrific for the Mugars last year along with Kaitlyn Ashmore, and expect them to be key players once again. They have added experience to their list with Hawthorn duo, Tahni Nestor and Kim Ebb, as well as Essendon’s Jessica Anwyl who showed promising signs last season in the red and black. Throw in league best and fairest winner, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner and Jenna Bruton, and the Mugars have to be considered one of the premiership favourites. All up they have 23 AFL Women’s listed players and will be another tough team to beat.

 

NORTHERN TERRITORY THUNDER

Coach: Heidi Thompson (NEW)
Last year: 3rd (11-3) – Semi-final loss

Much was spoken about the Thunder and whether or not the experienced top-heavy side with Adelaide Crows, could be allowed to play so much talent at once. Early in the season it looked like the Thunder would skip through the season, but in the end, ultimately fell in the first week of finals to the Cats. After missing out on her AFLW dream last year, Janet Baird is the biggest junior recruit to the Thunder in season 2019, with the NTFL Women’s top player signing on at the Thunder for the upcoming season. She joins the likes of Madeline Gault, Arthurina Moreen and Tabitha May, who all played for Central Allies in 2018, but missed out on a chance in the AFLW. The top-end and upcoming talent at the Thunder is clear, with Ebony Marinoff, Stevie-Lee Thompson, Marijana Rajcic, Renee Forth, Eloise Jones and Sarah and Jess Allen among a ridiculous among of Crows talent in the side. They were arguably a premiership favourite early in 2018, and should be in that place once again given the improvement of many of the Crows through the 2019 AFLW premiership year. With Heidi Thompson now taking the reigns from Tim Weatherald, it will be interesting to see how she balances the AFLW talent throughout the season.

 

RICHMOND TIGERS

Coach: Tom Hunter
Last year: 12th (4-10)

The Tigers had a disappointing season in 2018, finishing twelfth and losing to Essendon, the only side to do so. They, like the Bombers just lacked that star quality in the 2018 VFLW season, but if their 2019 AFLW trade period is anything to go by, expect them to shoot up the ladder in season 2019. Jessica Kennedy and Jacqueline Graham were two standouts for the Tigers, it was just a case of adding depth to the obvious talent that was coming through the ranks. While some will play limited games, the likes of Monique Conti, Katie Brennan and Sabrina Frederick make for a scary forward line. With Richmond able to pre-list players this season, every player on the list will be keen to impress in front of the Tigers’ hierarchy and see what they can do to try and get an AFLW spot for the 2020 season. Overlooked Murray Bushrangers, Tamara Smith, Grace Egan and Sophie Damon are back at Punt Road, while Kodi Jacques has also joined the club with the Bendigo Pioneers’ midfielder looking to stake her claim this year. Former Magpies, Shayla Marsh and Hannah McLaren will don the yellow and black this year, making the Tigers stocked with young talent that will create run and excitement throughout the 2019 season. Expect the Tigers to rise up the ladder, and while they might lack the AFLW talent other teams have outside their forward 50, they could overtake a number of the clubs around their level in season 2018, this year.

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS

Coach: Sean Kavanagh (NEW)
Last year: 6th (7-7)

Sean Kavanagh has taken over from Debbie Lee who is now VFLW General Manager at the club, and will be looking to reshape the side that has lost some serious AFLW talent. Conti always spent the majority of the season playing basketball, while Brennan will be a big lose inside 50. However with 20 AFLW players on their list, they still have more than enough talent and experience to get them by. Their three top-age players they have picked up from NAB League Girls clubs are Sophie Molan, Ella Wood and Elisabeth Georgostathis which is arguably the best trio of pick-ups across the league. Molan will make an immediate impact, while Wood and Georgostathis can play both off half-back and through the middle. They will be unavailable during the AFLW National Championships, but expect them to show their talent. Overager Georgia Pidgeon will also provide some height for the Bulldogs, while a host of local players joins the likes of Ellie Blackburn, Brooke Lochland, Isabel Huntington and Deanna Berry as key players. When talking about experience, the Bulldogs have 14 players with 30 or more games, making them a very experienced side in the competition, and one that while they might not be in the top handful, could still challenge for finals.

 

WILLIAMSTOWN

Coach: Amy Catterall
Last year: 11th (4-10)

Williamstown finished eleventh in 2019, notching up the four wins, but had some serious top-end talent at the Gulls’ disposal. Duffin won the league best and fairest despite the team struggles, while Garner and Bruton were stars for Williamstown before emulating that for the Kangaroos at AFLW level. Big question marks remain over the Seagulls with all three departing the club. It means the load falls onto their VFLW listed players shoulders and puts them in a similar position to Essendon and Richmond last year. They had a good win over the Western Bulldogs in a pre-season practice match, and can have the continuity that teams with restricted AFLW numbers cannot. However this year is set to be a massive challenge for the Seagulls after losing so much top-end talent, with Demon, Aliesha Newman being a key signing – the only AFLW player on the list – and likely to cause headaches inside 50 for opposition defences. In doing so, there might be some serious youngsters step up and then make a case to land at an AFLW club, like former Bendigo Pioneers’ captain Megan Williamson, Eastern Ranges’ tall Tahlia Merrett and Bendigo Pioneers’ key defender Kate Douglass.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 16

THE home and away season comes to an end with a number of teams jostling for positions both within the top four and outside the top four. Despite Collingwood, Hawthorn, NT Thunder and Geelong being secure in the top four and thus having a finals position, there is still plenty to play for as the teams fight for home finals. Teams outside the top four look to end the season on a high and build, moving forward into next season.

 

Southern Saints vs Richmond

Saturday August 25, 11am, SkyBus Stadium

Two sides that have disappointed in season 2018 battle in what will be their season finale. The Saints can finish as high as sixth with a win and other results going their way while a loss could see them drop as low as tenth. The Tigers on the other hand can secure 11th position with a win, however a loss accompanied by a Williamstown victory could see them fall to twelfth (second last). The Saints were held goalless against the ladder-leading Pies last week, despite winning plenty of the footy around the contest. Alison Brown continued her strong stretch of play with a 24-possession performance. Tara Bohanna will have another opportunity to work her way up the goal kicking leader board, and will be looking to bounce back after a poor performance last week. Richmond should be well-prepared for the contest after it enjoyed a bye last week. The Tigers put together a strong performance in the last outing, unfortunately falling to Williamstown by one point. Many of their season-long issues seemed to be resolved in the contest, with their forward line functioning extremely well, kicking five goals, which was their highest score in quite some time. Expect a big game from Phoebe Monahan, who will look to put the finishing touches on a superb season.

 

Casey Demons vs Collingwood

Saturday August 25, 11:30am, Casey Fields

Collingwood enter the final round with an opportunity to clinch top spot and a home final in the first week of September. The Pies limp into the final round, with a number of key players missing the home and away finale, including Sophie Alexander, who has been a pivotal part of their success so far this season. Jaimee Lambert will return to the line-up this week as she looks to pick up right where she left off. An impressive outing last week saw Vic Metro representative, Katie Lynch put together her best game of the season with a 24-possession game, adding to what is a huge list of contributors for the side throughout the year. Casey burst out the blocks last week, taking a quarter-time lead against the flag-fancies, Geelong in what looked to be a looming upset. Unfortunately for the Demons, they only managed one behind for the next three quarters as Geelong ran out 37-point winners. The Demons will be hoping to end the season on a high note, with the potential to move up to sixth position with a win. Despite not playing finals, the biggest success of Casey’s season without a doubt has been the development of youngster, Eden Zanker. Zanker showed plenty of promise over the summer in the AFLW season and has continued to progress nicely, showing she will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

 

Hawthorn vs Geelong

Saturday August 25, 11:30am, Box Hill City Oval

The game of the round takes place on Saturday morning with the Hawks playing host to the Cats in Box Hill. There is plenty at stake for both teams, with the winner assuring themselves at least second place and potentially the minor premiership if Collingwood was to lose. Hawthorn recorded its biggest victory of the year last week, defeating the Thunder and ending its win streak, which in turn secured the Hawks a finals spot and the opportunity to leap-frog the Thunder once all is said and done. Phoebe McWilliams was damaging in front of goal, kicking three goals from her five opportunities to go along with 12 possessions. Emma Mackie also continued her run of form with 24 possessions and two goals, while Rebecca Beeson was a ball magnet through the middle of the ground, with game-high 30 possessions. The Cats took care of business against the Demons last week and will need to bring the same intensity they showed after quarter time if they are to beat the in form Hawthorn. The win should fill the Cats with confidence as star player, Richelle Cranston had a quiet game by her lofty standards, but it was the role players who stepped up and led the side to victory. Mia-Rae Clifford produced her second consecutive strong performance, kicking two goals and leading the Geelong forward line. This is a huge game which will shape the entire finals series and give both teams a taste of finals-type pressure.

 

Darebin vs Western Bulldogs

Saturday August 25, 12pm, Bill Lawry Oval

The Falcons are locked into fifth place, whilst the Bulldogs can secure sixth with a victory and ensure they do not drop down the ladder. After starting the season with no wins and four losses, the Bulldogs put together six incredible weeks of footy to put themselves at six wins and four losses, entering the final three games of the season. Two poor performances have resulted in two losses and the Dogs now find themselves eliminated from the finals. The Bulldogs have proven their best footy can match up with the best of the best and the champions of AFLW will be looking to end on a high and show the rest of the competition they will be a force next season and beyond. For Darebin, its loss last week ended any faint hopes the side had of playing a part in September. The absence of three key players, Elise O’Dea, Jessica Dal Pos and Hannah Mouncey, was ultimately too much to overcome. O’Dea and Dal Pos return to the line-up this week and should provide a huge lift for the Falcons. Melbourne AFLW teammates, Lauren Pearce and Lily Mithen were unbelievable last week and will once again be key if the side is able to pull off the victory.

 

Essendon vs Carlton

Saturday August 25, 3pm, Windy Hill

The Bombers secured the dreaded wooden spoon last week after their loss to Williamstown. A win against the Blues would end their inaugural season on a high, as the club continues to build their list. With only one win to date, on paper, the Bombers’ season has been a disappointment. However, looking beyond the results it can be viewed as a positive. Hayley Bullas has proven herself to be relentless in and around the contest and has truly emerged as a star. Simone Nalder had an impressive performance in the ruck last week and showed she can be an integral part of the line-up in the future. Carlton’s season began with so much promise but much like its AFLW campaign, it will end in disappointment. The Blues have put together a good patch of footy, winning three of their past five games, including a dominant win over Darebin last week. The Blues’ accuracy in front of goal continues to be an issue however, kicking eight behinds to half-time before finally kicking their first goal. Darcy Vescio will have an opportunity to win the goalkicking title this week with a strong performance to cap off another strong campaign. Gabriella Pound has been a shining light for the Blues over the past month, cementing her spot in the side and putting together some nice games in the back half of the season.

 

Melbourne Uni vs Williamstown

Sunday August 25, 2:30pm, Melbourne Uni Main Oval

The final game of the home and away season takes place on Sunday afternoon when Melbourne University battles Williamstown. The Seagulls have won their previous two contests after only having won one game prior. The big three starred for the Seagulls, as Jasmine Garner kicked two goals from her five shots on goal, Jess Duffin had another dominating performance with 28 possessions, and Jenna Bruton gathered 22 possessions. The three have starred all year for the side and will be lining up against a number of teammates for the next AFLW season, as they will be playing for North Melbourne. Melbourne University dominated against the Western Bulldogs last week to record its fifth win of the season and continue its late season resurgence up the ladder. Having won their past two games, the Mugars now have the opportunity to move up to as high as sixth with a win. Madison Prespakis and Ashleigh Riddell starred in the side’s win last week, with both amassing over 25 possessions. They’ll once again be key in Melbourne Uni’s quest to end the season with three consecutive victories. North Melbourne recruit and reigning AFLW Best and Fairest, Emma Kearney will be also be a key inclusion into the line-up.