Tag: round 7

Number crunching: VFLW – Round 7

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

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

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

Average disposals per game: Minimum five games played

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

Most Disposals: Round seven

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

Most individual disposals: Season so far 

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

 

Scouting notes: VFLW – Round 7

IT was a cracking weekend of Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s football where the ladder-leaders went down and TAC Cup Girls players shone in their respective games. We watched three games on the weekend and took notes on who performed well in each outing.

 

Southern Saints vs. NT Thunder

By: Peter Williams 

Southern Saints:

#8 Alison Drennan

It’s clear she is a big ball winner through the midfield, covering ground with ease and getting to contest after contest. She lays plenty of tackles and burrows in under the packs. Drennan also has a nice first few steps to charge away from a contest and kick forward.

#10 Lauren Arnell

The former Blues skipper now Lion, was one of the Saints’ best early on, booting a goal late in the first quarter leading to space and kicking truly for a long range set shot. She had another in the second term but it was touched on the line. Provided some important nous up forward.

#15 Tara Bohanna

Booted a great goal off a step from a loose ball in the second term, and finished the game with three majors to be the dominant forward on the ground. Put an end to the contest with her two majors in the final quarter within a few minutes of each other to hand the Saints a vital win.

#24 Kayla Ripari

Played up forward and I thought immediately ‘her stats won’t look good but she is doing everything right’. The kind of forward who hunts the ball, hunts her opponents and just continues to play the brand of football teammates love. She crashes packs, gives off handballs, applies shepherds, does all the one percenters and thought she did a terrific job.

#30 Charlotte Wilson

The Eastern Ranges defender was really impressive on debut, particularly in the first term where she often got in front of her opponent, won the ball with clean hands and handballed clear. She was courageous and not afraid to switch play when she had a chance. Took a few strong marks back there too.

#33 Jemma Owen

Good defensive pressure up forward and along the wing, showing good vision on her knees to handball into space to a teammate without her breaking stride in the opening term. In the second quarter she was agressive and laid a shepherd so Ripari could get a clear kick to Bohanna in the second quarter for a goal.

#35 Gabriella De Angelis

A hard-working, clever player who had a couple of real highlights. In the opening term she had a smart pick-up near the boundary line and had the composure to kick in-board to the leading Lauren Arnell who goaled. Then in the second term, De Angelis showed off her work rate by receiving the pass on the wing from Shelley Heath, then kicked to half-forward, sprinted hard into the forward line and was involved in the next pass deep inside 50.

#39 Eleanor Brown

Can find the ball with ease and moves well for a taller player. Clean and just got involved around the ground, playing in her preferred wing position. She showed quick hands on both the inside and outside to keep it moving. The one improvement I would give to her is to not get too sucked in to the play because I noticed her opponent would drift out into space behind her while she ran towards the contest. Another solid performance though.

#42 Courtney Jones

Started on the bench and came on to have an immediate impact. Her first pass was a perfectly weighted kick to Lauren Arnell on the wing. She showed good hands at ground level to handball to a teammate in space and applied some good hip-and-shoulders. Jones took a strong intercept mark in defence and kicked long to Shelley Heath.

#43 Shelley Heath

The best of the TAC Cup Girls and looked natural at the level. Despite being smaller than her opponents, she never stopped running and generally used the ball pretty well. She was not afraid to back into a contest and won a free kick in one instance because she was pushed in the back doing so. Reads the ball well in the air or at ground level and showed great hands in close. A huge cheer came in the second term when she stood strongly in a marking contest to spoil, her opponent recovered, picked up the ball, ran off, but Heath did not give up and ran her down, earning a free kick.

#49 Ashleigh Allsopp

Kicked the opening goal of the game, roving forward to read the ball drop off hands.

 

NT Thunder:

#3 Angela Foley

Just wins so much of the ball and works hard on the inside. She is a strong tackler and a piercing kick of the football. She showed great vision and smarts to chop off a Gabriella De Angelis pass and kick forward, cutting short a potential goal surge from the Saints. Foley is a powerful kick and was NT’s best early, winning the ball in all thirds of the ground.

#5 Machaelia Roberts

Put her body on the line in the opening term, had a running shot on goal but was tackled doing so and it just missed. Worked hard in the forward line, providing a strong body and pressure to her opponents down there.

#12 Jasmine Anderson

A big contributor through the midfield, she often played on some of the talented TAC Cup Girls in Eleanor Brown or Shelley Heath, and won her fair share of the footy. She worked well with Angela Foley and Emma Swanson in the middle and spread out to the wings, winning it on the outside and kicking forward.

#17 Emma Swanson

A really strong tackler. Just fierce with the way she went about it, making sure her opponents earned every touch and won a number of frees for holding the ball. She worked hard on the inside and applied plenty of defensive pressure to the ball carrier so the Saints midfielders knew to be wary of her around the stoppages.

#25 Jess Allan

A superb job in the ruck, I thought she was one of their best. Her hands were good and she was mobile with her second efforts. She often won the tap, then roved her own work, but the most noticeable thing was her spread around the ground. She would take the important contested mark or intercept grab at half-forward or half-back, and ran hard to get to positions to impact.

#31 Jess Sedunary

Had a highlight moment in the first term, booting a goal off the ground in the goal square, just pouncing on the loose ball and using her smarts to get the Thunder on the board. It was not a day for forwards, but Sedunary kept trying throughout.

 

Casey Demons vs. Western Bulldogs

By: Peter Williams 

Casey:

#7 Bianca Jakobsson

Donning the long sleeves, Jakobsson took some great overhead marks and just kept getting involved across the four quarters. A contributor without being dominant, Jakobsson was a good link in the chain from defence to midfield, pushing up the ground and influencing the contest.

#13 Katherine Smith

A big game from Smith who was one of Casey’s best in the wet. She laid some fantastic tackles, including one on the opposition ruck in the final term. Buzzed around the stoppages and won it on the inside or out, and also did all the defensive things right. Played what you would call a wet weather brand of footy and led by example.

#16 Casey Sheriff

Really liked her game because she never took a backwards step. Just so strong in close, and the amount of times she would extract the ball from a tight situation was amazing. On one occasion she ripped the ball from an opposition player and got it out of the zone. She also showed her smarts by being able to have a deft kick avoiding her opponent who was about to pounce.

#21 Harriet Cordner

Had a shot on goal on the edge of three quarter time and just nailed it – it was perfect in the wet and luckily it just cleared the line. Got more involved in the final term, producing a thumping kick off half-back while standing up in the tackle. Pumped the ball long inside 50 in the final term too.

#22 Kasey Guthridge

Showed some promising signs, just needs to build confidence. Won a few frees and threatened to break the lines, but sometimes stop-started. Took some good marks around the ground and had a good long kick.

#29 Eden Zanker

The key forward was enormous in conditions that were not suited for taller players, taking several strong grabs, or bringing the ball down in front and working hard with second efforts to pass to teammates in space. She took a great mark sliding on her knees in the opening term, and was unlucky not to have a goal earlier with a snap just being rushed through. A second quarter set shot just missed, with the kick travelling 50 metres, showing her ability to fire from long range. She presented up the ground throughout the game, making leads out of the forward 50, and assisted with rucking when up forward, showing a good vertical leap. A very impressive performance, unlucky not to be rewarded with at least a goal or two.

#34 Darcy Guttridge

Really good early on, has that great acceleration and fearlessness through the contest. She has quick hands and once she sees an opening she takes it. Her power through acceleration is great, and she has a lovely long penetrating kick. She has the smarts when under pressure at ground level to punch it clear, using good vision to spot a teammate free on the outside. Works well through traffic and is really suited to the half-back role with the way she attacks the contest and kicks cleanly.

#38 Jordyn Allen

Played a role similar to the one we have become accustomed to at half-back in the TAC Cup Girls competition. She would win the football in the defensive half and kick long to the wing. Often her kicks are more to the advantage of her teammates rather than directly to them, but she has good decision making which helps. She was clean despite the conditions, and worked hard up the ground to win possessions on the wing as well.

#49 Brooke Struylaart

The Dandenong Stingrays’ AFL Women’s Academy member kicked a great opportunistic goal from a snap out of nothing, showing her great goal sense.

 

Western Bulldogs

#1 Brooke Lochland

A severely underrated player in the whole scheme on things. She has that great balance between offence and defence, and can hurt the opposition in a number of ways – kicking goals and running them down in bone-crunching tackles. She looked dangerous from the get-go with a number of chances early, hitting the post from a 20 metre set shot. But she worked hard, laying some fierce tackles, and pushed up the ground, then worked back, tiring her opponents. She took a great mark dropping back inside 50 in the third term and slotted the goal from 20 metres out on a slight angle. One of the Dogs best.

#2 Ellie Blackburn

In her debut game, Blackburn only lasted a half before coming off after a hard hit late in the second term. She played her usual game, winning plenty of it on the inside and running to the outside, and the opposition let her know they were there, with Blackburn drawing a number of free kicks. A true warrior, hopefully it is not a major injury.

#6 Kirsten McLeod

The forward ended up being the most damaging for the winners on the scoreboard, slotting two goals, including the first of the game with a quick pick-up and snap off a step. She made it two with another snap in the third term and had a chance for a third in the final term, but her shot went across the face. She laid a number of tackles and put pressure on her opponents both up forward and through the midfield.

#12 Jessica Francke

The Bulldogs forward took a good mark deep in the pocket in the second term, but her shot just missed. She did not manage to kick a major after a good game last week, but showed a good set of mits in the wet weather and led at the football, taking some strong grabs and using her body well one-on-one.

#17 Hayley Wildes

A smart player who pounced on a loose ball and ran into an open goal for the Dogs’ second goal. She was instrumental throughout the game, stepping up particularly when Ellie Blackburn went off, and refused to give in, putting in a four-quarter effort and covering the ground well.

18 Libby Birch

The important rebounder off half-back, Birch continued to remain involved throughout the four quarters. She has that smart sense to know when to push up the ground, and when to drop back. She would have recorded plenty of metres gained as she often intercept marks and takes off down the wing. She had a good deep kick inside 50 in the third term and worked hard throughout the game with good running.

#32 Alyssa Mifsud

Another Dogs forward who provides the dual-edge sword of offensive and defensive pressure on the opposition. She harasses the ball carrier and has great second and third efforts, never giving in and eventually laying a strong tackle on the possessor of the pill. Did not end up with a goal, but continually pressed hard in the attacking end.

#51 Katarina Rebuffo

The Western Jets player did not look out of place in the contest when the ball came in her zone. She showed a willingness to lay tackles and put pressure on the ball carrier.

 

Hawthorn vs. Essendon

By: Julia Montesano

Hawthorn:

#8 Rebecca Beeson

Beeson did not disappoint. She went in hard for every ball that she could, demonstrated when she went head-first into a contest. Although she came off groggy, she still got straight back up and prepared for the next incoming contest. She bobbed up in a lot of spots for the Hawks throughout the day, taking some lovely marks and using her speed and smarts to move play on quickly. She delivered some nice kicks on the day as well, proving to be a vital link in the chain. Was lively in the forward line as well where she has had so much success for Greater Western Sydney (GWS).

#22 Tamara Luke

Luke was damaging in the first quarter, booting the opening goal of the game in a matter of seconds, prompting an opening of the floodgates for the Hawks. After spending most of last year in defence, she looked right at home up forward at Box Hill, kicking two goals for the day. Her work rate was exceptional as she didn’t just sit back in the goal square. She made her direct opponent for most of the game, Tanya Hetherington work hard as Luke often found herself taking big grabs at the top of the 50 metre arc, creating scoring opportunities with her booming kick. Hetherington and teammate, Lauren Morecroft had to rotate playing on Luke because of her domination in the forward line. Great game from the experienced player.

#25 Meg Hutchins

Hutchins was composed with the ball in hand and provided fantastic outside run. Her kicks were penetrating and precise, giving her teammates prime opportunity to run a mock up forward. She was often the spare player in a contest, always ready to receive a handball or kick on the outside, demonstrating her exquisite positioning throughout the day. Loves to wheel around and go.

#37 Jade Barnden

Yet another debutant who impressed in her first outing for the Hawks. A classy runner that knew how to find the footy, Barnden used it well and was always there to help a teammate out. Her pressure around the ball was good and resulted in her getting a lot of it. She often generated good outside run and had solid hands throughout the day.

#45 Mikala Cann

Cann was superb in her Hawthorn debut. There was a never a moment where she did not go in hard for the footy, showing constant hunger and determination. After two early behinds, Cann got on the board with a running goal, being rewarded for her hard work in the contest. Usually it is her hands that are exceptional when she plays for the Eastern Ranges, but at Box Hill, her kicks were just as good. What stood out for me was her follow up work, as she proved how impressive her endurance is by running through after the kick and getting into a good position to receive the ball again.

 

Essendon:

#1 Jessica Trend

Trend was a key cog in defence, penetrating the ball well in the back line. Her kicks were long and she used them to effect to rebound the ball whenever she could. She positioned herself well against bigger bodies and did whatever she could to win the ball. Even floated up forward to kick Essendon’s second goal. Pressured well in defence to ensure that Hawthorn only scored five goals from 16 scoring shots.

#17 Tanya Hetherington

Hetherington was dealt with a big task in her first game for the Bombers, having to play on Tamara Luke. Hetherington competed well and was great aerially, bringing down some strong marks. She brought vital experience and footy smarts to the back line which the Bombers are in need of. Never did too much with the ball in hand and always tried her best to create slingshot footy from the defensive 50. Was thrown up forward in the last quarter to provide a target for the Bombers, which is a move that could occur throughout the season.

#32 Tait Mackrill

Just like in round one, Mackrill was one of Essendon’s best players. She crashed in hard at the contests, often bollocking her way through two or three players to surge the ball forward. Her marking was spectacular and was often in a contested situation, demonstrating good composure in congestion. Her kicks were long and strong, often getting the Bombers out of trouble. She was a big part of Essendon’s manic pressure game. Was thrown forward to try and steer the ship for the Bombers and competed well.

#35 Valerie Moreau

The Canadian jet competed hard at Box Hill, bollocking her way through contests. She kicked Essendon’s first goal of the day and was lively inside 50. Her kicking was sound and she worked hard to get the ball both on the inside and outside. Faded in and out of the game but overall she did well to keep Essendon in the game throughout the second and third quarters, applying plenty of pressure on her opponent.

#44 Maddy Collier

I thought Collier was Essendon’s best player on the day. She worked immensely hard to get the ball and created run and drive. While the Bombers struggled with the ball inside 50, Collier was always there to mop up errors. She had great hands and kicked the ball just as well, demonstrating composure with the ball in hand. Never seemed rushed to get a kick away and held the fort down well for the Bombers throughout the second and third quarter, where they pressured the opposition hard.

Weekend wash-up: VFLW – Round 7

AFTER being told to reduce its Adelaide-based AFLW players, the NT Thunder experienced its first loss of the season. Meanwhile, Collingwood capitalised on this loss at Warrawee Park, defeating Carlton by 25 points. Hawthorn too, got a big win against traditional rivals, Essendon, making for a very tight squeeze in the top four of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s ladder.

 

Southern Saints 6.2.38 defeated NT Thunder 2.6.18

By: Peter Williams

If you had said at the start of the season the side without any AFL Women’s players would topple the premiership favourite, littered with Adelaide superstars, you would have been in the minority, but that is exactly what happened on the weekend. The Southern Saints, on the back of some sterling performances from their TAC Cup Girls contingent, were too quick and slick for the Thunder, who were missing a number of their top players after an AFL Victoria ruling asked them to restrict the South Australian based players. It was the first loss the NT Thunder has had this season, with the Southern Saints piling on three last quarter goals to claim the 20-point victory.

Tara Bohanna booted three goals, but it was the work of Lauren Arnell (19 disposals, two marks, six tackles and one goal) and Kayla Ripari (14 disposals, one mark and two tackles) who played selfless roles, using experience and strength to trouble the Thunder defence. Shelley Heath was superb on debut for the Saints, making the most of her 11 disposals, but more importantly, six tackles. Courtney Jones and Gabriella De Angelis also had cameo’s throughout the game, while Charlotte Wilson played a steady defensive game in the back half. Alison Drennan played another four quarter game with 21 disposals and 13 tackles. Eleanor Brown also had a solid 12 disposals and four tackles in the win.

For the visitors, Angela Foley had the ball on a string with 26 disposals, five marks and three tackles, while Emma Swanson picked up 17 disposals, one mark and laid six tackles. Jess Sedunary was strong down forward, laying eight tackles and booting a goal from 10 disposals, while Jess Allan was vital in the ruck. Sarah Allan and Katie Streader were other important players for NT.

 

Collingwood 8.4.52 defeated Carlton 2.5.17

Collingwood continued its undefeated streak and in the process continued Carlton’s winless streak. The two traditional rivals went head-to-head at Warrawee Park, where the Magpies led at every change and kept the Blues goalless up until three quarter time.

Oakleigh Chargers forward, Daisy Bateman shone on her TAC Cup Girls home ground, kicking two goals. She was the only multiple goal scorer for the day and took her goal kicking season tally to five goals from two games in the black and white. Captain, Jessica Edwards played her best game for the Pies, racking up 23 disposals, four marks and 11 tackles. She was complemented by former Calder Cannon, Chloe Molloy, who kicked a goal to go along with her 20 disposals.

Katelyn Cox was the shining light for the Blues, with a goal, 19 disposals and five marks next to her name. Vic Country representative, Tyla Hanks was also a solid contributor, racking up 14 disposals and laying seven tackles in her second game for Carlton. Fellow TAC Cup Girls player and Northern Knights captain, Maddy Brancatisano amassed seven disposals.

 

Casey Demons vs. Western Bulldogs

By: Peter Williams 

The Western Bulldogs recorded their second win in a row, but not without a scare, holding on against the Casey Demons to win by just three points. The Dogs had all the ascendancy late in the third term, but the Demons booted the final two goals of the game to force the visitors on the back foot and start to worry about what had looked to be an assured four points. With the inclement weather and the fading light posing extra challenges for the players, both sides produced a hard fought slog from which the Bulldogs will be happy to bank the four points.

Brooke Lochland was absolutely sensational for the Bulldogs, racking up 25 disposals, five marks and booting 1.2, but most importantly laying a whopping 13 tackles, stopping her opponents in their tracks. Hayley Wildes was equally as important, notching up 24 disposals, one mark and five tackles while also slotting an important goal. Libby Birch had 18 disposals, four marks and six tackles coming out of the back half, while Kirsten McLeod was the one multiple goal scorer on the ground with two majors.

For the Demons, Katherine Smith was the best with 26 disposals, one mark, six tackles and a goal, while Casey Sheriff was inspirational on the inside with 19 disposals, three marks and five tackles. Harriet Cordner was strong in attack with 14 touches, three marks and a goal, while Aliesha Newman (13 disposals, five tackles and a goal) and Eden Zanker (15 disposals, two marks, three tackles and two behinds) were other important forwards. Darcy Guttridge provided some great run off half-back for the Demons, amassing 16 disposals on the night.

 

Melbourne Uni 6.3.39 defeated by Darebin 7.9.51

Two female football powerhouses went head-to-head at Hamilton to play out their annual Pride Match. After both teams came off a loss last week, it was Darebin who was able to bounce back, winning by 12 points.

This was largely thanks to three goals from Hannah Mouncey, as she bounced back from being held goalless against Geelong last week. Former Northern Knight, Maddy Guerin also had an impressive performance, guiding her team to a win. She was complemented by Annalyse Lister, Shree Fairchild, Lauren Jacobs and former Carlton player, Kate Shierlaw.

Vic Metro and Calder Cannons captain, Madison Prespakis shone in her second game for the Mugars, scoring a goal and being named best on ground by her coaches. She did this amongst AFLW stars such as Emma Kearney, Kate Gillespie-Jones and Jasmine Grierson, who were also named in the best. Asha Price was Melbourne Uni’s only multiple goal scorer, and was complemented by Katie Angelis and Airlie Runnalls who also got on the board.

 

Hawthorn 5.11.41 defeated Essendon 2.1.13

After scoring a goal in the first 20 seconds of the match, Hawthorn never looked back, leading at every change. Essendon applied great pressure throughout the game to cause inaccuracy, but it wasn’t enough as the Bombers couldn’t capitalise on the scoreboard.

It was the debutants who led the way for the Hawks, as Greater Western Sydney (GWS) forward, Rebecca Beeson and Eastern Ranges duo, Emerson Woods and Mikala Cann all had solid performances. Beeson was the leading disposal-getter on the ground, racking up 24 touches and taking five marks. Cann was able to get on the scoreboard with a goal and amassed 21 disposals, complementing this with a whopping 10 tackles. Teammate, Woods also kicked a goal, as well as racking up 13 disposals and taking four marks.

For the Bombers, it was GWS midfielder, Maddy Collier who led the way, as she racked up 17 disposals, four marks and six tackles. Hayley Bullas also got a lot of the ball, accumulating 17 disposals and backing up her 18 tackles last week with five at Box Hill. Defender, Jessica Trend was also impressive as she wandered up forward for a goal and amassed 13 disposals.

Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 7

ROUND seven sees the ladder-leaders in Geelong having a bye, meaning that this week is the time to shine for the next tier of teams. With traditional rivals doing battle and teams close on the ladder going head-to-head, this weekend’s Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s action is unmissable.

 

SOUTHERN SAINTS v. NT THUNDER

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

11:15AM

SkyBus Stadium

After losing their first game in four weeks, the Southern Saints will be hungry to regain that winning form. But coming up against the undefeated Northern Territory (NT) Thunder is no easy feat, as it sits second on the ladder with an average winning margin of 53 points. This match pits current AFLW stars against the next generation of potential elite footballers, as NT’s host of Adelaide players will do battle against some of the most exciting TAC Cup Girls players. Last time Sandringham star midfielder, Eleanor Brown played for the Saints, she amassed 25 disposals and kicked a goal, as did Eastern Ranges forward, Gabriella De Angelis. Expect big games from these talented players as well as Dandenong Stingrays duo, Courtney Jones and Shelley Heath, who both bring about X-factor in their game.

 

COLLINGWOOD v. CARLTON

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

01:00PM

Warrawee Park

Originally a curtain-raiser before the men’s game, the women now get their own stage on Saturday at Warrawee Park where a cracking match is set to take place. Both teams would be keen for a win, as the Pies are coming off a bye and the Blues are coming off their fourth consecutive loss. It is not all doom and gloom for Carlton though, as their leading disposal-getter in round four, Tyla Hanks comes back into the side following a solid performance in the big ‘V’ for Vic Country. She will be joined by a host of AFLW players such as Bridie Kennedy, Natalie Plane and Tilly Lucas-Rodd. It will be interesting to see how they match up against Collingwood’s AFLW contingent, which features the likes of Best and Fairest winner, Chloe Molloy, midfielder, Jaimee Lambert and defender, Sarah D’Arcy.

 

CASEY DEMONS v. WESTERN BULLDOGS

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

04:00PM

Casey Fields

With each team only tasting victory once this season, both sides would go into this game thinking that they are a chance to record their second win. The Bulldogs come in with all the momentum, having recorded their first win of the season last week, when they thrashed Williamstown. Casey are not far off though, having defeated the Seagulls in the previous round. Demon, Harriet Cordner will have a tough task this week, as she will have to shut down the in-form Jessica Francke, who is coming off a five-goal performance. Be sure to keep an eye out for Vic Country captain, Jordyn Allen, who will start up forward for Casey to prove her versatility, after spending most of her TAC Cup Girls season either in defence or in the midfield.

 

MELBOURNE UNI  v. DAREBIN

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

06:30PM

Melville Oval, Hamilton

Unfortunately, this VFLW season hasn’t gone to plan for Melbourne Uni with the Mugars only recording one win so far. They will be thrilled to welcome back Calder Cannons captain, Madison Prespakis back into the midfield, after her last game saw her rack up 23 disposals. She will be able to take advantage of a Darebin side without two of its most influential midfielders, as AFLW duo, Lily Mithen and Nat Exon will not feature in a must-win clash for the Falcons. After a disappointing performance last week where no goal was scored for three quarters, expect a big game from gun forward, Hannah Mouncey, who did not kick a goal in the match at GMHBA Stadium. She currently leads the VFLW goal kicking tally with 12 goals from five games.

 

HAWTHORN  v. ESSENDON

Round 7 – 24/06/2018

11:45AM

Box Hill City Oval

After Carlton and Collingwood do battle on Saturday, another set of traditional rivals in Hawthorn and Essendon will go head-to-head on Sunday. The Hawks will be fancying their chances as they face a Bombers side who are yet to experience victory this season. Essendon will welcome in Calder Cannons young guns in Carla Rendelmann and Molly Warburton, but its forward line has taken a hit, as leading goal kicker, Alex Quigley and goal-sneak, Danielle Ponter will not take the field this week. It will be up to Canadian duo, Kendra Heil and Valerie Moreau to provide some X-factor inside 50. However, with an experienced Hawthorn defence featuring Meg Hutchins, Pepa Randall and Jayde Van Dyk, the task could prove quite difficult. Keep an eye out for the brilliant kicking of Eastern Ranges co-captain, Emerson Woods and TAC Cup Girls teammate, Mikala Cann,who brings immense speed to the midfield thanks to her athletics background. The Vic Metro duo will take the field for the brown and gold for the first time this season.

Team selection: VFLW – Round 7

A host of TAC Cup Girls will make their Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s debut this week, as they prepare for the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships commencing on July 9. A couple of traditional rivals will go head-to-head this weekend as well with both Carlton and Collingwood and Hawthorn and Essendon battling it out for a round seven victory.

 

SOUTHERN SAINTS v. NT THUNDER

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

11:15AM

SkyBus Stadium

The Southern Saints will have to fight hard to get back on the winner’s list this week as they face the undefeated NT Thunder this Saturday. Sandringham Dragons duo, Eleanor Brown and Jemma Owen will retake to the field this week after representing Vic Metro in the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. They have been named in alongside Carlton AFLW player, Laura Attard, Eastern Ranges pair, Gabriella De Angelis and Charlotte Wilson as well as Dandenong Stingrays duo, Shelley Heath and Courtney Jones.

NT Thunder have made 11 changes with lots of Northern Territory talent being re-injected into the side. Tabitha May will be making her senior debut this week after being named most valuable player in round one of the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships. Coming back to the side will be defenders, Tahlia Holtze, Jemma Iacono, Morgan Johnstonand Lisa Roberts. Similarly, Jasmine Anderson, Lucy Adam and ruck, Jess Allan will be welcomed back into the midfield. For the forward line, the skillful Jasmyn Hewett will return from rest alongside Jordann Hickey and Ruth Wallace. However, the Thunder has rested AFLW Adelaide Crows stars, Sophie Armitstead, Georgia Bevan, Courtney Cramey, Chelsea Randall, Deni Varnhagen, Jenna McCormick and Sally Riley in line with an AFL Victoria directive to reduce the number of South Australian-based players in the team each weekMadeline Gault, Sue Nalder and Kristy Irvine will also miss this week’s match up.

Southern Saints
B: 29. M. Macdonald, 14. I. Quintal, 30. C. Wilson
HB: 17. L. Olsen, 38. S. Karlson, 31. G. Walker
C: 39. E. Brown, 2. A. Brown, 52. T. Gordon
HF: 21. D. Lawrence, 15. T. Bohanna, 27. K. Macqueen
F: 35. G. De Angelis, 13. C. Munn, 33. J. Owen
R: 28. R. Watt, 8. A. Drennan, 32. S. Johnson
Int: 10. L. Arnell, 18. L. Attard, 43. S. Heath, 40. M. Maitland
Emg: 49. A. Allsopp, 24. K. Ripari, 19. A. Silver, 22. D. Smith
23P: 42. C. Jones

In: E. Brown, J. Owen, L. Attard, G. De Angelis, C. Jones, C. Wilson, S. Heath
Out: S. Bolding, A. Ryan, K. Thompson

NT Thunder
B: 5. M. Roberts, 7. L. O’Shea, 44. M. Johnston
HB: 18. T. Holtze, 37. S. Allan, 13. L. Roberts
C: 12. J. Anderson, 3. A. Foley, 32. K. Streader
HF: 31. J. Sedunary, 11. J. Hickey, 15. R. Wallace
F: 28. R. Forth, 20. J. Hewett, 6. L. Motlop
R: 25. J. Allan, 17. E. Swanson, 43. K. Duggan
Int: 1. L. Adam, 10. S. Barnett, 41. A. Chittick, 19. J. Iacono
Emg: 42. G. Cusack, 23. S. Mauboy, 47. T. May
23P: 48. N. Gore

In: T. May, J. Hickey, T. Holtze, M. Johnston, J. Iacono, J. Hewett, L. Adam, R. Wallace, N. Gore, L. Roberts, J. Anderson, J. Allan
Out: D. Varnhagen, C. Cramey, S. Riley, G. Bevan, S. Armitstead, M. Gault, C. Randall, K. Irvine, J. McCormick, S. Nalder

 

COLLINGWOOD v. CARLTON

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

01:00PM

Warrawee Park

Collingwood will be coming off a week’s rest when it takes on Carlton at Warrawee Park this weekend. The Magpies have made four key changes to their line-up, bringing in AFLW talents, Ruby Schleicher, Kristy Stratton and Emma GrantLeah French will also join the side this week, while Mua LaloifiGabrielle Biedenweg-Webster, Sarah Cameron and AFLW player, Holly Whitford have been named out. Oakleigh Chargers forward, Daisy Bateman comes back into the side as the 23rd player after scoring three goals on debut for the Magpies.

Carlton has made five changes in the lead up to this week’s match, starting with the exciting inclusion of this year’s TAC Cup Girls Northern Knights captain, Maddy Brancatisano. She will come in as the 23rd player and bring her leadership experience after leading her side to the inaugural TAC Cup Girls Grand Final. She will be joined by another TAC Cup Girls leader in Gippsland co-captain, Tyla Hanks, who was one of the best on ground for Vic Country in its first Nationals hit-out. Carlton AFLW players, Natalie Plane and Bridie Kennedy have also been named to take the field this week, as well as sister of Breann Moody, Celine Moody. They will have big shoes to fill with AFLW teammates, Jess Hosking and Sophie Li being rested. Oakleigh Chargers forward, Isabella Gietzmann and Rachel King have been omitted while Courtney Bromage has shifted her focus from football back to her studies for the remainder of the season.

Collingwood
B: 52. N. Hales, 61. A. Malander, 72. K. Lee
HB: 22. S. Casey, 18. R. Schleicher, 47. J. Edwards
C: 81. B. Jones, 4. S. D’Arcy, 99. S. Marsh
HF: 49. S. Alexander, 77. C. Leighton, 2. C. Molloy
F: 54. H. Grubb, 75. E. Fowler, 13. J. Lambert
R: 11. E. Hynes, 5. E. Grant, 55. L. French
Int: 65. E. Browning, 50. G. Buchan, 63. P. Nash, 41. K. Stratton
Emg: 56. P. Davey, 53. R. Grant, 62. E. Korteman, 68. S. Yoannidis
23P: 66. D. Bateman

Carlton
B: 24. R. Hicks, 7. S. Last, 56. C. Williams
HB: 34. A. Chuot, 5. D. Pedersen, 40. K. Harvey
C: 55. C. Dalton, 32. N. Plane, 18. T. Lucas-Rodd
HF: 38. L. McCarthy, 50. J. Borg, 90. B. Walker
F: 27. K. Cox, 42. C. Hardeman, 41. K. Cunico
R: 16. B. Moody, 26. S. Audley, 51. T. Hanks
Int: 82. N. Burns, 23. B. Kennedy, 36. C. Moody, 37. B. Schultz
Emg: 45. R. King, 35. S. Li, 66. T. Plowman, 63. O. Vesely
23P: 8. M. Brancatisano

In: O. Vesely, N. Plane, T. Hanks, M. Brancatisano, B. Kennedy, C. Moody
Out: J. Hosking, C. Bromage

 

CASEY DEMONS v. WESTERN BULLDOGS

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

04:00PM

Casey Fields

Both the Casey Demons and Western Bulldogs come into round seven with one win under their belt and hungry for more. Coming off last week’s bye, the Demons have brought in AFLW players, Laura Duryea and Kate Hore, Bianca Jakobsson and Katherine Smith. They will be joined by Dandenong Stingrays and Vic Country captain, Jordyn Allen, as well as Taylor Mesiti and Sally Fyfield. This week the Demons also signed Shae Sloane, sister of Rory Sloane, who will don the red and blue jumper for the first time this weekend as the 23rd player. The former Volleyroos captain is an exciting addition to the team.

Coming off their first win of the season, the Bulldogs have pulled the ace from their sleeve this week, bringing in AFLW premiership captain, Ellie Blackburn for her VFLW debut. She will be joined by another debutant in AFLW premiership forward, Deanna Berry. Both girls are no stranger to a tough game of football and are sure to add class to the Dogs’ line-up. Laura Bailey, Nicole Paul, Brittney Wunhym and Katerina Rebuffo have also been named in for the round seven clash.

Casey Demons
B: 37. L. Lowerson, 27. A. Harrison, 15. S. Phillips
HB: 34. D. Guttridge, 21. H. Cordner, 16. C. Sheriff
C: 25. M. Shevlin, 22. K. Guttridge, 8. M. Tatham
HF: 18. K. Bentvelzen , 29. E. Zanker , 41. T. Mesiti
F: 38. J. Allen, 12. G. McLean, 7. B. Jakobsson
R: 14. T. Orgill, 13. K. Smith, 2. A. Newman
Int: 48. S. Fyfield, 9. A. Johnson, 6. A. McDonough, 5. S. Poke
Emg: 3. R. Clayton, 47. M. Hogg, 30. A. Marshall, 33. L. Rutter, 49. B. Struylaart
23P: 26. S. Sloane

Western Bulldogs
B: 9. T. Dinuccio, 42. N. Paul, 5. R. Martinuzzo
HB: 26. T. Morgan, 18. E. Birch, 38. C. O’Brien
C: 13. L. Bailey, 21. B. Hunt, 10. S. Jolly
HF: 1. B. Lochland, 12. J. Francke, 6. K. McLeod
F: 7. D. Berry , 32. A. Mifsud, 41. A. Scott
R: 24. K. Rennie, 2. E. Blackburn, 17. H. Wildes
Int: 31. A. Gunn, 29. T. Hamilton, 47. N. McMahon, 51. K. Rebuffo
Emg: 16. N. Ferres, 40. N. Gills, 36. A. Gogos , 27. E. Muller
23P: 37. B. Wunhym

In: L. Bailey, N. Paul, B. Wunhym, N. Gills, D. Berry , E. Blackburn, K. Rebuffo
Out: E. Mackay, R. Ashley, A. Tessari

 

MELBOURNE UNI  v. DAREBIN

Round 7 – 23/06/2018

06:30PM

Melville Oval, Hamilton

Melbourne Uni will go into this week’s clash against Darebin missing two Kangaroo recruits, Jamie Stanton and Danielle HardimanMarta Cantwell has also been named out. In their place, Vic Metro captain, Madison Prespakis will be welcomed back to the field alongside the fearless Sophie Abbatangelo, Asha Price, Alexandra Saundry, Candice Adams and Lauren Munday.

Darebin has made six changes to its round seven side. This involves the inclusion of AFLW player, Nicole Callinan as well as Cherelle Byrne, Janelle Bertoni, Shree Fairchild and Eastern Ranges and Vic Metro defender, Lauren Szigeti who comes in as the 23rd player. The Falcons will be going into the game without powerhouse, Lily Mithen, who is a former captain of Vic Country, and Melbourne AFLW player. Fellow AFLW midfielder, Nat Exon is another big out for the Falcons this week.

Melbourne Uni
B: 27. J. Anderson, 29. K. Klatt, 6. E. Keaney
HB: 53. J. Grierson, 43. L. Munday, 24. S. Wilson
C: 10. K. Ashmore, 15. E. Kearney, 44. A. Runnalls
HF: 11. P. Cordes, 9. K. Price, 2. H. Ibrahim
F: 1. S. Abbatangelo, 34. A. Price, 7. A. Riddell
R: 33. C. Adams, 41. K. Gillespie-Jones, 18. A. Tupper
Int: 19. L. Ahrens, 38. K. Angelis, 20. L. Belza, 4. A. Saundry
Emg: 28. A. Dalley, 45. M. McDonald, 35. M. Shone, 16. T. Watson
23P: 46. M. Prespakis

In: S. Abbatangelo, C. Adams, L. Munday, A. Price, T. Watson, A. Saundry, M. Prespakis
Out: J. Stanton, D. Hardiman, M. Cantwell

Darebin
B: 32. G. Colvin, 27. S. Hogan, 49. R. Hibbert
HB: 48. L. Jacobs, 14. M. McDonald, 21. K. Roe
C: 2. N. Callinan, 9. M. Eastman, 15. A. Lister
HF: 26. T. Olcorn, 24. K. Shierlaw, 56. M. Wilson
F: 22. G. Hammond, 43. H. Mouncey, 17. S. Simpson
R: 41. A. O’Connor, 20. M. Guerin, 12. J. Dal pos
Int: 36. C. Byrne, 44. S. Fairchild, 31. E. Gardner, 11. K. Tyndall
Emg: 37. J. Bertoni, 1. E. Honybun, 29. S. Normington – Dickens, 30. E. O’Dea
23P: 35. L. Szigeti

In: S. Fairchild, L. Szigeti, G. Hammond, N. Callinan, S. Normington – Dickens, C. Byrne, J. Bertoni
Out: L. Skipper, N. Exon, L. Mithen

 

HAWTHORN  v. ESSENDON

Round 7 – 24/06/2018

11:45AM

Box Hill City Oval

Hawthorn will be looking for repeat efforts of last weekend when it takes on the winless Essendon. They have brought in two debutants for the occasion, including Eastern Ranges duo, Emerson Woods and Mikala Cann. Both girls have proven to be tough competitors after their TAC Cup Girls experience this year. Clare O’Donnell and Nicky Cormack have had to make way for the young midfielders.

Yet to experience victory, Essendon will be desperate for a win, coming off the bye. The Bombers have trusted in three debutants to bring them the result they desire. Greater Western Sydney defender, Tanya Hetherington and 17-year-old Calder Cannons defender, Molly Warburton will hopefully bolster the Dons’ defensive pressure. Another 17-year-old Cannons recruit, Carla Rendelmann will also play her first game, being named as the 23rd player. Aysha Ward and Monique DeMatteo have also been named in while Jessica Anwyl, Danielle Ponter, Alex Quigley, Jenna Barker and Erin Bult have been named out.

Hawthorn
B: 22. T. Luke, 21. P. Randall, 31. J. Sibley
HB: 4. S. Carroll, 36. J. Van Dyk, 13. E. Nixon
C: 17. S. David, 1. E. Mackie, 9. M. Kuys
HF: 14. O. Flanagan, 25. M. Hutchins, 33. E. Gilder
F: 8. R. Beeson, 28. S. Perkins, 5. C. Perera
R: 32. K. Ebb, 39. S. McNamara, 6. J. Crockett-Grills
Int: 45. M. Cann, 40. E. Macdonald, 16. C. Papadopoulos, 19. L. Wotton
Emg: 37. J. Barnden, 24. R. Dillon, 11. D. Haines, 29. A. Tanner
23P: 43. E. Woods

In: D. Haines, M. Cann, A. Tanner, R. Dillon, E. Woods, J. Barnden
Out: C. O’Donnell, N. Cormack

Essendon
B: 25. R. Neaves, 7. K. Hicks, 5. M. Warburton
HB: 17. T. Hetherington, 16. L. Morecroft, 27. A. Morcom
C: 44. M. Collier, 37. I. Malliaras, 46. C. Ugle
HF: 35. V. Moreau, 18. K. Heil, 47. A. Ward
F: 4. N. Hardy, 12. B. Kearney, 22. N. MacDonald
R: 30. S. Nalder, 9. L. Williams, 8. H. Bullas
Int: 15. L. Caruso, 3. M. DeMatteo, 32. T. Mackrill, 1. J. Trend
Emg: 14. J. Barker, 49. E. Bult, 26. A. Madden, 28. C. Portlock
23P: 36. C. Rendelmann

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Girls – Round 7

THE Geelong Falcons and Northern Knights have proven themselves as powerhouses of the TAC Cup Girls competition, with both teams keeping their winning streaks intact. Dandenong also made it two consecutive wins, getting the job done over Oakleigh. While the top two has already been determined, the two sides will go head-to-head in round eight in a season that continues to deliver. As with last week, we narrowed our focus on a number of players who had been consistent over the past month.

GWV Rebels vs. Murray Bushrangers

GWV Rebels:

#2 Renee Saulitis

An exciting player who uses her outside run to good advantage off a wing and down forward. She just bursts away with a few quick steps and seems to know where to crumb the ball down forward. She snapped a goal off the side of the boot in the second quarter and showed a clean pair of hands picking the ball up at speed but just rushed her snap on goal a little. She took a good mark later in the game but her set shot just dropped short, however continued to buzz around though there was not much action deep inside 50 in the final term for the Rebels.

#16 Lauren Butler

Butler seems to pop up at the right times and get to positions where she can switch play or drive momentum forward. She is quick to dispose of the ball when under pressure, raising her arms in a tackle and handballing clear. Butler drifted into defence at one stage, took a strong intercept mark and kicked long to Saulitis on the wing. With ball in hand, she looks composed and in one instance, took a mark and just calmly side-stepped her opponent with good agility to kick deep inside 50. She defended well through the middle of the ground in the final term, pumping the ball long into the forward line, and took an important intercept mark at half-forward from a kick-out but unfortunately her set shot drifted to the left.

#18 Sophie Van De Heuvel

Across the first three quarters I thought she was best on ground because of the damage she was causing up forward and her ability to bring teammates into the game. The first memorable moment for Van De Heuvel was a great kick in the opening quarter tight against the boundary under pressure. The AFLW Academy member had the composure to hit-up Alyssa Humphries leading out at her. The most noticeable trait about Van De Heuvel is her ability to not waste a possession and she is also strong overhead. She finished the game with two goals, had another from close range in the third term which just missed, and a set shot later on that hit the post. She did kick one of her goals from a powerful set shot. Laid some good tackles as well which was good to see.

#23 Sophie Molan

I have not seen her play a bad game to date, Molan is just that consistent midfielder who is still bottom-age but stands out with or without her AFLW Academy teammates. Molan is clean at ground level with a good burst of acceleration, kicking a great goal after hard running out of midfield. She set up another goal to Saulitis with a fantastic smother on Rebecca Webster, winning the ball and kicking long to the forward. In the third term she found herself all alone inside forward 50 for an uncontested mark, but her set shot just missed. Finished a great game with a lovely kick on the run to hit-up Saulitis again.

#25 Georgia Clarke

The centre half-back was enormous in the first half, pushing up into the midfield when required and winning some crucial one-on-one battles. She laid a couple of tackles to stop Bushrangers in their tracks, and she just reads the ball so well from the half-back line. She positions herself in dangerous positions to both intercept and rebound, and just keeps running all day. She picked up three disposals in one chain of possession in the third term, running from half-back to half-forward.

#35 Rene Caris

Caris had a solid game, particularly standing out early. Her ruckwork is very good, knowing where her midfielders are, and palming down to them with effect. She has quick hands in close and moves well for a taller player, offering up as an option across the ground.

Murray Bushrangers:

#16 Eloise Ashley-Cooper

Returned to the Bushrangers side and had a few solid moments throughout the game. Playing off half-back, she was opposed to Van De Heuvel at times and created some run out of defence. She put pressure on her opponent and is able to defend in the air or at ground level. She moved up into the midfield at times, providing an inside presence at the stoppages.

#17 Rebecca Webster

A typical hard working performance from the AFLW Academy member. She continually hit the packs hard and never took a backwards step. She was often accompanied by a crowd of Rebels, but still stood out with her good vision and quick hands. She was particularly involved heavily early and she reads the game so well through the midfield. Webster’s strength was underlined at one stage in the third term, fending off two players consecutively. She had a thumping shot on goal from outside 50 but her attempt just fell short. She kicked an important goal in the final term, evading an opponent inside 50 with a feint snap before actually snapping on her other side and nailing the goal.

#22 Tamara Smith

A tireless worker throughout the game, Smith just continued to work hard over four quarters. Early on she won a good one-on-one contest against Molan, showing good body work, but her kick forward was intercepted by Clarke. Smith was composed under pressure and moved well through traffic, laying a good smother to start the third term which saw her win the footy, kick forward and lead to a goal to Claudia McKimmie. A great piece of defensive play was a huge rundown tackle in the fourth term, winning the football moments later on the wing, taking a couple of bounces and kicking forward. Overall, Smith has a good balance of inside and outside traits, showing fantastic closing speed with some bone-crunching rundown tackles.

#25 Grace Egan

Wore a different number in the clash strip to her traditional #42, and was solid, particularly through the middle patches of the game. She often looks for the quick handball off half-back and laid a few great tackles pushing up the ground or as a wall at half-back. She rebounded well and looked to switch play on different occasions. Moved forward in the last term and laid a bruising hip-and-shoulder in the final play when the ball was deep inside 50 and the Bushrangers almost got a score-levelling goal.

 

Eastern Ranges vs. Gippsland Power 

By: Taylah Melki 

Eastern Ranges:

#3 Emerson Woods

She was one of the best on field for the Ranges with her clean hands in and around the stoppages and her ability to compete well in the air. Even when she did not win the footy in the air she competed hard and brought the ball to ground to give her teammates the chance to win the footy. She took a few strong marks and provided a good option when coming out of defence for the Ranges. Woods was not afraid to go in hard for the footy and scrap for it at ground level to win the ball credit to her courage and commitment to the game.

#37 Georgia Macpherson

She had some really good patches throughout the game laying an impressive smother in the third quarter that stopped her opponent from banging the ball inside their forward 50. Macpherson applied plenty of physical pressure in and around the contest and was clean at ground level, helping to release the run and carry of her teammates.  

 #38 Laura McClelland

Her physical pressure was really good, harassing players and trying hard to win the footy. She laid plenty of strong tackles and used her body well to set up play. McClelland also showcased her ability to read the play and create an option for the Ranges to kick to up forward.

Gippsland Power:

#6 Emily Haeusler

She worked really hard throughout the match for Gippsland and was probably one of the best for the Power. She was very clean across the ground and consistently imposed herself on the contest. Haeusler was very agile and good in tight spaces, helping to release her teammates. She used her good strong kick and running ability to help propel her team forward especially in the fourth quarter. Her follow-up efforts in the last quarter helped to inspire her teammates.

#28 Tyla Hanks

She was a clear standout for Gippsland once again. She dominated across the ground, taking plenty of strong marks and creating space to help release her teammates into space. Her clean hands in and around the contest were invaluable along with her ability to run and carry. Hanks laid plenty of strong tackles and copped plenty of attention from her opponents, but that did not seem to bother her as she went on to slot an important goal on a tight angle. She showcased her footy smarts and her ability to turn and hit a target, credit to her good kicking ability. Her work at stoppages and clean pick-ups helped to propel the Power forward.

 

Sandringham Dragons vs. Western Jets 

By: Carly McClen 

Sandringham Dragons:

#50 Hannah Bate

Dominant in her role at half-forward. Nobody could get near her. Strong marking and delivery into attacking 50. Great third-quarter goal from 30 metres out, threading it straight though the middle. Kicked another good goal in the last quarter. She kicked the ball into the mark from 20 metres out early on but recomposed and took her time to secure goals for her team. Good marking at half-forward and delivery into attacking 50.

#25 Isabella Eddey

Strong tacking all day and hustling at half-forward. Huge impact in keeping the ball in the attack for the Dragons. 

#30 Eleanor Brown

Good marking and setting up opportunities for goal. Good team play in shepherding and following through. Great running and kept her feet, showing good agility. 

#64 Eliza McNamara

Played the roving position well. Ran all day with quick hands and following up, pushing the ball forward for her team. Creative inside midfielder who showed great attack on the ball.

#43 Abbie McKay

Good running to collect the ball on the run and jab it through for goal. Played her centre role convincingly. 

 Western Jets:

#16 Elisabeth Georgostathis

Strong tackling creating turnarounds in defence and nice left-foot kicking on the run. Laid a great tackle in the last quarter against the running Eleanor Brown, who is tough to catch.

#30 Isabelle Pritchard

Strong kicking out of defence and pressure on forwards particularly in the last quarter. Great long kick left-foot kick.

#39 Cleo Saxon-Jones

Good direct kicking and was dominant in the ruck. 

#40 Sharnie Whiting

Strong and long kicking out of half-back.

 

Northern Knights vs. Bendigo Pioneers 

By: James Halley 

Northern Knights:

#23 Gabrielle Newton

She is very good at picking up the footy below her knees. She was playing out of full-forward at stages and won herself a shot on goal with a great lead, but pulled the kick to the right-hand side.

#4 Neve O’Connor

Dominated the ruck taps all day convincingly. She had a big presence on the field.

#24 Alex Pronesti

She showed great footy knowledge to set up Britney Gutknecht for a goal when she had a set shot on an acute angle. Early in the last quarter she was unselfish once again to set up Gutknecht for a centering pass. Pronesti is becoming a well-rounded player.

#5 Madeline Brancatisano

She is a smooth mover, and dangerous in the small forward role. In the third term she got through two opponents to kick her first goal on the run, in what was a very impressive passage of play.

#22 Britney Gutknecht

Gutknecht was dangerous all day, presented well and was very influential. She capitalised perfectly from a set shot straight in front in the second term from a wonderful Alex Pronesti pass. She kicked her second for the term when she played on from a set shot in a lack of concentration from Bendigo’s defence. This allowed her to ease the pressure and create an easier shot on goal for herself. Late in the third term she kicked her third major from a scrimmage in the goal-square. Pronesti and Gutknecht combined for the second time, where a selfless act from Pronesti displayed the epitome of putting the team first. Gutknecht absolutely dominated the last quarter, finishing off with adding another two goals to her total of six.

Bendigo Pioneers: 

#11 Jemma Finning

She played a role on Northern’s Ellie McKenzie and was beaten, but was able to curb her influence at times, such as winning a holding-the-ball decision in the last quarter.

#19 Kodi Jaques

Won a high free kick in the third term and kicked truly for Bendigo’s first goal since the first quarter. She played in the midfield and laid countless tackles. Jacques recorded numerous pressure acts, as the Knights had the ball most of the time. She was amongst the best for Bendigo, and was often found at the bottom of the pack all day, trying her heart out for her side. 

 

Calder Cannons vs. Geelong Falcons

Calder Cannons:

#3 Madison Prespakis

Dominant game as usual by the Cannons star midfielder. What impressed me most during this game was her leadership. When she went off in the first quarter, she was pacing up and down the boundary line and following the play. She yelled out spirited instructions to teammates and even the runner. Prespakis is a player who not only knows her own game but also knows her teammates’ games. She has a great ability to execute structures and can play anywhere. This was shown when she was moved to full forward in the second half and had an immediate impact, kicking two goals. It was the first time I’ve seen her in a one-on-one role and you guessed it- she can do that as well!

#21 Georgia Patrikios

Patrikios was her usual aggressive self. She ran hard all game and worked well up the ground. She kicked a great goal at start of the third quarter which gave Calder some momentum. Patrikios worked hard up forward and got deep into the contest at times. Took a good mark running back with the flight of the ball and cleverly kicked it to the top of the square. Demonstrated her high footy IQ with a really smart kick to hack the ball out of a tight stoppage. Patrikios of course executed her famous side-step wonderfully, continuing to demonstrate her impressive agility. She got to play on-ball at times, which suits her. This gave Patrikios the opportunity to find some space and dominate.

#18 Carla Rendelmann

Played her best game for the Cannons this season. Has an incredible leap in the ruck and won plenty of hit-outs. She also had an impact around the ground, using her body to keep the Falcons away from the ball. Took a huge mark later in the game and demonstrated great hands throughout the day. Had good awareness to be on the goal-line inside defensive 50 when Geelong was pressing forward.

 

 Geelong Falcons:

#7 Olivia Purcell

Purcell’s gut-running was really impressive against Calder. This was shown when she sprinted forward to assist Renee Tierney, who tripped in a one-on-one in the goal-square, keeping the ball in the hot zone for Geelong. Delivered nice kicks into space and demonstrated good run and carry. Purcell moved across the ground well and when she couldn’t pick up the footy, she provided a good defensive effort through a shepherd or a tackle. In one instance, she cleverly side-stepped her opponent to buy her some time and find an option.

#23 Lucy McEvoy

McEvoy’s handballing was on display against Calder. She gave away plenty of quick-fire handballs and at times, gave stronger, loopier handballs to create the run and carry for the Falcons. The highlight of her game was when she laid a goal-saving smother in the defensive goal-square, which demonstrated huge courage and simultaneously halted the momentum that the Cannons had in the third quarter. In one instance, McEvoy did really well to trap the ball with her feet rather than bend down and pick it up. She was really calm and composed on last line of defence, shown when she still got a handball away while being tackled.

#18 Nina Morrison

Morrison took a composed chest mark and perfectly hit a target inside 50, something she has been able to do consistently throughout the season. Had good run and carry throughout the game and was speedy with the ball in hand as usual. Had good agility and picked the ball up cleanly off the deck when she needed to. Morrison consistently stopped Cannons midfielders in their tracks while hunting the ball herself. Always completed one effort then followed up with another. Took a great contested grab where she just snatched it out of her opponent’s hands. Morrison is ball magnet and a fantastic reader of the footy. She consistently provided an option for her teammates.

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup Girls – Round 7

ROUND seven confirmed the two grand finalists for the TAC Cup Girls competition. The Geelong Falcons and Northern Knights have now won seven games in a row, and sit two games ahead of Sandringham and Eastern at third and fourth (respectively). All four teams had a win on the weekend and were joined by Greater Western Victoria (GWV) and Dandenong on the winners’ list.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels  5.8.38 defeated Murray Bushrangers 5.2.32

By: Peter Williams

The Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels continued their fantastic form with their third straight win, following a thrilling six-point victory over the Murray Bushrangers. The Bushrangers have found themselves on the opposite side of the formline, with the loss making it three consecutive defeats since going nine games without a loss in the first season and a half of TAC Cup Girls football. Both sides were impressive throughout with a number of AFLW Academy stars putting on a show.

For the winners, Georgia Clarke was immense at centre-half back in the first half, rebounding all the Murray attacks, while up the other end, Sophie Van De Heuvel booted two goals and could have had a couple more had it not been for a few unlucky misses, or unselfish plays. Sophie Molan continued her fantastic form through the midfield and around the ground, while up forward, the exciting Renee Saulitis booted a goal and almost had a second, just looking dangerous every time she went near it. Captain Lauren Butler was another consistent player across four quarters playing all across the ground.

The Bushrangers’ midfield was the shining loss in the defeat, with Rebecca Webster leading the way despite being closely watched by her opponents, while Tamara Smith, Chelsea Knight and Millie Brown all threw themselves into the contest. Kate Adams was lively between midfield and forward, while Grace Egan was solid off half-back, producing some good rebounds and run-and-carry.

Oakleigh Chargers 4.4.28 defeated by Dandenong Stingrays 8.8.56

The Dandenong Stingrays backed up their first win of the season last week with a clinical 28-point win over the Oakleigh Chargers. The Stingrays led all day but in a positive for the Chargers, they outscored the away side by a point in the last quarter.

Alice O’Sullivan was the best afield for the Stingrays and was joined by usual suspect, Jordyn Allen among the top Dandenong players. The Stingrays captain has been a consistent performer in the back line all season and Saturday was no different. Isabella Shannon backed up her two-goal performance last week with another two goals against the Chargers. Amie Carroll was one of seven goal-kickers for the Stingrays, and also found her name in the best for the away side.

Playing without last week’s best-on-ground, Katie Lynch was always going to be a big challenge for Oakleigh. But the Chargers had plenty of players who stepped up in her place, including Chloe O’Malley, Melanie Bertuna and captain, Hannah McLaren. Bridie Winbanks was named the best player for Oakleigh after having another dominant performance in the black and white. Cricketer Isabella Gietzmann got on the board with a goal and also featured among Oakleigh’s best.

Eastern Ranges 4.5.29 defeated Gippsland Power 3.2.20

By: Taylah Melki

In a close encounter, it was the Eastern Ranges that came away with a nine-point win over the Gippsland Power. Both teams brought their a-game and competed hard throughout the game, with plenty of good match-ups across the ground. The Power threw everything at the Ranges in the last quarter but the Ranges showed great composure and held on to claim their fifth win for the season.

For the Ranges, Emerson Woods impressed both in the air and at ground level, going in hard to win the footy. Woods took a few good strong marks and consistently provided an option for her teammates. Nicole Cormack also played a big role in the Ranges win, slotting an important goal in the dying minutes to help secure the victory for Eastern. Georgia Macpherson applied plenty of pressure and was clean in and around the contest while Catherine Chamberlain imposed herself on the scoreboard, slotting a major.

Tyla Hanks was in impressive form yet again for the Power, slotting a big goal to keep them in the game and racking up plenty of touches. Her ability to read the play allowed her to release her teammates into space and propel her team forward. Jazz Ferguson also had a stellar game for the Power, laying plenty of strong tackles and taking a heap of intercept marks. Ferguson was really strong around the contest and showed her clean hands in tight. Emily Haeusler was in fine form once again winning plenty of the footy while teammate Chelsea Bray slotted an important goal for the Power.  

Sandringham Dragons 8.9.57 defeated Western Jets 1.1.7

By: Carly McClen and Julia Montesano

Sandringham kept the Western Jets goalless until late in the last quarter, making more noise on the ground than ever before and proving it near impossible for the Jets to get the ball- not just into their attacking 50, but across the halfway line. Nobody could get near Dragons forward Holly Bate, who kicked five majors for the day while Kaitlyn O’Keefe kicked the only goal for the Jets late in the last quarter.

Midfielder, Eliza McNamara was among the standouts on the weekend, continuing to show how much of an asset she is to the Dragons line-up. Alice Burke and Bryanna Arnold stood up in defence and had solid performances. But it was Holly Bate who stole the show for Sandringham, kicking five goals in a dominant performance inside 50. Abbie McKay also got on the board with two majors, and was named among the Dragons’ best players. 

For the Jets, Elisabeth Georgostathis had another fine day through the middle of the ground and never gave up throughout the match. Isabelle Pritchard was solid once again in defence and continues to trouble opposition forwards. Cleo Saxon-Jones had another commendable performance while Isabella Grant found her name in Western’s best once again, proving how valuable she is to the side. 

Northern Knights 14.7.91 defeated Bendigo Pioneers 3.2.20

By: James Halley

After an even first quarter, it was all the Knights from then on as they piled on 12 goals to two to stay undefeated after seven rounds. At quarter time, the match could have gone either way, but the Knights flicked the switch and kicked five goals to none in the second term to give themselves a game winning 35-point lead at half time.

Britney Gutknecht was enormous with six goals, jumping to second on the league’s top goal kickers list. Ellie McKenzie was influential in the middle of the ground, and was assisted by Neve O’Connor dominating the ruck and getting plenty of hit-outs throughout the game.

Kodi Jacques was clearly the best for the Pioneers, digging in deep in the midfield all day while also kicking a goal. Captain, Megan Williamson and Dayna Kelly-Guthrie were among the other leading performers for the Pioneers. 

The Knights will look to claim top spot in round eight against Geelong Falcons in a top-of-the-table clash, while Bendigo will face another tough game against third-placed Sandringham.

Calder Cannons 4.2.26 defeated by Geelong Falcons 7.4.46

At the end of the first quarter, the Cannons were leading the Falcons, prompting them to go bang with a six-goal second quarter. Calder fought back in the third quarter with three goals but Geelong’s second quarter was dominant enough to secure the victory at RAMS Arena.

Sophie Walmsley had a dominant performance for the Falcons, kicking two goals for the day and having a strong presence around the ground. Ella Mahoney also got on the board with two majors in her first game of the season. Nina Morrison continued her stellar season in the midfield with a high work ethic throughout the match, and was complemented by Zoe Inei in the ruck.

Madison Prespakis again starred for the Cannons, playing in the midfield and contributing at full forward. Prespakis kicked two goals for the day and her on-field leadership was second-to-none. Carla Rendelmann starred in the ruck and absolutely dominated, winning plenty of hit-outs. Midfielders, Felicity Theodore and Grace Dicker were among the best for the Cannons, providing important run throughout the day.

Player of the Week: TAC Cup Girls – Round 7

IT is usually a difficult decision to pick the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Girls’ Player of the Week, but in round seven, one individual performance in the forward line stood out from the rest. Northern Knights’ Britney Gutknecht booted six goals against the Bendigo Pioneers and was awarded the best afield, and the best of the round from our point of view. 

Gutknecht has been one of many impressive performers in Northern’s line-up this season. She is a versatile midfielder who can make an impact up forward or in defence. Gutknecht is the second Knights player to be awarded the Player of the Week, joining AFLW Academy member, Gabrielle Newton as nominees. Gutknecht would undoubtedly be hoping to produce some heroics again in round eight, as her undefeated side takes on the other undefeated TAC Cup Girls side in the Geelong Falcons. 

Scouting notes vs. Bendigo Pioneers 

#22 Britney Gutknecht 

Gutknecht was dangerous all day, presented well and was very influential. She capitalised perfectly from a set shot straight in front in the second term from a wonderful Alex Pronesti pass. She kicked her second for the term when she played on from a set shot in a lack of concentration from Bendigo’s defence. This allowed her to ease the pressure and create an easier shot on goal for herself. Late in the third term she kicked her third major from a scrimmage in the goal-square. Pronesti and Gutknecht combined for the second time, where a selfless act from Pronesti displayed the epitome of putting the team first. Gutknecht absolutely dominated the last quarter, finishing off with adding another two goals to her total of six.

TAC Cup Girls previews: Round 7

WITH only three weeks left before the the grand final, there are plenty of new faces coming in for round seven along with some big time players that are also back in the mix. The Geelong Falcons and Northern Knights will be looking to keep their undefeated record in tact while the Eastern Ranges will be hoping to secure their spot in the top four.  With Oakleigh notching up their second win of the season last week they will be hoping to bring that form into their round seven clashes.

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 7 – Saturday 28 April, 12.00pm
Warawee Park, Oakleigh

Both teams are coming off big round six wins, making for a hotly contested match between the two sides. The Oakleigh Chargers will be looking to make the most of their home ground advantage against the Stingrays. Unfortunately, they lose the likes of midfield duo, Alana Porter and Katie Lynch along with defender Nicola Xenos, who is a general down back for the Chargers. With two wins under their belt the Chargers will be looking to storm home and claim their third win of the season.

The Stingrays claimed a 54-point win in last weeks’ match with the likes of Courtney Jones dominating up forward and slotting two majors while captain, Jordyn Allen imposed herself in and around the contest. But Dandenong will be missing the class of AFLW Academy forward, Brooke Struylaart who has gone down with an injury, making for an interesting clash on Saturday.

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 7 – Saturday 28 April, 12.00pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

With three wins each, both the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Murray Bushrangers will be looking to notch up their fourth win of the season, making for a good contest across the ground. The Rebels will be pleased to see the likes of forward, Renee Saulitis and talented midfielder Stephanie Glover – who has predominantly played in defence – both take the field for their clash against Murray. But the Rebels have some key outs for the match with Ella Wood joining a number of talented players on the boundary.

The Murray Bushrangers will be looking to bounce back after a loss last week. They will be bolstered by the return of key players, Eloise Ashley-Cooper and Chelsea Knight who provide good composure with ball in hand. Unfortunately, Murray will be without some of its most consistent players such as Sophie Damon and Julia Harvey for the trip to Craigieburn. The Bushrangers will be hoping to secure another win for the season and look to climb back into a spot in the top four.

 

EASTERN RANGES v. GIPPSLAND POWER

Round 7 – Saturday 28 April, 1.00pm
Healesville Sporting Complex, Healesville

After two losses in a row, the Eastern Ranges will be hoping to peg one back against the Gippsland Power who are hot on their heels on the ladder. Eastern will look to the return of Georgia Macpherson and Paige Buruma in the absence of key defender, Abbey Tognazzini and gun forward, Olivia Meagher. A win on Saturday will keep them in the hunt for a top four finish with the end of the season near.

The Gippsland Power will be looking to bounce back after a tight battle against the undefeated Northern Knights. Unfortunately, they will be without potent forward, Nikia Webber, who will be hard to replace with her accuracy in front of goal. Gippsland have brought in forward, Sophie Walker to apply some scoreboard pressure, while the Power will continue to look to the likes of star midfielder, Tyla Hanks to provide a spark for them across the ground against the Ranges.

 

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. WESTERN JETS

Round 7 – Saturday 28 April, 1.00pm
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham

The Sandringham Dragons secured their fourth win of the season in round six against the Murray Bushrangers, moving themselves into the top four. The Dragons will be hoping to bring that type of intensity and pressure this week against the Jets, bringing in forward, Taylah Grasso and defender, Grace Bridges to continue their winning streak.

For the Jets, their leading goal-kicker, Caitlin Greiser will be absent from their clash against the Dragons on Saturday. The Jets have notched up one win for the season and will be looking to secure their second against Sandringham.

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 7 – Sunday 29 April, 12.45pm
Preston City Oval, Preston

After six rounds of footy the Northern Knights are still undefeated and will be looking to bring that pressure against the Bendigo Pioneers. Playing at home the Knights will want to make the most of their home ground advantage and play an impressive four quarters of footy. The Knights have named scoring machine, Alyssa Bannan and the versatile Abigail Bennett as emergencies, but have brought in the likes of Jessica Fitzgerald and Neve O’Connor to help balance out the team.

The Pioneers have won just one game for the season and would love to cause a big upset against the undefeated Knights. Though they will be missing a few major players such as Olivia Taverna and Bree Heiden, they have brought in the likes of defender Sharmaine Reilly for the clash at Preston.

 

CALDER CANNONS v. GEELONG FALCONS

Round 7 – Sunday 29 April, 2.00pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

The Geelong Falcons are yet to lose a game and will be hoping to continue their hot form against the Calder Cannons. The Falcons have been strong up forward with the likes of Sachi DeGiacomi dominating in front of goal. Though the Falcons may be without one AFLW Academy player Denby Taylor, Geelong have brought in the likes of another AFLW Academy member in Eliza Shannon, which is testament to their depth of players. The Falcons will have to contend with not just Calder Cannons gun midfielder, Madison Prespakis but so too her sister, Georgie Prespakis, which will make for an interesting match up.

The Calder Cannons have notched up only one win for the season and would love to claim a huge scalp in the undefeated Falcons. The Cannons will have their hands full trying to contain Geelong but with the return of Makeisha Muller and Laura Cocomello, the Cannons could put up a good fight and create a strong contest.

TAC Cup wrap: Round seven review

TAC CUP EASTERN RANGERS VS DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Photo courtesy of Ashleigh Wong.

Geelong Falcons 13.12 (90)
Calder Cannons 4.12 (36)

Geelong goals: B. Remmos 2, J. Bennett 2, R. Mathieson 2, C. Curnow, C. Farrell, B. Blair, M. Diamond, N. Connors, Z. Zdybel, L. Donne.
Calder goals: N. O’Kearney, S. Stewart, B. Meyers, H. Kerbatieh.
Geelong best: R. Mathieson, B. Remmos, L. Donne, C. Curnow, Z. Zdybel, H. Kershaw
Calder best: N. O’Kearney, O. Magbegor, H. Kerbatieh, T. Gawthrop, B. Meyers, C. Moore

Geelong Falcons continued their strong season with a 54-point win over the Calder Cannons under lights at Simonds Stadium. There were 10 individual goal scorers for 13 goals as the Falcons reduced the Cannons to just four goals for the match. The score was made somewhat more respectable with the Cannons booting three goals to two in the last quarter to more than double their score in that quarter alone. AIS member Rhys Mathieson was the clear best on ground with 36 disposals, nine marks, four tackles and two goals, while Nick O’Kearney was the best for the Cannons.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Rhys Mathieson (Geelong Falcons)
4 – William Sexton (Geelong Falcons)
3 – Nick O’Kearney (Calder Cannons)
2 – Baden Remmos (Geelong Falcons)
1 – Harry Kershaw (Geelong Falcons)

Queensland 13.6 (84)
Gippsland Power 13.7 (85)

Queensland goals: J. Brown 4, W. Buzza 2, J. Allison 2, M. Chol 2, B. Keays, J. Licht, D. Budarick.
Gippsland goals: H. McKay 3, D. Costigan 2, R. Hearn 2, T. Papley 2, T. Marsh, J. McMahon, K. Renooy, A. Ferreira.
Queensland best: D. Budarick, B. Keays, R. William, J. Brown, C. Wagner, J. Allison
Gippsland best: S. Skinner, N. Holmes, D. Costigan, H. McKay, J. McMahon, B. Dessent

Gippsland Power overcame a five-point three quarter time deficit to defeat Queensland in the sunshine state by a solitary point. Both teams had chances to win and were reasonably accurate, booting 13 goals each. Queensland’s Josh Brown booted the most with four, while Harrison McKay booted three for the Power. While Gippsland had a number of workmanlike performances, Dyson Budarick and Ben Keays had the ball on a string with 34 disposals each. Nash Holmes and Sam Skinner continued their strong seasons to be the top players for the Power once again.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Dyson Budarick (Queensland)
4 – Ben Keays (Queensland)
3 – Nash Holmes (Gippsland Power)
2 – Sam Skinner (Gippsland Power)
1 – Josh Brown (Queensland)

Eastern Ranges 9.8 (62)
Dandenong Stingrays 12.11 (83)

Eastern goals: S. Weideman 5, B. Hardwick 2, K. Doueal, J. Nolan.
Dandenong goals: J. Freeman 2, Z. Roscoe 2, M. La Fontaine, J. Battle, T. Young, J. Di Pasquale, D. Warke, S. Gladman, L. Williams, B. Rice.
Eastern best: A. Fenton, B. Batty, S. Weideman, R. Harvey, A. Cotte, A. Brolic
Dandenong best: J. Rouse, J. Freeman, K. Collins, J. Lovett, M. Cox, J. Di Pasquale

Dandenong Stingray’s defence matched Eastern Ranges offense with a 21-point win at Box Hill on the weekend. Eastern Ranges’ Top draft prospect Sam Weideman booted five, while Blake Hardwick assisted with two, but it was the 10 individual goal kickers for the Stingrays that saw the result swing towards them. Kieran Collins was once again resolute in defence showing why he’ll be highly sought after at the end of the year, while Jake Di Pasquale was impressive around the ground. Bryce Batty and Ryan Harvey also found plenty of the ball on the day.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Sam Weideman (Eastern Ranges)
4 – Kieran Collins (Dandenong Stingrays)
3 – Jake Di Pasquale (Dandenong Stingrays)
2 – Bryce Batty (Eastern Ranges)
1 – Ryan Harvey (Eastern Ranges)

North Ballarat Rebels 18.15 (123)
Northern Knights 7.6 (48)

North Ballarat goals: J. Cowan 3, J. Hopper 3, M. Johnston 2, B. Lusby 2, T. Templeton 2, E. Frank 2, J. Symons, C. Wellings, T. Taurau, N. Hausler.
Northern goals: M. Ercolano 2, B. Jordan, C. Dalgleish, C. McKay, I. Soldo, K. Malone.
North Ballarat best: J. Hopper, B. Lusby, T. Templeton, J. Symons, M. Johnston, H. Dawborn
Northern best: J. El Moussalli, J. Gresham, B. Fiorini, M. Ercolano, K. Malone, T. Leonard’s

North Ballarat Rebels flexed their muscles on the weekend with a thumping 75-point win over the Northern Knights. As per most weeks, James El Moussalli, Braden Fiorini and Jade Gresham racked up the ball, but it was the finishing prowess of Jacob Hopper, Ben Lusby and Tom Templeton that prevailed. The Rebels got out of the blocks strongly and booted 10 goals to three in the first half to all but end the contest. A five goal to two third quarter had some at the ground wondering if the margin would exceed three figures, but a tighter final quarter, in which the Cannons booted two goals, but restricted North Ballarat to three held the margin to 75 points.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Jacob Hopper (North Ballarat Rebels)
4 – Ben Lusby (North Ballarat Rebels)
3 – James El Moussalli (Northern Knights)
2 – Braden Fiorini (Northern Knights)
1 – Tom Templeton (North Ballarat Rebels)

Western Jets 10.13 (73)
Bendigo Pioneers 7.10 (52)

Western goals: Q. Butt 2, J. Hickey 2, M. Norton, B. Coletta, L. Knight, J. Bertollo, L. Spiteri, J. Volpato.
Bendigo goals: S. Simmons 2, R. Free, B. Edwards, J. Ryan, M. Higgs, L. Tardrew.
Western best: J. Volpato, L. Knight, D. Foley, W. Berry, M. Norton, J. Hickey
Bendigo best: L. Tardrew, M. Chisari, J. Muscatello, B. Edwards, J. Harvey, D. Hanley

Western Jets earned their first points of the year by winning the battle of the winless teams and beating Bendigo by 21 points on Saturday. The match was a tight affair, with little separating the two teams. However after half time the Jets managed to pull away, mostly thanks to the efforts of Jackson Volpato and Lachlan Knight. Western’s defence was rock solid in the second half and restricted the Pioneers to a solitary goal after the long break which proved pivotal in a low scoring affair.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 – Lachlan Knight (Western Jets)
4 – Jackson Volpato (Western Jets)
3 – Lachlan Tardrew (Bendigo Pioneers)
2 – Mitch Norton (Western Jets)
1 – Sam Simmons (Bendigo Pioneers)

Murray Bushrangers 9.7 (61)
NSW/ACT Rams 4.7 (31)

Murray goals: J. Schache 3, L. Smith 2, L. Middleton 2, T. McMullan, J. Battista.
NSW/ACT goals: J. Cornell 3, H. Himmelberg.
Murray best: N. Coughlan, M. Waite, J. Schache, M. Canfield, D. Mennen, R. Sharp
NSW/ACT best: H. Himmelberg, J. Cornell, C. Bance, H. Macreadie, M. Flynn, R. Hebron

A wet day in Albury greeted these two teams as NSW/ACT looked to continue their good form ahead of the National Championships. It was not a day for talls and this looked like it may hurt the Bushrangers who featured a formidable forward line with the likes of Schache, Minogue and McMullan floating around their forward half. However it did not seem to hurt them early, kicking the first and only two goals of the first quarter to lead by 12 points at quarter time.

The ball spent a lot of time in the Rams forward half but they couldn’t take advantage as the Bushrangers defenders, led by Nick Coughlan and Lachie Tiziani rebounded beautifully. The slingshot footy of the Bushrangers was great to watch when they could get out into space, and was highlighted by a great team goal starting with Coughlan in the back pocket and culminating in a flying Josh Schache pulling down a great contested mark over three others. At the other end, Jock Cornell finished off some hard work by the Rams by running into an open goal to kick their only major of the half.

The third quarter started much the same as the first two. The Rams were getting their hands on the ball in the middle, through Matt Kennedy and Charlie Bance, but couldn’t score. Jock Cornell kicked his second with a great pick up and snap at goal but after that it was all the Bushies. Dave Mennen went into beast mode and Murray piled on the goals, kicking four unanswered goals to go into the last quarter with a 30 point lead.

Cornell started the final quarter with a much needed goal for the Rams, but he was proving to be the only man capable of keeping them in the game, as no other Rams looked likely of kicking a goal with their man target Harrison Himmelberg being well held by Brady Sharp. Himmelberg managed to slip away from Sharp to kick a nice goal over his shoulder to get the Rams back within 19 points but the Bushrangers managed to hold on and survive a barrage of attacking thrusts from NSW/ACT. When Levi Middleton kicked two goals in two minutes it was all over for the Bushrangers and they came out winners by 30 points in an entertaining game that was much closer than the final score suggested.

BFGN Rising Stars Medal:

5 –Nick Coughlan (Murray Bushrangers)
4 – David Mennen (Murray Bushrangers)
3 – Ryley Sharp (Murray Bushrangers)
2 – Charlie Bance (NSW/ACT Rams)
1 – Josh Schache (Murray Bushrangers)