Tag: Richelle Cranston

AFLW Draft review: Melbourne

MELBOURNE will field a new-look line-up in 2019, suffering a loss of players to expansion clubs, North Melbourne and Geelong. With only five spots (they passed one pick) in the draft, the Demons had to pick their players carefully.

 

What they needed:

  • Midfielders to aid the loss of Daisy Pearce (inactive) and Richelle Cranston
  • Rucks to replace Erin Hoare and Alyssa Mifsud
  • Defenders to support Talia Radan and cover the loss of Laura Duryea and Anna Teague

 

Players selected:

Tyla Hanks – Gippsland Power

Hanks was one of the hardest and most skillful midfielders in the TAC Cup Girls competition. She plays very similarly to Madison Prespakis through her clean ball-use and long kicking. She can also head up forward when her side is in trouble, making her a very valuable asset for the Demons. Hanks was awarded with a place in the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year and the AFL Women’s Under 18 All Australian side, after being a co-captain of the Gippsland Power this year. She will be a key player in helping to aid the loss of Daisy Pearce.

Madeline Brancatisano – Northern Knights

Like Hanks, Brancatisano also had a leadership role this year, leading her Northern Knights to a TAC Cup Girls Grand Final. Brancatisano is a smart inside midfielder who has clean hands and a consistent desire to win the ball in congestion. She can also add valuable defensive pressure in the middle, proving how much of a role player she is. Brancatisano earned a spot in the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year and also spent some time with Carlton in the VFLW, adding some valuable experience to her game ahead of her AFL Women’s debut in 2019.

Jordann Hickey – NT Thunder

Jordann Hickey covers the loss of Alyssa Mifsud, who was delisted by the Demons in the AFL Women’s off-season. Hickey was consistent up forward for the NT Thunder this season, kicking 14 goals from 14 games. She played 14 matches and was named in the best three times. Hickey’s overhead marking and accurate kicking will be quite valuable in the Demons’ line-up, and she can also act as a back-up ruck.

Shelley Heath – Dandenong Stingrays

Shelley Heath is a great addition to the Melbourne line-up, thanks to her exciting run and carry out of the back pocket. She will inject some speed into the defensive 50, and could burn off a lot of players with that pace. Heath is also clever with the ball in hand, thanks to her clean hands and long kicks. She should do well to cover the losses of Anna Teague and Laura Duryea in the back line.

 

How they went:

Melbourne definitely needed midfielders in this draft and the Demons took two great ones in Hanks and Brancatisano. The duo will be great additions to a potent midfield that contains the likes of Karen Paxman and Elise O’Dea. Up forward, Tegan Cunningham will combine with Jordann Hickey, giving the Demons a powerful line-up inside 50. The Demons might struggle in defence, as the loss of bigger bodies such as Anna Teague could hurt them. It will be interesting to see how Melbourne approaches its ruck situation after losing Erin Hoare and Alyssa Mifsud. The Demons could have picked up a designated ruck in the draft but elected not to.

AFLW Draft review: Geelong

THE Cats trusted in their local talent, drafting six players from either the TAC Cup Girls or Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s team ahead of their inaugural season. Two players were drafted from the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, while one hailed from the Murray Bushrangers. After making it to the VFLW Grand Final, coach, Paul Hood appears to have huge faith in his local ready-made talent.

 

What they needed:

  • Midfield support for Richelle Cranston and Cassie Blakeway
  • Defenders to assist Anna Teague and Melissa Hickey
  • Versatility to cover any injury troubles

 

Players selected:

Nina Morrison – Geelong Falcons

There is not much that hasn’t been said about Nina Morrison. She was long touted as the number one pick, and lived out that dream. At the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, Morrison also took home the Vic Country Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the overall tournament MVP with Madison Prespakis. She also shared the TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest award with Prespakis. Now, Morrison has the opportunity to show the nation what she’s made of and undoubtedly, her electric chase-down speed and fierce tackling will be on display. Her explosiveness down the wing combined with her ability to rack up the footy will be invaluable for the Cats.

Sophie Van De Heuvel – GWV Rebels

Van De Heuvel’s versatility will be of much use to the Cats. She played mostly in the forward line during the TAC Cup Girls season but also spent some time in the midfield in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, highlighting her ability to break the lines and penetrate forward. Van De Heuvel was GWV’s leading goal kicker this year with six goals from seven games and made the 2018 TAC Cup Girls and All Australian teams on the half-forward flank. She will be a great help to Kate Darby, Danielle Orr and Phoebe McWilliams inside 50.

Rebecca Webster – Murray Bushrangers

Webster is another versatile player, but thrives off running off the half-back line. She can shift into the midfield when needed as well, due to her valuable booming kick that sends her team forward. She was named at full-back in the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year and represented Vic Country this year, making herself known in defence. Webster is a great overhead mark and has brilliant run and carry, which will really assist the smarts of Anna Teague and Melissa Hickey.

Olivia Purcell – Geelong Falcons

Purcell was one of the fiercest players in the TAC Cup Girls competition, hurting players with her clearances and aggressive tackling. Purcell’s immense power helps her break through congestion and enforce her blistering run and carry. She had a marvellous year, taking home the Geelong Falcons’ Best and Fairest, playing in a premiership with the side, playing in a Grand Final for the Cats’ VFLW side, making the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year and All Australian team. She will provide great support for Richelle Cranston, who can also hurt players with her power, aggression and run and carry.

Denby Taylor – Geelong Falcons

Denby Taylor was one of the smartest defenders in the TAC Cup Girls season, hurting players with her solid hands and run and carry off the half-back flank. She can be rotated through any position in defence, and also proved she could dominate on the wing, winning the best on ground award in the TAC Cup Girls Grand Final while playing in that position. It will be interesting to see what Paul Hood does with her, given her capabilities, but undoubtedly, she is a very handy pick-up for the Cats.

Georgia Clarke – GWV Rebels

Another defender with solid hands, Clarke and Taylor should work together in the back half to prevent opposition scoring. The Rebels defender made centre-half back her own in the TAC Cup Girls competition, creating a wall with her strong marking and kicking. Clarke was named in the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year as the centre-half back, represented Vic Country in this year’s AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships and also spent some time with the AFL Women’s Academy.

Rene Caris – GWV Rebels

With a ruck line-up of Erin Hoare, Aasta O’Connor, Maddy Boyd, Kate Darby and the newly added Rene Caris, the Cats should dominate the midfield. Caris not only has a great leap but is agile at ground level, thanks to her clean hands and precise kicking. She was named in the TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year and also spent some time with the AFL Women’s Academy, giving her valuable experience in the Cats line-up. Caris featured for Carlton in the VFLW season, and proved that she could match it up against the bigger bodies in the AFL Women’s competition.

Maighan Fogas – Geelong VFLW

Maighan Fogas was one of Geelong’s most consistent midfielders this year in the VFLW, thanks to her exciting run and carry, clean hands and accurate kicking. She came second in Geelong’s VFLW Best and Fairest after playing 17 matches and being named in the best seven times. Her ability to fight for the ball in congestion made her a standout during the season, and if she continues to bring this trait into the AFL Women’s season, it will prove vital in the Geelong midfield.

Elise Coventry – Geelong VFLW

Coventry is your traditional no-fuss defender that consistently gets the job done. She is a great lockdown defender, which will prove vital if the Cats are to stop dangerous attacking teams such as the Western Bulldogs. Coventry finished in the top 10 of Geelong’s Best and Fairest and played 17 games for six appearances in the best.

Madeline Keryk – Geelong VFLW

Keryk worked incredibly hard to get back onto an AFL Women’s list in the off-season, after getting delisted by the Blues. She went over to the Cats halfway through the VFLW season and made an immediate impact with her ability to consistently rack up the footy and kick or handball long to get it out of congestion. Out of her 12 games during the season, she featured in the best on eight occasions, proving how damaging she is in the midfield. Her finals series was one to remember as well, gathering double-figure disposals in each match. Keryk’s experience combined with the youth of Morrison and Purcell will be fantastic to watch.

 

How they went:

Geelong has built a fantastic AFL Women’s side ahead of its first season in the competition.The Cats’ midfield will include Morrison, Purcell, Keryk, their forward line will feature the likes of Darby, Orr and McWilliams while their defence will be stacked with Clarke, Taylor and Coventry set to make a big impact. Add the ruck stocks of Aasta O’Connor, Erin Hoare and Rene Caris, and the Cats all of a sudden look very threatening to make a big statement in their first season of AFL Women’s.

AFLW Draft preview: Melbourne

MELBOURNE has been dealt a big blow in the AFLW off-season, losing captain and gun midfielder, Daisy Pearce, as well as excitement machine, Richelle Cranston and the experienced Melissa Hickey. However, the Demons have been quick to fix up their list, adding former Carlton midfielder, Maddison Gay, as well as Talia Radan from Adelaide. With exciting rookies at the helm and a couple of early draft picks, Melbourne could be primed for a successful AFL Women’s Draft.

 

Last season: 3rd

IN: Maddison Gay, Talia Radan, Shae Sloane (rookie), Chantel Emonson (rookie), Casey Sherriff (replacement player for Daisy Pearce)
OUT: Richelle Cranston, Melissa Hickey, Erin Hoare (rookie), Anna Teague (rookie), Jasmine Grierson, Emma Humphries, Laura Duryea, Maddie Shevlin (rookie) and Alyssa Mifsud

MELBOURNE AFLW LIST (23 /30)

  • Harriet Cordner
  • Tegan Cunningham
  • Meg Downie
  • Chantel Emonson
  • Maddison Gay
  • Madeleine Guerin
  • Ashleigh Guest
  • Kate Hore
  • Bianca Jakobsson
  • Ainslie Kemp
  • Sarah Lampard
  • Lily Mithen
  • Aliesha Newman
  • Elise O’Dea
  • Brooke Patterson
  • Karen Paxman
  • Lauren Pearce
  • Catherine Phillips
  • Talia Radan
  • Shelley Scott
  • Casey Sherriff
  • Shae Sloane
  • Katherine Smith

DRAFT PICKS

6, 15, 31, 43, 51

POSSIBLE DRAFT PROSPECTS

With the loss of Melissa Hickey and Anna Teague, Melbourne will be looking to boost its defensive stocks in this draft. Vic Country representative, Jordyn Allen is a potential player who could don the red and blue in 2019, as she has done so for Casey in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s. An intercept marking machine and a clever footballer who can also play in the midfield, Allen would be a good fit for Melbourne’s new-look line-up. Another great intercept marker is Eastern Ranges’ Georgia Macpherson. Macpherson represented Vic Metro this year and also has a great set of hands, complementing this with her exciting run and carry. Northern Knights captain, Madeline Brancatisano is a player who could help fill the void of Daisy Pearce and Richelle Cranston in the midfield. Brancatisano is a midfielder who has great hands under pressure and can keep key players quiet. Along with being a great on-field leader, Brancatisano has experience on the big stage, playing in the TAC Cup Girls Grand Final this year. Melbourne will also be hoping that Gippsland Power co-captain, Tyla Hanks is still available after five picks, as the Demons would love to add her agility and football smarts to their depleted midfield.

Season reviews: VFLW – Geelong

GEELONG had one of the most consistent Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s seasons. The Cats only suffered one big loss during the season with the other two being respectable margins. They turned it on in the finals and made it all the way to the big stage from fourth place.

 

Position: 4th (Runners-up)
Win-loss: 10-3
Percentage: 163%

Results:

Round 1: Defeated Melbourne University by 39 points
Round 2: Drew with Collingwood
Round 3: Defeated Williamstown by 53 points
Round 4: Defeated Carlton by seven points
Round 5: Defeated Melbourne University by one point
Round 6: Defeated Darebin by 15 points
Round 7: Bye
Round 8: Lost against Western Bulldogs by 22 points
Round 9: Lost against NT Thunder by 65 points
Round 10: Defeated Southern Saints by 38 points
Round 11: Defeated Casey Demons by 41 points
Round 12: Bye
Round 13: Defeated Richmond by 59 points
Round 14: Defeated Essendon by 45 points
Round 15: Defeated Casey Demons by 37 points
Round 16: Lost against Hawthorn by 16 points

 

Key players:

#7 Mia-Rae Clifford

Clifford was a deserved VFLW Team of the Year member after she transformed her game this season. After previously spending time as a defender, Clifford made the forward line her own at the Cats and had a consistent season in front of the sticks. She kicked 15 goals from 17 games and topped off her solid year with a fifth place finish in Geelong’s Best and Fairest count. One of her best games came in Round 5, when she kicked two goals, gathered 20 disposals, took eight marks and laid seven tackles.

#13 Maighan Fogas

Fogas was a ball magnet throughout the year for the Cats. She was an agile player who could use the football really well, whether it was by hand or by foot. Fogas finished second in Geelong’s Best and Fairest count after a solid year in the midfield. She was a crucial player in Geelong’s one-point win over Melbourne University, racking up 23 disposals and laying eight tackles.

#24 Maddy McMahon

McMahon was a real handy player for the Cats as they were able to throw her into a variety of positions. She impressed with her versatility throughout the year and looked like a ready-made AFL Women’s player, which earned her a spot on Geelong’s list. McMahon finished third in Geelong’s Best and Fairest count after averaging 14.1 disposals, 2.7 marks and 12 hitouts per game this season. She led the way in Round 4 with 22 disposals, four marks and five tackles in the Geelong’s win over Carlton.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Cranston was a deserved winner of Geelong’s VFLW Best and Fairest, with a stellar year in the midfield. Her strength in congestion was almost unmatchable as she was able to break the lines and use her long kick to propel her side forward. Cranston was also named in the VFLW Team of the Year as she consistently racked up high numbers of disposals throughout the season, proving to be a real headache for opposition sides. She had a stellar game in Round 5, gathering 26 disposals, taking five marks and laying six tackles.

#44 Rebecca Goring

The Geelong skipper led from the front all season, matching up on key players in defence and keeping them quiet. Goring was smart with her ball use, and used it well by hand and by foot. Her run and carry out of defensive 50 was also handy, as it allowed the Cats to go forward with ease. In Round 11, Goring played a great game against Casey, racking up 18 disposals and taking seven marks.

#45 Madeline Keryk

Keryk has probably been one of the most successful mid-season recruits in the VFLW. She played 12 games for the Cats this season (including finals) and her impact was profound. Keryk’s inside work was spectacular as she was able to feed the ball out of congestion with quick hands. Her run and carry was also key as it allowed her to break the lines and use her long kick to send the Cats forward. She had a remarkable finals series, but in terms of the home and away season, she dominated in Round 11 with 19 disposals, four marks and 11 tackles.

 

Season summary:

The future is certainly looking bright for Geelong, with the Geelong Falcons TAC Cup Girls side winning the premiership, the VFLW side featuring in the Grand Final and the AFL Women’s list starting to take shape. A lot of VFLW players showed plenty of promise and a lot of players could slot into an AFL Women’s side. The Cats produced some big winning margins during the year and scraped over the line on other occasions, showing their ability to get the job done. Geelong will certainly head into the VFLW next year as one of the premiership favourites.

Scouting notes: VFLW Grand Final

HAWTHORN’S Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s side claimed the premiership on the weekend with a hard-fought victory over Geelong at Etihad Stadium. We took note of some of the impressive players on the day.

 

Hawthorn vs. Geelong

Hawthorn:

#1 Emma Mackie

Went for a ride on Anna Teague on the wing but was pinged for unrealistic attempt. Then had a crack with a clever snap on goal which bounced past three running Geelong defenders, before unluckily bouncing into the post. Made her chance count when she got another one in the second term with an attempt off a step and kicked it through the middle to hand Hawthorn an 11-point lead in the 13th minute.

#5 Chantella Perera

With Geelong attacking early with momentum, it was Perera’s tackle on a Geelong opponent that earned an important free kick and rebound down the other end. Then had another impressive defensive moment with an intercept mark then pass to Pepa Randall who found a target inside 50. Her drive off half-back and ability to take the game on earned her Best on Ground honours.

#6 Julia Crockett-Grills

Kept her feet in a one-on-one contest and gained some vital meterage for her team going forward. Did a lot of work that might have gone unnoticed on the stats sheet, but really contributed to the on-ball brigade.

#7 Phoebe McWilliams

Good one-one one mark just inside 50, then delivered the ball on a platter to Tamara Luke leading out from the square. Had a golden chance from 15 metres out in the second term almost identical to Clifford in the first term, and McWilliams also missed. She started to have a real impact in the second despite the miss, leading out and taking another strong mark then kicking to the danger zone 20 metres out from goal. Had a chance in the fourth quarter and decided to pass it off but it fell short.

#8 Rebecca Beeson

Worked hard at the coal face with a big opening term, collecting five disposals and laying a tackle. Cracked in hard and won a one-on-one contest in the second term on the wing. Beeson led all-comers by half-time with 11 disposals and three tackles to be a key reason why the Hawks were on top. Almost bit off more than she could chew on the wing but got out of the tackle. Won a holding the ball free against Nina Morrison on the wing.

#13 Ebony Nixon

Massive cheer rang out across the Hawks’ defensive end when Nixon cleanly picked up a ball and kicked to a teammate on defensive 50 to stop a potential Geelong goal.

#14 Olivia Flanagan

Just attacked the contested hard and showed cleanliness at ground level. Could not quite keep it in on the wing early in the game, but buried herself at any contest she could throughout the opening stanza. Had a shot on goal in the second term from the set shot but it fell short and was rushed across the line. Always busy around the stoppages.

#21 Pepa Randall

Made her presence felt early, stopping Maddy McMahon from running into the 50 with a front on bump. Then delivered a lovely ball inside 50 to a teammate on the lead. Took a strong grab in the middle intercepting to send it back inside 50.

#22 Tamara Luke

Took a strong one-on-one mark leading out and converted the set shot. Impressive second term saw Luke win a number of free kicks for getting to the ball first.

#24 Rosie Dillon

Sold a bit of candy at half-forward to kick inside 50 and force a stoppage.

#25 Meg Hutchins

A rock in the back half, was quiet early, but had a good kick in the second term along the wing. Drifted forward and then had a quick snap which missed. Headed back down the other end and then took a big intercept mark on the last line. Showed good power to dash off half-back and kick long along the wing. Stood tall with a strong intercept mark off a Nina Morrison kick going inside 50.

#28 Sarah Perkins

Had an early shot on goal from a quick snap, which went through for a behind. Had a second chance off a split second, missing the shot as she was pushed down and it went out on the full in the second quarter. Got the Hawthorn faithful up and about with a snap 15 metres out after juggling the mark, playing on and kicking around her body – was the first Hawthorn inside 50.

#31 Jess Sibley

Big grab in defence to intercept and clear to the defensive 50 in the final term with the game on the line.

#32 Kim Ebb

Won a free kick for copping head-high contact at ground level inside 50, showing courage.

#33 Emily Gilder

Had a set shot from 30 metres out which nailed the game and put it beyond doubt with seven minutes remaining in the final term.

#36 Jayde Van Dyk

Goal-saving tackle one-on-one on her opponent, Michele Fedele when she was running into an open 50 and the bounce went astray. Unbelievable chase and stopped a certain goal. Laid another strong tackle just out from goal when her opponent tried to turn around and Van Dyk wrapped her up. A terrific effort in the third term when Geelong was doing all the attacking, standing up strong and kicking clear, while taking a number of marks.

#40 Ellie MacDonald

Won a free kick for being held after going in for the ball at half-back when Geelong was attacking and kicked along the wing. Forced a ball-in on the wing with a big grab.

#45 Mikala Cann

Took a really strong intercept grab at half-forward, then showed off her tackling prowess late in the first term with a massive tackle to force a throw-in inside the Hawks forward 50. Just attacks the contest and does not take a backwards step.

 

Geelong:

#1 Jamie Woollett

Provided a big front on bump to Ellie MacDonald in the first term, but helped her opponent up in a show of good spirit. Had a few nice touches on the wing. Continued showing her physicality with a strong tackle on the wing.

#2 Danielle Orr

Fell into the hole and took a good uncontested grab, but like so many others, missed the chance with the wind from the doors being opened at the Lockett end pushing it to the left.

#3 Hannah Burchell

Had a chance to kick an early goal in the second term but just missed and it was knocked across the line for a behind.

#4 Cassie Blakeway

Showed courage in the last term sliding in to mark the ball and copped front on contact.

#6 Maddie Boyd

Showed great defensive pressure on her opponents early, laying an important tackle 15 metres out and then slotting the set shot with a neat stab kick. Took what looked to be a strong mark on the 50 but it was not paid. Used her body well.

#7 Mia-Rae Cllifford

Took a huge grab at the top of the square, but missed from 20 metres out. Had a chance in the third term but was rushed across the line for another behind.

#8 Kate Darby

Gave Mia-Rae Clifford silver service after winning a free and then delivering her kick inside 50 on a platter to Clifford, who unfortunately missed the set shot. Was unlucky not to be paid a mark in the second term on the wing, and then Hawthorn cleared it, leading to a Phoebe McWilliams goal. Won a free kick in a forward ruck contest for being pushed in the back, but missed her attempt. Nailed her third chance in the final term, taking a mark under a high ball and kicking truly.

#16 Olivia Purcell

Won an important one-on-one clearance and got her hands on the ball early. She was the equal highest disposal winner on the ground at quarter time with six, firing out five handballs to teammates outside the stoppage. Massive on the inside throughout the game, not only winning the ball but laying 10 tackles. Really important on the inside just getting to the right positions and giving it off cleanly to teammates on the outside.

#20 Nina Morrison

Looked all class in the first term when she spun around and fired out a handball to a teammate in traffic in forward 50. Morrison was putting good defensive pressure on her opponents, spending time on the more experienced Meg Hutchins at times. Just kept winning the football with important touches, racking up 10 disposals by half-time, and also laying three tackles. Won a hardball at a contest in the third term at half-forward then kicked inside 50. Morrison had a massive impact in the final term and continued to rack up the ball at will with some big inside 50s.

#24 Maddy McMahon

Copped a big front-on bump early in the first term but bounced straight back up and was one of the Cats’ best with six touches (four kicks) in the quarter. Had another big moment in the final term with a nice kick inside 50 to the the hot spot early which resulted in a Kate Darby goal.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Almost kicked a miracle goal from 50 metres around her body but the ball bounced up and was taken away. Fended off an opponent in the second term and kicked forward, got more involved with a couple of powerful kicks to try and inspire her team.

#40 Anna Teague

Showed courage and strength at ground level in the first term to go in hard while protecting herself to pick up a contested ball and hold it up.

#45 Madeline Keryk

Had a big first half, often kicking out of defence with nine kicks from 10 disposals and mopping up for the Cats.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Grand Final

THE stage is set for traditional rivals, Hawthorn and Geelong to make history in the inaugural Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Grand Final. The Hawks and Cats have been even all season on the ladder and will get to show what they’re made of in the first game played at Marvel Stadium.

 

HAWTHORN  v. GEELONG CATS

Sunday, September 23, 12.30pm
Etihad Stadium, Docklands

Form line:

Hawthorn:

Ladder position: 2nd
Wins: 12
Losses: 2
Percentage: 180%

Geelong:

Ladder position: 4th
Wins: 10
Losses: 3
Draws: 1
Percentage: 163%

 

Last time they met:

Hawthorn 6.5 (41) defeated Geelong 3.7 (25)

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

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

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

GOALS

Hawthorn: R. Beeson 2, S. Perkins 2, C. Dyett, R. Dillon
Geelong: M. Clifford, M. Keryk, K. Darby

BEST

Hawthorn: J. Van Dyk, R. Dillon, K. Ebb, S. Perkins, E. Mackie, M. Cann
Geelong: R. Cranston, A. Teague, E. Coventry, R. Goring, M. Keryk, K. Darby

 

Players to watch:

Hawthorn:

#1 Emma Mackie

Mackie has been outstanding this season and has managed to find her form from the start of the year in the last couple of weeks. Last time she faced the Cats, she racked up 20 disposals and five tackles, then followed this up with three goals, 18 disposals and four tackles in the qualifying final against the Pies.

#6 Julia Crockett-Grills

Crocket-Grills is an interesting situation, playing against the team that she has recently been recruited to in the AFL Women’s. An agile midfielder, Crockett-Grills can burst the game open with her speed and footy smarts. Against the Pies two weeks ago, she gathered 10 disposals and laid five tackles.

#8 Rebecca Beeson

Rebecca Beeson has been one of Hawthorn’s most consistent players throughout the season, playing roles in both the forward line and in the midfield. Lately, she has been in the midfield and has made a huge impact. She was dominant against Geelong in Round 16 where she gathered 22 disposals, five marks, six tackles and kicked two goals.   

#24 Rosie Dillon

Dillon has strung together a couple of good games in the lead-up to this match. She arguably played her best game of the season against Collingwood in week one of the finals, as she gathered 20 disposals, two marks and four tackles to go along with her major. Against Geelong in the home and away season, she was again one of the star players for the Hawks with one goal, 17 disposals, three marks and eight tackles.

#36 Jayde Van Dyk

Jayde Van Dyk well and truly deserved the VFLW Rising Star award after a breakout season in the brown and gold. Van Dyk was a lock in the backline each week and shut down her opponents extremely well. Her agile frame also allowed her to get involved in the contest with great run and carry. She got heavily involved against the Cats in Round 16 where she racked up 18 disposals, took four marks and laid five tackles.

#45 Mikala Cann

The Eastern Ranges midfielder has only played a handful of games for the Hawks, but they have all been of a high quality. Cann is an inside bull who tackles hard and runs hard in and out of stoppages. She’s one who can turn a game on its head with her explosive impact. Cann was the leading disposal-getter on the ground against Collingwood with 21 disposals, three marks and eight tackles.

 

Geelong:

#6 Maddie Boyd

Maddie Boyd’s aerial ability is really going to trouble the Hawks. Her contested and uncontested marking has been superb this season and has played a big part in getting the Cats to Marvel Stadium on Sunday. Against the Pies, she kicked two goals and took seven marks. Last time she faced the Hawks, she gathered 11 disposals and took five marks.

#7 Mia-Rae Clifford

Mia-Rae Clifford’s move into the forward line has been a revelation, as she has kicked 15 goals from 16 games. Clifford also made the VFLW Team of the Year thanks to her consistency with the ball in hand. She didn’t kick a goal against the Pies last week, so she would come into this game hungry for a couple of majors. Clifford still managed to rack up 11 disposals and lay six tackles in the fierce contest.

#16 Olivia Purcell

Olivia Purcell comes into this game with a chance to win her second premiership this season. She has rightfully earned her spot in the team with some great inside work and ferocity around the contest. This was highlighted last week when she laid 14 tackles against the Pies, not giving their midfielders an inch of space. Against the Northern Territory (NT), she got plenty of the ball, racking up 19 disposals and kicking a goal.

#20 Nina Morrison

Purcell’s premiership teammate, Nina Morrison is in the same situation as her, vying for her second premiership this season. There’s not much Morrison hasn’t won this season, winning both the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the TAC Cup Girls Best and Fairest alongside Madison Prespakis. Morrison missed last week’s game against the Pies after she was named best-on-ground in the Cats’ win over NT. In that game, she gathered 18 disposals and laid seven tackles. She is a key inclusion in this match.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Richelle Cranston will be a worrying prospect for Hawthorn with her strength around the contest. Cranston has the tenacity to bullock through packs and win the hard ball to get it out of congestion, which has played a big part in Geelong’s success this year. Her finals campaign has been outstanding with two goals, 19 disposals, five marks and six tackles against the NT. Against Collingwood, she racked up 15 disposals and laid seven tackles.

#45 Madeline Keryk

Madeline Keryk gets better as each week goes on, dominating the midfield with her tenacity and footy smarts. Keryk hits the packs hard and her kicking and handballing is precise. She is a ball magnet and has demonstrated this in her last two games. Against the Thunder, Keryk gathered 16 disposals and laid nine tackles. She bettered this when she faced the Pies, with 24 disposals and four tackles.

 

Preview:

These two teams have been evenly poised throughout the season, with both teams always in contention for the premiership flag. Both have knocked off minor premiers, Collingwood, and Geelong has had the added bonus of knocking out the NT. Hawthorn comes into this game off a break, giving a chance for players such as Olivia Flanagan to return from injury and slot back into the side. Geelong has kept it simple in the lead-up to the Grand Final, bringing in star draft prospect, Nina Morrison to impose her outside run on the Hawks’ midfield.

The midfield will be littered with Under 18 Victorian representatives, with Morrison, Olivia Purcell, Mikala Cann and Emerson Woods to all play a role on the day. Experienced players, Rebecca Beeson and Emma Mackie could go up against Richelle Cranston and Rosie Dillon in what should be an enthralling battle. In the 50s, Geelong captain, Rebecca Goring could see eye-to-eye with Adelaide Crows forward, Sarah Perkins while Jayde Van Dyk could match up on Mia-Rae Clifford.

It’s also a match-up of two of the best coaches, with Patrick Hill and Paul Hood matching up tactics against tactics. Geelong coach, Hood believes his side can get revenge on the Hawks after an improvement of form since their last meeting.

“We’re quietly confident we can improve our performance after that day,” he said. “Obviously we learn a bit from playing against the Hawks, they put in a really powerful performance. “It’s no great surprise to us that we’re here but obviously we needed a bit of luck along the way.  “We’re really grateful to get the opportunity to play this weekend.”

Patrick Hill is also grateful to grace Marvel Stadium with his Hawthorn players, admitting that he didn’t see a Grand Final berth coming so fast.

“If you told me I’d be here two years ago in a Grand Final, I probably would’ve laughed at you,” Hill said. “We’re incredibly well supported by our club. “I think it shows how many great athletes there are in women’s sport. “It’s not like men’s sport where they’ve already been through trials and a lot of development programs thrown at them since they were seven years old, they’ve had to sort of fight to be involved. “Once we opened up the doors to all our women in, you see how many amazing athletes there are out there, they’re extremely coachable and a delight to work with.”

Hawthorn has been one of the best offensive sides this year while Geelong has been one of the best defensive outfits, so if the game is played on the Hawks’ terms, it could be a fast-paced game. But if the game is played on the Cats’ terms, it could be a defensive, hard-fought slug which Geelong has been accustomed to this year. Either way, this will be a tight contest with both teams desperate to lift up the first ever VFLW premiership cup on Sunday.

Number Crunching: VFLW – Week 2 Finals

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

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

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

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

Top Player Stats – VFLW Week 2 Finals 

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

Scouting notes: VFLW – Collingwood vs. Geelong

GEELONG has booked its place in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s decider, after knocking Collingwood out in straight sets with an impressive 14-point win. We took a look at some of the top players from both sides on the day.

Collingwood:

#3 Nicole Hildebrand

Did some nice things throughout the game, playing as the loose player in defence. Often she came across to help teammate, Jazz Ferguson who the Cats tried to isolate one-on-one inside 50. She also had a big moment punching a ball across the ground later in the game when Richelle Cranston had a shot on goal.

#4 Sarah D’Arcy

Was really good intercepting, but did miss a few kicks going forward. Had a forgettable moment in the third term dropping a mark in the back pocket, but worked hard to mop up. Got amongst it throughout the four quarters and never stopped trying.

#11 Eliza Hynes

Too tall for her opponents in the ruck and often punched it clear of the contest to keep the ball moving on the outside. Not overly mobile at ground level given her height, but laid tackles and put defensive pressure on opponents.

#13 Jaimee Lambert

One of, if not Collingwood’s best on the day. She worked hard at both ends, dropping back into the defensive 50 to take some good marks, laid great tackles on the wing, and kicked a consolation goal running hard to the goal square and quickly getting boot-to-ball. Her tackling pressure and intensity on the ball carrier was definitely the highlight.

#47 Jess Edwards

Stood tall against the flow and was one of the key reasons Collingwood was still in the contest early. She was composed in defence and able to use the ball well under pressure. Edwards had plenty of defensive efforts and then kicked a goal in the final term, four and a half minutes in to cut the deficit to 20 and give them a glimmer of hope.

#49 Sophie Alexander

Another player who kept trying throughout and had a few good moments, spreading to the wings and taking some good marks. She kicked Collingwood’s first major after making a half-lead inside 50, taking the grab and nailing the all-important set shot.

#70 Jasmine Ferguson

Superb in defence, along with Lambert was one of Collingwood’s best. She continually got to the right position one-on-one and ensured her opponents could not get a clean run at the ball. The opposition tried to isolate her one-on-one inside 50 against stronger bodies, but Ferguson held her own. She also ran off her opponent on a number of occasions trying to create drive off half-back. Took a strong mark on the wing late in the game, using her body well to outmark an opponent.

#75 Erica Fowler

Provided an aerial target when she flew for her marks, and did cause some headaches for the opposition when up forward. Won a free kick for being held in the last quarter, but her shot from 35m out just drifted in the breeze and narrowly missed.

#99 Shayla Marsh

Did not win a heap of it, but had some classy moments. One example was a clean pick-up off the deck and quick handball to a teammate who kicked long inside 50 late in the game.

 

Geelong:

#1 Jaime Woollett

Played in defence and laid a number of strong tackles. She provided a good run-down tackle on Jaimee Lambert in the third term, forcing Lambert’s kick to sail out on the full instead of hitting a target inside 50.

#3 Hannah Burchell

Set the tone early with a big tackle at half-forward to lock the ball up. Had a shot on goal after receiving a 50m penalty but just missed to the left. Her best work was done in close.

#6 Maddie Boyd

One of the most impressive players, she was so strong in the air, taking a ton of marks inside 50 and giving her team scoring opportunities. She could not quite capitalise on the set shots, but one-on-one she was fantastic and she positions herself so well.

#8 Kate Darby

Another player who impressed me with some good hands in the air to take a few important grabs. She also did the defensive things right with her highlight coming in the third term. With the time ticking down she laid a huge tackle on Hannah McLaren to win a free kick just inside 50 and then launched from long range to hand the Cats a 21-point lead.

#13 Maighan Fogas

Had a couple of eye-catching moments when she tried to burst away and break the lines, did not always come off but was still noticeable. she had a shot on goal in the third term which just missed.

#16 Olivia Purcell

The youngster stood up in the finals intensity and put her body on the line when she needed to. Her stoppage work is superb and she is not afraid to fend-off an opponent and give herself an extra few seconds to clear the ball out of congestion.

#24 Maddy McMahon

Very impressive in both attack and defence and one of the main reasons why Geelong strangled Collingwood in the first three quarters. Ran hard to receive the handball in the opening term and then kicked the first goal of the game. Dropped back into defence in the second quarter to mark well, then had an attempt from long range in the third term that just missed. In the fourth term she went back into defence and took a courageous mark at half-back between two opponents.

#30 Richelle Cranston

Thought she had a quiet game to start, but then turned it on in the third term when she seemed to be everywhere. Geelong needed a statement to stop the Pies coming, and Cranston did just that. Her combination of power, acceleration and penetrating kick really turned the game in the third term, fending off a number of players and just bombing long to give her teammates the best chance of scoring.

#44 Rebecca Goring

Defenders do not often get much love, but Goring was absolutely spectacular. Along with Maddy McMahon and a number of others who refused to let their opponents beat them, Goring just worked incredibly hard over four quarters to stand in front of her opponents and rebound well, taking a number of intercept marks. Goring also pushed up to the wing when required to chop off any quick kicks going forward for the Magpies.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Week 2 Finals

A do-or-die clash will take place at Stannards Stadium this weekend where one team will be hoping to secure its spot in the Grand Final. After the minor premiers stumbled against the Hawks last week, they will be keen to make amends on Sunday. But the Cats come into this clash with the confidence that they can knock off another strong team, after they defeated the Thunder in week one of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s finals.

 

Collingwood vs. Geelong

Sunday September 16, Stannards Stadium, 11.45am

This should be a highly entertaining clash between two strong sides with stars all-round. The midfield duo of Richelle Cranston, and Olivia Purcell will seriously threaten the Magpies brigade after all three had stellar performances against NT last week. Cranston came away with 19 disposals and two goals while Purcell racked up the same amount of disposals and also got on the scoreboard. However, they will have to come up against an in-form Chloe Molloy, who is extremely damaging at her best. She kicked two of her side’s three goals in the first week of finals and has been a key player for the Pies all season. Her Collingwood AFL Women’s teammate, Sarah D’Arcy also comes into this game off some good form, being the Pies’ leading disposal-getter on the weekend with 20. She complemented that effort with six marks and five tackles. Nicole Hildebrand and Stacey Livingstone will be key bookends for the Pies and will have to contend with the likes of Mia-Rae Clifford up forward and Rebecca Goring down back for the Cats. Both were recently named in the VFL Women’s Team of the Year and would be keen to do some damage in their respective 50s. Geelong and Collingwood both have strong defences so expect a tight clash between two formidable sides who are hungry to make history.

Number Crunching: VFLW – Week 1 Finals

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

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

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

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

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

Top player stats: VFLW Finals Week 1

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