2022 AFLW practice match wraps

OVER the weekend, 10 of the 14 AFLW clubs hit the field in official practise matches, putting the last final touches on their preparation ahead of the new season starting in a matter of weeks. Rookie Me Central takes a look at what happened around the country.

Brisbane vs Gold Coast

On Friday night Brisbane flexed its muscles and comfortably defeated Gold Coast.

Early on, although Gold Coast got the first clearance of the match, Brisbane was able to lock it in their forward line really well. They made it very difficult for the Suns to get it out of their defensive 50, setting up the wall across the centre and cutting off any Suns kicks that came their way.

Gold Coast’s tackling pressure was strong in the second term. However, it was obvious that they needed someone like Jesse Tawhaio-Wardlaw in their forward line. Someone who was a strong marking target up there. The two players that would fill that role were playing too far up the ground to fill the role.  

Brisbane consistently piled on the scoreboard pressure throughout the game, but were very inaccurate. They scored 15 behinds in the match, and only two were either rushed or touched.

For Brisbane many of their usual suspects played well. In saying that, one player for Brisbane that fans can get really excited about is Zimmorlei Farquharson. After not getting a game last year, she played really well and staked her claim for a round one berth. She created plenty of chances up forward and kicked three goals herself. Amon the other players to step out were new recruits, Phoebe Monahan and Lucinda Pullar, while new captain Breanna Koenen and the usual suspects in Kate Lutkins and Ally Anderson.

For Gold Coast fans, they will be interested to know that 2021 number one pick Charlie Rowbottom started off the half back line before moving into the midfield. They will also be pleased to know that new recruit Claudia Whitfort played well, and may have finally found a club where she can star.

Melbourne vs Collingwood

A contest befitting of two genuine premiership contenders, it was the Dees who came out on top at Casey Fields after a mostly even match.

Early on, the Pies absolutely dominated. Then, the Dees turned it up a gear and were the more dominant side in the second term. Things were pretty dead even in the third before the experimenting really started in the last.

Both sides chucked players in different positions and rested some of their key stars. In doing so they tried to make the most of the opportunity in front of them to test things out against an opponent when premiership points weren’t on the line.

Tyla Hanks was outstanding for the Demons throughout the game, whilst Kate Hore slotted four majors for the Dees to really kick-start their season.

Pies fans will be pleased to know that new recruit Sabrina Frederick played very well in her first outing for her new side. She was a strong marking target in the forward line, kicked all of Collingwood’s goals and even did a little pinch hitting in the ruck. Ruby Schleicher, Alison Downie and Brianna Davey all looked strong in an even performance.

Dees fans will be intrigued to learn of the versatility Jacqueline Parry showed on the park today. She is mainly know her as a forward, but she played a bit in the ruck and in the midfield too. This may be a sign of things to come for Parry this season. The Demons also had other impressive contributors like Libby Birch who read everything off half-back, and then a nice final term rom Maggie Caris who was injected into the game.

Western Bulldogs vs North

In the other game open to fans on Saturday, it was North who comfortably took out the win, to the tune of 51 points.

The Western Bulldogs were not able to score until the third term, but by then North had well and truly piled on the scoreboard pressure. North was able to hold territory and make life for the Bulldogs rather difficult when the Dogs were trying to exit defence.

Ellie Blackburn tried to take the game on in the middle, but the Roos’ pressure was just far too much.

North fans will like the sound of the fact that some of their usual suspects in Ash Riddell and Emma Kearney played well, but some of their newer players did too. This included Bella Eddey, Jasmine Ferguson and Kim Rennie.

Bulldog’s fans will be pleased to know Ellyse Gamble played very well in defence, thwarting a number of North attacks. Other Dogs who played well included Nell Morris-Dalton, Richelle Cranston and Elle Bennetts.

Carlton vs St Kilda

Unfortunately for fans, this one was not open to the public, but it was the Blues who came out on top in this one at Ikon Park.

Carlton was the more dominant side in the first term. The Saints had plenty of the footy but just looked less than threatening moving forward. Grace Egan and Madison Prespakis both played very well for the Blues.

The Saints were a lot better in the second term. Their ball movement was a lot better, but were struggling to apply the finishing touches. Forward 50 turnovers also cost them on the scoreboard. Rhiannon Watt was giving the Saints plenty of first use out of the middle.

One of the highlights of the third term was a snap from the pocket from Brooke Walker. Both sides scored two goals each in the third term and none in the last to see the Blues take the win.

Hannah Priest was solid in defence for the Saints, while Paige Trudgeon did really well for the Blues. She had the job on Caitlin Greiser for the majority of the afternoon and played very well.

Geelong vs Richmond

This one was also unfortunately for fans not open to the public, but it was the Cats who came out victorious. The first half was tight, but the Cats were able to pull away in the second half to take the win.

Geelong’s tackling pressure was very good, with the likes of Nina Morrison, Darcy Moloney, Rachel Kearns and Georgie Prespakis all laying great tackles.

Phoebe McWilliams kicked three goals, and Geelong fans will be pleased to know Morrison played well in her return game from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. There was a scare in the second half, but it turned out to just be cramps.

Meanwhile from the Tigers, draftee Meagan Kiely played really well, finding plenty of the football and even kicking a major. Fellow draftee Stella Reid also played well for the Tigers.

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