Tag: emily gardner

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 16

MANY teams had pride on the line this week and were able to end their seasons in style, with struggling teams, Williamstown and Richmond getting victories. Meanwhile at Box Hill, a huge clash between traditional rivals, Hawthorn and Geelong saw the Hawks claim a coveted top-two spot, and a valuable double chance.

 

Southern Saints 3.4 (22) defeated by Richmond 4.1 (25)

This game was a tight one throughout with the biggest margin being nine points. At the first break, the scores were even with both sides kicking a goal each to open up the match. Only a point was scored in the second quarter, which gave the Southern Saints the slim one-point margin at halftime. The closeness continued in the third term, with both teams kicking a goal each. In the last quarter, the Saints and the Tigers both upped the ante, but it was Richmond who did it better, outscoring the Saints two goals to one to win the quarter, and the game.

The Tigers managed to win their first game in six rounds with just two goal kickers on the day. Kate Dixon and Christina Bernardi managed to each get two majors on the board, with Dixon’s second goal giving her side the biggest lead of the game. Bernardi also found a lot of the footy with 24 disposals, seven marks and eight tackles. It is no surprise to see that her teammate, Phoebe Monahan topped the disposal count for the Tigers, as she has been doing so for most of the season. In her side’s last game of the year, she racked up 28 disposals and laid six tackles, capping off an excellent year.

The Saints too had a multiple goal kicker, with Courtney Munn kicking two goals from her 12 disposals. Vic Metro representative, Gabriella De Angelis was the other goal kicker with one goal from her seven disposals. In the midfield, it was the Alisons who dominated with Alison Brown and Alison Drennan each racking up 28 disposals. Brown also took five marks and laid three tackles while Drennan laid four. TAC Cup Girls trio, Eleanor Brown (19 disposals, four marks and four tackles), Ashleigh Allsopp (16 disposals, four marks and four tackles) and Shelley Heath (15 disposals, two marks and seven tackles) were also prominent contributors in this game.

 

Hawthorn 6.5 (41) defeated Geelong 3.7 (25)

In the biggest match of the round, it was Hawthorn who got the early breakaway after an even first quarter. The Hawks kicked three goals to Geelong’s one in the second quarter, giving them a 14-point lead at the main break. They were able to extend their lead in the third with one goal, while keeping Geelong goalless. The Cats had a chance to fight back in the last quarter, but kicked 1.4, which gave Hawthorn the win.

AFLW duo, Sarah Perkins and Rebecca Beeson each kicked two majors on the day while Claire Dyett and Rosie Dillon booted through one each. Beeson had a dominant game with 22 disposals, five marks and six tackles and was complemented by fellow goal kicker, Rosie Dillon, who racked up 17 disposals and eight tackles. Skipper, Emma Mackie was huge on the day with 20 disposals and five tackles while Jayde Van Dyk was as resilient as ever down back with 18 disposals, four marks and five tackles.

Despite her side’s loss, Richelle Cranston was the leading disposal-getter on the ground with 25 touches as well as three marks and five tackles. Maddy Keryk wasn’t far off though with one goal, 24 disposals and nine tackles in another great game in the blue and white hoops. Kate Darby and Mia-Rae Clifford also got on the scoreboard with one major each. Darby gathered 12 disposals, three marks and eight tackles while Clifford was kept quiet with six disposals.

 

Casey Demons 4.5 (29) defeated by Collingwood 9.7 (61)

By: Carly McClen

In a blizzard of sun at Casey Fields, the combination of the return of captain, Jessica Edwards, the Nicole Hildebrand factor on the half-back line, a hungry-for-goals Jaimee Lambert, Ruby Schleicher loving the forward line, and the usual class-above performance by Chloe Molloy was more than enough to seal the minor premiership for the Collingwood Magpies. In its inaugural 2018 VFLW season the Pies have dropped just one game against NT Thunder. They have consistently held off growing-in-stature sides such as the Demons and Saturday was no different.  

The Demons were gallantly effective until half-time with the backline displaying a strong collective effort, absorbing the Pies’ forward attacking. For the third week in a row, the Demons’ first goal kicker was Maddie Shevlin. With solid forward pressure, she was able to snap an early goal, keeping the chase within eight points at quarter time.

In the second quarter, the Demons outscored Collingwood with goals to Bianca Jakobsson and Shelley Scott. But the game’s momentum changed in the second half when Pies coach, Penny Cula-Reid made a game-changing move which the Demons were simply unable to respond to. Eliza Hynes came out of the forward half and into the ruck. The Pies then quickly began dominating clearances and the move created crucial space for Lambert and Molloy to do their thing. The Pies comfortably played their style of game from that point on, keeping the Demons to just one major score.

Hildebrand was an ominous presence on the half-back line and continued to send the ball back into Collingwood’s forward half. Hildebrand intercepted an early burst in the third quarter from the centre clearance and the ball rarely made into the Demons’ attacking zone for the quarter. Hildebrand was lethal at pushing up and getting to the ball first with strong marks and defensive kicking. It showed her versatility and multiple vital roles she can play for her team. Cula-Reid’s message to the Magpies was ‘it’s there if you want it’ and they took it, booting 3.4 in the final term to seal another clinical victory.

 

Darebin 6.6 (42) defeated by Western Bulldogs 6.10 (46)

After being held goalless in the second quarter, the Bulldogs came from behind and ended their season on a high against Darebin. They were down by 18 points at the main break before kicking two goals to one in the third quarter to reduce the deficit. The Bulldogs then managed to clinch the lead for the first time in remarkable fashion, with premiership hero, Hannah Scott kicking the sealer after the siren to end the Bulldogs’ season on a high note.

Scott also booted a goal earlier in the game and was sensational throughout with 17 disposals, three marks and ten tackles. She was complemented by Ashleigh Guest, who was the leading disposal-getter on the ground with 23 touches to go with her six marks and four tackles. Sarah Jolly, Brittany Wunhym, Mary Sandral and Kirsten McLeod each got a major on the board for the Bulldogs. Jolly was the pick of the bunch with 12 disposals and five tackles while McLeod was not far off with 10 disposals and five tackles.

Melbourne AFLW duo, Lauren Pearce and Lily Mithen led the way for the Falcons, continuing to play consistent football for their side. Pearce gathered 14 disposals and took seven marks while Mithen led the way in disposals for Darebin with 18 touches to go with her six marks and six tackles. She also kicked a goal for the Falcons and was joined on the scoreboard by Kate Shierlaw, Kate Tyndall, Lauren Szigeti, Cherelle Byrne and Hannah Mouncey. Annalyse Lister led the way in tackles for Darebin with seven for the game to go with her 11 disposals.

 

Essendon 2.5 (17) defeated by Carlton 14.8 (92)

Carlton saved its best until last in this game, storming out of the blocks early to kick four first-quarter goals, giving Essendon a minimal chance to fight back. The onslaught continued in the second quarter with the Blues piling on another four majors to take their halftime lead to 49 points. Carlton’s eight goals all came off the boot of Darcy Vescio, who also saved her best until last. She ended up with nine goals for the day while the Bombers themselves could only manage two in the 75-point loss.

Not only did Darcy Vescio kick nine goals, but she also gathered 18 touches and seven marks in a dominant all-round game. She wasn’t alone inside 50, with Vic Metro’s Abbie McKay, Vic Country’s Rene Caris, Oakleigh’s Isabella Gietzmann, skipper, Kristi Harvey and former Williamstown player, Jess Malouf all kicking a goal at Windy Hill. Caris was the shining light with 20 disposals while Harvey racked up 10 touches to go with her six marks and four tackles. Gabriella Pound was the leading disposal-getter on the ground with 25 disposals to go with her four marks.

Although it was a miserable day for the Bombers, Kendra Heil and Alex Quigley both kicked a goal for their side. Quigley was also named in the best with 13 disposals, six marks and five tackles. She was not too far behind Essendon’s leading disposal-getter, Courtney Ugle, who gathered 19 disposals, four marks and four tackles. Hayley Bullas also racked up the disposals with 17 touches to go with her four tackles, which is a stat that she has been dominating in this season.

 

Melbourne Uni 4.5 (29) defeated by Williamstown 10.7 (67)

By: Taylah Melki

In what was a one-way affair after quarter time, Williamstown dominated against Melbourne University. The Seagulls made the most of their scoring opportunities with their crisp ball movement and two-way running. Melbourne University started off hot, showing good intent but struggled to combat both the offensive and defensive pressure that Williamstown applied after the first quarter.

For Williamstown, Jess Duffin had a day out, bagging three goals and gathering plenty of the footy. Her hands in close were second to none, dishing off handballs into space and running hard to create forward play for the Seagulls. Jasmine Garner was also among the Seagulls’ best, amassing a heap of touches and hitting the scoreboard. Rebecca Dardengo backed up her impressive performance from last week, applying plenty of pressure, while Emily Gardner was also busy across the ground imposing herself on the contest.

Gardner’s Western Jets teammate, Caitlin Greiser starred for Melbourne University, positioning well and booting two majors for the game. Teammates, Emma Humphries and Kaitlyn Ashmore were also instrumental for the Mugars, winning plenty of the ball and using the footy effectively and efficiently. In her first game of the season, Tasmanian Under 18 representative, Chloe Haines impressed with her ability to impact the contest and hit targets while under pressure.

Team selection: VFLW – Round 14

AS the home and away season begins to wind up, many teams are starting to settle their weekly changes. However, some vital changes are still being made going into Round 14, particularly in arguably the biggest clash of the weekend, when the two ladder-leaders, Collingwood and the NT Thunder go head to head. All in all, Round 14 is shaping up to be another exciting round for the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Competition.

 

CASEY DEMONS v. MELBOURNE UNI

Round 14 – Saturday, August 11, 11:30AM
Casey Fields, Cranbourne

Round 14 kicks off at Casey Fields with the Casey Demons taking on Melbourne University. Coming off a strong Round 13 performance, the Demons have kept changes to a minimum, bringing in three players. Former Vic Country skipper, Darcy Guttridge will be a welcome addition to the team alongside Jemma Turner and debutant, Amy Dunn. The Gippsland Power co-captain, who is currently balancing Year 12 and her football career, will be an exciting addition to the Demons’ side and comes in as the 23rd player this week. Gippsland teammate, Emily Haeusler and AFLW forward, Aliesha Newman have been named out.

Returning from their Round 13 bye, the Mugars will be hoping to secure a few more wins before the season’s end. For the occasion, they have made six changes, swapping out star player, Emma Kearney for her 2019 North Melbourne AFLW teammates, Danielle Hardiman and Sophie AbbatangeloAlexandra Saundry, Clara Fitzpatrick, Tasmanian Under 18s representative, Libby Haines and Vic Country Under-18 representative, Rebecca Webster have also been selected to play.

Casey Demons

B: 23. G. Gourlay, 18. K. Bentvelzen , 12. G. McLean
HB: 24. D. Guttridge, 1. S. Sloane, 16. C. Sherriff
C: 7. B.  Jakobsson, 17. S.  Scott, 4. C.  Phillips
HF: 10. K. Hore, 11. E. Zanker , 9. A. Johnson
F: 22. J. Allen, 5. T. Mesiti, 8. M. Gay
R: 14. T. Orgill, 20. C. Whitfort, 13. K. Smith
Int: 6. M. Hogg, 15. S. Phillips, 25. M. Shevlin, 2. J. Turner
23P: 19. A. Dunn

In: D. Guttridge, J. Turner, A. Dunn
Out: E. Haeusler ,  A. Newman

 

Melbourne Uni

B: 17. E. Hay, 29. K. Klatt, 6. E. Keaney
HB: 19. L. Ahrens, 31. D. Hardiman, 20. L. Belza
C: 22. D.  Edward, 47. E.  Humphries, 4. A.  Saundry
HF: 1. S. Abbatangelo, 26. C. Greiser, 7. A. Riddell
F: 38. K. Angelis, 9. K. Price, 46. M. Prespakis
R: 8. C. Fitzpatrick, 2. H. Ibrahim, 41. K. Gillespie-Jones
Int: 27. J. Anderson, 3. K. Ashmore, 12. M. Cantwell, 49. L. Haines
23P: 21. R. Webster

 

COLLINGWOOD v. NT THUNDER

Round 14 – Saturday, August 11, 12pm
Victoria Park, Collingwood

Collingwood has made 10 team changes ahead of its important clash against the NT Thunder this week. With the home ground advantage on their side and top spot up for grabs, the Pies have made plenty of changes to suit. AFLW duo, Eliza Hynes and Nicole Hildebrand have been named to take to the field amongst many others. Grace Buchan, Katelyn Lee, Stacey Livingstone, Paige Nash, Shayla MarshNicole Hales and Gippsland Power ruck, Jasmine Ferguson have also all been selected to play. Coming in as the 23rd player, Vic Metro midfielder, Katie Lynch has also been named, in what will be her debut performance.

The Thunder, desperate to clinch top spot this week, has followed suit with Collingwood, making plenty of changes ahead of the big game. Classy goal kicker, Sue Nalder has been named back in the side this week alongside Ebony Marinoff, Kylie Duggan, Sharona Bishop and Gemma Cusack. While the Thunder have been renowned for its numerous changes each week, they will now be looking to settle as finals approach, finalising this week’s team with the addition of Adelaide AFLW duo, Jenna McCormick and Justine Mules as well as Central Allies Under 18s representative, Madeline Gault.

Collingwood

B: 72. K. Lee, 18. R. Schleicher, 12. S. Livingstone
HB: 22. S. Casey, 17. S. Chiocci, 21. I. Ross
C: 50. G.  Buchan, 47. J.  Edwards, 99. S.  Marsh
HF: 8. B. Bonnici, 66. D. Bateman, 28. H. Whitford
F: 54. H. Grubb, 49. S. Alexander, 3. N. Hildebrand
R: 11. E. Hynes, 5. E. Grant, 41. K. Stratton
Int: 70. J. Ferguson, 52. N. Hales, 67. H. McLaren, 63. P. Nash
23P: 59. K. Lynch

In: E. Hynes, G. Buchan, K. Lee, N. Hildebrand, S. Livingstone, P. Nash, J. Ferguson, K. Lynch, S. Marsh, N. Hales
Out: B. Jones,  P. Davey,  S. Yoannidis,  J. Halaseh-Russo ,  J. Lambert,  C. Rooks, A. Bild ,  E. Korteman

 

NT Thunder:

B: 10. S. Barnett, 37. S. Allan, 13. L. Roberts
HB: 22. J. McCormick, 42. G. Cusack, 53. S. Thompson
C: 34. J.  Mules, 3. A.  Foley, 32. K.  Streader
HF: 5. M. Roberts, 55. T. Thorn, 31. J. Sedunary
F: 16. S. Armitstead, 27. A. Hatchard, 11. J. Hickey
R: 20. J. Hewett, 52. E. Marinoff, 8. S. Riley
Int: 46. S. Bishop, 43. K. Duggan, 38. M. Keeble, 4. S. Nalder
23P: 49. M. Gault

In: G. Cusack, J. Mules, E. Marinoff, K. Duggan, M. Gault, S. Bishop, J. McCormick, S. Nalder
Out: N. Gore, C. Cramey, E. Swanson, K. Irvine, G. Bevan, L. Jeffrey, D. Cox

 

DAREBIN  v. SOUTHERN SAINTS

Round 14 – Saturday, August 11, 12pm
Bill Lawry Oval, Northcote

Backing up last week’s strong performance against Hawthorn, Darebin has only made one key change for Round 14. The Falcons have selected the prolific Stephanie Smith to take to the field and help them get across the line, while Vic Metro defender, Lauren Szigeti has been named out.

The Southern Saints have also made very few changes this week, bringing in two players. Meghan McDonald and AFL Women’s Academy member, Courtney Jones have both been selected to play in place of Vic Metro representative, Gabriella De Angelis. Jones comes into the side fresh off a Herald Sun Shield Grand Final win so she could be a key player at Bill Lawry Oval.

Darebin Falcons:

B: 31. E. Gardner, 10. G. Lawson-Tavan, 21. K. Roe
HB: 32. G. Colvin, 14. M. McDonald, 35. L. Skipper
C: 15. A.  Lister, 9. M.  Eastman, 11. K.  Tyndall
HF: 12. J. Dal pos, 20. M. Guerin, 13. K. Shierlaw
F: 44. S. Fairchild, 17. S. Simpson, 43. H. Mouncey
R: 40. L. Pearce, 30. E. O’Dea, 7. L. Mithen
Int: 2. N. Callinan, 45. N. Deiter, 49. R. Hibbert, 24. B. Patterson
23P: 39. M. Jarvis

In: A. Morrow, S. Simpson
Out: L. Szigeti

 

Southern Saints:

B: 11. T. Annear, 30. C. Wilson, 4. G. Ricardo
HB: 17. L. Olsen, 38. S. Karlson, 6. J. Tait
C: 39. E.  Brown, 2. A.  Brown, 43. S.  Heath
HF: 21. D. Lawrence, 15. T. Bohanna, 24. K. Ripari
F: 36. S. Bolding, 13. C. Munn, 19. A. Silver
R: 28. R. Watt, 8. A. Drennan, 32. S. Johnson
Int: 45. S. Binder, 42. C. Jones, 29. M. Macdonald, 16. K. Thompson
23P: 3. H. Bate

In: M. Macdonald, C. Jones
Out: G. De Angelis

 

GEELONG CATS v. ESSENDON

Round 14 – Saturday, August 11, 4:30pm
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

Geelong, who currently sits fourth on the ladder, will be in desperate need of a repeat performance of last week in Round 14. Ahead of the game, the Cats have made four changes, bringing in Laura Taylor and Isabel Currenti. Geelong has also selected two debutants for the match in Vic Country duo, Nina Morrison and Olivia Purcell. The pair impressed in this year’s TAC Cup Girls competition as part of the Geelong Falcons’ premiership team, and will look to continue to impress when they take to the field this weekend. Morrison in particular will be one to watch, as she was awarded the equal Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the recent AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, so she will be a key addition against the Bombers.

Essendon has kept changes to a minimum this week, bringing in three inclusions. Erin Bult, Carlee Portlock and Alex Quigley have all been named while Alexa Madden has been called to the sidelines.

Geelong Cats:

B: 26. R. Pearce, 44. R. Goring, 40. A. Teague
HB: 25. E. Coventry, 1. J. Woollett, 34. A. McDonald
C: 4. C.  Blakeway, 45. M.  Keryk, 3. H.  Burchell
HF: 7. M. Clifford, 2. D. Orr, 5. J. Ivey
F: 8. K. Darby, 6. M. Boyd, 33. H. Trevean
R: 49. Z. Inei, 13. M. Fogas, 30. R. Cranston
Int: 11. M. Klingbeil , 17. H. Mangan, 20. N. Morrison, 10. L. Taylor
23P: 16. O. Purcell

In: L. Taylor, N. Morrison, O. Purcell
Out: E. Hoare,  G. Clarke,  M. McMahon

 

Essendon:

B: 20. J. Anwyl, 17. T. Hetherington, 27. A. Morcom
HB: 25. R. Neaves, 7. K. Hicks, 41. M. Warburton
C: 1. J.  Trend, 46. C.  Ugle, 9. L.  Williams
HF: 35. V. Moreau, 16. L. Morecroft, 28. C. Portlock
F: 49. E. Bult, 3. M. DeMatteo, 6. A. Quigley
R: 30. S. Nalder, 8. H. Bullas, 44. M. Collier
Int: 15. L. Caruso, 22. N. MacDonald, 37. I. Malliaras, 39. C. Rendelmann
23P: 10. E. Cornish

In: E. Bult, C. Portlock, J. Wallace, A. Quigley
Out: A. Madden

 

RICHMOND  v. WILLIAMSTOWN

Round 14 – Sunday, August 12, 12pm
Swinburne Centre, Richmond

After a disappointing loss last week to the Geelong Cats, The Tigers will be looking to redeem themselves when they come up against Williamstown this weekend. They have named four inclusions for the match, headlined by AFLW talents, Christina Bernardi and Lauren Tesoriero, who should bring some stability and experience back to the side. Jenna Colwell and Ruby Edmeades have also been named in while Emma Gunn, Grace Egan and Gabrielle Deller will miss the clash.

Williamstown has also made four changes to its Round 14 side. The Seagulls have fielded two debutants for the match in Melton Centrals junior, Rachael Jackson and Western Jet, Emily Gardner. The pair will be joined by Jasmine Garnerand Emily Paterno, who have also been named in. On the other hand, Rachel Achampong, Erin Meade, Jess Bartoloand Maddy James have come out of the squad.

Richmond:

B: 69. E. Burry, 63. J. Graham, 65. E. King
HB: 54. L. Bailey, 73. L. Davie, 83. J. Gardner
C: 60. K.  Dempsey, 79. L.  Tesoriero, 88. P.  Monahan
HF: 72. J. Radnell, 70. E. Findlay, 76. E. Ross
F: 93. C. Bernardi, 90. S. Damon, 61. J. Colwell
R: 68. A. Edmonds, 59. A. Woodward, 52. J. Kennedy
Int: 84. L. Bieniara, 53. K. Dixon, 71. R. Edmeades, 75. B. Lynch
23P: 92. T. Smith

In: J. Colwell, R. Edmeades, L. Tesoriero, C. Bernardi
Out: E. Gunn,  G. Egan,  G. Deller

 

Williamstown:

B: 8. C. Portelli, 10. B. Hateley, 34. J. Reid
HB: 31. J. Cranny, 24. A. Saxton, 1. R. Dardengo
C: 11. K.  Smith, 17. S.  Chapman, 33. S.  Van De Heuvel
HF: 44. I. Porter, 25. J. Garner, 36. M. Williamson
F: 12. G. Harris, 39. S. Whiting, 4. E. Paterno
R: 20. S. Seabrook, 35. J. Bruton, 2. J. Duffin
Int: 16. A. Cameron, 18. R. Jackson, 22. M. Lowe, 13. N. Wallace
23P: 15. E. Gardner

In: R. Jackson, E. Gardner, E. Paterno, J. Garner
Out: J. Bartolo, M. James, E. Meade, R. Achampong

 

HAWTHORN  v. WESTERN BULLDOGS

Round 14 – Sunday, August 12, 2pm
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

The Hawks will be glad to have their captain back this week after their narrow loss to Darebin last weekend. Emma Mackie has been selected to play alongside Dianna Haines, who make up only two inclusions this week as Hawthorn try to settle its line-up as finals approach. AFLW talents, Melissa Kuys and Pepa Randall have been named out.

The Western Bulldogs have called upon assistant coach, Bree White to take to the field this week as part of a series of changes to their Round 14 side. Bailey Hunt, Kirsten McLeod, Amanda Tessari, Deanna Berry and Tiarna Ernst have all been named in this week as well as Western Bulldogs AFLW premiership player, Bonnie Toogood. Toogood will make her VFLW debut this week and is sure to be a key asset to the Dogs’ game play.

Hawthorn:

B: 32. K. Ebb, 5. C. Perera, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 13. E. Nixon, 11. D. Haines, 36. J. Van Dyk
C: 14. O.  Flanagan, 6. J.  Crockett-Grills, 25. M.  Hutchins
HF: 33. E. Gilder, 35. C. O’Donnell, 12. T. Nestor
F: 7. P. McWilliams, 22. T. Luke, 28. S. Perkins
R: 19. L. Wotton, 8. R. Beeson, 1. E. Mackie
Int: 4. S. Carroll, 24. R. Dillon, 3. E. Mcilvena , 43. E. Woods
23P: 44. S. Kendall

In: D. Haines, E. Mackie
Out: M. Kuys,  P. Randall

 

Western Bulldogs:

B: 5. R. Martinuzzo, 11. L. Spark, 38. C. O’Brien
HB: 29. J. Davies, 12. J. Francke, 9. T. Dinuccio
C: 19. T.  Ernst, 10. S.  Jolly, 25. R.  Gastin
HF: 7. D. Berry , 28. B. Toogood, 6. K. McLeod
F: 41. A. Scott, 21. B. Hunt, 33. B. White
R: 47. N. McMahon, 32. A. Mifsud, 20. A. Guest
Int: 40. N. Gills, 31. A. Gunn, 35. S. Ruedin, 30. A. Tessari
23P: 43. A. Goldring

In: B. Hunt, A. Tessari, K. McLeod, D. Berry, B. White, B. Toogood, T. Ernst
Out: A. Gogos , E. Gamble, R. Ashley, T. Hamilton, N. Paul, H. Scott, E. Birch

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Girls- Round 5

ONLY two teams remain undefeated after round five delivered some cracking contests. The Western Jets got their first ever TAC Cup Girls win while ending Eastern’s undefeated streak in the process. Over in Bendigo, the Falcons managed to get up over Murray despite missing five AFLW players. Although the Knights were given a scare by the Chargers, they stormed home to remain undefeated after five rounds of competition. This may have been the hardest week to pick the best players, with each team showing their depth in their respective matches. Below are our opinion-based notes on each of the six TAC Cup Girls games.

Western Jets vs. Eastern Ranges 

Western:

#16 Elisabeth Georgostathis

Smothered the ball twice after giving away the free kick then gave a quick-fire handball to a teammate to set up a forward thrust. This was just one of her great plays on the day, she was simply everywhere. Displayed great run and carry after good mark and was able to clear the ball from congestion multiple times. She had an innate ability to get the ball moving whilst also doing a good job defensively with strong tackles. Georgostathis was able to display good composure to spin out of trouble on some occasions. Started to get targeted in the fourth quarter with the Eastern players trying to get in her head. Ended off a brilliant day with a big tackle in the goal square. 

#43 Caitlin Greiser

Greiser just read the ball better than her opponents and knew how to work her opponent under the ball. Eastern players did not know how to defend her. Booted two goals in the third quarter to get the Jets’ spirits up. Finished with four for the game. Continues to be a huge presence up forward. 

#19 Olivia Forsythe

Never stopped tackling the whole game. Her tackles were strong and often stopped Eastern players from playing that running game that we are so used to seeing from them. She was fierce around the contest and really got into the game in the third quarter. She tackled anyone that came near her and created so many stoppages. She was one of Western’s game-changers.

#26 Isabella Negri

Had a really good ability to move towards the ball on a long kick rather than waiting for it and trying to judge it in the air. In one instance, she took a huge contested mark inside 50 and was slow to get up. But she was brave enough to go back for the set shot, displaying incredible courage.

#40 Sharnie Whiting

Was able to snap through a nice goal after being really lively in the forward line. Was able to hunt the ball down, get it and kick it quickly to create space on the field. 

Others:

#27 Payton-Ani Ozols: Was able to burst out of stoppages a lot of times. Displayed nice acceleration and quick hands. Followed up when she missed the target with her kick, showing great determination.

#30 Isabelle Pritchard: Also displayed quick hands, was a rock in defence. Was able to provide good run and carry and was really strong in congestion. She laid a goal-saving tackle on the dangerous Laura Mcclelland in the last 30 seconds of the game.

#4 Leah Spargo: Kicked a nice ball to the top of the square which helped the tall forwards who were keen to take some contested marks. Like Georgostathis, she was lively and everywhere. Really aggressive on the wing.

#41 Savannah Forbes: Pushed off a player and kicked strongly on the run. She was aggressive all game and was right at the bottom of contest a lot of times.

#8 Emily Gardner: Another lively Jet. Laid some nice and strong tackles especially through the middle of the ground. Stepped up her game in the third quarter.

 

Eastern:

#46 Sarah Kendall

Was able to mop up well in the back-line and dominated the ruck. Played a sweeper role and did not let her team down. Kendall would often pick up the ball quickly, get it and kick it, and not just hacking it- following through for the kick to hit a target. Took a great sliding mark running at full flight towards the ball. She was a huge force especially at the top of the defensive 50, playing a great rebounding game. Nobody could get past her as she would mark everything that came her way.

#37 Georgia Macpherson

Stalwart in defence as usual! Displayed good run and carry and had a long penetrating kick. She took some great contested marks in this game and dominated. She usually takes a lot of uncontested marks but showed she is a contested marking beast as well. Read the footy really well when she took a mark right in the goal-square off a clever high kick by Caitlin Greiser. Sold the candy at one point and kicked off the other side of her body to get the ball into the middle, showing that she is one of the most clever ball-users in the competition.

#6 Gabriella De Angelis

Played a fantastic game for Eastern and just did not stop trying throughout the whole game. Took a great overhead mark under pressure, which was great to see for a small midfielder. Then she did what small midfielders do, when she took the ball and burst through the middle of the ground, hitting her target perfectly with a skillful kick. Kicked two goals to top off her hard work. They were well-deserved, she was outstanding.

#21 Mikala Cann

Really proactive in the middle of the ground. Delivered a nice kick to the middle of the ground at one point and did it on repeat occasions in other areas of the ground. At one point, she was barely looking at the ball and still hit a target. Displayed good hands under pressure and always managed to follow up her efforts with the ball in hand. She had good speed to chase the ball on the deck, showing off her impressive sprinting capabilities. Delivered a beautiful kick into the forward line and kicked a beautiful ball off one step. There was simply no other word to describe her game!  

#49 Charlotte Wilson

The co-captain made good contributions throughout the game. She kicked the ball nicely to the wing at one point and was a huge presence in the ruck. Kicked the ball well to her forwards, especially with a nice kick to Laura McClelland later in the latter stages of the game. Stepped up well in the absence of Emerson Woods. 

Others:

#48 Lauren Szigeti: Displayed nice movement throughout the game and her constant effort to fight for the footy was outstanding. Laid a huge goal-saving tackle at one point in the game. She was so aggressive throughout the game and did not ease her pressure at all.

#38 Laura McClelland: Had a good penetrating kick and kicked it well out of congestion. Took a huge contested mark and kicked it truly, already showing signs of an experiences forward. Had good eyes for the ball throughout the game.

#17 Mietta Kendall: Displayed nice hands to leap for a mark but just could not hold it on the way down. Still managed to build on her performance quarter-by-quarter. Had good quick hands.

 

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Gippsland Power

By: Peter Williams 

Bendigo:

#3 Carly Isaac

Showed off a lot of speed throughout the game, spreading to the outside and showing composure with ball-in-hand. She put in a consistent effort across the game, winning the footy and getting back to help out the defence and break the lines down the wing.

#19 Kodi Jacques

Thought she was one of the best Pioneers for her sheer work rate and ability to get to the football. She provided good pressure on the inside and a knack for quick hands. In the second term she snapped inside 50 which led to a goal to Bree Heiden. When inside 50 she was lively and took a good intercept mark from a kick out and kicked long to the square. In the third term she worked hard out of the midfield, had three possessions in a chain from the clearance through to a snap which just missed.

#27 Brooke Hards

Really liked her game off half-back, particularly early in the peace. Had it not been for Hards’ efforts then no doubt Gippsland’s lead would have been higher in the opening half. She worked really hard in the back 50 and won the footy at half-back thinking her way through her touches going forward. She also showed off a good turning circle when she managed to swing onto her preferred side to kick forward.

#28 Megan Williamson

Another consistent effort from the captain who consistently showed no fear in her attack on the ball. She buzzed around the stoppages and showed good intensity when tackling the opposition ball carrier. She organised the midfield well and won a few free kicks from going in hard, and getting to the ball first. One of the Pioneers’ most consistent on the day.

#30 Bree Heiden

Attacks the football with vigour and used her strong body to bump an opponent off the ball and win a crucial one-on-one. She earned a goal through hard running to lead into the central corridor and kick truly from the set shot.

Others:

#1 Maeve Tupper: Packs plenty of excitement and almost snapped a miraculous goal in the second quarter from a tight angle, but was dragged down and the shot just missed.

#2 Maddy Baldwin: Created some good run on the outside and was able to get into space to win the ball. Baldwin was another Pioneers midfielder who stood up when it counted and put in a consistent performance.

#8 Shelby Knoll: Provided a target inside 50, taking a couple of good marks out on the lead, including a juggling mark in the third term. She worked well with Kodi Jacques in the third term, marking the pass and then handballing back to Jacques to keep the play moving.

#9 Dayna Kelly-Guthrie: Played through the ruck and was solid in her tapouts, then got forward and kicked a great goal from a set shot in the second term.

#11 Jemma Finning: Another midfielder who was up for the fight defensively. Laid some huge tackles and worked hard with Jacques and Williamson through the midfield.

#20 Kate Douglass: Played in defence for most of the game before swinging forward. Provided a target in the final term, taking a couple of marks and kicking a long goal from 45 metres out.

#32 Sharmaine Reilly: Showed good pressure in defence, stopping a certain goal on the line in the opening quarter with a dive, and then laying a particularly memorable tackle later in the game to lock up the ball from escaping in the Power’s forward 50.

 

Gippsland:

#1 Ebony Jones

A composed user of the football, Jones played on the wing but also worked hard to get back into defence and help out. She covered the ground well and took a couple of marks in the defensive half of the ground. Jones also showed off a high defensive awareness and great speed, when in one instance she shepherded a teammate to allow them to kick inside 50, and later produced a great run-down tackle on the wing.

#6 Emily Haeusler

Her best performance of the year and put together a four quarter performance. Camped at half-back she rebounded everything, keeping a firm line between half-back and the centre of the ground. Her first interaction was a good one, side-stepping an opponent and kicking long inside 50 to a one-on-one. Moments later she took a great overhead mark one-on-one and kicked to Alana Rippon on the wing. She showed off her fleet-footedness using agility to turn her opponent inside out and showed composure while on the move. Her first term was superb but it did not stop there, consistently providing rebound for the power, intercepting anything in her area and laying some great, fierce tackles. Her mindset was also promising. In one instance in the fourth quarter where she missed a kick out of defence after winning the ball at ground level, but rather than berate herself, ran forward, bumped the opponent and locked the football up to stop the Pioneers getting it forward.

#8 Chandra Abrahams

A player who impressed with some great highlights. She laid a good tackle on the wing in the second term, and provided great forward pressure throughout the match. In the third term she showed quick thinking and goal sense to kick a goal off a step from 45m out. In the final term she laid a great goal-saving tackle, earning her a free. Her versatility to play up either end was on show on the weekend.

#27 Nikia Webber

A player who is in ripping form currently, Webber continues to provide a forward target for the Power, finishing the game with three majors and moving to second on the goal-kicking table. She kicked a huge goal from 40m out in the first term, then got her second in the second term through some hard running, and capped off with an impressive third goal just after that. Aside from hitting the scoreboard, Webber also provided strength and a keen goal sense inside 50.

#58 Amy Dunn

Played through the ruck and certainly held her own, showing good strength and giving her midfielders first use most of the time. A strong body, she assisted her teammates with good defensive efforts. The co-captain was a good leader in the absence of co-captain Tyla Hanks on game day.

Others:

#10 Tahlia Dower: Provided some good dash out of defence and got forward to kick a goal for her hard running efforts. She covered the ground really well and was one of the better Power players on the day.

#30 Alana Rippon: Worked hard through the midfield and provided some good dash. It was clear if the opposition gave her a centimetre she would take a mile. Got some quick first few steps and is able to find the ball.                     

#57 Jasmine Ferguson: Constantly applied pressure to the opposition and pumped the kick long inside 50. Ferguson took a huge grab in the middle of the ground and moves well for a taller player.

#65 Julia Redmond: Had a memorable moment in the second term, pulling down a huge pack mark on the wing.

 

Northern Knights vs. Oakleigh Chargers

By: Michael Alvaro 

Northern:

#4 Neve O’Connor

Fought valiantly all day against Bridie Winbanks in a very even ruck battle and made her presence felt. She moves really well for a player of her height and was not afraid to take her opponents on when pushing the ball forward with her booming kick. In a very strong Knights midfield, it felt like O’Connor was a fourth rover with her efforts around the ground proving valuable.

#6 Alyssa Bannan

She always finds a way to hit the scoreboard and today was no different. Starting on the wing, Bannan provided touches of class and some good run through the midfield. Her spread from the congestion proved to be damaging, and her ability to repeatedly be the option to carry the ball inside 50 is a real asset. She booted both of her goals in the final term, with one of them coming off the back of a nifty side-step to get rid of her opponent.

#18 Sarah Sansonetti

Kicked the first goal of the game but spurned the chance to kick another moments later as she could not manage to poke the ball through from the goal-square. She was ever-present inside 50 and provided a solid option all day, often acting as the link in the chain between the arc and the goals. She had the chance to kick another goal in the final quarter but gave it off, which was typical of her score involvements for the game.

#21 Ellie McKenzie

Arguably the best player on the ground, McKenzie dominated in all areas. She started the game in the centre bounce and won a stack of clearances to go with two goal assists early on. The highlight of her game also came early in the first term when she received the ball at half-back and went on a winding four-bounce run through the centre square. She lost the ball momentarily but bounced straight back up, won it back and hit up a teammate inside 50. She was thrown forward late in the last quarter and kicked three goals in as many minutes to seal the win for her side, capping off a complete and dominant display.

#24 Alexandra Pronesti

Another Knight who always seems to find the goals, Pronesti was again at her dangerous best. Her three first-half goals helped the Knights to set up a handy buffer going into the main break, and she stood up when needed. Playing as a deep-lying forward, she was able to position herself well at every contest and proved to be a real handful when working in tandem with Sarah Sansonetti.

Others:

#2 Marnie Jarvis: There is not much of her, but Jarvis was everywhere and had some nice moments. Working mainly off half-back and the wing, she looked lively with ball in hand and provided some spark going forward. Her speed and nifty sideways movement allow her to stand out.

#5 Madeline Brancatisano: The skipper was lively early as she attended most of the stoppages. She provided a cool head to go with her tough edge in the contest and burrowed in well to set the tone for her side. While she faded out later on and was caught in possession a couple of times, she showed signs of her usual accumilating best.  

#7 Abigail Bennett: Was used in varying roles around the ground but was mostly effective behind the ball and through the midfield. Her best moment came in the last quarter where she picked up the loose ball, weaved through two opponents and set on a dangerous forward run. A smooth mover, Bennett also impressed with her clean hands in a frantic contest.

 

Oakleigh:

#11 Bridie Winbanks

Was a standout as the Chargers’ best player alongside midfield bull Emily Harley with a massive contribution in both the ruck and at ground level. While the ruck battle was relatively even, it was Winbanks’ follow-up efforts and fierce tackling that were most impressive. As a mobile tall, she was able to show off her admirable work rate and strong hands in what was a physical contest. Her lone goal came at the end of the third term, which the Chargers won with three goals to zip thanks largely to her efforts. 

#16 Alana Porter

Porter spent the majority of the game in the midfield and had a few good moments. Her speed and willingness to take the game on was a highlight, and she was able to give her side a nice bit of outside drive. While her attacking style is exciting, she was caught in possession a couple of times, opting to bounce or hold the ball when she had the chance to quickly dispose of it.

#17 Nicola Xenos

Was quiet early but found her feet and a way into the game during the third quarter. She had a five minute purple patch where she showed off her speed in a mazy run, caught an opponent holding the ball, and put in a courageous effort at half forward in quick succession. Her hands are clean and she has good natural pace, proving to be quite evasive throughout the game.

#19 Emily Harley

Harley was a bullocking force through the Oakleigh midfield and provided some real grunt when they needed it. She started off the game dishing out a couple of fend-offs and doing her best to side-step opponents with her turn of pace, and continued on with much of the same. Her forward drive and competitiveness was a real standout, with many of her runs finished off with a long inside-50 ball. A highlight for her was her handy slips catch while she was thrown deep forward in the second term, which she capped off with a goal.

Others:

#41 Katie Lynch: Having started in the centre square for most of the first half, Lynch struggled to make an early impact. A move deep forward in the second half proved fruitful, as she looked to have gained some confidence and found a lot more of the ball. She looked dangerous at times and finished the game with a goal.

#38 Daisy Bateman: There were limited opportunities for the Oakleigh forwards but Bateman took advantage of the ones that fell her way, booting two of her side’s five goals for the game.

 

Dandenong Stingrays vs. GWV Rebels

By: Peter Williams 

Dandenong:

#1 Shelley Heath

One of the Stingrays prime movers through the midfield and constantly pushed back to help out the defence. Had a busy first term with a couple of eye-catching dashes in the opening minutes, and also laid some tackles later that quarter. After a quieter patch in the middle of the game, Heath picked up in the second half with a huge tackle later in the third quarter just outside 50 with the clock counting down. Her last quarter was great, winning plenty of the football pushing back at half-back and along the wing, working hard to use her pace to drive the ball forward.

#10 Abbey Jordan

Has pace to burn and constantly tried to break the lines. She worked in tandem with Heath along the wing and covered plenty of ground. In particular she moved well in the final term, driving the ball out of defence to help propel the Stingrays forward.

#18 Saige Bayne

One of the better Stingrays throughout the game, played on the outside and managed to get into ball-winning positions. I thought it was her best performance of the season and she adds a bit of pace and grunt to the outside, a solid performance across the four quarters. Just keeps battling hard and was able to get free on a number of occasions to kick the ball long.

#28 Tyanna Smith

Booted two goals for the Stingrays and was lively in the front half of the ground. Early in the third term, Smith positioned herself well in front of her opponent and protected the ball drop to mark. Not long after she kicked one of the goals of the day from long range. One of the better Stingrays on the day and a creative option inside 50.

 

#35 Lucy Cripps

As consistent as ever in defence hardly put a foot wrong and just so consistent, when the going got tough she got going. Cripps even pushed up to a wing at times in the third term to provide extra support in the midfield and drive the ball forward. Good long kick deep in the third term, as she had pushed up to half-forward at the time. Knows when to push up the ground and when to stay back. Versatile and can play anywhere on the ground.

Others:

#5 Eloise Allen-Burns: A composed defender in the back 50, Allen-Burns repelled a number of Rebels attacks with some good intercept marks and clearing kicks. Just does her job and is rarely beaten one-on-one.

#20 Eliza Wilson-Macdonald: Buried herself under packs again and laid a number of fierce tackles. She just continues to work hard and win one-on-one contests or at least put her body on the line. Earned a free kick in the final term at a crucial stage to drive her team forward.

#26 Isabella Shannon: Played forward in the third term and presented well and then started to show it on the scoreboard with a goal and then a centering pass to the square. With her leading out the Stingrays looked much more dangerous. Great long kick at half-forward to deep.

#55 Harmony Thomas: Continues to present as a forward target, just needs to capitalise on her opportunities. She took a great one-on-one mark early in the game but missed the set shot. A last quarter free for going in hard presented another opportunity but just missed. She laid a great tackle in the third term to stop a forward thrust and provided a neat kick to Shelley Heath.

 

GWV Rebels:

#2 Renee Saulitis

She has a bit of pace and class about her, kicking a goal and looking dangerous at times through the midfield. She had a good deep pass forward in the second term and is a good mover, sidestepping her opponent.

#16 Lauren Butler

Just a consistent leader in midfield, she positions her kicks well to the danger zone and has that powerful penetration. In the third term she won the ball at midfield and hit up her team-mate leading out of the forward 50. Early on with Dandenong having the breeze, Butler drifted back to help the defence and took a good intercept mark in the hole in defence.

#21 Denver Henson

Really liked her performance through the ruck and around the ground. She continued to push hard and kicked long to gain serious metres. She laid a fierce tackle in the opening quarter and showed quick hands to her runners. I think the bigger highlights were her efforts around the ground.

#23 Sophie Molan

Really consistent performance again from Molan who seemed to be everywhere. She settled down the side and was used in transition, winning the football across the midfield and being an important link in the chain going forward.

#34 Stephanie Glover

Provided some great drive out of defence, and was particularly prominent early. She showed good agility to sidestep opponents and kick long down the wing, and was one of the better Rebels across the course of the game. Seemed to have a no-frills approach of winning the ball and keeping it moving in transition, working hard to win it defensively and drive it forward.

Others:

#9 Jordie McAuliffe: A hard runner who was rewarded with a great goal in the second term. She also was a reliable kick, hitting up Isabella Simmons who lead at the football in the forward 50.

#19 Katie McAloon: Kicked a great goal off a step in the second quarter.

#27 Nyakoat Dojiok: Created some great run and carry early on in the match, and almost pulled down a high leap but just dropped it. Good acceleration and has a penetrating kick, she had some impressive plays.

#28 Isabella Simmons: Positions herself well down forward, leads for the footy and then camps under the drop zone protecting the ball drop.

#45 Alyssa Humphries: Early on in the game she was damaging up forward, booting a goal and then using her quick hands after a mark to give it off to Jordie McAuliffe for a goal. Played well out of full-forward, and almost kicked a second goal, hitting the post in the final term.

 

Sandringham Dragons vs. Calder Cannons 

Sandringham:

 

#1 Maddison Wilson

Was lively around goal, especially in the first quarter. She kicked the first two goals for the game and finished up with three. Bended it nicely around the body for a confidence-boosting goal after stoppages started to come into play more frequently. Wilson read the ball well in the goal-square, crumbing the ground balls and snapping them through. Was killing it inside 50, taking great uncontested marks and trapping to the ball deep inside 50.

#25 Bella Eddey

Her goal was a stunning pick up and snap around the body from the boundary line! This was set up by Alice Burke’s high ball, which set the small forwards up nicely to run onto the footy. Eddey displayed good work to hunt the ball down and got plenty of it. She was involved in a lot of passages of play, which was highlighted by a spearing pass to Sophia Rothfield on the lead. Even brought her teammates into the game with a good one-two to get the Dragons out of trouble.

#30 Eleanor Brown

Did all the little things right for Sandringham. Managed to kick the ball well even off a burst of acceleration. Delivered a beautiful kick into the middle of the ground to get the Dragons out of trouble. Displayed pinpoint accuracy with her kicking. Had good run and carry especially down the wing. Brown leads well towards the ball even in defence, and doesn’t wait for the ball to come to her so she can spoil. She didn’t allow opponents to lead to the footy because she always meets it first.

#36 Jemma Owen

Really starting to find some good form in these past couple of rounds. Was able to stand up in the stoppages and did some nice things to clear the ball out of congestion. Kicked a nice goal after a good assist from Georgia Emberton. Kicked two for the game which really got her confidence up.

#49 Laura Amelung

Amelung can make an impact wherever she plays. Spent some time up forward and kicked a goal courtesy of a nice snap. Had some great one percenters with some really strong tackles, some great work to run into space and even a nice attempt to thread the needle through goals! She had a nice moment where she grabbed the ball off the deck, accelerated and ran towards goal. Ended up with two majors for the day, showing her versatility.

 

Others:

#2 Winnie Laing: Was able to trap the ball well and handball it out of congestion. Displayed great work to get the ball out with three Cannons players tackling her.

#3 Sophia Rothfield: I witnessed one of the best leads to the footy I’ve seen after Rothfield burst off her opponent with immense speed when she read Bella Eddey’s spearing pass immensely well. Gave her opponent no chance to chase her down in that instance. Displayed some really good work to chase the ball down in the goal-square and kick off one step while being tackled.

#31 Bryanna Arnold: Read the footy beautifully, shown by a kick just landing into her arms after all eyes were on it. Displayed good work to hold up play while the Cannons attempted to run away out of a stoppage.

#32 Sarah Hartwig: Displayed good composure down back. Was able to kick well under pressure. She’s a good defender and a great leader in the back-line.  

#46 Alice Burke: Had plenty of score involvements throughout the match. Most memorable one was a high kick to set up a Bella Eddey goal. Delivered some really nice kicks for the forwards to run onto, and one of them ended up in a great boundary-line snap from Eddey once again.

 

Calder:

#2 Felicity Theodore

Theodore was everywhere for the Cannons and tried extremely hard to keep her side in the game. Did well to hold the dangerous Alice Burke up in stoppage to create another stoppage. Was reading Carla Rendelmann’s taps perfectly and was able to get some clearances. Even had a couple of good ‘don’t argues’ to clear the kick away from congestion. In another instance, she fended off well to evade her opponent and dashed out of the middle. Theodore was able to pick up ball with pace, making it look like the other players were just staring at it. Often got the Cannons out of trouble. Leapt and marked against two Sandringham players to send the ball straight back inside 50 after a kick-out from full-back. Really filled Prespakis’ shoes.

#32 Terira Fry

Applied great pressure to cause a stoppage with four Sandringham players around her. Laid a huge tackle in the goal-square to keep the ball alive for the Cannons inside 50. Continues to improve each game and is one of the Cannons’ best players. Caused some headaches for the Dragons thanks to her aggressive manner and hunt to penetrate the ball forward through defensive acts.

#34 Zoe Hardiman

Hardiman did some really nice things around the contest. She picked up the ball well and evaded her opponents to deliver a nice centring kick, took a really nice mark which set her up for a set shot in the second quarter,  and delivered a fantastic run-down tackle. Also read the ball well when she marked a kick that dropped short. Accelerated towards it rather than waiting for it. Was active around the half-forward flank especially.

#38 Laura Cocomello

Got heaps of kicks away and did not seem to stop trying for the Cannons. She was proactively keeping the game moving for Calder. Kept herself in the game through some good running and following up her teammates’ nice work around the contest. Was able to just grab the ball and kick it without fuss.

#42 Kellie Sutton

She was really strong in defence. She took a great mark to create a turnover and delivered a nice handball under pressure. Displayed great work to hack the ball out of inside 50 when Dragons looked dangerous. Strong tackling was also evident in one of her best games of the season.

 

 

Others:

#15 Georgia Marsland: Took a nice mark off a high kick. Kicked the Cannons’ first goal of the day.

#18 Carla Rendelmann: Was impressive in the ruck and won lots of hit-outs. Tapped the ball down well to her small midfielders, especially Felicity Theodore.

#37 Faith Holloway: Broke away from the contest well and got a kick away. Had a lively start to the game. Smothered the ball well to save a certain goal for the Dragons.

#46 Gloria Elarmaly: Did some nice work to thread through a goal for Calder. Was lively inside 50.

 

Geelong Falcons vs. Murray Bushrangers 

Geelong:

#10 Samantha Atkins

I was impressed with her performance across half-forward, providing some fierce tackles and keeping the opposition honest. Earned an important free kick in the first term when she dispossessed Grace Egan, and then worked hard inside 50 to win the ball at half-forward and centre it to a dangerous position, leading to a goal. She laid quite a few strong tackles, with one in particular in the third term causing an important turnover in the forward half.

#11 Luka Lesosky-Hay

Arguably Geelong’s most prominent midfielder, Lesosky-Hay really stood up in the absence of Olivia Purcell and Nina Morrison. She went head-to-head with Grace Egan throughout the day and had some great battles, never taking a backwards step. She went in hard and won some crucial contested possessions, shovelling the ball out to teammates in space.

#32 Mia Sheppard

I thought she was one of the better Falcons given her strong work in defence. On a couple of occasions, she positioned herself well in the marking contest, and had a desire to win the football. In the final term when Murray was attacking, Sheppard won a crucial one-on-two and locked the ball up. Had she lost that contest, Murray would have surely goaled and put the margin within a kick.

#36 Abbey Chapman

It was almost impossible to name a best player from the Falcons such was their team effort, but Chapman probably came the closest with her sensational work in defence. It was not just her consistency that was impressive, but she just had a number of “big” moments which could be considered game-changing. In the third term she saved a certain Grace Egan goal with a mark on the line, and then in the fourth term, took a huge intercept mark with five minutes to play, settling down the team as the Bushrangers attacked. Across the course of the game she was very good one-on-one.

#39 Tarryn Love

I thought she was one of the best on ground early, until injury curtailed her match in the third term. She just hunts the ball and harasses the opposition, providing pressure on the ball carrier. When in control of the football she has clean hands and a great first touch. Her awareness of her teammates’ positioning is also important and she is able to execute handballs through traffic. Love set up a goal to Paige Sheppard with a kick to her advantage up forward.

Others:

#6 Paige Sheppard: Kicked a couple of goals to spur on the Falcons with one from a set shot, and another from a snap courtesy of a Tarryn Love kick inside 50.

#16 Laura Gardiner: Seemed to cover the ground well, playing off half-back and also getting forward to kick a goal. She is a long kick who is often on the move.

#37 Sophie Dinneen: Another Falcons defender who worked hard to win the football and repel the Bushrangers attacks. She was smart with ball in hand and kicked long out of the defensive zone.

#35 Sophie Walmsley: A lively player who kicked a great goal courtesy of a snap in the pocket. She provided run on the outside, received a good handball to keep the ball moving along the wing, and showed good pace at times, highlighted by a spin around and kick long to the danger zone inside 50 in the third quarter.

#38 Renee Tierney: Did not kick a goal after a bag last week but played a team role with the way she pushed up to the wing and hit the packs hard, providing support for her teammates. She moves pretty well and is strong one-on-one. Had more of an impact up the field than closer to goal this week.

 

Murray:

#1 Julia Harvey

The pocket rocket stepped up into the midfield and had a huge opening term against the Falcons. She seemed to be everywhere, buzzing around the stoppages and weaving her way through traffic. A noticeable strength is her great hands in close and cleanliness at ground level. She is a good user of the football and quite composed with ball in hand. Was quieter later in the game – still had some impressive plays – but her first quarter was sensational.

#22 Tamara Smith

Was Murray’s best player across four quarters and the attributes that stand out are her ability to move through traffic, and her game smarts. She is good above her head and in the second term, showed the awareness while under pressure, to punch the ball forward mid-air rather than take possession and be dispossessed. Smith is a clever player who in the third term also did the team thing, going in to assist her teammate Kate Adams at a stoppage, providing a vital shepherd to allow Adams clear passage for disposal. She also assisted with a goal to Melanie Cook after a nice pass in the fourth quarter.

#37 Sophie Damon

Had a huge first half in particular, being somewhat of a playmaker through the middle with her teammates looking to her to kick long and deep. She was often on the end of handballs, and moved really well for a taller player. In one instance she calmly sidestepped an opponent and managed to kick with composure. She had a shot on goal but that just missed to the left. Her ruck work was also impressive, giving her teammates first chance at possession. She was also involved in the Melanie Cook goal, hitting up Tamara Smith with a piercing pass.

#39 Hayley Doohan

The most notable moments for me were when she won some crucial one-on-ones late in the match. She was able to win a hardball and handpass to Grace Egan under pressure, then beat her opponent late in the final term in a one-on-one contest.

#42 Grace Egan

One of the stars of the Bushrangers’ line-up, Egan was consistent across the game, but particularly picked up in the second half. She worked hard through the midfield, burrowing under packs, putting pressure on the opposition. She stands strong during tackles and found a lot of the ball in close. In the third quarter she ran forward and had a shot on goal, but it was marked on the line. She has clean hands and a one-grab player, spreading well to cover the ground. One of her best passes was in the final term when she had the ball at half-back. She sent a bullet, hitting up a teammate on the wing, switching up play and disrupting the opposition’s set-up. Really stood up as a leader in the final minutes, trying to assist in directing players.

Others:

#4 Chelsea Knight: A classy midfielder who assisted Julia Harvey, Tamara Smith and Grace Egan through the midfield. She stepped up at points and had a few good touches in the midfield, especially in the third term.

#8 Olivia Hall: Got her side up and about in the final term with a great goal to put the Bushrangers back within 10 points at the six and a half minute mark of the final term.

#40 Melanie Cook: Continually presented at the football and was often under tight watch from the opposition. She took a good mark and kicked to the danger zone in the second term to set up Mikayla Jones’ goal. In the final term, Cook got the ball rolling and the atmosphere going with a goal from a snap.

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Girls – Round 4

ROUND four gave us a new ladder-leader with the Geelong Falcons taking top spot off the Northern Knights. It also saw the Stingrays move off the bottom of the ladder with a commendable performance against the Sandringham Dragons. Meanwhile Gippsland continued its great run of form with a three-point win against reigning premiers, Calder Cannons. This competition just keeps on giving with plenty of great performances on an action-packed Tuesday.  Our scouts attended four games from the round.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Sandringham Dragons 

By: Peter Williams 

Dandenong: 

#3 Courtney Jones

I thought it was the best four-quarter performance I have seen from her this season. She played well inside 50 and just consistently worked her way to the front in marking contests. Jones has a good game sense and knew when to time her leads and use her body to wedge herself between her opponent and the pass coming inside 50. Just kicked the one goal after marking from an Eliza Wilson-Macdonald snap, then missed a chance to make it two after a great lead and mark. Overall a really strong performance.

#15 Jordyn Allen

The captain played a typical consistent game, and when called upon, stood up and made it count. She seemed to be everywhere on Tuesday, intercepting and rebounding early, then went forward in the final term and took a huge contested mark, converting the goal and giving the Stingrays a real sniff at victory late in the game. She reads the play so well and is pivotal off half-back. She just knows how to get to the right positions and uses her great vision to not only chop off opposition passes, but open up angles for teammates and find space for them with neat passes.

#26 Isabella Shannon

Arguably the Stingrays best across four quarters, her contested work was top notch on Tuesday. You would often find her at the bottom of a pack, shovelling the ball out and no doubt her contested numbers and one percenters would be high from her efforts in the match. Shannon also has good composure with ball-in-hand and is able to stand up in a mark with pressure coming from around her. She took a great intercept mark early in the fourth term, and also had a chance to draw the team within five points late in the match after a quick handball from Lucinda Cripps, but her snap missed.

#29 Brooke Struylaart

Struylaart kicked the first goal of the game and continually presented up forward. Her game tended to flow like the Stingrays, but when they needed a target inside 50, she was there. Her positioning in the first marking contest was smart, reading the ball’s flight better than her opponent to position herself at the back and take an easy uncontested mark and slot the goal from the goal square. She had a shot in the second term but her snap did not bend back enough. Struylaart also cut the margin back in the fourth term with the opening goal to get the Stingrays up and about.

#35 Lucinda Cripps

I am yet to see her play a bad game, such is the consistency Cripps has throughout matches. Even when she is not winning the ball, she is contesting and putting her body on the line via blocks, tackles or shepherding – a real team player. She gets to the right positions in the defensive 50 and puts pressure on her opponents, and intercept marks, spoils or just puts her opponents off balance enough to slow play. In the last term Cripps went forward and while she did not win a heap of it, almost changed the game with a lightning handpass to Isabella Shannon as she ran by, but unfortunately the proceeding snap was missed.

Others:

#1 Shelley Heath: Quieter early, but had some really classy moments. The most noticeable trait for me is her ability to dispose of the ball really quickly. It is hard for opponents to get a hand on her, because she either fires out the handball or puts the ball to boot in record time. A clean user of the ball across the game and clean at ground level.

#5 Eloise Allen-Burns: A consistent game playing in defence, taking a crucial intercept mark late in the game and being a rock alongside Cripps in that back 50.

#20 Eliza Wilson-Macdonald: A good mover who just cracks in hard at the contest. Had an entertaining battle with Winnie Laing throughout the day when the pair matched up in the midfield with neither player taking a backwards step. Wilson-Macdonald laid a few bone-crunching tackles, and also set up a Courtney Jones goal with a neat turn and snap to the danger zone.

#21 Grace Hodder: I was impressed with her game just showing a few signs here and there, laying a huge tackle on the wing and taking a good intercept mark at half-forward. Started to win a bit of the ball through the midfield and was fairly clean too.

#28 Tyanna Smith: Had an eye-catching play in the second term, marking and not breaking stride and she bombed long inside 50 to hit up Brooke Struylaart. She then laid a great run down tackle on Abbie McKay later in the match to lock up the ball.

 

Sandringham: 

#36 Jemma Owen

The best performance I have seen the Dragons captain put out for the season, she was just everywhere. She not only did all the hard stuff that you are used to with her in-and-under work and fierce tackling, but she broke the lines and made the grandstand wing her own with a couple of daring dashes to burn off opponents and gain serious meterage. She created run off half-back and then seemingly iced the game late in the third term with a huge goal from about 40m out with the kick never looking like missing. She copped a knock in the final term but got back up.

#43 Abbie McKay

A consistent performer across the game, not as noticeable as some, but looking carefully she plays a vital role in the contest. She laid a great goal-saving tackle in the third term, but unfortunately for her the ball spilled free and another opponent kicked truly. Nonetheless her effort in the contest was indicative of her desire at the coal face and produced a strong team player game.

#46 Alice Burke

I thought her game was the most noticeable I had seen from her despite having some impressive performances this season. She created good drive off half-back and did a few things that indicated her game sense and footy IQ was high – deft taps or knock ons that advantaged either herself or her teammates for the next possession or contest. She also kicked a great goal when all the momentum was with the Stingrays, nailing a shot inside 50 after drifting down there and putting the Dragons nine points up with five minutes remaining in the match.

#49 Laura Amelung

A damaging game from the versatile utility who does not need a lot of space to hurt her opponents. She has a trademark sidestep that opens up space and only needs a split second to compose herself and zero in on the goals. Amelung showed great vision to be able to pick out teammates in pockets of space, and finished the game with two goals – one on the run from 40m out in the first quarter and another from bouncing on a loose ball in the pocket. She also set up a great goal assist to Jemma Owen in the third term who nailed the shot from 40m out.

#56 Georgia Emberton

Emberton played up forward and I was impressed with her ability to balance between offensive and defensive mindsets. She would find space and become an option for her teammates going forward, but also put pressure on her opponents so they knew they were being hunted inside their defensive 50. Emberton laid a great run down tackle in the first term for a free kick late, then nailed the set shot from a 45 degree angle. She missed the opportunity to make it two later on, marking in front but the set shot just missed. Emberton moved into the midfield late in the game and found a bit of the ball.

Others:

#1 Maddison Wilson: Copped a knock in the first term from a tackle, but got back up to compete at the next contest. She reads the play well and is a clean user of the football, and also clean at ground level.

#2 Winnie Laing: A contested game from Laing, going head-to-head with Eliza Wilson-Macdonald at times through the midfield, she continued to battle and force her way to contests throughout the match.

#25 Isabella Eddey: Kicked a great goal from a snap in the third term to put the Dragons 12 points up. Also had a vital contest backing back into defence in the final term, doing enough to put body contact on Lucinda Cripps to spoil her attempt at a mark, then won the proceeding one-on-one and cleared it out of the danger zone. Zipped around and played her role throughout the game.

#32 Sarah Hartwig: Hartwig provided great drive and kept one of the competition’s key goal-scorers – Samantha Ryan – goalless. She has a great ability to change direction and lay some strong tackles, and also provided a crucial intercept midway through the last term, striding out of defence to clear it to the wing.

#64 Eliza McNamara: Played even more of an inside role on Tuesday than other matches and looked comfortable. She had to earn every possession this round and did so, well. She has a good turning circle and can work her way out of a stoppage, and almost kicked a great goal in the second half after sidestepping a couple, but was dragged down at the last second and the kick fell short.

 

Murray Bushrangers vs. Western Jets 

By: Taylah Melki

Murray: 

#1 Julia Harvey

Harvey was a standout for the Bushrangers, competing hard for the footy and slotting an impressive goal from a tricky angle. She used the footy cleanly and hit her targets. Harvey showcased her fight and desperation for the footy, and took a few really strong marks under heaps of pressure.

#16 Eloise Ashley-Cooper

She was really strong down back and through the middle for the Bushrangers once again. Ashley-Cooper took plenty of strong marks and showed good hustle to win the footy at ground level. She was very clean around the contest and used the footy effectively, showing great awareness with ball in hand.

#17 Rebecca Webster

Webster backed up her impressive form again this week gathering plenty of touches and imposing herself on the contest. She was never far from the footy and was a huge influence on her teammates, imposing herself on the stoppages. She had clean hands in and around the contest and used the footy well. Webster laid plenty of strong tackles and showcased her ability to run and carry with the footy. Not only did she tackle well but she used her strength to burst away from the packs and help set up forward play for her team. She showed great awareness with ball in hand and demonstrated her long penetrating kick, scoring a goal herself in another strong performance for the Bushrangers.

#19 Millie Brown

Brown had a huge first quarter for the Bushrangers. She showcased her class and footy skill nailing two big goals in the opening term and demonstrated good awareness with ball in hand. Brown used her evasive skills to get into damaging positions and used her booming kick to propel her team forward. She also took big grabs throughout the match.

#22 Tamara Smith

Smith showed some good fight and competed hard to win the footy. She was never far from the contest and laid plenty of good strong tackles throughout the match. Smith applied good forward pressure to lock the ball in their forward 50 and used the footy cleanly, hitting targets with pin-point accuracy. In and around stoppages she was really clean and helped to open up the space with her dash.

Others:

#4 Chelsea Knight: Knight showcased her marking ability and competed hard for the footy throughout the match. She ran hard and was not afraid to impose herself on the contest.

#5 Chelsea Hargreaves: Hargreaves took plenty of good intercept marks and had really strong hands under heaps of pressure.

#11 Ada Chessor: Chessor showcased her clean hands around the contest and used her break-away speed to open up the field. Her ability to win the in and under ball allowed her to use skills to burst away from the pack.

#26 Emily Nicholson: Nicholson laid a huge tackle in the third quarter and took a few good intercept marks throughout the match.

#37 Sophie Damon: Damon was really solid down back for the Bushrangers and competed hard at the contest. She laid an impressive smother and helped to propel her team forward multiple times from defence.

#42 Grace Egan: Egan backed up her strong performance last week with another consistent game, taking plenty of strong intercept marks and impressing with her ability to read the flight of the footy and the play of the game.  

#45 Olivia Barber: Barber took plenty of good contested marks and rucked really well for the Bushrangers. She won plenty of the ruck contests and took a strong good grab. Barber nailed an impressive goal in the third quarter.

 

Western: 

#2 Caitlin Gashi

Gashi was a standout for the Jets showcasing her impressive speed and evasive skills. She was very clever with ball in hand and used the footy effectively and efficiently. Her run and carry was important to help propel her team forward and she used her strong kicking ability to set her team up.

#8 Emily Gardner

Gardner was good around the contest and competed hard to win the footy for her team. She was never far from the contest and was not afraid to get involved in the thick of it. She had clean hands and picked up the footy with ease.

#14 Isabella Grant

Grant showed some good dash across the ground and took a few running bounces to try and open up space for her team. She set up plenty of play in the forward 50 and competed hard for the footy at ground level.

#26 Isabella Negri

She took a big mark in the second quarter and competed hard for the ball throughout the whole match. Negri was a key presence up forward for the Jets and used the ball relatively well. Negri was not afraid to go hard at the footy. Her quick release with ball in hand helped her team mates and allowed them to run into space.  

#43 Caitlin Greiser

She was the sole goal-kicker for the Jets bagging three majors. Greiser impressed with her accuracy in front of goal and showed good composure with ball in hand. She moved well across the ground and got herself into damaging positions in order to set up shots at goal. Greiser was a key figure on the ground and looked dangerous in front of goal.

Others:

#19 Olivia Forsythe: Forsythe laid some good strong tackles and used her long penetrating kick to help her team get out of trouble. She showed great awareness and helped to set up some forward play for the Jets.

#21 Maddison-Eve Fenech: She applied some good tackling pressure and fought hard to win the footy.

#40 Sharnie Whiting: She was effective down back for the Jets and had a beautiful long kick which she used to help propel her team forward. She set up play defensively and was able to hit targets on the kick in.

#44 Carle Myors-Moore: She was really strong down back for the Jets and soaked up a lot of pressure from the Bushrangers. She used her long clearing kick to get the ball out of their defensive 50.

 

Northern Knights vs. GWV Rebels 

By: James Halley

Northern: 

#7 Abigail Bennett

She is quite classy in tight and has time when her opposition has none. She has good hands for and can hold her marks when under heavy duress. She is really trustworthy on the last line of defence when needed to mark under pressure. Her ability to play anywhere on the field is a strength.

#14 Jessica Fitzgerald

She seemed to be everywhere in the first quarter. She had a presence on the ground which the Rebels could not contain early on. She kicked an impressive goal late in the third term as she was getting tackled, which shows great composure. 

#24 Alexandra Pronesti

She played as the main target for the Knights in the forward line, presented well and was rewarded for constant hard work in the first quarter with a goal, which she converted from a set shot 20m out. She converted her second from a similar distance moments later, as she stamped her authority on the game. Her hands did not falter as the game went on.

#27 Paije Kearney

She managed to hold her own as a key position back and took impressive marks when the team needed her. She is often the player that her teammates look to when distributing the ball.

Others: 

#3 Nell Morris-Dalton: She has great hands and leads very well.

#10 Phoebe Chisolm: Chisolm displayed her tackling power with a great chase-down tackle in the first term.

#17 Ciara Fitzgerald: She seems a class above with her speed out of the stoppages.

#23 Gabby Newton: Newton was a key interceptor for the Knights in the backline, continuing her form this season.

 

#22 Britney Gutknecht: She is a quality on-baller who disposes the ball well out of the contest. 

 

GWV: 

#15 Tara Jasper

For a backline player, she was able to convert from a long distance after she was a awarded a free and 50m penalty for rough conduct, which illustrates great flexibility for the 18-year-old. Definitely one of the Rebels’ best on the day.

#18 Sophie Van De Heuvel

She snapped through a very nice goal from the boundary which showed great promise as a small forward. Afterwards she showed a bit of character which was good to see, as she brought her team within one point of the Knights in the second term. She was lively throughout the whole game and a real standout for the Rebels.

#23 Sophie Molan

Molan is a very accurate shot for a goal as she converted from 30m out in the second term after being awarded a free kick for holding. She continues to improve as the season goes on, being one of GWV’s most consistent players. Molan was a strong defender early in the season but has made her mark in attack the last few weeks.

#25 Georgia Clarke

Her dash and accurate kicking across half-back was instrumental in attacks for the Rebels. Her pressure on the ball-carrier was immense. She proved this by winning multiple frees. Clarke backed up her best-on-ground efforts last week with another sterling game in defence.

#27 Nyakoat Dojiok

She has really good pace and runs all day up and down the wing. Late in the last quarter she sprinted away and kicked her first goal for the match in a good quarter of forward athleticism. 

 

 

Others: 

#13 Chloe Leonard: She was able to finish nicely in front of goal as she kicked truly for her second-term major.

 

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Geelong Falcons 

Oakleigh:

#2 Mimi Hill

Did some really nice things on the day and was one of the Chargers players who never gave up. At times, she would pick the ball up quickly and kick it out of congestion, displaying her great spatial awareness. She also displayed clean hands throughout the day. Was a key link in the chain for the Chargers throughout the day.

#16 Alana Porter

Has a great long and penetrating kick, which was even executed well on the run. She had great balance to kick the ball well and keep her feet while Geelong players were chasing her down. Had the ability to get and go throughout the whole game to try and hack the ball forward for her side. Took a great in and under mark, laid a goal-saving tackle, and completed a huge run-down tackle to save Geelong running forward. A complete game from her.

#17 Nicola Xenos

Made the clubroom end her own by always getting the ball in that area and hacking it out of congestion off the half-back line. Often marked, and kicked towards the wing to create space. She was proactive in finding other ways to get her team moving forward. In one instance she had the awareness to kick across the ground to allow her team control the footy. Was able to accelerate and kick on the run. Read the game really well.

#32 Chloe O’Malley

Got plenty of the footy on the day. Dug in deep for the side, trying to hold down the fort in defence then presenting herself in one instance in the forward line. Had good agility to evade a tackle at one point and kept trying to surge forward. Constantly went in hard for the footy and when she got it, she had the composure to go back, look for a target and allow her teammates to get into position.

#21 Charlotte Moon

Another commendable performance from Moon, she is a very consistent player. She showed her strength with a good pick-up off the deck while she had a player on her back. She is proving to be very important for Oakleigh. She was one of their better players on the day and seems to be improving as each week goes on.

#70 Peggy-Sue Fennell

In one instance she burst from the last line of defence, cleared the ball from goal-square congestion and took it to the wing. Backed up last week’s solid performance.

 

Others:

#14 Hannah McLaren: Penetrating kick and was getting plenty of the footy in the first quarter. Went off with a head knock towards the end of the term and did not come back on which was a shame. Looked like she was going to have a solid performance.

#11 Bridie Winbanks: Did well in the ruck to minimise Inei’s influence. Kicked the ball nice and high at times to allow her smaller teammates to run onto the ball. Got plenty of air on her kicks.  

#30 Gemma Lagioia: Started the game incredibly well before an unfortunate head clash with Hannah McLaren. Won plenty of the ball and kept it moving in the short time she was out there.

#39 Tayla Nichols: Took a good intercept mark and laid a goal-saving tackle on the last line of defence to prevent a Geelong goal.  

#43 Emily Hastie: Laid an excellent rundown tackle and took a good mark from a defensive kick inside 50.

 

Geelong: 

 

 

#7 Olivia Purcell

Was everywhere throughout the day. Had a good clearance out of the centre and was able to burst through congestion multiple times. Was able to pick up the ball cleanly and it paid dividends when she did it inside 50 and slotted through a goal. Her marking power was remarkable for such a small player. Took a good leap over a player’s back and took a mark with an opponent on her back, showing she could do it all. Was another Falcon who had a wonderful goal sense. She was Geelong’s best player on the day.

#10 Nina Morrison

Displayed electric speed throughout the game. She is such a composed player. Morrison is also a confident player, shown when she ran along the boundary line and kicked a brave snap. She has a good kick off one step, and has one of the most diverse kicks I’ve seen this year. Can kick it high, low, or spear a pass. In one instance, she kicked a low ball into the forward line, as she picked a target rather than just hacking it to the top of the goal square. So good at finding targets and has an innate ability to lower her eyes to control the flow of the game for the Falcons.

#15 Lucy McEvoy

Flexed her muscles against the Chargers. She plucked many marks out of contests and was able to clear the ball, whether it was by giving the ball off or running into space herself. Took a huge contested mark with a contest of players behind her. At one point she had good game sense to cleverly tap the ball in a contest which allowed her to run forward. She displayed good kicking up forward and had a strong presence inside 50. Kicked a nice goal to solidify her dominance. Always knew how to bring her teammates into the game with quick-fire handballs. In one instance, she got a kick away even though she was being tackled.

 

#17 Denby Taylor

Good acceleration. Got heaps of the footy throughout the day. Has a long kick which got Geelong out of trouble deep in defence. Had a great knack to pick up the footy and kick off one step to boot it forward.

#25 Renee Tierney

Kicked four brilliant goals for the day. Always ran into the right spots to run onto the end of some long kicks inside 50. For one of her goals, she read McEvoy’s quick pick-up, grabbed the ball off the deck and snapped it around her body. Kicked a good goal off a free kick with a nice calm run up. Took an excellent pack mark at the top of the square. She was really lively inside 50 throughout the whole game but her influence was especially felt in the third quarter when she kicked two goals. Has a remarkable goal sense.

 Others:

#9 Luka Lesosky-Hay: Had a nice long kick into the forward line and created a couple of forward thrusts. Kicked to the ball beautifully to the perfect spot, the goal square, to allow the small forwards to run onto a loose ball. Kicked a goal herself to polish off a nice day out.

#11 Kaitlyn Haustorfer: In one instance she cleverly tapped the ball under pressure to get it out of the congested stoppage. Laid a great tackle and got straight back up to continue chasing.

#14 Tarryn Love: Great mark and good ability to play on.

#19 Zoe Inei: Nice goal from a free kick, curled it nicely.

#22 Mia Sheppard: Good effort to get the ball, kick it then follow up her kick. Kept her feet well throughout the game.

#30 Emily Allan: Read the play well to get the ball out the back off a big kick inside 50. Kicked a nice goal to finish it off.

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Girls – Round 2

THE TAC Cup Girls competition continued to produce many highlights across round two, headlined by Gippsland Power securing its first TAC Cup Girls victory. Round two also produced a new ladder-leader, as the Northern Knights sealed top spot with a big win over the Cannons. The Knights join Geelong, Murray and the Eastern Ranges, who are all undefeated after two rounds of an exciting 2018 season. 

Eastern Ranges vs. Dandenong Stingrays

Eastern:

#3 Emerson Woods

Had a quiet start to the game, but was one of the better Ranges players in the second half. Her first clear possession in the second half was a handball out of congestion to a teammate in space on the outside. She continued to win plenty of contested possessions in close and executed some crucial handballs to the outside. Started to stand out in the second half and took a good mark outside 50 and played on quickly to kick long.

#26 Tarni Brown

One of Eastern’s better players at times, it is just getting her consistency through matches built up. She was impressive with good speed, acceleration, agility, footy smarts and defensive pressure. She has that touch of class, and does the defensive things right as well. You get that sense she has a lot of natural football ability and it is just a case of getting more miles in the legs and thus consistency will come because the talent is there.

#37 Georgia Macpherson

If stats were recorded she would go close to breaking the marks and intercept marks record. Just does not drop anything and rebounds anything in her vicinity. The opposition began trying to avoid kicking it anywhere near her because of her consistency overhead and her drive out of defence. She is a powerful kick who more often than not hits her target and pushes up the ground too which helps with her team’s forward press. So smart and composed under pressure, put together another four-quarter performance.

#38 Laura McClelland

The dominant forward of the day, she booted three majors in the first half and could have had five. She found space well inside the forward 50, took some strong marks overhead and was a powerful set shot. McClelland showed off her versatility by snapping a goal to go with her set shots. Also provided defensive pressure when out of position and showed good strength on one occasion to fend off a would-be tackler.

#46 Sarah Kendall

One of Eastern’s best across the four quarters, played predominantly ruck but covered the ground really well. For a taller player she moves well and this helps her get in the best position in the ruck contests, forcing her way to the front. She won possessions in each third of the ground and when down forward, she presented well leading out. She took a really strong contested mark on the wing in the fourth quarter and just had that presence throughout the game to back-up from another strong day out.

Others:

#6 Gabriella De Angelis: Was composed inside 50 under pressure and weighted her kicks well.

#10 Nicole Cormack: Showed good vision in transition when she marked and weighted a perfectly timed pass to Tarni Brown inside 50.

#21 Mikala Cann: She has that lightning few steps out of a stoppage which can burn off her opponent, but also does all the defensive things right as well with some fierce tackling. She had a couple of snaps and kicked a major on the three quarter time siren. Still building to put in a four-quarter performance, but she has some eye-catching moments at times.

#39 Olivia Meagher: Only turned 15 a few months ago, but she is one to watch over the coming years. She rushed her shots on goal a bit, but laid some bone-crunching tackles – including one on Lucinda Cripps – to lock the ball inside 50. She has great acceleration inside 50 and strength, breaking a tackle, but she sprayed the shot. Would have been in the top couple on the ground had she finished the few shots off.

#40 Tahlia Merrett: Played up forward and rotated through the ruck with Sarah Kendall. Merrett is a strong mark of the football, kicked a couple of goals early and seemed a reliable set shot. She also worked well at ground level so the bottom-age player showed some good signs on the weekend.

#47 Jess Provan: Took a great contested mark in front in the third quarter, but missed the goal attempt. Found space later on and took a good mark, so was providing a target up forward.

#48 Lauren Szigeti: Took a few contested marks in the first quarter and was a rock in defence. She fended off an opponent in the third term charging out of the defensive 50 and cleared the ball inside her team’s own forward arc with a lovely kick inside 50 to Olivia Meagher.

#49 Charlotte Wilson: Had a great highlight with a strong intercept mark and kicked it clear from defence.

 

Dandenong:

#1 Shelley Heath

Heath had a quiet first quarter before working more into the game after quarter time. She did not have as much time and space as last week, so used her high work ethic and running ability to work harder to get into space. She peeled off her opponent a couple of times and managed to get free to be an option on the wing. An accurate kick of the football, Heath backs herself when heading towards goal and has some quick first few steps out of a stoppage. Had a great smother in the final term, then laid a tackle backing up, to lock the ball up.

#15 Jordyn Allen

Like many teammates, the first quarter or so, Allen was not as influential as the week before.. But by the time she walked off the ground at the end of the game, Allen was one of the better players on the ground. Early on her defensive work was top, laying some important tackles and when she did have the ball, she was composed. It was the second half where she began to have a huge influence on the game. With the game slipping away, Allen played on from a kick-out, booted it to a teammate outside 50, received the handball from that teammate and kicked to half-forward. What showed her smarts was rather than just bombing long to a predictable area, Allen saw Georgia Macpherson ahead who had taken a multitude of intercept marks. So Allen readjusted her running and kicked to the other flank, using it as another avenue to goal. She did that a couple of times, using her fantastic penetrating kick to find targets up forward and just worked hard throughout the game. A high football IQ.

#26 Isabella Shannon

One of the Stingrays best early on, she stood up in the first half. She showed good speed out of the stoppage and tried to make something out of nothing charging through a few opponents. Unfortunately for her she was brought down and got pinged for holding the ball. She kicked the Stingrays’ first goal courtesy of a 50m penalty, but worked in tandem with Heath through the midfield and used it well by foot. Had a quieter second half, but still did some nice things.

#35 Lucinda Cripps

Like many of her teammates, Cripps had a quieter first half and worked into it in the second half. She was caught a couple of times with quicker forwards opposing her, but she continually tried to repel attacks out of the back 50. The biggest attribute to notice with Cripps is her ability to stay calm under pressure and never take her eyes off the contest. She took a huge back-with-the-flight mark in the final term putting her body on the line to stop a forward througst. She also used her strength to fend off opponents and had a big final term.

#44 Samantha Ryan

The tall forward was one the Stingrays’ best across the four quarters, because she did everything you could ask of a forward – she led, presented, took grabs and provided defensive pressure. Early on she was taking plenty of marks inside 50 and just got the better of her opponent on the lead. She laid a great hip and shoulder on Sarah Kendall in the second quarter, and was always buzzing around the forward 50.

Others:

#4 Jess Guy-Toogood: Has nice skills which she showed with ball in hand, moving in transition from the midfield to the forward 50.

#18 Saige Bayne: Still only 15 years-old and popping up with some good highlights through the match. She goes in hard to the contest and is able to hit targets when looking forward with good vision.

#20 Eliza Wilson-Macdonald: Came into the side this week and played on the inside with some great defensive efforts. She worked hard throughout the game and nearly all of her touches were under pressure. The left-footer spun out of a contest to get the ball forward at one stage, and later on won a one-on-one contest against Mikala Cann to get the ball clear, so some good signs.

#28 Tyanna Smith: Another 15 year-old who has a superb first touch. In one instance there was a high bouncing ball in the middle of the ground, and Smith took it cleanly, ran forward and produced a lace-out kick to Samantha Ryan leading out.

#55 Harmony Thomas: Looks dangerous at times given she is strong overhead and finds space, just needs to nail her shots on goal for a more complete performance.

 

Sandringham Dragons vs. Oakleigh Chargers

Sandringham:

#2 Winnie Laing

Laing started in defence and was quiet, but moved into the midfield later in the second term and began to build. Her second half was as good as anyone else on the ground, and to start the third term, she won about five disposals in just a few minutes. She is a tough inside midfielder who constantly hit the packs hard and once moving back to the back-line in the fourth quarter, had moved into more ball-winning positions. She moved up the ground and peeled off her opponent more to impact the contest. Laing showed off some top acceleration in the final term, taking a shot on goal after bursting away from an opponent, but the shot just went wide.

#30 Eleanor Brown

She was super impressive throughout the first three quarters off half-back. She has a long raking kick and her bodywork was great. She not only won the hardball, but backed herself in and took the opposition on coming out of defence. She teamed up well with Winnie Laing and Sarah Hartwig to provide plenty of drive out of the back 50. She linked up in transition with her midfield and while she did not see as much of it later when Sandringham had it up the other end, she was still an important contributor when required.

#32 Sarah Hartwig

In the end, probably best on the ground in my eyes. She played a pivotal role off half-back, taking some crucial intercept marks and providing plenty of rebound. Had a huge run-down tackle on Jasmine D’Amato saving a potential goal in the first half, and was really composed with ball in hand, executing the quick-fire handball when required. Hartwig showed her speed on the lead when she made up ground to spoil an opponent, and also worked her way to a contest in the third term to kill off a ball and put it out of bounds for a stoppage. Her best effort came in the third term when she won a on-on-one at ground level and executed a clean handpass to a teammate who was running by. Had she lost the one-on-one, the Dragons back 50 would have opened up and Oakleigh kicked a major. She took a great contested mark in the fourth quarter and used her good foot skills and agility to sidestep an opponent.

#43 Abbie McKay

Carlton fans will no doubt be keen to keep track of Abbie – daughter of Andrew – and on the weekend she was quite impressive. Just had some little moments of brilliance as she played inside and was quick with her hands in close, and had some good strength and power to burst from a stoppage. She worked her way to the front in a marking contest after initially being out of position, and earned herself a free kick.

#64 Eliza McNamara

Still a few years off being top-age, but McNamara is certainly a talented junior. She has a good mix of offensive and defensive traits, and has both the ability to impact a contest on the inside or outside. McNamara went in hard on one instant, won the ball, sprinted away and kicked a goal from just inside 50. People talk about levels of ability and I think her best is very high level and the fact she has a couple of years still left in her development, she will be a very exciting prospect come 2020.

Others:

#3 Sophia Rothfield: A clean midfielder who has a good first touch off the deck and is able to hit targets going forward. She showed some strong hands when marking inside 50 and almost kicked a goal in the third term before it was smothered, but a moment later she snapped truly and earned the six-pointer.

#5 Jasmine Tait: Top-age player with a fair bit of pace. She stopped Gemma Lagioia in her tracks early with a great tackle, and she was winning her fair share of the ball through the midfield. Did not do too much wrong and seemed to be a smart and clean user by hand or foot particularly in tight, handballing clear.

#11 Taylah Tysoe: Showed some electrifying dash off a wing going forward in transition.

#13 Daisy Walker: A clean user with ball in hand, Walker was impressive off half-back and composed under pressure. She also provided plenty of defensive pressure on the ball carrier to unsettle them going forward.

#20 Alanna Dalley: The tall ruck held her own against Bridie Winbanks and showed some good bodywork. She did well to protect the ball on the occasions she took it clean out of the ruck, providing a block on her opponent to allow her teammates some extra space.

#31 Bryanna Arnold: Had an amazing highlight when she kicked a goal later in the game. Her long booming kick inside 50 was reminiscent of Leigh Brown’s bouncer against Geelong in the preliminary final, when it looked to have missed the goals entirely with a defender chasing it, then it took a right angle turn to bounce back into the goals.

#33 Molly Denahy Maloney: Presented up forward and kicked a great goal on the run in the second term.

#46 Jemma Owen: The Dragons captain showed off a penetrating kick and ability to hit targets inside 50 with a perfect pass to Isabella Stutt late in the game. When up forward she was rewarded for a great lead, marking the ball through a desperate dive. Unfortunately for Owen, her shot went wide.

#46 Alice Burke: Read the opposition taps perfectly and has some serious wheels sprinting away from the contest. In another instant she showed her strength by stealing the ball out of an opponents’ hands and clearing it from the coal face.

#49 Laura Amelung: Another Dragons defender who provided good run off half-back and showed composure under pressure. She took a good contested mark early despite being undersized in the one-on-one, and also looked dangerous when forward, taking a good mark on the ground in the final term but her shot went wide.

#50 Holly Bate: Just a clever forward who managed to goal from a snap off a second’s notive in the second term. She did it again in the third term, casually picking it off the deck and kicking a goal off a step to hand her goal number two. She also laid a bone-crunching tackle on Charlotte Moon late in the game.

#53 Isabella Stutt: Presented as a dangerous forward option, just could not finish off her hard work. Took a great mark but her shot hit the post, and another snap from a stoppage just missed, but she showed some impressive signs.

 

Oakleigh:

#3 Jasmine D’Amato

Showed signs last round, but stepped up her game this week I felt because she was crucial coming out of defence and through the midfield. She wins the ball both inside and out, has clean disposal and does not panic. By the end of the day I felt she was in Oakleigh’s top couple of players because of her ability to keep a level head while Sandringham was applying the pressure. One notable attribute she had was her ability to break through tackles and still remain balanced while kicking. She had a huge last quarter off half-back.

#14 Hannah McLaren

Started like a house on fire and was just consistent throughout the game. McLaren started in the midfield and worked her way to half-back where she held up well charging out of defence. She even had a shot on goal after fending off an opponent at half-back and kicking long, but it was stopped on the goal line. She took a huge contested mark at full-back and just continually repelled the Dragons attacks. She played up the ground at times and kicked the ball well inside 50, but went a little quiet later in the game when Sandringham was in control.

#17 Nicola Xenos

A player I thought had a number of good moments, particularly after quarter time. She won the ball along the wing and had the smarts to dispose of it quickly when under pressure. She laid a goal-saving smother and added great tackling pressure in defence. Her last quarter was outstanding, linking up with Jasmine D’Amato coming out of the back 50, and provided good drive to help the Chargers stem some of the Dragons’ flow inside their attacking zone.

#32 Chloe O’Malley

O’Malley just had a really consistent four-quarter effort. She won plenty of the ball early when the game was hot, and she worked hard in transition through the midfield. She continued to work throughout the match and while others might have stood out at times with their zip, O’Malley was just a workhorse through the centre of the ground and one of the better Chargers on the day.

#30 Gemma Lagioia

Another top performance from Lagioia, backing up her round one efforts. She certainly stands out with her cleanness and athletic ability. She has the smarts to win her own ball or receive it on the outside, and a strong athletic profile which sees her use her agility and acceleration to dance around opponents. She also has the tendency to release teammates with quick fire handballs when she is under pressure, waiting for the precise moment to give it off. She took a great mark in the first half and spun out of traffic to kick long to the goal square. Lagioia is a smooth mover who managed to juggle a mark in front of her opponent keeping it away so her defender could not spoil the ball. I stand by my rare use of the word “elite” when discussing her foot skills.

Others:

#2 Mimi Hill: Really good hands in close, got plenty of touches early and just fired out handballs left, right and centre to teammates to keep the play moving. One of Oakleigh’s best in the first half, covering great ground across the field. Did quieten towards the end, but still a solid performance.

#11 Bridie Winbanks: Had a huge battle in the ruck and at the very least broke even. Uses her strong frame well and has a penetrating kick. Hits targets more often than not, and found Gemma Lagioia leading out from the goal square with a dart pass.

#19 Emily Harley: Had a quiet first half, but stepped up after the main break. She was playing forward after her stint in defence in round one, and did a few nice things. Harley had the smarts to kick along the ground in the fourth term rather than pick up the ball and be caught holding it. She laid her own run down tackle in third term, and crashed through a few packs. Did give away a few frees but her intent was good.

#21 Charlotte Moon: Won a crucial one-on-one against Eliza McNamara late in the game and buzzed around the contest.

#38 Daisy Bateman: Was not allowed the same time and space as round one and had her work cut out for her against the strong Dragons defence. She still managed to snare a few overhead marks and has that penetrating kick for goal. Earned a free kick after a strong tackle, but missed the shot on the three quarter time sirem.

#43 Emily Hastie: Had a few good highlights throughout, showing her strength in the air. Laid a tough tackle after dropping the mark, showing her second efforts.

#52 Lily Harris: Laid a huge tackle to win a holding-the-ball free on a tight angle in the pocket, just unfortunately missed the shot to capitalise on her defensive effort.

#68 Allysha Dyer: The overager used her frame well to win contested ball around the stoppages. She played at full-forward and therefore did not see a heap of action, but played her part when she got involved.

 

Western Jets vs. Gippsland Power

Western:

#14 Isabella Grant

Given the Power’s dominance early, Grant was quiet. But after quarter time you could see the influence she can have when up and about. While she did not dominate in the forward 50 arc, her running power to get up the ground and crash packs or win the ball at ground level on the wing and release a teammate, was clear. She is so strong in the tackle and gets her arms free, with the unique ability to stand up in a tackle and fire out a handball to keep the play moving in transition. Grant was a player constantly watched by the opposition, and while she did not have the game on her terms, she found a way to still help influence the match through her teammates.

#16 Elizabeth Georgiostathis

A hard nut inside midfielder who also has outside pace. Still a bottom-ager, Georgiostathis is strong and powerful, but showed some toe when she tucked the ball under her arm, took a few bounces and used the space along the wing to kick forward. Later on, she took on a couple of opponents, backed herself and kicked cleanly under pressure. Took a good intercept mark late just inside 50 but just missed the target. Overall she was a standout through the midfield.

#19 Olivia Forsythe

One of the Jets’ best midfielders with Elizabeth Georgiostathis, winning plenty of ball at the coal face. She continually applied the pressure through the midfield, laying a multitude of tackles and earned herself free kicks, including one that saw her force an opponent to kick the ball out on the full. Forsythe showed off her strength in the air, taking a strong contested mark about 30m out under pressure, and kicked a vital goal for the Jets.

#30 Isabella Pritchard

The 16 year-old might be two and a half years away from being draft-eligible, but she is already standing out down back for the Jets. She is strong overhead, backs herself in and puts on pressure against the Power forwards. Pritchard has a penetrating kick that is reliable coming out of the back 50, and is also not rushed when under pressure. She executed a handball off the deck to a teammate without fuss and just generally stood up against the onslaught when the power were taking control.

#31 Katrina Rebuffo

Rebuffo teamed up well with Pritchard in defence and after initially being flooded with inside 50s in the first term, shored up the defensive team and made a number of one percenters. She dove across the goal line in the second term to save a potential Tyla Hanks goal. After half-time, Rebuffo began impacting offensively, running off half-back and charging out of defence. She became one of the better Jets across the game and produced a crucial goal-saving tackle late. One of the big reasons the Power did not kick a goal after quarter time.

Others:

#2 Caitlin Gashi: Showed good agility and speed around the stoppages, one of the best Western Jets early. Was clean with her possessions in close or on the outside.

#4 Leah Spargo: Great defensive efforts, laid a huge tackle to stop a rebound and had the quick thinking to move the ball on quickly.

#6 Laura Wright: Laid a huge tackle on Tyla Hanks in the opening minute of the third term, and continued to apply plenty of defensive pressure to the opposition, winning a number of frees through holding the ball or getting the pill first.

#8 Emily Gardner: A clean user of the ball, won a free kick for a great tackle, but missed the set shot.

#21 Maddison-Eve Fenech: Went in hard from start to finish laying a number of bone-crunching tackles in defence. Made her opponents earn every touch and never stopped fighting for her side.

#25 Taylah Kolevski: Played in the ruck and covered the ground really well.

#26 Isabella Negri: Has a unique combination of speed and power. Fended off a number of players under pressure and then used her jets to burst away and kick forward.

#27 Payton-Ani Ozlos: Tough customer who loves the physical side, laying a number of huge tackles.

#39 Cleo Saxon-Jones: Kicked an opportunistic goal in the square, with smart thinking to be in the right place at the right time. She kicked her second goal in the second quarter with another good snap and looked to be the Jets’ most damaging forward in the first half.

#40 Sharnie Whiting: A powerful kick of the football and strong overhead. Fended off an opponent when running with the pill.

#43 Caitlyn Greiser: A powerful player with a great turning circle. Took the mark just inside 50 and turned her opponent inside out to get onto her preferred side to kick to the danger area inside 50.

 

Gippsland:

#6 Emily Hauesler

Hauesler played out of defence and the role really suited her considering her strengths of disposal and defensive pressure. She was clean by hand or foot, provided some great dash off half-back and had excellent vision and a low, penetrating kick. I thought she was the next best behind Tyla Hanks because of the drive and rebound she gave her side. She also applied great tackling pressure, and helped direct the defence.

#27 Nikia Webber

Another player who stood out for Gippsland, covering the ground well, but mostly playing as a damaging forward. She kicked one of the goals of the day in the first term with a snap from the pocket and then backed it up with a second goal on the run. She took a huge mark overhead and showed off her good vertical leap. Webber just looked to be getting into dangerous areas and also has the strength to go with it, fending off opponents at times, and winning the contested ball. Her work ethic was obvious when she took a mark in the centre square, the kick was smothered but she backed it up and won the hard ball to have a second chance and kick it forward.

#28 Tyla Hanks

Another polished performance from Hanks who looked like she enjoyed the freedom of some time up forward early. She booted two goals and almost had a third if it had not been smothered on the line. It was just a typical performance many fans have come to expect from her, winning contested ball, winning clearances and then getting to the outside and hurting teams in transition. She reads the play so well that she runs off her opponents at stoppages and can be found in space, which is how she kicked her first goal. Later on in the match she was also providing some run out of half-back when the game was slowing down. Copped a knee to the back in a marking contest but got back up and took the free. Hanks probably suffered leather poisoning from the match and you would be forgiven for thinking she brought her own football.

#30 Leyla Berry

Last week she worked into the match in the second half and it seemed she kept the momentum going this week. I thought she was one of the best Power players, winning the ball in close and applying plenty of defensive pressure. She laid a huge tackle in the third term, but was unlucky to be pinged for in the back. She stepped up to another level in the second half, winning plenty of the football and being impressive in close, as well as on the outside. A really promising performance.

#57 Jazz Ferguson

Another top Power player who I ranked behind Hanks and Haeusler such was her impact on the game. She played through the ruck and also up forward, creating a highlight in the first term with her goal. She fended off an opponent and continued to run, kicking a goal and getting the crowd up and about. She really got amongst it early, winning hitouts and covering the ground well for a taller player. Built on her first round performance and seemed settled in the second round.

Others:

#2 Samara Beaton: After a quieter first half, Beaton really began to get involved in the second half, laying a great smother and getting amongst it.

#4 Jennifer Ross: The overager played her role in the forward line, taking a good intercept mark in the pocket.

#8 Chandra Abrahams: Still quite young but there’s talent there, seems to have a fair bit of footy smarts. Just a couple of times I noticed she had the IQ to tap the ball on or have a deft touch to a teammate which would not have been recorded as a disposal, but still clever. Playing up forward but would not be surprised to see her develop into a tall midfielder down the track.

#12 Megan Fitzsimon: Spread really well from the stoppages and has a thumping kick on her. She penetrated through the opposition defence on one occasion, pumping it deep into the danger zone.

#58 Amy Dunn: Had an influence up forward and assisted Ferguson in the ruck. She looked to be a damaging forward with the way she lead into space and took some strong contested marks. She also set up her teammates and provided a real target down forward, particularly in the second quarter. Unfortunately the wind stopped her from adding a few majors to her day.

#65 Julia Redmond: Liked her game down back, she was a rock on the last line and just did everything right defensively. She broke two tackles deep in defence and backed herself to bomb to safety. She also took a couple of huge marks to save potential goals when the game was on the line.

 

Calder Cannons vs. Northern Knights 

By Julia Montesano 

Calder: 

#3 Madison Prespakis:

Had an electric start to the game and was probably the standout in the first quarter. She was able to penetrate the ball forward with ease, even in the midst of a strong tackle or getting chased down by the Knights midfielders. The Calder captain took everything that came her way- you could see she was being targetted by the Knights players. Prespakis was a ball magnet and did all the little things to help her team out as they struggled through the contest. In one instance, she followed up in the ball when it was in a tiny hole of space, picked it up cleanly, trapped the ball and side-stepped her opponent when she began to move the ball forward. She is such a strong player. 

#9 Molly Warburton: 

Warburton put in the hard yards for the Cannons in defence. In a young back-line, she brought a steady hand to the defensive line-up, and was able to slow the ball down and act composed when the Knights quickly burst forward. The defender displayed some great second efforts, which was really useful in a game where Calder did not give up, despite the Knights’ constant pressure. She will be one of Calder’s best on-field leaders as the season progresses.

#29 Stephanie Elias:

She was very brave on the last line of defence. The Knights forwards did not stop attacking all day, but she held herself with composure when the ball reached her. Elias took some great marks and also laid some wonderful tackles. In one instance, she laid a strong, goal-saving tackle just before the goal-line, and cleared the ball out with a booming kick when she received a free kick for holding the ball. She is only a small player but she is very skilful, and without her, the margin could have been much worse for the Cannons.  

#23 Grace Dicker:

Grace Dicker was one of the fastest players out there. She was able to use her acceleration to her advantage multiple times, especially when running away from opponents. She was particularly influential on the wing, where she was able to use the space to burst free from any pressure from her opponent trying to chase her down. Dicker also impressed with some great run-down tackles, showing that she could utilise her speed both in offence and in defence.

#21 Georgia Patrikios:

Patrikios showed composure with the ball in hand and her football skills looked a class above. She uses the ball incredibly well and has quick hands. Patrikios was able to bring her teammates into the game thanks to her footy smarts and unselfish attitude with the ball in hand. She is a good reader of the footy, and can accelerate well when she gets her hands on it. She also laid some aggressive tackles, which is an element of her game that she continues to improve on, and will hold her in good stead for the rest of the year. 

 

Northern:

#7: Abigail Bennett

Bennett consistently displayed quick and clean hands throughout the contest at RAMS Arena. She was always able to spot up a target, thanks to her wonderful peripheral vision. Bennett would often find the ball in congestion and pick it up cleanly – a skill which really highlighted her footy smarts. She was able to get on the scoreboard herself when she read the ball brilliantly off the contest to snap it through for a goal. Bennett was everywhere on the day, and is proving to be a very important player for the Knights. 

#23: Gabby Newton

Gabby Newton was a huge force in the ruck, winning almost every hit-out. She managed to do this against one of the best rucks in the competition in Calder’s Carla Rendelmann. Newton’s impact was not just felt in the ruck though, as her impact was felt with strong marks, aggressive tackles and clean hands. In one instance, she won a two-on-one convincingly, which showed not only her strength, but also her smarts. 

#14 Jess Fitzgerald

Jess Fitzgerald caught my eye when she burst through the middle of the ground in Paddy Dow fashion to boot the ball forward. She is definitely an impact player, highlighted by a perfect tackling technique where she wraps both arms strongly around her opponent, leaving them nowhere to go. I was super impressed by Fitzgerald’s ability to get and go because it showed that she has confidence in herself to make the right choice with the ball in hand. She was in everything and when the she got the ball in hand, she could not be stopped. 

#6 Alyssa Bannan

Provided a fantastic target for the Knights inside 50. Bannan has really strong hands and can work up the 50 really well. She was able to kick two goals on the day, and was involved in plenty of scores. What stood out to me was her second efforts. In one instance, her kick was smothered but she had the awareness and reflexes to pick the ball up off the ricochet and boot it forward – a class act. I thought her third quarter was really influential, as she started to impose on the contest with her marking prowess and proactivity in front of goal. 

#3 Nell Morris-Dalton

Nell Morris-Dalton was the strongest player out there. In one instance, she broke away from a contest with two players tackling her. She was able to penetrate the ball forward magnificently, as her kick was not only long and booming, but it consistently found space for the Knights forwards to run into. This was crucial, as most of Northern’s goals were from players running into goal, or picking up and snapping the ball inside 50. Morris-Dalton looked like an on-field leader for the Knights, and showed poise with the ball in hand. 

Others: 

#5 Maddy Brancatisano: Simply brilliant in the midfield. Was in and under every contest and continued to push hard for the Knights despite their comfortable lead. A fantastic leader for the club. 

#22 Britney Gutknecht: Her strong kick helped the Knights continue to pile the pressure onto the Cannons. In the third quarter, she delivered a magnificent kick onto the chest of Alyssa Bannan in the forward line, then burst forward to follow up the kick, as Bannan elected not to go for goal. She not only knows her own game well, but she also has knowledge about the way her teammates play. 

#17 Ciara Fitzgerald: Good marking and composed kicking from Fitzgerald. Was able to deliver a great centering kick into the forward line in the third quarter, and continued to step up her game in the fourth.

#37 Faith Holloway: She is the personification of speed and endurance combined. Holloway highlighted this through a great run-down tackle in the first quarter, in which she accelerated hard and fast to win a free kick. 

#24 Alex Pronesti: Pronesti is such an aggressive player, making her a really dangerous target up forward. But once she gets the ball in hand, she is very composed and uses it well. This was highlighted when she kicked her second goal of the day, as she was able to gather herself and run into goal while being surrounded by Cannons players running towards her.