2022 VFLW Season Preview – Southern Saints

THE 2022 VFL Women’s season is almost here, so it is time to take a look at each of the competing teams and see where they sit as another season approaches. Today, Rookie Me Central takes a look at the Southern Saints, who finished sixth in 2021.

After finishing second on the ladder in 2019 and making the Preliminary Final, the Saints just fell short of that mark again in 2021. They got their 2021 season off to a great start, beating the Bombers away from home by three goals.

Things came crashing back to earth in the following three weeks though. They lost to the Pies, Cats and Dees before they got their season back on track by smashing Darebin. They beat Williamstown before losing to the Pies and Bulldogs. They then won their next two matches, beating Hawthorn and Port Melbourne in consecutive weeks.

In the final month of the season, they lost to the Cats and Bulldogs again before beating Carlton and North to round out the season. This saw the Saints finish in sixth place on the ladder.

They actually finished level on wins with the Bulldogs, but their superior percentage meant they got to go on to playing finals. The results saw the Saints up in an elimination final in the first week of the finals. They were up against Port Melbourne, and got the win to the tune of 28 points.

The upset win meant they moved on to a semi-final against Geelong, which although it was much closer, they lost by seven points.

Dale Robinson is back at the helm of the Saints for a second season, and will certainly be looking to build on what she was able to achieve last season. Despite the number of changes that happened at the Saints during 2021, Robinson was happy with how the season went for the Southern Saints.

“Last year was a great season,” Robinson said. “We had a lot of change coming away from having a combined program with the AFLW and looking at those as two separate entities. So I was really proud of the way the girls built across the year and I think we finished on a high in terms of how far we went into the finals series.”

Robinson said that preseason had gone well, and there were a few names that had been doing very well on the track.

“We’ve had a few new ones come through,” she said. “Tessa Boyd has been a really good stand out for us. Gabriella De Angelis is getting herself back on track.”

The Saints had one practice match this preseason, which was against Williamstown, and resulted in a win.

Robinson was happy with how her side went in that match.

“We had a good hitout against [Williamstown] the other week,” she said. “Starting to look at our ball movement, look at our communication across the ground, some really good baseline stuff there.”

They are going to need to be on top of their game come Round 1, as they have got the reigning premiers Collingwood first up.

Heading into 2022, Robinson is hoping for a few things. “We’d like to go at least one or two games better then last year” she said, but she is also hoping to see some solid improvement and some consistency from her charges in their football across 2022.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments