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.

Second year Swan Cynthia Hamilton kicked two goals, while Brenna Tarrant, Brooke Lochland and Rebecca Privitelli all had impressive performances.

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.”

For the Blues Breann Moody, Keeley Skepper and Mia Austin were at the forefront of their second half resurgent while Harriet Cordner also had a strong game.


  • 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.

The Giants had three big names return to the side, but it was the likes of Tarni Evans, Alicia Eva, Zarlie Goldsworthy and Rebecca Beeson who impressed.

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.

Meanwhile for the Saints Ella Friend looked impressive while Alice Burke and Bianca Jakobsson had solid games in defence.

  • 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.

For the Dees, Eden Zanker starred up forward with four goals to her name, while Olivia Purcell, Tyla Hanks and Kate Hore also had strong hit outs.

Meanwhile for the Hawks it was the likes of Mackenzie Eardley, Akec Makur Chuot, Jasmine Fleming and Tilly Lucas-Rodd were all among the best in a tough afternoon for the Hawks.

  • 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.

Isabel Dawes impressed for the Lions, as did Lily Postlethwaite in her return from back to back ACL injuries. Mikayla Pauga also made her presence felt on the ball as did Sophie Conway.

For the Suns, new recruits Niamh McLaughlin, Jordan Membrey and Maddy Brancatisano all impressed, as did Alana Gee on her return from a back injury.

  • 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.

For the Kangaroos, their new faces showed plenty. Kate Shierlaw kicked three goals while Ruby Tripodi kicked two goals. Lucinda Pullar also impressed on the wing as did Eliza Shannon in defence.

The Bulldogs were missing several key players, but Keely Coyne, Jessica Fitzgerald, Elle Bennetts and Dominique Carruthers also impressed.

  • 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.

Meanwhile for Collingwood, Lauren Butler and Alana Porter both impressed, while new recruits Eleri Morris and Nell Morris-Dalton both got on the scoreboard.

  • 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.

Zoe Prowse and Yvonne Bonner were among many who starred for the Crows, while Teah Charlton and Jess Waterhouse both scored multiple majors.

Meanwhile new Irish Cat Aishling Moloney really repaid Geelong’s faith with an impressive showing, while Abbey McDonald and Erin Hoare both impressed. Kate Darby also kicked two majors.

  • 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.

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