THE 2018 TAC Cup Girls grand final has been set. The Northern Knights successfully defeated Murray Bushrangers in the first game of the day, booking themselves a grand final spot against the Falcons. But the other games throughout the day at Craigieburn were no less entertaining!
Northern Knights vs. Murray Bushrangers
By: Julia Montesano
#4 Neve O’Connor
Laid a nice tackle after her kick got smothered, displaying a good second effort. Got nice elevation in the ruck and was able to tap the ball down nicely. Attempted to take a great mark running back with the flight, but when she didn’t mark it, she laid a strong tackle to hold the ball up.
#5 Madeline Brancatisano
Did well to trap the ball on the ground and got quick hands away. The captain did that on a couple of occasions, showing that she has really good agility to bend down and get straight back up.
#18 Sarah Sansonetti
Great smother off her body which stopped a forward thrust for Murray. Tackled hard throughout the day, especially when she laid a great defensive tackle that saved a goal in the goal-square for Murray. Took a great mark in defensive 50 and stepped up her game in the second half.
#22 Britney Gutknecht
Elevated her body well to get her arms free in a tackle. Was able to take a nice mark in space but her kick got smothered by Webster’s body. Gutknecht again worked some magic in a tackle, getting a handball away while under pressure. Did well to pursue the ball on the boundary line to try and keep it in. Got a great pick-up off the deck and kicked it off one step while being tackled.
#23 Gabrielle Newton
Tapped the ball down well and came down with it swiftly to receive the quick hands from a teammate. She then kicked it into space, creating a forward thrust for Northern. Gave off two great handballs under pressure and stood tall in the tackle. Computed her weight well to gently tackle Tamara Smith, and got a holding-the-ball free kick. Newton took a great mark running back with the flight of the ball. Ended up with two holding-the-ball free kicks from strong tackles.
#1 Julia Harvey
Got on the end of some quick hands by Millie Brown. Was a good link in the chain throughout the day and was able to showcase her speed. Harvey was a quick thinker and used the ball well, whether it was by hand or by foot. Was on the bottom of the pack plenty of times.
#17 Rebecca Webster
Read the tap well and got a nice kick away. Webster did well to follow up the kick and trap the ball after she got a handball she wasn’t expecting. Great pick-up and acceleration out of the pack. Webster was really good at reading the ball in the air and was able to bring it down to ground on plenty of occasions. Kicked nicely, smothered nicely, and tackled nicely. Produced some good run and kick off half-back. Webster excellently burst off half-back and ran well into space. She then tripped over but somehow managed to get a handball away on her knees. Good all-round performance from her.
#19 Millie Brown
Did a good job kicking out of full-back when she was required to do so. Nice long kick around the body. Kicked it nicely inside 50, where the ball fell out the back but just went through for a behind. Read the tap well and got a good clearance away.
#22 Tamara Smith
Kicked the ball nicely inside 50 to create a scoring opportunity for Murray. Did well to break away from congestion. Never stopped trying for the Bushrangers all day, showcasing her speed and aggression in the depths of the contest.
Greater Western Victoria Rebels vs. Oakleigh Chargers
By: Taylah Melki
Greater Western Victoria Rebels:
#2 Renee Saulitis
She was instrumental up forward for the Rebels, bagging two goals for the game and competing hard to win the footy in the forward 50. Saulitis applied plenty of good forward pressure and looked promising when she had the ball in hand.
#16 Lauren Butler
She showed some really good footy smarts throughout the game and helped to open up space across the field with her strong leads. Butler applied plenty of good strong tackles and showed a lot of fight to win the footy both at ground level and in the air. She took a good intercept mark and used her long penetrating kick to propel her team forward. Her clean hands in and around the contest and at stoppages were important for the Rebels.
#18 Sophie Van De Heuvel
Presented a good option up forward and constantly offered good leads. She showcased her ability to run hard and covered the ground really well for the Rebels. In difficult conditions, Van De Heuvel displayed her impressive strong kick and was quite dynamic up forward.
#23 Sophie Molan
Molan was a clear standout for the Rebels and worked hard all game to win the ball at the coalface. Her effort in and around the stoppages allowed her to release her teammates and open up space, creating scoring opportunities for GWV. She constantly went in hard at the stoppages and scored a goal in the second term from a free kick. Molan looked dangerous all game and really showcased her footy smarts by putting the ball into space and applying plenty of forward pressure to keep the footy trapped inside their forward 50.
#25 Georgia Clarke
Clarke was solid down back once again for the Rebels and showed great composure with ball in hand. She was a real general down back and helped to control the flow of the play in the defensive end for her side. She went down with a possible back injury and received treatment at three-quarter time but returned to the field in the final term. Clarke impressed with her ability to shut down her opponent.
#35 Rene Caris
Competed really hard in the ruck and showcased her impressive leap. Caris got her hands to plenty of the ball in the ruck and displayed some good tap downs to advantage. Her follow-up work around the ground was also important for the Rebels.
#2 Mimi Hill
Hill showcased her physicality, applying plenty of good tackling pressure throughout the match. She fought hard to win the ball and create opportunities for her teammates.
#11 Bridie Winbanks
Had a really consistent game but laid a really strong tackle in the third quarter that affected a shot at goal. She showed great fight for the ball and never gave up around the contest, competing hard to win the ball both in the air and at ground level.
#14 Hannah McLaren
McLaren competed hard all game for Oakleigh and was never far from the contest. She covered the ground really well and was a key player for the Chargers.
#30 Gemma Lagioia
Lagioia shone with her good tackling pressure and persistent fight to win the footy at ground level. She was really clean in and around the stoppages and showcased her footy smarts throughout the match. Her ability to read the play allowed her to take important intercepts and propel her team forward into attack. Lagioia applied plenty of good forward pressure and tried hard all game to create scoring opportunities for her teammates with her long penetrating kick into the forward 50.
#38 Daisy Bateman
In difficult and windy conditions Bateman competed hard all game to try and win the footy when it came her way. Her intensity really lifted in the final term as she showed plenty of run and carry. The full forward imposed herself on the contest and applied some good forward pressure, laying a strong tackle in the last quarter. Bateman used her speed and footy knowledge to try and break through the Rebels pressure and open up space for her teammates.
Gippsland Power vs. Sandringham Dragons
By: Taylah Melki
#6 Emily Haeusler
Haeusler showcased her strong hands for the Power, taking a few strong grabs down in defence and using her long penetrating kick to move the ball forward. Her run and carry for Gippsland was important, and she showcased her footy smarts with a clever shepherd to allow her teammate a free run at the footy.
#8 Chandra Abrahams
Abrahams imposed herself around the ground, applying strong tackling pressure and applying an impressive smother against her opponent
#27 Nikia Webber
Webber was on fire in the opening minutes of the match, kicking the first major of the game and putting the Power in good stead. She worked hard to try and open up space and displayed her strong set of hands, taking a few big grabs. Webber showcased her versatility and clean hands to pick the ball up in difficult and windy conditions.
#28 Tyla Hanks
Hanks continued her hot form, dazzling with her impressive evasive skills and clever footwork along the boundary line to turn her opponents inside out. She also showed great composure to be able to hit targets while under pressure. Her ability to read the play allowed her to create opportunities for teammates and help propel her team forward. Whenever Hanks had the ball in hand she seemed to have plenty of time and space to think her options through and impact the play. Hanks took a huge contested grab and her ability to create a contest even when out-numbered was invaluable for the Power.
#45 Lily Van Berkel
Van Berkel took a huge pack mark in the second quarter in blustery conditions. Her ability to read the play and her strong hands made for a good marking contest for the Power.
#25 Isabella Eddey
Eddey really stood up in the last quarter, scoring a huge goal to get the Dragons back in front. In testing conditions she showcased her booming and accurate kick that helped to propel her team forward. Eddey applied a lot of good forward pressure to help trap the ball inside Sandringham’s forward 50 and get repeat entries.
#30 Eleanor Brown
Brown is a really smooth mover and covers the ground well to get herself into damaging positions. She was really good with her follow-up efforts and competed hard to win the footy, whether it be aerially or on the deck. Brown also impressed with her clean pick-ups and quick hands in and around the contest. Her speed and ability to open up space across the ground was really important in creating spread for the Dragons.
#33 Molly Denahy Maloney
She imposed herself on the contest and covered the ground really well in wet and cold conditions. Denahy Maloney positioned herself well throughout the game and moved into damaging positions to try and create forward pressure.
#36 Jemma Owen
Owen showcased her footy smarts and ability to read the play, bagging an impressive soccer goal in the last quarter of the game. Her forward pressure lifted in the final term, scoring two majors within six minutes which helped her team secure a big win. She worked really hard throughout the game to win the footy at the coalface and was not afraid to go in and scrap for the ball.
#50 Holly Bate
Kicking into the wind, Bate missed a set shot in the second quarter but went on to make amends later in the match, slotting a goal in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter. She impressed with her strong hands and took an impressive mark at full extension in the last quarter.
Geelong Falcons vs. Western Jets
By: Peter Williams
#7 Olivia Purcell
Another top performance from the talented midfielder who enjoyed many tough one-on-one contests with the Jets midfielders. She was the dominant clearance player on the day and won the football on both the inside and outside. Purcell is able to find space where there seems to be none, and can kick out of a stoppage well.
#18 Nina Morrison
Played almost exclusively at full-forward and gave us more of a sneak peak into her versatility as a permanent forward. The wind reeked havoc on any attempt on goal, with Morrison finishing with three majors and a number of behinds as well. She was strong in the air and unbeatable on the lead, she also provided serious forward pressure and continually harassed the ball-carrier to win the football back.
#23 Lucy McEvoy
An anchor off half-back, McEvoy was always there to clean up the crumbs and propel the ball forward. A noticeable trait for the captain is her ability to weigh her kicks and take power off them to find teammates 20 metres away with a “chip” kick over the top of an opponent. She is a fierce tackler and often forces her teammates to lead or run into open space and she puts it to their advantage. A booming kick who was able to be effective going long from half-back to half-forward.
#27 Denby Taylor
Played at both ends like she did in the AFLW Academy match against Geelong. She seems to have a natural aggression at the football and is more of a marking player than a spoiling one which is why she has been able to influence up forward. A huge grab in the second term was a highlight, but she just missed the set shot. Did well with a couple of handballs to teammates in the third term.
#38 Renee Tierney
The forward played her role once again for the Falcons, kicking two goals in the match and also pushed up the ground. She won a contested ball on the wing and had the vision to handball to Stephanie Williams on the outside by putting it in front of her in space.
#39 Tarryn Love
A consistent midfielder who applies fantastic pressure on the ball carrier. For a smaller player she can roost the ball a fair way and just continually buzzes around the contest. Along with Purcell, Love was one of the best midfielders on the ground.
#42 Sachi DeGiacomi
The other permanent Falcons forward had another good day out, booting two goals and causing headaches on the lead for the opposition. Almost assisted in a goal in the second term as well but the shot was touched on the line. DeGiacomi showed good bodywork in one-on-one contests and provided a presence in attack for Geelong.
#16 Elisabeth Georgostathis
A really impressive game from Georgostathis, whose performance is always littered with pressure acts and strong tackles. She wins free kicks from her tackling pressure, and one of her best efforts was a fantastic run-down tackle on Olivia Purcell in the second term when her opponent tried to side-step her. She was composed under pressure and able to dispose of the ball quickly, winning plenty of it throughout the game. In one instance in the third term she won a 1v2 contest when she was out-numbered and was able to clear the ball to a teammate. Really held her own against a number of AFLW Academy midfielders on the day.
#30 Isabelle Pritchard
Saw plenty of the ball down her end but showed good composure when flying for marks. In the third term she took a good contested grab and did push up the ground at times, particularly when Western was kicking with the wind. Early in the fourth term she stopped a certain goal when a couple of Falcons opponents tried to handball through the defence but her pressure was enough to cause a mistake and force a throw in on the boundary line.
#43 Caitlin Greiser
Greiser kicked Western’s first and only goal late in the opening term before heading to defence. She nailed a powerful set shot with the wind to open the Jets’ account then showed off her versatility by playing in the defensive half, most notably at full-back. In one instance of a kickout she cleared the 50 metre line with the aid of the wind in the third term, and won a one-on-one on the defensive side of the wing, protecting the ball drop area and clearing the ball with a long kick to half-forward.
Calder Cannons vs. Eastern Ranges
By: Peter Williams
#2 Felicity Theodore
A composed user of the ball, Theodore spread well across the course of the game and showed sure hands in the wet conditions with a good mark on the lead at half-back. She can take the game on at times and back herself in as well.
#3 Madison Prespakis
There is not much more that can be said about Prespakis that has not been said 1000 times before. Another best on ground performance and vintage display from the midfielder who just continues to battle hard throughout four quarters. She was a dominant player once again, and aside from working hard and kicking clear of the congestion on a number of occasions, she impacts up forward week-in, week-out. Booted an early foal from a set shot 45 metres out and assisted in more forward entries. Rarely puts a foot wrong.
#21 Georgia Patrikios
I would probably have her up there as one of the most naturally intuitive forwards going around. Every time she gets the ball inside 50, you get a sense that she could kick a clever goal and she did it again on the weekend. In the first term she got goal side of a contest and kicked a fantastic goal, but her second was one for the ages. Bucketing down at times and a heavy ball and wet ground, Patrikios managed to somehow kick a goal from the boundary line with an outside of the boot snap under pressure in which should not only be one of the highlights of the round, but highlights of the season.
#23 Grace Dicker
Talented bottom-ager who has a great blend of courage and natural talent. She won a free sliding into a contest to take a mark in the second term and moments later went back with the flight in another marking contest to impact in defence. She zipped around the ground and showed good acceleration, missed a couple of kicks with the wet ball, but just kept applying enormous amounts of defensive pressure, and applied a great spoil on a much taller opponent in the third quarter.
#3 Emerson Woods
The co-captain has put together a really consistent second half of the season and in the wet, she showed good leadership with strong hands. She wins the ball on the inside and often handballs into the path of her teammates running on the outside, directing them where to run and therefore leading by her actions. She is a quick thinker and has lightning quick hands in a stoppage. Knew to keep the ball moving and get it forward at all costs in poor conditions.
#21 Mikala Cann
A classy display in the wet with another good balance of offensive and defensive acts. Cann provided good tackling pressure and just continued to attack the contest hard throughout the four quarters. Despite the wet ball she seemed to be clean with her disposal and not flustered by the slippery conditions.
#38 Laura McClelland
Not a great day for forwards but McClelland did her best in the wet. She showed good hands out in front and in the pouring rain of the second quarter, managed to collect the ball off the deck with one swift pick-up, turned and disposed of it inside 50. She applied a good shepherd on the wing in the third term to allow her teammate to win the ball and then showed good defensive pressure inside 50 with a bone-crunching tackle.
Dandenong Stingrays vs. Bendigo Pioneers
By: Julia Montesano
#1 Shelley Heath
Displayed a good quick burst out of a stoppage and delivered a nice kick inside 50. Displayed good work to hold the ball up for a stoppage and did nicely to trap the ball in a two-on-one. She won that battle as she got up on her feet first.
#3 Courtney Jones
Executed a nice wrap-around tackle, and her all-round tackling was great on the day. Jones worked hard to get the ball and when it didn’t go her way, she followed up with a second effort and created a stoppage. Took a great mark when she read the ball really well off Brooke Struylaart’s centring kick, just letting the ball go onto her chest. A highlight for me was when she had a set shot at goal. Jones dropped the ball lower on her run-up and just kicked it gently through the goal, which was smart play as she knew she couldn’t hack it because the wind would just take it. Displayed a high footy IQ in that instance. Executed a great one-two with Zoe Hill and then delivered a huge kick on the run which sailed through the goals. Jones really stepped up her game in the fourth quarter but had a good all-round performance.
#15 Jordyn Allen
Executed a great passage of play when she took a nice mark on the lead, gave off a quick handball and performed a nice one-two with a teammate. She was able to evade a tackler and gave off a quick handball on the inside to Lucy Cripps. She then evaded another tackle and got a kick away once the tackle stuck, showing great strength in the contest. Executed a great pick-up and spun her way out of trouble to kick well to a lead. Displayed excellent gut-running throughout the game, despite the trying conditions.
#26 Isabella Shannon
Read the conditions well when she picked up the ball and kicked it along the ground. Executed a nice kick forward and took a great contested mark. Shannon played a good all-round game, not just inside 50 but all around the ground. Did well when she won a free kick for holding the ball, got a 50 metre penalty and scored a goal.
#35 Lucy Cripps
For wet conditions, Cripps played the boundary line extremely well. This was shown when she displayed some nice work to keep the ball inside the boundary line and keep it alive for the Stingrays. In one instance, she got tackled but followed up well to pursue the ball. Executed a great pick-up on the boundary line and then gave off a nice quick handball to Isabella Shannon. Cripps displayed good work to follow up the ball and kept running after it after it got away from her. She did really well in one instance to shepherd the ball and got a kick into space. A highlight of Cripps’ game was when she managed to kick the ball out of the pack perfectly towards a target.
#19 Kodi Jacques
Jacques was outstanding for Bendigo. She displayed good hustle at the contest and good running to be involved wherever she could. Jacques fought hard for the footy and it paid off when she picked up the ball swiftly off the deck and got the ball into space. Executed a nice clearance, always seeming to find the footy. Jacques was able to get good penetration on her kicks and was rewarded through winning a couple of free kicks. Laid a good smother then did well to trap the ball to ensure it didn’t go anywhere. Executed a nice kick out of a stoppage and a nice fist over the boundary line. Did well in the heart of the contest where she got a few great clearances on the day. She read the taps perfectly and did everything she could for Bendigo.
#20 Kate Douglass
Took a great mark in the back line and was able to follow up after missed marks. Worked really hard back there.
#28 Megan Williamson
Displayed hard running towards the footy and was a general on-field leader. Williamson is a great role model for her teammates, always going in hard at the contest. She used the footy really well on the day and tackled hard when she needed to do so. She’s not so much a ‘wow factor’ player, but she’s certainly one that never stops working, and her efforts certainly don’t go unnoticed.