Tag: Zoe Hardiman

Story so far: TAC Cup Girls – Metro

THE Story so far continues on from the Country sides, with a review of the TAC Cup Girls Metro sides. There have been plenty of impressive players and team performances across the first five rounds, with one metro team sitting second on the ladder. If the first five rounds are anything to go by, the next four rounds will be full of fantastic battles.

Calder Cannons

Position: 11th
Win-loss: 1 win – 4 losses
Percentage: 43%

Results:

R1: lost to Murray Bushrangers by 46 points
R2: lost to Northern Knights by 48 points
R3: defeated Western Jets by 12 points
R4: lost to Gippsland Power by 3 points
R5: lost to Sandringham Dragons by 55 points

The Calder Cannons enjoyed a premiership last season so coming into this year, they would have been hoping to continue their hot run of form. Unfortunately, they did not get off to the start that they would have liked, with heavy defeats against Murray Bushrangers and Northern Knights. But the competition was high as both are top four sides, and Calder were without draftees, Monique Conti, Chloe Molloy and Sarah Dargan, who were integral to their 2017 program. But this year, being the Calder captain has allowed the already talented Madison Prespakis to spread her wings. Prespakis has been unstoppable in the midfield and has really been able to lift her team when needed. She has been complemented by some great young talent in Felicity Theodore, Zoe Hardiman and Grace Dicker, who have all shown great signs throughout the season. The next four weeks could be tough for the Cannons, but with a young side willing to throw everything on the line, expect some close contests to finish off their 2018 campaign.  

Fixtures:

R6: vs. GWV Rebels
R7: vs. Geelong Falcons
R8: vs. Dandenong Stingrays
R9: vs. Eastern Ranges

Eastern Ranges

Position: 3rd
Win-loss: 4 wins – 1 loss
Percentage: 189%

Results:

R1: defeated GWV Rebels by 19 points
R2: defeated Dandenong Stingrays by 39 points
R3: defeated Oakleigh Chargers by 28 points
R4: defeated Bendigo Pioneers 17 points
R5: lost to Western Jets by 5 points

The Eastern Ranges’ season has been spectacular, despite a round five loss against the Jets. The TAC Cup Girls competition is all about development, meaning losses are often a good learning curve for the players. This is particularly good for the Ranges, who face ladder-leaders, Geelong in round six, where they would love to fix their mistakes from round five and claim a win. Players like Georgia Macpherson and Emerson Woods have been fantastic for Eastern and are showing no signs of slowing down. Forward Laura McClelland is the joint leading goalkicker in the competition with 11 majors, and has been prolific inside 50. In the midfield, it has been Gabriella De Angelis’ quick hands and Mikala Cann’s explosive speed that have been the catalyst behind the Ranges’ admired ability to swiftly penetrate the ball forward.

Fixtures:

R6: vs. Geelong Falcons
R7: vs. Gippsland Power
R8: vs. Murray Bushrangers
R9: vs. Calder Cannons

Northern Knights

Position: 2nd
Win-loss: 5 wins – 0 losses
Percentage: 268%

Results:

R1: defeated Dandenong Stingrays by 35 points
R2: defeated Calder Cannons by 48 points
R3: defeated Sandringham Dragons by 30 points
R4: defeated GWV Rebels by 16 points
R5: defeated Oakleigh Chargers by 51 points

The Northern Knights have been a surprise packet this year, going undefeated so far from five rounds. The wins have been extremely convincing, winning four out of five games by over 30 points. The Knights have an innate ability to burst the game open through one quarter of blistering footy, and leaders such as Madeline Brancatisano, Gabrielle Newton and Britney Gutknecht have been pivotal in these electric passages of play. Abigail Bennett has shown her versatility for the Knights with impressive stints both in the forward-line and in the midfield. Alex Pronesti and Alyssa Bannan have been a dangerous duo inside 50, kicking eight and 11 goals for the season, respectively. The Knights’ lesser-known players have also been standouts, with Ellie McKenzie running amok in each of her three games for the Knights, while Marnie Jarvis has provided fantastic speed throughout the season. Northern’s talent has stood up so far, and will need to continue to do so, as they face their fellow top-four sides in the last rounds of the season. These next four rounds could significantly shape the Knights’ season.

Fixtures:

R6: vs. Gippsland Power
R7: vs. Eastern Ranges
R8: vs. Geelong Falcons
R9: vs. Murray Bushrangers

Oakleigh Chargers

Position: 10th
Win-loss: 1 win – 4 losses
Percentage: 55%

Results:

R1: defeated Gippsland Power by 67 points
R2: lost to Sandringham Dragons by 33 points
R3: lost to Eastern Ranges by 28 points
R4: lost to Geelong Falcons by 70 points
R5: lost to Northern Knights by 51 points

The Oakleigh Chargers enjoyed a magnificent win in round one to open their season, however the next four rounds have not been ideal for the Chargers. They have not won a game since, but their development has been good. Gemma Lagioia, Alana Porter and Katie Lynch have been important in the midfield and have stood up when the side has been down. Captain Hannah McLaren has shown great leadership throughout Oakleigh’s 2018 campaign, demonstrating her versatility across the backline and through the middle of the ground. Players like Chloe O’Malley, Mimi Hill and Nicola Xenos have also had convincing performances in patches throughout the season. The Chargers play four of the bottom six teams coming up, in which they can prove a point to the rest of the competition.

Fixtures:

R6: vs. Bendigo Pioneers
R7: vs. Dandenong Stingrays
R8: vs. Western Jets
R9: vs. GWV Rebels

Sandringham Dragons

Position: 6th
Win-loss: 3 wins – 2 losses
Percentage: 136%

Results:

R1: lost to Geelong Falcons by 20 points
R2: defeated Oakleigh Chargers by 33 points
R3: lost to Northern Knights by 30 points
R4: defeated Dandenong Stingrays by 15 points
R5: defeated Calder Cannons by 55 points

The Sandringham Dragons have plenty of talent in their side, with players like Sarah Hartwig holding up the backline, Eliza McNamara dominating in the midfield, and Maddison Wilson playing well up forward. Eleanor Brown has been damaging all over the ground and has proved that she can have an impact in any position, while captain Jemma Owen has been in fine form of late. The Dragons have now won two consecutive games and have a chance to keep their momentum going against a Murray side who experienced its first loss in the TAC Cup Girls competition in round five. Despite no AFLW Academy members in the side, Sandringham still has the firepower to match it up against the sides that do.

Fixtures:

R6: vs. Murray Bushrangers
R7: vs. Western Jets
R8: vs. Bendigo Pioneers
R9: vs. Gippsland Power

Western Jets

Position: 9th
Win-loss: 1 win – 4 losses
Percentage: 57%

Results:

R1: lost to Bendigo Pioneers by 37 points
R2: lost to Gippsland Power by 15 points
R3: lost to Calder Cannons by 12 points
R4: lost to Murray Bushrangers by 25 points
R5: defeated Eastern Ranges by 5 points

It was extremely pleasing to see the Western Jets get their first win of the TAC Cup Girls competition as their development has been positive throughout the season. Isabelle Pritchard has been solid in defence, Isabella Grant can make an impact wherever she plays, and Elisabeth Georgostathis has been sensational through the middle of the ground. Despite four losses to start the season, the losses were not heavy, with the biggest loss coming in round one against Bendigo. But in the last two weeks in particular, we have seen the emergence of forward, Caitlin Greiser. Greiser has kicked seven goals in two rounds and will continue to be a key cog inside 50 as the Jets approach the Stingrays in round six, who are yet to win a game in 2018.

Fixtures:

R6: vs. Dandenong Stingrays
R7: vs. Sandringham Dragons
R8: vs. Oakleigh Chargers
R9: vs. Geelong Falcons

Weekend Wash-up: TAC Cup Girls – Round 5

THE Geelong Falcons remain on top of the ladder, getting revenge against Murray after a close loss last season. The Northern Knights are the other undefeated team after a clinical performance at Preston. Gippsland moved closer to the top four with a win over Bendigo while the Western Jets created history at Williamstown. Round five was one of the most eventful rounds of the season, with plenty of new standouts flexing their muscles across the weekend. 

Western Jets 6.0 (36) defeated Eastern Ranges 5.1 (31)

The Western Jets got their first ever TAC Cup Girls victory in style, beating the undefeated Eastern Ranges. It was goal-for-goal throughout the whole game and only one behind was scored, which came late in the last quarter. Both teams fought incredibly hard for the victory.

Elisabeth Georgostathis was the hero for Western, making her presence known in every contest. She was able to lay strong tackles and put her head over the ball to create some impressive passages of play for the Jets. Caitlin Greiser was dominant in the forward-line once again, backing up her three-goal performance in round four with a four-goal performance in round five. Isabelle Pritchard was solid in defence one again, displaying immense strength and courage to hunt the ball and tackle the strong Eastern forwards deep in defence.

Sarah Kendall dominated for Eastern, playing in the ruck and making some nice contributions across half-back. She was like a brick wall, marking everything that came her way. She was complemented by Mikala Cann, who was always there to assist and deliver some great kicks to help her team regain control of the seesawing contest. Gabriella De Angelis was an absolute work-horse throughout the whole game, taking brave marks and moving the ball freely throughout the contest. She kicked two goals to top off her hard work, and was joined by Laura McClelland on the scoreboard, who continues to dominate inside 50.

 

Bendigo Pioneers 3.4 (22) defeated by Gippsland Power 5.4 (34)

By: Peter Williams 

Gippsland Power continued it’s fantastic form of late, winning its third game in four starts, and collecting 14 of a possible 16 points in that time. It was a Nikia Webber three-goal haul that was the difference on the scoreboard, as the Power booted three goals to zero in the third term to lead by 20 points at the final break. A Kate Douglass goal in the final term gave Bendigo some hope, but the Power were good enough to hold on for a 12-point victory.

Emily Haeusler was outstanding off half-back for the Power, while Amy Dunn gave the Power midfielders first use at the stoppages. The likes of Ebony Jones, Chandra Abrahams, Jazz Ferguson and Maddison Shaw all impressed across the ground for Gippsland. Abrahams’ goal from long range was a highlight, as was a huge Julia Redmond pack mark on the wing.

For Bendigo, Kodi Jacques was superb in midfield, aided by usual suspect Megan Williamson, as well as Maddy Baldwin and Carly Isaac. Brooke Hards was sensational in defence, while Maeve Tupper roved to the likes of Shelby Knoll, who took a few strong grabs leading out of the forward 50. There was plenty to like about the way Bendigo played in a highly competitive and contested game.

 

Northern Knights 14.4 (88) defeated Oakleigh Chargers 5.7 (37) 

By: Michael Alvaro 

Northern Knights kept their perfect record in tact with what ended up being a comfortable win over Oakleigh Chargers at Preston City Oval. The home side burst out of the gates with three quick majors and went on to dominate the first half with seven goals to two, opening up a 30-point buffer at the main break. Oakleigh charged back in the third quarter, keeping the Knights scoreless while managing to pinch three goals of their own to set up a tense final term. It did not quite work out that way for the Chargers though, as the Knights piled on four goals to round out the game and notch up an impressive total of 88 points in the process.

For Northern, star midfielder Ellie McKenzie contributed three of her side’s last quarter goals to cap off a best afield performance. Sarah Sansonetti and Alexandra Pronesti formed a formidable partnership up forward, managing four goals between them, while Alyssa Bannan chimed in with two of her own. Neve O’Connor another key player for the Knights, battling it out with Oakleigh’s Bridie Winbanks in an enthralling ruck contest.

Winbanks was joined by bullocking midfielder Emily Harley as the Chargers’ best, while midfielders Alana Porter and Nicola Xenos provided dash all day. The undefeated Knights were again just too good for their opponents, but Oakleigh were more than worthy adversaries on the day having pushed them for the best of three quarters.  

 

Dandenong Stingrays 3.6 (24) defeated by Greater Western Victoria Rebels 4.4 (28)

By: Peter Williams 

Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels won its second consecutive game with a four-point win over Dandenong Stingrays at Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve. The Stingrays were the only ones to score in the first term, but booted three behinds, before the Rebels found their kicking boots with a four-goal second term to race to a 20-point lead by the main break. The Stingrays clawed their way back into the game with the only three goals of the second half, but just ran out of time as the Rebels bravely defended in the last few minutes to secure the win.

It was a team effort from the Rebels, with the likes of Stephanie Glover and Nyakoat Dojiok rebounding off half-back, and Lauren Butler controlling the midfield with Denver Henson. The Rebels had four individual goal kickers on the day, while Hannah Simpson, Chloe Leonard and Lauren Sykes were other players named among the best. It was a good win for the Rebels against a defensively strong side.

For the Stingrays, Tyanna Smith booted two goals, while Shelley Heath and Abbey Jordan were prominent through midfield. Saige Bayne and Eliza Wilson-Macdonald won their fair share of the ball, while Isabella Shannon provided a target up forward. With the Stingrays missing three of their top players to the AFLW Academy game, Lucy Cripps was a rock in defence, providing good composure and stability across the ground.

 

Sandringham Dragons 10.11 (71) defeated Calder Cannons 2.4 (16)

With a full-strength side, the Sandringham Dragons ran amok over the Cannons. They were able to capitalise on a Cannons outfit without Madison Prespakis, Georgia Patrikios and Molly Warburton through flexing their muscles and showing the depth in their squad.

A new player seemed to step up every quarter for the Dragons, and in the first quarter it was Maddison Wilson’s three goals that set Trevor Barker Beach Oval alight. Bella Eddey and Laura Amelung also did well to chip in some goals and were proactive inside 50 throughout the whole game. But Eleanor Brown was the star of the day, making it difficult for players to defend her. She displayed great movement on the wing and became an unintentional target for the Cannons, leading up to every kick that came her way.

Despite a dour day for the Cannons, they should be extremely impressed by Felicity Theodore’s performance. Theodore seemed to be everywhere and did everything she could to help penetrate the ball forward for Calder. She had plenty of great bursts out of stoppages and even leapt over an opponent to take a memorable mark for a small midfielder. Zoe Hardiman was able to make an impact across half-forward thanks to her ability to get the ball and quickly dish it off to keep the play flowing. Georgia Marsland and Gloria Elarmaly were Calder’s goal-kickers.

 

Geelong Falcons 4.4 (28) defeated Murray Bushrangers 3.1 (19)

By: Peter Williams 

In the final game of the round, Geelong Falcons held off a determined Murray Bushrangers with a nine-point win. The Falcons booted four of the first five goals of the game and looked seemingly home at three quarter time, holding a 22-point lead. To that point the Bushrangers had looked well and truly in the contest, winning their fair share, if not a majority of the possession. But straight out of the final break huddle the Bushrangers booted two goals in the opening six and a half minutes to suddenly come within 10 points and it was game on. But the Falcons held strong, winning crucial one-on-one contests and getting home in a contested affair.

It was hard to pick a best player for the Falcons with defenders Abbey Chapman and Sarah Hungerford putting in a superb effort in the back half, as did Sophie Walmsley, who snuck forward and booted a goal too. Luka Lesosky-Hay was the Falcons top midfielder in the absence of Olivia Purcell and Nina Morrison, while Samantha Atkins brought the tackling pressure, and Tarryn Love was impressive before going off injured in the third term.

For the Bushies, the midfield core of Tamara Smith, Grace Egan and Julia Harvey was superb, while Sophie Damon was a standout in the ruck and used as a playmaker across the ground. Chelsea Knight and Hayley Doohan were among the others named in the Bushrangers best. It was Murray’s first ever loss in the TAC Cup Girls competition, but they could be proud of the fight they put in until the very end.

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Girls- Round 5

ONLY two teams remain undefeated after round five delivered some cracking contests. The Western Jets got their first ever TAC Cup Girls win while ending Eastern’s undefeated streak in the process. Over in Bendigo, the Falcons managed to get up over Murray despite missing five AFLW players. Although the Knights were given a scare by the Chargers, they stormed home to remain undefeated after five rounds of competition. This may have been the hardest week to pick the best players, with each team showing their depth in their respective matches. Below are our opinion-based notes on each of the six TAC Cup Girls games.

Western Jets vs. Eastern Ranges 

Western:

#16 Elisabeth Georgostathis

Smothered the ball twice after giving away the free kick then gave a quick-fire handball to a teammate to set up a forward thrust. This was just one of her great plays on the day, she was simply everywhere. Displayed great run and carry after good mark and was able to clear the ball from congestion multiple times. She had an innate ability to get the ball moving whilst also doing a good job defensively with strong tackles. Georgostathis was able to display good composure to spin out of trouble on some occasions. Started to get targeted in the fourth quarter with the Eastern players trying to get in her head. Ended off a brilliant day with a big tackle in the goal square. 

#43 Caitlin Greiser

Greiser just read the ball better than her opponents and knew how to work her opponent under the ball. Eastern players did not know how to defend her. Booted two goals in the third quarter to get the Jets’ spirits up. Finished with four for the game. Continues to be a huge presence up forward. 

#19 Olivia Forsythe

Never stopped tackling the whole game. Her tackles were strong and often stopped Eastern players from playing that running game that we are so used to seeing from them. She was fierce around the contest and really got into the game in the third quarter. She tackled anyone that came near her and created so many stoppages. She was one of Western’s game-changers.

#26 Isabella Negri

Had a really good ability to move towards the ball on a long kick rather than waiting for it and trying to judge it in the air. In one instance, she took a huge contested mark inside 50 and was slow to get up. But she was brave enough to go back for the set shot, displaying incredible courage.

#40 Sharnie Whiting

Was able to snap through a nice goal after being really lively in the forward line. Was able to hunt the ball down, get it and kick it quickly to create space on the field. 

Others:

#27 Payton-Ani Ozols: Was able to burst out of stoppages a lot of times. Displayed nice acceleration and quick hands. Followed up when she missed the target with her kick, showing great determination.

#30 Isabelle Pritchard: Also displayed quick hands, was a rock in defence. Was able to provide good run and carry and was really strong in congestion. She laid a goal-saving tackle on the dangerous Laura Mcclelland in the last 30 seconds of the game.

#4 Leah Spargo: Kicked a nice ball to the top of the square which helped the tall forwards who were keen to take some contested marks. Like Georgostathis, she was lively and everywhere. Really aggressive on the wing.

#41 Savannah Forbes: Pushed off a player and kicked strongly on the run. She was aggressive all game and was right at the bottom of contest a lot of times.

#8 Emily Gardner: Another lively Jet. Laid some nice and strong tackles especially through the middle of the ground. Stepped up her game in the third quarter.

 

Eastern:

#46 Sarah Kendall

Was able to mop up well in the back-line and dominated the ruck. Played a sweeper role and did not let her team down. Kendall would often pick up the ball quickly, get it and kick it, and not just hacking it- following through for the kick to hit a target. Took a great sliding mark running at full flight towards the ball. She was a huge force especially at the top of the defensive 50, playing a great rebounding game. Nobody could get past her as she would mark everything that came her way.

#37 Georgia Macpherson

Stalwart in defence as usual! Displayed good run and carry and had a long penetrating kick. She took some great contested marks in this game and dominated. She usually takes a lot of uncontested marks but showed she is a contested marking beast as well. Read the footy really well when she took a mark right in the goal-square off a clever high kick by Caitlin Greiser. Sold the candy at one point and kicked off the other side of her body to get the ball into the middle, showing that she is one of the most clever ball-users in the competition.

#6 Gabriella De Angelis

Played a fantastic game for Eastern and just did not stop trying throughout the whole game. Took a great overhead mark under pressure, which was great to see for a small midfielder. Then she did what small midfielders do, when she took the ball and burst through the middle of the ground, hitting her target perfectly with a skillful kick. Kicked two goals to top off her hard work. They were well-deserved, she was outstanding.

#21 Mikala Cann

Really proactive in the middle of the ground. Delivered a nice kick to the middle of the ground at one point and did it on repeat occasions in other areas of the ground. At one point, she was barely looking at the ball and still hit a target. Displayed good hands under pressure and always managed to follow up her efforts with the ball in hand. She had good speed to chase the ball on the deck, showing off her impressive sprinting capabilities. Delivered a beautiful kick into the forward line and kicked a beautiful ball off one step. There was simply no other word to describe her game!  

#49 Charlotte Wilson

The co-captain made good contributions throughout the game. She kicked the ball nicely to the wing at one point and was a huge presence in the ruck. Kicked the ball well to her forwards, especially with a nice kick to Laura McClelland later in the latter stages of the game. Stepped up well in the absence of Emerson Woods. 

Others:

#48 Lauren Szigeti: Displayed nice movement throughout the game and her constant effort to fight for the footy was outstanding. Laid a huge goal-saving tackle at one point in the game. She was so aggressive throughout the game and did not ease her pressure at all.

#38 Laura McClelland: Had a good penetrating kick and kicked it well out of congestion. Took a huge contested mark and kicked it truly, already showing signs of an experiences forward. Had good eyes for the ball throughout the game.

#17 Mietta Kendall: Displayed nice hands to leap for a mark but just could not hold it on the way down. Still managed to build on her performance quarter-by-quarter. Had good quick hands.

 

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Gippsland Power

By: Peter Williams 

Bendigo:

#3 Carly Isaac

Showed off a lot of speed throughout the game, spreading to the outside and showing composure with ball-in-hand. She put in a consistent effort across the game, winning the footy and getting back to help out the defence and break the lines down the wing.

#19 Kodi Jacques

Thought she was one of the best Pioneers for her sheer work rate and ability to get to the football. She provided good pressure on the inside and a knack for quick hands. In the second term she snapped inside 50 which led to a goal to Bree Heiden. When inside 50 she was lively and took a good intercept mark from a kick out and kicked long to the square. In the third term she worked hard out of the midfield, had three possessions in a chain from the clearance through to a snap which just missed.

#27 Brooke Hards

Really liked her game off half-back, particularly early in the peace. Had it not been for Hards’ efforts then no doubt Gippsland’s lead would have been higher in the opening half. She worked really hard in the back 50 and won the footy at half-back thinking her way through her touches going forward. She also showed off a good turning circle when she managed to swing onto her preferred side to kick forward.

#28 Megan Williamson

Another consistent effort from the captain who consistently showed no fear in her attack on the ball. She buzzed around the stoppages and showed good intensity when tackling the opposition ball carrier. She organised the midfield well and won a few free kicks from going in hard, and getting to the ball first. One of the Pioneers’ most consistent on the day.

#30 Bree Heiden

Attacks the football with vigour and used her strong body to bump an opponent off the ball and win a crucial one-on-one. She earned a goal through hard running to lead into the central corridor and kick truly from the set shot.

Others:

#1 Maeve Tupper: Packs plenty of excitement and almost snapped a miraculous goal in the second quarter from a tight angle, but was dragged down and the shot just missed.

#2 Maddy Baldwin: Created some good run on the outside and was able to get into space to win the ball. Baldwin was another Pioneers midfielder who stood up when it counted and put in a consistent performance.

#8 Shelby Knoll: Provided a target inside 50, taking a couple of good marks out on the lead, including a juggling mark in the third term. She worked well with Kodi Jacques in the third term, marking the pass and then handballing back to Jacques to keep the play moving.

#9 Dayna Kelly-Guthrie: Played through the ruck and was solid in her tapouts, then got forward and kicked a great goal from a set shot in the second term.

#11 Jemma Finning: Another midfielder who was up for the fight defensively. Laid some huge tackles and worked hard with Jacques and Williamson through the midfield.

#20 Kate Douglass: Played in defence for most of the game before swinging forward. Provided a target in the final term, taking a couple of marks and kicking a long goal from 45 metres out.

#32 Sharmaine Reilly: Showed good pressure in defence, stopping a certain goal on the line in the opening quarter with a dive, and then laying a particularly memorable tackle later in the game to lock up the ball from escaping in the Power’s forward 50.

 

Gippsland:

#1 Ebony Jones

A composed user of the football, Jones played on the wing but also worked hard to get back into defence and help out. She covered the ground well and took a couple of marks in the defensive half of the ground. Jones also showed off a high defensive awareness and great speed, when in one instance she shepherded a teammate to allow them to kick inside 50, and later produced a great run-down tackle on the wing.

#6 Emily Haeusler

Her best performance of the year and put together a four quarter performance. Camped at half-back she rebounded everything, keeping a firm line between half-back and the centre of the ground. Her first interaction was a good one, side-stepping an opponent and kicking long inside 50 to a one-on-one. Moments later she took a great overhead mark one-on-one and kicked to Alana Rippon on the wing. She showed off her fleet-footedness using agility to turn her opponent inside out and showed composure while on the move. Her first term was superb but it did not stop there, consistently providing rebound for the power, intercepting anything in her area and laying some great, fierce tackles. Her mindset was also promising. In one instance in the fourth quarter where she missed a kick out of defence after winning the ball at ground level, but rather than berate herself, ran forward, bumped the opponent and locked the football up to stop the Pioneers getting it forward.

#8 Chandra Abrahams

A player who impressed with some great highlights. She laid a good tackle on the wing in the second term, and provided great forward pressure throughout the match. In the third term she showed quick thinking and goal sense to kick a goal off a step from 45m out. In the final term she laid a great goal-saving tackle, earning her a free. Her versatility to play up either end was on show on the weekend.

#27 Nikia Webber

A player who is in ripping form currently, Webber continues to provide a forward target for the Power, finishing the game with three majors and moving to second on the goal-kicking table. She kicked a huge goal from 40m out in the first term, then got her second in the second term through some hard running, and capped off with an impressive third goal just after that. Aside from hitting the scoreboard, Webber also provided strength and a keen goal sense inside 50.

#58 Amy Dunn

Played through the ruck and certainly held her own, showing good strength and giving her midfielders first use most of the time. A strong body, she assisted her teammates with good defensive efforts. The co-captain was a good leader in the absence of co-captain Tyla Hanks on game day.

Others:

#10 Tahlia Dower: Provided some good dash out of defence and got forward to kick a goal for her hard running efforts. She covered the ground really well and was one of the better Power players on the day.

#30 Alana Rippon: Worked hard through the midfield and provided some good dash. It was clear if the opposition gave her a centimetre she would take a mile. Got some quick first few steps and is able to find the ball.                     

#57 Jasmine Ferguson: Constantly applied pressure to the opposition and pumped the kick long inside 50. Ferguson took a huge grab in the middle of the ground and moves well for a taller player.

#65 Julia Redmond: Had a memorable moment in the second term, pulling down a huge pack mark on the wing.

 

Northern Knights vs. Oakleigh Chargers

By: Michael Alvaro 

Northern:

#4 Neve O’Connor

Fought valiantly all day against Bridie Winbanks in a very even ruck battle and made her presence felt. She moves really well for a player of her height and was not afraid to take her opponents on when pushing the ball forward with her booming kick. In a very strong Knights midfield, it felt like O’Connor was a fourth rover with her efforts around the ground proving valuable.

#6 Alyssa Bannan

She always finds a way to hit the scoreboard and today was no different. Starting on the wing, Bannan provided touches of class and some good run through the midfield. Her spread from the congestion proved to be damaging, and her ability to repeatedly be the option to carry the ball inside 50 is a real asset. She booted both of her goals in the final term, with one of them coming off the back of a nifty side-step to get rid of her opponent.

#18 Sarah Sansonetti

Kicked the first goal of the game but spurned the chance to kick another moments later as she could not manage to poke the ball through from the goal-square. She was ever-present inside 50 and provided a solid option all day, often acting as the link in the chain between the arc and the goals. She had the chance to kick another goal in the final quarter but gave it off, which was typical of her score involvements for the game.

#21 Ellie McKenzie

Arguably the best player on the ground, McKenzie dominated in all areas. She started the game in the centre bounce and won a stack of clearances to go with two goal assists early on. The highlight of her game also came early in the first term when she received the ball at half-back and went on a winding four-bounce run through the centre square. She lost the ball momentarily but bounced straight back up, won it back and hit up a teammate inside 50. She was thrown forward late in the last quarter and kicked three goals in as many minutes to seal the win for her side, capping off a complete and dominant display.

#24 Alexandra Pronesti

Another Knight who always seems to find the goals, Pronesti was again at her dangerous best. Her three first-half goals helped the Knights to set up a handy buffer going into the main break, and she stood up when needed. Playing as a deep-lying forward, she was able to position herself well at every contest and proved to be a real handful when working in tandem with Sarah Sansonetti.

Others:

#2 Marnie Jarvis: There is not much of her, but Jarvis was everywhere and had some nice moments. Working mainly off half-back and the wing, she looked lively with ball in hand and provided some spark going forward. Her speed and nifty sideways movement allow her to stand out.

#5 Madeline Brancatisano: The skipper was lively early as she attended most of the stoppages. She provided a cool head to go with her tough edge in the contest and burrowed in well to set the tone for her side. While she faded out later on and was caught in possession a couple of times, she showed signs of her usual accumilating best.  

#7 Abigail Bennett: Was used in varying roles around the ground but was mostly effective behind the ball and through the midfield. Her best moment came in the last quarter where she picked up the loose ball, weaved through two opponents and set on a dangerous forward run. A smooth mover, Bennett also impressed with her clean hands in a frantic contest.

 

Oakleigh:

#11 Bridie Winbanks

Was a standout as the Chargers’ best player alongside midfield bull Emily Harley with a massive contribution in both the ruck and at ground level. While the ruck battle was relatively even, it was Winbanks’ follow-up efforts and fierce tackling that were most impressive. As a mobile tall, she was able to show off her admirable work rate and strong hands in what was a physical contest. Her lone goal came at the end of the third term, which the Chargers won with three goals to zip thanks largely to her efforts. 

#16 Alana Porter

Porter spent the majority of the game in the midfield and had a few good moments. Her speed and willingness to take the game on was a highlight, and she was able to give her side a nice bit of outside drive. While her attacking style is exciting, she was caught in possession a couple of times, opting to bounce or hold the ball when she had the chance to quickly dispose of it.

#17 Nicola Xenos

Was quiet early but found her feet and a way into the game during the third quarter. She had a five minute purple patch where she showed off her speed in a mazy run, caught an opponent holding the ball, and put in a courageous effort at half forward in quick succession. Her hands are clean and she has good natural pace, proving to be quite evasive throughout the game.

#19 Emily Harley

Harley was a bullocking force through the Oakleigh midfield and provided some real grunt when they needed it. She started off the game dishing out a couple of fend-offs and doing her best to side-step opponents with her turn of pace, and continued on with much of the same. Her forward drive and competitiveness was a real standout, with many of her runs finished off with a long inside-50 ball. A highlight for her was her handy slips catch while she was thrown deep forward in the second term, which she capped off with a goal.

Others:

#41 Katie Lynch: Having started in the centre square for most of the first half, Lynch struggled to make an early impact. A move deep forward in the second half proved fruitful, as she looked to have gained some confidence and found a lot more of the ball. She looked dangerous at times and finished the game with a goal.

#38 Daisy Bateman: There were limited opportunities for the Oakleigh forwards but Bateman took advantage of the ones that fell her way, booting two of her side’s five goals for the game.

 

Dandenong Stingrays vs. GWV Rebels

By: Peter Williams 

Dandenong:

#1 Shelley Heath

One of the Stingrays prime movers through the midfield and constantly pushed back to help out the defence. Had a busy first term with a couple of eye-catching dashes in the opening minutes, and also laid some tackles later that quarter. After a quieter patch in the middle of the game, Heath picked up in the second half with a huge tackle later in the third quarter just outside 50 with the clock counting down. Her last quarter was great, winning plenty of the football pushing back at half-back and along the wing, working hard to use her pace to drive the ball forward.

#10 Abbey Jordan

Has pace to burn and constantly tried to break the lines. She worked in tandem with Heath along the wing and covered plenty of ground. In particular she moved well in the final term, driving the ball out of defence to help propel the Stingrays forward.

#18 Saige Bayne

One of the better Stingrays throughout the game, played on the outside and managed to get into ball-winning positions. I thought it was her best performance of the season and she adds a bit of pace and grunt to the outside, a solid performance across the four quarters. Just keeps battling hard and was able to get free on a number of occasions to kick the ball long.

#28 Tyanna Smith

Booted two goals for the Stingrays and was lively in the front half of the ground. Early in the third term, Smith positioned herself well in front of her opponent and protected the ball drop to mark. Not long after she kicked one of the goals of the day from long range. One of the better Stingrays on the day and a creative option inside 50.

 

#35 Lucy Cripps

As consistent as ever in defence hardly put a foot wrong and just so consistent, when the going got tough she got going. Cripps even pushed up to a wing at times in the third term to provide extra support in the midfield and drive the ball forward. Good long kick deep in the third term, as she had pushed up to half-forward at the time. Knows when to push up the ground and when to stay back. Versatile and can play anywhere on the ground.

Others:

#5 Eloise Allen-Burns: A composed defender in the back 50, Allen-Burns repelled a number of Rebels attacks with some good intercept marks and clearing kicks. Just does her job and is rarely beaten one-on-one.

#20 Eliza Wilson-Macdonald: Buried herself under packs again and laid a number of fierce tackles. She just continues to work hard and win one-on-one contests or at least put her body on the line. Earned a free kick in the final term at a crucial stage to drive her team forward.

#26 Isabella Shannon: Played forward in the third term and presented well and then started to show it on the scoreboard with a goal and then a centering pass to the square. With her leading out the Stingrays looked much more dangerous. Great long kick at half-forward to deep.

#55 Harmony Thomas: Continues to present as a forward target, just needs to capitalise on her opportunities. She took a great one-on-one mark early in the game but missed the set shot. A last quarter free for going in hard presented another opportunity but just missed. She laid a great tackle in the third term to stop a forward thrust and provided a neat kick to Shelley Heath.

 

GWV Rebels:

#2 Renee Saulitis

She has a bit of pace and class about her, kicking a goal and looking dangerous at times through the midfield. She had a good deep pass forward in the second term and is a good mover, sidestepping her opponent.

#16 Lauren Butler

Just a consistent leader in midfield, she positions her kicks well to the danger zone and has that powerful penetration. In the third term she won the ball at midfield and hit up her team-mate leading out of the forward 50. Early on with Dandenong having the breeze, Butler drifted back to help the defence and took a good intercept mark in the hole in defence.

#21 Denver Henson

Really liked her performance through the ruck and around the ground. She continued to push hard and kicked long to gain serious metres. She laid a fierce tackle in the opening quarter and showed quick hands to her runners. I think the bigger highlights were her efforts around the ground.

#23 Sophie Molan

Really consistent performance again from Molan who seemed to be everywhere. She settled down the side and was used in transition, winning the football across the midfield and being an important link in the chain going forward.

#34 Stephanie Glover

Provided some great drive out of defence, and was particularly prominent early. She showed good agility to sidestep opponents and kick long down the wing, and was one of the better Rebels across the course of the game. Seemed to have a no-frills approach of winning the ball and keeping it moving in transition, working hard to win it defensively and drive it forward.

Others:

#9 Jordie McAuliffe: A hard runner who was rewarded with a great goal in the second term. She also was a reliable kick, hitting up Isabella Simmons who lead at the football in the forward 50.

#19 Katie McAloon: Kicked a great goal off a step in the second quarter.

#27 Nyakoat Dojiok: Created some great run and carry early on in the match, and almost pulled down a high leap but just dropped it. Good acceleration and has a penetrating kick, she had some impressive plays.

#28 Isabella Simmons: Positions herself well down forward, leads for the footy and then camps under the drop zone protecting the ball drop.

#45 Alyssa Humphries: Early on in the game she was damaging up forward, booting a goal and then using her quick hands after a mark to give it off to Jordie McAuliffe for a goal. Played well out of full-forward, and almost kicked a second goal, hitting the post in the final term.

 

Sandringham Dragons vs. Calder Cannons 

Sandringham:

 

#1 Maddison Wilson

Was lively around goal, especially in the first quarter. She kicked the first two goals for the game and finished up with three. Bended it nicely around the body for a confidence-boosting goal after stoppages started to come into play more frequently. Wilson read the ball well in the goal-square, crumbing the ground balls and snapping them through. Was killing it inside 50, taking great uncontested marks and trapping to the ball deep inside 50.

#25 Bella Eddey

Her goal was a stunning pick up and snap around the body from the boundary line! This was set up by Alice Burke’s high ball, which set the small forwards up nicely to run onto the footy. Eddey displayed good work to hunt the ball down and got plenty of it. She was involved in a lot of passages of play, which was highlighted by a spearing pass to Sophia Rothfield on the lead. Even brought her teammates into the game with a good one-two to get the Dragons out of trouble.

#30 Eleanor Brown

Did all the little things right for Sandringham. Managed to kick the ball well even off a burst of acceleration. Delivered a beautiful kick into the middle of the ground to get the Dragons out of trouble. Displayed pinpoint accuracy with her kicking. Had good run and carry especially down the wing. Brown leads well towards the ball even in defence, and doesn’t wait for the ball to come to her so she can spoil. She didn’t allow opponents to lead to the footy because she always meets it first.

#36 Jemma Owen

Really starting to find some good form in these past couple of rounds. Was able to stand up in the stoppages and did some nice things to clear the ball out of congestion. Kicked a nice goal after a good assist from Georgia Emberton. Kicked two for the game which really got her confidence up.

#49 Laura Amelung

Amelung can make an impact wherever she plays. Spent some time up forward and kicked a goal courtesy of a nice snap. Had some great one percenters with some really strong tackles, some great work to run into space and even a nice attempt to thread the needle through goals! She had a nice moment where she grabbed the ball off the deck, accelerated and ran towards goal. Ended up with two majors for the day, showing her versatility.

 

Others:

#2 Winnie Laing: Was able to trap the ball well and handball it out of congestion. Displayed great work to get the ball out with three Cannons players tackling her.

#3 Sophia Rothfield: I witnessed one of the best leads to the footy I’ve seen after Rothfield burst off her opponent with immense speed when she read Bella Eddey’s spearing pass immensely well. Gave her opponent no chance to chase her down in that instance. Displayed some really good work to chase the ball down in the goal-square and kick off one step while being tackled.

#31 Bryanna Arnold: Read the footy beautifully, shown by a kick just landing into her arms after all eyes were on it. Displayed good work to hold up play while the Cannons attempted to run away out of a stoppage.

#32 Sarah Hartwig: Displayed good composure down back. Was able to kick well under pressure. She’s a good defender and a great leader in the back-line.  

#46 Alice Burke: Had plenty of score involvements throughout the match. Most memorable one was a high kick to set up a Bella Eddey goal. Delivered some really nice kicks for the forwards to run onto, and one of them ended up in a great boundary-line snap from Eddey once again.

 

Calder:

#2 Felicity Theodore

Theodore was everywhere for the Cannons and tried extremely hard to keep her side in the game. Did well to hold the dangerous Alice Burke up in stoppage to create another stoppage. Was reading Carla Rendelmann’s taps perfectly and was able to get some clearances. Even had a couple of good ‘don’t argues’ to clear the kick away from congestion. In another instance, she fended off well to evade her opponent and dashed out of the middle. Theodore was able to pick up ball with pace, making it look like the other players were just staring at it. Often got the Cannons out of trouble. Leapt and marked against two Sandringham players to send the ball straight back inside 50 after a kick-out from full-back. Really filled Prespakis’ shoes.

#32 Terira Fry

Applied great pressure to cause a stoppage with four Sandringham players around her. Laid a huge tackle in the goal-square to keep the ball alive for the Cannons inside 50. Continues to improve each game and is one of the Cannons’ best players. Caused some headaches for the Dragons thanks to her aggressive manner and hunt to penetrate the ball forward through defensive acts.

#34 Zoe Hardiman

Hardiman did some really nice things around the contest. She picked up the ball well and evaded her opponents to deliver a nice centring kick, took a really nice mark which set her up for a set shot in the second quarter,  and delivered a fantastic run-down tackle. Also read the ball well when she marked a kick that dropped short. Accelerated towards it rather than waiting for it. Was active around the half-forward flank especially.

#38 Laura Cocomello

Got heaps of kicks away and did not seem to stop trying for the Cannons. She was proactively keeping the game moving for Calder. Kept herself in the game through some good running and following up her teammates’ nice work around the contest. Was able to just grab the ball and kick it without fuss.

#42 Kellie Sutton

She was really strong in defence. She took a great mark to create a turnover and delivered a nice handball under pressure. Displayed great work to hack the ball out of inside 50 when Dragons looked dangerous. Strong tackling was also evident in one of her best games of the season.

 

 

Others:

#15 Georgia Marsland: Took a nice mark off a high kick. Kicked the Cannons’ first goal of the day.

#18 Carla Rendelmann: Was impressive in the ruck and won lots of hit-outs. Tapped the ball down well to her small midfielders, especially Felicity Theodore.

#37 Faith Holloway: Broke away from the contest well and got a kick away. Had a lively start to the game. Smothered the ball well to save a certain goal for the Dragons.

#46 Gloria Elarmaly: Did some nice work to thread through a goal for Calder. Was lively inside 50.

 

Geelong Falcons vs. Murray Bushrangers 

Geelong:

#10 Samantha Atkins

I was impressed with her performance across half-forward, providing some fierce tackles and keeping the opposition honest. Earned an important free kick in the first term when she dispossessed Grace Egan, and then worked hard inside 50 to win the ball at half-forward and centre it to a dangerous position, leading to a goal. She laid quite a few strong tackles, with one in particular in the third term causing an important turnover in the forward half.

#11 Luka Lesosky-Hay

Arguably Geelong’s most prominent midfielder, Lesosky-Hay really stood up in the absence of Olivia Purcell and Nina Morrison. She went head-to-head with Grace Egan throughout the day and had some great battles, never taking a backwards step. She went in hard and won some crucial contested possessions, shovelling the ball out to teammates in space.

#32 Mia Sheppard

I thought she was one of the better Falcons given her strong work in defence. On a couple of occasions, she positioned herself well in the marking contest, and had a desire to win the football. In the final term when Murray was attacking, Sheppard won a crucial one-on-two and locked the ball up. Had she lost that contest, Murray would have surely goaled and put the margin within a kick.

#36 Abbey Chapman

It was almost impossible to name a best player from the Falcons such was their team effort, but Chapman probably came the closest with her sensational work in defence. It was not just her consistency that was impressive, but she just had a number of “big” moments which could be considered game-changing. In the third term she saved a certain Grace Egan goal with a mark on the line, and then in the fourth term, took a huge intercept mark with five minutes to play, settling down the team as the Bushrangers attacked. Across the course of the game she was very good one-on-one.

#39 Tarryn Love

I thought she was one of the best on ground early, until injury curtailed her match in the third term. She just hunts the ball and harasses the opposition, providing pressure on the ball carrier. When in control of the football she has clean hands and a great first touch. Her awareness of her teammates’ positioning is also important and she is able to execute handballs through traffic. Love set up a goal to Paige Sheppard with a kick to her advantage up forward.

Others:

#6 Paige Sheppard: Kicked a couple of goals to spur on the Falcons with one from a set shot, and another from a snap courtesy of a Tarryn Love kick inside 50.

#16 Laura Gardiner: Seemed to cover the ground well, playing off half-back and also getting forward to kick a goal. She is a long kick who is often on the move.

#37 Sophie Dinneen: Another Falcons defender who worked hard to win the football and repel the Bushrangers attacks. She was smart with ball in hand and kicked long out of the defensive zone.

#35 Sophie Walmsley: A lively player who kicked a great goal courtesy of a snap in the pocket. She provided run on the outside, received a good handball to keep the ball moving along the wing, and showed good pace at times, highlighted by a spin around and kick long to the danger zone inside 50 in the third quarter.

#38 Renee Tierney: Did not kick a goal after a bag last week but played a team role with the way she pushed up to the wing and hit the packs hard, providing support for her teammates. She moves pretty well and is strong one-on-one. Had more of an impact up the field than closer to goal this week.

 

Murray:

#1 Julia Harvey

The pocket rocket stepped up into the midfield and had a huge opening term against the Falcons. She seemed to be everywhere, buzzing around the stoppages and weaving her way through traffic. A noticeable strength is her great hands in close and cleanliness at ground level. She is a good user of the football and quite composed with ball in hand. Was quieter later in the game – still had some impressive plays – but her first quarter was sensational.

#22 Tamara Smith

Was Murray’s best player across four quarters and the attributes that stand out are her ability to move through traffic, and her game smarts. She is good above her head and in the second term, showed the awareness while under pressure, to punch the ball forward mid-air rather than take possession and be dispossessed. Smith is a clever player who in the third term also did the team thing, going in to assist her teammate Kate Adams at a stoppage, providing a vital shepherd to allow Adams clear passage for disposal. She also assisted with a goal to Melanie Cook after a nice pass in the fourth quarter.

#37 Sophie Damon

Had a huge first half in particular, being somewhat of a playmaker through the middle with her teammates looking to her to kick long and deep. She was often on the end of handballs, and moved really well for a taller player. In one instance she calmly sidestepped an opponent and managed to kick with composure. She had a shot on goal but that just missed to the left. Her ruck work was also impressive, giving her teammates first chance at possession. She was also involved in the Melanie Cook goal, hitting up Tamara Smith with a piercing pass.

#39 Hayley Doohan

The most notable moments for me were when she won some crucial one-on-ones late in the match. She was able to win a hardball and handpass to Grace Egan under pressure, then beat her opponent late in the final term in a one-on-one contest.

#42 Grace Egan

One of the stars of the Bushrangers’ line-up, Egan was consistent across the game, but particularly picked up in the second half. She worked hard through the midfield, burrowing under packs, putting pressure on the opposition. She stands strong during tackles and found a lot of the ball in close. In the third quarter she ran forward and had a shot on goal, but it was marked on the line. She has clean hands and a one-grab player, spreading well to cover the ground. One of her best passes was in the final term when she had the ball at half-back. She sent a bullet, hitting up a teammate on the wing, switching up play and disrupting the opposition’s set-up. Really stood up as a leader in the final minutes, trying to assist in directing players.

Others:

#4 Chelsea Knight: A classy midfielder who assisted Julia Harvey, Tamara Smith and Grace Egan through the midfield. She stepped up at points and had a few good touches in the midfield, especially in the third term.

#8 Olivia Hall: Got her side up and about in the final term with a great goal to put the Bushrangers back within 10 points at the six and a half minute mark of the final term.

#40 Melanie Cook: Continually presented at the football and was often under tight watch from the opposition. She took a good mark and kicked to the danger zone in the second term to set up Mikayla Jones’ goal. In the final term, Cook got the ball rolling and the atmosphere going with a goal from a snap.

TAC Cup Girls previews: Round 5

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

WESTERN JETS V. EASTERN RANGES

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

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

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

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

 

BENDIGO PIONEERS V. GIPPSLAND POWER

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

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

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

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

 

NORTHERN KNIGHTS V. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

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

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

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

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

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS V. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

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

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

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

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

 

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS V. CALDER CANNONS

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

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

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

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

 

GEELONG FALCONS V. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

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

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

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

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

Team selection: TAC Cup Girls – Round 4

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

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

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

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

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

Dandenong Stingrays

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

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

Sandringham Dragons

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bendigo Pioneers

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

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

Eastern Ranges

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

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

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

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

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

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

Murray Bushrangers

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

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

Western Jets

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gippsland Power

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

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

Calder Cannons

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oakleigh Chargers

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

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

Geelong Falcons

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

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

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

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

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

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

Northern Knights

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

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

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

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

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

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Girls – Round 3

WITH many of the games across the weekend played at RAMS Arena, it gave any team a chance of victory. But for Murray and Gippsland, a draw prevented them from keeping their winning streaks alive. However, the Calder Cannons and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels got to taste victory for the first time this season. Each week, we will be going out to games to take notes on some of the players that deserve recognition for their performance. 

GWV Rebels vs. Bendigo Pioneers 

By Cameron Ross 

GWV:

#25 Georgia Clarke

The defender was a pillar of strength down back and kept a quality opponent goalless. Her ability to read the play was the difference in the game. The Pioneers found it difficult to get the ball past halfway due to her ability to position herself exactly a kick behind the play. The best player on the field for the day. 

#16 Lauren Butler

In the second quarter, she laid a massive tackle in her own forward line. This lead to a free kick and earned her a shot and goal, and of course she kicked truly. Had a really big second half. In the third quarter, Butler had a nice moment where she picked the ball up cleanly, looked inside from half back, and rather than blazing away down the line, delivered the ball onto the chest of her teammate in the centre square. She also positions herself well at stoppages and was able to win a heap of contested ball.

#27 Nyakoat Dojiok

Although she did not find much of the ball, when she was in possession she was extremely eye-catching. Her long kicking put the Bendigo defenders under pressure, and she was not afraid to tuck the footy under the arm and take the game on. Almost kicked an outstanding goal in the third quarter, after reading that the ball was going over the back, pounced on the loose ball, picked it up cleanly (which was difficult in wet conditions), and had a ping from a tight angle, just shaving the post. Exciting, raw prospect.

#10 Hannah Simpson

Diminutive but remarkably strong for her size. The opposition found it very difficult to tackle her. Shrugged tackles at least four times in the game and on one of those occasions she set a goal up for her side afterwards. Potential to be a top contested on-ball winner if she gets the opportunity. Really liked her game, and thought she was one of the Rebels better players.

Others:

#2 Renee Saulitis: Beautiful kick of the ball, had a nice piece of play where she was in the right position for the handball receive, and kicked it to the hotspot. Kicked a goal and had a nice game overall.

#23 Sophie Molan: Nice kick out of the pack for a goal in the third. Had a good run and jump at the ball, marked and goaled late in the piece. Battled hard.

#28 Isabella Simmons: Laid a huge tackle in the final quarter which left her opponent sore. Kicked a nice goal in the final term.

 

Bendigo:

#28 Megan Williamson

Was outstanding throughout and did everything she possibly could to get her side over the line. When the Rebels had all the momentum in the third quarter, she almost singlehandedly kept her team in it. She was everywhere! Her third quarter efforts arguably stopped this one from being a blowout. Terrific player.

#19 Kodi Jacques

Laid an inspirational tackle on her opponent early in the game to motivate her teammates. Her tackle pressure was consistent throughout, and twice set up goals for her side from this pressure. Another outstanding tackle in the third quarter saved her side from a certain goal. Really loved her competitive and aggressive attitude

#11 Jemma Finning

Showed some glimpses of individual brilliance. Late in the game, she beautifully spun out of a tackle and set up a scoring opportunity for her side. Was quiet for large parts of the game, but when she was in possession of the ball she was extremely eye-catching. I would love to see her play on ball for a whole game, as she has the potential to be a really good player.

Others:

#2 Maddie Baldwin: Read the play really well to kick a goal in the second quarter. Had quiet moments, but did a lot of good things for her side.

#9 Dayna Kelly-Guthrie: Really consistent player, did not do anything outstanding, but was a solid contributor throughout the day.

#16 Emily Cooper: Worked really hard up forward putting pressure on the Rebels defenders. At one stage, her pressure caused a Rebels turnover and earned her side a goal.

#22 Mia Ward: Not afraid to put her head over the footy and win the ball for her side. Tough competitor.

 

Murray Bushrangers vs. Gippsland Power 

By Taylah Melki 

Murray:

 #4 Chelsea Knight

She had a good game across the middle and was quite dynamic on the field. Knight pressed hard and her work rate was up. She was not afraid to compete hard for the footy and was ferocious at ground level to try and win the footy for her team. She covered the ground well in the slippery conditions.

#17 Rebecca Webster 

She had a huge game for the Murray Bushrangers and was influential across the ground in difficult wet and slippery conditions. She took plenty of good intercept marks and hit the packs hard to win the footy. The weather did not seem to bother as it looked as if she had the ball on a string. She showed great footy awareness and was a ball magnet in the third term, bursting through contested packs. Webster tackled hard and was not afraid to get involved in the contest, she also showed off her impressive kicking ability. She was a clear standout for the Bushrangers in difficult conditions.

#22 Tamara Smith

Played a huge role in bringing the Bushrangers back into the game in the fourth quarter by creating leads and running hard to try and open up the space across the ground. She had a good clearing kick which she used to get the ball into space and was very creative with ball in hand. Smith also demonstrated her clean hands in close and around the contest even with a wet and slippery footy. She worked really hard to win the contested footy for her team and tried to give them an opportunity to push forward.

#42 Grace Egan

Egan was very influential when she helped out in the ruck contest and showcased her leap. She took a few good contested marks down back and demonstrated her clean hands around the contest. She showed good footy awareness and was able to read the play and flight of the football with ease. Egan managed to hit targets in tricky weather conditions and was one of the best on field for the Bushrangers.

#45 Olivia Barber

Barber had a huge last quarter, scoring one of the most important goals of the game to tie the scores. She was under heaps of pressure but showed great composure and skill to go back and slot the goal in the last term. Barber had strong hands and stood up when her team needed her.

 

Others:

#1 Julia Harvey: Had clean hands and took good marks under pressure which can be tricky when dealing with a wet footy.

#14 Amy Duguid: She had some good run and created dynamic leads for her teammates. Duguid worked really hard to try and open up space and used her long kick of the footy to clear congestion.

 #41 Charlotte Bevan: Laid some strong tackles and had no problem bringing down bigger-bodied girls in her bone-crunching tackles.

#16 Eloise Ashley-Cooper: She was really solid down back once again for the Bushrangers and continued her impressive ways. She won plenty of the footy and showed good awareness. 

#19 Millie Brown: Her quick use of the footy was impressive as it kept the opposition on their feet. Her quick transition play allowed for her team mates to run free. Positioned herself well to take big grabs and had strong hands in marking contests.

Gippsland:

#1 Ebony Jones

Jones had good break-away speed that helped her to open up and create space for her team mates. Her use of speed showed great footy smarts as it enabled her to burst away from packs and set up scoring opportunities for herself and others. She scored an important goal in the opening quarter thanks to her reliable kick and ability to get herself into damaging positions on the field.

#12: Megan Fitzsimon

Another player that stood out for the Power was Megan Fitzsimon, who relished her time out in the middle showing great agility and ability to read the footy. She competed hard to win the ball and showed a great work rate to get herself involved in the contest. Fitzsimon had a thumping kick on her and strong hands taking some big grabs across the ground.

 #13 Holly Andrews

Andrews was influential in setting up play for the Power and used the footy cleanly and accurately. She was able to hit her targets and pushed forward in the third quarter to help create possible scoring opportunities for her team. She applied plenty of pressure around the ground and took good contested grabs while having to contend with the slippery ball and windy conditions.

#28 Tyla Hanks

She was a key player for the Power working down back and pushing up hard into the midfield. She was not afraid to go hard at the footy, laying an impressive smother and competing hard in the scrum. Hanks showed great awareness with ball in hand and had strong hands to take important grabs across the ground. She used her penetrating kick to move the ball quickly and help set her team up. The co-captain was in everything and really opened up the game at times with her run and decision-making to help release team mates.

#58 Amy Dunn 

She showed great awareness throughout the game and laid some big tackles during the match. She played a pivotal role in the second quarter, nailing an impressive goal to get her team into a dominant position going into half time. Her goal sparked her team up.

Others:

#27 Nikia Webber” Showed a lot of desperation for the footy and competed hard to win the ball for her team. Covered the ground really well and ran hard to impact on the contest.  

#46 Laura Thompson: Had clean hands in and around the contest and was able to find targets in the wet. She also showcased her marking ability with her strong hands in challenging conditions.

#57 Jazz Ferguson: Showed her skills both offensively and defensively, laying strong tackles and coming hard through the congestion to clear the footy.

 

Western Jets vs. Calder Cannons

By: Julia Montesano and Peter Williams

Western:

#14 Isabella Grant

The talented utility had a few promising moments throughout the game and presented to a number of contests leading out of the forward line. She moved into the midfield in the second term and put pressure on the Cannons midfield, often lining up against the much smaller Madison Prespakis at stoppages. However she showed throughout the game she has good game smarts, positioning and strength, and is clean at ground level.

#16 Elizabeth Georgiostathis

Another promising performance from the winger who was strong around the clearances, winning a few free kicks. She was one the Cannons had to keep an eye on, and benefited from a 50m penalty to slot the Jets’ second goal to put them in front at one stage. Her strengths are her hands in close and a neat side-step when clearing the ball out of the middle. Consistent as ever building on from last week’s game.

#30 Isabella Pritchard

Hard to believe she is still 16 as she has a very mature approach to her football. She is a strong intercept mark and constantly rebounds opposition attacks. Pritchard laid a number of strong tackles to lock the ball up or stop opponents clearing it easily. Among her strengths are her positioning in one-on-ones and her vision, complimented by her intercept marking ability and long kicking.

#39 Cleo Saxon-Jones

Provided a real forward target for the Jets and booted two goals as the main forward in the arc. She is so strong and had a great fend off in the forward 50, and later on snapped a great goal off a step in the second term. She provides a focal point for the Jets who go long and deep, and has some impressive goal sense around the big sticks.

#43 Caitlin Greiser

A strong performance across four quarters, Greiser got amongst it regularly when the ball headed forward. She played as a high half-forward and while at times the ball was at the other end of the ground, when it was in her area she used her long kicking and strength in one-on-ones to win the ball and bomb It forward. She has a penetrating kick and used it fairly well early.

Others:

#2 Caitlin Gashi: Laid a great tackle in the middle of the ground and showed some impressive defensive attributes on the day.

#5 Mary Daw: She came in for her first game of the season and mostly played down back opposing star midfielder Madison Prespakis when she was forward. She did well in the one-on-ones but is still quite raw and her disposal can still improve. She showed off some nice athleticism at times, however.

#15 Hannah Bult: Provided some really good run and carry, and has a long kick that she was able to utilise to kick to position well.

#22 Alison Chivell: A midfielder who showed some promising signs around the clearances in the middle.

#27 Payton-Ani Ozols: Strong overhead and has courage to burn, taking a huge grab with pressure coming from behind.

#35 Chloe Weston-Sirett: Got involved in the second term with a long kick inside 50 to Cleo Saxon Jones’ advantage leading to a goal.

Calder:

#2 Felicity Theodore

A lightly built midfielder, Theodore provided some heavy defensive pressure. She did well to roll back into defence and up forward and win the ball at half-forward and keep it moving in transition. She showed off a nice set of wheels to burn off opponents when racing out of the back half and her kicking was reliable. Produced a great run-down tackle in the second term when an opponent was on the rebound.

#3 Madison Prespakis

The top prospect in the TAC Cup Girls lead from the front again with an inspiring performance. Predominantly played forward in the second half after a masterclass in the midfield early, Prespakis just found space – and the footy – everywhere she went. She was strong in the clearances, used her body to plow through opponents and remarkably barely had a hand on her when the midfields spread. She was an inside bull with a penetrating kick and was rewarded for her hard running, creating a goal out of nothing, roving a ball from a pack and snapping it through the middle. She also set up a second goal with a long kick inside 50 for the small forwards to run onto it in the goal square.

#8 Eliza Vale

Stood out with her class in trying conditions. She has great skills and worked hard off half-back before progressing into the midfield. She showed great penetration on her kick into the wind which challenged many others. Vale is still developing but has some good traits that make her stand out on the football field.

#21 Georgia Patrikios

Stood up when the game was there to be won and was the second best behind Prespakis for the Cannons. She not only had plenty of eye-catching offensive moments, but also did all the hard stuff as well with some bone-crunching tackles. She really started moving in the game in the second half, sharing the ball around with her teammates while also using her great agility to sidestep opponents. She kicked around her body to snap what would be the winning goal for Calder and just produced an outstanding game, stepping up to another level this weekend.

#23 Grace Dicker

She showed off some great acceleration and speed to burst out of a stoppage for an important clearance. With clean disposal along the wing heading forward and great run and carry, Dicker is a damaging player on her day. Her speed was a treat as she raced away from opponents and more importantly, she backs herself in and just goes. An example in the second half was her streaming down the middle of the ground and kicking forward with barely anyone getting near her. She also created the final goal for Alisa Magri to seal the result.

Others:

#18 Carla Rendelmann: Showed great run and carry out of the defensive 50. Kept the ball moving for the Cannons and was impressive in the ruck, producing the perfect tap down to Prespakis for a clearance.

#22 Makeisha Muller: Has a long kick that she used to kick deep inside 50. Is also a quick thinker with ball in hand.

#29 Stephanie Elias: Read the play really well and took an intercept mark from a 50m penalty.

#31 Krstel Petrevski: Was really clean by foot throughout the match.

#34 Zoe Hardiman: Had an early chance on goal but just missed the kick off the ground.

#37 Faith Holloway: Another Cannons player who seemed to be clean in the tough conditions, producing a good kick inside 50 early in the match.

 

Northern Knights vs. Sandringham Dragons

By: Julia Montesano and Peter Williams

#3 Nell Morris-Dalton

The midfielder was quite impressive across the four quarters and showed some quick hands both on the inside, and quick thinking on the outside. She is clean off the deck and has good acceleration and strength, fending off opponents to keep moving with momentum. She is a hard runner who covered the ground well, often found running along the wing to create space for her teammates to kick into.

#6 Alyssa Bannan

Just an enigma up forward. The tall forward is an excitement machine where you do not know what to expect. She kicked a fantastic goal off a couple of steps in Mo Hope style with a bouncing snap, and just has that unique ability to know where her opponents are, and dance around them. She is most comfortable kicking for goal or kicking long, with plenty of penetration on her kicking and is just a natural goal kicker. She has a knack of finding the football at stoppages and getting her boot to the ball. Bannan also has the composure to dispose of it well rather than hacking it forward.

#21 Ellie McKenzie

Another impressive midfielder who does very little wrong. She has a great combination of athleticism and skill, and was able to sidestep opponents and deliver the ball forward cleanly. She is able to work the ball from either side of her body and showed good composure under pressure. One of the better kicks on the day. McKenzie has a natural kicking action and is able to pin-point targets with her left foot. A great chase down tackle on Eliza McNamara in the fourth quarter was a defensive highlight.

#22 Britney Gutknecht

Was the second best player on the ground behind Newton and was just so classy on a day where the conditions challenged everyone. She showed some good spread and was clean at top speed, giving-and-going where possible to keep the ball moving at every opportunity. She provided some dash out of defence when she went back, and when forward, opened up the angle on an inside 50 kick to place it perfectly to the top of the goal square for a great contest. She kick a goal from a set shot and played across the ground, showing off her versatility.

#23 Gabby Newton

The best on ground and our AFL Draft Central Player of the Round for round three. She played through the ruck, but is so mobile she can play up forward, down back or through the midfield. She laid some fierce tackles through the middle, but also provided plenty of offensive drive out of the stoppages. She kicked a goal from a banana and was so dominant across the field with her penetrating kick and high work ethic constantly having the opposition Dragons players on high alert. She has been one of the most consistent players this season, and she even went to another level on the weekend.

Others:

#1 Magdalene Antypas: Showed neat skills in defence when the pressure was red hot.

#2 Marnie Jarvis: Zipped around the contests winning a fair bit of the footy. Kicked a well deserved goal in the last term and was strong overhead throughout the game.

#4 Neve O’Connor: Was another Knights player unlucky not to be in our overall best, but she was very impressive. Playing through the ruck, O’Connor showed good vision to hit-up targets through the midfield and execute her booming kick well, often coming out of a clearance.

#5 Maddy Bracantisano: Was an influential leader through the midfield and continued to crack in hard throughout the four quarters. She earned a few free kicks for getting to the contest first and just covers the ground so well. A real strong inside ball winner, she was also among the best despite named outside our top five.

#7 Abigail Bennett: Not as influential as last week, but those impressive traits were still there in patches. She has lovely vision and is a really good field kick, as well as having plenty of composure to control the ball before disposing of it.

#9 Maeve Chaplin: A strong mark and quick thinker. She showed good peripheral vision and spatial awareness with ball in hand and another true contributor to the Knights’ win.

#10 Phoebe Chisholm: Had a highlight reel-worthy moment at one stage, taking a great mark in defence, sidestepping an opponent and backed herself to run and carry with a nice kick down the ground.

#13 Mika Suzuki: A really speedy player who can kick it well off one step. She backs up her speed with a high work rate and showed off a great tank to burst out of the centre on multiple occasions.

#14 Jess Fitzgerald: Is a strong kick who can kick both straight and laterally, and has the composure to assess her options before disposing of it.

#17 Ciara Fitzgerald: Unlucky not to be paid a mark in one instance and was a strong set of hands in a goal square contested marking situation.

#24 Alex Pronesti: Shows her class in moments and while she was not the highest possession winner, when she gets the ball she does not waste it. An example was a beautiful centering kick to set up a straight forward set shot for Ellie McKenzie.

#27 Paije Kennedy: A strong contested mark, Kennedy was good in both contested and uncontested situations, particularly having a purple patch in the third quarter.

Sandringham:

#5 Jasmine Tait

An impressive performance from the midfielder who also spent time at half-back. She had a great spin out of a tackle to kick it forward early, and just had an added bit of flair throughout the game. She was often used as a link in transition going forward, and was a hard runner when down back. Tait accumulated a lot of the ball on the defensive 50 line and did it with style with ball in hand.

#30 Eleanor Brown

The clear best for Sandringham and hardly missed a beat. She was superb from the first siren through to the final one and just dominated through the midfield against a Knights midfield that often got their hands to the ball first. She broke the lines when behind the ball and showed good vision to kick to position. Brown is able to work hard to get to the right positions and is clean with her disposal and able to produce some advantageous kicks when going inside 50. When the Knights tightened the screws, Brown kept a level head and she just goes in hard and finds the ball. Can kick the ball long and still hit targets.

#32 Sarah Hartwig

Had an early influence in the first half, producing a few spoils one-on-one and showing her dominance in the air. The ball was often down the other end during the middle of the match as the wind favoured the Dragons in the second term. She was clean picking the ball off the deck and took a couple of great intercept marks on the wing. Dislocated her finger later in the game when the Knights took control in the final term.

#43 Abbie McKay

Started down back and moved into the midfield in the second term. Applied plenty of pressure on the inside and was one of the better Dragons by the end of the match. Quite versatile in how she can play, she has good hands in close and loves the defensive side of things. Might not stand out like some of the bigger outside ball winners, but McKay is a crucial cog in the Sandringham midfield and defence.

#64 Eliza McNamara

Very impressive performance from McNamara once again. She had a quiet first quarter but was one of the best after quarter time. She won the first clear kick after the centre bounce in the second quarter, and earned a free for getting in first. McNamara won plenty of the ball as the match went on and when having time and space, was able to pinpoint passes to her teammates. Under pressure she did make a couple of mistakes, but overall was a really strong contributor in the Dragons side.

Others:

#1 Maddi Wilson: Took a good mark inside 50 but her shot fell short.

#2 Winnie Laing: Had her moments once again, and can never doubt her courage. Wins the hardball and continually presents around the stoppages. Conditions did not make it easy for disposal, but she cracked in hard and took it to the Knights midfielders.

#25 Bella Eddey: Held good positioning at the 50m arc, protecting the ball drop and marking on her chest. She quickly handballed it off to keep the play moving.

#36 Jemma Owen: Worked hard throughout the match and won a bit of the ball down forward but just missed an opportunity to capitalise in the first term. She did kick a good goal in the second term, snapping after Eliza McNamara pinpointed her inside 50.

#39 Margie Purcell: Took off and used her speed well throughout the game.

#42 Ruby Woods: Was impressive off half-back, particularly in the first quarter, providing drive out of defence to keep the Dragons on the front foot.

#49 Laura Amelung: Has great acceleration going forward as well as good composure to side-step her opponent and kick inside 50.

#50 Holly Bate: A long kick of the football, Bate placed the ball well to the dangerous part of the goal square.

#58 Grace Bridges: Placed an impressive centering kick inside 50 to the danger zone later in the game.

 

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Eastern Ranges

By: Julia Montesano and Peter Williams

Oakleigh:

#14 Hannah McLaren

A consistent performer from the Chargers’ captain. Did not have a huge influence early, but worked into the game a little more. She has a booming kick and a hard nut attitude that saw her crash into packs and win plenty of hardballs throughout the game. She played in defence, up forward and through the midfield, showing off her versatility once again. Never said ‘die’ throughout the game and you know what to expect from her, week-in, week-out.

#16 Alana Porter

Blistering speed and one that really caught many eyes on the weekend. She has top notch acceleration and speed, and is able to balance when on the run to fend off opponents. She has a really good first few steps and took the game on with a burst through the centre to open up the play. Provided a few highlights on a blustery day.

#30 Gemma Lagioia

The classy ball winner was quiet early but gradually worked into the game. She won her fair share of the ball through the middle and showed great bursts of acceleration out of a stoppage. She stepped up in the second half and laid some strong tackles – including one on Eastern Ranges’ co-captain Emerson Woods to stop her in her tracks. Not the best conditions for ball use, but Lagioia was still slick in the trying conditions.

#41 Katie Lynch

Returned after missing round two and was Oakleigh’s star for the day. She was strong overhead, played through the midfield and hardly missed a beat. She was able to spread well to the flanks and wings, and was one of the few able to hit targets in tough conditions. Lynch is very agile for a taller player and while she is the size of a key position player, can easily play midfield and reads the game well. She took a great diving mark on the wing with players coming out at her, and is able to stand up in a tackle to get her arms free.

#70 Peggy-Sue Fennell

Was not numbered on the teamsheet, but certainly did enough to know we were not going crazy seeing #70 out there. She did a nice few things around the ground and worked hard on the inside to fire out handballs to the outside to release teammates to run going forward.

Others:

#9 Elisabeth Jackson: Showed good vision and decision making through the game, kicking into space when she had the opportunity, just needed to execute the odd pass here or there a little better, but was understandable in the conditions.

#17 Nicola Xenos: Was not as busy as the week before, but still showed off her trademark sidestep and tried to take the game on. She kicked the ball well when going forward.

#19 Emily Harley: Another hard working effort across the ground, providing some tough bumps and defensive pressure for the Chargers.

#21 Charlotte Moon: Performed strongly in the ruck.

#26 Amber Micallef: Had lightning hands in close and provided some important passes to teammates.

#32 Chloe O’Malley: Won a free kick and was able to kick the ball forward cleanly.

#33 Georgia Byrne: Kicked a consolation goal in the final term, but was well deserved for her hard running efforts.

Eastern:

#3 Emerson Woods

A consistent performance from the AFLW Academy member and arguably her best of the season having seen all three games. She was able to have an impact through the midfield and up forward, being an important ball winner in the clinches, winning plenty of one-on-ones and using her strength and quick hands to advantage. She has a penetrating kick when she can get onto it, and showed her goal nous up forward when she pounced on a loose goal and kicked truly in the first quarter.

#21 Mikala Cann

A player who continues to build, Cann really showed off her jets with some bursts of power and acceleration on the weekend. When she gets goal side of her opponent she is so damaging, but is also defensively sound in the fact she can run down her opponents when they are in possession. She was one of the best early on, getting plenty of touches, while also spreading well as the game went on, taking a great marking and setting up a goal assist.

#37 Georgia Macpherson

Barely touched it in the first quarter but was not her fault at all when the ball did not go down the Ranges’ defensive end. Once Oakleigh started to get their hands on the ball more, so did Macpherson, taking some big intercept grabs at half-back and kicking long down the wing. Macpherson took a huge contested mark in the third quarter and was one of the reasons the Ranges did not let Oakleigh get too close later in the game.

#38 Laura McClelland

An exciting forward who is strong overhead and continues to deliver inside 50. She kicked a goal in the first few minutes of the game and got her side up and about. McClelland is so good one-on-one and is solid on the lead, as well as having good awareness to intercept when inside 50. She showed off her strength during the game; in one instance, she broke away from two players and was composed enough to dispose of the ball cleanly.

#39 Olivia Meagher

Really good performance from Meagher who was arguably the Ranges’ best four quarter performer. Just continued to get her hands on it throughout the game and she provided a real spark between midfield and the forward 50. She has great speed and agility, bursts out of packs and wins the ball both on the inside and outside. Meagher is one player who backs herself in and is dangerous on the rebound.

Others:

#6 Gabrielle De Angelis: Showed off neat skills to hit up a target in the forward 50 with a well-weighted kick. She is also strong overhead and provided good spread across the ground.

#10 Nicole Cormack: Likes to move the ball and had a quick get-and-go on the outside and is quick to react from hand to foot.

#17 Mietta Kendall: A booming kick out of defence, Kendall played quite well in the defensive 50.

#35 Brittany Cubitt: On debut, she read the play well and took a great intercept mark inside 50 in the first half.

#41 Jenna Richardson: Covered the ground really well and showed some great movement.

#46 Sarah Kendall: Not as huge as her efforts in the first fortnight, but still found a bit of the ball and covered the ground well, so a solid contributor.

TAC Cup Girls previews: Round 3

FOUR teams go into round three undefeated, and will be hoping to keep their undefeated streaks alive. Meanwhile at RAMS Arena, two winless teams in Calder Cannons and Western Jets will go head-to-head to register their first win of the season. Each week, we will preview all the upcoming action in the round of TAC Cup Girls football, giving you a comprehensive insight into the compelling competition that we have on our hands this year.

GWV REBELS V. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 3- Saturday, March 24, 10.30am

MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Bendigo Pioneers have an amazing opportunity to play at a prestigious stadium on the weekend. The Rebels will be searching for their first win of the season, after coming up against two premiership contenders in the first two rounds. Meanwhile, the Pioneers got off to a winning start in round one, and will be hoping to bounce back after last week’s loss.

Sophie Kerridge has kicked four goals so far for the Pioneers this season, and will look to continue her great form deep in the forward line. However, she will have to come across the likes of GWV AFLW Academy member, Georgia Clarke who will start at half-back to combat Kerridge and teammate, Kate Douglass.

Expect a great captain’s battle in the middle between GWV’s Lauren Butler and Bendigo’s Megan Williamson. Both players had solid outings last week and are sure to put on a cracking contest in the depths of the contest. Nyakoat Dojiok showed some impressive signs last week, and will join Butler in the middle of the ground to challenge the Rebels, who will be missing AFLW Academy member Sophie Van De Heuvel this week.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS V. GIPPSLAND POWER

Round 3- Saturday, March 24, 2.45pm

RAMS Arena- Craigieburn

The two teams will have to travel further down the highway this week, after their hit-out at Swinburne Centre was moved to RAMS Arena. This is not likely to faze either team, who both enjoyed round two victories.

Murray has been unstoppable so far and we are only two rounds into the competition. Rebecca Webster has been a dominant force in the midfield, while Eloise Ashley-Cooper and Olivia Barber have been holding down the fort at either end of the ground.

Webster may have her work cut out for her this week, as she is set to come up against Gippsland star, Tyla Hanks. Hanks has not put a foot wrong for the Power so far, and played a pivotal role in getting her side over the line for the first time in the TAC Cup Competition.

GEELONG FALCONS V. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 3- Sunday, March 25, 11am

Deakin University Oval, Geelong

The Geelong Falcons are one of the undefeated teams in the league so far and will return back home to take on a formidable Stingrays outfit. Dandenong on the other hand fell short to hard-hitting side, Eastern Ranges in round two. But captain, Jordyn Allen has been as consistent as ever, and is likely to continue her great form in Stingrays colours.

However she will have to come across tackling machine, Olivia Purcell in the Geelong midfield, who has been a hard player to combat in the first two rounds. Expect a great battle between Sandringham half-back, Lucinda Cripps and Geelong half-forward, Sachi DeGiacomi.

DeGiacomi is running a muck in the forward line, and is the joint leading goal-kicker, along with Northern Knights’ Alyssa Bannan. Tarryn Love will also play inside 50 for the Falcons, and will be one that applies plenty of forward pressure to trouble the Dandenong defence.

WESTERN JETS V. CALDER CANNONS

Round 3- Sunday, March 25, 11am

RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

The Cannons would not have expected to find themselves undefeated after two rounds. The Jets have come up against some formidable opponents so far and have not registered their first win of the season. But at RAMS Arena, both teams will have the chance to get a win on the board on what is set to be a rainy encounter.

Madison Prespakis has unsurprisingly been in sensational form, and will be keen to take on a talented Western Jets midfield this week. Prespakis would be familiar with impressive Jets midfielder, Elizabeth Georgiostathis, as they played in the same Youth Girls competition last year in the Essendon District Football League.

Isabella Pritchard has been a key player for the Jets so far, and will slot onto the half-back flank. She and Katarina Rebuffo will have to team up in defence to nullify the impact of Calder AFLW Academy member, Georgia Patrikios and Zoe Hardiman, who was named in the Cannons’ best last week.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS V. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 3- Sunday, March 25, 12.45pm

RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

The Northern Knights have charged out of the blocks this year, recording convincing wins in the first two rounds of the competition. The Dragons too have been competitive and have made significant inroads to developmental improvement. Sandringham recorded a confidence-boosting win against the Chargers last week, knocking them off the top of the ladder and preparing themselves appropriately for arguably the game of the round.

Abigail Bennett has been a star for the Knights, making an impact both in the middle of the ground and in the forward 50. She has been well complemented by Nell Morris-Dalton, who has used her strength to perfection to double up in the forward line and in the midfield.

The Knights’ dynamic mid/ forward combinations will undoubtedly be a challenging prospect for the Dragons, but Abbie McKay and captain, Jemma Owen are up to the task. Both are coming off wonderful performances last week, and were well complemented by Winnie Laing, who played a Chelsea Randall type role. Laing played in defence and through the midfield, and could play that role again to nullify the impact of Northern’s versatile outfit.

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS V. EASTERN RANGES 

Round 3- Sunday, March 25, 2.30pm

RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

The last of the triple-headers at Craigieburn sees the Chargers taking on the Ranges to bounce back from last week’s loss. Oakleigh had some time on top of the ladder after a big win in round one, while the Eastern Ranges are on the march to take top spot off the Knights.

Oakleigh has been boosted by the return of Katie Lynch, who sat out the round two loss. She had a wonderful performance in round one and can certainly take it up to the Ranges midfield. It will be interesting to see her and Gemma Lagioia go head-to-head against Eastern’s Mikala Cann and Sarah Kendall. Cann has been tearing it up with her explosive speed while Kendall has shown poise through the middle of the ground in her first two outings of the season.

Plenty of attention will be given to AFL Draft Central Player of the Week, Georgia Macpherson, who marked everything that came her way last week. Players would simply avoid kicking it in her vicinity, which is something that Oakleigh will definitely take into consideration this week.