AFLW Season 7: Round 3 Talking Points – Mixed bag of results
IT was a real mixed bag of results in Saturday’s action of Round 3 AFL Women’s action for Season 7, with a couple of tight ones, and some blowouts. Here are some of the talking points from the four games on show.
By Elly Kirlis
Adelaide Crows have won their second game of the season with a 14-point victory against North Melbourne. North Melbourne kicked the first two goals of the match and kept the Crows goalless in the first quarter, before the reigning premiers kicked the next four goals to take the victory.
The battle between Ferguson and Woodland
The match up between Jasmine Ferguson and Ashleigh Woodland was a key matchup that was a must-watch throughout this contest. Whilst Ferguson made it hard for Woodland to get any access inside the forward 50 at times, Woodland still found a way to involve herself into the match, especially with the physicality increasing as the match went on.
The coaching move that made all the difference
With Jasmine Garner having her own way in the first half, Crows coach Matthew Clarke moved Chelsea Randall onto her in the second half which was a difference in the match. Whilst Garner had the running flow, Randall did not allow Garner to have that easy space and stopping her touches of the footy, limiting Garner to seven touches in the second half.
Crows stars step up at big moments
As the Crows kept fighting their way back into the game, the Crows’ big stars stepped up when it mattered, especially in the second half. Ebony Marinoff caused North Melbourne headaches in the midfield, being able to use her speed and get the footy down the forward 50. Whilst the usual stars for the Crows stepped up, Randall, Madison Newman, Abbie Ballard and Teah Charlton used their speed and were able to win their individual battle and share the load. Danielle Ponter also stepped up in the forward line when it mattered kicking a crucial goal in the last quarter, giving the Crows the lead whilst scores were tight.
By Elly Kirlis
In the first AFLW Battle of the Bridge matchup, the GWS Giants recorded their first victory for Season 7, with a dominant 47-point win over Sydney at the SCG. Whilst the Swans were up and about early, the Giants came out of the blocks from the first quarter, kicking the first three goals of the game and not allowing the Swans easy access of the footy.
Lexi Hamilton instrumental in forward line
When Alexia Hamilton got moved from the defensive end to the forward 50, she was a key target for the Swans and made her presence and opportunities felt, including kicking her first goal of her AFLW career. Whilst Hamilton has been brilliant in the defensive line for the first two rounds, the Swans should not be afraid to use her in the forward line if need be.
Welcome back Nicola Barr
Nicola Barr returned from a knee injury yesterday and made her presence felt in the match. She provided that leadership on the field and had an impact on the match, finishing with 15 disposals, two marks, one tackle and two goals.
Youth of Giants making most of opportunities
Whilst it was a tough week for the Giants with a couple more injuries added to the list, the Giants youngsters stepped up in the Derby, making the most of their opportunities and playing with confidence. Meghan Gaffney, Madison Brazendale and Zarlie Goldsworthy made their impact, bringing plenty of energy to the team and gave the Giants confidence. Goldsworthy on debut was particularly impressive, finishing with the nine touches but did lay four tackles and put two majors on the board.
By Peter Williams
Collingwood won the battle of the undefeated sides down in Geelong in what was a dour defensive struggle between the sides. In a nail-biting game that did not see a goal kicked until the third quarter – and only three kicked for the match – the Magpies held on to win by four points, with defender Jordyn Allen‘s last quarter goal the match-winner as the Pies got up, 2.3 (15) to 1.5 (11).
A tale of two halves
It was a match that relied on forward half dominance, and was certainly a tale of two halves, as the Pies “dominated” the first half, while the Cats were – according to coach Dan Lowther – “poor” with their ball use. As the second half came around, Geelong got back on top, but it was not until the final term that the Cats really kept hammering away at the Pies defence. Surprisingly a rare inside 50 to the Pies netted the only goal of the day, going to Allen to win the game.
Defensive stars stand up to head
Both side’s defences were touted as the difference going into the game, and they lived up to expectations. In the black and white, Lauren Butler (10 intercepts, four rebounds and 87.5 per cent disposal efficiency), Allen (eight intercepts at 70.6 per cent) and Stacey Livingstone (five intercepts, five rebounds at 87.5 per cent) were outstanding. The Cats had lower disposal efficiencies due to the pressure applied by the Magpies forwards, but Annabel Johnson, Chantel Emonson and Meghan McDonald all had five or more intercepts.
Liv in the moment
Olivia Fuller had a game to remember through the ruck, contributing in multiple facets throughout the match. Fuller picked up nine disposals, two marks, five tackles, 20 hitouts and four intercepts. Critically, Fuller used the ball at 88.9 per cent efficiency, the highest of any Cat with more than two disposals. She was able to work alongside debutant Kalani Scoullar in the win. Coming up against North Melbourne next week and its bevy of talls, Fuller looms as a crucial player.
Moy the midfielder
In tough conditions against a seasoned onball division, Collingwood’s Chloe Molloy further illustrated what she can do when playing through the midfield. While the Cats had the upper hand in the clearances – and got on top in the contested ball in the second half – Molloy was able to finish with 15 disposals, four clearances, but a whopping 329 metres gained from 87 per cent time on ground. Molloy ran further than any other player with ball-in-hand and gave a glimpse into the point of difference she provides in there.
By Alyce Collett
The Brisbane Lions have made a statement in the annual Q-Clash, thrashing their cross state rivals the Gold Coast Suns to the tune of 73 points. Brisbane flexed its muscles from the get-go, and Gold Coast went scoreless for two and a half quarters.
Brisbane ruthless from the get go
Brisbane dominated the territory game from the get-go, and although it took them a while to get a goal on the board, once they did, they never looked back from there. They scored three goals in three and a half minutes towards the back end of the first quarter, which really was a sign of what was to come. Gold Coast on the other hand went scoreless for two and a half quarters.
Gold Coast struggled to get meaningful inside 50s at times
If you take a look at some of the stats from the clash, you would think that the game was a much closer affair than it actually was. Gold Coast won the hitouts by six, but Brisbane won the clearances by five and the inside 50s by 10. One factor that caused such a disparity between the stats and the final result was that many of Gold Coast’s inside 50s were not very deep ones, so they could not really do anything with them before Brisbane rebounded the ball right back out again.
A bit of a wakeup call for the Suns
Coming off the euphoria of last week’s win, the Suns would have come into the match with eons of confidence, yet were put to the sword early. The kind of performance the Suns gave shows where the Suns are really at, not quite able to match it with the top sides just yet. It certainly gives plenty for Cameron Joyce and his team to work on for the rest of the season.
Emily Bates just doing Emily Batesy things
The winner of the Q-Clash Medal was none other than reigning W Medalist Emily Bates, and she was a very deserving winner. She finished with 21 touches, five marks and a whopping 11 tackles, and brought up a milestone of her own in the win – her 1000th career disposal. She was also just instrumental through the middle for the Lions, setting up much of their attack.
Other Lions stellar
Bates was not the only Lion to star in the huge win, with Jesse Wardlaw kicking four majors, and Ally Anderson (28 disposals, eight marks, seven tackles) and the often underrated Cathy Svarc (20 disposals, eight tackles) running rampant through the middle. It was a particularly impressive game from Svarc, who came into game with an average of only six disposals a game for the season thus far.