Tag: geelong

Number Crunching: VFLW – Grand Final

THE 2018 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s finals series concluded with a nail-biting final between Hawthorn and Geelong. In a tight, low-scoring game, Hawthorn claimed the premiership over Geelong 4.6 (30) to 2.5 (17). The Cats were simply not able to break through Hawthorn’s tight defence. The Hawks were able to keep Geelong to only one goal until early in the fourth quarter, when Kate Darby finally broke through. Overall possession throughout the game was tight and reflected the opportunities both teams had, with 52 per cent in the Hawks’ favour and 48 per cent with the Cats.

Hawthorn’s season-defining defence proved to be too much for an otherwise strong Geelong side. Chantella Perera became the well-deserved Lisa Hardeman Medal winner, leading her defence with 13 disposals and four marks. Perera’s command in the back line was assisted by veteran player, Meg Hutchins. Hutchins, who gathered 17 disposals and a game-high seven marks, finally got her first premiership after 16 years of football. Additionally, Hawthorn key forward, Phoebe McWilliams had an explosive game. McWilliams took a game-high four contested marks to lead to a total of six marks.

Geelong still was able to perform despite facing a superior Hawthorn side. Young gun, Nina Morrison had an excellent game with 20 disposals and five tackles. Morrison is certain to get drafted into Geelong’s 2019 AFLW side and continued to solidify that notion with her performance in the Grand Final. Her Falcons teammate, Olivia Purcell was able to shine through with 19 disposals and a game-high eight clearances. Madeline Keryk also continued her blistering finals form with 18 disposals and nine tackles.

Totaled team stats- VFLW Grand Final

TEAMGBHDKHMKSTKSFFFAHODI50s
Hawthorn4515176598615124522724
Geelong2512185248512152920634

 

Top player stats- VFLW Grand Final

PLAYERTEAMGBHDKEKIEHEHIEHRCMUMMKSTKS
Chantella PereraHawthorn00516112245
Meg HutchinsHawthorn011033151672
Phoebe McWilliamsHawthorn02344214262
Nina MorrisonGeelong00549270005
Olivia PurcellGeelong004285101111
Madeline KerykGeelong00485130229

 

From Eastern to Hawthorn, Ranges duo celebrate flag

EASTERN Ranges duo Mikala Cann and Emerson Woods have basked in the glory of a Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s premiership yesterday. The Ranges and now Hawthorn midfielder/forwards just “played their role” as they said, in Hawthorn’s 13-point victory over Geelong. Cann finished the game with 14 disposals, one mark and a team-high nine tackles, while Woods’ defensive pressure saw her also lay five tackles to go with two touches.

Both players were thrilled after the game, hardly believing the moment.

“It’s just surreal,” Woods said. “I definitely wasn’t expecting this, just coming at such a young age as well coming into the team, just to get a spot (is good) I suppose.” Cann was equally as excited. “You can’t describe it,” she said. “Winning a premiership with the best group of girls, it’s indescribable”

Woods said the speed of the game was the crucial difference between the TAC Cup Girls and VFL Women’s.

“It’s much faster, quick ball movement, pretty hard to keep up at times, but it’s good,” Woods said. Cann said she felt the bigger presence of opponents out there and stronger bodies. “(It’s) a lot more physical, the bodies are larger, but I guess you want to be playing at the highest level so this is one step closer.”

The last quarter saw the game on a knife’s edge and Geelong was attacking fiercely throughout the second half. Cann said the team knew the Cats would come at them, and had prepared for the momentum swing.

“We prepared what we had to do at training with our composure,” she said. “We just knew what we had to do and we implemented it.”

Woods said the most amazing feeling was with the clock counting down, knowing they would soon be premiership players.

“Yeah towards the end of the game, it was a bit of a surreal feeling with 30 seconds to go knowing that we’d won it,” she said.

Now both draft-eligible players will prepare for the AFL Women’s Draft Combine next week ahead of the AFL Women’s Draft in late October.

Team Selection: VFLW – Grand Final

OVALS across not only Victoria, but also Australia have been graced by the presence of many Victorian Football League Women’s (VFLW) players this year. Many new faces have had their time in the spotlight and old favourites have continued to inspire. This weekend the two strongest sides, Geelong and Hawthorn will come head to head to battle it out for the premiership. Both sides have made a few team changes ahead of the big game.

 

HAWTHORN  v. GEELONG CATS

Sunday, September 23, 12.30pm
Etihad Stadium, Docklands

After defeating Collingwood in the first round of finals, Hawthorn has had the benefit of a week off going into the premiership match. However, AFLW star and former Box Hill VFLW captain, Melissa Kuys will miss the match, still suffering from injury to her achilles from the first round of finals. Similarly, Dianna Haines will miss out this week with an injury to her medial ligament. Coming in to fill their shoes is Olivia Flanagan, who will come in for her first game since Round 15. Flanagan suffered a hamstring injury earlier in the season and has now been given the green light to take to the field. Emily Gilder is another important inclusion this week and has been named on the interchange bench. Her consistent goal kicking this year is sure to bolster Hawthorn’s forward line. Ellie Macdonald has also been selected and will start in the midfield in the Grand Final.

The Cats might not have had a week’s rest, however coming off last week’s victory over the Pies, they are sure to have some momentum behind them. With a ‘don’t fix what’s not broken’ mentality, Geelong has made only one change this week, bringing in Nina Morrison. The Vic Country representative, who was named Most Valuable Player in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships this year, will be an important inclusion to the Cats midfield.

Hawthorn

B: 25. M. Hutchins, 32. K. Ebb, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 13. E. Nixon, 21. P. Randall, 36. J. Van Dyk
C: 40. E. Macdonald, 1. E. Mackie, 12. T. Nestor
HF: 14. O. Flanagan, 8. R. Beeson, 35. C. O’Donnell
F: 22. T. Luke, 7. P. McWilliams, 28. S. Perkins
R: 19. L. Wotton, 5. C. Perera, 6. J. Crockett-Grills
Int: 45. M. Cann, 4. S. Carroll, 24. R. Dillon, 33. E. Gilder
23P: 43. E. Woods

In: E. Gilder, E. Macdonald, O. Flanagan
Out: D. Haines, M. Kuys, S. Kendall

 

Geelong Cats

B: 26. R. Pearce, 44. R. Goring, 40. A. Teague
HB: 34. A. McDonald, 25. E. Coventry, 1. J. Woollett
C: 3. H. Burchell, 13. M. Fogas, 20. N. Morrison
HF: 4. C. Blakeway, 5. J. Ivey, 2. D. Orr
F: 7. M. Clifford, 6. M. Boyd, 8. K. Darby
R: 24. M. McMahon, 30. R. Cranston, 45. M. Keryk
Int: 28. M. Fedele, 17. H. Mangan, 41. C. Stevens, 33. H. Trevean
23P: 16. O. Purcell

In: N. Morrison
Out: L. Taylor

Number Crunching: VFLW – Week 2 Finals

LAST week’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s preliminary final proved to be a shock as minor premier, Collingwood was overpowered by a fierce Geelong side. From finishing in fourth place, Geelong has climbed its way into the Grand Final with a successful series so far, beating Northern Territory (NT) in the semis and now claiming victory over the Pies.

Geelong dominated the whole game, even keeping Collingwood to a single goal until the third quarter. The Pies were not without their stripes though, kicking three goals in the fourth quarter. Collingwood’s attempt at a late comeback was in vain though with Geelong prevailing 42-28.

Geelong’s ability to work as a team is highlighted by the game-day skill of their best players. Key forward, Maddie Boyd was essential to the Cats’ game, kicking two goals as well as taking seven marks. Olivia Purcell was able to control Collingwood’s midfielders with a game-high 14 tackles, and Madeline Keryk was also fantastic with 24 disposals well as getting 10 clearances. Other top players on the ground for Geelong included Maddy McMahon, whose consistent game led to 16 disposals and a goal for her team. Richelle Cranston also notably laid seven tackles and got six clearances.

Despite losing, the Pies had their moments with good performances from players like Jaimee Lambert. Lambert was able to make 11 tackles as well as kick the final goal in the game. Lambert was a key player for the Pies, gathering 23 disposals and utilising her position as a midfielder.

Top Player Stats – VFLW Week 2 Finals 

PLAYERTEAMGBHDKEKIEHEHIEHRCMUMMKSTKS
Maddie BoydGeelong21440202572
Olivia PurcellGeelong001743102214
Madeline KerykGeelong009102360114
Maddy McMahonGeelong11562341454
Richelle CranstonGeelong00474040007
Jaimee LambertCollingwood116836101111

Number Crunching: VFLW – Week 1 Finals

WEEK one of the 2018 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s finals series went off with a bang, with two favourites beaten in blockbuster matches. With the Hawks claiming victory over Collingwood, they advance to the Grand Final in two weeks’ time whereas the Pies have this weekend to decide their fate in the preliminary final. A surprise, but well-fought, win against NT has also bolstered Geelong into the preliminary final. The Cats found themselves trailing for most of the game, but with a magnificent fourth quarter, they were able to snatch the victory in the end.

Hawthorn’s dominance on Saturday was attributed to the excellent game and leadership of captain, Emma Mackie. Mackie was the player to disrupt the goal-for-goal game, kicking two unanswered majors against the Pies. She kicked a total of three goals for her team. Similarly, Hawthorn’s Rosie Dillon had an amazing game, moving the ball across the field with 20 disposals. Dillon’s ability wasn’t only in moving the ball through the Pies’ defence, but also up forward, as she kicked a goal.

Despite losing, Collingwood showed serious promise. Hawthorn’s defence was far too tight for the Pies, but a solid performance from Chloe Molloy attempted to keep the team afloat. Molloy kicked two of the Pies’ three goals for the match, showing her determination to win, especially with her final goal in the dying minutes of the match. Molloy’s drive showed potential for a Collingwood comeback, but Hawthorn still persisted with its strong backline.

Despite a ‘rocky’ start to the Cats’ semi-final, they displayed more and more determination as the game went on. Richelle Cranston was a major catalyst in this, being able to win even the toughest contests, with five marks and two goals. Due to Cranston’s resilience, she was able to kick an absolute screamer of a goal from more than 50 metres out to seal the game for her side. Another important player for Geelong was TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest, Nina Morrison. Morrison showed keen skill, being able to link the ball through NT’s defence and into the goal square. Morrison’s disposals aided in Geelong’s dominance in the final quarter. She will be a key player against Collingwood in the preliminary final.  

Kicking half of her team’s goals, Marijana Rajcic was a powerhouse for NT in the first half. Rajcic’s ability to consistently mark the ball and kick goals was a main factor in NT leading for the majority of the game. With Rajcic’s third goal coming at the start of the fourth term, it was thought that she would have won NT the game. Similarly, Jenna McCormick was a primary reason for NT’s success earlier in the game. McCormick moved the ball all around the field, usually being the key connection to a goal for Rajcic.

Top player stats: VFLW Finals Week 1

PLAYERTEAMGBHDKEKIEHEHIEHRCMUMMKSTKS
Emma MackieHawthorn304011340004
Rosie DillonHawthorn10387291124
Chloe MolloyCollingwood30343021238
Richelle CranstonGeelong Cats211123320556
Nina MorrisonGeelong Cats01744330117
Marijana RajcicNT Thunder30415011343
Jenna McCormickNT Thunder101074390220

Number Crunching: VFLW – Round 16

WITH the 2018 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s regular season now over, the finals have been set with Collingwood, Hawthorn, NT and Geelong placing in the top four. Now we look ahead to see who is most likely to claim the premiership this season.

As the minor premiership winners, Collingwood’s season has been most consistent, losing only once in Round 14 to NT and drawing with Geelong all the way back in Round 2. The Magpies’ performance as a team has earned them top position for majority of the season, with their strong midfield and defence proving to be too much for most teams. Sophie Alexander and Jaimee Lambert proved to really step up for the club throughout the season and surely will make a difference in the finals series.

In second position, Hawthorn has had an interesting debut season. The Hawks lost two games this season, one in Round 5 against Collingwood and the other in Round 13 against Darebin. Both games were close margins, showing their ability to fight until the end. The Hawks’ experienced backline and star forwards have allowed them to defend off teams and climb their way up the ladder. Hawthorn’s Rebecca Beeson and Sarah Perkins have been making their marks on the new club, leading their victories.

In the first semi-final, Collingwood plays Hawthorn. Earlier this season in Round 5, these two teams played off with Collingwood winning 4.4 (28) to 3.3 (21). The semi is sure to be tight though, with both teams coming more into form as the season has continued. Despite Hawthorn’s strong style of play and improvement from Round 5, the Magpies’ consistency will take them further and most likely with a premiership.

NT placed third overall, which is a surprise because throughout the season, the Thunder was consistently second. NT has only lost three of its games this season and proved to be a major competitor in the league. Despite being the only interstate side, NT’s ability to flow as a team game them the upper hand in majority of games. This was highlighted in its match against the undefeated Collingwood, allowing NT to make a mid-game comeback and lead to the Pies’ only defeat.

Geelong’s finals clench came after Carlton’s surprise win over Darebin, but the Cats’ hard work has paid off. Other than having lost to Hawthorn, 3.7 (25) to 6.5 (41), Geelong had won five straight games and been building up to its finals campaign. Geelong’s mix of young talent and AFLW stars have allowed for a dynamic play, with players like Mia-Rae Clifford and Kate Darby having fantastic seasons for their club.

Earlier in Round 9, Geelong suffered a devastating defeat to NT, losing 2.8 (20) to 13.7 (85). Geelong has improved from then but so has NT, only losing one game since that round. Geelong is undoubtedly an excellent team but NT has continuously been better, therefore they are at a greater advantage. If NT makes it to the final, they have the highest chance of beating Collingwood (as they are the only team to do it) but would struggle against Hawks, due to losing to them earlier in the season.

VFLW Final Ladder

POSITIONTEAMPLAYEDWINSLOSSESDRAWSPERCENTAGEPOINTS
1Collingwood141211185.0650
2Hawthorn141220179.5248
3NT Thunder141130193.2644
4Geelong Cats141031163.2242
5Darebin14860109.5632
6Western Bulldogs1477083.8728
7Carlton14680104.8524
8Southern Saints1459092.4220
9Melbourne Uni1459077.7820
10Casey Demons1459069.720
11Williamstown14410069.9716
12Richmond14410068.7116
13Essendon14113039.844

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 9

WE officially head into the second half of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season this round, as the competition continues to heat up. Huge games this week see the once unstoppable NT Thunder looking to bounce back and return to the winners list when it takes on second-placed Geelong Cats. Another huge game pits the league-leading Pies against the explosive Darebin Falcons at Victoria Park. 

 

Casey vs Southern Saints

Saturday July 7, Casey Fields, 11:30AM

The Demons have had a disappointing start to the season and find themselves with just two wins from their first six games. Although not out of contention for the finals, if they wish to play any part in the series at the end of the season they will have to start stringing together some wins, as they did last week in their dominance over the Bombers. Bianca Jakobsson and Katherine Smith have been in great form recent weeks and will be key to the Demons kick-starting their run to the finals. The Saints come off their second bye sitting comfortably at 4-2, right up with the top contenders. This weekend’s clash is a huge game for them, given they take on two flag fancies in Geelong and Hawthorn in the coming weeks, so the Saints will be looking to take care of business in a game they should win. Alison Drennan has been a star for the Saints this season and as always will be instrumental in the Southern Saints earning a victory.

 

NT Thunder vs Geelong

Saturday July 7, TIO Stadium, 4PM

In the game of the round, the second-placed Geelong takes on the NT Thunder in Darwin. The Thunder had been in unbelievable form prior to faltering the past two weeks against the Saints and the Magpies. With just two points separating them the Thunder from the Cats, the home side can move back into third place and close the gap on the Hawks and Pies at the top of the ladder. Their defence was absolutely dominated last week in the match-up against Collingwood and will need to put in a better collective performance if they wish to beat the impressive Geelong outfit. The Cats’ perfect start to the season came to an end last week, as they suffered their first loss of the season in an extremely disappointing outing which saw them kick just one goal. Star players, Renee Garing and Richelle Cranston missed the game and the team were unable to step up in their absence with poor performances across the ground. Cranston returns to the line-up this week and will be hoping to return to her form from earlier in the season.

 

Essendon vs Richmond

Sunday July 8, Windy Hill, 11:30AM

A day of rivalries for the Bombers as first they take on Richmond at Windy Hill in the VFLW before their men’s side take on the Pies at the MCG in a blockbuster. The Bombers will look to notch their first win of the competition against a side in Richmond who have also been struggling. The Tigers took out the first meeting between these teams a little over a month ago in a one-sided game, so the Bombers will be looking for revenge. Hayley Bullas continues to be a shining light for the winless side, giving 100 per cent energy and effort each week in the hope of one day pulling her side to victory. For the Tigers, they have rebounded from a slow start to the season and sit at 3-4 from their seven matches. The match-up against the Hawks last week showed they can match it with the best in the league, however they ultimately fell by less than a goal. Phoebe Monahan starred with 26 possessions, Jacqueline Graham added 22 possessions and Kate Dempsey also had an impressive outing.

 

Hawthorn vs Williamstown

Sunday July 8, Box Hill City Oval, 11:30AM

The Hawks have been fantastic this season and find themselves second on the ladder with six wins from their first seven outings and a healthy percentage. The strength of the Hawks is their ability to get contributions from so many and not be dependent on any one person on a given week. This was exemplified in their close win against the Tigers last week as they had strong games from a number of players including Meg Hutchins, Rebecca Beeson and Jayde Van Dyk to name a few. For Williamstown, it has been a difficult season with only one win to date and it will be extremely difficult to add one more against the red-hot Hawks. Jess Duffin had a game-high 31 possessions last week as she continues to dominate for the Seagulls and make her case as one of the best players in the entire competition. Jenna Bruton also churned out an impressive performance with 27 possessions, but will be duly missed this weekend.

 

Collingwood vs Darebin

Sunday July 8, Victoria Park, 2:30PM

What an incredible run it has been for the Collingwood Football Club of late! Not only are their men’s side on a six-game win streak and sitting second on the ladder but their VFLW side have been even more impressive, as they are unbeaten in their first seven games (including one draw). Perhaps the most impressive win of the season thus far came last week, when the Pies flew up to Darwin and defeated the Thunder. AFLW Best and fairest runner-up, Chloe Molloy has been in amazing form since returning to the line-up a month ago, not missing a beat from her great performances over the summer. The side as a whole have been firing on all cylinders as well with Sarah D’Arcy, Sophie Alexander and Jaimee Lambert among those. The Falcons sit in the middle of the table with five wins and two losses. A tough, grinding win against Williamstown last week put the Falcons in a good position heading into the stretch, with a favourable schedule coming up. Nat Exon played extremely well with 20 possessions and was her usual aggressive self, with nine tackles. After having a slow start to the year, AFLW standout, Elise O’Dea has started to find form in recent weeks, which will be great for the Falcons midfield as they look to get on top around the contest.

 

Melbourne Uni vs Western Bulldogs

Sunday July 8, Melbourne Uni Main Oval, 2:30PM

Melbourne Uni has found some form of late and look to build off it heading into the second half of the season. An impressive performance last week got the Mugars the win against Carlton with standout games from Ashleigh Riddell, who had 24 possessions and Katie Angelis, who booted three goals. With only two wins to date, the Mugars need to start stringing together some wins if they are to have any hope of featuring late in the season. The Bulldogs put together their most impressive performance of the season in their win against the previously unbeaten Geelong, holding them to just one goal. Ellie Blackburn dominated with 25 touches and a goal while Brooke Lochland continued her impressive run of late with another strong performance. With impressive outings in recent weeks, the Bulldogs have put themselves right back in contention for finals but like Melbourne Uni, must string the wins together, as two games separate them from the top five teams in the competition.

Number crunching: VFLW – Round 7

WITH seven rounds of Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s football completed, AFL Draft Central looks at the top disposal-getters across the competition throughout the first half of the season. We take a look at outstanding individual game performances from the past weekend, the best single game performances from players thus far, as well as the top possession-getters by average.

Round seven saw some outstanding individual performances, led by the AFLW Best and Fairest winner, Emma Kearney, who was terrific with 30 disposals in a best on ground performance for the Mugars. Kearney has dominated all season long for Melbourne Uni and has continued her unbelievable 2018 on the back of the second AFLW season. Other standouts included the Thunder’s Angela Foley, who had 26 possessions and used the ball extremely well to set the Thunder up in attack (20 kicks). Saints superstar, Alison Drennan was her usual reliable self with 21 possessions, rounded out by Bulldogs forward, Brooke Lochland who had a sensational game with 25 possessions and a major.

As well as the great individual performances, a number of players have been able to show unbelievable consistency in their games and this is outlined by their average disposals per game. Geelong’s Renee Garing leads the way with a total of 135 possessions from her five games at an average of 27 per game. The usual suspects such as Emma Kearney, Jess Duffin, Angela Foley and Alison Drennan have also been fantastic, averaging well over 20 possessions per game. While Kearney leads the competition for most 30 possession games this season, it has been Garing’s consistency which has seen her record the most average disposals per game, having had over 20 disposals in each of her five games. Jess Duffin’s numbers are particularly impressive given the fact that she’s been able to hit the scoreboard consistently as well as rack up high numbers of possessions in a side that hasn’t been performing particularly well.

Average disposals per game: Minimum five games played

PlayerTeamAvg disposals per game
Renee GaringGeelong27
Jess DuffinWilliamstown25
Emma KearneyMelbourne Uni24.2
Angela FoleyNT Thunder22.8
Alison DrennanSouthern Saints22

Most Disposals: Round seven

PlayerTeamDisposals in round seven
Emma KearneyMelbourne Uni30
Maddy PrespakisMelbourne Uni27
Katherine SmithCasey Demons26
Angela FoleyNT Thunder26
Brooke LochlandWestern Bulldogs25
Hayley WildesWestern Bulldogs24
Rebecca BeesonHawthorn24
Jessica EdwardsCollingwood23
Alison BrownSouthern Saints22
Katie StreaderNT Thunder22

Most individual disposals: Season so far 

PlayerTeamDisposalsRound
Alison DrennanSouthern Saints352
Jess DuffinWilliamstown334
Emma KearneyMelbourne Uni325
Lily MithenDarebin324
Emma SwansonNT Thunder311
Emma KearneyMelbourne Uni307
Renee GaringGeelong Cats301
Angela FoleyNT Thunder301
Jenna BrutonWilliamstown291 & 5
Emma MackayWestern Bulldogs293

 

Brancatisano relishes Knights’ captaincy role

NORTHERN Knights captain, Maddy Brancatisano enjoyed her leadership role throughout the TAC Cup Girls season, as she led her side to the inaugural TAC Cup Girls Grand Final.

Her sister, Lily captained the Knights last year and now plays for Geelong in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition. But despite the family name, Brancatisano did not expect to be handed the captaincy this year.

“I just did not think about it (being captain), it didn’t even come to my mind,” she said. “Then I got asked, I was so flattered. “It was awesome to lead those girls.”

The Knights midfielder ultimately led her side to a near perfect record, winning against every team except the Geelong Falcons. Leading a young side, the 18 year-old was initially focused on their development, but admits that she was able to develop her leadership as well.

“Being able to lead everyone and just direct them around, it helps also my confidence too,” Brancatisano said.

This certainly showed on the field, as the 18 year-old led by example with her clean hands, fierce tackling and elite ball-use. Not only did she benefit from the captaincy, but she also benefited from bonding with her teammates. Brancatisano says there was rarely a moment that she didn’t enjoy in their company. 

“I don’t think there was a session where we didn’t have fun or enjoy it,” the Knights midfielder said. “We got so close, it was like family.”

She believes that her captaincy role enabled her to showcase her own skills, which was well-recognised throughout the season. Brancatisano was named in the best four times and was rewarded with a place in the Vic Metro squad for the National AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Amidst her TAC Cup journey, the 18 year-old admits that playing for Vic Metro never really crossed her mind.

“You don’t really think about it (playing Nationals) in TAC Cup, it’s more just about the winning and developing,” Brancatisano said.  “When I got the invitation, I was rapt.”

With nationals football now on her busy plate, Brancatisano is prioritising Aussie Rules over her second love, basketball. But despite being in Year 12 this year, the Knights captain was reluctant to give up the sport she has been playing since she was a child.

“I’ve been doing it (basketball) my whole life and I’ve just grown up around it,” Brancatisano said. “I’ve never really been selected for many state things or anything so I’ve just been enjoying it and playing because I love it. “But at the moment, playing SEABL (South East Australian Basketball League), it’s such a high level so I’m rapt to be able to do that, even if I sit on the bench and play a few minutes. “Not sure if I’ll do it next year with football, but I’ll just see where that goes.”

She has a lot of football ahead of her, as she is training with Carlton’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s side and is about to hop on a plane to the Gold Coast to play for Vic Metro.

Even though she loves her sport, Brancatisano still has her sights set on university next year, but would love to continue to pursue her bright football career.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 6

AFTER a week off for the long weekend, 10 clubs return for round six of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season, while Casey, Collingwood and Essendon will enjoy another week of rest as they have their bye. The round is headlined by the huge game between the undefeated, top of the table Geelong taking on the Darebin Falcons, who have been in terrific form the past three games, with a trio of dominating wins. The Southern Saints face off with the Hawks in a battle of two teams with only one loss in what should be tight encounter. 

 

Carlton vs NT Thunder

Saturday June 16, 12PM, RAMS Arena

The Blues stormed out the gates, winning their first two games of the season but have faltered in recent weeks, dropping their past three games. The season has had plenty of promise for the Blues, who have seen outstanding performances from Darcy Vescio, the equal leading goal kicker in the competition with nine majors. Given the fire power of the opposition, she will be crucial for the Blues to offset the damage down the other end. The Blues will face quite the challenge in registering another win however, as they take on the NT Thunder who have been in absolutely unbelievable form! Sitting at four wins from four games and with a percentage of almost 300, the Thunder have been on another level from any other side in the competition, posting victories by 54, 72, 69 and 36 points respectively. The Thunder have had a number of outstanding individual performances, highlighted by Marijana Rajcic and Jess Sedunary, who have consistently lit up the scoreboard. After the week off, the Thunder will be hoping to maintain its form from the early season and continue the surge into the back half of the season. Both teams have made several changes, and all will be hoping for a big game to solidify their spot in the side moving forward.

 

Western Bulldogs vs Williamstown

Saturday June 16, 1PM, Henry Turner Reserve

Two struggling sides battle it out on a Saturday afternoon in Footscray. The Bulldogs come into the game winless and have struggled to find consistency throughout their early games. The Dogs have been impressive in patches and have competed well for periods of the game before being overran in the second half and last quarters. They welcome back AFLW players, Hayley Wildes and Kim Rennie who were instrumental in the Bulldogs run in that competition. Strong performances from those two as well as some standout games from those already cemented in the side will go a long way to securing their first win. Williamstown come in also struggling to find form with just one win from their first five encounters. After an impressive win over the Tigers in round four, it seemed as though the Seagulls were set to turn their season around, however this was unfortunately followed up by a poor performance against Casey the following week. Jess Duffin has been a shining light for the team, with several high possession games and hitting the scoreboard at a prolific rate.

 

Geelong vs Darebin

Saturday June 16, 2:45PM, GMHBA Stadium

In the game of the round, the top of the table Cats take on the Darebin Falcons who have been impressive in their own right. Despite sitting undefeated, the Cats have been shaky at times and this was evident in their last game where they just managed to scrape across the line against Melbourne Uni. Renee Garing continued her great run of form in that outing and managed to drag her team over the line alongside Maighan Fogas and Richelle Cranston who were also instrumental in the win. After stumbling out the gates in round one with a loss to the Thunder, the Falcons have since responded with three dominant wins. Hannah Mouncey has been absolutely unstoppable up forward, as she leads the competition with nine goals alongside Carlton’s Darcy Vescio. Lauren Pearce will be a huge out for the Falcons, as she has been instrumental in getting the Falcons on top around the contest. Melbourne AFLW star Elise O’Dea will make her way into the side and should have a huge impact in the game, as she did all summer. They look to continue their strong stretch of play and hand the Cats their first loss of the season, whilst moving their way up towards the top of the ladder.

 

Hawthorn vs Southern Saints

Sunday June 17, 11:30AM, Box Hill City Oval

Sunday action kicks off when the Saints travel down to Box Hill to take on the Hawks in a huge game in the context of the ladder. Both sides come in at three wins from four encounters and within reach of top position on the ladder. A disappointing performance in their last game saw the Hawks drop their first game of the season in a tight encounter against Collingwood. They have had big contributions from Sarah Perkins up forward who has regained her form from the inaugural AFLW season, where her Adelaide Crows were able to win the premiership, and Emma Mackie, who has been gaining plenty of possessions, averaging over 20 per game. The Saints come in having not played since the May 27, with their bye in round five coming before the league-wide bye. Allison Drennan has been in red hot form, racking up high numbers of possessions and hitting the scoreboard too. It is a big game for both teams as they look to keep pace with the league leaders moving into the second half of the season.

 

Richmond vs Melbourne Uni

Sunday June 17, 2:30PM, Queen Elizabeth Oval

In the last game of the round, the struggling Tigers take on Melbourne Uni at Queen Elizabeth Oval in Bendigo. The Tigers enter the game off a win against the Bombers in the curtain raiser to the Dreamtime at the G game, kicking off what was a great day for the Richmond Football Club. Impressive performances from Lauren Tesoriero and Phoebe Monahan led them to victory as the side as a whole appeared to find form. They also welcome Christina Bernardi into the side, who was great for Collingwood in the AFLW season. A win will get the Tigers back into contention and even up their record at 3-3 as they head into the bye in round seven. Melbourne Uni, despite having won just one games, have been impressive in recent weeks, especially in their matchup against the Cats last round. AFLW Best and Fairest winner, Emma Kearney was at her best, with 32 possessions and two goals as she torched Geelong. Ashleigh Riddell and Kate Gillespie-Jones also impressed, however it was not enough as Geelong held on for the victory. This is an important game for both teams, as they look to remain in the hunt in season 2018.