Tag: mimi hill

Scouting notes: National AFLW Under 16s Championships

IN what was a great opportunity for the most talented Under 16s girls, Vic Country took on Vic Metro at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday morning as a curtain raiser to their Under 18s counterparts. Vic Metro got the job done in an entertaining contest, and Peter Williams (Vic Country) and Julia Montesano (Vic Metro) took notes on each of the players who took part. Note all reviews are opinion-based.

Vic Country:

#1 Jerusha Devarakonda

Throughout the match she showed a fierce attack on the footy, particularly in the third term where she was involved in a number of plays. She was often deep in defence or running off the half-back flank, she had quick hands and did not take a backwards step. She gave away a free kick to Tarni Brown in the third quarter, but it was her attack to win the footy that was most impressive.

#2 Leila Raymond

Raymond showed great defensive pressure in the back half, laying a number of strong tackles. It was almost déjà vu for the Gippsland Power player, who had no problems burying her opponent in a fantastic tackle in both the third and fourth quarters. She also saved a goal with a great tackle as an opponent ran towards the big sticks.

#3 Holly Andrews

Attacked the contest hard and had a good first term where she laid a couple of great tackles – unfortunately giving away a free for holding on too long. She created run out of defence in the second term, and was reliable with her disposal, including a good kick from half-back to the wing in the third term.

#4 Elizabeth Snell

Had a couple of nice passages of place including a good handball at ground level under pressure in the first term, and quick hands out of a stoppage in the third term.

#5 Megan Fitzsimon

Fitzsimon showed quick hands under pressure and a cleanliness at ground level to collect and go. She had a good kick to the wing after picking the footy up cleanly off the deck in the second half. She continued to stay involved along the wing.

#6 Renee Saulitis

Along with Tyanna Smith, was a driving force in the midfield. She won the footy throughout the four quarters and put in a really consistent effort. She did the defensive things well, laying tackles and providing bumps, while taking a courageous mark on the wing in the second term. She kicked well off half-back and had a fantastic run-down tackle on Ellie McKenzie after copping a don’t argue in the third term and earned a free kick for her troubles. She covered the ground well, also winning possessions in the forward half of the ground.

#7 Jemma Finning

Unfortunately Finning was injured early in the second term and did not get to play the game out.

#8 Kate Adams

Took a lovely mark at half-back in the final term and had a good centering pass to a teammate. She also showed a quick kick out of a stoppage late in the game.

#9 Emily Nicholson

Played in defence and constantly went in hard. She took a good one-on-one mark early and was able to quickly dispose of the ball under pressure. Nicholson had a highlight laying a strong tackle on Olivia Meagher, not fooled by Meagher’s attempt to sidestep her inside 50.

#10 Abbey Jordan

Jordan stood under a high ball in defence and despite contact coming did not waiver. She was unlucky not to get a free, showing good courage. In the third term she had a piercing kick inside 50 after moving through traffic, and then took a good intercept mark on the wing. Jordan laid a fierce bump on her opponent in the final term.

#11 Brooke Hards

Hards showed a willingness to back herself at all times coming off half-back. She got caught a couple of times, but for the run and ability to crash through opponents, it was worth it. She charged out of defence a number of times and was often under pressure. She laid a great tackle at half-back early in the game and hit-up Maggie Caris on the wing.

#12 Tyanna Smith

The Vic Country captain was one of the best with Renee Saulitis. Smith spread well to the outside and worked hard back into defence to help out. On a number of occasions, Smith read the loose ball in the air superbly, sticking out a hand and grabbing it cleanly before disposing of it by hand. She showed great acceleration out of a stoppage and kicked a goal on the run in the second term, really starting to dominate through the midfield. She laid some strong tackles and also took intercept marks at half-back.

#13 Chloe Leonard

Played in defence and had a number of kicks from half-back to the wing, rebounding where possible. She showed a good long kick and took a great mark dropping back in the first term to intercept.

#16 Sharmaine Reilly

Showed good courage going back with the flight at half-back to impact a contest despite copping body contact. She also applied good defensive pressure at half-back, applying a good shepherd to allow a teammate to run on.

#17 Sophie Milsome

A quieter first half, but took a great mark on the lead 35m out for a set shot in the third term. The shot drifted right, but she was presenting to the midfielders. She also laid a great smother at half-forward to put the ball out of bounds in the final term and force a throw in.

#18 Zoe Hill

Had a very nervous start to the day with some fumbles and caught holding the ball once for Alyssa Bannan to goal. Once she settled in she got back to what we have come to expect from her with a couple of strong intercept marks and was reliable by foot.

#19 Matilda Van Berkel

A quiet game, but always attacked the contest hard. She had a fantastic kick in the third quarter with a perfect pass to Sophie Milsome on the lead.

#20 Stephanie Glover

Busy early in the game, showing good vision to handball to a teammate at half-back through a couple of opponents. She has really good evasion and is able to step around opponents well. She threw it on the boot once, but is often more composed with the ball, and is quite athletic.

#21 Isabella Robson

Had a good moment to knock Ellie McKenzie off balance and drop the ball as she streamed towards 50 in the first half.

#22 Renee Tierney

Just continues to pop up at times despite not having a lot of opportunities. She had a clean pick-up off an awkward bounce at half-forward and was able to maintain composure to give it off to a teammate while she was under pressure. Tierney’s highlight came in the third term with the goal of the match after picking it up, snapping quickly from the boundary and dribbling it home. She also took a huge contested grab in the forward 50 later in the term, clunking the mark and looking dangerous.

#23 Isabella Simmons

When the ball went in her forward zone she showed good defensive pressure and was able to lock the ball up with a good tackle.

#24 Olivia Barber

Barber’s second efforts are noticeable in her ruck work, often winning her own ball from the taps. She laid a number of fierce tackles at ground level and continued to work hard. She snapped at goal off a couple of steps but just missed to the left.

#25 Maggie Caris

A raw but talented ruck who is smart with her hitout work. She was strong overhead and often marked at the highest point. A learning curve for her would be the game smarts when Alyssa Bannan was having a set shot from 40m and she stood at the top of the goal square instead of on the line and it bounced through with no-one to stop it. A really solid game all round, however.

VIC METRO:

#1 Olivia Meagher

Meagher was really lively up forward and was not afraid to take the game on. This was shown when she kicked a long bomb from just inside 50 that sailed through the goals. Before that, she read the ball well out of a stoppage and snapped through a goal from just outside the goal square. She was able to generate good acceleration and cleared the ball well after tackling a Country player. Meagher was not afraid to run the ball through the corridor and used her long kick to advantage on multiple occasions. Hacked a kick nicely out of a stoppage. Meagher kicked her third goal with a beautiful pick-up and snap and utilised excellent closing speed to chase down the Country player and earn a free kick. 

#2 Mietta Kendall

Chased the ball well in defence, as she attempted to tackle three players. Nicked one of the jumpers and won a dropping the ball free kick, thanks to her desperation at back half. Laid a goal-saving tackle and always gets involved in the right moments.

#3 Taylah Morton

Morton followed the footy with purpose and intent throughout the day. She was able to trap the footy well and often used the ball well by foot. She also displayed great clean hands while being tackled, showing her strength in the contest.

#5 Mary Daw

Took a nice mark in defence to stop Country running forward and then hit a target with her kick.

#6 Abigail Bennett

Bennett competed hard throughout the match and displayed some great work inside 50. Kicked two goals for the day. Her first was a snap from an angle while being slung to the ground, which got the momentum swinging in Metro’s favour after a slow first quarter. Bennett has great composure with the ball in hand and when she does not have it, she follows it up well, laying strong tackles to prevent any opposition forward movement.

#7 Jessica Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald followed the footy nicely throughout the match and got plenty of it, which was a credit to her efforts around the stoppages. Executed a good pick-up and laid off a nice handball out of a stoppage while on hands and knees. The Northern Knights product always followed up her efforts well, through tackling hard.

#8 Bella Eddey

Gave off a nice quick-fire handball out of a stoppage inside 50. Picked the ball up with ease off the deck and got a quick handball away to Alyssa Bannan. Played well on the wing considering her normal spot is up forward while playing for the Dragons.

#9 Winnie Laing

Laing read the play well and hunted the footy with intent. She got a lot of the ball and did everything she could to get the ball out of a stoppage. Often used her speed to break away and get the ball forward for Metro.

#10 Ashleigh Snow

Snow had great hands out of stoppages and showed good strength while doing so. While being pursued by two players, she got a clean handball out to a teammate on the outside. Snow got the ball away while being tackled multiple times, giving her teammates first opportunity to get onto the football.

#11 Eliza McNamara

Executed many nice kicks to the top of the square, giving them good height and allowing her forwards to jump at the footy. Also had the ability to pinpoint kicks, displaying good all-round footwork throughout the day. McNamara accelerated well with the ball in hand, clearing it out of the centre square in one instance. Also did well defensively when she laid a strong wrap-around tackle on a Vic Country player then followed it up with another aggressive tackling effort.

#12 Tarni Brown

Had a sensational first half for Metro then played consistently for the rest of the game. Brown created so many scoring opportunities for Vic Metro with her clean hands and accurate kicking. She was able to boot the ball forward when needed to or she would get the play started with a strong handball out of a stoppage. Brown did nicely to find space and utilised it with lovely acceleration. Her blind turns were a highlight of her game, as one ended up in a handball to Abigail Bennett on the outside, who kicked her second major of the day as a result. Brown also demonstrated a high footy IQ when she lowered her eyes to spot Alyssa Bannan on the outer side, who then kicked a goal while being tackled. 

#13 Alice Burke

Took a good leading mark on the wing and read the ball well off a tap. She then moved the ball well with a nice clearing kick out a stoppage.

#15 Mimi Hill

Gave off a good handball on hands and knees to get the ball out of congestion.

#16 Alice O’Loughlin

O’Loughlin laid a great tackle that prevented a Vic Country breakaway. Did most of her hard work up forward with a good kick towards goal that was on line but just didn’t make the distance. O’Loughlin’s defensive efforts were sound as she laid a strong tackle to earn a free kick. She then pinpointed the pass perfectly to Olivia Meagher for a set shot, giving her prime opportunity to kick a goal.

#17 Alisa Magri

Magri displayed strong hands throughout the day. She took a great mark off an Alice O’Loughlin kick inside 50, but she just missed the set shot. Took another miraculous mark inside 50 in a one-on-one contest, grabbing the ball with one hand and moving it forward. She is an exciting player with the ball in hand.

#18 Amber Micallef

Micallef pursued the ball with intent and then kicked it well around her body towards the boundary line. This showed great composure as it helped to slow the play down for Vic Metro.

#19 Sarah Hartwig

Hartwig gave off a good handball while being tackled strongly. Also took a strong contested mark and followed it up with a pinpointed a kick to Bennett at half-forward.

#20 Ellie McKenzie

McKenzie played a blinder of a game, particularly showing off her strong hands and exciting dash. She often found herself on the wing and created excitement when she fended off a player and streamed towards the forward 50. She did this in two separate points in the game, displaying her X factor and strength with the ball in hand. In many instances, she showed good situational awareness, as she knew she had space and used it to her advantage. In the forward half, she laid a good smother and attempted an almighty speccy. McKenzie leapt for every ball that came her way, and was fearless in attack. Demonstrated excellent run and carry when she streamed inside 50 to get the ball towards goal and creates a scoring opportunity. Showed class when she executed a great one-two with Alice O’Loughlin.

#21 Tamsin Crook

Crook did well in the ruck and followed up her work. She showed good intent to keep the ball moving when she dribbled the ball on the ground instead of just diving on it. This was smart play by her to keep it moving and then pick it up when she had the space to do so. Crook also tackled well on the day.

#22 Isabelle Pritchard

Ball didn’t go down her end that much but showed good intent when it came her way. At one point, she displayed good use of the body to shrug the tackle then executed a good second effort to create a stoppage.

#23 Jess Grace

Grace played in the ruck and contested well with Maggie Caris.

#24 Alyssa Bannan

Bannan was prolific in the forward line, demonstrating her high footy IQ. Took a good mark lace-out and then executed a perfect kick for goal from about 40 metres out. At this point, she backed herself and the ball bounced through. Bannan even had a stint in the ruck and competed well thanks to her height and footy smarts. A highlight of her game was when she punched the ball forward in the air to prevent a stoppage, then got the ball back off her punch and gave off a quick handball to Ellie McKenzie. Bannan also displayed clean hands throughout the game. Her kicking was on display too when she kicked a brilliant centering ball to Jessica Fitzgerald, giving Fitzgerald’s opponent no chance to compete. The Northern Knights forward finished with two majors for the day. 

#25 Isabel Young

Young tackled well and displayed good strength to stand up in the stoppage and get a handball away over the top.

Victorian Under 16s Girls prepare for National Championships

VICTORIA’S top Under 16s footballers from the TAC Cup Girls competition will converge on country venues this weekend in a couple of matches to test themselves against the best from other states. Vic Metro takes on South Australia in Horsham on Sunday, while Vic Country heads to the border to face NSW/ACT in Albury. The following week, Vic Metro will face off against Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium in a curtain raiser to the Under 18 Girls’ sides. For those wondering, the Under 16s are made up of players born in 2002 and are not eligible to be drafted until 2020.

Vic Metro squad:

NoNameHtDOBTAC Region
1Olivia Meagher15110/12/02Eastern Ranges
2Mietta Kendall1543/9/02Eastern Ranges
3Taylah Morton15723/7/02Oakleigh Chargers
4Leah Spargo15728/1/02Western Jets
5Mary Daw15911/3/02Western Jets
6Abigail Bennett16018/10/02Northern Knights
7Jessica Fitzgerald1618/3/02Northern Knights
8Bella Eddey16311/2/02Sandringham Dragons
9Winnie Laing16425/5/02Sandringham Dragons
10Ashleigh Snow15623/10/02Northern Knights
11Eliza McNamara16619/4/02Sandringham Dragons
12Tarni Brown16626/3/02Eastern Ranges
13Alice Burke1683/10/02Sandringham Dragons
15Mimi Hill1674/10/02Oakleigh Chargers
16Alice O’Loughlin1698/7/02Oakleigh Chargers
17Alisa Magri17019/3/02Calder Cannons
18Amber Micallef17021/2/02Oakleigh Chargers
19Sarah Hartwig17312/4/02Sandringham Dragons
20Ellie McKenzie17417/10/02Northern Knights
21Tamsin Crook1763/10/02Calder Cannons
22Isabelle Pritchard1768/3/02Western Jets
23Jess Grace17625/12/02Eastern Ranges
24Alyssa Bannan17713/4/02Northern Knights
25Isabel Young17913/7/02Calder Cannons

Some names to watch:

Isabelle Pritchard
Key Position Defender | 176cm | Western Jets

Strong overhead, great leader and rarely beaten one-on-one. Her game knowledge and awareness is ahead of her years. A standout performer this season for the Jets.

Ellie McKenzie
Tall Utility | 174cm | Northern Knights

Unbelievable impact so far this season, named in the best every game she played. Can play forward, midfield or back, and is strong in the air. Sister of Vic Metro boys’ representative, Tom. Strong in the air, can kick goals at will, shown by her huge day out against Bendigo Pioneers.

Alyssa Bannan
Key Position Forward | 175cm | Northern Knights

Lit up Beaconsfield earlier in the year with three goals in three minutes and provides a good target up forward. Mobile tall who can kick goals and very few players her height are quicker once she gets goal side.

Sarah Hartwig
Key Position Defender | 173cm | Sandringham Dragons

Good one-on-one defender, quick on the lead to spoil and provides good rebounds out of the back half. Will create a strong 1-2 partnership with Pritchard in the back half.

Alice Burke
General Defender | 168cm | Sandringham Dragons

A good user of the footy, can play up the ground but is really settled in the back half. Daughter of St Kilda champion, Nathan. Crossed over from soccer and has been a revelation at the Dragons.

Abigail Bennett
Small Forward | 160cm | Northern Knights

Another Knights player who has had some impressive moments at half-forward. Can push into the midfield as well.

Tarni Brown
General Forward | 166cm | Eastern Ranges

Very raw, but clearly talented. Has a very nice sidestep and can create something out of nothing. Daughter of Gavin and sister to Callum and Tyler.

Olivia Meagher
Small Forward/Midfielder | 151cm | Eastern Ranges

Seemed to get better as the season went on, plays a link-up role at half-forward, and can kick goals or win the footy through the midfield.

Mimi Hill
Outside Midfielder | 167cm | Oakleigh Chargers

Winger who provides good run in transition and played some impressive games throughout the season, especially in the absence of the Chargers top-age midfielders.

Jess Fitzgerald
Small Utility | 161cm | Northern Knights

Tends to play forward, but can play through midfield as well. A creative player who can kick goals from tight angles.

Winnie Laing
Inside Midfielder | 164cm | Sandringham Dragons

As tough as they come on the inside, loves the contest and does not take a backwards step.

Bella Eddey
General Forward | 163cm | Sandringham Dragons

Another creative forward who is good in the air or at ground level and just got better as the season went on.

Alice O’Loughlin
General Forward | 169cm | Oakleigh Chargers

Starred late in the season at half-forward and can push up the ground as well. Creative and a good user of the football going inside 50.

Ashleigh Snow
Small Defender | 156cm | Northern Knights

Was one of the Knights’ best in the grand final and plays taller than her 156cm. Good overhead and creates some great drive out of defence.

Alisa Magri
Tall Forward | 170cm | Calder Cannons

Was a mainstay of the Cannons forward line this season and managed to get on the end of a few goals throughout. Another tall target inside 50 for Metro.

Eliza McNamara
Inside Midfielder | 166cm | Sandringham Dragons

Had a blistering start to the season and had the ball on a string early. A crucial part of the inside midfield at the Dragons, she showed good strength and an ability to move out of traffic.

Vic Country squad:

NoNameDOBHtTAC Region
1Jerusha Devarakonda3/3/02158Geelong Falcons
2Leila Raymond9/3/02158Gippsland Power
3Holly Andrews15/8/02160Gippsland Power
4Elizabeth Snell14/3/02161Bendigo Pioneers
5Megan Fitzsimon10/8/02162Gippsland Power
6Renee Saulitis14/8/02163GWV Rebels
7Jemma Finning19/3/02165Bendigo Pioneers
8Kate Adams15/3/02165Murray Bushrangers
9Emily Nicholson19/3/02165Murray Bushrangers
10Abbey Jordan8/9/02165Dandenong Stingrays
11Brooke Hards19/7/02166Bendigo Pioneers
12Tyanna Smith29/10/02166Dandenong Stingrays
13Chloe Leonard1/2/02167GWV Rebels
15Chandra Abrahams24/3/02169Gippsland Power
16Sharmaine Reilly8/11/02170Bendigo Pioneers
17Sophie Milsome23/4/02172Geelong Falcons
18Zoe Hill13/5/02173Dandenong Stingrays
19Matilda Van Berkel6/9/02174Gippsland Power
20Stephanie Glover11/11/02176GWV Rebels
21Isabella Robson26/4/02176GWV Rebels
22Renee Tierney23/5/02168Geelong Falcons
23Isabella Simmons19/4/02181GWV Rebels
24Olivia Barber14/7/02184Murray Bushrangers
25Maggie Caris21/12/02188GWV Rebels

Renee Tierney
Tall Forward | 168cm | Geelong Falcons

Has had a really consistent season for the Falcons. Good overhead, booted a bag of goals against Oakleigh at Warrawee Park earlier in the season.

Jemma Finning
Balanced Midfielder | 165cm | Bendigo Pioneers

After the two top-age girls in Megan Williamson and Kodi Jacques, Finning was one of the more consistent midfielders at the Pioneers, regularly named in the best.

Brooke Hards
General Defender | 166cm | Bendigo Pioneers

A rebounding defender who can play forward, Hards is good in the air and reads the play well.

Renee Saulitis
Small Forward | 163cm | GWV Rebels

Talented small forward who can kick some great goals from tight angles. Very quick and can pounce on a spillage from a marking contest.

Isabella Simmons
Key Position Forward | 181cm | GWV Rebels

Tall target up forward who pushes up the ground and provides a contest. Raw but has shown some good signs.

Zoe Hill
Key Position Defender | 173cm | Dandenong Stingrays

One of the more consistent 15-16 year-old defenders in the league. Worked well with Lucy Cripps to ensure the Stingrays had good defensive strength in the air.

Olivia Barber
Ruck/Key Position Forward | 184cm | Murray Bushrangers

Rotated between ruck and key forward and was named in the Bushrangers best a number of times. Could rotate with Maggie Caris through the ruck or up forward.

Chandra Abrahams
Tall Utility | 169cm | Gippsland Power

Has played a mixture of forward and back, and while the consistency is still building, she has tricks that not many players have, such as a penetrating kick from 50m on the run from a couple of steps.

Kate Adams
General Forward | 165cm | Murray Bushrangers

Buzzes around the forward line and can push up into the midfield. Fairly clean and clearly talented, will be a player to watch at the Bushies over the next couple of years.

Maggie Caris
Ruck | 188cm | GWV Rebels

With her sister Rene in the AFLW Academy, Maggie followed her into the Rebels program and looked good in the final game of the season against Oakleigh. Already 188cm, Caris will likely play ruck, but could be tried in key position positions as well.

Tyanna Smith
Balanced Midfielder | 166cm | Dandenong Stingrays

Another player who seemed to get better as the season went on, Smith played through the midfield and won her own ball as well as created run in transition.

Jerusha Devarakonda
Small Defender | 158cm | Geelong Falcons

Raw, but talented defender who pushed up to the wing for the Falcons. Got involved a number of times in the grand final and has plenty of scope for the future. Quick and fierce.

Stephanie Glover
Key Position Utility | 176cm | GWV Rebels

Impressed down back, but also showed she could go forward and kick a goal for the Rebels. Good overhead and nimble, she provides plenty of rebound out of the back half.

Holly Andrews
Outside Midfielder/Small Forward | 160cm | Gippsland Power

Played all nine games this season and was named among the best a couple of times for the Power. Had some nice moments within games.

Chloe Leonard
General Forward | 167cm | GWV Rebels

Booted four goals in eight games, including two against Calder Cannons. Was named in the Rebels’ best a number of times and provided a target inside 50.

Emily Nicholson
General Defender | 165cm | Murray Bushrangers

Played every game this season for the Bushrangers and became a regular in the back six. She was named among the best on a couple of occasions.

U16 Fixtures:

June 10 – Vic Metro vs. South Australia in Horsham & Vic Country vs. NSW/ACT in Albury
June 16 – Vic Country vs Vic Metro at GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Girls- Round 9

THE 2018 TAC Cup Girls grand final has been set. The Northern Knights successfully defeated Murray Bushrangers in the first game of the day, booking themselves a grand final spot against the Falcons. But the other games throughout the day at Craigieburn were no less entertaining! 

 

Northern Knights vs. Murray Bushrangers 

By: Julia Montesano

Northern Knights:

#4 Neve O’Connor

Laid a nice tackle after her kick got smothered, displaying a good second effort. Got nice elevation in the ruck and was able to tap the ball down nicely. Attempted to take a great mark running back with the flight, but when she didn’t mark it, she laid a strong tackle to hold the ball up.

#5 Madeline Brancatisano

Did well to trap the ball on the ground and got quick hands away. The captain did that on a couple of occasions, showing that she has really good agility to bend down and get straight back up.

#18 Sarah Sansonetti

Great smother off her body which stopped a forward thrust for Murray. Tackled hard throughout the day, especially when she laid a great defensive tackle that saved a goal in the goal-square for Murray. Took a great mark in defensive 50 and stepped up her game in the second half.

#22 Britney Gutknecht

Elevated her body well to get her arms free in a tackle. Was able to take a nice mark in space but her kick got smothered by Webster’s body. Gutknecht again worked some magic in a tackle, getting a handball away while under pressure. Did well to pursue the ball on the boundary line to try and keep it in. Got a great pick-up off the deck and kicked it off one step while being tackled.

#23 Gabrielle Newton

Tapped the ball down well and came down with it swiftly to receive the quick hands from a teammate. She then kicked it into space, creating a forward thrust for Northern. Gave off two great handballs under pressure and stood tall in the tackle. Computed her weight well to gently tackle Tamara Smith, and got a holding-the-ball free kick. Newton took a great mark running back with the flight of the ball. Ended up with two holding-the-ball free kicks from strong tackles.

 

Murray Bushrangers:

#1 Julia Harvey

Got on the end of some quick hands by Millie Brown. Was a good link in the chain throughout the day and was able to showcase her speed. Harvey was a quick thinker and used the ball well, whether it was by hand or by foot. Was on the bottom of the pack plenty of times.

#17 Rebecca Webster

Read the tap well and got a nice kick away. Webster did well to follow up the kick and trap the ball after she got a handball she wasn’t expecting. Great pick-up and acceleration out of the pack. Webster was really good at reading the ball in the air and was able to bring it down to ground on plenty of occasions. Kicked nicely, smothered nicely, and tackled nicely. Produced some good run and kick off half-back. Webster excellently burst off half-back and ran well into space. She then tripped over but somehow managed to get a handball away on her knees. Good all-round performance from her. 

#19 Millie Brown

Did a good job kicking out of full-back when she was required to do so. Nice long kick around the body. Kicked it nicely inside 50, where the ball fell out the back but just went through for a behind. Read the tap well and got a good clearance away.

#22 Tamara Smith

Kicked the ball nicely inside 50 to create a scoring opportunity for Murray. Did well to break away from congestion. Never stopped trying for the Bushrangers all day, showcasing her speed and aggression in the depths of the contest.

 

Greater Western Victoria Rebels vs. Oakleigh Chargers 

By: Taylah Melki

Greater Western Victoria Rebels:

#2 Renee Saulitis

She was instrumental up forward for the Rebels, bagging two goals for the game and competing hard to win the footy in the forward 50. Saulitis applied plenty of good forward pressure and looked promising when she had the ball in hand.

#16 Lauren Butler

She showed some really good footy smarts throughout the game and helped to open up space across the field with her strong leads. Butler applied plenty of good strong tackles and showed a lot of fight to win the footy both at ground level and in the air. She took a good intercept mark and used her long penetrating kick to propel her team forward. Her clean hands in and around the contest and at stoppages were important for the Rebels.

#18 Sophie Van De Heuvel

Presented a good option up forward and constantly offered good leads. She showcased her ability to run hard and covered the ground really well for the Rebels. In difficult conditions, Van De Heuvel displayed her impressive strong kick and was quite dynamic up forward.  

 #23 Sophie Molan

Molan was a clear standout for the Rebels and worked hard all game to win the ball at the coalface. Her effort in and around the stoppages allowed her to release her teammates and open up space, creating scoring opportunities for GWV. She constantly went in hard at the stoppages and scored a goal in the second term from a free kick. Molan looked dangerous all game and really showcased her footy smarts by putting the ball into space and applying plenty of forward pressure to keep the footy trapped inside their forward 50.

#25 Georgia Clarke

Clarke was solid down back once again for the Rebels and showed great composure with ball in hand. She was a real general down back and helped to control the flow of the play in the defensive end for her side. She went down with a possible back injury and received treatment at three-quarter time but returned to the field in the final term. Clarke impressed with her ability to shut down her opponent.

#35 Rene Caris

Competed really hard in the ruck and showcased her impressive leap. Caris got her hands to plenty of the ball in the ruck and displayed some good tap downs to advantage. Her follow-up work around the ground was also important for the Rebels.

 

Oakleigh Chargers:

#2 Mimi Hill

Hill showcased her physicality, applying plenty of good tackling pressure throughout the match. She fought hard to win the ball and create opportunities for her teammates.

#11 Bridie Winbanks

Had a really consistent game but laid a really strong tackle in the third quarter that affected a shot at goal. She showed great fight for the ball and never gave up around the contest, competing hard to win the ball both in the air and at ground level.

#14 Hannah McLaren

McLaren competed hard all game for Oakleigh and was never far from the contest. She covered the ground really well and was a key player for the Chargers.

#30 Gemma Lagioia

Lagioia shone with her good tackling pressure and persistent fight to win the footy at ground level. She was really clean in and around the stoppages and showcased her footy smarts throughout the match. Her ability to read the play allowed her to take important intercepts and propel her team forward into attack. Lagioia applied plenty of good forward pressure and tried hard all game to create scoring opportunities for her teammates with her long penetrating kick into the forward 50.

#38 Daisy Bateman

In difficult and windy conditions Bateman competed hard all game to try and win the footy when it came her way. Her intensity really lifted in the final term as she showed plenty of run and carry. The full forward imposed herself on the contest and applied some good forward pressure, laying a strong tackle in the last quarter. Bateman used her speed and footy knowledge to try and break through the Rebels pressure and open up space for her teammates. 

 

Gippsland Power vs. Sandringham Dragons

By: Taylah Melki

Gippsland Power:

#6 Emily Haeusler

Haeusler showcased her strong hands for the Power, taking a few strong grabs down in defence and using her long penetrating kick to move the ball forward. Her run and carry for Gippsland was important, and she showcased her footy smarts with a clever shepherd to allow her teammate a free run at the footy.

 #8 Chandra Abrahams

Abrahams imposed herself around the ground, applying strong tackling pressure and applying an impressive smother against her opponent

#27 Nikia Webber

Webber was on fire in the opening minutes of the match, kicking the first major of the game and putting the Power in good stead. She worked hard to try and open up space and displayed her strong set of hands, taking a few big grabs. Webber showcased her versatility and clean hands to pick the ball up in difficult and windy conditions.

 #28 Tyla Hanks

Hanks continued her hot form, dazzling with her impressive evasive skills and clever footwork along the boundary line to turn her opponents inside out. She also showed great composure to be able to hit targets while under pressure. Her ability to read the play allowed her to create opportunities for teammates and help propel her team forward. Whenever Hanks had the ball in hand she seemed to have plenty of time and space to think her options through and impact the play. Hanks took a huge contested grab and her ability to create a contest even when out-numbered was invaluable for the Power.

#45 Lily Van Berkel

Van Berkel took a huge pack mark in the second quarter in blustery conditions. Her ability to read the play and her strong hands made for a good marking contest for the Power. 

 

Sandringham Dragons:

#25 Isabella Eddey

Eddey really stood up in the last quarter, scoring a huge goal to get the Dragons back in front. In testing conditions she showcased her booming and accurate kick that helped to propel her team forward. Eddey applied a lot of good forward pressure to help trap the ball inside Sandringham’s forward 50 and get repeat entries. 

#30 Eleanor Brown

Brown is a really smooth mover and covers the ground well to get herself into damaging positions. She was really good with her follow-up efforts and competed hard to win the footy, whether it be aerially or on the deck. Brown also impressed with her clean pick-ups and quick hands in and around the contest. Her speed and ability to open up space across the ground was really important in creating spread for the Dragons.  

#33 Molly Denahy Maloney

She imposed herself on the contest and covered the ground really well in wet and cold conditions. Denahy Maloney positioned herself well throughout the game and moved into damaging positions to try and create forward pressure.

#36 Jemma Owen

Owen showcased her footy smarts and ability to read the play, bagging an impressive soccer goal in the last quarter of the game. Her forward pressure lifted in the final term, scoring two majors within six minutes which helped her team secure a big win. She worked really hard throughout the game to win the footy at the coalface and was not afraid to go in and scrap for the ball.

#50 Holly Bate

Kicking into the wind, Bate missed a set shot in the second quarter but went on to make amends later in the match, slotting a goal in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter. She impressed with her strong hands and took an impressive mark at full extension in the last quarter.

 

Geelong Falcons vs. Western Jets

By: Peter Williams

Geelong Falcons:

#7 Olivia Purcell

Another top performance from the talented midfielder who enjoyed many tough one-on-one contests with the Jets midfielders. She was the dominant clearance player on the day and won the football on both the inside and outside. Purcell is able to find space where there seems to be none, and can kick out of a stoppage well.

#18 Nina Morrison

Played almost exclusively at full-forward and gave us more of a sneak peak into her versatility as a permanent forward. The wind reeked havoc on any attempt on goal, with Morrison finishing with three majors and a number of behinds as well. She was strong in the air and unbeatable on the lead, she also provided serious forward pressure and continually harassed the ball-carrier to win the football back.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

An anchor off half-back, McEvoy was always there to clean up the crumbs and propel the ball forward. A noticeable trait for the captain is her ability to weigh her kicks and take power off them to find teammates 20 metres away with a “chip” kick over the top of an opponent. She is a fierce tackler and often forces her teammates to lead or run into open space and she puts it to their advantage. A booming kick who was able to be effective going long from half-back to half-forward.

#27 Denby Taylor

Played at both ends like she did in the AFLW Academy match against Geelong. She seems to have a natural aggression at the football and is more of a marking player than a spoiling one which is why she has been able to influence up forward. A huge grab in the second term was a highlight, but she just missed the set shot. Did well with a couple of handballs to teammates in the third term.

#38 Renee Tierney

The forward played her role once again for the Falcons, kicking two goals in the match and also pushed up the ground. She won a contested ball on the wing and had the vision to handball to Stephanie Williams on the outside by putting it in front of her in space.

#39 Tarryn Love

A consistent midfielder who applies fantastic pressure on the ball carrier. For a smaller player she can roost the ball a fair way and just continually buzzes around the contest. Along with Purcell, Love was one of the best midfielders on the ground.

#42 Sachi DeGiacomi

The other permanent Falcons forward had another good day out, booting two goals and causing headaches on the lead for the opposition. Almost assisted in a goal in the second term as well but the shot was touched on the line. DeGiacomi showed good bodywork in one-on-one contests and provided a presence in attack for Geelong.

 

Western Jets:

#16 Elisabeth Georgostathis

A really impressive game from Georgostathis, whose performance is always littered with pressure acts and strong tackles. She wins free kicks from her tackling pressure, and one of her best efforts was a fantastic run-down tackle on Olivia Purcell in the second term when her opponent tried to side-step her. She was composed under pressure and able to dispose of the ball quickly, winning plenty of it throughout the game. In one instance in the third term she won a 1v2 contest when she was out-numbered and was able to clear the ball to a teammate. Really held her own against a number of AFLW Academy midfielders on the day.

#30 Isabelle Pritchard

Saw plenty of the ball down her end but showed good composure when flying for marks. In the third term she took a good contested grab and did push up the ground at times, particularly when Western was kicking with the wind. Early in the fourth term she stopped a certain goal when a couple of Falcons opponents tried to handball through the defence but her pressure was enough to cause a mistake and force a throw in on the boundary line.

#43 Caitlin Greiser

Greiser kicked Western’s first and only goal late in the opening term before heading to defence. She nailed a powerful set shot with the wind to open the Jets’ account then showed off her versatility by playing in the defensive half, most notably at full-back. In one instance of a kickout she cleared the 50 metre line with the aid of the wind in the third term, and won a one-on-one on the defensive side of the wing, protecting the ball drop area and clearing the ball with a long kick to half-forward.

 

Calder Cannons vs. Eastern Ranges

By: Peter Williams 

Calder Cannons:

#2 Felicity Theodore

A composed user of the ball, Theodore spread well across the course of the game and showed sure hands in the wet conditions with a good mark on the lead at half-back. She can take the game on at times and back herself in as well.

#3 Madison Prespakis

There is not much more that can be said about Prespakis that has not been said 1000 times before. Another best on ground performance and vintage display from the midfielder who just continues to battle hard throughout four quarters. She was a dominant player once again, and aside from working hard and kicking clear of the congestion on a number of occasions, she impacts up forward week-in, week-out. Booted an early foal from a set shot 45 metres out and assisted in more forward entries. Rarely puts a foot wrong.

#21 Georgia Patrikios

I would probably have her up there as one of the most naturally intuitive forwards going around. Every time she gets the ball inside 50, you get a sense that she could kick a clever goal and she did it again on the weekend. In the first term she got goal side of a contest and kicked a fantastic goal, but her second was one for the ages. Bucketing down at times and a heavy ball and wet ground, Patrikios managed to somehow kick a goal from the boundary line with an outside of the boot snap under pressure in which should not only be one of the highlights of the round, but highlights of the season.

#23 Grace Dicker

Talented bottom-ager who has a great blend of courage and natural talent. She won a free sliding into a contest to take a mark in the second term and moments later went back with the flight in another marking contest to impact in defence. She zipped around the ground and showed good acceleration, missed a couple of kicks with the wet ball, but just kept applying enormous amounts of defensive pressure, and applied a great spoil on a much taller opponent in the third quarter.

 

Eastern Ranges:

#3 Emerson Woods

The co-captain has put together a really consistent second half of the season and in the wet, she showed good leadership with strong hands. She wins the ball on the inside and often handballs into the path of her teammates running on the outside, directing them where to run and therefore leading by her actions. She is a quick thinker and has lightning quick hands in a stoppage. Knew to keep the ball moving and get it forward at all costs in poor conditions.

#21 Mikala Cann

A classy display in the wet with another good balance of offensive and defensive acts. Cann provided good tackling pressure and just continued to attack the contest hard throughout the four quarters. Despite the wet ball she seemed to be clean with her disposal and not flustered by the slippery conditions.

#38 Laura McClelland

Not a great day for forwards but McClelland did her best in the wet. She showed good hands out in front and in the pouring rain of the second quarter, managed to collect the ball off the deck with one swift pick-up, turned and disposed of it inside 50. She applied a good shepherd on the wing in the third term to allow her teammate to win the ball and then showed good defensive pressure inside 50 with a bone-crunching tackle.

 

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Bendigo Pioneers 

By: Julia Montesano

Dandenong Stingrays:

#1 Shelley Heath

Displayed a good quick burst out of a stoppage and delivered a nice kick inside 50. Displayed good work to hold the ball up for a stoppage and did nicely to trap the ball in a two-on-one. She won that battle as she got up on her feet first.

#3 Courtney Jones

Executed a nice wrap-around tackle, and her all-round tackling was great on the day. Jones worked hard to get the ball and when it didn’t go her way, she followed up with a second effort and created a stoppage. Took a great mark when she read the ball really well off Brooke Struylaart’s centring kick, just letting the ball go onto her chest. A highlight for me was when she had a set shot at goal. Jones dropped the ball lower on her run-up and just kicked it gently through the goal, which was smart play as she knew she couldn’t hack it because the wind would just take it. Displayed a high footy IQ in that instance. Executed a great one-two with Zoe Hill and then delivered a huge kick on the run which sailed through the goals. Jones really stepped up her game in the fourth quarter but had a good all-round performance.

#15 Jordyn Allen

Executed a great passage of play when she took a nice mark on the lead, gave off a quick handball and performed a nice one-two with a teammate. She was able to evade a tackler and gave off a quick handball on the inside to Lucy Cripps. She then evaded another tackle and got a kick away once the tackle stuck, showing great strength in the contest. Executed a great pick-up and spun her way out of trouble to kick well to a lead. Displayed excellent gut-running throughout the game, despite the trying conditions. 

 

#26 Isabella Shannon

Read the conditions well when she picked up the ball and kicked it along the ground. Executed a nice kick forward and took a great contested mark. Shannon played a good all-round game, not just inside 50 but all around the ground. Did well when she won a free kick for holding the ball, got a 50 metre penalty and scored a goal.  

#35 Lucy Cripps

For wet conditions, Cripps played the boundary line extremely well. This was shown when she displayed some nice work to keep the ball inside the boundary line and keep it alive for the Stingrays. In one instance, she got tackled but followed up well to pursue the ball. Executed a great pick-up on the boundary line and then gave off a nice quick handball to Isabella Shannon. Cripps displayed good work to follow up the ball and kept running after it after it got away from her. She did really well in one instance to shepherd the ball and got a kick into space. A highlight of Cripps’ game was when she managed to kick the ball out of the pack perfectly towards a target.

 

 

 

Bendigo Pioneers:

#19 Kodi Jacques

Jacques was outstanding for Bendigo. She displayed good hustle at the contest and good running to be involved wherever she could. Jacques fought hard for the footy and it paid off when she picked up the ball swiftly off the deck and got the ball into space. Executed a nice clearance, always seeming to find the footy. Jacques was able to get good penetration on her kicks and was rewarded through winning a couple of free kicks. Laid a good smother then did well to trap the ball to ensure it didn’t go anywhere. Executed a nice kick out of a stoppage and a nice fist over the boundary line. Did well in the heart of the contest where she got a few great clearances on the day. She read the taps perfectly and did everything she could for Bendigo. 

#20 Kate Douglass

Took a great mark in the back line and was able to follow up after missed marks. Worked really hard back there.  

#28 Megan Williamson

Displayed hard running towards the footy and was a general on-field leader. Williamson is a great role model for her teammates, always going in hard at the contest. She used the footy really well on the day and tackled hard when she needed to do so. She’s not so much a ‘wow factor’ player, but she’s certainly one that never stops working, and her efforts certainly don’t go unnoticed. 

 

Victorian squads named for National AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships

VICTORIA’S top youth girl prospects have been selected to represent Vic Metro and Vic Country at the upcoming AFL Women’s Under 18 and Under 16 National Championships.

The players will begin training immediately after the TAC Cup Girls Grand Final on Saturday, May 19, with the first training session to be held at Ikon Park the following day. A second training session will be held at Windy Hill on June 3 ahead of the competition with Vic Country Under 16s hosting Vic Metro on May 27 in both Albury and Horsham. On June 16, both Under 16s and Under 18s will face off against each other at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong. The teams then fly north to compete in the AFL Women’s Under 18 National Championships with three games held on July 9, July 11 and July 13.

Murray Bushrangers’ coach Sam Ahmet and Eastern Ranges’ coach Tom Humphrey will lead Vic Country and Vic Metro respectively. Geelong Falcons’ Jason Armistead and Geelong VFLW assistant coach Natalie Wood were named as Vic Country assistants, while Northern Knights’ coach Marcus Abney-Hastings and Calder Cannons’ coach Paul Tilley will be the Vic Metro assistants.

AFL Victoria Female Talent Manager Darren Flanigan said it is pleasing to have a number of current TAC Cup Girls head coaches overseeing the U18 teams.

“Both Sam and Tom have good knowledge of the competition and the players within it,” Flanigan said. “We have been able to attract strong assistant coaching staff as well, which the players will benefit from.

“The Academy program provides players with the perfect opportunity to test themselves against the best players at this level, and start to showcase their capabilities to recruiters for the upcoming AFLW draft later in the year.

“Draftees such as Darcy Guttridge, Eden Zanker, Bridie Kennedy and Maddy Guerin all performed well at the 2017 championships, which certainly helped their draft chances later in the year. “It is a great learning experience to be part of the U18 Academy program, learning from other players and coaches in the competition.”

At Under 16 level, players selected will benefit from being mentored by current and former AFLW and VFLW players Mel Hickey, Emma Grant, Katherine Smith and Lauren Morecroft.

“The ability of these players to provide their time will only benefit the those selected in our program,” Flanigan said.

“Playing at the highest level possible, they will be able to share their experiences from the various levels of the female talent pathway, and help educate and develop these players to be ready to take the next step with their football.

In the under 18s, the Vic Metro midfield could contain the likes of top prospect Madison Prespakis, and fellow AFLW Academy teammates Emerson Woods and Gabby Newton, while the likes of Georgia Patrikios, Britney Gutknecht and Daisy Bateman add some X-factor up forward. Mikala Cann, Maddy Brancatisano, Katie Lynch and Eleanor Brown are a number of other players likely to roam through the midfield, while in defence, Georgia Macpherson, Molly Warburton and Hannah McLaren will hold up the fort.

For Vic Country, their midfield will include an AFLW Academy littered centre line featuring Tyla Hanks, Nina Morrison, Rebecca Webster and Olivia Purcell, who will rove to fellow AFLW Academy ruck Rene Caris. Lucy McEvoy, Georgia Clarke, Lucy Cripps, Denby Taylor and Jordyn Allen provide some strong numbers in defence, while up forward, Courtney Jones, Nikia Webber and Sophie Van De Heuvel will be key targets.

Under 18s:

Vic Metro:

Calder Cannons: Grace Dicker, Georgia Patrikos, Madison Prespakis, Carla Rendelmann, Felicity Theodore, Molly Warburton
Eastern Ranges: Mikala Cann, Gabriella De Angelis, Sarah Kendall, Georgia Macpherson, Laura McClelland, Jenna Richardson, Lauren Szigeti, Charlotte Wilson, Emerson Woods
Oakleigh Chargers: Daisy Bateman, Gemma Lagioia, Katie Lynch, Hannah McLaren, Bridie Winbanks, Nicola Xenos,
Northern Knights: Maddy Brancatisano, Britney Gutknecht, Marnie Jarvis, Neve O’Connor, Gabby Newton, Sarah Sansonetti
Sandringham Dragons: Holly Bate, Eleanor Brown, Molly Denahy Maloney, Abbie McKay, Jemma Owen, Jasmine Tait
Western Jets: Elisabeth Georgostathis, Isabella Grant, Cleo Saxon-Jones

Vic Country:

Bendigo Pioneers: Maddie Baldwin, Kate Douglass, Kodi Jacques, Megan Williamson
Dandenong Stingrays: Jordyn Allen, Lucy Cripps, Shelley Heath, Courtney Jones, Molly McDonald, Isabella Shannon
Geelong Falcons: Abbey Chapman, Zoe Inei, Tarryn Love, Lucy McEvoy, Nina Morrison, Olivia Purcell, Denby Taylor
Gippsland Power: Amy Dunn, Emily Haeusler, Tyla Hanks, Nikia Webber
GWV Rebels: Lauren Butler, Rene Caris, Georgia Clarke, Nyakoat Dojiok, Sophie Molan, Sophie Van De Heuvel, Ella Wood
Murray Bushrangers: Julia Harvey, Millie Brown, Tamara Smith, Rebecca Webster

The championships will begin June, with list reductions made in the lead-up to the first game.

The full Under 16s squads will be named on Wednesday.

 

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Girls – Round 8

THERE were some big margins this week, with the Eastern Ranges getting a 46-point win and the Sandringham Dragons getting a 71-point win. But perhaps the most important win of the round went to the Geelong Falcons, who handed the Northern Knights their first loss of the season while keeping their winning streak intact. With only one round to go in the competition, the Falcons have booked themselves a spot in the grand final. 

Calder Cannons vs. Dandenong Stingrays

Calder Cannons:

#2 Felicity Theodore

Has incredible acceleration and wonderful speed in general. She always goes hard for the ball and continues to follow it up even when she continues to get bumped and crunched. Theodore has the composure to back-track and kick. Displayed great speed to follow up on a missed kick.

#3 Madison Prespakis

Her long kick was on display once again and helped the Cannons penetrate forward. Prespakis got a high handball while being tackled, using her body to get the ball away. As usual, she just gets and kicks, and her kicks are often too hot for the opposition to mark. She displayed immense strength again, getting a kick away while being pushed over and displaying strong tackling. Kicked a great snap that bent back perfectly for Calder’s first goal. She is at the bottom of every contest, yet gets up so quickly, taking a great chest mark running at full speed. Kicked her second goal of the game with another lovely snap at a crucial moment. Displayed great gut running and even got strong penetration on her handballs.

#18 Carla Rendelmann

Dominated in the ruck again, winning nearly every hit-out. Has great acceleration and hunts hard for the ball. Took a good defensive mark and her kick was composed out of defensive 50, instead of being hacked out of there. Rendelmann got penetration on her taps and followed them up like a rover.

#21 Georgia Patrikios

Played her best game for the Cannons on Friday night. Ran really well and was able to deliver some long kicks down the field. Laid a strong tackle after she dropped the mark and continued that strong tackling throughout the contest. Her hands were clean, especially on the boundary line, where she was able to cleanly pick up the ball and turn her opponent inside out. Burst well out of the midfield and worked really well with Prespakis. Showed great agility when she picked the ball up off the ground, side-stepped and kicked the ball to Prespakis for her second goal of the day. Patrikios was able to get the ball and spin out of trouble on multiple occasions.

 

Dandenong Stingrays:

#15 Jordyn Allen

Allen’s footy IQ really stood out in this game. She displayed quick hands and did the little things, such as trapping the ball at her feet. Displayed excellent gut running to follow up the ball, and beat all her opponents to trap and kick it long. Allen always managed to get back behind the ball and displayed good composure. She effectively set up her own wall off half-back. Displayed some nice deft kicking. Took a fantastic contested mark after conceding a free kick. The Cannons could not get anything past her. Always applied strong pressure on her opponent and made them hesitate the kick.

#3 Courtney Jones

Jones read the footy well throughout the game. Kicked a great snap around the body for Dandenong’s second goal. Ran well on the wing and kicked great under pressure. Delivered a beautiful centring kick, having good awareness to not blaze away at goal. Kicked a long ball off one step and has an innate ability to kick around her body. Jones is one of the best in the league at around-the-body kicking. Took a good mark to stop the Cannons in their tracks and send it back inside 50.

#26 Isabella Shannon

Kicked a great mid-air snap while being pushed over. Did some good work to wrestle the ball out of the pack. Broke away well from a tackle, and still got the kick away while being pursued hotly. Shannon converted Dandenong’s first goal with a nice snap on an angle. Her courage showed when she bravely got up after a heavy hit.

#28 Tyanna Smith

Took a great mark and took her time to ensure she used the ball well. Her marking was on display throughout the match when she took another good mark and pursued with the footy despite tripping. In that instance, she did well to keep running, showing her intent to hunt the footy. Laid a great tackle and was able to quickly get a kick away. Picked up the ball cleanly and displayed nice movement through the ground.

#35 Lucinda Cripps

Ran well throughout the game and was able to follow up on her kicks. Displayed good movement from the stoppage to kick the ball away. Delivered a magnificent spearing pass to Jones inside 50 which beat all the players and fell out the back of the contest. Jones missed but deserved a goal because it was such a clever kick by Cripps.

 

Eastern Ranges vs. Murray Bushrangers

By: Peter Williams 

Eastern Ranges:

#3 Emerson Woods

A strong performance from Woods, particularly early in the game when the game was hot. In the opening term when the game was on the line she was huge. Her first contact was impacting a contest on the wing and killing a ball across the line, and proceeded to win a number of free kicks for fierce tackles. She had a set shot which went wide in the windy conditions, but continued to work hard on the inside, moving well through the stoppages. She also has that trademark handball where she gets her arms free of a would-be tackler and had the vision to execute to a teammate outside the stoppage. She reads the opposition taps well, sharking one from Sophie Damon, and played a good role between midfield and half-forward.

#21 Mikala Cann

Cann was the best player on the ground early, kicking a fantastic goal on the run under pressure and then giving off a second one to Catherine Chamberlain. She almost could have had three, but Ashleigh Allsopp’s set shot just missed. Her tackling pressure was very good and won a couple of free kicks under the holding the ball rule. Was quieter in the second half, but had a huge first half, both offensively and defensively.

#37 Georgia Macpherson

Worked into the game well after a quiet opening term given the ball hardly reached her vicinity. She took a number of strong marks across the four quarters and kicked long with penetration to half-forward or wide to the wing. She has a unique ability to mark the ball at full-speed and keep moving, or win the contested ball one-on-one and just burst a few steps before kicking long. She took a strong grab in the third term leaping high, and hit up Laura McClelland late in the fourth term after charging through the midfield.

#38 Laura McClelland

McClelland continued to present throughout the match and is a one-grab player. She took a great mark leaping in from the side in the second term, and took another on the lead in the third term. Her set shot dropped short, but she continued to show good aggression and defensive pressure. In the final term she took a good mark going back with the flight and hit-up Woods coming out of the attacking 50. She took a strong grab and shot for goal on the final siren, but it was rushed through, or counted as a behind.

#46 Sarah Kendall

Another solid performance rotating between ruck and defence. She quite often punched the ball clear for a teammate to run onto it, and took a strong intercept mark on the wing late in the first term. She laid a great tackle not long after to win a free kick, and then moved into defence where she was able to take a couple of good marks and perform well.

 

Murray Bushrangers:

#1 Julia Harvey

The small midfielder/forward never stopped trying and while Eastern was controlling most of the play early, Harvey was buzzing around winning the contested ball and trying to release her teammates. She showed good tackling pressure and won a free kick for being caught high. Sometimes she rushed a little and threw the ball on the boot, but showed good leadership at the stoppages and directed teammates where to run and stand.

#16 Eloise Ashley-Cooper

One of the more impressive Bushrangers, Ashley-Cooper provided plenty of run out of defence. She showed smart decision-making and found herself opposed to the dangerous McClelland at times. She was able to intercept the ball at half-back and took on the opposition in a number of occasions. She laid a strong tackle on Mikala Cann in the defensive 50 to lock the ball up when the Ranges were attacking, and just got better as the game went on. Put her body on the line on a number of occasions too.

#19 Millie Brown

Without Rebecca Webster in the midfield, Millie Brown stood up and did her best to try and drive the ball forward. She floated into the back half and took vital intercept marks and used her penetrating kick to clear the defence. Strong overhead and a textbook kicking action, Brown caused some headaches for the opposition and moved well along the wing often sending the ball back inside 50 for the Bushrangers. She even had a hit-out in the ruck showing off her versatility.

#22 Tamara Smith

A really solid game from Smith who never stopped trying. Worked hard through the middle of the ground and is really good at changing direction quickly and compose herself to kick long like she did in the second quarter. She laid a great smother in the third term and put her body on the line. Ran back with the flight and took a mark inside 50 but rushed to play on and her kick was affected by the opposition pressure.

 

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Western Jets

By: Peter Williams 

Oakleigh Chargers:

#2 Mimi Hill

A quick thinking midfielder, Hill is really good one-on-one and has good strength for a smaller player. She is able to dish off a quick handball and time her release well, and also lays some strong tackles. Hill won a free kick at half-back and was able to hit-up Bridie Winbanks in the middle of the ground in the second term with good vision.

#10 Alice O’Loughlin

A lively player up forward, O’Loughlin was busy around the 50m arc. She took a few marks, had shots on goal and was worrying the opposition defence. Did not end up finishing with a major, but opened up the forward line with her strong hands, including a good grab in the third term in front of a big pack of players.

#11 Bridie Winbanks

Used her height to advantage around the stoppages and often got the ball clear to the outside. She drifted around the ground and took a good contested grab at half-back in the third term and then brought down a mark on the goal line from an Isabella Grant set shot.

#14 Hannah McLaren

Another tireless effort from the Chargers captain who continually forced a contest at ground level. She played in the back half and provided plenty of pressure to the ball carrier and at the coal face. She won a big one-on-one contest and managed to free her arms to handball to a teammate in the second term. She also won a free kick in the final quarter for a great tackle.

#30 Gemma Lagioia

Really created drive and run across the ground, always on the move. She uses her vision to kick into space and opens up the other side of the ground with kicks to her teammates advantage. She nailed a great kick on the run to O’Loughlin in the third term, and had a perfect pick-up at top speed, collecting the ball off the deck and handballing almost in the same motion – a real one-touch player. Later in the game she continued to win a fair chunk of the football and took a good intercept mark on the wing.

#38 Daisy Bateman

Could sniff out a goal in a submarine. Kicked three majors, all of which were opportunistic, right-time, right-place type goals. She could have had another had it not been punched across the line in the second term by Isabelle Pritchard. She is smart and positioned herself well in the one-on-one marking contest where she took a mark in the goal square in the third term, turned around and booted it home. Shortly after, she kicked it off the deck after the ball bounced between two Jets opponents. She dropped into the hole 30m out from goal to almost kick a third in the term but couldn’t convert with the heavy ball dropping short.

 

Western Jets:

#14 Isabella Grant

Grant covers the ground quite well and moves nicely in transition from defence to attack. She teamed up well with Isabelle Pritchard in the second term in one instance where Pritchard handballed through traffic and Grant took off, kicking long to half-forward, where it was marked by Nikita Wright. Grant seems to love to go direct because when she wins the football she takes off and kicks long down the middle of the ground. It gained some really good meterage for the Jets. She had a shot on goal in the final term but her shot was marked on the line by Bridie Winbanks.

#16 Elisabeth Georgostathis

Georgostathis put in a hard-working performance through the midfield and was one of the better Jets players on the day. Some of her most noticeable traits were her ability to pick the ball up cleanly despite the weather and be able to change direction and dispose of it quickly. She showed good vision at a centre stoppage in the second term to handball over a couple of opponents to a teammate on the outside. In the second half she made a number of strong tackles, letting her opposition know that she was there. In the final term she took a strong mark in defence, marking the ball at full flight over the top of Isabella Gietzmann.

#30 Isabelle Pritchard

Stood strong in defence with a couple of crucial one-on-one wins. Pritchard spoiled the ball in the second term to punch it across the line and stop a Daisy Bateman goal. She then took a good mark at half-back in the third term and handballed to Isabella Grant who kept the play moving. She won a one-on-one at ground level by wrestling the ball back and handballed to a teammate whilst under pressure in the third term, then laid a fantastic tackle to lock the ball up 30m from goal a few minutes later. She won an intercept possession at half-forward in the final term and showed quick hands in the middle of the ground to give it off to a teammate streaming forward.

#39 Cleo Saxon-Jones

Stood up in the final term booting a powerful goal from a set shot, which she navigated the breeze well and went straight through. She showed good defence in the third term where she found herself opposed to the speedy Gemma Lagioia and did well to punch the ball away and out of bounds but was unlucky to be called for deliberate.

#43 Caitlin Greiser

Had an early shot on goal in the first term but didn’t quite get through the big sticks, then showed her strength and smarts in the second term. Greiser was one-on-one deep and indicated to her teammate to kick it long. She positioned herself at the back, taking a mark and then not breaking stride and running into goal, backing herself in and kicking a major from the top of the goal square. In the third term she had a shot from long range but just missed to the right.

 

Geelong Falcons vs. Northern Knights

By: John Van Noorden

Geelong Falcons: 

#7 Olivia Purcell

Was wherever the team needed her all day. Her hard work in the contest was evident and her tackling was ferocious. A highlight of her game was when she executed a Dusty-like fend-off to perfection. With her efforts on the inside and in the clearances, she was best on ground for me. 

#18 Nina Morrison

She is a great reader of the play, and her intercept and contested marking was on display all day, allowing Geelong to rebound quickly and turn defence into attack. She was clean and efficient throughout the day, and laid some important tackles. She is one of those players that makes all her teammates look better.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

Her long kicking out of defence was a highlight, and never hesitated to go back with the flight. She was composed when her team needed it in the second half, and provided great structure to the Falcons backline.

#27 Denby Taylor

She was very quick, and her long kicking saw off many of Northern’s forward entries, and also set up her team well to rebound.

 

Northern Knights:

#4 Neve O’Connor

She had a big presence on the field, and was very effective at winning the hit-outs to space, and was always quick to follow up. She moves exceptionally well for a taller player, and she took a couple of great contested marks. O’Connor also delivered long kicks inside 50 to the advantage of Northern. 

#21 Ellie McKenzie

Was quiet in the first quarter (although most of the Knights were), but had an explosive patch in the middle of the second quarter. She chased and tackled, winning a free kick for her team on the back flank. She followed that with a long kick down the wing hitting her target on the chest, then sprinted forward and made a contest in the forward 50 to force a ball-up. A minute later, she was sitting on a player’s shoulders as she flew for a high mark, but could not bring the ball down. McKenzie was very influential. 

#22 Britney Gutknecht

Very classy and displayed excellent clean pick ups. Got high-quality possessions in the contest, and drew a free kick inside 25 metres but didn’t convert. Gutknecht’s composure was one reason why Northern was able to get back into the game in the second half. 

#23 Gabby Newton

She was composed under pressure and looked a level above at times. On a few occasions she displayed the awareness to change her decision at the last minute, making a better one and opening up space for teammates. Newton was strong in defence, and held the fort down well in the third quarter, enabling her teammates to mount a comeback against the breeze. Her unselfish team play was a highlight, and was best on ground for Northern in my opinion. 

 

Sandringham Dragons vs. Bendigo Pioneers 

By: Matt Balmer 

Sandringham Dragons:

#30 Eleanor Brown

Brown was a marking machine throughout the afternoon where she would’ve taken 10 plus marks. Standing at 176cm, her presence in the air made her a tough match-up for the Pioneers players. One of her standout marks was in the second quarter, where she smartly intercepted the ball. She was good marking overhead, as well on her chest. The left foot kicker also had a huge run down the ‘scoreboard’ wing in the final quarter, and was one of the Dragons’ best for the day.

#36 Jemma Owen

The Sandy Dragons skipper has the ability to break the lines, making her a damaging player. She is also willing to take players on to help get the ball moving forward. In one passage of play, she smartly ran hard to get the handball off the stationary player and used her good kick to get it moving forward. She also showed throughout the contest that she was willing to kick the ball on either foot if required.

#43 Abbie McKay

One thing I noticed about McKay was the noise that was made everytime she kicked the ball – the “thump” after every kick was obvious compared with some of the other girls and she had a long distance on her right foot. McKay also had an impressive passage of play, kicking the ball well inside 50 in the second quarter.

#46 Alice Burke

She had a quieter first half, but she got going in the second half playing a really good half. She won the opening contest of the third quarter, getting the ball and clearing it from the stoppage and kicking it inside 50. Similar to McKay, she also has a long right foot kick.

 

Bendigo Pioneers:

#19 Kodi Jacques

Played most of the game in the midfield trying hard during the contest, but the Pioneers were well and truly beaten during the match. She took an outstanding contested mark in the opening quarter and competed hard during the match. Her effort won her a free kick in the second quarter, while another highlight was a thumping right foot kick in the final quarter that hit the target up the ground.

#28 Megan Williamson

Was the Pioneers best player in my eyes, working exceptionally hard in the defensive half of the ground. The left footer did show she was willing to use it off her right foot if required, but hit most of her targets on her natural left foot. She was strong in the contest and at times, was willing to tuck it under her arm and run forward. She showed she was willing to put her head over the ball and deservingly won a free for high contact in the third term. Despite the score, she fought hard in the final term with multiple inside 50s – including a kick straight out of the middle early in the fourth quarter that ventured inside 50.

 

Greater Western Victoria Rebels vs. Gippsland Power 

By: Matt Balmer 

Greater Western Victoria Rebels:

#15 Tara Jasper

She did some nice things throughout the contest, but an outstanding piece of play had to be recognised in the third quarter. On the ‘scoreboard’ side of the ground, she laid an absolutely superb run-down tackle in the third quarter that stopped a certain inside 50 and possible goal for the Power.

#16 Lauren Butler

Was impressed with her work during the match, where she competes well around the ground, mostly playing across half-back. She puts her head over the footy, showing she is willing to win the footy in the contest.

#18 Sophie Van De Heuvel

Played almost exclusively across half forward, rarely pushing into the midfield. She did play as a high half-forward at times. What was most impressive about Van De Heuvel was her tackling, where she laid over five for the match, putting pressure on her opponents. Another impressive aspect is her recovery, while she did drop a mark in the opening term, she immediately laid a tackle on her Power opponent forcing a stoppage. She recovers well when the ball hits the turf and picks it up cleanly. She snapped a beautiful goal in the second quarter at the south end of Trevor Barker Oval.

#25 Georgia Clarke

Clarke was the player I was most impressed with for the entire day. She played almost as a quarterback role as a rebounding defender, repelling multiple Power attacks on goal. Her rebound work was outstanding and she used the ball well off her right foot. She is very agile and moves well around the ground. An intercept possession in the third quarter was a highlight and there was no doubting that Clarke was one of the Rebels’ best players.

#35 Rene Caris

Caris played in the ruck and it was the first throw-up of the day that was the most impressive, where she got up and over at the first ruck contest and hitting the ball down to a teammate. The right footer did find some football around the ground and was reasonable below her knees when the ball hit the ground in the wet conditions.

 

Gippsland Power:

#6 Emily Haeusler

Haeusler is a strong tackler, playing most of the game in the attacking half of the ground. She can use the ball reasonably well on either her left or right foot, but she hit a superb pass on the left on the wing in the second quarter. Her hands in close in the contest were good despite the slippery ball.

#28 Tyla Hanks

You only need one look at Hanks to know she is going to be an outstanding footballer in the future. Her opening quarter was superb and she almost single handedly got her Power side over the line in the tight contest. She would’ve had close to 10 disposals in the opening quarter, where she begun the contest with a big inside 50 from the stoppage. She is strong in the contest and reads the taps from the rucks exceptionally well. She has a zip of speed and gets the ball moving forward whenever possible. She exits very well from the stoppages and booted an outstanding goal in the final quarter, snapping the ball and dribbling it through the goals – which in the end was the Power’s only goal of the day.

#58 Amy Dunn

The tall played most of the match in the ruck where she competed very well. Despite the wet conditions, she took a good mark inside 50 in the second quarter. A set shot on goal went for a point on her right foot. She marked well early in the match.

TAC Cup Girls previews: Round 5

WITH the AFLW Academy stars out of TAC Cup Girls action this week, it will undoubtedly be a test of depth for all sides across the board. Headlining the round five action is the battle between two undefeated teams in Murray and Geelong. This will be the last of a triple-header at Bendigo in what is set to be a huge day, and round, of TAC Cup Girls football.

WESTERN JETS V. EASTERN RANGES

Round 5 – Saturday April 7, 12.15pm
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

In the first true home match for the Jets, they go into the game relatively unscathed with Isabella Grant being the only AFLW Academy member for Western. But they come up against the Eastern Ranges who remain undefeated after four rounds of TAC Cup Girls football.

This will be an opportunity for Western’s defence to mimic the efforts of the Pioneers last week, who kept Eastern to four goals. Katarina Rebuffo has been one of the standouts for the Jets this season and could play a big role on the weekend. Caitlin Greiser has been named in the ruck, but could assert her dominance up forward after being the sole goal-kicker for the Jets last round.

For the Eastern Ranges who have to travel to the other side of town, it will no doubt be a big test for them to get a win. Although they are undefeated, Western is hungry for a victory and Eastern’s depth will have to match the pace of the young Jets. The Ranges can trust in Lauren Szigeti who played a wonderful game against Bendigo in defence. They will also have the speedy Mikala Cann in the midfield to provide some inside run and speed.

 

BENDIGO PIONEERS V. GIPPSLAND POWER

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 11am
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

This will be an intriguing battle between two young sides. The Pioneers boast the likes of Megan Williamson and Kodi Jacques in the midfield while the Power have plenty of depth to fill Tyla Hanks’ absence this week.

Co-captain Amy Dunn will have the opportunity to take the reigns on her own at Epsom and will undoubtedly be complemented by Jazz Ferguson and Alana Rippon, who have been among Gippsland’s best players each week. The Power also have a strong defensive set-up this week with Julia Redmond and Emily Haeusler floating across half-back.

Bendigo comes into the game with an unchanged side after restricting top side Eastern Ranges to just four goals last week. Keep an eye out for Jemma Finning and Maddie Baldwin who have been playing some wonderful footy for the Pioneers. Kate Douglass has been outstanding in defence and will look to minimise the impact of Chandra Abrahams and Nikia Webber, who booted two goals in a row last week in a match-winning performance.

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS V. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 12.15pm
Preston City Oval, Preston

All eyes will be on Oakleigh in this game as gun players Hannah McLaren and Gemma Lagioia will sit out the match at Preston this week after being involved in a head clash in round four. The story is not any better for the Knights as they will be without versatile leader, Gabby Newton who is in the AFLW Academy.

However Northern has a strong line-up of players and they will certainly step up in Newton’s absence. Abigail Bennett played another stellar game last week and would be keen to get on the scoreboard in this match, starting on the half-forward flank. A key name on the team sheet is Ellie McKenzie in the midfield. McKenzie has been playing fantastic in defence since her round three debut, and will be tested against Oakleigh’s Alana Porter and Mimi Hill .

One of the biggest ins for the Chargers is star midfielder, Katie Lynch who will undoubtedly provide some firepower through the middle of the ground. Lynch was one of the best performers in her last TAC Cup game in round three and she is likely to be up there again at Preston. Daisy Bateman and Melanie Bertuna also come into the side and will be looking to tear it up in the forward-line against a formidable Northern backline.

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS V. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 12.45pm
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

In the second game of a triple-header at Bendigo, the Stingrays and the Rebels will go head-to-head with some key players missing from the game. For Dandenong, Jordyn Allen, Courtney Jones and Brooke Struylaart will sit out the round five clash while Sophie Van De Huevel, Rene Caris and Georgia Clarke will watch from the sidelines for Greater Western Victoria (GWV).

But the Rebels still have plenty of firepower in their side, with Lauren Butler likely to dominate in the midfield. Nyakoat Dojiok has hardly put a foot wrong this season and will be looking to put the pressure on the Stingrays with her pace. Sophie Molan will also be a huge presence in the midfield alongside Butler and Dojiok, getting shifted there in the absence of Caris in the ruck.

Shelley Heath will line up for the Stingrays in the midfield as she always does and could go head-to-head with the likes of Butler and Molan, which should be an intriguing battle. Also keep an eye out for Eloise Allen-Burns and Lucinda Cripps, who have been as consistent as ever in defence. Samantha Ryan will start at full-forward for the Stingrays and will be hungry to kick some goals to lead her side to their first win of the season.

 

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS V. CALDER CANNONS

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 1.15pm
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham

The Sandringham Dragons are arguably one of the strongest sides going into this round with no AFLW Academy absentees holding them back. It is a different story for the Cannons though as captain, Madison Prespakis as well as Georgia Patrikios and Molly Warburton will have to sit out the match.

Prespakis has been Calder’s best player in pretty much every match they have played this season so her loss will be a massive test for the Cannons. To soften the blow of her absence, the Cannons have the speed and acceleration of Grace Dicker as well as the endurance of Faith Holloway to provide some run through the middle of the ground. Zoe Hardiman will line up forward alongside Georgia Marsland, who was proactive inside 50 last week.

But Hardiman and Marsland could have a battle on their hands with Sarah Hartwig, Alice Burke and Laura Amelung in great form across the back-line. Eliza McNamara and Jasmine Tait will look to nullify the impact of Dicker and Holloway in the midfield, and could also float around the ground to add some versatility to the Dragons line-up. Jemma Owen played a true captain’s game against Dandenong and will be looking to lead her side to a win at home.

 

GEELONG FALCONS V. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 5 – Sunday April 8, 2.30pm
Epsom Huntly Reserve, Epsom

Round five has saved the best until last with two undefeated teams going head-to-head at Epsom. But both teams have quite a lengthy list of outs. Geelong will be without Lucy McEvoy, Olivia Purcell, Denby Taylor, Eliza Shannon and Nina Morrison. The Bushrangers will be without Rebecca Webster, Eloise Ashley-Cooper and Millie Brown.

But Murray still has star player Grace Egan, who will start forward after playing in defence throughout the season. Julia Harvey and Tamara Smith will also still be running around for the Bushrangers, and will be looking to continue their red-hot form against Geelong. Chelsea Knight and Sophie Damon will be key players in the midfield as they aim to combat the Falcons who are fresh off a 70-point victory.

Despite the absence of five key players, Geelong’s side still looks strong as Sophie Walmsley, Paige Sheppard and Tarryn Love headline the midfield. Abbey Chapman and Mia Sheppard will look to hold down the fort in defence in the absence of Denby Taylor. The Geelong forward-line is still strong with Sachi DeGiacomi dominating at half-forward while Renee Tierney is coming off a four-goal performance last week.

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Girls – Round 4

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

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Sandringham Dragons 

By: Peter Williams 

Dandenong: 

#3 Courtney Jones

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

#15 Jordyn Allen

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

#26 Isabella Shannon

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

#29 Brooke Struylaart

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

#35 Lucinda Cripps

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

Others:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sandringham: 

#36 Jemma Owen

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

#43 Abbie McKay

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

#46 Alice Burke

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

#49 Laura Amelung

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

#56 Georgia Emberton

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

Others:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Murray Bushrangers vs. Western Jets 

By: Taylah Melki

Murray: 

#1 Julia Harvey

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

#16 Eloise Ashley-Cooper

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

#17 Rebecca Webster

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

#19 Millie Brown

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

#22 Tamara Smith

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

Others:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Western: 

#2 Caitlin Gashi

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

#8 Emily Gardner

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

#14 Isabella Grant

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

#26 Isabella Negri

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

#43 Caitlin Greiser

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

Others:

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

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

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

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

 

Northern Knights vs. GWV Rebels 

By: James Halley

Northern: 

#7 Abigail Bennett

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

#14 Jessica Fitzgerald

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

#24 Alexandra Pronesti

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

#27 Paije Kearney

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

Others: 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

GWV: 

#15 Tara Jasper

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

#18 Sophie Van De Heuvel

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

#23 Sophie Molan

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

#25 Georgia Clarke

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

#27 Nyakoat Dojiok

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

 

 

Others: 

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

 

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Geelong Falcons 

Oakleigh:

#2 Mimi Hill

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

#16 Alana Porter

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

#17 Nicola Xenos

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

#32 Chloe O’Malley

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

#21 Charlotte Moon

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

#70 Peggy-Sue Fennell

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

 

Others:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Geelong: 

 

 

#7 Olivia Purcell

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

#10 Nina Morrison

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

#15 Lucy McEvoy

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

 

#17 Denby Taylor

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

#25 Renee Tierney

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

 Others:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Team selection: TAC Cup Girls – Round 4

THERE are plenty of changes for round four of the TAC Cup Girls competition which will be played on Tuesday following the long Easter weekend. With names such as Sophie Van De Heuvel, Rene Caris, Isabella Gietzmann and Paige Buruma among those set to return, the teams are packed to the brim full of talent. As they are scattered across Victoria, it is hoped plenty of spectators will get down to check out the top junior girls football competition in the state.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS vs. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 
Round 4 – Tuesday, April 3, 12pm
Robinson Reserve, Doveton

In the opening game of the round, Dandenong Stingrays will take on Sandringham Dragons at Doveton in what could be the match of the round. The Stingrays are still searching for their first win, while the Dragons have one win from three matches, but both sides seem considerably better than their win-loss ratios. The Stingrays have made three changes to the side that fell short against the Geelong Falcons in round two, and are looking quite strong across the pitch.

Stingrays Eloise Allen-Burns, Courtney Jones and Lucinda Cripps will hold down the fort in defence, while Jordyn Allen, Isabella Shannon and inclusion Eliza Wilson-Macdonald will look to take advantage through the middle. The half-forward line of Shelley Heath, Samantha Ryan and Brooke Struylaart looks ominous and will match up well against the Dragons’ half-backs.

Winnie Laing will start on-ball after beginning in defence the last couple of weeks, while Eleanor Brown will look to continue her red-hot form along the wing. Sarah Hartwig is a lynch-pin in defence, while Jasmine Tait, Alice Burke and Abbie McKay are among the other players who have had some good form of late.

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 5. E. Allen-Burns, 51. Z. Hill, 37. J. Lilley
HB: 3. C. Jones, 35. L. Cripps, 12. M. McDonald
C: 46. J.  George, 20. E.  Wilson-Macdonald, 28. T.  Smith
HF: 1. S. Heath, 44. S. Ryan, 29. B. Struylaart
F: 2. S. Stratton, 42. A. O’Sullivan, 31. B. Vernon
R: 45. M. Graham, 26. I. Shannon, 15. J. Allen
Int: 19. B. Borchard, 40. R. Clancy – Dillon, 47. L. Metcalfe, 7. L. O’Connell-Webb

In: L. O’Connell-Webb, J. Lilley, E. Wilson-Macdonald
Out: A. Jordan,  N. Taylor,  G. Hodder

Sandringham Dragons

B: 58. G. Bridges, 24. T. Grasso, 46. A. Burke
HB: 49. L. Amelung, 32. S. Hartwig, 23. C. Bowen
C: 30. E.  Brown, 43. A.  McKay, 5. J.  Tait
HF: 25. I. Eddey, 3. S. Rothfield, 36. J. Owen
F: 31. B. Arnold, 50. H. Bate, 1. M. Wilson
R: 20. A. Dalley, 64. E. McNamara, 2. W. Laing
Int: 48. N. Amiet, 33. M. Denahy Maloney, 56. G. Emberton, 60. G. Strangio

In: T. Grasso, G. Emberton, N. Amiet, C. Bowen
Out: T. Tysoe

BENDIGO PIONEERS vs. EASTERN RANGES
Round 4 – Tuesday, April 3, 1pm
Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve, Epsom Huntly

The Bendigo Pioneers will be looking to bounce back from two consecutive losses when they welcome the Eastern Ranges to Epsom Huntly on Tuesday. The Ranges are in superb form having not lost a game and will be looking to continue their winning streak in round four. Respective captains, Megan Williamson for the Pioneers, and Emerson Woods and Charlotte Wilson for the Ranges, will lead from the front in the clash to try and get their teams over the line.

While goalkicking forward Sophie Kerridge will be a big loss for the Pioneers, the two sides have made a combined 12 changes meaning there will be plenty of fresh talent out on the park. Kodi Jacques will no doubt continue her strong form through the midfield, while Kate Douglass is a rock in defence. 15 year-old Grace Barton will head straight to full-forward and is one of many bottom-age and 15/16 year-olds fronting up for the Pioneers side. Dayna Kelly-Guthrie will have her work cut out for her in the ruck taking on the in-form Sarah Kendall, while winger Jemma Finning and rover Maddie Baldwin are others who will form a strong Pioneers midfield.

For Eastern, the half-back line of Wilson, Georgia Macpherson and Lauren Szigeti provide plenty of rebound out of defence, while Olivia Meagher will move into the strong midfield group including Woods and Mikala Cann after Meagher played and outstanding match last week. Laura McClelland is the dangerous half-forward, while Paige Buruma is a strong inclusion to an already talented squad. The Ranges have good depth across the park and the game is expected to be quite fast with plenty of nimble, smaller players, while the Ranges height could be a key factor in the game.

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 3. C. Isaac, 32. S. Reilly, 14. O. Taverna
HB: 24. E. Gretgrix, 20. K. Douglass, 25. T. Stewart
C: 11. J.  Finning, 28. M.  Williamson, 21. H.  Spencer
HF: 30. B. Heiden, 8. S. Knoll, 26. L. Newton
F: 27. B. Hards, 7. G. Barton, 1. M. Tupper
R: 9. D. Kelly-Guthrie, 19. K. Jacques, 2. M. Baldwin
Int: A. Bodilly, 15. T. Goodrem, 29. E. Snell, 5. E. Turnbull

In: A. Bodilly, E. Snell, E. Gretgrix, S. Knoll, G. Barton, L. Newton, H. Spencer
Out: E. Cooper,  S. Kerridge ,  T. Coad,  G. Murrell,  M. Ward,  G. Sladden,  I. Gould

Eastern Ranges

B: 18. A. Allsopp, 43. A. Tognazzini, 45. M. Wandin
HB: 37. G. Macpherson, 49. C. Wilson, 48. L. Szigeti
C: 35. B.  Cubitt, 39. O.  Meagher, 8. C.  Delbridge
HF: 6. G. De Angelis, 42. M. Taverna, 38. L. McClelland
F: 47. J. Provan, 28. L. Kelly, 15. J. Torney
R: 46. S. Kendall, 21. M. Cann, 3. E. Woods
Int: 9. P. Buruma, 16. E. Horne, 51. J. McCormick, 41. J. Richardson

In: M. Wandin, J. McCormick, A. Tognazzini, L. Kelly, J. Torney, P. Buruma
Out: M. Kendall, N. Cormack , C. Chamberlain, S. Bowden

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS vs. WESTERN JETS
Round 4 – Tuesday, April 3, 1.45pm
Memorial Oval, Euroa

Both these teams will have a point to prove heading into round four. After a draw last week, the Bushrangers will be going all-out to collect the four points against the Western Jets in their clash at Memorial Oval, Euroa. But for the Jets, they almost knocked off Calder Cannons to claim their first win in the competition, but a last quarter burst by the Cannons saw Calder take the win.

On Tuesday, the Bushrangers head in with another strong side, minus Kate Adams who was among five changes for the home team. With Grace Egan and Eloise Ashley-Cooper providing great support down back, Rebecca Webster the star in midfield, and Sophie Damon, Julia Harvey and Claudia McKimmie providing plenty of firepower up forward, there is no shortage of depth across the team. Small midfielder Tamara Smith has shown some good form this season, as has ruck Olivia Barber who can also turn a game down forward.

For the Jets, they have made at least seven changes with three added to emergencies for their road trip up north. Their key forward combination of Isabella Grant, Cleo Saxon-Jones and Caitlin Greiser will provide plenty of height inside 50, while Isabella Pritchard and Maddison Eve-Fenech have been named as respective half-backs. Last week Elizabeth Georgiostathis was named in our TAC Cup Girls Team of the Week after some great form, while the exciting Kelera Ratu is among the inclusions for Western.

Murray Bushrangers

B: 33. M. Trethowan, 44. M. Eze, 32. N. Watts
HB: 16. E. Ashley-Cooper, 42. G. Egan, 14. A. Duguid
C: 11. A.  Chessor, 17. R.  Webster, 3. P.  Crelley
HF: 19. M. Brown, 5. C. Hargreaves, 1. J. Harvey
F: 8. O. Hall, 37. S. Damon, 36. C. Mckimmie
R: 45. O. Barber, 22. T. Smith, 4. C. Knight
Int: 40. M. Cook, 25. E. Freeman, 23. E. Hibble, 34. E. McPherson

In: C. Hargreaves, M. Cook, E. Hibble, M. Eze, E. Freeman
Out: K. Adams,  T. Verhoeven,  S. Locke,  C. Boschetti,  E. Nicholson

Western Jets

B: 1. M. Gregory, 42. A. Bolt , 26. I. Negri
HB: 21. M. Fenech, 40. S. Whiting, 30. I. Pritchard
C: 22. A.  Chivell, 19. O.  Forsythe, 27. P.  Ozols
HF: 43. C. Greiser, 14. I. Grant, 12. K. O’Keefe
F: 15. H. Bult, 39. C. Saxon-Jones, 2. C. Gashi
R: 25. T. Kolevski, 16. E. Georgiostathis, 8. E. Gardner
Int: 33. L. Basto, 3. A. Lowe, 44. C. Myors-Moore, 20. K. Ratu

In: K. Ratu, K. O’Keefe, A. Bolt , I. Negri, E. Cassar, A. Lowe, M. Gregory, H. Bult, E. Hannett, S. Forbes
Out: L. Spargo, L. Wright, T. Evans, J. Goodman, I. Freeman, K. Rebuffo, M. Daw

GIPPSLAND POWER vs. CALDER CANNONS
Round 4 – Tuesday, April 3, 2.45pm
Morwell Recreation Reserve, Morwell

Heading down the highway on Tuesday, Gippsland Power face the Calder Cannons at home. Gippsland has collected six of a possible eight points in the past two weeks, while Calder won its first game of the season against Western last weekend. A head-to-head between Power star Tyla Hanks and Calder gun Madison Prespakis would be a highlight for spectators.

Gippsland’s form over the past fortnight has unearthed some more depth with defenders Emily Haeusler and Julia Redmond, midfielders Alana Rippon and Ebony Jones, and forwards Nikia Webber, Chandra Abrahams and the versatile ruck/forward/midfielder Jazz Ferguson all impressive of late. The Power have some impressive kicks of the football and they will look to control the tempo and hit-up targets down forward while running all day long.

Calder will look to win the midfield battle with Prespakis, Georgia Patrikios, Grace Dicker and Felicity Theodore among the names rotating through there. Patrikios played her best game for the season last week with a strong performance going forward and kicking a crucial last quarter goal. Down back, Eleanor Cornish and Molly Warburton will provide good support, while up forward, Rose Love and Georgia Marsland are just a couple of four tall targets up front for the Cannons, while Zoe Hardiman will provide the crumbing work at ground level.

Gippsland Power

B: 29. C. Bray, 65. J. Redmond, 17. S. Trewin
HB: 6. E. Haeusler , 45. L. Van Berkel, 49. M. Shaw
C: 1. E.  Jones, 28. T.  Hanks, 30. A.  Rippon
HF: 8. C. Abrahams, 27. N. Webber, 12. M. Fitzsimon
F: 47. E. Cornish , 60. E. Williams, 4. J. Ross
R: 58. A. Dunn, 31. L. Berry, 57. J. Ferguson
Int: 13. H. Andrews, 21. H. Balmer, 2. S. Beaton, 9. T. Whitehead

In: S. Beaton, L. Raymond , S. Symes, T. Whitehead, H. Balmer, E. Cornish
Out: S. Walker,  T. Dower,  M. Van Berkel

Calder Cannons

B: 29. S. Elias, 48. C. Brown, 44. I. McNeill-Wren
HB: 8. E. Vale, 17. E. Cornish, 9. M. Warburton
C: 11. A.  Barba, 23. G.  Dicker, 21. G.  Patrikios
HF: 32. T. Fry , 28. R. Love, 34. Z. Hardiman
F: 49. T. Crook, 15. G. Marsland, 25. A. Magri
R: 18. C. Rendelmann, 2. F. Theodore, 3. M. Prespakis
Int: 4. T. Cook, 37. F. Holloway, 31. K. Petrevski, 35. I. Young

In: H. Cooke, K. Sutton, G. Elarmaly, L. Philippou, G. Marsland, T. Cook
Out: M. Muller, C. Hodgson

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS vs. GEELONG FALCONS
Round 4 – Tuesday, April 4, 2.45pm
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

Oakleigh Chargers will be able to test themselves against another genuine challenger this week in the Geelong Falcons. The Chargers were well beaten by the Eastern Ranges last week, but managed to show signs later in the game they could compete with the top clubs. Geelong racked up its third week against the Stingrays, but had a real fight on its hands for most of the game.

The Chargers have some really talented ball users through the midfield, with Gemma Lagioia on the wing with Mimi Hill attacking from the other side of the ground. Hannah McLaren and Bridie Winbanks straighten up the side in the key position forward posts, while Nicola Xenos provides some run out of defence with Amber Micallef. The team will be without Katie Lynch this week but could finally see Isabella Gietzmann in action who was due to play last week but did not. Alana Porter, Emily Harley and Charlotte Moon are a strong onball brigade, with Porter having speed to burn.

Looking at Geelong’s side, the versatile Lucy McEvoy has been named in the centre just when you thought the Falcons ominous midfield could not get any stronger. Nina Morrison and Olivia Purcell are among the top midfielders in the competition and they will look to rove to Zoe Inei who has shown good form early in the season. Up forward, Sachi DeGiacomi has become a target, while Samantha Atkins provides great tackling pressure, as does Denby Taylor down back.

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 50. C. Nancarrow, 45. T. Cowan, 17. N. Xenos
HB: 6. T. Johnson, 39. T. Nichols, 26. A. Micallef
C: 2. M.  Hill, 70. P.  Fennell, 30. G.  Lagioia
HF: 29. M. Bertuna, 14. H. McLaren, 43. E. Hastie
F: 33. G. Byrne, 11. B. Winbanks, 18. I. Gietzmann
R: 21. C. Moon, 19. E. Harley, 16. A. Porter
Int: 52. L. Harris, 9. E. Jackson, 15. A. Ling, 32. C. O’Malley

In: E. Hastie, I. Gietzmann, G. Relph, Z. Makris, A. Dyer
Out: A. van Oosterwijck,  K. Lynch

Geelong Falcons

B: 24. S. Dinneen, 23. A. Chapman, 22. M. Sheppard
HB: 11. K. Haustorfer , 21. S. Hungerford, 17. D. Taylor
C: 16. K.  Gleeson, 15. L.  McEvoy, 10. N.  Morrison
HF: 8. S. Atkins, 26. S. DeGiacomi, 9. L. Lesosky-Hay
F: 18. S. Milsome, 25. R. Tierney, 1. E. Vella
R: 19. Z. Inei, 7. O. Purcell, 14. T. Love
Int: 30. E. Allan, 12. J. Devarakonda, 27. E. Lawson, 20. S. Walmsley

In: S. Hungerford, E. Allan Out: P. Sheppard, M. Skinner

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS
Round 4 – Tuesday, April 3, 2.45pm
Mill Park Lakes Recreation Reserve, Mill Park

A bolstered GWV Rebels outfit will travel to Mill Park full of confidence after obtaining victory over Bendigo Pioneers – the Rebels’ first for the season. Meanwhile the Knights need no confidence booster, having met every challenge thrown at them thus far. This game is building to be a great contest, as both sides will front up with plenty of stars out on the park.

The midfield battle in particular will be one to watch. The Knights have got Neve O’Connor, Britney Gutknecht, Gabby Newton and Maddy Brancatisano on-ball, while Alyssa Bennett and Mika Suzuki provide the need for speed down back. Nell Morris-Dalton and Alyssa Bannan are strong targets up forward for the Knights, while Jess and Ciara Fitzgerald, and Alex Pronesti are among the made players that can rotate through the forward line. Many are excited to see what Ellie McKenzie can do this week after the 15 year-old was sensational off half-back last weekend.

For the Rebels, Rene Caris comes in for her first game of the season and is named at full-forward, while the talented and classy Sophie Van De Heuvel also returns to the team among five changes. Van De Heuvel joins the in-form pair of Lauren Butler and Sophie Molan on the ball, while Nyakoat Dojiok and Hannah Simpson will provide drive into the forward line. Centre-half back Georgia Clarke will be a leader in defence, while the likes of Isabella Simmons and Nekaela Butler will provide support across the ground coming off the bench.

Northern Knights

B: 1. M. Antypas, 26. E. Clayton, 27. P. Kearney
HB: 7. A. Bennett, 18. S. Sansonetti, 13. M. Suzuki
C: 12. O.  Dikranis, 5. M.  Brancatisano, 2. M.  Jarvis
HF: 17. C. Fitzgerald, 3. N. Morris-Dalton, 14. J. Fitzgerald
F: 8. G. Ceravolo, 6. A. Bannan, 24. A. Pronesti
R: 4. N. O’Connor, 22. B. Gutknecht, 23. G. Newton
Int: 10. P. Chisholm, 21. E. McKenzie, 25. T. Mills, 34. M. Uwland

In: M. Uwland, S. Sansonetti, M. Rodezno, T. Mills
Out: T. Manson

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 34. S. Glover, 26. G. Pidgeon, 14. L. Sykes
HB: 15. T. Jasper, 25. G. Clarke, 7. A. McAuliffe
C: 27. N.  Dojiok, 18. S.  Van De Heuvel, 10. H.  Simpson
HF: 13. C. Leonard, 21. D. Henson, 2. R. Saulitis
F: 9. J. McAuliffe , 35. R. Caris, 22. I. Rustman
R: 43. M. Caris, 16. L. Butler, 23. S. Molan
Int: 6. N. Butler, 11. T. Marra, 19. K. McAloon, 28. I. Simmons

In: K. McAloon, R. Caris, S. Van De Heuvel, T. Heath, M. Caris
Out: K. Harris, E. Bibby, A. Nicholson, E. Wood, I. Robson

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Girls – Round 2

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

Eastern Ranges vs. Dandenong Stingrays

Eastern:

#3 Emerson Woods

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

#26 Tarni Brown

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

#37 Georgia Macpherson

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

#38 Laura McClelland

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

#46 Sarah Kendall

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

Others:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Dandenong:

#1 Shelley Heath

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

#15 Jordyn Allen

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

#26 Isabella Shannon

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

#35 Lucinda Cripps

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

#44 Samantha Ryan

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

Others:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sandringham Dragons vs. Oakleigh Chargers

Sandringham:

#2 Winnie Laing

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

#30 Eleanor Brown

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

#32 Sarah Hartwig

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

#43 Abbie McKay

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

#64 Eliza McNamara

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

Others:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Oakleigh:

#3 Jasmine D’Amato

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

#14 Hannah McLaren

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

#17 Nicola Xenos

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

#32 Chloe O’Malley

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

#30 Gemma Lagioia

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

Others:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Western Jets vs. Gippsland Power

Western:

#14 Isabella Grant

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

#16 Elizabeth Georgiostathis

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

#19 Olivia Forsythe

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

#30 Isabella Pritchard

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

#31 Katrina Rebuffo

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

Others:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Gippsland:

#6 Emily Hauesler

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

#27 Nikia Webber

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

#28 Tyla Hanks

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

#30 Leyla Berry

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

#57 Jazz Ferguson

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

Others:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Calder Cannons vs. Northern Knights 

By Julia Montesano 

Calder: 

#3 Madison Prespakis:

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

#9 Molly Warburton: 

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

#29 Stephanie Elias:

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

#23 Grace Dicker:

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

#21 Georgia Patrikios:

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

 

Northern:

#7: Abigail Bennett

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

#23: Gabby Newton

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

#14 Jess Fitzgerald

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

#6 Alyssa Bannan

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

#3 Nell Morris-Dalton

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

Others: 

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

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

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

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

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