AFL Draft Central https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au The number one place for AFL draft content Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:20:15 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 123097015 Was AFLX a hit or a miss? https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/21/was-aflx-a-hit-or-a-miss/ https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/21/was-aflx-a-hit-or-a-miss/#respond Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:11:24 +0000 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/?p=30328 IT was the newest addition to the AFL’s growing repertoire but was last week’s AFLX round robin experiment exciting or just a glorified training drill?

The Media:

The 10-player-a-team format was trialled for the first time last week with six teams per night in three different states and brought about mixed responses immediately after its debut with the Herald Sun’s Jon Anderson and ABC’s Richard Hinds at polar opposite ends of the enjoyment scale. The television ratings suggest it was a hit on the first night of competition – 673,000 tuned in to Channel Seven’s coverage at some point during the night – but the average audience was just 171,000. So was that interested viewers switching off in disappointment? Or was it traditionalists letting curiosity get the better of them eventually? An audience of 82,000 that tuned in on Foxtel made it the most watched subscriber-based time slot on Thursday night. The television ratings on Friday the second night of competition had 75,000 TV viewers, which was a significant drop in ratings from the first night. Then on Saturday, just 70,000 watched the AFLX on Foxtel and on 7Mate – Channel Seven’s third channel – 71,000 viewers tuned in to watch AFLX. This could be because fans were sick of watching a game where there was “no physicality, no crunching tackles – barely any tackling at all” which make Australian Football unique and great.

The Players:

The AFLX begun on Thursday night at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide. The Crows were too strong for Geelong in the Grand Final. Many of the players on the opening night of AFLX did not like the silver footballs that were used, most, such as Adelaide’s Kyle Cheney saying it was more difficult to use compared to the traditional Sherrin. As a result of the players who voiced their concerns about the silver ball the AFL went back to using the traditional yellow ball for the remainder of the tournament. All the players from opening night were happy to be out there again playing football even though it was only pre season. Geelong’s forward Tom Hawkins told to Fox Footy that playing AFLX was “bloody good fun.” By the end of the night the players were tired due to the AFLX being such a fast paced game based on skills. Fremantle’s Bradley Hill when asked by Fox Footy his thoughts on AFLX said “it’s actually alright to be honest, I was struggling a fair bit myself but I reckon everyone is struggling just as bad if not more.”

The Coaches:

The feedback from the coaches was mixed. In his post-game interview for the club’s website, Collingwood assistant and AFLX coach Robert Harvey believed the players were on board for the new competition. “I think the players enjoyed it, like come over different concept very different to an AFL game but best thing for us we exposed some really young kids and they just looked really good and its good experience for them under that environment like playing other AFL teams,” he said. However Brisbane coach Chris Fagan was not a fan of AFLX due to the lower fan engagement, such as celebrating after goals. Fagan also disliked it how players are used as guinea pigs for the experiment putting them at the risk of injuries before the season proper. He still wants the AFLX to work but believes there are a lot of improvements needed. “It’s good that they are trying something new – every time you do that you learn how to make it better,” Fagan said. “I am sure the AFL will seek feedback from clubs to help bring a better version next time but they have to start somewhere.” Many AFL fans were quick to criticise the modified game of AFL, however the game was created to fill the gap in the International market and AFLX may be the way to do it. If we want to see some sort of Australian Football played globally then AFLX might be the way as many grounds overseas only have rectangular soccer pitches.

Conclusion:

I believe many concerns from AFL fans regarding the AFLX competition might be subsided if it was held in the middle of the AFL Premiership Season. That way I believe it would not take the shine away from the AFLW. These women are trying to make names for themselves and have their football brand recognised but how can they if the competition clashes with AFLX?

I believe we should have the AFLX played across three nights mid-season, mirroring the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. On night one of competition there could be like an AFLX Rising Star game showcasing the talents of those players who are aged under 22 to face off in AFLX. Then on night two of the competition, the match could be an All-Star battle such as Team Ablett versus Team Fyfe.

The AFL could also follow the NBA’s lead in its All-Star match selection process. Fans choose their All-Stars and then once the captains of both teams are chosen, they select their teams. I believe this will be a good way to include fans and therefore fans will feel a greater part of this new AFL game, which I believe is a win for the AFL. Then on the final night of competition, the retired legends of our great game can play in a Victoria vs. All Stars match similar to the EJ Whitten Legends game.

My suggestion for making the AFLX more of a spectacle for viewers is to include these big name AFL players in the competition and that is more likely to occur if it was played mid-season, with the AFL perhaps giving a two week break to ensure no fatigue for the second half of the season. This would be a great way for the AFL to promote the AFLX internationally as well, because they could take these teams around the world to help with the promotion of the new modified format. You be the judge, but I believe the AFLX will thrive more if it was to model the AFLX on the way the NBA runs it All-Star Weekend, as it is one of the most watched globalised events. The AFLX was created to fill a gap in the global market and to take our game internationally and I believe this concept will fill the gap, as will showcasing our game’s All-Star talent.

How do you think the AFL should market AFLX?

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Team of the Week: AFLW – Round 3 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/21/team-of-the-week-aflw-round-3/ https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/21/team-of-the-week-aflw-round-3/#respond Wed, 21 Feb 2018 05:59:07 +0000 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/?p=30401 ADELAIDE Crows started round three of the 2018 AFLW season on the bottom of the ladder, and a major contributor to their slow start was the absence of their awe-inspiring captain Erin Phillips. Phillips was a late out in round one with a quad complaint, and the reigning premiers struggled without her until she made her triumphant return at Norwood Oval on the weekend. Phillips demonstrated why she is the reigning AFLW MVP, with a tantalising display of class against the Bulldogs. Her skill in front of goal was a particular highlight, as she finished with four majors on the board, and inspired her side’s first win of the year. 

Round three saw a more even spread amongst the Team of the Week, with plenty of new faces making their way into the side. Four Fremantle players earned a spot in the best 21, while the Bulldogs and Crows also contributed their fair share with three representatives each. But the even spread does not include any Blues players, after they succumbed to a loss against Brisbane at home. 

After a two week hiatus, premiership captain, Erin Phillips was a lock in the Team of the Week, thanks to a stellar performance in the forward line. Fremantle captain, Kara Donnellan was picked second in the team this week, with the St Albans product playing an exceptional captain’s game against Melbourne. She racked up 17 disposals, and took a match-saving mark in the dying seconds of the game.

Emily Bates starred for Brisbane with 20 disposals, with the prolific ball-winner trying her heart out all night against the Blues. But the Yeronga junior just could not fit into the jam-packed Team of the Week. Fremantle’s Lisa Webb was also unlucky to miss out in being in this week’s best 21, after a stellar performance in her second AFLW outing, racking up 17 disposals and kicking a goal.

FB: Chelsea Randall (Adel), Kate Lutkins (Bris), Leah Kaslar (Bris)

HB: Evangeline Gooch (Frem), Sarah Allan (Adel), Ebony Antonio (Frem)

C: Kara Donnellan (Frem)

HF: Sophie Conway (Bris), Tegan Cunningham (Melb), Phoebe McWilliams (GWS)

FF: Katie Brennan (WB), Erin Phillips (Adel), Emily McGuire (Frem)

F: Emma King (Coll), Alicia Eva (GWS), Daisy Pearce (Melb)

I/C: Courtney Gum (GWS), Emma Kearney (WB), Ebony Marinoff (Adel), Chloe Molloy (Coll), Kaitlyn Ashmore (Bris)

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Progression leads to performance https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/20/progression-leads-to-performance/ https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/20/progression-leads-to-performance/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 08:07:58 +0000 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/?p=30350 FOR eight years Natalie Grindal has seen the transformation of girls footy, going from a 30-player state academy team that would train together; to now a clear pathway for girls to play footy at the highest level at AFLW. 

Grindal highlighted the importance of the AFLW, and how it has given young girls something to strive for in the future.  

“I been able to watch it grow from two to three teams to where it is now,” she said. “I guess training wise, that has changed a lot as well.”

The Northern Knights Girls high performance manager believes that the people that the teams invest into the program have contributed to the success and continual development of the girls program.

“I guess when I started so many years ago it was just me being the strength and conditioning coach and now I am High Performance Manager of the girls team,” Grindal said. “I have two strength and conditioning coaches working for me. “I have a rehab coordinator, we have a dietitian and trainers. “With all these people helping me, it gives the girls the best program possible.” 

The high school teacher says the thing that she loves about working with the girls is their attitude towards training and their willingness to take opportunities that come their way with both hands.

“The girls just eat everything up,” Grindal said. “They want to learn, they want to get better, they want to develop. “They ask questions, do everything you ask of them and they do it to the best of their ability.”

Grindal and the entire high performance team pride them themselves on being the benchmark in the TAC Cup girls competition and try to emulate the goings on of an AFLW club during the season. Initiatives such as Smartabase allows the team to manage the girls wellbeing and training loads.

“Smartabase is something all AFLW use,” Grindal said. “So the girls just have access to it on their phone and takes a couple of minutes to fill in the morning and then a training report in the evening.”

“It is just another thing that makes our program be that one bit better, and helps the girls if they get drafted, walk into an AFLW club (and they) won’t have to be told how to do it because they will know it.”

Grindal says it has been quite funny this season as in previous years of working in girls footy clubs she has been the only one organising and running her area, where as this year she has had the ability to teach the other staff and delegate roles.

“I’ve got an awesome staff of people that are eager to learn; they all want to get experience.”

However sometimes she can’t help herself and will get involved in the action, chatting with the girls and making reflecting and continually improving the the program to be the benchmark.

Grindal believes the girls are eager than ever as they can now see a pathway in the form of AFLW.

“I don’t call them girls or players, they are athletes,” she said. “They have got a pathway, they can see what they can get to. It also helps me because I can say, you are doing this to help yourself get to the next level.”

Everything we teach them and that they learn is what they will need to do at an AFLW club and not be lost when they get there.” 

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Scouting notes: AFLW – Round 3 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/20/scouting-notes-aflw-round-3/ https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/20/scouting-notes-aflw-round-3/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 06:18:25 +0000 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/?p=30371 SEESAWING contests and surprising victories headlined an action-packed round three. Melbourne stumbled at Fremantle Oval against the Dockers, who continue to rectify their disappointing start to the season, while the reigning premiers welcomed back superstar, Erin Phillips, who got her side over the line for their first win of the year. At Ikon Park, Lion Nat Exon ran amuck against her old side, who struggled without captain Brianna Davey. For the Pies, they sit winless at the bottom of the ladder, and are under pressure to kick-start their 2018 campaign. 

Carlton vs. Brisbane

#1: Emily Bates- Brisbane

Absolute bull. Worked well under pressure. Nearly beat three Carlton players to the ball at one point.

#2: Nat Exon- Brisbane

Got plenty of the ball throughout the night and kicked a ripper goal to sink her old side. Her best game in Brisbane colours.

#3: Jamie Stanton- Brisbane

Brilliant performance. 18 disposals including 14 kicks. Knows how to use the footy.

#4: Ally Anderson- Brisbane

Ball magnet as usual. 16 disposals, in which 10 of them were kicks. So smart with the ball in hand.

#5: Nicola Stevens- Carlton

Aggressive as usual. Imposed on the ball with 13 disposals.

#6: Kate Lutkins- Brisbane

Smart in defence and good run-and-carry. Never rushes her kick.

#7: Shae Audley- Carlton

Tackling was outrageous! 10 tackles to go with 10 disposals isn’t a bad night out.

#8: Jess Wuetschner- Brisbane

She’s the person you’d want kicking for your life from the boundary. Kicked a ripper at the beginning of the third quarter.

#9: Breann Moody- Carlton

Stood tall in defence and took three early marks. Has a booming kick and a great ability to smother the footy.

#10: Sophie Li- Carlton

Was proactive in defence. Didn’t stop trying all night. Deserved a goal but couldn’t convert on what should’ve been a gimme.

#11: Sophie Conway- Brisbane

Opened up the play by playing along the boundary and wider parts of the ground. Took four impressive grabs and kicked two goals.

#12: Maddison Gay- Carlton

Really good pressure player. Showed intent throughout the whole game. A third-quarter clearance exposed us to her immense pace.

#13: Kerryn Harrington- Carlton

Got plenty of the ball in defence. Her best game for the year.

#14: Katie Loynes- Carlton

Good, hard running all game. Such an aggressive player.

#15: Sabrina Frederick-Traub- Carlton

Was all over the ground. Took some killer marks, just not in the forward line.

#16: Brittany Gibson- Brisbane

Kicked a good left-to-right goal. Was active with the footy, collecting 12 disposals.

#17: Danielle Hardiman- Carlton

Calm and composed in defence. Straight down to business after taking a mark, always looks for the best option.

#18: Emma Zielke- Brisbane

Solid captain’s game again. Only nine disposals but laid five tackles. Really wanted to get involved in the pressure side of the game.

#19: Sharni Webb- Brisbane

Had 14 disposals but could not kick a goal. Tried hard all night.

#20: Leah Kaslar- Brisbane

Played really tight on Tayla Harris and kept her quiet. Forced her up the ground. Made Harris frustrated, as she gave away two free kicks in quick succession.

 

Adelaide vs. Western Bulldogs

By Connor Ferris 

#1: Erin Phillips- Adelaide

Unbelievable in her first game of the season. Played a huge part in getting the Crows on the board, kicking four goals from six opportunities. Dangerous with ball in hand all day, constantly creating scoring chances, and intimidating the Bulldogs defence.

#2: Ebony Marinoff- Adelaide

Great game across the board, with over 20 possessions. A number of those set the Crows up for forward attacks. Displayed relentless pressure, and was the leading tackler on the ground, laying an astounding 15 of them! One of the best players of the day.

#3: Chelsea Randall- Adelaide

Terrific contest with Katie Brennan when she pushed up into the midfield. Leading possession-getter on the ground with 24, and stood up when it mattered most.

#4: Monique Conti- Western Bulldogs

Solid game in all areas of the ground. Accumulated 15 possessions, and put in a tremendous effort in the final minutes, but could not quite get the Dogs over the line.

#5: Emma Kearney- Western Bulldogs

Opportunistic first goal. Should have had more than just one, missing two shots on goal later in the game. Was a key contributor for the Dogs.

#6: Ellie Blackburn- Western Bulldogs

Played a great game with 17 possessions and a behind, but just couldn’t snag a major. Provided good run through the midfield, and looked dangerous up forward.

#7: Brooke Lochland- Western Bulldogs

Continued what has been a terrific start to the season. The small forward took advantage of the opportunities coming her way with 16 possessions and a goal.

#8: Georgia Bevan- Adelaide

Quiet day at the office numbers-wise, but was still able to have an impact on the game. She laid six tackles, including a clutch tackle in the dying minutes to set up the winning goal.

#9: Katie Brennan- Western Bulldogs

Played her way into the game after a slow start. Ended up kicking two goals, but overall was held in-check well by the Crows defence and midfield.

#10: Sarah Perkins- Adelaide

The early move into the middle of the ground allowed her to find some form after a disappointing first two games. Moved back up forward in the second half, and registered a minor score.

#11: Jenna McCormick- Adelaide

Continued to build on what has been a good start to the season. Kicked two goals for the Crows from her seven possessions.

#12: Sarah Allan- Adelaide

Good composure down back to fend off a number of the Bulldogs’ scoring opportunities. Provided a tough contest across the back-line.

#13: Aisling Utri- Western Bulldogs

Got off to an excellent start with a lot of the ball early, including a goal in the first term. Was held down well for the remainder of the game.

#14: Tiarna Ernst- Western Bulldogs

Spent some time in the ruck throughout the day but was beaten by Rhiannon Metcalfe. Racked up eight possessions for the day through moving around the ground.

#15: Hannah Scott- Western Bulldogs

Another good outing down in defence, which was under constant pressure. Laid a number of tackles, and showed good composure with ball in hand.

#16: Marijana Rajcic- Adelaide

Played a solid game with 11 possessions. Impactful in a number of key moments down the stretch to set up a victory.

#17: Angelica Gogos- Western Bulldogs

So aggressive around the contest. Gogos was the Bulldogs’ leading tackler, with 10 for the day.

#18: Rheanne Lugg- Adelaide

Presented a strong target, taking three marks. Accumulated eight possessions, and showed positive signs through her effort around the contest.

#19: Dayna Cox- Adelaide

Was reported in the first quarter for a hit on Ellie Blackburn. Physicality was on display all day, and was something that seemed to inspire her teammates. 

#20: Rhiannon Metcalfe- Adelaide

Got the better of the ruck battle throughout the day with 25 hit-outs, a number of those to advantage. Not much impact outside of the ruck contests, with only three touches.

Collingwood vs. GWS

By Taylah Melki

 

#1: Courtney Gum- GWS

She had a stellar game with plenty of possessions, and a goal-saving smother in the second quarter. Showed great desperation and commitment, going hard at the footy and putting her body on the line. Her tackling was intense, yet she had great composure in front of goal, slotting two majors.

#2: Alicia Eva- GWS

Her kicking game was on show with 20 of her 23 touches being kicks. She had clean hands and showed great poise and decision-making with ball in hand. Great on-field leader.

#3: Amanda Farrugia- GWS

The captain was unstoppable once again with 15 disposals. She racked up 10 kicks for the game which were long, penetrating and accurate. Her intensity and aggression around the ground was felt, laying six tackles and imposing herself in the contest.

 #4: Emma King- Collingwood

She took plenty of good contested marks around the ground, and imposed herself on the contest throughout the match.

 #5: Brittany Bonnici- Collingwood

Skilful use of the footy, and slotted an extraordinary goal in the first term. She used her speed and agility throughout the game to manoeuvre herself into dangerous positions and rack up plenty of the footy.

 #6: Phoebe McWilliams- GWS

Dominant in front of goal and used the footy cleanly and accurately. Showed good awareness and skill with ball in hand. Took good contested marks and showed plenty of composure, slotting the match-winning goal.

 #7: Jaimee Lambert- Collingwood

Great on-field leader. Got plenty of disposals and displayed good decision-making. Dished the ball off cleanly to teammates. Impressed again for the Pies, racking up 19 disposals.

#8: Jessica Dal Pos- GWS

Her tackling intensity was up, laying six tackles for the match. She made her physical presence felt with her 11 touches, and used her poise to control the flow of the game. Good speed.

#9: Emma Grant- Collingwood

Belter of a first quarter, as she imposed herself on the contest from the outset. She tackled aggressively and chased down opponents, placing pressure on GWS. Got plenty of the ball with 12 touches.

 #10: Jacinda Barclay- GWS

Showed great composure to score an important goal late in the last quarter. Scrummed hard to win the contested ball and provide opportunities for teammates.

 #11: Stephanie Chiocci- Collingwood

The Collingwood captain stood tall again, bagging an important goal in the first quarter. She had clean hands around the footy, and kicked the ball with penetration.

#12: Chloe Molloy- Collingwood

Starred in the last quarter providing plenty of run and carry, helping to break up the congestion on the field. She also took a few intercept marks and racked up 14 touches, with 11 of those being kicks.  

 #13: Aimee Schmidt- GWS

She was accurate in front of goal. Helped to spark the onslaught for GWS with her forward pressure and leads to the footy. Hit the contest hard on the ground and in the air.

#14: Elle Bennetts- GWS

Her tackling pressure was intense, laying four tackles for the game. Got involved and competed for the ball in and around the contest.

#15: Meg Hutchins- Collingwood

She was her ever-reliable self, taking important intercept marks and racking up 11 touches. Good on-field leader for the Pies.

 #16: Moana Hope- Collingwood

She found some impressive form after being dropped from the team. She slotted two skilful goals; one around her body and another dribbling through the goals. Her bag of tricks was on display with clean pick-ups and classy finishes.

#17: Cora Staunton- GWS

Imposed herself in contests and fought hard to try and win the contested footy. Copped a nasty hit to the face but played out the rest of the match, showing her mental and physical toughness.

#18: Jess Duffin- Collingwood

Ran hard and opened up space for the Pies. Supported her teammates, through providing them with leads and options. Scored an important goal late in the third quarter.

 #19: Christina Bernardi- Collingwood

Got herself into space and contested for the ball. She made her physical presence felt laying three big tackles. Showed great speed.

#20: Amelia Barden- Collingwood

Clean pick up of the footy. Good footwork to move herself around opponents.

 

Fremantle vs. Melbourne

By James Halley

#1: Kara Donnellan- Fremantle

Great eyes in traffic to be able to spot teammates in space. Took responsibility and went to Pearce to try and nullify her impact in the last quarter. Took the match-saving mark in the dying seconds, which shows why she was named captain of the Dockers.

#2: Daisy Pearce- Melbourne

Showed Dusty-like traits with a ‘don’t argue’ on a Fremantle opponent! Dominated the middle of the ground with a game-high 24 disposals. A complete captain’s game.

#3: Lisa Webb- Fremantle

She had the skill and composure to convert a set shot in the third term on a relatively hard angle. Continued to impress in her debut season, with 17 disposals and four marks.

#4: Ebony Antonio- Fremantle

She is not scared to go back with the flight and take a gutsy mark. Puts her head over the ball in the contest. Has a great set shot for a defender, and kicked a beautiful goal in the second quarter.

#5: Emily McGuire- Fremantle

She has a fantastic goal-sense and showed tremendous skill on debut. Finished with two goals for the game, and created a buzz in the forward line. She had free reign inside 50, and showed Richelle Cranston-like attributes. 

#6: Karen Paxman- Melbourne

Wasn’t just influential in the middle of the ground, but was also able to go forward and take a contested mark, and convert from close range. Good intercept marker, and great intent on the ball. She was buzzing around the packs.

#7: Tegan Cunningham- Melbourne

Able to manhandle her opponents to get her hands on the ball. Being 186cm tall and having a basketball background gives her a supreme advantage over her opponents. She also has a good goal-kicking technique. She is able to chip in the ruck, which is very valuable for the Demons.

#8: Dana Hooker- Fremantle

Began where she left off last week with a lively start. Made an impact in the contest and racked up 13 possessions.

#9: Evangeline Gooch- Fremantle

She has great speed, and executed some impressive run-down tackles in the first quarter and second quarters. Appeared to be everywhere, and contributed nicely on the day.

#10: Katherine Smith- Melbourne

She has good rebounding speed and a penetrating kick. Was very determined to find the footy, and looks like she is benefiting from complementing Bianca Jakobsson in the back-line. 

#11: Cassie Davidson- Fremantle

Great pace and acceleration shown throughout the day. Did the little things right. Racked up 12 disposals, of which 11 of those were kicks.

#12: Shelley Scott- Melbourne

Her effort could not be questioned, as she showed impressive intent all day. Accumulated 11 possessions. Her tackling was a highlight for the Dees, laying seven for the day.

#13: Elise O’Dea- Melbourne

Impressed again with 11 disposals, and did the job that she needed to do. A rare brain fade for her in the dying minutes, as she rushed and missed an easy shot on goal.

#14: Melissa Caulfield- Fremantle

She beat Jakobsson inside 50 to kick an amazing goal in the final quarter. Has immense speed and class, and showed that to kick her third goal of the season.

#15: Hayley Miller- Fremantle

Miller has a huge kick, and can mimic Tayla Harris’ scissor kick! A promising 16 disposals for her in another great outing for the Dockers.

#16: Richelle Cranston- Melbourne

Loves to take her opponents on and break through tackles. Had a big influence on the match, with her big body being a roadblock for Melbourne.

#17: Aliesha Newman- Melbourne

She has great explosive speed, and has the ability to push her opponent under the ball. She is hard to catch, which was evident with her soccer goal in the third quarter.

#18: Kate Hore- Melbourne

She lead up to the ball all day, and took some nice marks on the lead. Never gave up and kept presenting.

#19: Stephanie Cain- Fremantle

She puts the team first, and loves the one percenters. She has a team-first attitude, and loves to tackle and smother.

#20: Amy Lavell- Fremantle

In the third term, she had good skill and composure to finish nicely with a goal on her left foot.

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Queensland weekly wrap – Senior sides success; QWAFL fixture released https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/20/queensland-weekly-wrap-senior-sides-success-qwafl-fixture-released/ https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/20/queensland-weekly-wrap-senior-sides-success-qwafl-fixture-released/#respond Mon, 19 Feb 2018 23:57:15 +0000 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/?p=30332 THE past week in Queensland footy has been highlighted by the success of the Brisbane Lions’ mens and womens teams, along with big news for the Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL) competition in 2018.

Sensational Saturday for the Lions

The Brisbane Lions could do no wrong on Saturday – the women ran out convincing winners over Carlton in their AFLW clash, while the men won the night three fixture of the new AFLX competition in Sydney.

AFLW Round 3 | Carlton Blues 2.6 (18) def. by Brisbane Lions 6.4 (40)

GOALS:

BL: Conway 2, Gibson, Wuetschner, Ashmore, Exon.
CAR: Vescio, Gay.

BEST:

BL: Bates, Lutkins, Stanton, McCarthy.
CAR: Harrington, Gay, Stevens, Moody.

CROWD: 6,200 at Ikon Park

The Lions came into this match against ladder leaders Carlton in fourth place, looking to legitimise their status as premiership contenders. The first quarter was a low-scoring affair with the Lions heading into the break leading by just the one behind, despite a 12-5 advantage in inside 50s.

The goal drought was broken 13 minutes into the second term when Lion Kaitlyn Ashmore converted the only goal of a tight and scrappy quarter. At half-time, the Lions were up 1.2 (8) to Carlton 0.2 (2).  

The Lions came out swinging after the main break. Just 90 seconds into the third term, prolific goal kicker Jessica Wuetschner showed off her skill with a trademark left foot snap from the boundary. A few minutes later, Brittany Gibson marked and drilled a 30-metre shot to suddenly give the Lions a three-goal lead, crushing the Blues’ spirits.

The Blues managed their first goal 14 minutes into the third term when Maddison Gay found herself on the end of a handball in the goal-square and converted, cutting the lead to 11 points at the last change. The final term went all the Lions’ way, kicking three more goals to the Blues’ one to run out 22-point victors.  

The Lions and Blues have now traded ladder positions after round three. Looking ahead to round four, the Lions will face fifth placed Fremantle on Saturday February 24 at 3:35pm in front of their home fans at the South Pine Sports Complex.

AFLX Night Three:

Game 1: Brisbane 4.3.8 (66) def Richmond 4.3.3 (61)
Game 2: Brisbane 3.5.4 (64) def Giants 2.6.2 (58)

Grand Final: Brisbane 5.2.5 (67) def Sydney 2.3.3 (41)

The Brisbane Lions AFL side have kick-started their year, surprising almost everyone by winning night three of the new AFLX competition. They join the Adelaide Crows and Melbourne Demons in winning their AFLX fixture.

The Lions took a 14-man squad mixed with young talent and experience consisting of: Ben Keays, Allen Christensen, Mitch Robinson, Tom Bell, Rohan Bewick, Daniel Rich, Jacob Allison, Cedric Cox, Tom Cutler, Zac Bailey, Rhys Mathieson, Corey Lyons, Mitchell Hinge and Jake Barrett.

Experienced campaigners Daniel Rich, Mitch Robinson and Tom Bell provided enormous presence in all three games, using their football smarts in the frantic-paced games. Following a recent history of shoulder issues, Allen Christensen enjoyed his return to the AFL scene showing off his creativity in front of goal, which Lions fans hope he replicates throughout the AFL season.

There were also notable and consistent contributions from young guns Ben Keays, Jacob Allison and new draftee Zac Bailey. Both the young and older Lions players produced three games of quality, which is sure to give the organisation and fans more to look forward to as the season soon kicks into gear.

QWAFL Fixtures Released:

Earlier this week, AFL Queensland announced the 2018 Bond University Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL) fixture for the upcoming 2018 season. The QWAFL is the premier women’s football league in Queensland, directly feeding talent into the AFLW competition.

The 17-round season sees the inclusion of new team Bond University, rounding out the seven teams competing.

QWAFL Competition Manager, Fiona Jones, says the fixture will bring out the best of women’s football in Queensland. Talking to AFL Queensland she said, “there’s plenty of anticipation off the back of the thrilling Grand Final last year between Yeronga and Coorparoo, the continued success of the Brisbane Lions AFL Women’s team and the increase of participation numbers at QWAFL clubs around the south east region.”

The QWAFL will take another step forward in 2018 with all matches to be filmed, giving clubs access to vision for talent development and identification purposes. The new season goes straight into top gear with the grand final rematch between Yeronga and Coorparoo in Round 1.

2018 QWAFL Fixture Highlights:

Round 1: Grand Final rematch between Yeronga and Coorparoo

Round 2: Bond University host first QWAFL home game against local rivals Coolangatta

QWAFL Finals Series: August 11-26

QWAFL Grand Final: August 26/27

Grogan Medal Dinner: September 16

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Western Australia weekly wrap: WAFL pre-season fixtures announced https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/19/western-australia-weekly-wrap-wafl-pre-season-fixtures-announced/ https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/19/western-australia-weekly-wrap-wafl-pre-season-fixtures-announced/#respond Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:01:10 +0000 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/?p=30306 FANS will get their first taste of West Australian Football League (WAFL) footy for 2018 with pre-season fixtures kicking off on Saturday March 10. Recently released fixtures will see all nine WAFL clubs warm up for the regular season in a three-round format, with matches to be played in four 25-minute quarters with no time on.

An interesting feature of the first round of pre-season matches will be the introduction of a last touch out of bounds rule, which will see a free kick awarded, instead of a boundary throw in, against the team who had last possession of the ball before it was deemed out of bounds.

Although the rule has not been slated for the regular season, it will be interesting to see if welcoming feedback from fans and clubs will see the WAFL follow the SANFL’s lead, with the rule implemented into regular season matches in South Australia since 2016.

Following the release of pre-season fixtures for the seniors’ competition, hundreds of young footballers will be hoping to put their best foot forward in the WA State Under 16’s Carnival.

The carnival, which will run throughout March, will feature all nine WAFL clubs who will play six games each. Each WAFL team will be made up of footballers from the club’s metropolitan and regional recruiting zones.

After the carnival is complete, a squad of 50 players will be selected from WAFL clubs to participate in a trial game on Friday March 14.

Players who impress selectors in the trial match will then be inducted into the WA state team, which will then compete at the NAB AFL State 16’s Championships in July.

WAFL League Pre-Season Fixtures

ROUND 1
Saturday, 10 March   
11:30am – Subiaco v West Perth at Leederville Oval
2:00pm – East Fremantle v East Perth at East Fremantle Oval
3:45pm – Claremont v Peel Thunder at Claremont Oval
4:15pm – South Fremantle v Swan Districts at Fremantle Community Bank Oval

ROUND 2
Saturday, 17 March
11:30am – East Perth v South Fremantle (venue TBC)
2:15pm – Peel Thunder v Subiaco at Bendigo Bank Stadium
3:45pm – Claremont v Perth at Claremont Oval
3:45pm – West Perth v East Fremantle at HBF Arena

ROUND 3
Friday, 23 March 
7:00pm – Subiaco v East Fremantle at Leederville Oval

Saturday, 24 March 
1:30pm – Peel Thunder v East Perth at Bendigo Bank Stadium
1:45pm – Swan Districts v Claremont at Steel Blue Oval
2:15pm – Perth v South Fremantle at Lathlain Park

WA State Under 16’s Carnival Fixtures

MATCH 1
Friday March 9
Subiaco v West Perth – 5.00pm – Leederville Oval
East Fremantle v East Perth – 5.30pm – East Fremantle Oval

Saturday March 10
Claremont v Peel Thunder – 8.45am – Claremont Oval
South Fremantle v Swan Districts – 9.00am – Fremantle Community Bank Oval

MATCH 2
Friday March 16
Peel Thunder v Subiaco – 5.30pm – Bendigo Bank Stadium

Saturday March 17
West Perth v East Fremantle – 8.30am – HBF Arena Joondalup
Claremont v Perth – 8.45am – Claremont Oval

Sunday March 18
South Fremantle v East Perth – 10.30am – Fremantle Community Bank Oval

MATCH 3
Friday March 23
East Fremantle v Subiaco – 5.00pm – East Fremantle Oval

Saturday March 24
Peel Thunder v East Perth – 9.00am – Bendigo Bank Stadium
Swan Districts v Claremont – 4.30pm – Steel Blue Oval

Sunday March 25
Perth v South Fremantle – 10.30am – Lathlain Park

MATCH 4
Friday March 30
Subiaco v East Perth – 9.00am – Leederville Oval
Peel Thunder v East Fremantle – 9.30am – Bendigo Bank Stadium
West Perth v Claremont – 2.00pm – HBF Arena Joondalup

Monday April 2
Perth v Swan Districts – 3.00pm – Lathlain Park

MATCH 5
Saturday April 7
South Fremantle v Subiaco – 9.00am – Fremantle Community Bank Oval
East Fremantle v Perth – 5.00pm – East Fremantle Oval
Swan Districts v Peel Thunder – 5.00pm – Steel Blue Oval
East Perth v West Perth – 5.00pm – Leederville Oval

MATCH 6
Saturday April 14
Peel Thunder v Perth – 9.30am – Bendigo Bank Stadium
West Perth v South Fremantle – 10.00am – HBF Arena Joondalup
Claremont v East Fremantle – 5.00pm – Claremont Oval
Subiaco v Swan Districts – 5.00pm – Leederville Oval

WA State 16’s Trial Game

Friday April 20

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AFLW Weekend Wash-up: Round 3 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/19/aflw-weekend-wash-up-round-3/ https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/19/aflw-weekend-wash-up-round-3/#respond Mon, 19 Feb 2018 05:58:50 +0000 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/?p=30324 JUST when it looked like certain teams were starting to get ahold of the competition, the three undefeated sides all suffered losses to signify just how close the AFLW is this year. The Western Bulldogs, Melbourne and Carlton all tasted defeat, while Collingwood remained the only side without a win after going down to GWS.

Adelaide 6.5 (41) def Western Bulldogs 5.4 (34)

Adelaide was seeking to salvage something from its disappointing start to the season against the in-form Western Bulldogs. In a come-from-behind win, the Crows claimed their first scalp of the season, winning against the undefeated Bulldogs. With a lacklustre start to the 2018 fixture, the Crows pulled out all stops to help secure their first hard-fought win, claiming victory by seven points.   

Key moment:

The naming of Erin Phillips was a moment that many Adelaide fans, and football fans in general, had been waiting for. In her long-awaited return, the superstar proved to be the missing piece in the Crows’ winning formula, slotting four goals and racking up 15 disposals. In recent weeks Adelaide had missed Phillips’ class and football know-how around the ground. Her excellent decision-making and ability to understand the play allowed for her teammates to fulfil their roles with ease. 

Impressers:

Chelsea Randall has consistently proved to be the hero of this Adelaide outfit, and Saturday was no different, as she racked up an important 21 disposals. Adelaide United and Crows superstar, Jenna McCormick was also unstoppable with two very important goals. Her final goal secured the first win for the Crows in what turned out to be a close encounter. Bulldogs full-forward, Katie Brennan continued to star for her side, scoring two goals and laying five tackles in their loss to the Crows. Her tackling pressure was second to none, and she made sure that her physical presence was felt around the ground. Former Calder Cannon, Monique Conti impressed again, amassing 15 touches at a hot Norwood Oval. Experienced midfielder, Emma Kearney also showcased her footy skills, and was the Bulldogs’ leading possession-getter with 20 touches. 

Looking ahead, Adelaide are set to play GWS next weekend, while the Dogs face the Blues, who have just come off a disappointing loss to the Lions.

Carlton 2.6 (18) def. by Brisbane 6.4 (40)

After two straight wins, the Blues were searching to remain undefeated and continue to sit pretty on the top of the ladder. But Brisbane had other ideas. The Lions continued their dominance in the competition, as they secured a 22-point win over their undefeated opponents. The away side outclassed the Blues all over the ground, especially in front of goal.

Key moment:

Carlton’s impressive tackling was on show again, and Shae Audley led the way with a game-high 10 tackles. But Brisbane was up for the challenge, combating the Blues’ pressure with a defensive wall of their own. The Lions got plenty of players to the ball and trapped the footy within their forward 50. They stopped any forward momentum from the Blues, through laying impressive tackles to help increase scoring opportunities for their dangerous forwards.  

Impressers:

Young gun and former hockey star, Sophie Conway had another stellar game, bagging two goals. The 18 year-old goalsneak showed her ability to get into dangerous positions and capitalise on her scoring opportunities, keeping Brisbane’s winning streak intact. Teammate Emily Bates also impressed on Saturday night, tallying 20 possessions and going at 63 per cent disposal efficiency. In defence, it was the experienced Kate Lutkins who racked up 18 touches in an impressive outing for the Lions. Darcy Vescio continued her scoring ways, slotting another goal for the Blues in their first loss of the season. Vescio ended up with 10 touches for the game and three tackles, showing the intensity that she brings to the game. Collingwood recruit, Nicola Stevens also continued to dominate, racking up 13 possessions for the game and imposing herself in the contest.

In round four, the Blues will face the Western Bulldogs who are fresh off a loss, while Brisbane are playing the Fremantle Dockers.  

Collingwood 5.5 (35) def. by Greater Western Sydney 7.6 (48)

With both teams coming off a round two loss, the game was shaping up to be a highly contested match, as both Collingwood and GWS hoped to secure their first win of the season. In front of their home crowd, the Magpies showed their might in the first quarter, but fell 13 points short of that sweet victory. The Giants took control of the game late in the second quarter, and wrestled it back again in the last quarter to help score their first win for their 2018 campaign.

Key moment:

The momentum shift in the second quarter sparked the fightback for the Giants, who looked down and out in the first quarter. GWS’ approach to the contest looked more dangerous, with the players looking hungrier for the ball. The Giants had an increased number of players around the footy, and applied good tackling pressure. They peppered the goals in the second term with seven scoring shots to Collingwood’s one, placing constant pressure on the home side’s backline.

Impressers:

Collingwood sensation, Chloe Molloy had an explosive last quarter showing off her ability to break lines and take important intercept marks. Her run-and-carry was greatly needed, inspiring a few forward bursts late in the game for the Magpies. Melbourne Uni forward, Moana Hope inspired in her come-back game, slotting two impressive goals for the Pies to kick-start her 2018 season. Emma King also stood tall in Collingwood’s loss, taking plenty of contested marks and imposing herself on the contest. GWS forward, Aimee Schmidt starred, scoring the first two goals to open the Giants’ account for the match. Fellow forward, Phoebe McWilliams dazzled yet again, with another two goals and 12 disposals. Playing against her former team, Alicia Eva proved her worth, class and skill, racking up an impressive 23 disposals.

Collingwood will face the second-placed Melbourne Demons next week in the Northern Territory next weekend, while GWS play the Adelaide Crows who are fresh off their first win for the season.

Fremantle 6.0 (36) def. Melbourne 4.7 (31)

The Dockers shocked the Demons at Fremantle Oval, claiming their second win of the season. Melbourne had an impressive start to the year, winning its first two games of the year, but Fremantle destroyed their undefeated run, winning by five points. The Demons dominated the contested possessions, contested marks and tackles inside forward 50, but it was Fremantle’s accuracy in front of goal that proved to be the difference. The home side eventually prevailed in a seesawing contest, slotting six goals to Melbourne’s four.

Key moment:

Fremantle’s accuracy in front of goal allowed them to take the game away from the Demons, who dominated in most areas of the game. The Demons had plenty of scoring opportunities, with 11 shots to the Dockers’ six, but they were unable to convert them to goals, which left the game open for Fremantle. Even though the Dockers had less opportunities to capitalise with 24 inside 50s to Melbourne’s 34, their potency in front of goal ensured them the win.  

Impressers:

Fremantle debutant, Emily McGuire played a huge role in their win, slotting two impressive goals. The Swans District recruit started her AFLW career in style, bagging her debut goal to kick off proceedings for the Dockers, and scoring the winning goal for the game. Coastal Titans recruit, Lisa Webb also showcased her class, tallying 17 disposals and laying three tackles for the match. Tegan Cunningham was on fire for the Dees, bagging two goals, and taking plenty of grabs. Cunningham hit the packs hard and contested for the ball in the air, giving her teammates plenty of chances around the ground.

Powerful forward, Richelle Cranston also impressed for the Demons with 11 disposals, and plenty of goal assists. Her surge forward helped Melbourne get back into the game in the third quarter. The skill and class of Daisy Pearce was on show again, as she amassed a whopping 24 touches. Experienced midfielder, Karen Paxman continued on her merry way, racking up 15 possessions and slotting through a goal in her side’s unexpected loss to Fremantle.

Fremantle go on to play the ominous Brisbane Lions next weekend, while Melbourne face the winless Collingwood, who will be searching to redeem themselves after a shocking start to the season.  

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Tasmania weekly wrap: Coaches forum and new talent pathway https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/16/tasmania-weekly-wrap-coaches-forum-and-new-talent-pathway/ https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/16/tasmania-weekly-wrap-coaches-forum-and-new-talent-pathway/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 05:08:55 +0000 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/?p=30238 TASMANIAN coaches will have the rare opportunity to hear from some of the AFL’s top mentors in a series of free coaching workshops held in Ulverstone, Launceston and Hobart on Sunday, February 25.

Four-time AFL premiership coach Alistair Clarkson will speak to Launceston coaches at the Windsor Park from 2.30pm with any coaches in the north of the state encouraged to come along.

For those in the north west, Tasmanian Hall of Fame and Richmond legend Matthew Richardson will speak at the Ulverstone Recreation Ground from 11am.

If you are based in the south, head along to North Hobart Oval from 12pm to hear from current North Melbourne coach Brad Scott.

Along with a keynote address from footy’s finest mentors, the free Tasmanian Football Foundation Coaching Forums will give an overview of the new TFF Coaching Mentor Network, introduce the new Coach.AFL membership system.

The forum follows on from the first JLT Community Series match at Kingston Twin Ovals on February 24. Scott’s North Melbourne side takes on Melbourne from 2.05pm; tickets are on sale now.

Meanwhile in junior football news, aspiring AFLW players are training at their respective Tasmanian State League Women’s clubs ahead of the brand new Wrest Point TSLW Under 18 Development Series.

The new competition which will run next month, is a huge step in the Tasmanian Female Pathway, leading into State Youth Girls Academy selection and, in time, selection for the AFLW Under 18 National Championships. AFL Draft Central will be covering the TSLW Under 18 Development Series, working in conjunction with AFL Tasmania to promote the talented youngsters coming through the ranks. For more information on the development series, head to the TSL website.

Finally, earlier in the month, Trisha Squires took over from Rob Auld as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of AFL Tasmania. Ms Squires became the first female AFL state CEO and has held positions of partnerships and community engagement manager at AFL Tasmania, as well as CEO of the REACH Foundation.

Squires’ appointment came amidst recent crisis in the TSL, with longstanding club Burnie forced to pull out of this year’s competition

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AFLW previews: Round 3 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/16/aflw-previews-round-3/ https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/16/aflw-previews-round-3/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 05:07:27 +0000 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/?p=30289 IN a round that had it all last week, it is hard to predict what will happen in round three. There is no doubt the players will be motivated to deliver standout performances to gift their sides much-needed wins, as they aim towards the ultimate prize – an AFLW premiership. This week, there will be plenty of new faces in AFLW colours, players coming up against their old sides, and even a former Calder Cannons coach going head-to-head with the TAC Cup Best and Fairest winner.

Adelaide vs. Western Bulldogs 

Saturday, February 17, 1.35pm ACDT at Norwood Oval

Reigning premiers, the Adelaide Crows, take on the in-form Western Bulldogs who are yet to be seriously threatened. This is just the second time these sides will meet in the AFLW competition. In their first clash, the Crows were victorious by 25 points, but this year is a different kettle of footballs on many fronts. Captain and AFLW MVP, Erin Phillips is yet to play a game this year, but will be returning for Saturday’s home game. It is a crucial game for the Crows, whose finals hopes hang on winning this one. After being recruited from Norwood itself, Marijana Rajcic will have the opportunity to debut at Norwood Oval, where she is set to slot into the Adelaide defence. The Bulldogs will be looking to continue their solid form, on the back of a convincing win against the dangerous Lions, where Bonnie Toogood and Libby Birch scored Rising Star nominations for the round. Melbourne recruit Jess Anderson will make her debut this week, after coming into the side to replace the injured Isabel Huntington.   

Carlton vs. Brisbane 

Saturday, February 17, 7.45pm AEDT at Ikon Park

Even though the Blues fought out a crash-and-bash game in the wet against GWS, you could not see the excitement of the win on their faces, as captain, Brianna Davey was stretchered off with a knee injury in the last quarter looking very distressed. Her injury  will have shaken up the players, who will face their biggest challenge of the season this week. With coach Damien Keeping still battling illness, they will have to dig deep on home soil against Brisbane, who are fourth on the ladder with one win. Brisbane’s Jess Wuetschner will need to fire again in front of goal, and we will expect Sabrina Frederick-Traub to return to her round one form, after last’s week struggle.

Collingwood vs. GWS

Sunday, February 18, 4.35pm AEDT at Olympic Park Oval

The deceivingly small heavyweight Alicia Eva will be playing against her old club at the Pies’ nest, with both clubs having everything to lose in this game. Eva will also face off against Chloe Molloy and Sarah Dargan – two Calder Cannons players she coached, who don the black and white. Both sides are yet to secure a win so you can expect hard bumps and no love lost in the clash between these two club as they strive to keep any finals hopes alive. Melbourne Uni forward, Moana Hope comes back into the side this round, and will be hoping of a repeat performance of last year’s match against GWS, where she was dynamic in the forward line, and owned her role. War-horse, Meg Hutchins has been named for the Magpies, who will provide a much-needed presence in defence to steady the side, and revive their confidence in the backline. The Pies will be hungry for a win after a taxing loss to Fremantle in front of a record crowd at the hard-surfaced Optus Stadium. 

Fremantle vs. Melbourne

Sunday, February 17, 3.35pm AWST at Fremantle Oval

Fremantle are coming off an epic win. They did their fans proud with their first win on home soil, performing solidly against Collingwood in front of a historic crowd. No doubt their collective spirit will be high, and they’ll be brimming with confidence that they can back up the win against a consistent Melbourne outfit on Sunday at Fremantle Oval. Forward, Emily McGuire will debut for the Dockers, replacing the experienced Stacey Barr, who was suspended for striking. Melbourne have been unstoppable so far in the competition, and they add Brooke Patterson and Harriet Cordner to their side travelling to Fremantle. 

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Crunching the numbers: AFLW – Round 2 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/16/crunching-the-numbers-aflw-round-2/ https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/2018/02/16/crunching-the-numbers-aflw-round-2/#respond Fri, 16 Feb 2018 03:59:52 +0000 https://www.afldraftcentral.com.au/?p=30280 ROUND two of this year’s AFLW season created many headlines. There was a record-breaking attendance in Fremantle, a goal-of-the-year contender at Casey Fields, and Carlton’s Sarah Hosking’s display of tackling prowess. But not all the headlines showed positive signs, with Brianna Davey, Isabel Huntington and Brianna Green going down to season-ending injuries. The weather also generated some headlines, with a storm delaying GWS’ encounter with Carlton, and wild winds dominating the day in Melbourne on Saturday. Fair to say, it was most definitely an eventful weekend for the competition.

GWS vs. Carlton

Friday night’s match was a hard-fought slog in dire conditions. A huge storm resulted in a 30-minute game suspension just after the first quarter, and a wet ground made it almost impossible for clean footy. The players found it hard to mark the wet ball, with only 41 grabs taken for the night. But the Blues were the better judge of the conditions, and executed their running game better than the Giants. Regardless of their low goal-kicking efficiency (20 per cent), the Blues were able to get more points on the board through their determination inside 50 (56 per cent). The Hosking twins starred with their hard-ball gets and ferocious tackling (Sarah 16, Jess five), as did skipper, Brianna Davey (16 disposals) before being stretchered off in the final term.

Melbourne vs. Adelaide 

Despite a hot and windy game at Casey Fields, the Demons still managed to execute an all-round elite performance, even adding a goal of the year contender to top off the day. Melbourne’s ability to penetrate the ball against the wind was remarkable in a game that by all accounts, should have been played in one half of the ground. Four goals against the wind in the second quarter set the Dees up to take back-to-back victories to start the season. It was a dominant showing against the reigning premiers, with Melbourne’s star midfield trio Karen Paxman (21 disposals), Elise O’Dea (19 disposals) and Daisy Pearce (17 disposals, 11 tackles) putting on a clinic. In defence, it was Bianca Jakobsson who looked like marking everything that came her way (seven marks), and caused some real trouble for the Crows. As a team, Melbourne had the most total disposals (248) and inside 50 marks (13) of the round, and they had 15 players with more than 10 disposals. They also had six different goal scorers, and limited Adelaide’s goal-scorers, in Sarah Perkins and Abbey Holmes, to three disposals each.

Fremantle vs. Collingwood

The Dockers took their first win of the year in front of a record-breaking home crowd of 41,975 in a heated and fiery clash against the Pies. Collingwood came out strong, kicking the first two goals, but Fremantle came back with four of their own before half-time. The Pies had more disposals (222 v 193), out-marked their opposition (66 v 42), and had a round-high contested marks (11). But for the second week in a row, they could not capitalise in front of goal, or come away with the win. Fremantle, on the other hand, dominated in the clearances (21 v 12), and reigning best-and-fairest, Dana Hooker starred with 21 disposals, in which 17 of them were kicks.

Brisbane vs. Western Bulldogs

The final game of the round resulted in back-to-back wins for the Bulldogs, after beating the Lions on the road in the scorching heat. However, it was ultimately bitter-sweet, as they lost their number one draft pick, Isabel Huntington, to a season-ending ACL injury. In round two, the Bulldogs yet again displayed their efficiency with the ball (64.4 per cent), recording the highest kicking efficiency for the round. Even though Brisbane was superior in the ruck hit-outs (30 v 19), the stellar Bulldogs midfield, led by Kirsty Lamb (20 disposals) and Emma Kearney (18 disposals), were able to capitalise. Despite a smaller winning margin this week, the Bulldogs almost doubled their opponents in marks (62 v 34) and conversion rate (63 per cent v 33 per cent). After a slow start, the away team kicked four unanswered goals in the second term to set up their victory, and despite a late two-goal comeback by the Lions in the last quarter, they were able to hold on.

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