AFLW Round 5 – Sunday Talking Points

ROUND 5 of the 2022 AFL Women’s season came and went over the weekend, seen out by a trio of fixtures on Sunday. The Western Bulldogs, Adelaide and North Melbourne were the victors in a trio of clashes played across Melbourne, and we take a look at the key talking points to come out of each game.

  • Team
  • Western Bulldogs
  • Richmond

By: Alyce Collett

The Western Bulldogs are finally on the board for season 2022, defeating Richmond by 17 points at home. In very warm conditions, they put together a solid four quarter performance to take the win.


Consecutive short breaks? No worries say the Bulldogs

The Bulldogs came into the match about to play their third in the space of only nine days, but they certainly didn’t show any signs of fatigue. They were able to run out the game without any issues.

The Bulldogs didn’t capitalise on their early dominance

In the first quarter the Bulldogs had the majority of the ball and time inside their forward 50. The problem was that they just couldn’t convert that dominance into scoreboard pressure. It took the Dogs almost 11 minutes before they were finally able to put a goal on the board, which came through Nell Morris-Dalton.

In the first quarter, the Dogs had eight inside 50s, for three shots on goal and only registered one goal two. The Tigers, on the other hand, had four inside 50s for two shots on goal and a score of two behinds.

If the Bulldogs don’t solely rely on Ellie Blackburn, they can go places

At times this season, the Dogs have shown that if skipper Ellie Blackburn has a quiet game, things don’t go well for them, and they often don’t get the chocolates.

It was certainly a different story on Sunday.

Although Blackburn still got plenty of the ball, she wasn’t the sole driver in the midfield and certainly had plenty of helpers, including the likes of Kirsty Lamb, Bailey Hunt and Bonnie Toogood.

Injury carnage for the Tigers

To make matters worse for the Tigers, Sunday’s result was compounded by a number of severe injuries to key players. Laura McClelland went down with an ankle injury, then Hannah Burchell had to be stretchered off with a knee injury. In the final term, Kate Dempsey also had to be helped off the ground by trainers and went straight to the rooms.

Is this the win that gets the Bulldogs season going?

At times this season the Bulldogs have shown glimpses, but it ultimately hasn’t translated to wins.

Not on Sunday.

The fact that they were able to put together a solid four quarter performance will give them a lot of confidence, and is a great foundation to build on for the rest of the season.


The Bulldogs travel to Adelaide to face the Crows, while the Tigers are at home and face the Kangaroos.

  • Team
  • Carlton
  • Adelaide

By: Michael Alvaro

Adelaide’s premiership pursuit rolled on with a 39-point win over Carlton at Princes Park on Sunday afternoon. The table-topping Crows lead from the first goal and never let up, swarming the Blues ball carriers and proving too slick on the other end to kick away to a 7.9 (51) to 1.6 (12) victory.


The Crows are relentless

A feature of Adelaide’s game on Sunday was the unrelenting pressure that eventually saw Carlton come unstuck. With a combination of class and grit, the Crows are a well rounded side who can hurt the opposition in attack, but do the dirty defensive work. If a Blue managed to slip free the first time, they were almost certain to be harassed and wrapped up on the second or third attempt, overwhelming each Carlton ball carrier into over-possessing. It was especially effective in the forward half, with Adelaide finishing with 16 tackles inside 50 to Carlton’s five.

Mimi ascends back to top of the Hill

Mimi Hill would have been excused for making a steady return on Sunday, coming off an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear. That was hardly the case, as the Blues running machine topped her side’s disposal charts with 26 touches in an outstanding display. It served as a timely reminder of her talent, with the second-year gun providing a much needed point of difference around the ball for her side, which lacks distinct running power. She was not the only Blue to look good after time off, with Grace Egan back among the thick of things in quick time after suffering broken ribs and a collapsed lung in Round 1.

Crows combo overwhelmed the Blues

A knock on Carlton’s engine room is its one-paced nature, and Adelaide was able to take full advantage via the partnership of Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard. Both worked the Blues ball winners over with their work rate and toughness, combining for 56 disposals, 15 marks, and 16 tackles to again form an extraordinary one-two punch. With the ability to match Carlton on the inside and then beat the Blues on the outer, the Crows combo ran amok in their side’s 39-point victory. Far too good.

No talls makes it tough

Carlton’s lack of a genuine spearhead continues to make it tough to score. The Blues have not managed more than four goals in any of their five games thus far, with a new season-low of 1.6 (12) dished up on Sunday. Darcy Vescio is capable of playing above their size but is often sighted leading up beyond the arc, meaning there is no real target for the next kick inside 50. While Jess Good was a handy inclusion, the absence of Breann Moody dealt another blow to the Blues’ tall stocks, and marking power around the ground.


Adelaide returns home to its Norwood Oval fortress next week, set to take on the Western Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon, while Carlton faces another daunting test in the form of an away trip to Fremantle.

  • Team
  • North Melbourne
  • Fremantle

By: Elly Kirlis


North turns the screw when it counts

With the breeze blowing at North Hobart Oval, North Melbourne had a tough time finding its range. One positive North can take away from this game is the ability to add the defensive pressure, with their second and third quarters favouring them. At one point in the first quarter, Fremantle lead the inside 50s 6-2 and had the ball 90 per cent of the time in its forward half. As the game got tense in the last quarter, North Melbourne was able to trap the ball and not allow any opportunities to give Freo any hope of getting a win.

Credit to Fremantle’s fightback

There is no doubt it has been a tough few weeks for the Dockers, with the factor of fatigue being on the road and the uncertainties that have come with it. To their credit, the Dockers continued to fight, not having control of the game but showing the ability to give effort throughout the game. One positive the Dockers can take away is winning the inside 50s, 33-29 and the tackles inside forward 50, 18-6. Hayley Miller and Gabby O’Sullivan were instrumental, with Miller finishing with 20 disposals, four marks and nine tackles, whilst O’Sullivan had 16 disposals, three marks and 11 tackles. Airlie Runnalls and Dana East were shining lights in the midfield too, creating plenty of spark.

Antonio’s star continues to shine

Ebony Antonio continued to show why she is a star of the competition. Although she had one touch leading into half time, she was able to work her way into the match, finding ways to be crafty and almost dragging her side over the line for another win. Antonio no doubt is an x-factor for this side and teams will continually have to keep an eye on her. Expect her to be a shining light in the second half of the season.

Roos stamp their credentials

With the Kangaroos causing an upset, this will no doubt give them the confidence and belief to do it against the other top teams in the competition. Whilst this was a great test to see where they are at, when North play the game they want to play and get the concepts right on a regular basis, they are no doubt going to be a threat in the second half of the season. They are tough to beat.


Both teams will play on Saturday, with North Melbourne will take on Richmond at Swinburne Centre, whilst Fremantle will head back home possibly to take on Carlton at Fremantle Oval.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments