Season 7 AFLW: Round 2 Talking Points – Surprises galore

SATURDAY’S action in the AFL Women’s saw quite the variety of results. In the early game Adelaide fought back to pinch the win off Richmond, while in the afternoon Geelong made a statement with an upset win over Fremantle, and the Western Bulldogs spoiled Port Adelaide’s debut home game at Alberton by beating the Power.

By Elly Kirlis

In an entertaining clash, Richmond had the momentum for three quarters of the match, and Adelaide was certainly made to work for the win, but they came from behind to get the win by nine points, 5.6 (36) to 4.3 (27). Whilst both teams put a brilliant defensive effort, the Crows were able to find momentum in the last quarter and keep the Tigers goalless.


Inconsistency hurting Tigers

Whilst the Tigers came out early and showed that fight and had that free flowing ball movement down the field and were efficient, goalkicking was once again an area of concern. While they were missing their captain Katie Brennan due to injury, the Tigers forwards did a great job for three quarters of the match but need to find ways of finishing games off.

One thing the Tigers can also work on is needed to be rewarded for effort and consistency will be key in the next few weeks. One key stat the Tigers will be happy about is the inside 50s (38-20), and they laid 23 tackles in the third quarter. Monique Conti was particularly influential for the home side in getting the game on the Tigers’ terms.

Fightback from Crows incredible

Early on the Crows had plenty of issues. They were able to get numbers but not clean passages of play of the footy, and did not have clean structure going into the forward line or getting the footy out of defence. However, in the last term they were able to hit targets and found confidence which will no doubt will give them confidence going forward for the rest of the season. Captain Chelsea Randall was thrown forward in the last term which helped the Crows stand up structurally to get the win.

Abbie Ballard sparks Crows

When the Crows desperately needed a spark, they found it in Abbie Ballard. She kicked her first ever AFLW goal and ultimately finished with two to help seal the win. Finishing the game with nine disposals, five kicks, four handballs, two marks and four tackles, it was the little things Ballard did well and no doubt has a bright future ahead of her.


By Peter Williams

Western Bulldogs were able to post a 19-point victory over Port Adelaide at Alberton Oval to move to 2-0 for the AFLW Season 7. The Bulldogs were unable to find effective shots on goal, booting three majors from 13 scoring shots, but it was still enough to post a victory over the Power, 3.10 (28) to 1.3 (9).


Gutknecht sickening injury

Unfortunately the major talking point out of the game was the sickening injury to Western Bulldogs youngster, Britney Gutknecht. As she was streaming forward late in the second term, her kick was smothered and the 21-year-old immediately clutched at her leg. It was severe enough to require transport to the hospital via ambulance in a sombre end to the first half of action.

In an upliting moment, all the Western Bulldogs players got around Gutknecht, with Port Adelaide players also checking in on her. According to coach Nathan Burke, Gutknecht’s message to the playing group before being transferred to hospital was “tell em’ to win”, and the Bulldogs duly delivered.

Young pups coming of age

It was an outstanding performance rom a number of young Bulldogs players, but in particular wings, Isabelle Pritchard and Rylie Wilcox who both provided plenty of run and carry. Pritchard amassed 16 disposals, two marks, three tackles and two inside 50s, while Wilcox picked up the 15 touches, four marks, four clearances and two inside 50s. The latter was able to impress at the stoppages, recording the equal second most clearances in the game.

Dogs dominate disposal

It was a one-sided affair when it came to ball-handling, with the Western Bulldogs amassing a whopping 76 more disposals (230-154) than the Power. They also had 19 more inside 50s (33-19) and disposed of the ball at an elite 67 per cent. That disposal efficiency was the highest of the season thus far, while in keeping Port Adelaide to just 14 inside 50s, it surpassed Gold Coast’s Round 1 low of 15.

Skipper Ellie Blackburn and partner-in-crime Kirsty Lamb both recorded the 18 touches and laid five tackles each, while Naomi Ferres helped herself to 16 disposals in the win. Pritchard and Wilcox were vital players in providing that movement in transition.

Port to focus on reducing uncontested ball

Port Adelaide coach Lauren Arnell said the team was beaten at the contested ball, but she was more disappointed at giving up too many uncontested possessions. The Power have a fierce attack on the hardballs, but went minus-16 in the match (84-100), though the minus-70 uncontested ball told a tale of the table. Losing the centre clearances 6-1, Port was constantly on the back foot, and skipper Erin Phillips was the only player to record at least five contested and five uncontested disposals, with six and seven respectively.

Some promising signs were the performances of draft selections Hannah Ewings and Alex Ballard, with Abbey Dowrick receiving close attention after her Round 1 performance. Overall the Power were well beaten across most areas, and will look to get back to basics ahead of their Round 3 match.

  • Team
  • Fremantle
  • Geelong

By Alyce Collett

Geelong has sent a shockwave through the AFLW system, defeating the highly fancied Fremantle by 26 points. The conditions were tricky at times, but once Geelong got going they really got a foothold on the game and were deserving winners over a Fremantle side that have got a lot of work to do if they want to be a contender this season.


Geelong make a statement while Fremantle leave observers with plenty of questions

There were many questions coming into the season about Geelong and where they sit in the competition, and even after round one people were not really certain about the Cats.

Well after that result Geelong certainly made the rest of the competition, while Fremantle have left observers with plenty of questions about how they will go this season.

Yes Fremantle can blame all they want to on their injury list, which does contain a number of significant players on it, but to be a contender you need to win every game with whoever you have out on the park. Other teams have done well in the past with key players on their injury list, so Fremantle are going to have to adapt their game fast to stay in the running.

It was not like the Dockers did not have opportunities to score

Despite the lack of score they put on the board, Fremantle certainly had plenty of opportunities to score. Fremantle had 20 inside 50s in the game for one scoring shot, and that compares to Geelong’s 12 scoring shots from 31 inside 50s. One thing that may have led to them not taking their opportunities was that they finished with only one mark inside 50, compared to Geelong’s nine.

The scoreless first quarter

In one of the rarest sightings in AFLW, neither side were able to register any score in the first quarter, but unlike last weekend’s game involving the Cats there were plenty of reasons as to why scoring was hard to come by, including the conditions and Geelong’s ability to intercept. Fremantle went on to go scoreless for three quarters and goalless all game for the first time in their history.

Amy McDonald had another stellar game

With all the talk of Geelong’s midfield surrounding the likes of Nina Morrison and Georgie Prespakis, at times Amy McDonald slips under the radar and does not get the praise she deserves in discussions surrounding Geelong. McDonald had another stellar game yesterday, finishing with 29 disposals and five tackles.

Pressure from both sides was intense

From the get go, the pressure from both sides was intense. There were 50 tackles combined from both sides in the first quarter alone, and by the time the match finished that figure had grown to 152. That shows how much pressure both sides were putting on the other.

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