2022 AFLW: Round 1 Talking Points – A few crucial wins to kickstart the season

THE first Sunday of the season saw a couple of teams register confidence-boosting wins first up. The Western Bulldogs accounted for the Giants in an arm wrestle, the Brisbane Lions made a statement against Fremantle, and Geelong pinched one at the death against Richmond.

  • Team
  • Western Bulldogs

By Alyce Collett

In an entertaining opening clash to begin the day’s action, it was the Bulldogs who prevailed by a mere seven points over the GWS Giants.

It was a very even battle for much of the game – that was at times fiery – but the Bulldogs ultimately proved to be too strong and got the four points.


Cora Staunton is an insane footballer

Cora Staunton is like a fine wine, she just keeps getting better with age.

She was stellar for GWS once again, with her ability to weave out of packs and sneak a goal absolutely awe-inspiring. She ended up kicking three goals, and reached the milestone of 50 career goals in the process.

Hopefully for GWS’ sake she has at least a few seasons left in her, however the Giants forwards need to do a better job at ensuring she is never left on her own without any help.

Welcome back Gabby Newton

After missing all of last season due to injury, Gabrielle Newton returned to the Bulldogs side today and certainly made a huge impact in the Dogs’ forward line.

She provided a really strong target up forward for the Bulldogs, clunking plenty of marks and kicking two majors.

You could tell what the Giants were trying to do, but it just did not quite work

Watching the Giants, you could tell what they were trying to do with their game plan, they just were unable to execute it 100% of the time.

They often tried to use the full width of the ground while moving forward, and they were really relying on their running game to propel them forward. Unfortunately for them they just could not always execute it.

Potentially a momentum building win for the Dogs

After a start of last season hindered by huge Covid outbreaks which really slowed their momentum, the Bulldogs of season seven look like a continuation of what they started to show at the back end of season six.

This win over the Giants was certainly one that the Bulldogs can really use as a springboard for a lot of momentum for this season.

  • Team
  • Fremantle
  • Brisbane

By Elly Kirlis

For two sides that have been successful throughout the last few years, and looking to start the season on a winning note, Brisbane came out and dominated, taking the victory by 49 points.

After a tight first quarter from both teams, Brisbane kicked six goals to set up the victory, showing why the Lions are a potential top-four side.


Lions doing basics well

Whilst the first quarter was quite even, the Lions were able to dominate the inside 50 count 45-17 and won the tackle count 64-52.

They caused the Dockers to fumble the ball and not allow Fremantle to have any easy passages of play down the ground.

If the Brisbane forwards can continue to be a target and their midfield can bring the ball down the field, no doubt teams will struggle to play with the tempo that the Lions played with in this game.

Dockers show resilience

Although Fremantle had two of their key defenders ruled out with injury, they should be credited for their resilience of this match, as they were able to apply the pressure from the second quarter onwards and make it hard for the Lions. Although the Dockers had plenty of opportunities to convert in the forward line, they did not take their chances and no doubt it will be a key message going into their next match.

What can’t Hodder do?

Whilst it was a team effort for the Lions, Courtney Hodder had a day to remember, including a potential early goal of the year contention from the boundary with a banana kick. She kicked two goals and had 15 disposals, and her work ethic was something that the Lions would hope that she keeps rolling forward.

  • Team
  • Geelong
  • Richmond

By Alyce Collett

In a crucial game for both sides, it was Geelong who ultimately prevailed over Richmond by four points.

In a low scoring affair, Richmond were the better side in the first half and led all day until the dying minute of the match, when Georgie Prespakis bobbed up to kick her second of the day and of her career to sink Tiger hearts.


Eilish Sheerin stellar on debut

One of Richmond’s trio of debutants was Eilish Sheerin, who was an absolute star on debut. She created a lot of run off half back for the Tigers, and had seven touches in the first quarter alone, which was the highest for a Tiger in the term. She also landed a goal saving tackle in the last quarter, and finished with 19 touches and a whopping 16 intercepts.

The injury to Rachel Kearns

Geelong’s win was soured by a very painful injury in the opening quarter to Rachel Kearns. It was later confirmed she had suffered an AC joint injury, but it was clear when she went down that she was in a lot of pain, so everyone waits to see the severity of the injury.

Very defensive heavy game

It was a very low scoring affair because it was such a defensive heavy game from both sides. Both sides were dropping their wings back to create a plus one in defence, which made scoring hard.

Neither side making the most of their opportunities

Despite the difficulties for both sides in penetrating the opposition defences, the two teams really did not make the most of the opportunities they did have as they both got the ball down to their forward 50 plenty of times. Geelong had 25 inside 50s for five scoring shots, while Richmond had 31 inside 50s for six scoring shots.

New role for Shelley Scott?

She is more well known as a forward, but it is new club new role by the looks of things for new Cat and former Dee Shelley Scott. She played more time in defence than in the forward line last night and looked quite at home, so this will be fascinating to watch as the season progresses.

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