AFLW Season 7: Round 5 Talking Points – Action packed day of history
YESTERDAY’s action in the AFLW saw an action packed day full of history for some and intention setting for others. North Melbourne knocked off the previously undefeated Bulldogs, while Collingwood notched up a win over the Bombers. Hawthorn created history with its first ever win downing the Swans, while Melbourne bounced back to its best with a win over Carlton.
By: Alyce Collett
The Western Bulldogs have suffered their first loss of Season 7, going down to North Melbourne by 15 points. In a very even but free flowing encounter, momentum swung all game, with the result not clear until about halfway through the last quarter.
The stats tell the same story as the game – almost
It was a very even and free flowing game, and the final stats paint a picture of how even the game was. All except one – marks inside 50. The Kangaroos comfortably won that stat, which just goes to show how they were really able to make the most of their inside 50 chances that the Bulldogs couldn’t.
North is just chugging along nicely
North Melbourne just continue to prove why the Roos have been one of the top sides of the competition ever since they came in. Beating a fellow finals contender is always going to do the confidence levels the world of good, especially with the way the Bulldogs have been playing thus far this season.
Don’t hit panic stations yet Bulldogs
The first loss of the year after an undefeated start is always demoralising, but no one at the Bulldogs should be hitting the panic station button yet. They had a solid performance against the Kangaroos, they just got outclassed yet.
Usual suspects star for North
As is the case just about every week, North’s midfielders were the real stars of the show for their side. Jenna Bruton (20 touches, five marks, three tackles), Jasmine Garner (26 touches, three tackles), Emma Kearney (18 touches, three tackles) and Ash Riddell (19 touches) all saw plenty of the ball and made a real impact in North’s attacking play.
Rylie Wilcox will be a star for a long time to come
Despite her team losing, Rylie Wilcox continued to prove why she is going to be an absolute star of this competition for a long time to come. She finished with 10 touches and two majors, and provided a lot of run and carry up the wing for her team.
By: Alyce Collett
Collingwood have bounced back from last week’s frustrating loss in the best way possible, downing Essendon by 11 points. It was an even and free flowing first half to the match, but Collingwood but their foot down in the third term to set up the win.
Collingwood bounce back from last week nicely
Collingwood will have been frustrated after last week’s performance, but came out this week and really did return to their best. They were pushed by Essendon, but really turned it on when they needed to and got back on the winners list.
Bombers are continuing to defy the expansion team stereotype
Despite not getting all the wins on the board, there is still plenty to like about the way Essendon are going about things this season. They are continuing to match it with the established sides in the competition, even pushing some of the sides that are on their way to playing finals this season.
As much as Nat Wood and her team will be frustrated, they will be pleased that Essendon are defying the expansion team stereotype and actually match it with the expansion sides.
Ash Brazz had leather poisoning in the first term
Ash Brazill came out all guns blazing to begin the clash. Again playing as a high half forward, she had a good old fashioned case of leather poisoning and had 11 touches in the first quarter alone.
She went a bit quiet after that, but what she showed in the first quarter proved that the position change she has had may end up being a stroke of coaching genius.
James made the most of her chances
One Pie who was particularly impressive in the win was Eliza James. Although she did not see a whole lot of the ball (she only had nine touches), she certainly made sure her limited touches counted, finishing with two majors.
Prespakis dominant but all on her own at times
One shining light for the Bombers was their star Madison Prespakis. She finished with 31 touches, four marks and a major, but was really doing the heavy lifting through the midfield. No one else in Essendon’s midfield really lifted and could match it with either Prespakis or the Collingwood midfield.
By: Peter Williams
Hawthorn has made history by holding on against a determined Sydney to salute by four points at Punt Road Oval. The league’s two cellar dwellers and sole winless sides put on a show, as the Swans booted the first four goals of the match, before the Hawks came home hard with the next five. Though Sydney did a lot of attacking in the last term, the Swans could not get back in front.
Swans race out of the BLoch
In a ridiculous first term, Brooke Lochland became the first player in AFL Women’s history to slot three goals in a quarter twice. Though her first time came with blue added to her red and white, this was perhaps more special. Needing a strong start, Lochland dominated inside 50, finding space and snagging them from everywhere as she had three goals from seven disposals, and even had a chance at a fourth. She was unstoppable.
Fear of God-dard prompts Hawks revival
Though Tahlia Fellows got the brown and gold on the board late in the first term, it did not affect the quarter time spray the Hawks were set to receive from coach Bec Goddard. The first term was a disaster for the brown and gold as they fell 26 points behind without giving a yelp. At the quarter time huddle, Goddard in no uncertain terms – and certainly not in terms fit for print – let the players know that their first term performance was not good enough and a response was needed before the game slipped away. Cutting the deficit back to six points with the only two goals of the second term, the Hawks reversed the momentum and came out on top in the end.
Under 18 All-Australians shine back at Punt Road
For a number of first-year players, it was the first time back at Punt Road since they donned the Australian jumper in a win over the Under 23 All-Stars. The likes of Cynthia Hamilton (19 disposals, three marks, five tackles, five clearances and two behinds), Montana Ham (14 disposals, seven tackles and three clearances) and Charlotte Baskaran (11 disposals, two tackles, three clearances and a goal) all stood up. Jasmine Fleming – who was injured for that Australian clash – was Hawthorn’s best once again with 16 touches, 10 tackles and four clearances.
Makur Chuot magic impresses crowd
Despite the crowd being pro-Sydney given it was a) a Swans “home” game and b) many of the crowd had come from the Grand Final Parade for the men’s team earlier that day, even the red and white were impressed with some of the moments that Akec Makur Chuot had throughout the game. The ex-Tiger is very familiar with Punt Road, and she showcased her athleticism with a number of high-flying marks to finish with 13 disposals, five marks and two tackles, even looking to dash when given space.
Come on Aileen!
The 29-year-old ex-Roo Aileen Gilroy became the match-winner for the Hawks kicking just the second goal in her career – after one in Round 2 – and it was worth the wait. Tracking a ball inside 50, she gathered and ran hard under pressure, then snapped it around her body to curl in and put her side in front for the first time. That was in the third term, but with a goalless last quarter, Gilroy’s goal proved the difference between the sides.
By: Michael Alvaro
Melbourne has emphatically returned to the winners list with a 42-point thumping of Carlton at Ikon Park on Friday night. After Brisbane ran over the top of them last week, the Dees produced a dominant four-quarter effort to ease past the depleted Blues, 7.8 (50) to 1.2 (8).
Harris’ happy hunting ground
It may look a touch different, but Ikon Park proved a happy hunting ground for former-Blue Tayla Harris on Friday night. The star forward made her presence felt from the outset, bombing a 50-metre goal within the opening two minutes, and clunking a big contested grab to snare her second in the first term. She would end up with three majors, complimented by five marks in an ominous display after missing last week through suspension.
Want a win? Play Brisbane first
The last three rounds produced a unique pattern, with the previous trio of sides to have played Brisbane bouncing back with a win the following week. Melbourne joined GWS and Gold Coast on that list in Round 5, returning to the winners list in emphatic fashion. It seems the undefeated Lions hold the winning blueprint, and other sides are taking inspiration from it. The Dees were encouraged to take more risks and keep the game flowing without being perfect, and pulled it off with 110 handballs to 66, while producing 46 inside 50s to 13.
Blues back in paddock of green shoots
The mentality around Carlton seems far from one essentially battling for one of the final spots in the top eight, with rather a growth mindset which faces the reality of its list profile. Thus, ‘green shoot’ season is in full swing, and there were plenty of Blues who snatched opportunities in a depleted side. The returning Serena Gibbs was swung to defence to take on Harris, Brooke Vickers lined up on Daisy Pearce, Lucy McEvoy started on the wing, and veteran Gab Pound found a new home up forward. Train-on promotee, Christina Bernardi also featured in her first game for a fourth club, slotting into the key forward role of Phoebe McWilliams. Meanwhile, Mimi Hill (33 disposals) and Abbie McKay (18, seven tackles) continue to get the job done.
Battle of the titans
Two titanic All Australian rucks went at it on Friday night, with Melbourne’s Lauren Pearce and Carlton’s Breann Moody locking horns at the centre bounces. Both were at their best and even managed to hit the scoreboard, with Pearce spending time forward and snapping a classy closing goal after Moody had volleyed a major from nothing in term two. The Blues ruck arguably got the points with three more hitouts, four more touches and tackles, but the matchup is always one of the best to look forward to competition-wide.