IN effectively the trial game for the combined Allies squad, both NSW-ACT and the Tasmania and Northern Territory Allied teams faced off at Blacktown yesterday. In the end it was the latter who emerged victorious, with plenty of standout players looking to take their case ahead of the remaining 2022 AFLW Under 18 Championships.
All notes are the opinion of the individual author.
#5 Cynthia Hamilton (Queanbeyan Tigers)
It was a standout performance for the AFLW Academy member who was everywhere across the four quarters. She amassed a game-high 27 disposals, as well as four marks, three tackles, six clearances, five inside 50s, three rebound 50s and a goal in a clear best on ground performance. For a full analysis on her performance, check out her Player Focus.
#9 Zarlie Goldsworthy (Murray Bushrangers)
The Rookie Me Central Medal winner was the clear next best for the NSW-ACT on the day. She was brilliant in the first term, racking up four clearances and powered her way through stoppages to get forward. Eventually converting a major of her own from a 45-degree angle, Goldsworthy kept going throughout the four quarters. Aside from her typical power, she had some nice evasive moves too, winning an aerial contest to get it to ground in the fourth term, then sidestepping an opponent and kicked into the middle well. She had a nice play in the third quarter too, bursting out of the middle to have a shot from 50m which was just marked in the goalsquare.
#11 Dakota Mason (Southern Power)
Though not a big game in terms of numbers with eight touches, the Sydney Swans Academy member still had some lively moments around the stoppages and had the four clearances from congestion. It was what she did well and in the first term she was able to spin out of trouble in defence, and she showed clean hands out of congestion in the second term.
#21 Georgie Jaques (Ainslie Tricolours)
The strong forward presented well and always looked to be an option throughout the match. She kicked a major in the first term from a strong mark and holding her position well, then continually pushed up the ground to be an available target and looked to go inside 50. She also had a neat pickup off the deck and looked impressive below her knees, composed with ball-in-hand under pressure.
#1 Brooke Barwick (Tasmania Devils)
The bottom-age AFLW Academy member got better as the game went on and was was incredible with her disposal and decision making. She looked to hit-up the dangerous kicks, and was able to deliver pinpoint passes under pressure, hardly erring in consistency. Though she ended up with a greater-than-50 per cent contested rate, she just looked clean and precise and even got on the end of a goal in the final term, rewarding her hard work.
#2 Meghan Gaffney (Tasmania Devils)
Her first half in particular was outstanding, but Gaffney was clearly one of the best Allies out there. She kicked the first goal after running onto it inside 50 and finishing well, then had a couple of other chances either through herself or through others in transition. She was great later in the first term by being able to hit a target at half-forward running at full tilt from the middle. She was clean and neat around the ground, and really gave it a crack throughout to put her hand up as an over-age player.
#8 Courtney Hingston (Tasmania Devils)
The rebounding defender had some nice passages of play throughout the game, clearing the ball well from defence down the wing. Though not always pinpoint, her ability to bomb it long and get it away from the danger proved crucial. She was important in her ability to save the day, mop up and provide an option wide, being solid in her approach to the game.
#9 Claire Ransom (Tasmania Devils)
Though she looked a bit sore in the second half of the game, Ransom still had an impact in her first game back from injury. Ransom spent time forward, getting front position in a marking contest to convert a goal from 15m out, and then had another impressive kick inside 50 on the move. Ending the game with 13 disposals and four marks, the Tasmanian was able to cover the ground well enough, also rolling back into defence and having a couple of rebounds.
#10 Sophie Berry (Northern Territory)
Though a little rough with her execution at times in the field, Berry was clean and effective in front of goal, kicking two for the match. Her first came to put her side in front when she cleanly picked it up from inside 50 and launched it home, and then her second came from a set shot that just carried over the line following some discussions.
#17 J’Noemi Anderson (Northern Territory)
The Northern Territory AFLW Academy member showed her typical hardness at the ball, laying a plethora of tackles across four quarters. She had an early shot on goal from 40m that went wide to the right, and then kicked one from a set shot off a couple of steps in the third term to make it 1.1. By the end of the game, the highly contested Anderson had laid a match-high 11 tackles to go with her 12 touches and five clearances.
#20 Mackenzie Williams (Tasmania Devils)
A really impressive game from the 2006-born Williams who was rebounding well out of the backline. Standing at around 180cm, she is one who can move well and read the ball well in flight, kicking long down the line. After finishing off her NAB League Girls season in style, Williams was lively across the entire game, and busy in moving it from defence to attack. She is one to watch over the next couple of seasons.
#24 Georgia Clark (Tasmania Devils)
The Devils tall forward used her strong hands to pull down a match-high six marks, and also lay eight tackles. That is what stands her aside from a lot of other lead-out forwards. Not only can she take the contested grabs, but she will follow up with big tackles. Though she only kicked the one goal – a quick kick under pressure form inside 50, she set up a number of chances, and had she been a little straighter with a couple more set shots, she would have been even more lively.