ROUND two broke plenty of records, provided many headlines, and unfortunately, saw some hefty injuries. On Friday night, Carlton’s Sarah Hosking stole the show, laying 16 tackles to now hold the record for the most tackles in a game. Over in Perth, 41,975 people took their seats at Optus Stadium, and in doing so, recorded the highest attendance for a stand alone women’s domestic game in Australia. But if that was not enough action, the Blues and Giants players had a 20 minute intermission due to lightning, and we may already have a Goal of the Year contender, thanks to Melbourne’s Aliesha Newman. The round may have been dampened by injuries to Bulldog, Isabel Huntington and Blue, Brianna Davey, but it is evident that the competition can only get better from here.
GWS (1.3.9) def. by Carlton (3.12.30)
After an impressive win over Collingwood in round one, the Blues were in good form to take on the ever-improving Giants, who gave Melbourne a run for its money last week. Thunderstorms delayed the game prior to the second quarter, but in the end, it was Carlton who took home the four points. The Blues held the Giants to one goal for the entire match, showcasing their excellent defensive pressure.
Though the Blues were inaccurate in front of goal, scoring 12 behinds, they denied any opportunity for GWS to score. The extreme pressure Carlton displayed throughout the match helped them secure a comfortable win over the Giants. Although Tayla Harris had a quiet night in front of goal, it was her physical presence and crunching tackle on GWS midfielder, Renee Forth in the last quarter that showed her extreme strength and ability to create opportunities all over the ground.
In her second game as a Blue, recruit Nicola Stevens showed her worth, opening the scoring with a goal in the second quarter and racking up eight disposals. Stevens impressed with her clean hands and good use of the footy, going at 68 per cent disposal efficiency. Vice-captain Sarah Hosking had a blinder for the Blues, accumulating 12 disposals, and laying a record-breaking 16 tackles. For GWS, former Calder Cannons coach, Alicia Eva impressed for the Giants, racking up 17 disposals. She was complemented by her captain, Amanda Farrugia, who played her role with 16 possessions. But it wasn’t enough for the lacklustre Giants, who succumbed to a 21-point loss against the undefeated Blues.
Unfortunately, Carlton’s win came at a cost, as the side lost captain, Brianna Davey to an ACL injury. Star forward, Tayla Harris also walked off the ground sore, after she crunched GWS’ Renee Forth in a tackle in the dying seconds of the game.
In round three, GWS will face with the winless Magpies, while Carlton will be preparing to keep its undefeated record in tact against the Lions at Ikon Park.
Melbourne (8.8.56) def. Adelaide (4.0.24)
After a shock loss in round one, the Adelaide Crows sought to kickstart their 2018 campaign against Melbourne. But the Demons had other plans, thumping the Crows by 32 points in a dominant display. Their skill was on show against the reigning premiers, who struggled to compete with the class and skill of the home side, who dominated in front of goal and around the ground.
The Demons were on top of the Crows with their pressure and numbers around the ball. But the home side’s ability to break away from packs and create forward momentum was what really set them apart from the reigning premiers. Wyndham Vale recruit, Aliesha Newman, showcased her speed and ability to break away from the play, as well as create plenty of scoring opportunities for the Dees. Newman bagged two goals, one of which could put her in contention for goal of the year, taking three bounces and slotting it through the middle.
Tegan Cunningham had a stellar game, scoring two goals and racking up 10 disposals for the Demons. In the middle of the ground, it was teammate, Karen Paxman who bounced back from a lower-back injury to rack up 21 disposals. Paxman’s clean use of the footy and experience around the ground helped ensure the Demons had control for the entire match. Despite a disappointing outing for Adelaide, the likes of reigning AFLW rising star, Ebony Marinoff impressed with 18 possessions, while experienced campaigner, Chelsea Randall once again stood up, racking up 17 disposals.
Next week, the Demons take on the Dockers, who are fresh off a win, while the Crows are set to play the Western Bulldogs.
Fremantle (6.4.40) def. Collingwood (4.3.27)
With a whopping 41,975 fans flocking to Optus Stadium, it was Fremantle that claimed its first victory of the season at the newly established stadium. Collingwood got off to a flying start, kicking the first two goals of the game, but the Dockers fought back to win by 13 points. Fremantle outclassed the Pies and showed their accuracy in front of goal, slotting six majors for the day.
It was Fremantle’s extreme tackling pressure that ultimately secured them the win, having 10 more tackles inside the forward 50 than the Pies. Fremantle was also dominant at the stoppages, and in the centre clearances. The Dockers’ ability to get hands to the ball first allowed them to apply even more pressure on the Magpies, who struggled to compete against the smothering defence of the home side.
With the shock axing of Moana Hope after a lacklustre start to the season, Collingwood looked to the likes of Christina Bernardi to take control of the game. The Diamond Creek star scored two vital goals, and racked up 11 disposals, which were all kicks. Knox product, Melissa Kuys starred with 21 possessions for the Magpies, going at a 67 per cent disposal efficiency. Young gun Chloe Molloy continued to impress in black and white, showcasing her defensive skills with crunching tackles, and her ability to run and carry through heavy traffic. Fremantle’s inaugural AFLW best and fairest winner, Dana Hooker stood out for the Dockers, slotting two goals and racking up 20 disposals. East Fremantle recruit, Ashlee Atkins also starred for the home side, scoring an absolute belter of a goal, and taking an impressive mark in the first quarter to open the scoring for Fremantle. Captain Kara Donnellan laid eight tackles, while also racking up 16 disposals, leading her side to its first win of the season.
The Dockers are set to face the Demons at Fremantle Oval, while Collingwood will travel home to Olympic Park to take on GWS.
Brisbane (3.6.24) def. by Western Bulldogs (5.3.33)
With both teams securing a round one win, it made for a highly contested match, as both teams fought to be undefeated after round two. But it was the Western Bulldogs that came away with the win in a tight spectacle away from home. Both teams put on a physical display with ferocious tackles and athletic marks being showcased throughout the match. Despite a late fightback by the Lions, the Dogs held on to win by nine points.
The Bulldogs piled on four goals to none in the second quarter, allowing them to take charge of the game. Their forward pressure allowed them to trap the ball inside their forward 50, and capitalise on all their scoring opportunities. The Dogs took impressive grabs around the ground and put their bodies on the line in an intense and hard-fought battle. Hannah Scott’s impressive second quarter goal showed her class and ability to cleanly pick up the footy. That was a real momentum-booster for the Bulldogs, as it gave the away side an 18-point lead late in the second quarter.
The class and skill of Bulldogs, Emma Kearney and Kirsty Lamb were on display, with Kearney racking up 18 disposals and Lamb gaining 20 touches in an impressive day out for the Dogs. Dual-code athlete, Monique Conti proved her worth, as she racked up 12 possessions, and was lively throughout the match. Isabel Huntington starred for the Western Bulldogs with two goals and four spectacular marks around the ground. Huntington showed her ability to lead up to the ball and impose herself on a contest before she unfortunately went down with a suspected ACL injury. Despite the loss, Brisbane’s Emily Bates starred for her side, amassing 21 touches, and five marks. Teammate, Jess Wuetschner impressed again in the forward line, kicking two important majors for the Lions. Wuestchner’s composure allowed her to slot a difficult goal from the boundary line, displaying her extreme skill level.
In round three, the Brisbane Lions are up against the ominous Blues, and the Dogs are playing the out-of-form Adelaide Crows.