Tag: Vaomua Laloifi

2020 AFL Women’s Round 2 preview: Expansion sides to face off as inaugural sides do battle under lights tonight

ROUND 2 of the AFL Women’s is sure to bring plenty of big clashes and ignite old rivalries with Collingwood and Carlton set to do battle on Sunday while Fremantle and West Coast will take place in their inaugural Western Derby.

Friday, February 14

Western Bulldogs v. Melbourne at Whitten Oval, 7:40pm, AEDT

Taylah Melki

With one win on the board each expect a high intensity battle from the opening bounce in search of each teams’ respective second win. The Demons announced themselves to the rest of the competition last round, downing premiership favourites North Melbourne by two points and will be riding a wave of confidence heading into their Round 2 match-up. Similarly, the Dogs inflicted their fair share of pain on newcomers St Kilda with an impressive 25-point win. The Bulldogs were slick from the beginning, exploiting their oppositions’ inexperience and making them pay while the Dees fought hard to just get over the line and set up the makings of what could be a strong season.

After waiting 693 days the return of Daisy Pearce was exactly what the doctor ordered for Melbourne and their fans. The talented midfielder-turned-defender was right back in the mix, throwing her weight around and winning plenty of the pill around the contest, something that was sorely missed last season. Karen Paxman is as experienced as they come, able to sense the moment and have an impact while the likes of Elise O’Dea and Lily Mithen could prove a handful for the Dogs who lost a couple of key players during the off-season. Forward, Tegan Cunningham will be looking to have a big game after failing to trouble the scorers last round, only registering a point. But if Cunningham and Kate Hore get going the two could pose a dominant force inside forward 50, plus throw in the likes of Eden Zanker and the Dees have a lot to work with.

With Katie Brennan and Monique Conti both departing the kennel, the likes of Ellie Blackburn and Kirsty Lamb have taken their game to another level and will be hoping to have the same dominant impact as last round. Blackburn is a class act, able to read the play, apply strong tackles and consistently get involved while Hannah Scott has upped the ante. Number one draft pick Gabby Newton did not look out of place in Round 1 with her contested ball work and cleanliness, but will be keen to prove it was not a one-off with a strong showing against Melbourne. Up forward, Bonnie Toogood will have to deliver for the Dogs if they are to apply scoreboard pressure and get over the line.

Tip: Melbourne by 15.

WESTERN BULLDOGS

B: A.Gogos 36 L.Spark 11
HB: K.Herron 31 E.Gamble 14 N.Ferres 16
C: B.Hunt 21 K.Lamb 27 G.Lagioia 12
HF: G.Newton 5 B.Toogood 8 K.McLeod 6
F: E.Georgostathis 17 D.Berry 7
Foll: K.Rennie 24 E.Blackburn – C 2 A.McCarthy 15
I/C: E.Brown 9 D.Marshall 26 N.Callinan 10 H.Scott 22 A.Van Oosterwijck 28
Emerg: N.Morris-Dalton 25 H.Munyard 20

In: E.Brown, A.Van Oosterwijck
Out: I.Huntington (concussion), C.Moody (ankle)

MELBOURNE

B: L.Birch 9 M.Downie 2
HB: S.Lampard 8 S.Goldrick 23 D.Pearce – C 6
C: S.Heath 30 T.Hanks 28 C.Emonson 11
HF: K.Hore 10 E.Zanker 29 S.Scott 12
F: T.Cunningham 1 A.Newman 16
Foll: H.Cordner 21 K.Paxman 4 M.Gay 3
I/C: G.Colvin 32 C.Sherriff 18 N.McEvoy 17 A.Kemp 36 E.O’Dea 5
Emerg: B.Tarrant 20 M.Guerin 22

In: N.McEvoy
Out: M.Guerin

Saturday, February 15 

North Melbourne v. GWS GIANTS at University of Tasmania Stadium, 3:10pm AEDT

Michael Alvaro

North Melbourne will be looking to make good on a shock Round 1 loss when it hosts the GWS GIANTS in Launceston. Premiership points may soon become a premium for Scott Gowans‘ side as it looks to top a tricky Conference A, and the pre-season premiership fancies will expect to pick up their first set in this clash. But the GIANTS are one of the few sides which can match the ‘Roos for experience throughout their squad, and already ground out a win against league newcomer, Gold Coast in an opening round thriller. While North’s home ground advantage paid dividends in its inaugural season, the GIANTS were already made to endure tough conditions last time out, which should put them in good stead to tackle the often-windy Launceston afternoons. Last year’s result – which swung convincingly to the way of the ‘Roos – will also be in the back of players’ minds, but North knows it cannot take anything for granted.

The debut of Lisa Steane looms as one of the stories of the weekend, with the 24-year-old teacher surprised mid-week with news of her inclusion while working. Steane’s replacement of Ellie Brush in the side is the only change for GWS, with its strong and experienced core remaining for what should be a tough test. The midfield combination of skipper Alicia Eva and young gun Alyce Parker will again look to lead from the engine room, and their work will be cut out for them given the depth and strength of North’s midfield. The Kangaroos have made two changes as Daria Bannister (collarbone) and Bethany Lynch come out of the side for Jas Grierson and local girl, Abbey Green, whose inclusion could free up Emma King to play a more permanent key forward role. It makes the North Melbourne forward line one to behold, with a couple of capable tall targets and the likes of Daisy Bateman and Katlyn Ashmore at their feet.

Given how deep the hosts’ talent runs through midfield and around the ground, they are rightly fancied to bounce back to more typical form. The ‘Roos should also take solace in the feats of reigning premier Adelaide, as the Crows overcame a surprise first round loss in 2019 to go undefeated throughout the rest of the season. While last week’s outcome should drive North Melbourne to better results, the pressure will be on given not many would expect GWS to trouble them a whole lot. Nonetheless, the Kangaroos should fare much better in this clash against a side which looks like battling for mid-conference status, so do not be surprised if a statement is made.

NORTH MELBOURNE

B: T.Randall 16 B.Gibson 18
HB: T.Nestor 24 D.Hardiman 31 A.Gilroy 8
C: J.Trend 21 E.Kearney – C 9 A.Riddell 7
HF: S.Abbatangelo 1 K.Gillespie-Jones 5 K.Ashmore 10
F: E.King 60 D.Bateman 11
Foll: V.Saad 39 J.Garner 25 J.Bruton 35
I/C: E.King 4 S.Wright 17 J.Grierson 19 E.Gavalas 22 A.Green 26
Emerg: M.King 23 B.Lynch 20

In: J.Grierson, A.Green
Out: D.Bannister (collarbone), B.Lynch

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

B: P.Randall 21 T.Hetherington 9
HB: R.Beeson 6 L.Stephenson 12 A.Lister 14
C: E.Bennetts 22 A.Eva – C 2 N.Barr 8
HF: H.Zreika 24 C.Staunton 13 J.Hicks 5
F: R.Privitelli 19 I.Nielsen 25
Foll: E.McKinnon 23 J.Dal Pos 7 A.Parker 3
I/C: Y.Bonner 27 L.Steane 20 J.Allan 39 A.Schmidt 11 B.Tully 36
Emerg: T.Mackrill 32 S.Halvorsen 30

In: L.Steane
Out: E.Brush (unavailable)

Tip: North Melbourne by 20 points

Gold Coast v. Richmond at Metricon Stadium, 5:10pm AEDT

Taylah Melki

Two expansion teams are set to face off in an exciting clash at Metricon Stadium, the Suns’ first home game of the season. Both teams will be looking for their inaugural AFLW win, meaning there is plenty at stake for each side. The Suns were highly competitive over the weekend, narrowly edged out by the Giants by a mere one point while the Tigers simply had no answers for the rampaging Blues. Gold Coast went down in trying conditions with rain and wind impacting their ability to handle the ball cleanly and hit the scoreboard. On the other hand, Richmond were simply outclassed – unable to combat the torrential storm that was Carlton credit to their onslaught of pressure in the forward 50. But the girls in yellow and black know how to fight, not willing to be bullied across the field and will be hoping to assert themselves on a relatively young and inexperienced Gold Coast Suns outfit.

Richmond has a plethora of star power across the footy field, none bigger than captain Katie Brennan who has showcased her ability to turn a game on its head. Brennan will have to push up through the midfield, more to give players a chop out and provide added support despite her best work being done inside forward 50 with her leading patterns and strong hands. Full forward Sabrina Frederick could prove to be a handful for the Suns given her strength around the contest and ability to gobble up anything that comes her way while the nifty Monique Conti has shown she is all class with ball in hand, able to hit a target from a mile away. Phoebe Monahan was a ball magnet last round along with Christina Bernardi. The two will have to combine once again if they are to trouble the Suns.

Despite not being top-loaded in a-list class the Suns have a wealth of young up and coming stars that can do damage anywhere on the field. Youngsters in Serene Watson and Ellie Hampson offer plenty of excitement for the Suns’ line-up which could give them that upper hand thanks to their raw talent and unpredictability. Lauren Aherns led from the front last round, recording an equal team-high 15 touches running around ragged and burrowing in hard while Jamie Stanton was strong across the ground for the Suns. Captain Leah Kaslar will have her work cut out for her up against a strong Tigers side.

Tip: Richmond by 5.

GOLD COAST

B: J.Pregelj 42 J.Hickey 4
HB: S.Virgo 22 L.Ahrens 7 S.Watson 14
C: T.Ernst 19 J.Stanton 17 C.Hammond 29
HF: P.Parker 1 K.Surman 26 L.Kaslar – C 11
F: E.Hampson 21 B.Perry 16
Foll: L.Bella 2 J.Yorston 5 H.Dunn 24
I/C: J.Hewett 20 M.Ritson 12 S.Riley 8 D.Heslop 25 K.Howarth 23
Emerg: T.Thorn 15 T.Groves-Little 3

In: E.Hampson
Out: A.Hamilton

RICHMOND

B: R.Miller 15 G.Seymour 28
HB: S.Sansonetti 18 P.Monahan 2 A.Makur Chuot 34
C: K.Jacques 10 K.Brennan – C 3 H.Burchell 9
HF: S.Frederick 14 C.Wakefield 8 T.Stahl 24
F: L.McClelland 16 C.Bernardi 6
Foll: A.Edmonds 11 M.Conti 4 A.Woodward 13
I/C: L.Tesoriero 7 L.Bailey 12 S.Molan 1 M.Brancatisano 5 G.Campbell 43
Emerg: E.Wood 17 C.Fitzgerald 26

In: G.Campbell
Out: H.Whitford (injured)

West Coast Eagles v. Fremantle Dockers at Optus Stadium 7:10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

The Western Derby is the pride of Western Australia and for the first time ever at AFL Women’s level, the two sides can continue the tradition. West Coast and Fremantle go head-to-head in a Saturday night blockbuster with both teams coming off varying form. Last week, West Coast looked strong up against Collingwood at Victoria Park, booting the first goal and holding the Magpies scoreless in the opening term, before Collingwood took control and ran away comfortable victors in the end. Fremantle on the other hand did finish the job, knocking over fellow finalist Geelong in Western Australia in an effort that saw youngster, Sabreena Duffy win Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the week with four of her side’s six goals in the win. Both in Conference B – the more competitive conference – every win is absolutely crucial and neither side will want to relent against its biggest rival.

West Coast is the new kid on the block and they showed last week that they will be competitive, it will just be for how long. Dana Hooker plays her former side this week and it will unlikely faze the star who booted the club’s inaugural – and in the end, only – goal last week with a clever snap out of the pack. She was simply sensational across the four quarters, while Emma Swanson was also impressive with the pair leading from the front as vice-captain and captain respectively. Mikayla Bowen brought her tackling pressure from the Under 18s up to the elite level, while Imahra Cameron showed she has a nice set of wheels to burst away from stoppages and cause headaches for the opposition. Add in the smooth skills of McKenzie Dowrick coming off half-back and the reliability of Chantella Perera and Talia Radan on the last line and the Eagles are strong defensively. The Eagles have made just the one change for the this game, with the club’s social media coordinator Kate Orme making her debut for the injured Ashton Hill.

The expansion side will need to be strong defensively against a forward line that has plenty of excitement and X-factor, including Roxanne Roux, who showed exactly why she was the first West Australian taken last year with her high leaping and booming kick. She is a franchise player at centre half-forward, and with fellow teenage talent Mim Strom, the Dockers have a couple of gems they can build a side around through the ruck and key forward spots. Also up forward is Duffy who was simply sensational, and Ebony Antonio, who with partner and captain Kara and tackling machine Kiara Bowers rotating inside 50, there is no shortage of scoring options. The Dockers have made two changes for the team in Round 2 with Leah Mascall and debutant Bianca Webb coming in for Steph Cain – who unfortunately did her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) – and Mia-Rae Clifford. The question this season will be around the Dockers’ defence given the young rucks have already earned their stripes, but against an Eagles side still looking to gel, they should be able to contain their yellow and blue state-based rivals. In order to win they will want to shut down Hooker and restrict the flow forward while putting plenty of pressure on the opposition defence. Given many of the Eagles have come from the Dockers, the remaining Fremantle players would love nothing more than to get one-up on them early in the season and it will likely happen.

Tip: Fremantle by 35.

WEST COAST

B: C.Perera 27 T.Radan 26
HB: B.Smith 14 S.McDonald 35 M.Dowrick 5
C: M.Collier 8 I.Cameron 19 N.Kelly 12
HF: A.Atkins 9 K.Gibson 2 M.Bowen 1
F: G.Kelly 15 D.Pisconeri 11
Foll: P.Laurie 25 D.Hooker 17 E.Swanson – C 13
I/C: T.Tester 23 C.Guard 4 H.Bullas 24 B.Devlyn 7 K.Orme 32
Emerg: E.Bonser 6 C.Davidson 33

In: K.Orme
Out: A.Hill (knee)

FREMANTLE

B: J.Cuthbertson 29 L.Pugh 32
HB: A.Stannett 24 E.Gooch 8 L.Mascall 14
C: L.Rohde 11 H.Miller 19 J.Stewart 7
HF: E.Antonio 12 R.Roux 17 S.Duffy 6
F: G.O’Sullivan 22 G.Houghton 27
Foll: M.Strom 21 K.Bowers 2 K.Antonio – C 15
I/C: K.Flood 44 B.Webb 26 P.Seth 18 K.Grieve 13 A.Sharp 1
Emerg: E.O’Driscoll 3 M.Clifford 4

In: L.Mascall, B.Webb
Out: S.Cain (knee), M.Clifford

Sunday, February 16

Geelong Cats v. Brisbane Lions at GMHBA Stadium, 1:10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

This Conference A clash on Sunday looms as one of the more intriguing contests of the weekend. The teams head into the match with differing results from Round 1, as Brisbane toppled the Crows at home while the Cats fell to a Duffy-inspired Dockers outfit in the west. Heading into the clash, Geelong will start favourites against the current conference leaders, playing at home and with more experience in the line-up. For the Lions, they have youthful excitement about them and will worry a few teams. They will not win every game in the manner they did in Round 1, but you get the feeling they will push most teams and show that they are building something special for the future.

The Cats have not had to make any major changes to its line-up that fell to the Dockers last Sunday evening, bringing in Rene Caris and Maddy Boyd to their extended squad. Last week it was the developing midfield of Olivia Purcell and Rebecca Webster, teaming with fellow 19-year-olds, Sophie Van De Heuvel and Nina Morrison, while Julia Crockett-Grills found plenty of the ball as well. They are still missing All Australian defender, Meg McDonald from their back five, but the Cats have the reliable Mel Hickey and Maddy McMahon helping youngsters Millie Brown and Denby Taylor. Geelong is growing a great culture of youth all coming through together, and with Phoebe McWilliams and Richelle Cranston bringing experience to the forward half, there is a nice balance of talent that should get the job done in this match.

Brisbane does not necessarily have the names on paper that Geelong has, but some of the players will become household names sooner rather than later. Jess Wuetschner is a big loss for the Lions, having been rested after being struck by lightning on the eve of the season. While she got through the first game, the Lions have erred on the side of caution for a game-by-game basis. Coming into the side on an extended bench are Gabby Collingwood, Jordan Zanchetta and Jade Ellenger. Of the trio, Ellenger has played just the two games and is one of a number of teenagers who are in the Lions line-up alongside recent draftees, Lily Postlethwaite and Isabel Dawes, and second year players, Nat Grider and Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw. Sophie Conway made a successful return from a long term knee injury last round, and along with Ally Anderson and Emily Bates providing plenty of run and hardness through the midfield. Throw in the impenetrable Kate Lutkins at centre half-back and they have enough about them to worry the Cats.

Tip: Geelong by 15.

GEELONG

B: M.Brown 19 M.McMahon 24
HB: M.Keryk 45 M.Hickey – C 18 D.Taylor 28
C: S.Van De Heuvel 27 R.Cranston 30 N.Morrison 9
HF: J.Crockett-Grills 6 M.Maguire 7 R.Garing 12
F: P.McWilliams 23 J.Ivey 5
Foll: A.O’Connor 14 R.Webster 21 O.Purcell 16
I/C: A.McDonald 3 D.Higgins 2 G.Rankin 10 R.Goring 44 G.Clarke 17 R.Caris 1 M.Boyd 26

In: R.Caris, M.Boyd
Out: None

BRISBANE

B: N.Grider 10 S.Campbell 20
HB: R.Lugg 11 K.Lutkins 13 C.Svarc 25
C: E.Zielke – C 8 B.Koenen 3 S.Webb 4
HF: L.Arnell 16 J.Tawhiao-Wardlaw 30 S.Conway 12
F: D.Davidson 14 G.Bodey 15
Foll: J.Keeffe 27 A.Anderson 18 E.Bates 1
I/C: I.Dawes 17 M.Moloney 28 G.Collingwood 7 O.O’Dwyer 9 L.Postlethwaite 6 J.Zanchetta 2 J.Ellenger 5

In: G.Collingwood, J.Zanchetta, J.Ellenger
Out: J.Wuetschner (managed)

Carlton v. Collingwood at Ikon Park, 3:10pm AEDT

Michael Alvaro

Traditional rivals and Conference B hopefuls Carlton and Collingwood are set to do battle at Ikon Park for a four time in their histories, in what promises to be a test of either sides’ true credentials. Both teams come in having feasted on competition newcomers in their opening fixtures, both running out on home turf in comfortable starts to the season. Bizarrely, last week’s season opener was an away match for Carlton, but the Blues once again hold home status against the ‘Pies in this match-up. While the extended history between these two powerhouse clubs is storied, their AFLW meetings have been much more one-sided – with Carlton taking out all three fixtures but the Magpies getting closer to a win every year. The Blues also fared much better in season 2019, embarking on a grand final run while Collingwood floundered and took out the Conference B wooden spoon. But with marked improvement already shown, Collingwood has the elite talent to take it to the Blues.

Much of the off-season talk and narrative coming in to the match surrounded ex-Carlton skipper and new Magpie, Bri Davey. Unfortunately for both neutrals and ‘Pies fans, the 2017 All Australian is set to miss this game after picking up a lower leg injury in Round 1. Davey’s sole omission opens the door for one of Kristy Stratton, Eliza Hynes, or Ebony O’Dea to enter the winning lineup, which has struggled at times to fill out depth outside of its formidable spine. With Davey out, the emphasis down back will be firmly placed on the pairing of Stacey Livingstone and Ash Brazill, while Brittany Bonnici and skipper Stephanie Chiocci will have to dig in hard to combat a powerhouse Carlton midfield. The ruck battle between Sharni Layton and Carlton’s pairing of Breann Moody and Alison Downie will also be one to watch, with Layton’s ability to provide use to her midfielders potentially key to shutting down a usually dominant Carlton engine room.

Twins Sarah and Jess Hosking will take the field together for the first time this year in navy blue, as the latter slots in on the wing while Jess Edwards and Abbie McKay help make up an extended bench. The Carlton core of Madison Prespakis, co-captain Katie Loynes, Grace Egan, and Georgia Gee remains, while the forward targets of Tayla Harris, Darcy Vescio, and Nicola Stevens should also work to stretch the aerial capabilities of Collingwood’s back five. Round 1 Rising Star nominee Lucy McEvoy is also primed to back up an eye-catching debut performance as part of the midfield-forward rotation, only adding to the hardness of Carlton’s overall unit. The only potential concern for the Blues may come down back as Jayde Van Dyk exits the side through injury, but the half back line of Kerryn Harrington, Lauren Brazzale, and popular mature-age draftee Vaomua Laloifi has already proven solid and will have to be as much against the likes of Chloe Molloy and Sarah Dargan. While this fixture has been somewhat of a mismatch in previous years, the increasing number of intriguing match-ups on across the field suggests this one should be a corker, with the Pies looking to elevate their game against the better-established Blues.

CARLTON

B: G.Pound 6 C.Wilson 20
HB: K.Harrington – C 9 V.Laloifi 8 L.Brazzale 12
C: C.Dalton 15 G.Gee 19 J.Hosking 11
HF: N.Stevens 21 T.Harris 7 L.McEvoy 13
F: A.Downie 30 J.Doonan 26
Foll: B.Moody 16 G.Egan 1 M.Prespakis 4
I/C: S.Hosking 10 N.Plane 32 B.Walker 14 K.Loynes 2 D.Vescio 3 J.Edwards 25 A.McKay 5

In: J.Hosking, J.Edwards, A.McKay
Out: J.Van Dyk (injured)

COLLINGWOOD

B: A.Porter 9 S.Livingstone 12
HB: L.Butler 23 A.Brazill 10 E.Fowler 15
C: S.Rowe 7 B.Bonnici 8 S.Chiocci – C 17
HF: C.Molloy 2 S.D’Arcy 4 S.Dargan 46
F: M.Cann 25 J.Allen 6
Foll: S.Layton 1 A.Sheridan 14 J.Lambert 13
I/C: S.Casey 22 K.Stratton 41 S.Alexander 24 J.Membrey 21 M.Shevlin 35 E.Hynes 11 E.O’Dea 50

In: K.Stratton, E.Hynes, E.O’Dea
Out: B.Davey (shin)

Adelaide Crows v. St Kilda at Hisense Stadium, 5:10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

This is expected to be an exciting show of talent for the future, with one side having been there and done it all – twice – while the other is still looking to find its feet in the new league as part of the expansion. A wounded Adelaide Crows side welcomes back some troops for the Round 2 clash against St Kilda with this match considered a must-win contest for the reigning premiers. The Crows were well beaten by a hungry Brisbane Lions side in Queensland, showing how tight the competition has become. Not even a record-breaking disposal count from Anne Hatchard (35) was enough to help the Crows get up in Round 1, and they will want to get a win on the board before the top sides in their conference get too far away. The benefit for the Crows was that fellow premiership contender, North Melbourne also lost, while last year’s finalist Geelong went down too. For the Saints, there are no expectations on their season with such a young list, but being competitive is the bare minimum expected, and after a nervous first quarter last week, the Saints settled and seemed to match it with the Western Bulldogs for large parts of the second half.

The Crows are still missing a host of names heading into this game led by Erin Phillips and Chelsea Randall – the latter of whom will play no further part in the season – but have brought in a couple of debutants in Caitlin Gould and Montana McKinnon. Gould hails from Glenelg and provides a tall presence up either end, while McKinnon is a dual All-Australian at Under 18s level, and could genuinely start ruck if they required her to. Expect her to spend time as a forward however, a role she played in South Adelaide’s premiership side, while rotating through the ruck and providing some strong contested marking ability around the ground. Ebony Marinoff, Hatchard and SANFL Women’s best and fairest winner Najwa Allen form a strong onball brigade and with former MVP, Courtney Gum in the team up forward alongside Danielle Ponter and Stevie-Lee Thompson, they still have the firepower to get the job done. Sophie Li has also come into the side for the Crows, as the only omission was Rachelle Martin – a top-up player who was brought on due to Adelaide’s expansive injury list.

The Saints have made three confirmed changes, with South Australian Nadia Von Bertouch – missing a return to the state where she captained North Adelaide last season – while Kelly O’Neill and Emma Mackie have been omitted. Coming into the side is a mix of youth and experience with former Collingwood talent, Darcy Guttridge and ex-North Melbourne players Alison Drennan and Courteney Munn named in the extended side. Also in to potentially make their debuts are ruck, Poppy Kelly and tall utility, Isabella Shannon who continue the trend of youth at the club. Georgia Patrikios starred in Round 1 with a Rising Star nomination, and expect her to show just as much excitement out on Hisense Stadium. Teaming up with the likes of Molly McDonald, Nicola Xenos and Tarni White, the youth of the Saints will come good in time. They still have experience on the list, with former Crow Jess Sedunary set to make her return to the AFL Women’s having kicked one of the Saints’ two goals last week. While the Saints have plenty to like, expect the Crows to do enough to win in a tight one, even with a few still out. They are desperate, hungry and at home, so a win is non-negotiable when it comes to their premiership aspirations.

ADELAIDE

B: D.Cox 31 C.Biddell 12
HB: A.Foley 3 S.Allan 39 M.Rajcic 32
C: S.Li 19 E.Marinoff 10 J.Mules 23
HF: E.Jones 2 C.Gum 5 R.Forth 27
F: D.Ponter 15 S.Thompson 14
Foll: J.Foley – C 24 A.Hatchard 33 N.Allen 8
I/C: C.Gould 1 A.Considine 16 M.Newman 17 N.Campbell 20 N.Gore 7 M.McKinnon 21 J.Tabb 28

In: S.Li, C.Gould, M.McKinnon
Out: R.Martin (ineligible)

ST KILDA

B: T.White 29 C.Fitzpatrick 24
HB: H.Priest 14 C.Phillips 35 T.Lucas-Rodd 18
C: D.Guttridge 5 J.Sedunary 10 M.McDonald 1
HF: N.Exon 15 K.McCarthy 9 C.Greiser 17
F: K.Shierlaw 12 G.Patrikios 21
Foll: R.Watt – C 7 O.Vesely 23 R.Dillon 25
I/C: I.Shannon 11 A.Brown 2 C.Munn 13 N.Xenos 27 C.Whitfort 4 A.Drennan 8 P.Kelly 16

In: D.Guttridge, I.Shannon, C.Munn, A.Drennan, P.Kelly
Out: K.O’Neill, N.Von Bertouch (knee), E.Mackie

ROUND 2 TIPS: [Total tips in brackets]

Michael Alvaro [5]: Melbourne / North Melbourne / Richmond / Fremantle / Geelong / Carlton / Adelaide
Taylah Melki [5]: Melbourne / North Melbourne / Richmond / Fremantle / Brisbane / Collingwood / Adelaide
Sophie Taylor [4]: Melbourne / North Melbourne / Richmond / Fremantle / Brisbane / Carlton / Adelaide
Peter Williams [4]: Melbourne / North Melbourne / Richmond / Fremantle / Geelong / Carlton / Adelaide

2019/20 AFLW off-season review: Carlton

CARLTON might have had the most talked about departure of the off-season, but as a whole, the Blues retained the majority of their list, whilst heading to the AFL Women’s Draft in a really strong position to pick up a heap of youth prospects for the future. The Blues lost captain Brianna Davey to Collingwood, but in doing so received a bounty full of picks to position themselves in a great spot to pick up natural-born leader Lucy McEvoy from the Geelong Falcons with their first selection at Pick 2.

They also picked up fellow NAB League Girls’ players Brooke Vernon and Serena Gibbs, while selecting a trio of players just a year out of the Under 18s pathway following strong seasons at VFL Women’s level. Grace Egan, Sharnie Whiting and Courtney Jones all earned places on the Blues’ list, with Vaomua Laloifi the exception as the once listed Collingwood defender gained a second chance at the elite level following an impressive year for a Western Bulldogs VFLW side that reached the grand final. Aside from six delistings, Amelia Mullane retired, proving even further the Blues’ need for an inside midfield replacement – and Rhiannon Watt headed back to her roots at St Kilda. Carlton was savvy enough to pick up players with a hard edge and uncompromising ability to win the football, while Gibbs will be that ruck depth replacement who can also play forward.

OFF-SEASON CHANGES:

IN: Joanne Doonan (Gaelic football), Katie Harrison (Rugby sevens), Lucy McEvoy (Geelong Falcons), Grace Egan (Richmond VFLW), Brooke Vernon (Dandenong Stingrays), Sharnie Whiting (Williamstown VFLW), Serena Gibbs (Eastern Ranges), Vaomua Laloifi (Western Bulldogs VFLW), Courtney Jones (Southern Saints VFLW)
OUT: Rhiannon Watt (St Kilda), Brianna Davey (Collingwood), Shae Audley, Kirby Bentley, Reni Hicks, Bridie Kennedy, Tilly Lucas-Rodd, Courtney Webb (delisted), Amelia Mullane (retired)

2020 TEAM LIST:

Lauren Brazzale
Chloe Dalton
Alison Downie
Jess Edwards
Grace Egan
Georgia Gee
Serena Gibbs
Kerryn Harrington
Tayla Harris
Jess Hosking
Sarah Hosking
Courtney Jones
Vaomua Laloifi
Katie Loynes
Lucy McEvoy
Abbie McKay
Breann Moody
Natalie Plane
Gabriella Pound
Madison Prespakis
Nicola Stevens
Jayde Van Dyk
Brooke Vernon
Darcy Vescio
Brooke Walker
Sharnie Whiting
Charlotte Wilson
Emerson Woods

Rookies: Joanne Doonan, Katie Harrison

POTENTIAL 2020 SIDE:

B: Jayde Van Dyk – Kerryn Harrington – Nicola Stevens
HB: Chloe Dalton – Charlotte Wilson – Gabriella Pound
C: Lucy McEvoy
HF: Lauren Brazzale – Breann Moody – Georgia Gee
F: Darcy Vescio – Tayla Harris – Brooke Walker
R: Alison Downie – Madison Prespakis – Sarah Hosking
INT: Jess Edwards – Jess Hosking – Katie Loynes – Grace Egan – Abbie McKay
EMG: Vaomua Laloifi – Natalie Plane – Emerson Woods

DEPTH: Serena Gibbs, Courtney Jones, Brooke Vernon, Sharnie Whiting, Joanne Doonan*, Katie Harrison*

After making a grand final last season, Carlton do not need to adjust too much to the side for it to be potent again in 2020. They have lost Davey and Mullane from the best 22, with McEvoy and Egan slotting into those roles with a shuffling of magnets around the board. Tilly Lucas-Rodd is the third player to be gone from the side that ran out in last year’s grand final, and expect the likes of Abbie McKay to step up and get more games in season 2020, as will Emerson Woods in that half-forward role which could free up Georgia Gee for her run and carry further up the ground.

Laloifi is a readymade option to add to the defensive half, but can play forward as well, while Natalie Plane showed she can come in and complete a role if required. The depth is filled with young talent in four of this year’s draftees, as Gibbs, Jones, Vernon and Whiting could add something across the ground if injury strikes. Overall, the Blues surprised many with their ability to step up despite being a relatively young side, and with Daniel Harford at the helm, anything is possible next year.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 4

THERE were some close encounters in round four of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s, as teams begin to find their form. The round also saw many TAC Cup Girls players make their VFLW debut, with many more debuts to come. AFL Draft Central wraps up all the action from the weekend.

 

Melbourne University 3.1 (19) defeated by NT Thunder 13.10 (88)

By: Taylah Melki

The NT Thunder dominated from start to finish, applying plenty of pressure on Melbourne University. The Thunder lead at all the breaks and did not seem to take their foot off the pedal, sharing the goal-kicking duties between them and continuing their undefeated start to the season. Melbourne University struggled to combat the intense pressure and slick ball movement of the Thunder but had some moments of brilliance.

Marijana Rajcic starred for NT, slotting two majors for the game and racking up plenty of touches while Jordann Hickey bagged three goals to help the Thunder on their way. Chelsea Randall was at her devastating best, closely followed by the likes of teammates, Angela Foley, who was the leading disposal-getter with 24 possessions, Sarah Allan and Machaelia Roberts, who gathered plenty of touches and imposed themselves on the contest. 

Ashleigh Riddell opened the account for Melbourne University, slotting an important goal and continuing her accumulative ways, gathering plenty of touches, Sophie Abbatangelo also bagged a major for Melbourne University in the opening term. In her debut game at VFLW level Calder Cannons captain, Madison Prespakis impressed, gathering 23 touches and imposing herself around the ground laying five tackles, proving why she is a future star of the game.

 

Darebin Falcons 11.7 (73) def. Casey Demons 1.3 (9)

By: Taylah Melki

It was a tight tussle but a third-quarter spark proved to be the difference between the two sides. The Darebin Falcons kept Casey to one goal for the game and applied plenty of scoreboard pressure after half time, going on to score nine majors. The Falcons seemed to outclass Casey, who struggled to keep up with the intensity and fast pace of the game.

The Falcons forward line came out firing after half time, with the likes of Hannah Mouncey and Maddy Guerin standing up for Darebin. Mouncey provided a strong option up forward taking plenty of good strong contested marks and leading up at the footy. Mouncey’s afternoon was topped off with five goals while teammate, Guerin bagged an impressive three goals. Eloise Gardner was never far from the action either with two goals while Karen Paxman and Nat Exon gathered plenty of touches and showcased their footy smarts in tricky situations.

Casey was ravaged with injuries in the last term but the likes of Kate Hore and Taryn Orgill were influential across the ground. Kasey Guttridge was the sole goal-kicker for the Demons while sister Darcy Guttridge imposed herself across the ground, racking up 17 touches and laying a big tackle. Making her debut appearance, Dandenong Stingrays captain, Jordyn Allen left her imprint on the game, taking four marks and racking up the disposals. Harriet Cordner was also an important player for Casey, amassing 13 touches and a whopping seven tackles in a difficult outing for her side.

 

Western Bulldogs 4.6 (30) defeated by Collingwood 6.2 (38)

By: Julia Montesano

Collingwood survived a fourth-quarter Bulldogs comeback to record its third VFLW win. The Bulldogs’ inaccuracy hurt them early, with only five points to half time.

Oakleigh Chargers forward, Daisy Bateman starred on the day, kicking three of the the Pies’ six goals. Teammate and Chargers captain, Hannah McLaren also put in a formidable performance, contributing six disposals and four tackles to be named in the best. AFLW star, Jaimee Lambert continued her fine form, this time against some former Bulldogs teammates. Lambert chipped in with a goal and racked up 19 touches. Vaomua Laloifi was named best-on-ground by her coaches, after clunking seven marks and amassing 13 disposals in defence.

Experienced campaigner and former Pie, Bree White was the leading disposal-getter on the ground with 21 touches next to her name to go along with five tackles. Bulldogs AFLW defender, Libby Birch was not too far off from White, as she racked up 20 disposals and six tackles in her first VFLW game. Nicole McMahon was awarded best-on-ground by her coaches with nine disposals, two marks and three tackles. Emma Mackay was also named amongst the best with one goal, 12 disposals and four tackles.

 

Geelong 8.3 (51) defeated Carlton 7.2 (44)

By: Julia Montesano

The scores were all-square at quarter time and three-quarter time in a seesawing contest. But Geelong’s three goals to two last quarter sealed the deal in the curtain-raiser at GMHBA Stadium.

Maddy McMahon starred for the Cats with 22 disposals, four marks and five tackles. She was complemented by explosive midfielder, Renee Garing, who continues to set the competition alight. Garing amassed 20 disposals and laid a whopping 12 tackles. Michelle Fedele was a wonderful presence up forward for the Cats with three goals, while fellow forward, Danielle Orr chipped in with a goal and 15 disposals. Mia-Rae Clifford also floated up forward to boot through a goal to go along with her 16 disposals.

For the Blues, it’s hard to look past AFLW forward, Darcy Vescio. Vescio kicked four of the Blues’ seven goals and amassed 11 disposals to go with it. Gippsland Power co-captain and AFLW Academy member, Tyla Hanks was the leading disposal-getter for Carlton in an outstanding VFLW debut. Hanks racked up 20 disposals, kicked a goal, and laid five tackles. Rugby 7s Olympic medalist, Chloe Dalton also pitched in with a goal to earn a spot amongst Carlton’s best. Recently announced captain, Kristi Harvey also had a solid outing with nine disposals and five marks.

 

Southern Saints 9.6 (60) defeated Essendon 3.6 (24)

By: Julia Montesano

The Southern Saints continued their great run of form with a commanding win over the Bombers. The Saints were down at quarter time but fought back immediately with a four-goal second quarter, which was the catalyst for a forward surge that the Bombers couldn’t combat.

Captain, Georgia Walker was named best-on-ground for the Saints and was complemented by Kate Macqueen, who backed up her solid round three performance. Sandringham Dragons star, Eleanor Brown played a great game, chipping in a goal and being named amongst the best. Fellow TAC Cup Girls talent and Eastern Ranges midfielder, Gabriella De Angelis also got on the scoreboard with a goal. She was one of the Saints’ eight goal-scorers.

Essendon’s defence stood up again with Courtney Ugle, Hayley Bullas and Kirby Hicks named amongst the best. Up forward, it was Alex Quigley who provided the shining light for the Bombers, kicking two of her side’s three goals. Simone Nalder also backed up her best-on-ground performance in round three by making her second consecutive appearance in the best for the Bombers.

 

Williamstown 8.4 (52) def. Richmond 3.3 (21)

By: Taylah Melki 

After a disappointing start to the season both teams brought their A-game, fighting hard to win the footy at the cold face but in the end it was Williamstown that came away with the four points, claiming their first win of the season. Williamstown put on a strong performance but really ran away with it in the final term.

In her first VFLW outing Greater Western Victoria (GWV) forward, Sophie Van De Heuvel impressed for Williamstown, competing hard at the contest, while experienced players such as Jasmine Garner and Jess Duffin stood up at the stoppages. Both Garner and Duffin bagged a goal each in the convincing win over Richmond. Georgia Harris also found her kicking boots, scoring two goals. Teammate, Morgan Lowe was also influential across the ground, applying plenty of physical pressure on her opponents and racking up the touches for Williamstown.

For Richmond, Lauren Tesoriero provided a lot of run and carry for Richmond and slotted two goals for the yellow and black. Emily Findlay also had an impressive game, imposing herself around the contest in what was a disappointing outing for the Tigers. The likes of Evelyn Burry and Lisa Davie worked tirelessly all game to try and create some moments of magic for their teammates and gathered plenty of touches for their hard work

Team of the Week: VFLW- Round 3

ROUND three of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s turned out to be a round of very one-sided matches.The Saints taking on the Demons turned out to be the best game of the round, with the Saints running out winners by eight points in a tough contest.

The winners are evident looking at this week’s best 22. Hawthorn, NT Thunder and Geelong are the best represented with four players each, while the Southern Saints and Collingwood have three players each.

Carlton and Williamstown are the worst represented teams of the round with no players making the cut, as both teams only managed two goals between them.

Thunder captain, Angela Foley was clearly the best performing player of the week. She gathered 28 disposals and kicked two goals in a huge performance, which played a big part in the big win over Essendon. She was a clear lock in the team this week. Richelle Cranston was also one of the best performers of the round, with 17 disposals.

NT Thunder’s Renee Forth was very unlucky to miss out on the Team of the Week with her one goal and 18 disposals against Essendon.

Scouting notes: VFLW – Round 3

AFTER three rounds of Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s football, NT, Hawthorn, Geelong and Collingwood are the undefeated teams. Down the other end of the ladder, Casey, Williamstown, Essendon and the Bulldogs hare yet to experience their first win. We watched three games on the weekend and took notes on all the players that impressed across the round. 

 

NT Thunder vs. Essendon

By: Julia Montesano

NT Thunder:

#26 Chelsea Randall

Always put her head over the footy and busted her way through tacklers. Showed her agility with an excellent spin around her opponent, turning her inside out to get the ball forward. Her intercept marking was fantastic as usual, she reads the footy so well. I thought her running was also fantastic this game, as she impacted the contest at both ends of the ground. When she was kicking the ball inside 50, she instructed her forwards of where to go, showing great on-field leadership. A highlight was when she delivered a kick perfectly to Eloise Jones, which was one of many perfectly pinpointed kicks. Randall chases every ball hard and tackles even stronger, giving her opponent no chance to dispose of the ball at times. Her composure with the ball in hand is exquisite. Randall proved that she can do anything when she took an excellent contested mark, ran around the player on the mark and attempted a torpedo inside 50.

#24 Georgia Bevan

Bevan was unstoppable in the midfield, as she was a ball magnet at every contest. She laid a fantastic tackle that halted the Bombers’ momentum, which slowed down a fast passage of play. Delivered a nice clearing kick from the centre square which sailed a long way towards forward 50. Bevan was able to burst through the middle towards inside 50 on plenty of occasions, racking up key clearances for the Thunder. She executed a great hack kick out of a pack and used that same quickness to tackle opponents immediately, stopping them in their tracks. She earned a free kick off one of her tackles, and booted the kick through for a goal, topping off her hard work throughout the day.

#3 Angela Foley

Started her day off marvellously with a great outside of the boot kick towards goal that sailed through. Foley had the ball on a string, getting plenty of the footy and clearing it out of the pack on many occasions. She usually makes an impact in defence but against the Bombers, she created so many scoring opportunities, which played a huge part in piling the pressure on the Bombers. Foley always tackled hard, and displayed great vision to switch the ball to Georgia Bevan who was on her own in space. Executed a good spin around her opponent to get the ball into space inside 50. Played a great captain’s game.

#17 Emma Swanson

Swanson was extremely lively inside 50. She displayed great hands as well as quick and accurate kicking. Laid a great run-down tackle to trap the ball inside 50, and backed it up with strong tackling throughout the game. A highlight of Swanson’s game was when she chased the ball on the ground, ducked under a pack to get the ball and worked in tandem with Sarah Allan for a great one-two to set up a forward thrust for NT, which resulted in an Angela Foley goal. Took a great leading mark when she worked in tandem with Deni Varnhagen, who told her where to run. Swanson was strong force in the contest, taking a good contested one-on-one mark. For one of her goals, she read the ball well off the bounce to pick it up and kick it through for a major. She has been on fire in the season so far.

#40 Deni Varnhagen

Varnhagen was everywhere, with her trademark long kick having an impact throughout the day. What impressed me most about Varnhagen was her unselfish play, as she always looks up when she gets the ball in hand. She used her booming kick to boot a goal from long range, and also used it on the boundary line. The kick went high but stayed in. demonstrating Varnhagen’s ability to manipulate her kicks. A highlight of her game was when she burst through a pack of players to kick a goal. She also delivered plenty of great goal assists, with one to Renee Forth and another to Emma Swanson off a beautiful long kick to the goal square, which landed perfectly out the back of the contest. Took a great intercept mark and executed a lovely lace-out kick to Emma Swanson. Varnhagen just gets and goes whenever she gets the ball, which is a real asset in her game.  

#28 Renee Forth

Burst well out of the centre and delivered a lovely chip kick inside 50. Displayed great acceleration throughout the afternoon. Read the play wonderfully and looked like one of the smartest players out there. This was demonstrated when the ball fell out the back of the pack and she snapped it around the body perfectly for a great goal. Forth took a great intercept mark to send the ball back inside 50 and got plenty of the ball. I thought she did her best work at the top of 50, where she would deliver long booming kicks that would create space for the Thunder’s forwards.

 

Essendon:

#6 Alex Quigley

Started her day by taking a strong mark between two players in a pack. She then delivered the ball perfectly inside 50 for Essendon’s first score of the match, which was a Lisa Williams miss. Ran well next to her teammate to create the one-two. Quigley kicked a remarkable goal when she picked up the ball and snapped around the body from long range. Quigley showed great goal sense, and has been doing so at the beginning of the competition.

#35 Valerie Moreau

The Canadian pocket rocket was really lively early on the day, getting plenty of touches in the first quarter. She was one of the reasons that Essendon got in top in the first term, with her great run and carry as well as her ability to create forward thrusts from the back half of the ground. Took a nice mark in defensive 50, and took it right up to Rhiannon Metcalfe, despite the size difference, with a really strong tackle, which stopped her flow. Moreau used the ball well off a free kick with a perfectly delivered kick inside space in the 50 metre arc for the Bombers.  

#8 Hayley Bullas

Took a nice mark and used it to switch the play and open up the ground. Bullas was really proactive with the ball in hand, creating plenty of opportunities for Essendon to get forward. Bullas loves to get the footy and run, and does it really well as she has immense speed and endurance to back up her innate agility.

#7 Kirby Hicks

Did a great job of kicking out for the Bombers. She was able to easily transition from a long, booming kick to a short, deft kick in order to hit a target. Hicks had one of the longest kicks of the ground, which was handy for the Bombers to try and get some momentum going forward. A highlight of her game came in the form of a great run-down tackle to save a goal.

#46 Courtney Ugle

Laid a perfect tackle on Jessica Sedunary, where she pinned one arm and got a free kick. Ugle tried hard for the Bombers all day, displaying good run and carry throughout the back half. She was rewarded for hard work with free kicks. She often mopped up well on the back line and showed great composure for her side.

#30 Simone Nalder

Nalder was Essendon’s best-on-ground for me because her marking was second to none. Although the Bombers faded away in the end, without her strong hands, the margin in the end would’ve been even bigger. She took a great contested mark that saved a crucial goal, courageously clunking the ball and bringing it down in a pack. Nalder was a general down back, holding her own in the toughest of contests. She probably had the best set of hands on the ground and used them to effect, making her Essendon teammates proud.

 

Collingwood vs. Richmond

By: James Halley

Collingwood: 

#93 Vaomua Laloifi

She is really good deep in defence under immense pressure. She was probably the cleanest player on the ground in the wet conditions. When many would fall to their feet, she would keep her composure and gather many loose balls.

#73 Gabrielle Biedenweg-Webster

She was a really dangerous forward for Collingwood with one goal for the day. She kicked Collingwood’s third for the game with a free kick from the pocket, using her smarts to run around the corner to open up the angle and have an easy shot. 

#11 Eliza Hynes

She played in the ruck and was a lot taller then every other player. She used her height to her advantage as she took a pack mark in the goal square for the first goal of the game. She also took numerous marks.

#46 Sarah Dargan

Dargan is often used as the distributor into the forward 50, and she is quite proficient in the role. She rarely misses a kick!

#53 Rebecca Grant

She has a very nice kick where she can pinpoint teammates deep forward. After immense pressure, she was let out the back and kicked one through the goals to finish the half.

 

Richmond:

#77 Justine Hocking

She won herself a free kick on the 50 and after ill-discipline from Sarah D’Arcy. Hocking was then brought forward 50 metres and kicked Richmond’s first goal for the game from the goal line. She bobbed up a few times and did her job when needed. Hocking was not disgraced. 

#63 Jacqueline Graham

She has a lot of courage as she took a mark going back with the flight in the second term. She was a key player for Richmond, taking numerous intercepts possessions. She is very clean with her hands and rarely drops a mark.

#76 Ella Ross

She was able to kick a miraculous soccer goal from the pocket in the third quarter. This was the highlight of the game for Richmond.

#58 Courtney Musico

Due to the large amount of ball that came her way in defence, she was solid in her role. She chose to spoil almost every time the ball came near her. This was effective in parts but cost Richmond a goal as well. Going for a simple chest mark would have been more effective. 

#64 Emma Gunn

After a scrimmage in the goal square she managed to get a kick away but only managed a point for the Tigers’ first score for the game. She was lively all day but just couldn’t convert in front of goal.

 

Williamstown vs. Geelong

By: Julia Montesano

Williamstown:

#9 Rachel Achampong

Delivered a really long kick off one step, and displayed that same skill throughout the game. A highlight of her game was when she took a great one-handed mark. I thought she did really well in the ruck, getting plenty of hit-outs and getting penetration on her taps. She worked hard at the contest, and she was in most ruck contests, displaying her endurance around the ground.

#22 Morgan Lowe

Laid a great wrap-around tackle that won her a free kick and finished with a nice kick towards the goal-square. Seemed to always pop up around the contest and never failed to make an impact with the ball in hand.

#19 Erin Meade

Meade is a really speedy player who has that trademark acceleration that can tear a game wide open. Unfortunately, her team couldn’t make much of an impact but she did. Meade was lively and got plenty of the ball. Her acceleration was a highlight of her game, as she just took the ball and burst into space.

#13 Nikki Wallace

Delivered a great kick towards the centre-square and showed good endurance when she followed up her kick to provide the next link in the chain. Executed a nice hack kick out of a contest towards the coal-face Always tried to provide an option for her teammate and never gave up trying throughout the afternoon.

#2 Jess Duffin

Duffin was the star of the day for the Seagulls once again. She was able to spin out of trouble on many occasions, giving her teammates opportunity to run. Did some of her finest work on the boundary line, as she delivered a quick-fire handball to a teammate and also curled the line perfectly with her kick towards the Seagulls’ forward 50. Duffin even managed to stop the best-on-ground in Richelle Cranston, when she stole the footy off her in the contest and burst away to kick the ball forward. She also took a fantastic pack mark in the back line and delivered a precise kick to a teammate. At one point, she beat four players in a contest inside 50, steaming towards goal.

 

Geelong:

#44 Rebecca Goring

The Geelong captain was solid as ever in the back line, mopping up everything that came her way. Was able to execute some really nice deft kicks out of defensive 50 and kicked it long when she needed to. Goring was never in a rush to get the ball out of defensive 50, always looking for an option instead of hacking the ball away. Her defensive pressure contributed to keeping Williamstown goalless.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Cranston was unstoppable for the Cats, she seemed to have the ball on a string for the whole afternoon! Her acceleration was unbelievable as there were numerous occasions where she would get the ball, tuck it under her arm and just burst. She got past whoever was in her way and did everything she could to propel Geelong forward. Cranston combined her exceptional speed and composure, when she lowered her eyes magnificently to hit Kate Darby perfectly on the lead. Cranston even mopped up well in the backline when she saved the ball going through for a point, keeping the ball in play and letting her defenders mop up on transition. She pinpointed her kick on another occasion when she hit Danielle Orr perfectly on the chest lace-out. Delivered some great balls inside 50. Whether it was long, short or speared, you just knew Cranston’s kick was going to hit a target.

#8 Kate Darby

I thought Darby did well around the ground, working hard to get the footy. She read the ball quite well in defensive 50 to take some handy intercept marks to disrupt the flow of the Seagulls. At the other end of the ground, she led to the ball really well and was a key presence inside 50, as she always is. She was lively and displayed good acceleration at times as well. A highlight for her was when she displayed good endurance to run hard and keep hunting a dribbling ball. Her effort paid off as the ball spilled out the back of the pack and she ran into an open goal to sign off on a good day at Williamstown.

#24 Maddy McMahon

Executed a perfect bump on her opponent, and attempted to trap the footy shortly after. She looked dangerous inside 50 throughout the afternoon. McMahon delivered a beautiful long kick towards the goal-square, always helping her teammates to get on the scoreboard. She got a major herself, capping off an unselfish performance in the forward line. The best part of her game for me was her strong hands, as she took a great mark in the goal-square as well as a great juggling mark in a pack.

#36 Evelyn Dhamarrandji

Dhamarrandji had a stellar performance in the blue and white hoops, as she killed it inside 50. Her marking was superb, clunking everything that came in her vicinity. She always kept her eyes on the footy in any situation, whether she was marking the ball in a pack or leading out rapidly to capture it on her chest. Also displayed good second and third efforts in multiple instances throughout the contest. At one point, she laid a strong tackle after her kick got smothered, then went and tackled an opponent in her vicinity to stop the ball from spilling out of a contest. Was not only on the end of goals, kicking two herself, but also got plenty of score involvements, with a nice kick from the centre-square towards the forward 50.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 3

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

 

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

By: Taylah Melki 

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

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

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

 

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

By: Taylah Melki

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

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

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

 

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

By: Julia Montesano

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

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

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

 

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

By: James Halley

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

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

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

 

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

By: Julia Montesano

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

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

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