AFLW Season 7: Round 6 Talking Points – Hawks and Crows swoop
IT was a mostly good night for the bird sides, as Hawthorn and Adelaide both picked up very different and impressive wins to kick-off Round 6 of the AFL Women’s. The Hawks won their second consecutive game by taking care of the bigger bird, West Coast Eagles in Frankston, while Adelaide thumped its second straight opponent with a huge 10-goal win over Port Adelaide in the inaugural AFLW Showdown.
By: Peter Williams
Hawthorn held on in yet another twilight thriller, taking care of last year’s wooden spooners West Coast down in Frankston. Much like the week before, the Hawks were jumped by the Eagles, who were helped by a strong breeze to the beach end, and headed into the first break leading by 18 points. Hawthorn kicked four consecutive goals in the second term to hit the lead by half-time, and though the second half was a tight affair – with the Eagles booting two goals to one – it would not be enough and the Hawks clung onto a 6.8 (48) to 6.5 (41) win.
Hawks pressure starves Eagles after quarter time
It was far from a pretty win, but Hawthorn’s high level of pressure – something the Hawks had prided themselves on all year – was on full display, as they limited the Eagles’ run down the ground. They produced a whopping 88 tackles – to West Coast’s 58 – and locked the ball inside 50 for large portions of time. They also laid double the amount of tackles inside 50 – 16-8 – largely off the back of a 30-21 inside 50 count, with the Eagles having the majority of them in the opening term.
Can’t Get Enough of that Wonderful Duff-in
In a match-winning performance, defender Jess Duffin showed how to play the perfect offensive half-back role, by booting three crucial goals in the second term. Despite playing in the back half – and quite often having the kickouts, the former North Melbourne talent showed off her hard running by consistently getting deep inside 50 to provide an extra number. West Coast threw extra numbers behind the ball in the second term due to the wind, and Duffin followed her opponent. She ended up taking a number of good marks and slotting three goals to be the match-winner in the end.
Need for Speed
Given the strength of the West Coast on-ball brigade, Hawthorn coach Bec Goddard knew the Hawks needed a point of difference. Alongside the speedy Jasmine Fleming, the brown and gold put Aileen Gilroy in there, who was among the best on ground. She tore away from the stoppages, took metres and then found space when she needed to. Importantly without the ball, the Irishwoman laid several critical tackles – 10 all-up on her way to 15 disposals. She almost kicked another couple of impressive goals too, but they just missed.
Brilliant Britton breaks Eagles drought
After a strong first term and a forgettable second term, West Coast had gone a long time between goals. Despite being with the breeze again in the third term, the Eagles could not seemingly put it through the big sticks despite a few chances on goal. With Hawthorn flooding numbers back and setting up well forward of the ball too, it was hard for West Coast’s forwards to find any space. Enter Jaide Britton. The third gamer ran hard inside 50, received the handball from close mate Ella Roberts about 25m out, and despite having the chaos of double-figure players within 20m of her, she slotted one straight off a step to sail it over the goal umpire’s hat. A memorable first AFLW goal. Earlier in the night, top draft pick Roberts also slotted her first AFLW goal from a set shot.
Eagles too reactive to Hawks moves
If last night was a game of chess, the mastermind Goddard outpointed her opponent Michael Prior despite conceding an early lead. Though the Hawks were jumped due to the strong breeze, the way Goddard was able to set up and ensure even numbers when the Eagles tried to throw players back in the second term was important. Equally, they set up well behind the ball in the third when facing the breeze again, and late in the game continually held up play with stoppages and ensuring the work to get it from one end to the other was incredibly difficult.
By: Elly Kirlis
In the inaugural AFLW showdown the Adelaide Crows were far too strong for the Power, winning by 60 points. Whilst missed opportunities hurt the Power, the Crows kicked five goals in the first half to set up the victory, keeping the Power goalless for the match.
South Australia fans embraced first Showdown
Whilst the Crows were dominant from start to finish, Crows fans and Power fans turned up in numbers and were vocal despite the score line, coming out to support women’s football. No doubt the Showdown will be a rivalry that will continue to grow and build as the seasons go by.
Crows cool under pressure
Whilst the likes of Anne Hatchard and Ebony Marinoff having another strong outing in the midfield, the Crows continues their strong pressure from last game. The likes of Abbie Ballard, Jess Waterhouse, Caitlin Gould and Teah Charlton all had strong contributions.
Missed opportunities made by Port earlier but can take learnings
Whilst the Power could nOt take their opportunities, finding space but unable to execute their rest of the plan down the field, Port Adelaide should be credited for the pressure on the ball and a positive that they can keep building for the second half of the season. The likes of Hannah Dunn, Hannah Ewings and Ebony O’Dea were on song and getting the hands of plenty of the footy.
Inaccuracy hurting Crows
Whilst the Crows dominated the contest and stoppage numbers, the Crows struggled to convert in front of goals, kicking 15 behinds, something which Crows coach Matthew Clarke will want to look at before next week.
Chelsea Randal Inaugural Showdown Medal winner
Chelsea Randall continues to show her class her dominance and class, after she was awarded the inaugural Showdown Medal. She kicked three goals and finished the game with 27 disposals, six marks and seven clearances.