AFLW Season 7: Round 4 Talking Points – History made amid upsets
YESTERDAY’s action in the AFLW saw history made and favouritism rendered meaningless.
West Coast got their second win of the season after defeating GWS while Gold Coast bounced back from last week’s shocker with a win over St Kilda and Port Adelaide made history recording their first win after defeating the Swans. Carlton played out their second draw in a row after tying with Fremantle, while the Bulldogs were too strong for the Hawks.
By: Alyce Collett
West Coast Eagles have squared their season ledger after defeating GWS by seven points at Giants Stadium. After a slow start, a strong second quarter set up the win for the Eagles. After scoring dried up in the second half the Eagles pushed numbers back while the Giants did not adapt their game style to what was happening in the game.
Both teams really brought the pressure, but only one was able to withstand it
Both teams really brought the pressure in the game, with a total of 145 tackles laid between the two teams during the game. However, West Coast could withstand GWS’ pressure, while the Giants could not withstand West Coast, causing them to make errors and really hampered their efforts to win back the lead.
Swanson leading from the front
West Coast Emma Swanson really had a captain’s performance against the Giants. She finished with 23 touches, a whopping nine tackles and even kicked a major, and really lead her side from the front towards their second win of the season.
Brilliant Britton has debut to remember
West Coast had another debutant today in teenager Jaide Britton, who really showed how much value she can give to this West Coast team. She only had the eight touches, but laid a very good tackle and provided a lot of run off the wing. There was one particular moment early in the match where Britton ran from the wing to play goalkeeper on the line and stopped a GWS goal, which really showed her running capabilities.
Alyce Parker is insane
Despite her side losing, one Giant who had a stellar performance was Alyce Parker. She was in the thick of the action from the get go, finishing with 26 touches, and providing a lot of run through the midfield for the Giants.
West Coast did not come out of the game unscathed
Unfortunately for West Coast the win did come with one sour note, with Jessica Sedunary going down early injured. It was later confirmed to be a calf injury and she did not see out the game,
By: Alyce Collett
The Gold Coast Suns have squared their season ledger at two all after taking care of St Kilda by 14 points in a very windy Mackay. Although St Kilda came back at the Suns late, Gold Coast made more of their opportunities early with and without the wind to take the four points.
St Kilda did not make the most of their opportunities with the wind
St Kilda got a goal against the wind early and things were looking promising for them. Then, they stopped scoring. They scored no goals with the wind in the second quarter and that is where things started to really fall apart for the Saints.
The shellacking last week wasn’t all bad news for the Suns
As weird as that sounds, the shellacking last week at the hands of Brisbane appear to have given the Suns the wake up call they needed. They had more players running with the contest today than they did last week, which was an area they were really lacking in against the Lions.
Holy moly Charlie!
One Sun that particularly starred in the win was Charlie Rowbottom. Running through the midfield she was absolutely everywhere, finishing with a massive 30 touches, a whopping nine tackles and a whopping six clearances.
Kalinda the sneaky star
Another Sun who starred in the win was Kalinda Howarth. The sneaky forward was at her dangerous best, proving particularly dangerous in the forward line. She ultimately finished with 22 touches and two majors on the board.
Saints can thank their lucky Beejs
As she so often does for the Saints, Bianca Jakobsson saved Saint butts on a number of occasions and was a shining light despite the loss. She finished with the most touches for the Saints, but also took a number of crucial intercept marks in defence and creating plenty of rebounding run for her team. With the likes of Clara and Ott out of the side against the Suns, Jakobsson became even more crucial than normal.
By: Peter Williams
Port Adelaide won its first ever AFL Women’s game in style, crushing fellow expansion side Sydney by 66 points at Alberton Oval. Off the back of a ridiculous performance from young gun Hannah Ewings, the Power booted seven goals in the second half to run away with the contest, 10.8 (68) to 0.2 (2).
Electric Ewings puts Swans to the sword
After winning a Rising Star nomination last week, South Australia’s top prospect from the 2022 AFL Women’s Draft went to another level in front of home fans, showing every bit of ability she has provided since winning a premiership with North Adelaide at 15 years-old. She sliced and diced the Swans midfield, then went forward and dismantled their defence, finishing with 19 disposals, eight tackles, nine clearances and three goals. The 18-year-old became the first player in AFL Women’s history to record nine clearances and boot three goals in the same game. No doubt the first of many records set by the talented midfielder-forward.
Power blackout for Swans
Port Adelaide was simply sensational across the match, taking control from the first bounce when forward Jade De Melo kicked her side’s first just 94 seconds into the match. The Power were up for the fight across the contest, and despite a spirited second term from the Swans, were able to dominate across the board. Port Adelaide had plus-51 in disposals, largely thanks to a plus-58 in kicks, while dominating the inside 50s (40-12), marks (39-24), clearances (33-19) and remarkably, the tackles (80-54).
No Houghton, no worries
There might have been more than a few fans worried when Gemma Houghton went down with injury back in Round 2, but since then, the Power have picked up six of a possible eight points, and their forwardline is arguably functioning better purely because of the wide array of talent in there. While Houghton will be a massive inclusion and welcomed back when she does return, it would have been pleasing for fans to watch others step up and share the load. Seven individual players kicked goals lead by Ewings (three) and Brittany Perry (two), while Jade Halfpenny and Abbey Dowrick both slotted their first AFLW majors.
Premium Ham needs support
No one would have expected too much from number one draft pick, Montana Ham upon her return from a knee injury that looked potentially season-ending back in Round 1. Ham returned just three weeks later to put in a best on ground performance for her side, racking up a team-high 20 disposals, four marks and five tackles, as well as recording four clearances and kicking half of the side’s score, a behind. She desperately needs more support, with the likes of Lauren Szigeti, Sarah Dargan and Sofia Hurley trying hard, but the midfield was well beaten.
When will the Swans’ first win come?
Sydney’s best chance of collecting the four points will be next week in Round 5 up against fellow winless expansion side Hawthorn. The Swans “host” that match at Punt Road Oval on the Grand Final Public Holiday, and will be keen to pick up the points there. As it stands, both sides are bottom two with almost mirroring percentages of 26.9 (Hawthorn) and 26.1 per cent (Sydney). Also the other sides yet to pick up points this season following Fremantle’s draw with Carlton, something has to give.
By: Michael Alvaro
Carlton became the first team in AFL Women’s history to record two draws in a season, no less consecutively in a tie with Fremantle out West. The Blues were outclassed throughout a first half where they struggled to adapt to the greasy conditions, before clawing ahead in the final term and eventually finishing all square at 5.2 (32) apiece, despite being two players down.
Running out in home conditions, it was clear Fremantle made the better and earlier adaptations. The Dockers knew it would be a tough territory battle and were ready for a game of attrition, with paddling goals from Megan Kauffman and Dana East proving prime examples of their willingness to force the ball forward at all costs. The hosts were far superior at ground level and leant on their running capacity to get from contest to contest – even if it meant they very nearly ran out of legs.
Harf’s half-time adjustments
Though Phoebe McWilliams‘ second term major set out a straightforward route-one blueprint, it took a three-goal half time deficit for Carlton to begin to move the ball more purposefully. Usually a high handball side, the Blues took more direct avenues to goal as their midfield got on top. That, and the positional switches of Annie Lee and Lucy McEvoy (defence to forward), and Kerryn Peterson into midfield helped square up the ledger. It also saw Lee become one of three Blues to snare their first goals for the club, alongside McWilliams and Imogen Milford.
Ahh Mim’ and McKay, you’ve done it again
It’s no secret that Carlton’s midfield stocks have been depleted over the last year; from the allure of expansion, to untimely injuries. That only made the performances of Abbie McKay and Mimi Hill that much more special on Saturday, as the on-ballers went as close as possible to dragging their side to four points. The former amassed 10 clearances from 29 disposals, while the latter had it 21 times as the duo continued their remarkable individual seasons.
The Tighe is high
After making a splash across 11 games in Season 6, Fremantle tall Aine Tighe continues to impress in purple. The Irish convert was prolific in the early stages of Saturday’s game, clunking multiple marks inside 50 and booting two of her side’s four opening-half goals. Her reach and contested marking ability at 185cm proved troublesome, as Freo made use of their ability to turn the ball over and slingshot into attack.
Only the fit survive
This game may not have been the best example of injuries preventing a team from getting on top, but it showcased the difference key players can make upon their returns. Fremantle welcomed back Gabby O’Sullivan, who made an immediate impact in the front half with 14 disposals, while Janelle Cuthbertson had a steady game back in defence. The return to full fitness of midfielders Hayley Miller (20 disposals) and Kiara Bowers (17 tackles) also proved pivotal, albeit not enough to earn the Dockers’ first win in Season 7.
By: Elly Kirlis
The Western Bulldogs have continued their undefeated start to season seven, defeating Hawthorn by 30 points, 6.1 (37) to 1.1 (7). In a goalless first quarter for both sides, both teams were tested in wet, slippery conditions. The Western Bulldogs were however able to use the wet weather conditions better to their advantage, kicking three straight goals to set up the victory.
Hawthorn’s effort was there for half a game
The Hawks were resilient for the first half, applying the pressure on the Bulldogs forwards and making it a difficult challenge to score. Whilst the Hawks will be happy with the first and fourth quarter, they will no doubt address the second and third quarter by not making the most of their opportunities by not getting enough hands on the footy.
Bulldogs classy from second quarter onwards
The Bulldogs’ stars stepped up and rose to the occasion. Whilst the likes of Ellie Blackburn and Kirsty Lamb unstoppable for the Hawks defensive unit, the Bulldogs were able to show their experience and class.
Shining stars shining for Bulldogs
Whilst Blackburn was unstoppable in the midfield, the likes of Rylie Wilcox, Gabrielle Newton and Isabelle Pritchard worked endlessly in the forward 50, being able to find good positioning of the footy and use their experience to break the game open and dominate.
Jasmine Fleming – star of the future
Jasmine Fleming no doubt has a bright future ahead of her, especially at the age of 17. In tough conditions, Fleming was everywhere at the foot of the ruck contest, getting plenty touches of the footy but using her smartness and making her presence on the field. She ultimately finished the game with 25 disposals, 19 kicks, six handballs, two marks, three tackles and six clearances.
Kirsty Lamb shines in milestone match
In her milestone match, Lamb was no doubt best on ground. Not only dominating in the forward and midfield, but it was also combining with Blackburn and out-numbering in the clearances. Lamb finished the match with 25 disposals, seven clearances and one goal.
Tamara Smith underrated player
One other player that stood out for the Hawks was Tamara Smith due to her work ethic defensively. Whilst Smith’s stat numbers may be quiet, her work ethic and tackling pressure is a good sign for the Hawks and can only build as the season goes on. Smith finished the game with a whopping 13 tackles.