Scouting Notes: Gold Coast vs. Brisbane AFLW U18s

ANOTHER match between the Queensland Academies, another win to the SUNS Academy, defeating the Lions Academy by 40 points at Metricon Stadium yesterday. After a tight start, the Suns managed to kick away in the final term, though they kicked 5.7 to 0.5 after quarter time to run out 7.10 (52) to 1.6 (12) winners. The usual suspects from both sides stood up, with the Suns depth showing that they have plenty of options able to chip in and get them the victory.

GOLD COAST 2.3 | 3.8 | 4.8 | 7.10 (52)
BRISBANE 1.1 | 1.3 | 1.5 | 1.6 (12)


Gold Coast: J. Smith 2, La. Cockatoo-Motlap, B. Iverach, H. Harris, G. Ella, C. MIller
Brisbane: K. Fletcher


Gold Coast: I. Evans, A. Gee, T. Harrington, F. Davies, E. Calleja
Brisbane: C. Mullins, E. Smith, A. Seton, K. Hillier, L. Roy



#1 Jasmyn Smith

Became the only multiple goalkicker in the game, kicking the first and last majors of the match, predominantly playing forward. She was very lively early on, winning a number of touches, then kicked it off the deck in the fourth minute, timing it well in the goalsquare to slot her first. She kicked her second after a nice mark on the lead and subsequent set shot from 25m, having had a couple of dangerous looks throughout the match. Kept going in hard throughout the game, tracking it at ground level.

#11 Tara Harrington

Was back to her incredibly clean best that she showed last year, rotating between midfield and half-back. She was clean at ground level, weaved through traffic at speed, and was able to hit up a number of teammates inside 50 or in transition. She rarely wastes a disposal, with a turnover inside 50 at one stage more noticeable than others such is the high regard in which her disposal is held. Harrington was quick, clean and composed in close, and though she had a quick chance in the second term that just missed, she still had a very good day out.

#16 Laquoiya Cockatoo-Motlap

Looked dangerous every time she went near the footy, and had an early shot that went wide but also converted a first quarter major after shaking off a would-be tackler and finishing well on the run. A chance in the second term hit the post, and Cockatoo-Motlap just keeps the ball in front of her deliberately not takin possession but keeping control of it, so she can draw a free kick if the opposition tries to tackle her.

#18 Imogen Evans

Getting better and better with each passing match, and this was another step up from her impressive outing against Oakleigh Chargers. The Suns captain unsurprisingly found plenty of the ball and applied good defensive pressure, but rose to the occasion in the second half, and really took it upon herself to ensure her side overwhelmed the opposition. Though a contested ball winner in close and at ground level, Evans has more strings to her game, taking a couple of intercept marks at half-back, strong one-on-one aerially. Her kicking was very precise in the match, and her ball control at ground level, and placement of her hips to block opponents from getting the ball to buy her more time to dispose of it was noticeable. Overall she was clearly a standout for the Suns, and just does not make many mistakes.

#23 Ella Calleja

The lively forward looked dangerous from the get-go and had an early chance with a flying shot that just fell short and was intercepted. Able to read the ball well coming inside 50 she took a number of marks on the lead and at the top of 50, but often found herself a kick and a half from goal. She would put it to the danger zone and set up a goal to Harris in the third term. Though her best work is her offensive ability, Calleja also did the defensive things right, laying some strong tackles higher up the ground as well as inside 50.

#24 Alana Gee

Another outstanding game for the AFLW Academy star who always looked busy and kept racking up the ball without any trouble. She can hit up teammates off either side, with a couple of great kicks bursting out a stoppage and kicking to leading Suns inside 50. At one stage she pinpoint a pass with the outside of the boot in the first term, with her vision amongst the best in the AFLW Draft crop. Her quick hands and ability to gain separation make her such a damaging midfielder, and though her third term was quieter than the others, she was still able to get involved and really stepped up in the last with some great bursts out of clearances, receiving the ball and going from the contest to get it inside 50 as the Suns really took control of the contest.

#31 Havana Harris

Provided a target around the ground rotating with Davies between ruck and forward as has been the case for the Suns Academy. She took some strong marks, and if she did not quite take it aerially, she would provide a contest and bring it to ground. Though not as clean at ground level below her knees, She still was able to put her body on the line. In the third term Harris took a strong contested mark at the top of the goalsquare and converted without any issues after a flying shot late in the second term missed to the right.

#33 Fleur Davies

After a quieter first half by her standards – though still winning her fair share of the ball when it went in her area, Davies stepped up in the second half and was easily one of the best afield in that second half. She got to the right spots, took a number of strong marks – both intercept and on the lead – and really took control be it through the ruck or when lining up inside 50. At one stage in the third term she took mark after mark, and though her kicking was not pinpoint, she was able to put pressure on the opposition defence. She had a shot towards goal after a mark at the top of 50 in the fourth term that went through for a behind, but then her work rate saw her win a free in defence later in the term.


#4 Charlotte Mullins

One of the best four-quarter performers from the Lions, really trying to crack in and win the ball from the coalface. She found the ball at the stoppages and around the ground, be it half-back or half-forward and looked to get it long down the line or further in transition. Her clearance work, particularly in the final term was particularly noticeable, and at one stage was able to snap out of a stoppage to a teammate on the wing. Remained involved in transition, and was as fierce defensively as she was trying to be offensively. Though often under pressure and not always getting a clean look at it, Mullins certainly never gave up.

#9 Ella Smith

The AFLW Academy member had the ball on a string as usual, winning it almost exclusively in close throughout the game. She did spread at times, particularly in the second half, where she was able to try and get it between the arcs and kick it deep down the ground. Smith typically won the ball at ground level, fired off a handball to a teammate, then immediately did the team thing by applying a shepherd, and she ticked off possession after possession, particularly big in the first half. A quick kick off the left resulted in a miss at one stage, but she kept trying to lift the team through the middle.

#15 Kiara Hillier

It was almost like watching a rinse and repeat for Hillier, as has been the case for a Lions defence that has been under siege in the games against the Suns. Providing a steady head on the last line, Hillier would kick the ball long from deep in the back 50 and put it to a contest on the flank, or look to put it into space for teammates. She mopped up opposition attacks, and no doubt saved a number of would-be goals by being in the right spot at the right time.

#19 Sarah Browne

Not a massive accumulator but did catch the eye a couple of times, working hard at both ends. She rushed a behind in the opening term and had a flying shot on goal in the second term that just went through for one behind. Working hard through the midfield, she picked up a number of touches and looked to drive it forward, and though she could not always claim it cleanly off the deck, kept working hard around the ground.

#21 Ava Seton

Another big effort from the inside midfielder who found herself not only looking to clear it from the stoppages, but getting back to help her defence. So strong at the clinches and able to thump it long, she was clean at ground level picking it up off the deck under pressure in the third term and delivering inside as one example. She continued to win a lot of clearances, particularly late in the game, even with the result beyond doubt., A hard-working four-quarter performer who continued to press regardless of how the match was panning out.

#27 Laura Roy

Though not a massive game in terms of disposals for what she is capable of, Roy still had a couple of memorable plays. In the second term, Roy ran down Cockatoo-Motlap in defensive 50, and when she did not receive the ball back easily, earned a 50m penalty to go into the middle and kick long. Then she also took a strong contested intercept mark inside the defensive 50 midway through the same quarter, and drove it out, something she looked to do through the game.

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