AFLW Season 7: Round 10 Talking Points – Friday
FRIDAY’S action in the AFLW saw the beginning of the confirmation of ladder positions inside the top eight. The Western Bulldogs booked their finals ticket with a win over Carlton, while Brisbane put one hand on the minor premiership with a comfortable win over Collingwood. We run you through all the key talking points.
By: Michael Alvaro
The Western Bulldogs have punched their Season 7 finals ticket, after enacting a dramatic comeback to beat Carlton by three points on Friday night. Atop a wet Ikon Park track, the Blues lead for much of the contest but were ultimately undone by an inspired match-winning effort by Bulldogs skipper Ellie Blackburn.
Needing a lift and eventually the game-winning feat, who better to turn to in red, white and blue than Ellie Blackburn? The inspirational skipper, who has battled her way through Season 7, thumped home two crucial goals for the Bulldogs en route to leading all comers with 23 disposals and nine clearances. Her first major, off one step from 45m, sparked her side’s effort to level the scores at half time, and a similar shot in term four stole the full collection of points. A special game from a special player made of leadership material.
Schaap work out the back
A player who has popped up at the right times for Carlton over the last fortnight is Poppy Schaap. The diminutive and dangerous forward does her best work close to goal, and put her side in a winning position on Friday night. Sharing half of the Blues’ majors with veteran Elise O’Dea, Schaap snuck out the back for a composed conversion off the deck, and added another soon after with a kick over the mark. Her efforts saw Carlton lead by 14 points at the first break, with the 19-year-old’s stakes for more game time in 2023 firmly staked.
Moving the magnets
Both coaches have been known to freshen up their sides’ systems both throughout the course of four quarters and the season as a whole, with Friday night proving no exception. Bulldogs mentor Nathan Burke swung the shrewd move of playing Sarah Hartwig deep forward, where she booted her side’s first goal, while Elisabeth Georgostathis played an impressive role in defence as Eleanor Brown slotted into midfield alongside Deanna Berry – albeit briefly before the former was ruled out with concussion.
On Daniel Harford’s whiteboard, Jess Good reprised a role behind the ball for a second week running to shut down Celine Moody, while the slick Brooke Walker adjusted beautifully to the conditions at both ends of the ground. O’Dea’s more permanent move forward worked a charm, and the pressure on Lucy McEvoy‘s sore shoulders was somewhat eased with a shift to attack. Meanwhile, captain Kerryn Peterson finished her season on a high in that now familiar wing position.
Second half Blues
For the third week running, Carlton worked its way into a winning position at half time but could not quite get the job done thereafter. Richmond ran over the top from as many as 26 points down in Round 8, Gold Coast enacted a 33-point turnaround the week after, and the Bulldogs only compiled the misery with their super fightback. The positive signs are there for Carlton, who end a disappointing campaign knowing the finals contenders are within reach, but not just yet.
By: Alyce Collett
Brisbane has warmed up for finals with a solid 45-point win over Collingwood on the Gold Coast. The Lions took a while to get the scoring going, but once they did the floodgates opened and they never looked back.
Collingwood had plenty of chances, just could not convert into scoreboard pressure
One thing that really plagued Collingwood was not making the most of its chances in front of goal.
For at least three quarters the Magpies began each really strongly, but ultimately could not convert that into scoreboard pressure.
When they did finally convert it into a goal, it was deep into the final quarter and ultimately too little, too late.
Brisbane’s nice warm up for next week
Once they really got going, the Lions really put their foot down and showed why they are one of the premiership favourites this season. They were tested at times by Collingwood, but still were able to kick away and eventually dominate, proving handy practice for the first week of finals.
Kate Lutkins the intercept queen
One Lion who was causing real headaches for Collingwood was Kate Lutkins.
On a number of occasions, Collingwood would kick the ball long into attack, only for Lutkins to be sitting there ready to take the intercept mark.
Last night’s match was one of a number of occasions where she really showed how dangerous yet underestimated she can be at times.
Holy moly Courtney Hodder!
Speaking of showing capabilities, last night’s match was one for Courtney Hodder to show off what she can really do.
Finishing with the 12 touches, she also laid a whopping nine tackles and kicked two goals which at times defied physics to go through the big sticks.
Will Chloe be right to go next week?
As if losing by that kind of margin was not enough, Collingwood may have other concerns to mull over before its first final next week.
Chloe Molloy came off second best during a collision late in the game, and appeared to head off to do a concussion test, with no word after that. Nervous Collingwood fans, staff and players alike must now sit and wait for news to see if the star Pie is all good to go next week.