AFLW Saturday Talking Points: Round 9

A RECORD-breaking win to Melbourne, a second consecutive victory to St Kilda, and triumphs to the Western Bulldogs and Richmond rounded out Saturday Round 9 action of the AFL Women’s.

  • Team
  • St Kilda
  • Geelong

By: Alyce Collett

In a nice homecoming back to RSEA Park for the first time this season, St Kilda have put their second win on the board for 2022, and in doing so have recorded back-to-back wins for the first time in their history. It was a low scoring affair in windy conditions, but the Saints prevailed 2.6 (18) to 0.9 (9) over Geelong.


Tilly Lucas-Rodd is in great form

Tilly Lucas-Rodd is having quite the purple patch at the moment, and had another stellar game yesterday. Against the Cats, she finished with 22 touches, and a whopping 10 tackles.  

Saints lost many key stats, but were dominant in others

Despite the handy win, it was not all smooth sailing for the Saints on the stats front. Geelong registered more disposals than the Saints and more hitouts than the Saints, but the Saints comfortably won the clearance count.

The Saints just need to keep building on this

After finally getting their first win on the board last week, the Saints recorded their second win in a row for the first time in their history. This shows a continuation and building on the previous week, which they just need to keep doing moving forward. They have only got one match left this season, but that doesn’t mean they can’t keep building on this momentum they have started.

Another frustrating step on the way to the end of a disappointing season for Geelong

After showing so much promise early this season, history may look back on 2022 as a bit of a wasted season for the Cats. Once this season is done, Geelong need to go away and rejig a few things.

They do not have a plan B at the moment to go to when their plan A does not work, and they do not trust their matchwinners in the likes of Nina Morrison and Georgie Prespakis enough. They have the talent there, they just need to rejig a few things and things will start to get better.

2023 season to start in August?

Although this is not really relevant to the on field action of the afternoon, something was mentioned in the commentary that sparked the attention of all who were watching.

Commentator Kelli Underwood casually dropped the bombshell that there had been discussions around whether the start of the AFLW season will be brought forward to August for next season. Now time will tell as to whether this eventuates, but it sparked quite the discussion online.


Both sides are at home next week to finish up their respective 2022 seasons. St Kilda are up against Adelaide, while Geelong will do battle with GWS.

  • Team
  • Richmond

By: Elly Kirlis

Richmond held on against a fast-finishing GWS GIANTS side to win by eight points, 7.4 (46) to 6.2 (38) to record its third win of the year.


Tigers dominate with the ball in the first half

To the Tigers credit, they were switched on from the opening bounce, applying the pressure on the GIANTS and doing the little things well. As the GIANTS fought back into the game, the Tigers showed composure, getting critical stops and working as a team.

Giants resilience in second half

A slow start to the GIANTS certainly hurt, including the way the Tigers had easy chances to get the footy and not able to find any answers in the first half. To the GIANTS credit, whilst Alyce Parker was a huge blow after being ruled out due to concussion, the GIANTS defensive end stood up and from there, were able to have a game of run and attack by creating off half-back. Whilst the fight was there towards the end of the game, others needed to step up.

Cora Staunton continues to impress, Zreika a standout

Cora Staunton was a shining light for the GIANTS. She was impressive throughout the match and showed why she is important for the side, with her leadership, including kicking three goals to keep the GIANTS in the match.

Haneen Zreika was another impressive key player, who was efficient with her disposals, but also did the little things well to disrupt the opposition. This included in the second half, putting her body on the line and setting up well.

Wakefield and Lavey important for Tigers

Whilst Courtney Wakefield and Tessa Lavey have not been in the side as much, their dominance in the games shows why both players can do, including the energy they bring and being a force, which was exciting to watch.

Other memorable mentions included the continued work of Katie Brennan and Monique Conti who starred. Meanwhile Sarah Hosking had some crucial touches at important stages of the game, as did Akec Makur Chuot and Rebecca Miller in the defensive 50.


Next week sees both teams play their last game for the season, with the Giants taking on Geelong at GMHBA Stadium, whilst the Tigers face Collingwood at Victoria Park.

  • Team
  • Melbourne
  • Fremantle

By: Alyce Collett

After a dominant performance, Melbourne has wiped the floor with a depleted Fremantle side, recording not only the biggest winning margin in AFLW history, but also became the first team to score 100 points in the history of the AFLW. After a dominant seven goals to none third term, they ran away with the game to take the 16.11 (107) to 3.1 (19) win.


Ferocious pressure from both sides

From the get-go, both sides brought the tackling pressure and intensity and did not let up for the full four quarters.

By full-time, the Dockers had registered 71 tackles (and this was without their usual tackling star in Kiara Bowers), while Melbourne recorded 52.

Melbourne broke a few records

As previously mentioned, this dominant Melbourne performance meant a few records, some only set last week, tumbled.

Melbourne became the first team to score 100 points in the history of the competition, which in turn also saw them break the record for the highest score ever recorded. This beat Brisbane’s score of 98 from only last week. Melbourne also set the record for the highest winning margin in the history of the AFLW at 88 points.

Depleted Dockers makes task a lot harder for them

The Fremantle side that ran out onto Optus Stadium yesterday was nowhere near full strength, so it was always going to be a monumental task for them coming up against a full-strength Melbourne side.

Prematch it was already known that the Dockers would be without Gabby O’Sullivan due to the Health and Safety protocols, as well as Kiara Bowers due to injury, but only hours before the match they lost both Kara and Ebony Antonio, as well as Emma O’Driscoll to the Health and Safety Protocols.

The percentage booster Melbourne needed

Coming into this round, Melbourne’s percentage was awful compared to its rivals around them on the ladder. It was only at 164.5 per cent, but that big win boosted it up all the way to 199.1 per cent.

This may come in handy for the race for top two, and maybe even top spot on the ladder, so any little extra bit of percentage is very handy.

Where to next for Fremantle?

Although last night’s match was a disaster and ended Fremantle’s hopes of a top two spot, there is still a fair bit to play for this season for Fremantle.

There is still hope of a home final in the first week for the Dockers, but they have to come out and beat Gold Coast next week. Although their percentage took a belting this week, it may not matter as long as they win next week.


Melbourne are back at home to face Carlton in their quest to shoe up a top two place.

Fremantle meanwhile are also at home, as they take on the Gold Coast Suns in their quest to shoe up a home final in the first week of the finals.

  • Team
  • West Coast
  • Western Bulldogs

By: Peter Williams

The Western Bulldogs kept their hopes of stealing sixth spot back from Collingwood alive, with a comprehensive 10-goal thumping of West Coast at Optus Stadium. Holding the host side scoreless in the opening half, the game opened up in the second, but not necessarily for the better if you wore the blue and gold, with the Eagles scoring 1.2 (8), but the Dogs piling on 7.3 (45), to win, 10.8 (68) to 1.2 (8).


Doggies dominate ball and forward half possession

There was little questioning the deserving winner of this match, with the Bulldogs winning far more ball, and thumping it inside 50 time and time again. Though not capitalising on their chances in the first half, the Bulldogs certainly made up for that in the second with a far more accurate display, whilst holding well defensively. The visiting side racked up 67 more disposals (259-192), 20 more inside 50s (37-17) and used the ball far better when having control of it, running at a 67.6 per cent clip compared to the Eagles’ 57.8 per cent.

Eagles midfielders hold own at stoppages

Despite the overwhelming ball-winning numbers, the Dogs took control around the field, but not necessarily at stoppages. Though the likes of Ellie Blackburn (five clearances, three inside 50s) and Kirsty Lamb (five clearances, eight inside 50s) had plenty of impact on the game, the Eagles midfield shared the load. Emma Swanson (six clearances, three inside 50s) and Isabella Lewis (four clearances, two inside 50s) were the key resistance, but overall, they only lost the clearances by two (23-25) and even the hitouts only by five (21-26), with the stoppages around the ground even at 18 apiece.

Could Kirsty Lamb be a smoky for the League Best and Fairest?

It might sound a little strange compared to the names who are often thrown up for this award, but Lamb may just be the most underrated midfielder in the league. Having a stellar season, she will have almost certainly picked up another three votes in this match. Lamb racked up 20 disposals (11 contested), three marks, four tackles, five clearances, with inside 50s, had seven score involvements and kick a goal. Though Blackburn is generally regarded as the Top Dog, on form, that is Lamb this year.

The Gooch saves it being even uglier on the scoreboard

Had it not been for the ever-reliable Evie Gooch, the scoreboard most certainly could have been far uglier. The Eagles defender amassed 22 disposals – 20 kick – four marks, two clearances and 11 rebound 50s in a hard-working effort. Though the issue was she was often under so much pressure she had seven turnovers in that, but she at least cleared the danger zone and was mopping up wherever she could.

Eagles set for spoon

Having avoided it last year in the first year of a full AFL Women’s non-conference system, it looks likely West Coast will earn the unwanted honour of taking home the wooden spoon. At times the Eagles have looked pretty competitive, but much like their debut season of 2019 – where they technically took home the Conference B wooden spoon by percentage behind the Western Bulldogs, the loss to the Saints last week has sentenced them to the bottom. Not only will they need to win against premiership contender North Melbourne next week, but they will need to win by plenty after this game took a percentage hit and has the West Australian side 13.1 per cent behind the Saints.


Western Bulldogs host Brisbane at Mars Stadium next Sunday for their rescheduled Round 2 clash, whilst the Eagles wrap up their season in Round 10 against North Melbourne.

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