Surprises and big margins as AFLW preseason wraps up
AFTER a weekend of match simulations across the AFL Women’s, last weekend saw all 18 clubs take to the field in official practice matches.
In one of what was perhaps the more surprising results, Sydney defeated Carlton to continue its strong preseason form.
A strong start was what really helped the Swans in the end. They took a 25 point lead into the main break, and although Carlton came back in the second half, it ultimately proved to not be enough.
For the Swans it was a mixture of their youth and their experienced heads who stood up on Saturday afternoon.
Swans coach Scott Gowans was pleased with what he saw from his side.
“That was the pleasing thing that came out of today – the effort and intensity we played the game at,” Gowans said.
“That’s all you can ask for – a good effort.”
“Ball movement was the key thing we wanted to work on and we were able to do that. The pleasing thing is that we are bit fitter, so we can transition back now.”
AROUND THE GROUNDS
- The weekend began in Sydney with the Giants defeating Richmond by 16 points.
Despite the Tigers leading at the final change, a fourth quarter resurgence from the Giants saw them emerge victorious.
Meanwhile for the Tigers, new addition Courtney Jones was impressive, while fellow new recruit Caitlin Greiser made her presence felt early with the first major for her team. Monique Conti and Grace Egan also had solid games.
- Port Adelaide impressed ahead of their second season, downing St Kilda by six goals on Friday.
The Power piled on the pressure early with four opening quarter goals, and despite St Kilda wrestling back some control in the second quarter, failed to capitalise on their chances as Port then ran away with the game in the second half.
New Power ruck Matilda Scholz starred in the ruck, while fellow youngster Amelie Borg managed to keep star Saint recruit Jesse Wardlaw goalless and Abbey Dowrick also had a strong game. Port also had seven different goal kickers.
- Reigning premiers Melbourne flexed its muscles at Casey Fields with a solid win over Hawthorn.
Once Melbourne really got going it was hard to stop despite Hawthorn’s best efforts, as the Hawks were left with plenty to think about ahead of Round 1.
- Fellow grand finalists Brisbane also flexed its muscles on the weekend, running out 48 point winners over the Gold Coast.
Despite the big names the Lions lost in the offseason, they showed why they are still one of the teams to beat as they kept the Suns goalless for the game.
- North Melbourne also made a statement ahead of Round 1, dominating the Western Bulldogs to win by 63 points.
The Kangaroos were dominant from the start as the Bulldogs struggled to keep up.
- In an absolute nailbiter, Fremantle held on against Collingwood to win by a single point.
Collingwood finished strongly but ultimately came up short.
Gabby O’Sullivan was back to her best for the Dockers after an injury interrupted season seven, while Angela Stannett had a position change to the forward line. Draftee Joanne Cregg and skipper Hayley Miller also both impressed.
- In another tight clash, Adelaide defeated the Cats by a single goal.
The Crows had a strong first half in attack and seemed to have recaptured some of their game style from season six.
- In the lone game on Sunday, West Coast proved too strong for Essendon, downing the visitors by nine points.
Things seemed to be starting to click for the Eagles after a quieter offseason than previous years. Plenty of their stars returning from injury also had solid games, including the likes of Mikayla Western, Kellie Gibson, Shanae Davison and Lauren Wakfer.
Meanwhile for the Bombers Paige Scott had a ferocious attack on the ball, while Georgia Nanscawen showed her worth as a defensive midfielder. Sophie Alexander also kicked multiple goals while Daria Bannister impressed with the way she kicked hers.