Tag: Isabel Huntington

Fantastic Five: Memorable moments from the weekend

A PREMIERSHIP, forgotten hero and a young star shining bright were among the most memorable moments from the weekend. Here are five moments which are likely to be remembered from the football on and off the field, from the last few days.

Western Bulldogs claim AFLW flag

For a life-long lasting memory, it is hard to go past a premiership. On the weekend, 21 footballers tasted the ultimate glory when the Paul Groves-coached outfit knocked off the Brisbane Lions in a thrilling finish to the second AFLW Grand Final. Young Bulldog and former Calder Cannons star Monique Conti was Best on Ground for her performance in clutch moments. She might have been the youngest player on the ground, but the pocket rocket starred in a performance that is unlikely to be forgotten any time soon. The win was made all more remarkable by the fact the Dogs were without captain Katie Brennan, and number one pick Isabel Huntington, both of whom could have filled key position posts up forward.

Cyril’s return

Sometimes when players are injured for so long, you forget the impact they can have at their best. Hawthorn’s Cyril Rioli is a player who adds that X-factor and game nous that very few others have, and in his first game back from injury after missing the majority of the 2017 season, he was unbelievable – especially considering he was underdone. If he regains full fitness, opposition clubs will have to be wary because Cyril is capable of anything on his day, and just make the Hawks side look that much more dangerous.

TAC Cup returns for season 2018

After an exciting few weeks of TAC Cup Girls football, the boys’ competition kicked-off with a bang on the weekend. The first round was not without some surprise results, as the young Gippsland outfit – with an excess of bottom-agers – toppled the experienced Murray Bushrangers, while Dandenong Stingrays made their premiership intentions clear with a big win over fellow contenders Geelong Falcons. In the rain at Frankston, perennial success stories Oakleigh Chargers and Sandringham Dragons got their respective wins, while Western Jets and Bendigo Pioneers were the other winners in round one.

Gold Coast start season on high

After yet another disappointing season which saw Gold Coast lose their head coach, the Suns need to fly high in their first game. With Stuart Dew in control, Gold Coast got the job done in torrential rain in Cairns, so much so the AFL considered calling off the game pre-match. Luckily for the home side they did not, and the Suns knocked off North Melbourne to start their season on the right note.

Chloe Molloy wins AFLW Best First Year Player

Okay, so it was not quite on the weekend, but the Collingwood star and former Calder Cannons gun, Chloe Molloy, was today awarded AFLW’s Best First Year Player Award. It was hardly a surprise for anyone who had watched the competition this season. The rebounding defender who played forward in stints was a standout for the Magpies in a season where despite their best being good enough, could not make finals. But Molloy was a shining light, and the AFL Draft Central writer is only going to get better next season and beyond.

Crunching the numbers: AFLW – Round 4

AS the regular season passes the halfway point, things are heating up in the contention for finals places and round four did not disappoint. The weather was a major factor for many teams this week with players having to contend with extreme heat and wet and wild conditions. But the Bulldogs managed to put on a goal kicking masterclass against the Blues on Friday night, and the Pies secured their first victory in Alice Springs after upsetting the Demons. The Lions got over the line in a wet weather slog while the Giants and Crows were faced with similar conditions resulting in the first draw of the season.

Western Bulldogs vs Carlton

With injuries to key forwards Katie Brennan and Isabel Huntington the Bulldogs were in search of a star goalkicker, and after a record breaking seven-goal haul, they found one in Brooke Lochland.  It was a breakout performance for the former ice-skater who put on a dominate performance in windy conditions, racking up 17 disposals and smashing the previous record of four goals. Superstar on-ball duo Emma Kearney (26 disposals) and Ellie Blackburn (18 disposals) were on fire again, Aisling Utri (18 disposals) Monique Conti (16 disposals) and Hannah Scott (16 disposals) also contributed to the Dogs possession authority (220 to 157). While both teams had a similar inside 50 count (30 to 29) Carlton had a mere 10 per cent efficiency in comparison to the Western Bulldogs 87 per cent. Although missing many key players, Sarah Hosking (18 disposals) and Lauren Arnell (two goals) had notable performances, but it was ultimately to no avail with the Blues accepting consecutive defeats. They will have a fight to maintain a finals position while the Bulldogs sit comfortably in top spot after a percentage boosting win.

Brisbane vs Fremantle

Wet and miserable conditions resulted in a low scoring slog between Brisbane and Fremantle. There weren’t many opportunities when it came to scoring (seven to five), and on days like this, the team who hustles the hardest comes away with the victory, and that’s what the Lions did.  Tahlia Randall dominated in the ruck with 33 of her teams 44 hit outs in comparison to Fremantle’s total of 14. Brisbane defender Kate Lutkins had a stand out performance in the wet finishing with 18 disposals, with Jess Wuetschner (18 touches, two goals), Ally Anderson (18 disposals), Jamie Stanton (16 disposals) and Nat Exon (14 disposals, 10 tackles) also putting up notable performances. There was plenty of tackling on both sides (83 to 70) with Fremantle captain Kara Donnellan having another hard-fought game with 10. The Lions join the Bulldogs on top of the table with three wins only separated by percentage.

Melbourne vs Collingwood

The biggest surprise victory of the round saw Collingwood dominate most of the contest in an imposing 34-point win against hot premiership favourites Melbourne. Brittany Bonnici tagged Melbourne gun Daisy Pearce and restricted her to just nine disposals where Magpie midfielders Jaimee Lambert (19 disposals) and captain Stephanie Chiocci (17 disposals) shone. The Demons struggled to convert while the Pies were able to capitalise with a conversion rate of 69 per cent to their opponents 33 per cent. After a rough start, Moana Hope continued her return to form with two goals, equalled by teammate Caitlyn Edwards who impressed for the Pies. Elise O’Dea (19 disposals) and Karen Paxman (18 disposals) had commendable performances for the Demons, but the lack of impact from their star skipper was visibly deflating. The Pies still sit in the wooden spoon position after their first victory of the 2018 season while their opponents now fall one game shy of a top spot.

Greater Western Sydney vs Adelaide

After trailing for the majority of the match, a late comeback by last year’s premiers resulted in the first draw of the 2018 season. Suppressive conditions impacted the flow of the game and with a 9-point lead into the final term the Giants looked set for a victory. Yet somehow the Crows managed to grind their way back to even by doubling their 3-quarter time score. In another tackle heavy, wet weather hustle, Ebony Marinoff starred for Adelaide setting the record for the most tackles in an AFLW game with an incredible total of 21. There were also strong performances by Angela Foley (20 disposal, six tackles) and Chelsea Randall (15 disposals, six tackles) for the Crows, while Alicia Eva (23 disposals, eight tackles) and Jessica Dal Pos (12 disposals, 10 tackles) stood up for the Giants in the wet conditions.

TAC Cup Girls preview: Sandringham Dragons

THE Sandringham Dragons had an okay inaugural TAC Cup Girls competition, winning two of their five games and had a number of standout players including Team of the Year selection Georgia Ricardo, and best and fairest winner OIivia Vesely.

Without a doubt the Dragons would have loved to have had Isabel Huntington out on the park in 2017 – with the AFLW National Draft top pick missing the entire year through an ACL rupture. Her talent was obvious from a young age and did not deter the Western Bulldogs from pouncing on the key utility with the first pick. One thing that stood out about the Dragons in 2017 is that they had 16 players who played every game of the season, and just four players in the squad that took part in three or less games, enabling some continuity within the team.

In 2018, the Dragons will be guided by Tamara Hyett who will lead them into battle against the Geelong Falcons on Saturday, before facing Oakleigh Chargers on March 17 and Northern Knights a week later. The Dragons had an early pre-season hit-out with the Chargers recently, culminating in a strong victory to give them plenty to be excited about for the year ahead.

Sandringham also announced its leadership group ahead of the season, with Jemma Owen named captain, alongside Chelsea Bowen, Maddi Wilson and Alana Dalley. Owen played all five games last season, named in the best on two occasions, and was one of the few who stood up against the onslaught of GWV Rebels in the final round.

Dalley is one to watch in 2018 with the over-age ruck a notable performer over the pre-season, after looking good last season. Another top-ager worth keeping track of is Eleanor Brown who shone in the Dragons’ loss to the Northern Knights last season, and was named Sandringham’s best. She causes headaches for the opposition and has a strong endurance base stemming from her athletics background.

Sandringham also has a number of players still a year or two off being drafted with Eliza McNamara one that is likely to catch the eye after being a standout for Melbourne Girls Grammar in the Herald Sun Shield Division 1 Senior Girls Grand Final last season. Despite being 15 years-old at the time, the talented junior was consistently named among the best throughout the tournament, even in the school’s 23-point loss to Ballarat Grammar in the final.

A teammate of McNamara’s during that grand final was Abbie McKay, who also stood out as one of the best across the tournament, with the daughter of former Blue Andrew, playing five games for the Dragons in 2017. McKay was another one who stood tall in the Dragons’ loss to the Rebels and will be one to watch as a potential father-daughter selection for the Blues at the end of the year.

Another famous name to carry on the football tradition at the Dragons is Burke, with sisters Molly and Alice to run out for Sandringham in 2018. The daughters of St Kilda star Nathan, Molly is eligible to be drafted this season, with Alice a couple of years away. It will be interesting to see how the soccer-converts take to the field, with Burke recently putting pen to paper in Inside Footy telling of his experiences with coaching female footballers.

AFLW previews: Round 3

IN a round that had it all last week, it is hard to predict what will happen in round three. There is no doubt the players will be motivated to deliver standout performances to gift their sides much-needed wins, as they aim towards the ultimate prize – an AFLW premiership. This week, there will be plenty of new faces in AFLW colours, players coming up against their old sides, and even a former Calder Cannons coach going head-to-head with the TAC Cup Best and Fairest winner.

Adelaide vs. Western Bulldogs 

Saturday, February 17, 1.35pm ACDT at Norwood Oval

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

Carlton vs. Brisbane 

Saturday, February 17, 7.45pm AEDT at Ikon Park

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

Collingwood vs. GWS

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

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

Fremantle vs. Melbourne

Sunday, February 17, 3.35pm AWST at Fremantle Oval

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

Crunching the numbers: AFLW – Round 2

ROUND two of this year’s AFLW season created many headlines. There was a record-breaking attendance in Fremantle, a goal-of-the-year contender at Casey Fields, and Carlton’s Sarah Hosking’s display of tackling prowess. But not all the headlines showed positive signs, with Brianna Davey, Isabel Huntington and Brianna Green going down to season-ending injuries. The weather also generated some headlines, with a storm delaying GWS’ encounter with Carlton, and wild winds dominating the day in Melbourne on Saturday. Fair to say, it was most definitely an eventful weekend for the competition.

GWS vs. Carlton

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

Melbourne vs. Adelaide 

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

Fremantle vs. Collingwood

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

Brisbane vs. Western Bulldogs

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

Team Selection: AFLW – Round 3

REIGNING AFLW Best and Fairest, Erin Phillips will pull on the Adelaide jumper for the first time in 2018, in a mouth-watering prospect for all footy lovers. The Adelaide captain missed the first two weeks of the season with a quad injury, but will be back to give her side the kick-start that it needs against a Bulldogs side without number one draft pick, Isabel Huntington.

Despite Brianna Davey’s season-ending knee injury, there is good news for Blues fans, as Katie-Jayne Grieve will make her debut at Ikon Park. Grieve comes from South Bunbury in Western Australia, and was given a chance to pull on the navy blue jumper, as her impressive endurace caught the eyes of Carlton recruiters.

A person who knows what it feels like to play in a navy blue jumper is Bella Ayre. She played six games for the Blues last year, but this time round, she will be a Lion. Ayre gets the opportunity to play against her old side on Saturday night in what could be a feisty encounter.

On Sunday, Collingwood’s pick 20 Sarah Dargan will get another chance to prove her worth in black and white, after a quiet season-opener from her.

Melbourne Uni’s Moana Hope will also return for the Pies, after being controversially dropped last week. She will be breathing a sigh of relief, as GWS has left key defender, Renee Tomkins, out of the side for this week meaning that Hope could use her improved fitness to run rampage in the forward line, and cause a heap of issues for the Giants.

One of the biggest inclusions of the round is Meg Hutchins, who returns to the Collingwood line-up after sitting out the first two rounds. Hutchins’ on-field leadership is second-to-none, and will be vital in trying to secure a victory for the winless Pies.

Ahead of its huge clash against the Dees, Fremantle has named two debutants for the clash at Fremantle Oval, both recruited from Swan Districts. Half-forward, Emily McGuire will have the opportunity to display her clever ball-use and goal sense, while Tayla McAuliffe will be counting her lucky stars. The 18 year-old came into the side as an injury replacement for Kirby Bentley, but will now get her chance to show what she’s made of against a strengthened Melbourne lineup.

The Dees welcome Harriet Cordner and Jasmine Grierson to the side for the first time in 2018, adding more experience and versatility to the already dangerous lineup. Expect Cordner to lay plenty of tackles, and Grierson to display some brilliant footy smarts in the backline.

 

Saturday, February 17

Adelaide v Western Bulldogs at Norwood Oval, 1.35pm ACDT

ADELAIDE

B: M.Rajcic 32, S.Allan 39, D.Cox 31

HB: S.Thompson 14, R.Killian 7, D.Varnhagen 9

C: E.Phillips 13

HF: A.Holmes 1, J.Hewett 20, J.McCormick 5

F: R.Wallace 15, S.Perkins 28, J.Sedunary 17

Foll: R.Metcalfe 11, C.Randall, 26, E.Marinoff 10

I/C: R.Lugg 45, J.Allan 25, G.Bevan 4, J.Mules 23, E.Jones 2

Emerg: A.Hatchard 33, S.Riley 8

In: M.Rajcic, R.Killian, E.Phillips

Out: S.Riley, T.Radan, A.Foley (suspension)

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS

B: L.Birch 18, L.Spark 11, N.Callinan 10

HB: H.Scott 22, B.Toogood 28, B.Lochland 1

C: E.Blackburn 2

HF: J.Bruton 35, K.Brennan 3, M.Conti 8

F: D.Berry 7, A.Utri 23, N.Ferres 16

Foll: A.O’Connor 4, E.Kearney 5, K.Lamb 27

I/C: T.Ernst 19, H.Wildes 17, J.Anderson 26, A.Gogos 36, B.Hunt 21

Emerg: E.Mackie 25, K.Rennie 24

In: J.Anderson

Out: I.Huntington (knee)

 

Carlton v Brisbane at Ikon Park, 7.45pm AEDT

CARLTON

B: R.Hicks 24, D.Hardiman 31, G.Pound 6

HB: K.Harrington 9, A.Downie 30, K.Gillespie-Jones 5

C: S.Li 35

HF: K.Shierlaw 25, T.Harris 22, N.Stevens 21

F: G.Gee 19, D.Vescio 3, K.Loynes 2

Foll: B.Moody 16, S.Hosking 10, M.Gay 8

I/C: L.Brazzale 12, T.Lucas-Rodd 18, K.Grieve 28, J.Hosking 11, S.Audley 26

Emerg: S.Last 7, N.Plane 32

In: K.Gillespie-Jones, K.Grieve

Out: B.Davey (knee), S.Last

 

BRISBANE

B: N.Hildebrand 22, K.Lutkins 13, J.Stanton 17

HB: K.Ashmore 10, L.Kaslar 11, S.Campbell 20

C: E.Bates 1

HF: N.Exon 15, T.Randall 16, E.Zielke 8

F: J.Wuetschner 23, S.Frederick-Traub 14, K.McCarthy 9

Foll: S.Webb 4, J.Zanchetta 7, A.Anderson 18

I/C: B.Koenen 3, A.Clarke 21, I.Ayre 2, S.Conway 12, B.Gibson 25

Emerg: M.Hunt 6, G.Collingwood 28

In: I.Ayre

Out: G.Collingwood

 

Sunday, February 18

Collingwood v Greater Western Sydney at Olympic Park Oval, 4.35pm AEDT

COLLINGWOOD

B: E.Grant 5, R.Schleicher 18, I.Ross 21

HB: C.Molloy 2, S.Casey 22, T.Morgan 26

C: C.McIntosh 20

HF: M.Kuys 9, J.Garner 43, S.Chiocci17

F: C.Edwards 1, L.Tesoriero 7, C.Bernardi 6

Foll: E.King 60, J.Lambert 13, A.Barden 38

I/C: B.Bonnici 8, B.White 33, H.Whitford 28, J.Duffin 27, M.Hutchins 25, S.Dargan 46, M.Hope 23

In: R.Schleicher, M.Hutchins, S.Dargan, M.Hope

Out: S.Livingstone (shoulder), E.Hynes

 

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

B: A.Farrugia 18, T.Hetherington 9, P.Randall 21

HB: N.Barr 8, L.Stephenson 12, E.Brush 10

C: A.Eva 2

HF: J.Dal Pos 7, P.McWilliams 3, J.Hicks 5

F: J.Barclay 34, A.Schmidt 11, R.Beeson 6

Foll: E.McKinnon 23, C.Gum 26, E.Swanson 17

I/C: P.Smyth 15 M.Collier 14 P.Monahan 28, C.Staunton 13 E.Bennetts 22, B.Tully 16, R.Forth 27

In: L.Stephenson, J.Hicks, P.Smyth, M.Collier

Out: M.Boyd, R.Tomkins

Fremantle v Melbourne, Fremantle Oval 3.35pm AWST

FREMANTLE

B: H.Miller 19 A.Williams 9 E.Gooch 8

HB: B.Smith 18 C.Davidson 33 G.O’Sullivan 22

C: D.Hooker 17

HF: L.Webb 16 E.McGuire 31 K.Donnellan – C 15

F: M.Caulfield 29 A.Lavell 7 A.Atkins 37

Foll: A.Janz 30 S.Cain 20 E.Antonio 12

I/C: L.Mascall 14, G.Houghton 27, A.Sharp 1, J.White 11, L.Filocamo 4, T.Haynes 6, T.McAuliffe 25

In: E.McGuire, T.Haynes, T.McAuliffe

Out: S.Barr (suspension)

 

MELBOURNE

B: M.Downie 2, L.Duryea 11, K.Smith 13

HB: A.Guest 17, B.Jakobsson 7, E.O’Dea 5

C: M.Hickey 18

HF: K.Hore 10, S.Scott 12, C.Phillips 35

F: R.Cranston 30, T.Cunningham 1, L.Mithen 14

Foll: E.Hoare 46, K.Paxman 4, D.Pearce – C 6

I/C: J.Grierson 19, B.Patterson 24, E.Humphries 3, L.Pearce 15, A.Newman 16, H.Cordner 21, A.Mifsud 9

In: J.Grierson, H.Cordner

Out:

Scouting notes: AFLW Round 2

THERE were big crunches, exciting goals and high-flying marks in an entertaining round of AFLW on the weekend. The AFL Draft Central women’s footy writers watched every game closely, and analysed each player, ranking the top 20 players from each game, and will continue to do so each week.

Carlton v GWS  

#1: Sarah Hosking- Carlton

The vice-captain was intimidating in the midfield, and really broke her way into the game in the third quarter. Got a lot of the footy, racking up 12 disposals. Great on-field leader. Broke the league record for tackles, laying 16 of them on the night!

#2: Tayla Harris- Carlton

Leading patterns were exquisite. Cracking hands on display all night, and presented as a contested marking beast. Created so many opportunities all over the ground, not just up forward. Huge tackle on GWS’ Renee Forth in the dying seconds showed how keen she is to do well for her new side. 

#3: Brianna Davey- Carlton

So clean with the footy in hand. Lowered her eyes whenever she got the ball and looked for an option. Knee injury was devastating for all footy fans, not just the Blues faithful.

#4: Shae Audley- Carlton

Real good in-and-under style game. Always dished off the footy to her teammates. Great hands under pressure.  

#5: Jess Hosking- Carlton

Was up and about early. Got plenty of the footy and had clean hands throughout the night.  

#6: Tilly Lucas-Rodd- Carlton

Carlton looked stronger with her back in the side. Aggressive tackling was on display all night. She always dug in deep at the heart of the contest.  

#7: Courtney Gum- GWS

Made an impact all over the ground. Almost looked like the footy followed her at one point in the game. Saw her head pop up at every contest.  

#8: Alicia Eva- GWS

Played along the boundary a lot at the start, trying to get a gauge of the conditions. Once she did, she was unstoppable. Was the leading disposal-getter for the Giants.  

#9: Lauren Brazzale- Carlton

Such an active player, went in hard at the footy whenever the ball came into her vicinity. Just needs to polish her kicking in front of goal. Could benefit from a longer run-up when taking a set shot.  

#10: Amanda Farrugia- GWS

Tried hard and dug in deep all night. She has a great ability to run through the corridor, and uses it really well. Shame she missed the shot at goal at three quarter time, which would’ve taken some pressure off her side. 

#11: Renee Forth- GWS

Long, booming kick that was executed well, even in the trying conditions. Got a lot of the footy and can absorb strong tackles. Crunched by Tayla Harris at the end, but came off better than Harris did.  

#12: Jessica Dal Pos- GWS

Aggressive in defence. Put her head over the footy and was in plenty of contests in the middle of the ground. Much better performance this week after a quiet round one from her.  

#13: Alison Downie- Carlton

Showed intent early. Good on-field leader and a smart kicker.

#14: Gabriella Pound- Carlton

A real gritty performance from the youngster. Had a go in the midfield, and rushed down back to put her head over the footy. Good overhead mark for a small player.

#15: Nicola Stevens- Carlton

Effort around the footy paid off as she kicked Carlton’s first goal of the night.

#16: Darcy Vescio- Carlton

Work rate improved so much after last week. Showed more belief in herself. Had four shots on goal, but could only convert one. Does not need to rush.

#17: Georgia Gee- Carlton

Proactive early, just lacked a bit of polish. Has heaps of pace. Strong chase in the forward line ended up with her having a snap at goal, which just missed from a tricky angle.

#18: Sophie Li- Carlton

In hard at the footy. Didn’t stop trying all night.  

#19: Nicola Barr- GWS

Aggressive, and took the game on multiple times. High-risk, high-reward type game from her.  

#20: Rebecca Beeson- GWS

Great courage shown in defence throughout the night. Can take a cracking mark.  

 

Melbourne vs. Adelaide  

#1: Karen Paxman- Melbourne  

One of the performances of the year already. Hard to beat in a contest with her elite agility, and beautiful kicking. Always lowered her eyes and picked the smartest option. All 21 of her disposals were classy and skilful. 

#2: Bianca Jakobsson- Melbourne  

Took a ridiculous amount of intercept marks. She was like a brick wall in the backline, no-one could penetrate past her. When disposing of the ball, she had good control and was able to kick into space. 

#3: Tegan Cunningham- Melbourne

Provided good presence up forward, and marking was good particularly in the second quarter. She was able to work up the ground a lot. She showcased not only her goal-sense, but her fantastic endurance.

#4: Elise O’Dea- Melbourne  

Executed penetrating kicks throughout the whole game. She was smart and read every situation really well. Knows how to find a teammate. Another impressive game from the Darebin premiership captain, as she ended up with 19 disposals. 

#5: Aliesha Newman- Melbourne  

First touch not only ended up in a goal, but a potential goal of the year! Her pace caused real issues for the Crows, and she used her bursts of pace wisely. Every time she got the ball, you knew something exciting was about to happen. 

#6: Kate Hore- Melbourne  

Displayed excellent pace all afternoon. She always went in hard at the footy, particularly in the forward line. Real in-and-under type game from her. Racked up 20 disposals in an impressive performance.

#7: Daisy Pearce- Melbourne  

She was the best reader of the footy on the field. Shutdown tackling was exquisite, laying 11 of them. Did all the hard work in the middle, and ended up with 17 disposals. 

#8: Ebony Marinoff- Adelaide  

Had a great ability to run and carry. Always looked to play on and keep the game moving. Thumping kick. The reigning AFLW Rising Star fought hard for the Crows, with a team-high 18 disposals.

#9: Chelsea Randall- Adelaide  

Adelaide needed her all over the ground. Endurance and experience was on display throughout the afternoon. Played in the midfield then went to play in the backline. Excelled in both positions. 

#10: Lily Mithen- Melbourne  

Displayed great acceleration and played tight on her opponent. Racked up 20 disposals and laid seven tackles. 

#11: Richelle Cranston- Melbourne  

Her power is head-and-shoulders above the rest. Able to burst and accelerate through packs to move the ball forward. Got a major on the board to cap off another great day for her. 

#12: Ashleigh Guest- Melbourne  

Played a real aggressive game, and racked up an impressive 17 touches.

#13: Melissa Hickey- Melbourne  

Took the game on whenever she had the ball in hand. Displayed great leadership, and most importantly, she really looked like she enjoyed herself out there.

#14: Brooke Patterson- Melbourne  

A handy 10 disposals for the defender. Did well to shut down Adelaide’s dangerous forwards. 

#15: Dayna Cox- Adelaide  

 Executed great clearing kicks. Was one of Adelaide’s best. Came to the ball rather than waited for it, anticipation was impressive. 

#16: Ruth Wallace- Adelaide  

Another solid game from the youngster. Played on-ball for a bit, and displayed good pace and agility in patches. 

#17: Sarah Allan- Adelaide  

Was brave in the back-line. Had to do a lot of mopping up, as Melbourne’s slingshot footy meant quick entries into the forward 50. 

#18: Emma Humphries- Melbourne

Really smart player with a blistering kick. You know you’re safe when the ball is in her hand. 

#19: Laura Duryea- Melbourne  

Good defending on Sarah Perkins. Kept her to just three touches. 

#20: Alyssa Mifsud- Melbourne  

Had good presence around the footy, particularly in the forward line. 

 

Fremantle vs. Collingwood

By Connor Ferris 

#1: Dana Hooker- Fremantle

Great all-round game. Gained plenty of the footy whilst applying strong pressure all day. Polished it off with two goals, and was the driving force behind Fremantle’s first quarter fightback.

#2: Lisa Webb- Fremantle

One of the best players on the ground, had an electric start. Seventeen possessions (mostly kicks) hit her targets well throughout the game.

 #3: Jess Duffin- Collingwood

Ball magnet, and among the leading possession getters on the ground. Fifteen of her 17 possessions came by foot, and she made good use of them.

#4: Lara Filocamo- Collingwood

Fantastic game. Fremantle’s second leading possession-getter on the ground. Good use of the ball by hand and by foot. Also laid six tackles.

#5: Kara Donnellan- Fremantle

In and around the contest all day. One of the leading possession-getters on the ground, with a high number of them, contested.    

#6: Ebony Antonio- Fremantle

Excellent performance. High number of possessions, high levels of pressure, and good in the air, taking three marks.

#7: Melissa Caulfield- Fremantle

Made the most of her opportunities up forward with two goals. Provided a good target for the midfielders all day with six marks.

#8: Ashlee Atkins- Fremantle

Kicked Fremantle’s first goal of the game. In and around the contest inside 50. Inefficient in front of goal, kicking only one major and two behinds from three opportunities.

#9: Chloe Molloy- Collingwood

Followed up an excellent performance in round one with another strong outing. Fought through the physicality her opponents threw at her. Laid an excellent run-down tackle in the second quarter. Gained 15 possessions and displayed terrific ball use.  

#10: Melissa Kuys- Collingwood

Gained a lot of the ball all day in the midfield, and opened up a number of scoring opportunities for the Pies. Great all day, finishing with over 20 disposals.

#11: Hayley Miller- Fremantle

Played in the midfield for most of the day, and gained plenty of the ball. Used her pace and skill to drive the Dockers forward.    

#12: Stephanie Chiocci- Collingwood

Instrumental in the early stages of the game, helping Collingwood stem the flow after the Dockers got on a roll. One of Collingwood’s better players.

#13: Christina Bernardi- Collingwood

Excellent start to the game with a mark and goal. Was also involved in the play to set up Emma King’s goal early in the game. Added to her goal-kicking tally in the third quarter, booting through a major to keep Collingwood within striking distance.

#14: Gabby O’Sullivan- Fremantle

Read the ball very well through the air. Had several chances inside 50 both in the air and at ground level.

#15: Amelia Barden- Collingwood

Provided pressure throughout the entire match. Leading tackler on the ground and provided good ball use moving forward.

#16: Belinda Smith- Fremantle 

Provided good run out of defence, several rebounds 50s, and helped in shutting down Collingwood’s scoring opportunities.

#17: Jaimee Lambert- Collingwood

Played well in patches during the game. Used the ball well, and tallied up 13 possessions. Kicked a much-needed goal for the Pies in the last quarter.

#18: Caitlyn Edwards- Collingwood

Solid performance, gaining 13 possessions. A steady hand down in defence to help Chloe Molloy out, who received a lot of attention from the Dockers players.

#19: Lauren Tesoriero- Collingwood

Good start to the game with five possessions in the first quarter. Kept relatively quiet throughout the remainder of the afternoon. 

#20: Cecilia McIntosh- Fremantle

Put in the hard yards all night. Great leadership displayed in defence.

 

Brisbane vs. Western Bulldogs   

By Carly McClen 

#1: Kirsty Lamb- Western Bulldogs

Applied attacking pressure with the 15-20 metre kicks, similar to last week. Great vision to switch the ball in defence to create attacking opportunities.

#2: Emma Kearney- Western Bulldogs

Ran all day at a cracking pace in the heat. Precise kicking to forward targets creating scoring opportunities for her team, with a huge number of tackles.

#3: Lauren Spark- Western Bulldogs

Great defensive marking, and solid defending throughout the game. Good positioning and vision.

#4: Emily Bates- Brisbane 

Fast sidestepping midfielder. Had 21 disposals and five strong marks. Created much needed ball movement, particularly in second half, when a long kick nearly went through the goals. Would have surely converted if it was not against the breeze.

#5: Tahlia Randall- Brisbane 

Good consistent ruck work on O’Connor with effective follow-up on the ball. Effective hitouts against Ernst in second half.

#6: Ally Anderson- Brisbane 

Dominant first quarter. Won the hard ball. Pace right up in the heat. Good tackling which created free kicks. Played on and kicked a vital goal in final quarter.

#7: Jenna Bruton- Western Bulldogs

Good long kicking. Much improved ability to absorb tackles, showed her balance and strength. She backed herself and took courageous marks. Played with confidence throughout the game. In the second quarter she snapped a kick out of a pack cleanly for a great goal. Great ability to find space.

#8: Jess Wuetschner- Brisbane 

Two exciting goals. Used the last-touch rule cleverly to paddle the ball onto the foot of her opponent on the boundary, setting up a much-needed scoring opportunity. Nailed it with a clever bend from the boundary, reading the breeze like no one else on the day. Reliable with strong marking and kicking ability. Creative player.

#9: Sabrina Frederick-Traub- Brisbane 

Strong tackling. Presented well in packs but just couldn’t bring it down at times. Took a strong mark late in second quarter. In front of goal, she was susceptible to pushing her kick to the left, and was disappointed with it. Needed better delivery from the midfielders. 

#10: Kate Lutkins- Brisbane

Effective tackling keeping the Lions within reach until early in the final quarter. Good work-rate and running throughout the day.

#11: Bonnie Toogood- Western Bulldogs

Presence on field is felt by opposition due to her strength and imposing physique. She played steadily and took strong marks. Another great performance.

#12 Angelica Gogos- Western Bulldogs 

Strong tackling. Dug deep, fighting in packs to keep Bulldogs’ possession. Made good ground to apply pressure all day.

#13: Hannah Scott- Western Bulldogs

Great long goal in second quarter. Good ability to crash through packs and absorb tackles. Strong body and work rate. Excellent intercepting marks when it mattered in the last quarter.

#14: Deanna Berry- Western Bulldogs

Strong tackling and applied pressure all day. Created forward opportunities. Played both ends of the ground effectively when required.

#15: Brooke Lochland- Western Bulldogs

Solid performance again this week. Consistent tackles that stuck, and displayed strong marking. Ran into space with confidence to move the ball forward.

#16: Emma Zielke- Brisbane 

Worked hard both ways through the midfield. Ran hard, used the ball well, and created good ball movement. She possesses a quick handball which was useful in the contested situations. Skipper stood up when it mattered.

#17: Libby Birch- Western Bulldogs

Consistently effective again in her defensive role. Great defensive bursts from the midfield, and accurate kicking into the forward line. Strong leadership.

#18: Aisling Utri- Western Bulldogs

As per last week, solid performance. Covered a lot of ground with pace, swept up on the backline and moved the ball forward for her team. She ran well through the midfield, shutting down Brisbane’s opportunities to go forward, particularly in the first half. Great final-quarter goal.

#19: Kate McCarthy- Brisbane Lions

Creative midfielder, loves to run in space and can kick long and accurately into the forward line. Lifts the side with her exciting attacking.

#20: Aasta O’Connor- Western Bulldogs

Solid ruck work as usual. Precise long kicking to targets created scoring opportunities for her team.

Biology not the only factor in early season ACLs

WHEN Western Bulldogs young gun Isabel Huntington fell to the ground clutching her knee in pain, the AFLW community held its collective breath. The 18 year-old was just two games into her AFLW career, fighting back from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury which kept her out of her top-age draft year. Within 24 hours, she would receive news she had suffered a second ACL rupture, news which sent shockwaves throughout the league.

Sports physiotherapist and a specialist in this area, Randall Cooper sympathised with Huntington’s bad luck. But he admitted that unfortunately, her injury does support the statistics around ACL ruptures in sport, particularly for female athletes. Mr Cooper outlines three factors that back this up. 

  • Women are five to seven times more likely to sustain ACL ruptures compared to men;
  • Players – such as Huntington – are 11 per cent more likely to suffer a second ACL rupture on their opposite knee; and
  • ACL ruptures are more prevalent in the pre-season compared to the middle of winter due to ground conditions.

Flash back to round four of last year’s inaugural AFLW season, and there had been four ACL rupture cases, one of which was career-ending. Now, after just the second round of AFLW 2.0, there have been three season-ending ACL ruptures, all crushing blows to players and their families, coaches, teammates, and fans alike.

Any activity that requires change of direction, cutting, pivoting or landing on one leg, makes the ACL and the knee vulnerable to injury. These movements are very common in Australian Rules football, and hence, ACL ruptures are quite prevalent in the sport.

Mr Cooper, an expert in his field, has identified that females are much more prone to ACL ruptures than males. “It’s a common injury across both males and females, however women are more prone to it,” he said.

“Research in European handball and in soccer has found women have five to seven times more likelihood of sustaining an ACL injury in those type of sports compared to their male counterparts. Women in general have a lot more likelihood of injuring their ACL than males.”

He attributes this to the different make-up of the female body. “The geometry of the bones in females are different to males,” Mr Cooper said. “The width of the pelvis is wider in females for childbearing. As a consequence, the angle of the thigh bone to the knee, known as the ‘Q’ angle is greater in females, presenting a greater tendency for the knees to collapse medially.”

But the structural make-up of females is not the only factor that increases their likelihood of sustaining ACL injuries. “The structural setup of females is one thing, but compared to the males, the strength of the hamstring and quadriceps may also be an influence, as well as the balance of those hamstrings and quadriceps,” Mr Cooper said. “Generally, females tend to have weaker hamstrings than males. That may play a part. Also, there may be an influence in the way females generally land and change direction. Females tend to be what we call ligament-dominant.”

Mr Cooper put the impact of having smaller hamstrings into context, by relating it to studies conducted on female athletes. “When studies were conducted involving an analysis on how females jump off a box and land compared to males, females did it with a slightly different strategy,” he said. “They tended to rely more on the structural stability of the knee as opposed to using their muscles to absorb that force. Hence they were ligament-dominant.”

Melbourne Uni star Huntington, has now ruptured her ACL twice in the space of two years. But while many are surprised, Mr Cooper says this is very common.

“If you have ruptured your ACL in the past, you are much more likely to do it again and the risk is higher that you will rupture the other knee, as we saw in the case of Isabel Huntington in round two,” he said. “General statistics show you have a five per cent chance of doing the same knee; but you’ve actually got an 11 per cent chance of doing the other knee.”

The long period on the sidelines is factored by the rehabilitation process, which Mr Cooper says is a lengthy one.”Rehabilitation for a ruptured ACL is a long process,” he said. “People become reconditioned over the time they are not playing footy and in their rehab program, so their general fitness and strength goes down despite them working hard in rehabilitating themselves. “This means the non-injured knee gets a holiday from playing footy or sport.”

But even when players return to the game, Mr Cooper believes that this only makes them more vulnerable to injury. “Once they return to the game, even though that leg is really strong, they usually place more weight on the other leg to support, and it is in trusting their good leg more, that they are putting more stress on that leg making it more vulnerable to injury,” he said.

While many are surprised at the amount of ACL injuries sustained in the opening rounds of AFLW 2.0, Mr Cooper says that these types of injuries are common at the beginning of the season. “It’s the time of year,” he said.

“Data from the AFL shows that there are more ACL injuries in the pre-season and the first few rounds than there are in the middle of winter.”

Mr Cooper believes the state of the grounds are another cause of injuries. “There is more friction and traction between the boot and the ground so the twisting injuries are prevalent [in the opening rounds],” he said. “Whereas when the ground is a bit wetter and more slippery, players tend to slide rather than stick. The females are playing at that time of year so it’s not surprising there are a few of these injuries at the moment.”

Now that the AFLW is getting more physical and more competitive, Mr Cooper recommends that players should focus on injury prevention. “The intensity of the competition has gone up this season compared to last season and we may see injuries rise as a result of that,” he said. “The sport is going through an evolution where the players are training prior to Christmas and then the season goes for just a couple of months, and then they play the domestic league. This is where most of them are off on their own until they get back to the AFLW, so it’s quite a disjointed year at the moment for a female player; and self management and injury prevention is vital.”

But Mr Cooper says there are a range of ACL prevention programs on offer for female athletes. “There are ACL prevention programs that have been trialled in young female players under the age of 18,” he said. “These prevention programs can reduce the incidents of ACL ruptures by half, which is really significant. There are a few different types of programs. There is one that has been devised for soccer called the 11+ (Eleven Plus), there’s the PEP program (Prevent Injury and Enhance Performance), and there is FootyFirst, which have been researched and shown that if players do these programs thoroughly, they can significantly reduce the likelihood of having an ACL injury.”

Randall Cooper is also a former AFL physiotherapist. He recommends discussing your sports injury prevention strategy with your playing coach and referring to the following programs:

  • 11+ (previously FIFA) ACL injury prevention program
  • The PEP program: Prevent Injury and Enhance Performance FootyFirst progressive exercise training program

Queensland weekly wrap: Curtain raisers and community camps

AN exciting month of Queensland football is coming up, with the announcement of the Alpha Sport Pre-Season Cup fixture, a curtain raiser at Cazaly Stadium late next month and the junior umpiring program taking place once again.

Alpha Sport Pre-Season Cup Fixture Announced:

AFL Queensland has announced the fixture for the upcoming Alpha Sport Pre-Season Cup. The competition will begin on Saturday, March 10 at grounds across Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. The Alpha Sport Pre-Season Cup is a three-week knockout tournament involving QFA clubs. The competition grand finals are to be played at Leyshon Park, Yeronga on March 24.  Each Grand Final winner will receive an Alpha Sport Sports Taping Starter Pack, valued at $1250.

2018 Junior Football Umpiring Program Dates Released:

Last Friday saw the dates for the 2018 Junior Football Umpiring Program (JFUP) officially released. The JFUP is an exciting program that involves umpire training, education, support and ongoing development for Brisbane Junior club-based umpires officiating U8’s – U10’s. The JFUP provides a range of programs including initial and ongoing training throughout the year, training sessions located close to home to minimise travel requirements, and sessions catered to umpiring with modified junior rules. The dates for JFUP training across Brisbane, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast can be found on their Facebook page.

Cazaly Stadium Curtain Raiser:

AFL Queensland announced an exciting curtain raiser for AFL players and supporters alike in North Queensland. On Saturday, March 24, AFL Cairns Premiers Port Douglas will square off against 2017 AFL Townsville Premiers Hermit Park in the North Queensland Challenge Cup. The game will play as a curtain raiser to the Round 1 AFL fixture between the Gold Coast Suns and North Melbourne. Much anticipation surrounds this game with many in the AFL Queensland community already regarding AFL Cairns as the strongest competition in regional Queensland. Spectators wishing to attend the curtain raiser will need to purchase tickets to the AFL fixture.

AFL Club Community Camps:

The Gold Coast Suns hosted their first community camp of the year on Tuesday, February 6. All 45 Suns players were scattered around the state – from Ormeau to Palm Beach – running various training programs throughout the day. The event was especially sentimental for Suns players Jesse Joyce, Brad Scheer, Max Spencer, Brayden Crossley and Jacob Dawson, who were welcomed back to their old school Palm Beach Currumbin SHS. The Suns will attend multiple camps over the coming months, as will the Brisbane Lions.

AFLW Round 2 | Brisbane Lions vs. Western Bulldogs:

On Sunday, February 11, the AFLW Brisbane Lions’ held their first home game against the Western Bulldogs at the South Pine Sports Complex. Both teams were coming off round one victories, with the Lions fielding an unchanged squad. The hot and windy conditions proved difficult for both sides, and that was highlighted by the low-scoring, scrappy first quarter which saw the Bulldogs take a one-point lead at the break.

The goal drought was broken by the AFLW’s number one draft pick Isabel Huntington, who kicked two goals in as many minutes for the Bulldogs after taking two strong contested marks. Unfortunately, moments later Huntington suffered an injury to her right knee and took no further part in the match. The one-way traffic continued in the second term with the Bulldogs adding two more goals while holding the Lions to just two behinds to lead 26-3 at the main break.

In the third quarter, the Lions struck back with the only goal of the quarter courtesy of Jess Wuetschner, with her lovely left foot snap cutting the margin to 16 points as the Bulldogs led at the final change. Kicking against the breeze in the last quarter, the Lions couldn’t capitalise on their chances until the final four minutes of the game. Ally Anderson popped through a goal to give the Lions a sniff, but Aisling Utri sealed the game for the Dogs with her first goal in the AFLW in her second career game with two and a half minutes remaining.

Wuetschner went on to snap her second goal from the centre bounce moments later but it was again too late for the Lions as the Bulldogs ran out nine-point winners 5.3 (33) to the Lions’ 3.6 (24). The win puts the Bulldogs into second on the ladder and the loss puts the Lions in fourth place. Next up, the Lions travel to Ikon Park to take on ladder leaders Carlton on Saturday February 17 at 7.40pm.

AFLW Weekend Wash-up: Round 2

ROUND two broke plenty of records, provided many headlines, and unfortunately, saw some hefty injuries. On Friday night, Carlton’s Sarah Hosking stole the show, laying 16 tackles to now hold the record for the most tackles in a game. Over in Perth, 41,975 people took their seats at Optus Stadium, and in doing so, recorded the highest attendance for a stand alone women’s domestic game in Australia. But if that was not enough action, the Blues and Giants players had a 20 minute intermission due to lightning, and we may already have a Goal of the Year contender, thanks to Melbourne’s Aliesha Newman. The round may have been dampened by injuries to Bulldog, Isabel Huntington and Blue, Brianna Davey, but it is evident that the competition can only get better from here.

GWS (1.3.9) def. by Carlton (3.12.30)

After an impressive win over Collingwood in round one, the Blues were in good form to take on the ever-improving Giants, who gave Melbourne a run for its money last week. Thunderstorms delayed the game prior to the second quarter, but in the end, it was Carlton who took home the four points. The Blues held the Giants to one goal for the entire match, showcasing their excellent defensive pressure.

Key moment:

Though the Blues were inaccurate in front of goal, scoring 12 behinds, they denied any opportunity for GWS to score. The extreme pressure Carlton displayed throughout the match helped them secure a comfortable win over the Giants. Although Tayla Harris had a quiet night in front of goal, it was her physical presence and crunching tackle on GWS midfielder, Renee Forth in the last quarter that showed her extreme strength and ability to create opportunities all over the ground.

Impressers:

In her second game as a Blue, recruit Nicola Stevens showed her worth, opening the scoring with a goal in the second quarter and racking up eight disposals. Stevens impressed with her clean hands and good use of the footy, going at 68 per cent disposal efficiency. Vice-captain Sarah Hosking had a blinder for the Blues, accumulating 12 disposals, and laying a record-breaking 16 tackles. For GWS, former Calder Cannons coach, Alicia Eva impressed for the Giants, racking up 17 disposals. She was complemented by her captain, Amanda Farrugia, who played her role with 16 possessions. But it wasn’t enough for the lacklustre Giants, who succumbed to a 21-point loss against the undefeated Blues.

Unfortunately, Carlton’s win came at a cost, as the side lost captain, Brianna Davey to an ACL injury. Star forward, Tayla Harris also walked off the ground sore, after she crunched GWS’ Renee Forth in a tackle in the dying seconds of the game.

In round three, GWS will face with the winless Magpies, while Carlton will be preparing to keep its undefeated record in tact against the Lions at Ikon Park.

Melbourne (8.8.56) def. Adelaide (4.0.24)

After a shock loss in round one, the Adelaide Crows sought to kickstart their 2018 campaign against Melbourne. But the Demons had other plans, thumping the Crows by 32 points in a dominant display. Their skill was on show against the reigning premiers, who struggled to compete with the class and skill of the home side, who dominated in front of goal and around the ground.

Key moment:

The Demons were on top of the Crows with their pressure and numbers around the ball. But the home side’s ability to break away from packs and create forward momentum was what really set them apart from the reigning premiers. Wyndham Vale recruit, Aliesha Newman, showcased her speed and ability to break away from the play, as well as create plenty of scoring opportunities for the Dees. Newman bagged two goals, one of which could put her in contention for goal of the year, taking three bounces and slotting it through the middle.

Impressers:

Tegan Cunningham had a stellar game, scoring two goals and racking up 10 disposals for the Demons. In the middle of the ground, it was teammate, Karen Paxman who bounced back from a lower-back injury to rack up 21 disposals. Paxman’s clean use of the footy and experience around the ground helped ensure the Demons had control for the entire match. Despite a disappointing outing for Adelaide, the likes of reigning AFLW rising star, Ebony Marinoff impressed with 18 possessions, while experienced campaigner, Chelsea Randall once again stood up, racking up 17 disposals.

Next week, the Demons take on the Dockers, who are fresh off a win, while the Crows are set to play the Western Bulldogs.

Fremantle (6.4.40) def. Collingwood (4.3.27)

With a whopping 41,975 fans flocking to Optus Stadium, it was Fremantle that claimed its first victory of the season at the newly established stadium. Collingwood got off to a flying start, kicking the first two goals of the game, but the Dockers fought back to win by 13 points. Fremantle outclassed the Pies and showed their accuracy in front of goal, slotting six majors for the day.

Key moment:

It was Fremantle’s extreme tackling pressure that ultimately secured them the win, having 10 more tackles inside the forward 50 than the Pies. Fremantle was also dominant at the stoppages, and in the centre clearances. The Dockers’ ability to get hands to the ball first allowed them to apply even more pressure on the Magpies, who struggled to compete against the smothering defence of the home side.

Impressers:

With the shock axing of Moana Hope after a lacklustre start to the season, Collingwood looked to the likes of Christina Bernardi to take control of the game. The Diamond Creek star scored two vital goals, and racked up 11 disposals, which were all kicks. Knox product, Melissa Kuys starred with 21 possessions for the Magpies, going at a 67 per cent disposal efficiency. Young gun Chloe Molloy continued to impress in black and white, showcasing her defensive skills with crunching tackles, and her ability to run and carry through heavy traffic. Fremantle’s inaugural AFLW best and fairest winner, Dana Hooker stood out for the Dockers, slotting two goals and racking up 20 disposals. East Fremantle recruit, Ashlee Atkins also starred for the home side, scoring an absolute belter of a goal, and taking an impressive mark in the first quarter to open the scoring for Fremantle. Captain Kara Donnellan laid eight tackles, while also racking up 16 disposals, leading her side to its first win of the season.

The Dockers are set to face the Demons at Fremantle Oval, while Collingwood will travel home to Olympic Park to take on GWS.

Brisbane (3.6.24) def. by Western Bulldogs (5.3.33) 

With both teams securing a round one win, it made for a highly contested match, as both teams fought to be undefeated after round two. But it was the Western Bulldogs that came away with the win in a tight spectacle away from home. Both teams put on a physical display with ferocious tackles and athletic marks being showcased throughout the match. Despite a late fightback by the Lions, the Dogs held on to win by nine points.

Key moment:

The Bulldogs piled on four goals to none in the second quarter, allowing them to take charge of the game. Their forward pressure allowed them to trap the ball inside their forward 50, and capitalise on all their scoring opportunities. The Dogs took impressive grabs around the ground and put their bodies on the line in an intense and hard-fought battle. Hannah Scott’s impressive second quarter goal showed her class and ability to cleanly pick up the footy. That was a real momentum-booster for the Bulldogs, as it gave the away side an 18-point lead late in the second quarter.

Impressers:

The class and skill of Bulldogs, Emma Kearney and Kirsty Lamb were on display, with Kearney racking up 18 disposals and Lamb gaining 20 touches in an impressive day out for the Dogs. Dual-code athlete, Monique Conti proved her worth, as she racked up 12 possessions, and was lively throughout the match. Isabel Huntington starred for the Western Bulldogs with two goals and four spectacular marks around the ground. Huntington showed her ability to lead up to the ball and impose herself on a contest before she unfortunately went down with a suspected ACL injury. Despite the loss, Brisbane’s Emily Bates starred for her side, amassing 21 touches, and five marks. Teammate, Jess Wuetschner impressed again in the forward line, kicking two important majors for the Lions. Wuestchner’s composure allowed her to slot a difficult goal from the boundary line, displaying her extreme skill level.

In round three, the Brisbane Lions are up against the ominous Blues, and the Dogs are playing the out-of-form Adelaide Crows.