Tag: Tegan Cunningham

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 Previews: Grand Final

THE big day is finally here, where the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Lions will face off in the AFLW Grand Final. However it has come with much controversy, as Bulldogs captain, Katie Brennan is set to miss the match through suspension. Despite this, the game will undoubtedly by a high-pressure, high-intensity hit-out with both clubs searching for their first AFLW premiership. 

Western Bulldogs vs. Brisbane

Saturday March 23, 12:35pm at Ikon Park

The second season of AFLW comes to a close on Saturday afternoon as the top-of-the-table Western Bulldogs square off against last year’s runners-up in the Brisbane Lions for the ultimate prize. Despite finishing on top of the ladder, the Bulldogs will not host the game at VU Whitten Oval, with the contest being played at Ikon Park to accommodate a larger crowd.

The Bulldogs come off an incredibly hard-fought win last week against Melbourne, thanks to late game heroics from Brooke Lochland earning them the right to host the grand final. They enter the game without their captain Katie Brennan, who will miss the game due to suspension, as a result of a dangerous tackle in the last quarter against Melbourne. Whilst this will be a big obstacle to overcome for the Dogs, Brennan did miss three rounds earlier in the season, and the Dogs still managed to win two of those three games. Their midfield will once again be key for victory and they will be hoping for a big contribution from Emma Kearney and Ellie Blackburn. With the Lions possessing a forward line which contains the likes of Sabrina Frederick- Traub and Jess Wuetschner, the Bulldogs defence will have their hands full. The game last week against Melbourne saw Lauren Spark announce herself on the scene, keeping Tegan Cunningham possession-less and limiting her impact on the game, and she will be significant once again on Saturday.

Brisbane entered the final round in fifth place and were in desperate need of a number of results to go their way. The Lions took care of their own business, defeating the Giants by such a large margin that they surpassed Melbourne on percentage. They were then assisted by their opponents on Saturday, with the Bulldogs defeating Melbourne and Collingwood defeating Adelaide. This provides them an opportunity for redemption, having lost the inaugural AFLW grand final to the Crows. Sabrina Frederick-Traub was unbelievable again last week and looked unstoppable in her four-goal effort to take the game away from the Giants, and she will no doubt look to do the same again. A key part of their success all year has been the play of Emily Bates through the midfield and she will be needed to counteract the star power that the Bulldogs possess.

The stage is set for what should be a fantastic game. The Bulldogs look to complete an incredible turnaround from where they were 12 months ago, whilst the Lions look to bounce back from last year’s disappointing loss in the big game.

Weekend Wash-up: AFLW – Round 7

AFTER a huge round with five teams fighting for a position in the grand final, the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Lions secured their spot. In a tight tussle with highly contested matches throughout the round it all came down to the contest between Collingwood and Adelaide. With the Crows losing to a dominant Magpies outfit, the Lions clawed their way into back-to-back grand finals. Adelaide just fell marginally short of its premiership defence while the Blues finished on the bottom of the ladder after losing against the Dockers.  The Pies showed glimpses of their football prowess, impressing against the Crows and after a stellar season, the Demons missed out on making it to their first grand final.

GWS 3.6 (24) defeated by Brisbane 10. 4 (64)

With a spot in the grand final up for grabs, the Lions brought their A-game. The quick-starting Brisbane jumped the Giants, belting them by a whopping 40 points. In what was tipped to be a close encounter, the Lions piled on six goals to one in the opening term and kept their foot on the pedal until the final siren. GWS struggled to compete with the skill and class of Brisbane, only scoring three goals for the match.

Key moment:

In a must-win match for both teams, it was the Lions who showed great composure and footy smarts to control the game from the outset. Their superstars and leaders in Sabrina Frederick-Traub, the ever-reliable Kate Lutkins, Emily Bates and captain Emma Zielke were pivotal players in Brisbane’s impressive win. They used the footy efficiently, controlled the tempo of the game, hit targets and were damaging across the field. The class and experience of each of these players proved to be the difference between the two teams, as Brisbane maintained their structures and competed hard for the footy in each contest.


Star Brisbane forward, Sabrina Frederick-Traub, put on a masterclass in front of goal, bagging four majors and amassing 18 touches. The South Fremantle recruit was in devastating form, taking huge grabs and showing she is a force to be reckoned with. Fellow forward, Jess Wuetschner showed how deadly she can be in the forward 50, slotting three majors in Brisbane’s huge win over the Giants. Ally Anderson had a stellar game for the Lions, racking up 25 disposals and displaying her class and skill across the field. In a lacklustre game for the Giants, Alicia Eva stood up, gathering 18 possessions and applying the pressure, laying six tackles for the match. GWS forward, Cora Staunton also impressed, scoring a goal and getting plenty of the footy. The likes of Jessica Dal Pos and Amanda Farrugia were influential for the Giants, amassing plenty of touches between them and using the footy efficiently, but it was not enough to secure their first grand final appearance.


Fremantle 9.5 (59) defeated Carlton 6.12 (48)

In a fight for the wooden spoon the Blues were plagued by inaccuracy, while the Dockers came to play. Both teams fell away throughout the season after positive starts to the year, but Fremantle finished the season well securing an 11-point victory. The lead chopped and changed throughout the game with both Fremantle and Carlton amassing a similar amount of contested marks and turnovers. But it was the Dockers’ accuracy in the last quarter and efficiency with ball in hand that proved to be the difference between the two teams.

Key moment:

Carlton’s inaccuracy in front of goal was costly, scoring 12 behinds compared to Fremantle’s five points. The Blues had six shots at goal in the last quarter to claim the lead and their first win since round two, but failed to capitalise. Both teams shared a similar number of inside 50 entries but the Blues struggled to make the most of their scoring opportunities. But the Dockers made the most of their shots at goal, bagging nine majors for the game and going at 82 per cent efficiency in front of goal. The Dockers scored from 18 of their 22 forward 50 entries as opposed to the Blues’ 22 shots from their 30 entries.


Darcy Vescio showed her X-factor quality with a skilful goal and her fancy footwork. Meanwhile teammate, Tayla Harris impressed with two majors and was the leading disposal-getter for the Blues. Harris threw her weight around taking big contested marks and hitting the packs hard. Seaford Tigerettes recruit, Sarah Hosking also starred with 15 touches and nine tackles, imposing herself in and around the contest. Katie Loynes also proved her worth for Carlton, bagging a goal and racking up 14 touches for the game. Reigning Fremantle best and fairest, Dana Hooker backed up her impressive form with another stellar game, amassing 25 possessions and a goal. Hooker was in a class of her own, showing her skill, accuracy and clean hands to help keep her team off the bottom of the ladder. Veteran 33 year-old Lisa Webb shone for Fremantle racking up plenty of touches, while Amy Lavell slotted two important goals to help clench the all-important victory.


Western Bulldogs 5.3 (33) defeated Melbourne 4.7 (31)

In a top-of-the-table clash, the Dogs and Dees had everything to play for with a spot in the grand final up for grabs. In a game filled with multiple lead changes and heart-stopping kicks, it was the Western Bulldogs who came away with a two-point win. The Demons put on an impressive display leading at different stages throughout the match, but fell agonisingly short in the final seconds of the match. The Dogs showed great fight and desperation, stamping their authority on the competition as contenders to win their inaugural grand final.

Key moment:

In trying conditions with the wind swirling, Melbourne piled on a goal and six points in the third term to gain the lead, but it was the Western Bulldogs ability to stand up under pressure that paid dividends. With a third quarter onslaught, the Demons looked to have control over the tempo and flow of the game, holding the Dogs scoreless in the term. The Dogs back-line was under all sorts of pressure with plenty of repeat entries and shots at goal, but last quarter efforts from Monique Conti, Katie Brennan and Hannah Scott helped to push the Dogs over the line.


Lauren Spark had a stellar game for the Western Bulldogs, shutting down Melbourne star forward Tegan Cunningham, who was held scoreless and failed to register a touch for the match. The Melbourne University recruit controlled the back-line, showing great composure and taking plenty of impressive goal-saving marks. Up the other end, Brooke Lochland’s heroics helped to seal the deal for the Dogs in the dying seconds of the game with a phenomenal goal. Superstar midfielder, Emma Kearney was in everything in the opening half and put on an absolute clinic, amassing 20 possessions and bagging a goal. Young gun, Jenna Bruton also shone for the Bulldogs with her explosive speed and ability to get in and under in the contest to win the footy. Melbourne star, Karen Paxman impressed with a goal and 22 disposals for the game, while captain Daisy Pearce played her role, gathering 17 possessions. Geelong Magpies player, Richelle Cranston starred for the Dees, imposing herself on the contest and showcasing her booming kick when she slotted an impressive goal.


Collingwood 8.5 (53) defeated Adelaide 4.8 (32) 

In a last quarter thriller, the Pies crushed any chances of the Crows defending their grand final title, piling on three goals to Adelaide’s zero. After finding form late in the season, the Magpies fought hard against the reigning premiers who were in ominous form. Collingwood claimed a 21-point victory over Adelaide who impressed early but could not keep up with the Collingwood forwards who showed great desperation for the footy. The Crows flexed their muscles in the opening half of the game but the Magpies came out hungry after the half-time break.

Key moment:

The Pies dominated in the ruck contest with Emma King showcasing her athleticism and footy smarts. Collingwood won the hit-outs 21 to 13, and dominated in and around the stoppages. The ability of the Pies players to win the hard contested footy proved to be the key between the two teams, as Collingwood went on to win its third game for the season. The Magpies showed class and skill with ball in hand, using the footy accurately and cleanly going at 64 per cent disposal efficiency thanks to their ability to get the ball straight out of the ruck.


Jasmine Garner starred for the Pies up forward bagging three goals. The talented St Kilda Shark recruit showed her footy class with ball in hand, going at 66 per cent efficiency. Superstar midfielder, Christina Bernardi once again dominated for the Pies, slotting two goals and racking up 12 touches for the game. Jaimee Lambert played a pivotal role in Collingwood’s win, gathering 19 disposals. Lambert was in everything, competing hard for the footy and laying bone-crunching tackles. For the Crows, cult hero Erin Phillips was up and about amassing 17 possessions and showing her excellent on-field leadership. Ebony Marinoff was never far from the footy, racking up the touches and imposing herself on the contest with her hard tackling. Adelaide University recruit, Ruth Wallace also impressed for the Crows, taking the most marks of the game and scoring an important goal to go with her 11 touches.

Crunching the numbers: AFLW – Round 6

THE completion of the penultimate round of the season sees five teams statistically in contention to qualify for the grand final. The Crows have a shot at going back-to-back after a four-point win over Fremantle on Friday night. On Saturday, the Pies put a major dent in Brisbane’s campaign, while the Giants’ win over the Bulldogs opened up their chances of sneaking into the grand final. At Ikon Park, the Dees punished the Blues to set up a huge clash against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night. 

Adelaide vs Fremantle

The heat was turned up on Friday night’s clash in Darwin and not just in the contest, as 32-degree temperatures saw the implementation of the heat policy. The sweltering conditions were not enough to deter Adelaide’s fight, with a three-goal opening term setting up an incredible fightback into grand-final contention. Adelaide’s back-line looked rock-solid and reigning AFLW MVP, Erin Phillips looked good up forward despite her lingering injury, booting three goals. The Dockers dominated in the numbers game, leading the stats in disposals (205-162), kicks (131-125) and handballs (74-36), but were shut down on their attack by the Adelaide defenders. Fremantle captain, Kara Donnellan had another commendable performance (16 disposals) and Dana Hooker was arguably best on ground, with 20 disposals and two goals.

Brisbane vs Collingwood

Collingwood set up its huge upset win over Brisbane with a four-goal opening term. Despite it being statistically impossible for the Pies to make the grand final, the rising stars dominated in their victory over the Lions. The wet conditions were not enough to deter forwards, Christina Bernardi (16 disposals, seven marks and three goals) and Moana Hope (three goals), who were able to capitalise on the clean ball movement of their midfielders, finishing with a 62 per cent conversion rate compared to Brisbane’s 36 per cent. It was a high-possession game (215-201) with 16 players recording double-figure disposals. The Pies dominated on the rebound from defensive 50 (26-12) with credit going to their defenders, including young gun, Chloe Molloy (16 touches), who was strong off half-back. She was complemented by East Fremantle product, Caitlyn Edwards (12 touches and 10 tackles) who was also a solid presence in defence. 

Greater Western Sydney vs Western Bulldogs

GWS put on a stunning 18-point upset against the top-of-the-table Bulldogs, which keeps its slim finals chances alive. The Western Bulldogs looked strong out of the gates with three of the first four goals of the match, but the Giants were able to fight their way back into the contest. This was thanks to a dominant forward display in the second quarter, entering the forward 50 13 times, compared to the Bulldogs’ mere two entries. The disposal count was high (211-200) in an exhibition of the on-ballers, with 21 players racking up double-figure disposals. GWS’ Courtney Gum put on a best-on-ground performance with a game-high 23 possessions, 10 clearances and a goal. Gum and fellow midfielder, Alicia Eva (18 disposals) were able to capitalise off Erin McKinnon’s commendable ruck performance (34 hit-outs), which troubled the Bulldogs midfield. Despite this, superstar duo, Emma Kearney (22 disposals, eight tackles) and Ellie Blackburn (18 disposals) had valiant performances, and were the standouts for the away side on the night.

Carlton vs Melbourne

Melbourne opened up the game with a record-breaking six goal first term. The Demons piled on 39 points to Carlton’s one point, putting themselves in pole position to secure a grand final position. The Dees dominated across the ground, leading in almost every stat category, including a superior 222 disposals to Carlton’s 157, with 12 players getting double-figure possessions. Their forward-line looked elite with Elise O’Dea and Tegan Cunningham kicking three goals apiece, along with two from Kate Hore. Along with her three goals, O’dea added 19 disposals along with seven tackles, and without a doubt, was the best player on the ground. Despite the huge win, the Demons also suffered a tremendous loss, with marquee player Melissa Hickey going down with a season-ending knee injury. Melbourne will now battle it out against the Bulldogs in a top-of-the-table clash for a spot in the grand final.

Team of the Week: AFLW – Round 6

AFTER comfortably defeating the Western Bulldogs by 18 points, the GWS Giants have dominated the Team of the Week. The Giants have five representatives in the team, highlighted by consistent ruck, Erin McKinnon and captain, Amanda Farrugia. The Crows were the next best outfit in the Team of the Week, with four players making the cut after their nail-biting win against the Dockers. Meanwhile, the Blues had a somber weekend after losing to Melbourne by 35 points and as a result, they have no players in this week’s best 21.

Adelaide’s Sarah Allan played her best game of AFLW against Fremantle on Friday night and deservingly won this week’s Rising Star award, as well as earning a spot at half-back in this week’s best 21. The Salisbury recruit will be looking to continue her form against Collingwood this weekend.

Courtney Gum was a pivotal player for the Giants in the midfield this week, as she picked up a competition-high 10 clearances, and also racked up 23 disposals. She was the first player picked and an absolute certainty in this week’s best 21. Erin Phillips was another lock in the Team of the Week, playing a phenomenal game up forward for the Crows, virtually on one leg. She was a massive presence inside 50, kicking three goals and setting up another for teammate, Sarah Perkins. Phillips really showed her worth in Adelaide’s win against the Dockers, and with the season being so short it showed why the Crows really need her out on the field, injured or not.

Emily Bates was unlucky to miss out on a spot in the Team of the Week, with a strong performance in a losing team against Collingwood. Cora Staunton also backed up her recent good form for the Giants, playing an pivotal role up forward to help the Giants defeat the Dogs. Unfortunately, it could not warrant her a place in the forward line this week, with many stellar performances across the weekend. 

FB: Ebony Antonio (Frem), Kate Lutkins (Bris), Amanda Farrugia (GWS)

HB: Hayley Miller (Frem), Sarah Allan (Adel), Chelsea Randall (Adel)

C: Dana Hooker (Frem)

HF: Christina Bernardi (Coll), Tegan Cunnigham (Melb), Jasmine Garner (Coll)

FF: Erin Phillips (Adel), Sabrina Frederick-Traub (Bris), Moana Hope (Coll)

F: Erin McKinnon (GWS), Elise O’Dea (Melb), Courtney Gum (GWS)

I/C: Kate Hore (Melb), Angela Foley (Adel), Emma Kearney (WB), Nicola Barr (GWS), Alicia Eva (GWS)

Scouting notes: AFLW – Round 6

ROUND six has left us doing the maths for many teams who have the possibility to make finals. Adelaide continued its late resurgence, as did the Dees, while the Lions lost control of their own destiny when they went down to the Pies. The Western Bulldogs also stumbled against the Giants, thanks to another wonderful performance from Courtney Gum, who is a sneaky chance to win the AFLW MVP award this year. This round proved how even the competition is and entertained fans with its unpredictability. There is no definitive flag favourite coming into the last round of the AFLW season, making for compelling contests across the weekend. 

Adelaide vs. Fremantle

By James Halley

#1: Dana Hooker- Fremantle

Needs to work on discipline as within seconds before the quarter time siren she gave away a 50m penalty, which resulted in a goal that put the Dockers behind. But she quickly learnt her lesson, as she was able to kick a goal from a 50m penalty in the third term, which put Fremantle ahead on the scoreboard. Once again, she hit the scoreboard late in the last quarter with a beautiful goal on the run. She ended up being Fremantle’s best player of the game with 20 disposals and two goals.

#2: Angela Foley- Adelaide

Foley is a very enthusiastic tackler. Also, her pressure on the ball-carrier was intense. She is a great on-field leader for the Crows. 

#3: Chelsea Randall- Adelaide

She played in the middle of the ground for most of the game and was instrumental. She was at her usual best in the air, taking numerous intercept marks. Once again her courage was on show, showcasing that she has no fear in the contest. 

#4: Ebony Marinoff- Adelaide

She needs to work on her game-sense, as she gave away a 50 metre penalty by simply running through the mark, which could be easily avoided. Apart from that, she played a courageous game and is an on-field warrior. She still soldiered on after needing stitches on her face, laying 16 tackles for the match.

#5: Kara Donnellan- Fremantle

She was instrumental for the Dockers all day in the midfield with 16 disposals. Lead from the front as usual. 

#6: Lisa Webb- Fremantle

She was amongst the best with 16 disposals, and tried hard all day in the four-point defeat.

#7: Erin Phillips- Adelaide

Luck fell her way to start the game when a kind bounce gifted her the first goal of the game. Phillips kicked her second goal in the first quarter when she displayed her class one-on-one against Alex Williams. She had the opportunity to kick for her third goal early in the second quarter but she did the team thing and tried to help get Sarah Perkins into the game, setting her up for her first goal for the season. 

#8: Ebony Antonio- Fremantle

Her rebounding skills were once again on show against the Crows, and her damaging kick hurt them on numerous occasions. She started the third term perfectly, kicking a goal in the first 20 seconds. In this instance, she used her defensive smarts to beat her opponent and gift herself a set-shot on goal. 

#9: Evangeline Gooch- Fremantle

She has great courage, and is not afraid to go back with the flight of the ball. She seems to be improving in defence each game. Has been a really consistent contributor all season for the Dockers. 

#10: Lara Filocamo- Fremantle

Gained a free kick and a 50-metre penalty from a high hit which put her in range of goal. She acted swiftly to even up the scores, and played a huge part in Fremantle’s fight-back.

#11: Hayley Miller- Fremantle

Had a great burst out of the middle to start the second half and set up Antonio’s first goal of the game. She was really busy in the third term, it felt like she was everywhere.

#12: Rhiannon Metcalfe- Adelaide

Her tap power was instrumental in giving the Crows first touch off the contest, and this gave them the upper hand in the midfield.

#13: Courtney Cramey- Adelaide

Thirteen disposals with 12 of them being kicks. Knows she has a good kick and used it to advantage on Friday night. 

#14: Ashlee Atkins- Fremantle

Converted a set-shot after being awarded a free kick inside her scoring range in the second term. Also contributed eight disposals in another solid game for her. 

#15: Sarah Allan- Adelaide

Allan is a very good one-on-one player deep in defence, and is hardly beaten. She was able to take the match-saving mark in the dying seconds, showing her composure and safe hands.

#16: Cassie Davidson- Fremantle

She didn’t really have any big moments within in the game but still contributed well with 12 disposals.

#17: Eloise Jones- Adelaide

She had the game-sense to play on when there was nobody on the mark in the last quarter, which gifted Erin Phillips yet another goal, as she kicked to her perfectly on a platter to her advantage.

#18: Jess Sedunary- Adelaide

She has some impressive pace and fancy footwork to get away from opponents. She showed this in the second term when she got around two Fremantle opponents.  

#19: Alicia Janz- Fremantle

Probably played her best game in the ruck for Fremantle this year. Contested well with Metcalfe and was able to contribute eight disposals herself. Has quick hands for a tall player. 

#20: Gabby O’Sullivan- Fremantle

Her intent was great all night. Did not get a lot of the footy but was particularly active inside 50. 


Brisbane vs. Collingwood

By Taylah Melki 

#1: Christina Bernardi- Collingwood

Stellar performance. She was in everything, and contested hard for the footy. Accurate in front of goal, slotting three majors. Applied heaps of physical pressure and had clean hands when dishing the footy off. Displayed excellent awareness throughout the whole game.

#2: Chloe Molloy- Collingwood

Another dominant display showing her clean hands and footy smarts. Used her speed to propel the Pies forward in a huge win for the black and white. Excellent composure. 

#3: Jasmine Garner- Collingwood

Was important for the Pies, she contested hard for the footy and provided a target up forward. Bagged a good goal and lead up at the footy.

#4: Jamie Stanton- Brisbane

Ran hard to get herself into good positions. Opened up space for her teammates and got plenty of touches.

#5: Emily Bates- Brisbane

She was a ball-magnet and used the footy cleanly. Had good speed and a penetrating kick. Stood up in the contest and fought hard to win the footy for her team.

#6: Jess Duffin- Collingwood

Good intercept mark, helped to control the backline. Showed good on-field leadership

#7: Caitlyn Edwards- Collingwood

Clean hands and great awareness to help set up scoring opportunities for her team mates. Was a tackling machine, laying 10 tackles and imposing herself on the contest.

#8: Kate Lutkins- Brisbane

She was in everything and contested hard for the footy. She dominated across the ground and made sure her presence was felt. Had clean hands and used the footy well

#9: Amelia Barden- Collingwood

Racked up the touches and used the footy well. Showed her class and footy smarts with ball in hand.

#10: Brittany Gibson- Brisbane

Booming kick and helped to propel the Lions forward. She got plenty of touches and showed good decision-making with ball in hand. Used the footy cleanly. 

#11: Moana Hope- Collingwood

Impressive in front of goal, provided a spark up forward for the pies. Contested for the footy well at ground level and used her body well to get into a good position.

#12: Ally Anderson- Brisbane

Good speed and helped to propel the Lions forward. Had plenty of the footy and scrapped hard to win the contested ball.

#13: Kaitlyn Ashmore- Brisbane

Had strong hands and took good contested marks. Competed hard for the footy both in the air and on the ground. Showed her skill and class with an impressive last-quarter goal.

#14: Breanna Koenen- Brisbane

Hands were clean and she was able to find targets. Racked up the possessions and used the footy well. Had strong hands, taking big grabs for the Lions.

#15: Jaimee Lambert- Collingwood

Clean hands and an accurate kick. Used her pinpoint precision to hit targets. Threw herself in the contest and took plenty of contested grabs.

#16: Lauren Tesoriero- Collingwood

Applied heaps of pressure and imposed herself on the contest laying six tackles. Used the footy really well and hit her targets.

#17: Sophie Conway- Brisbane

Had a slow start to the game but worked her way into the contest. Applied good forward-pressure and competed hard for the footy.  

#18: Tahlia Randall- Brisbane

Good leap in the ruck. Went down with an injury but came back out. Height difference didn’t seem to bother her, as she competed well in the ruck and won a few hit-outs.  

#19: Cecilia Mcintosh- Collingwood

Laid a few tackles and used the footy well. Got plenty of disposals and applied heaps of pressure for the Pies.

#20: Nat Exon- Brisbane

Took good contested marks and scrummed well for the footy. Slotted a stellar goal and fought hard throughout the match. 

GWS vs. Western Bulldogs

By Connor Ferris 

#1: Courtney Gum- GWS

Fantastic performance once again, battled well in the contest all night with 23 touches and a much-deserved goal.

#2: Emma Kearney- Western Bulldogs

Among the best for the Bulldogs as she continued to rack up the possessions. Got off to a flyer with nine touches in the first quarter, and ended up with 22 overall. Added eight tackles in a great all-round performance. 

#3: Alicia Eva- GWS

Terrific game. Able to create separation from her opponent and kick-start a number of passages of play for the Giants. Racked up 19 possessions and a goal.

#4: Jessica Dal Pos- GWS

After struggling to get into the game early, she played extremely well from midway through the second quarter, and kicked the goal to put the Giants in front. Ended up with 15 possessions and was a constant presence for the Giants going forward.

#5: Amanda Farrugia- GWS

Once again amongst the Giants’ best, and was great in all aspects of the game, 13 possessions, two marks, four tackles and a goal to polish off her work and secure victory for the Giants.

#6: Ellie Blackburn- Western Bulldogs

Great game again in Bulldogs colours. She was able to complement her fellow midfielders, while racking up 18 possessions herself. Blackburn made it tough on the Giants midfielders all night, laying four tackles to go along with her high-possession game.

#7: Monique Conti- Western Bulldogs

Another breakout performance from the young star. Clean ball-use all game, showed off her elite speed moving around the forward-flank, and set up plenty of forward 50 entries. Kicked a goal (first of her career) from 14 possessions and was involved in several Bulldog scores.

#8: Rebecca Beeson- GWS

Had a good game in the forward line with 11 possessions. Was unable to convert a major herself but was instrumental in setting the Bulldogs up with scoring chances, including Jodie Hicks’ goal.

#9: Kirsty Lamb- Western Bulldogs

Played very well through the middle of the ground. Got plenty of the ball with 16 touches, and displayed high levels of pressure with five tackles.

#10: Jodie Hicks- GWS

Was able to convert a goal in the second quarter off a great passage of play from the Giants. Provided relentless pressure to the Bulldogs defence with six tackles.

#11: Brooke Lochland- Western Bulldogs

A strong target up forward all game, and found space extremely well, resulting in eight marks. Wasteful in front of goal with just two behinds, but she will undoubtedly bounce back next round in a big game against the Dees.

#12: Angelica Gogos- Western Bulldogs

Good all-round game. Got plenty of the footy, marked the ball well and was relentless with her pressure around the contest.

#13: Britt Tully- GWS

Got a lot of the ball through the middle of the ground. Racked up 10 possessions with nine of them being kicks, which were mostly effective.

#14: Jenna Bruton- Western Bulldogs

Kicked a crucial goal in the third quarter to bring the Bulldogs back to within a goal. Was a constant presence for them inside 50.

#15: Libby Birch- Western Bulldogs

Great game down in defence. Her pressure was unbelievable, laying a game-high nine tackles. Her overall effort was fantastic.

#16: Hannah Scott- Western Bulldogs

Another nice game off the half-back flank and up towards the wing. Had the 15 possessions and a number of intercept marks.

#17: Bonnie Toogood- Western Bulldogs

Played well up forward without troubling the scores. Led at the ball very well with four marks.

#18: Erin McKinnon- GWS

After a record-breaking performance last week, McKinnon was once again dominant in the ruck with an astounding 34 hit-outs. Also added a mark to her great performance.

#19: Nicola Barr- GWS

Solid game down back. Had the 10 possessions with eight of them being kicks. A number of these resulted in rebound 50s to shut down the Bulldogs’ attack.

#20: Jacinda Barclay- GWS

Looked dangerous inside 50, but unfortunately wasn’t able to convert a goal. Continued her consistency in Giants colours. 


Carlton vs. Melbourne 

#1: Elise O’Dea- Melbourne 

O’Dea moved up forward for this game but was all over the ground. She kicked two early goals and finished with three for the day. Really good goalkicking action. She was on the end of every centering kick, and found space inside 50 with ease. 

#2: Tegan Cunningham- Melbourne 

Her attack on the footy in the first five minutes was electric, you just knew she was in for a good day. Kicked three goals and presented a great target for the Demons midfielders. 

#3: Shelley Scott- Melbourne 

Another all-round performance from Scott. She is a fantastic on-field leader and should be a part of Melbourne’s leadership group next year. A solid 19 disposals from her, many of which helped the Demons penetrate the ball forward. 

#4: Richelle Cranston- Melbourne 

Was able to use her power in the middle of the ground, as she played in the ruck a lot. She displayed good energy all over the ground, and made good use of the footy every time she touched it. Her contested marking is almost a spitting image of Sabrina Frederick-Traub’s. 

#5: Kate Hore- Melbourne 

Hore was lively in the forward-line and got on the end of a couple of kicks inside 50. Was able to convert two goals. Her goalkicking action is relaxed and she always stops and looks for an option with the ball in hand. Never in a rush. 

#6: Daisy Pearce- Melbourne 

Got a lot of the ball but turned it over a bit, which is unusual for her. Still, she was able to break her way into the game by laying some great tackles in the second half. Played one of her most aggressive games yet. 

#7: Katie Loynes- Carlton

Stood up for her side once again. Knows how to handle a pressure situation. She took everything the Melbourne players gave her, and excelled. Really smart kicking and clean hands. She was calm and composed with the ball in one instance then in the next she would be laying a fierce tackle. 

#8: Lily Mithen- Melbourne

Mithen played her best game for Melbourne on Sunday. She played that in-and-under style game that made her burst onto the scene last year. She was always at the bottom of the contest, showing how hard she went in for the ball. Was involved in some fierce tackles, and was able to challenge the Carlton midfielders. 

#9: Lauren Pearce- Melbourne 

Displayed incredible ball use for a ruckman. Made an impact in other areas of the ground, not just in the middle. A whopping 17 disposals for her in her second outstanding game in a matter of weeks. 

#10: Katherine Smith- Melbourne 

Continued her good run of form late in the season. Seems to be improving week-by-week. Laid six tackles in defence to ensure that the Blues forwards did not have any of the ball. 

#11: Kate Gillespie-Jones- Carlton 

Probably played her best game in the navy blue. A very underrated defender. One of the best runners in the competition, and was able to use her endurance to run through the corridor multiple times. Also has immense strength, she’s an extremely hard worker behind the scenes, and you can tell on the field. Wants to go at the footy all the time. 

#12: Sarah Hosking- Carlton 

Another handy contribution from her in the midfield. One of Carlton’s best on the day. 

#13: Georgia Gee- Carlton 

I was so happy to see her do well. She plays with great spirit and is a hard worker. She is one of the players who has benefited from the TAC Cup pathway and it is evident in her style of footy. She is a very mature player and once she puts some size on, she will be unstoppable. I was sitting behind her family when she kicked her first goal, and that cheer was very special. 

#14: Aliesha Newman- Melbourne 

Her acceleration was so impressive. Was able to move the ball forward really effectively. Had some quiet patches but was electric when she got the footy. 

#15: Madeline Keryk- Carlton

I thought she put in a really good effort for the Blues. She dug in deep all day. Keryk covered ground in defence and stood tall when Melbourne was surging forward. She displayed great aggression and got a lot of the footy. A very mature player. 

#16: Nicola Stevens- Carlton 

Played on Daisy Pearce for most of the day and was able to minimise her impact. Could become a renowned tagger because she’s a great tackler and can stop players in their tracks.

#17: Claudia Whitfort- Melbourne 

I thought Whitfort showed she has what it takes to be a consistent player in Melbourne’s line-up. Gets the ball all over the ground and is able to control it. She is settling into AFLW really well.

#18: Jess Hosking- Carlton 

Carlton would’ve missed her aggression last week. Hosking laid six tackles and was a pest in the midfield. She came out raring to go after being rested last week. You can tell she’s a player that hates sitting on the sidelines. Passion for footy is evident in her game style.

#19: Darcy Vescio- Carlton 

Vescio got a lot of the ball on the wing and used it exceptionally well. Could be a potential position change for her since Carlton’s midfield is struggling against the elite midfield groups of the competition. Was able to showcase her good speed and ball-use, something that we haven’t seen as of late because of Carlton’s lack of scoring. 

#20: Breann Moody- Carlton

Won plenty of taps in the middle of the ground, but her midfielders couldn’t run onto them. Continues to be a valuable player for the Blues. 

Weekend Wash-Up: AFLW – Round 6

AFTER the conclusion of round six, the fight for a spot in the grand final is tight, as many teams vie for a top two position. The round was filled with huge upsets with both the Brisbane Lions and Western Bulldogs going down in big clashes. The Crows on the other hand moved their way up the ladder, putting their hand up for grand final contention. Collingwood’s impressive win over the Lions moved them off the bottom of the ladder while GWS stunned the in-form Western Bulldogs and moved into third spot on the ladder. The Demons were back to their usual tricks and in the process, broke the record for the highest score in a quarter. Their dominant display helped them slide into the top two while Carlton’s slump continued.

Adelaide 6.4 (40) def. Fremantle 5.6 (36)

In a hard- fought win, it was the reigning premiers that sealed the deal with a four-point win over the Dockers. Competing with both the extreme conditions of Darwin and the immense physical pressure, both teams battled it out to keep their finals hopes alive. Adelaide dominated for most of the game but Fremantle did not go down easily, wrestling back the lead in the third quarter. After a slow start to the season, the Crows have forged their way back into finals contention, now sitting just outside the top two.

Key moment:

After a third-quarter surge by the Dockers, Adelaide fought back hard to claim the win, pilling on both the physical and scoreboard pressure. Though the Dockers had most of the play in the third term, they struggled to capitalise on their scoring opportunities and run away with the game. Fremantle’s inaccuracy in front of goal was costly, as Adelaide came out firing in the last quarter, controlling the flow of the game and trapping the footy inside their forward 50.


Erin Phillips starred again for the Crows, putting her injury concerns to bed. The co-captain slotted three much-needed goals, securing Adelaide’s third victory for the 2018 season and helping to keep their finals hopes alive. Key forward, Sarah Perkins also found some form, bagging a goal and applying heaps of pressure in the forward-line. Teammate and tackling machine Ebony Marinoff was at her best again, laying a whopping 16 tackles for Adelaide. Chelsea Randall dominated once again for the Crows, taking courageous intercept marks and imposing herself on the contest with six tackles. Dana Hooker had a stellar game in a disappointing loss for the Dockers, scoring two goals and racking up 20 touches. Her partner-in-crime, Ebony Antonio also stood tall for Fremantle with a goal and 16 disposals.


Brisbane 5.9 (39) def. by Collingwood 8.5 (53)

Premiership favourites, Brisbane were left stunned by a fast-starting Collingwood side at Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex. With the finals out of the picture for Collingwood, the Magpies put on a show, determined to upset the final outcome of the top two. Brisbane struggled to keep up with the intensity of the Pies, who capitalised on their scoring opportunities and dominated across the ground. The Lions’ unexpected loss knocked them out of second position which leaves them in a tight battle with the Western Bulldogs, Melbourne, GWS and Adelaide to secure a spot in the grand final.

Key moment:

The Magpies’ accuracy in front of goal seemed to be the difference between the two teams as they capitalised on all their scoring opportunities. Though the Lions had more forward 50 entries, they struggled to convert, scoring nine behinds for the match. Brisbane had 16 shots at goal from 31 inside 50s, going at 52 per cent efficiency. The Magpies on the other hand dominated in front of goal, scoring from 13 of their 21 inside 50s at 62 per cent efficiency thanks to Christina Bernardi and Moana Hope. The Pies’ straight shooting allowed them to pull away and maintain a lead from beginning to end against the ominous Lions outfit.


With three debutants named in the team, the likes of Moana Hope and Christina Bernardi impressed with three goals a-piece. Their influence up forward provided a much-needed target and spark in the forward 50 for the Pies. Bernardi not only starred up forward but also imposed herself on the contest with eight tackles and 16 touches. Chloe Molloy’s season continued to improve with another stellar game in the black and white, racking up 18 touches. St Kilda Shark recruit, Jasmine Garner also impressed for Collingwood with plenty of touches. She also showcased her class and strong marking ability. For the Lions, the likes of Emily Bates dominated with 20 disposals and Sabrina Frederick-Traub continued her impressive form, bagging another goal and racking up 13 touches. Superstar Kate Lutkins was in everything yet again, consistently imposing herself on the game. Her clean hands and footy smarts were on show, as she bagged a goal and amassed 18 possessions for the match. 


GWS 7.4 (46) def. Bulldogs 4.4 (28)

The Giants put on a stellar performance on Saturday night, downing the Dogs by 18 points. In a highly anticipated game, GWS pulled out all the stops against the Western Bulldogs to put their hand up for grand final contention. The Western Bulldogs struggled to compete with the extreme class and accuracy in front of goal that the Giants displayed, and succumbed to the constant pressure being applied.

Key moment:

GWS applied a huge amount of pressure on the Dogs, limiting them to just four goals for the game thanks to their impressive team defence and hustle for the footy. The Giants kicked three goals in the last quarter while keeping the Dogs scoreless in the process, helping them secure one of the biggest wins for their 2018 season. Their ability to contain key and damaging players proved to be vital in stopping the footy from entering the Dogs’ forward-line. The Giants had racked up 31 inside 50s as opposed to the 26 that the Bulldogs accumulated for the game, which is credit to GWS’ defensive structures and efforts.


The Giants reigned supreme with the likes of Alicia Eva putting on a masterclass. Eva racked up 19 touches and slotted an impressive goal under immense pressure. Teammate and Adelaide University recruit, Courtney Gum fired on all cylinders, bagging a goal from 40 metres out and amassing 23 possessions. Irishwoman, Cora Staunton impressed yet again with her silky skills and evasive ability, slotting a stellar goal. The ever-reliable GWS captain Amanda Farrugia dominated once again with plenty of touches and a goal. In her first season of AFLW, Monique Conti stood up for the Dogs with a goal and 14 disposals. The Melbourne University recruit slotted her first AFLW goal and impressed with her footy smarts and speed. Bulldog, Emma Kearney was never far from the footy, laying eight tackles and gathering 22 touches in a disappointing outing for the premiership favourites. Cranbourne recruit, Kirsten McLeod helped to keep the Dogs in the contest with her two goals.


Carlton 3.4 (22) def. by Melbourne 8.9 (57)

The Demons put it all on the line to etch themselves closer to competing in their first grand final. With a dominant display against the depleted Blues, the Dees left nothing in the tank, hoping to work their way into the top two. The huge win helped to secure second spot on the ladder for Melbourne while the Blues fell to the bottom of the ladder after a promising start to the year. The Demons showed their experience, class and skill with a 35-point win. Their ability to capitalise in the first quarter put the rest of the competition on notice, showing how damaging they can be up forward.

Key moment:

The Demons were off to a blistering start against the struggling Blues. Their impressive first term broke the record for the highest score in a quarter, piling on 39 points to put the Blues on the back foot. The Demons were simply unstoppable as they dominated not only in front of goal, but in all areas of the ground, making it nearly impossible for Carlton to catch up. The Blues were outclassed in the first quarter as Melbourne controlled the flow of the game and dominated on the scoreboard. Carlton was held to a point for the first term of the match, while their opponents put on a masterclass.   


Elise O’Dea worked her magic again with another stellar performance. The superstar bagged three goals and was the leading disposal-getter for Melbourne, racking up 19 touches for the match. Dees forward, Tegan Cunningham also impressed with three goals and plenty of big grabs. The former basketballer and St Kilda Shark recruit, Kate Hore proved her worth and football class, slotting two goals and amassing 12 touches. Up the other end, Tayla Harris and Darcy Vescio contributed to Carlton’s score, slotting a goal each in a disappointing outing for the Blues. Dandenong Stingrays star, Georgia Gee also impressed in the navy blue, bagging a goal and racking up 10 touches in her fifth game.

Weekend Wash-up: AFLW – Round 5

WITH the finals at the forefront of everyone’s mind, the clubs pulled out all the stops to put their hand up for grand final contention. The Bulldogs once again put the rest of the competition on notice, now sitting a game clear at the top of the ladder and just about securing their position in the grand final. Saturday’s clash at Norwood Oval showed that Adelaide still had plenty of fight left in them, with a strong win against the struggling Blues. Melbourne also secured an important win over the Brisbane Lions, who were in ominous form.

Melbourne 4.10 (34) defeated Brisbane 4.4 (28)

In a close encounter, Melbourne came away with the four points, winning by a goal in the end after a late Brisbane fightback. After two weeks on the road and consecutive losses, the Demons hit their straps against an in-form Brisbane Lions outfit at home. Though the Demons struggled with inaccuracy in front of goal, they did enough to secure the win. The huge victory for Melbourne put them back in grand final contention, now sitting on equal points with the Lions at the top of the ladder.

Key moment:

The Dees were right at home at Casey Fields with captain Daisy Pearce showing her dominance. After a disappointing outing last week, with a mere nine disposals, the Demons captain came out firing. The Darebin Falcons recruit proved to be the difference for Melbourne this week with her strong on-field leadership and class. The inspirational leader dominated against the Lions, scrumming hard and imposing herself on the contest. Pearce slotted two impressive goals while racking up 24 touches for the night. Brisbane struggled to contain the superstar, who impressed across the field and lead her team to a much-needed victory.   


After failing to hit the scoreboard in the past few weeks, Brisbane forward, Sabrina Frederick-Traub had a stellar game, bagging three important goals. The South Fremantle recruit starred, taking huge grabs and hitting the contest hard to get herself into dominant scoring positions. Teammate Kate Lutkins was inspirational, amassing 26 touches for the Lions with 21 of those being kicks. Melbourne University player, Kaitlyn Ashmore also stood tall for the Lions, taking a whopping eight marks for the match. Elite Melbourne duo, Karen Paxman and Elise O’Dea racked up the possessions with 25 and 23 disposals respectively. O’Dea’s tackling pressure was immense, with her 12 tackles ensuring that her physical presence was felt. Meanwhile, Tegan Cunningham hit the scoreboard for the Dees after missing out last week in the Northern Territory.


Fremantle 3.3 (21) defeated by GWS 6.3 (39)

The Giants were off to a flyer, dominating for the majority of the match against the Dockers. GWS put its foot down in the second quarter, keeping Fremantle to one goal for the first half and skipping away to a handy lead. The Giants won the contested marks and marks inside 50, while Fremantle struggled in both areas. The contested marks seemed to be the point of difference, as the Dockers were unable to compete with GWS’ marking and scoring ability.

Key moment:

GWS showcased their running game and tackling ability throughout the match. The Giants impressed with their ability to break lines and transition from defence to attack with ease. Meanwhile, their tackling pressure was immense, applying 77 tackles in comparison to Fremantle’s 69. They also laid six more tackles inside their attacking 50 than Fremantle, creating more forward pressure and showcasing their ability to trap the footy inside their half of the ground. Their hunger for the footy allowed them to create more scoring opportunities and set up strong structures.


In a team effort, the likes of captain Amanda Farrugia impressed for the Giants, bagging a goal and amassing 10 touches. Giants’ forward Phoebe McWilliams also starred once again, scoring a goal and making herself a physical presence up forward. The ever reliable 36 year-old, Courtney Gum stood tall for the Giants, bagging a goal and racking up 16 touches for the game, proving age is no issue. Meanwhile, Irishwoman Cora Staunton also impressed with her clean hands and commitment to the footy, working hard to slot a well- deserved goal. Dana Hooker starred for the Dockers, leading the way with 19 touches for the game, while the likes of Ebony Antonio also contributed with 19 possessions in a disappointing outing for Fremantle. Swan Districts recruit, Stephanie Cain was influential for the Dockers, slotting a goal and amassing 15 touches.


Adelaide 8.7 (55) defeated Carlton 2.8 (20)

In an unexpected draw last week, the Crows came out with a point to prove, dominating against the lacklustre Blues, who struggled to apply any scoreboard pressure. The Crows showed why they are still finals contenders, smashing the Blues by 35 points. Though Carlton showed glimpses of control particularly in the first few minutes of the third quarter, they were unable to match it with the reigning premiers who outclassed the Blues across the ground. Carlton were plagued by inaccuracy in front of goal while the Crows capitalised on their own scoring opportunities.

Key moment:

Though the Blues made all the running in the third quarter with plenty of repeat entries into their forward 50, they were unable to capitalise on their scoring opportunities. The Crows’ back-line stood up under pressure, keeping Carlton to two goals for the game with their impressive team defence. Adelaide weathered the storm in the third term to keep the Blues at bay, getting plenty of numbers around the footy and tackling hard to keep its finals hopes alive.


Ruth Wallace impressed for the Crows slotting three majors and showcasing her extreme agility. She was complemented by teammate, Chelsea Randall who was in everything, amassing 15 touches. Randall imposed herself on the contest and really flexed her muscles in the third quarter. Morphettville Park recruit, Eloise Jones was also a multiple goal-scorer, bagging two goals for the game in quick succession. Jones showed her class and skill, slotting a stellar goal from the boundary line and putting her in the running for goal of the year. Down the other end, the return of star forward ,Tayla Harris bolstered the Blues’ forward line but it was to no avail, as the Blues finished with a mere two goals by full time. The Zillmere Eagle recruit slotted one goal and racked up 11 disposals, doing what she could for her side. Katie Loynes also starred in the navy blue, laying 10 tackles and ensuring that her physical presence was felt around the ground. Loynes put her body on the line and contested hard for the footy.

Adelaide will be sweating on the fitness of superstar Erin Phillips, who once again succumbed to her ongoing quad injury.


Collingwood 6.5 (41) defeated by Western Bulldogs 7.7(49)

With the Pies searching for their second win, they fell marginally short against the in-form Western Bulldogs, who continued to shine. The Dogs led at every break, putting their hand up for grand final contention. The Magpies fought back to be within 12 points at the main break but could not do enough to over-run the skilful Western Bulldogs team. The Bulldogs now sit a game clear at the top of the ladder and look unlikely to miss out on the grand final.

Key moment:

The Western Bulldogs’ ability to capitalise on scoring opportunities proved to be the point of difference between the two teams, with the Pies dominating uncontested possessions, marks and tackles. Going at 63 percent efficiency inside the forward 50, the Dogs showed their ability to convert in front of goal, while Collingwood struggled to make the most of their forward 50 entries. Collingwood entered their 50 22 times, but only scored 11 times in comparison to the Western Bulldogs, who had 30 inside 50s and scored from 19 of them. This ultimately allowed the Dogs to control the flow of the game and dictate the terms in which the match was played on.


Christina Bernardi continued her hot form, having another stellar game for the Pies. She racked up nine disposals and slotted a major in the last quarter to bring Collingwood back into the contest. Teammate Caitlyn Edwards dominated up forward, bagging two goals and amassing 11 touches while Jasmine Garner impressed in defence, being the Pies leading disposal-getter, with 13 touches. The St Kilda Sharks recruit starred with her clean hands and good use of the footy, going at 60 percent efficiency. The efforts of Steph Chiocci with 12 possessions, and first-year player, Chloe Molloy who scored her first AFLW goal, also didn’t go unnoticed. After her seven goal-haul last week, Brooke Lochland backed it up, scoring another two goals in the Dogs’ win. Continuing her stellar season, Ellie Blackburn dominated across the ground with a goal and 17 touches. Rising star nominee, Monique Conti impressed again, contributing to the Western Bulldogs victory with 12 touches. Darebin Falcons player, Nicole Callinan showed her class with an important goal and 10 disposals for the Dogs.

Collingwood captain, Steph Chiocci may be in doubt for next week’s game after being reported for a high bump on Bulldogs defender, Libby Birch.

AFLW Previews: Round 4

ROUND three saw the return of reigning AFLW MVP, Erin Phillips, whose presence gifted her side with its first win of the season. Meanwhile, Melbourne suffered its first loss of the season against the Dockers, who are finding some form in recent weeks. Carlton struggled without captain, Brianna Davey, and now without star forward, Tayla Harris for this week, they will have to really step it up against the Bulldogs. Up north, the bottom-of-the-ladder Magpies and the high-flying Dees will battle for premiership points in what will be a memorable match in Darwin. 


Western Bulldogs vs. Carlton

Friday February 23, 7.05pm at VU Whitten Oval

The Western Bulldogs’ loss to the reigning premiers came as a surprise, as the Dogs had been dominant and had put their hand up for grand final contention this year. But the loss was not the biggest blow for the game, with the Dogs losing superstar forward, Katie Brennan to an ankle injury. Brennan will be hard to replace, as her presence in front of goal and on-field leadership is second to none. But as one door closes, another opens, making room for code-crosser, Kim Rennie to come into the Bulldogs side for the first time. For the Blues, their impressive start to the season came to an end last week, losing against a dominant Brisbane outfit. The Blues were outclassed, and unfortunately will continue to miss the skill of captain, Brianna Davey, who is out for the season with an ACL injury. Teammate, Tayla Harris will also be missed, after her hit on Brisbane’s Leah Kaslar last week cost her a spot in the round-four team. Last year’s AFLW leading goal-kicker, Darcy Vescio will be out to bag a few majors, after having a slow start to the season. Keep an eye out for debutant, Courtney Webb who will be looking to secure a spot in the midfield for the Blues. Former Carlton captain, Lauren Arnell has also been named in the team, and will be hoping to pull out all stops for the Blues in her first outing since round one. With the Western Bulldogs and Carlton coming off unexpected losses, expect the sides to come out firing, making for a highly contested AFLW Pride Match.


Brisbane vs. Fremantle

Saturday February 24, 4.35pm at South Pine Sports Complex

The Brisbane Lions put on a clinic against the Blues, once again raising their hand for grand final contention. The Lions are yet to feel the loss of marquee player, Tayla Harris, with the likes of star forward, Sabrina Frederick-Traub stepping up to fill the void. Frederick-Traub has impressed with her marking so far, but will be keen to hit the scoreboard in a big way this week. University of Queensland recruit, Gabby Collingwood comes back into the side to replace the injured Sophie Conway, and will be hoping to keep her spot in the team with a promising performance against Fremantle. With two wins under their belt, the Dockers have a spring in their step, and would be aiming for a third consecutive win this week. Their accuracy in front of goal proved to be their point of difference last week, with young gun and Rising Star nominee, Emily McGuire making a name for herself in her first outing as a Docker. Captain, Kara Donnellan stood tall once again for Fremantle, racking up plenty of touches and applying immense pressure on the Melbourne midfield. After serving her suspension, expect Stacey Barr to be out to prove a point at South Pine Sports Complex, and cement her spot in Fremantle’s line-up. 


Melbourne vs. Collingwood

Saturday February 24, 7.10pm at TIO Traeger Park 

After three rounds, Collingwood is still winless, and will be hoping to end its losing streak against the Demons this week. Brittany Bonnici and Stephanie Chiocci each had dominant starts in last week’s game against the Giants, getting the Pies on the scoreboard. The Magpies showed glimpses of their ability to control games, but fell away late in the match, succumbing to GWS’ pressure. If Collingwood can keep its intensity up throughout the game, the Demons could feel the pressure, after struggling in front of goal last week. Forward, Moana Hope slotted two goals and found some much-needed form, which she will be eager to maintain. Round 1 Rising Star nominee, Chloe Molloy will aiming to continue to show her excellent footy skills and strength for the Pies. Collingwood will be hoping that after serving her two-match ban, Sarah D’Arcy will be firing on all cylinders, and the inclusion of Holly Whitford will give a much-needed spark to the side. Up the other end, Melbourne will be seeking to get back in the winners’ column with a dominant performance over the struggling Pies. The Collingwood defenders will have their work cut out for them, having to control power forward, Tegan Cunningham, who has scored in every match so far. The class of Melbourne’s ever-reliable captain, Daisy Pearce and experienced defender, Karen Paxman may be hard for the Pies to stop. Speedy forward, Aliesha Newman has also proven to be a handy goal-sneak, and may be able to use the conditions to her advantage. The Northern Territory clash will prove to be a difficult one for the players, as they must also contend with the extreme heat and humidity.


GWS vs. Adelaide

Sunday February 25, 4.35pm at Blacktown International Sportspark

With both teams securing their first win for the 2018 season in round three, they will be searching to claim that elusive second win. The Crows had a sluggish start to the year but will be hoping to hit their straps late this season. The return of superstar, Erin Phillips kick-started Adelaide’s season, after struggling without her goal-kicking ability, class through the middle, and leadership across the field. The Adelaide line-up has been further bolstered with the experienced Courtney Cramey set to play her first game for the season. The All-Australian defender will be a huge in for the Crows, who will be hunting to take down GWS. Superstar forward, Sarah Perkins will also be looking to have a big day out this week, as she has struggled in front of goals in the past few outings for the Crows. Down the other end, keep an eye out for GWS forward, Aimee Schmidt who was explosive against the Pies. Star midfielder, Courtney Gum also impressed, and showed that age does not matter in AFLW, racking up plenty of touches and bagging two goals in her outing last week. Nelson Marlins Bay recruit, Pippa Smyth is set to make waves for in her first appearance for GWS, after delivering some promising results in the AFLW Draft Combine last year. The Giants can expect to see big things from the former netballer, and will be hoping that she can perform on the big stage. Sitting on even points on the ladder, the Giants and Crows are evenly poised, making for a close contest between the teams. A win for either team would restore some much-needed faith from their supporters, after a disappointing start to the season.

Team of the Week: AFLW – Round 3

ADELAIDE Crows started round three of the 2018 AFLW season on the bottom of the ladder, and a major contributor to their slow start was the absence of their awe-inspiring captain Erin Phillips. Phillips was a late out in round one with a quad complaint, and the reigning premiers struggled without her until she made her triumphant return at Norwood Oval on the weekend. Phillips demonstrated why she is the reigning AFLW MVP, with a tantalising display of class against the Bulldogs. Her skill in front of goal was a particular highlight, as she finished with four majors on the board, and inspired her side’s first win of the year. 

Round three saw a more even spread amongst the Team of the Week, with plenty of new faces making their way into the side. Four Fremantle players earned a spot in the best 21, while the Bulldogs and Crows also contributed their fair share with three representatives each. But the even spread does not include any Blues players, after they succumbed to a loss against Brisbane at home. 

After a two week hiatus, premiership captain, Erin Phillips was a lock in the Team of the Week, thanks to a stellar performance in the forward line. Fremantle captain, Kara Donnellan was picked second in the team this week, with the St Albans product playing an exceptional captain’s game against Melbourne. She racked up 17 disposals, and took a match-saving mark in the dying seconds of the game.

Emily Bates starred for Brisbane with 20 disposals, with the prolific ball-winner trying her heart out all night against the Blues. But the Yeronga junior just could not fit into the jam-packed Team of the Week. Fremantle’s Lisa Webb was also unlucky to miss out in being in this week’s best 21, after a stellar performance in her second AFLW outing, racking up 17 disposals and kicking a goal.

FB: Chelsea Randall (Adel), Kate Lutkins (Bris), Leah Kaslar (Bris)

HB: Evangeline Gooch (Frem), Sarah Allan (Adel), Ebony Antonio (Frem)

C: Kara Donnellan (Frem)

HF: Sophie Conway (Bris), Tegan Cunningham (Melb), Phoebe McWilliams (GWS)

FF: Katie Brennan (WB), Erin Phillips (Adel), Emily McGuire (Frem)

F: Emma King (Coll), Alicia Eva (GWS), Daisy Pearce (Melb)

I/C: Courtney Gum (GWS), Emma Kearney (WB), Ebony Marinoff (Adel), Chloe Molloy (Coll), Kaitlyn Ashmore (Bris)