AFLW Rising Star Player Focus: Matilda Scholz (Port Adelaide)

IT has been a whirlwind few months for Port Adelaide’s ruck Matilda Scholz.

Taken as a draft concession ahead of this season, Scholz got a head start on her draft cohort and has already started to make an impact on the AFL Women’s competition.

Coming into a side that struggled in its ruck department last season, Scholz has come in this season and impressed beyond her inexperience at AFLW level.

It was no different on the at weekend against Brisbane in a game which saw her pick up 13 disposals, 20 hit outs and one Rising Star performance.

This Player Focus is going to take a deep dive into her game and what makes her so good at what she does.

Matilda Scholz stats vs Brisbane

Disposals: 13
Marks: 4
Tackles: 5
Hit Outs: 20
Clearances: 2
Metres Gained: 225

One obvious positivity about her game that anyone watching can see from the opening bounce is her leap ability. Up against one of the strongest leaps in the game in Tahlia Hickie was no problem from Scholz as she got strong elevation to out jump Hickie.

She is also able to pick up the ground ball with ease, which is not often easy to for someone of her height.

In a ruck contest she does not always play in front, using her height to still reach over the top without giving away any free kicks.

Perhaps it is due to her age, but if Scholz is taking a rest from her ruck duties she does not do so in the forward line, she gets sent to the bench each time. Even while playing as ruck, she does not venture in the forward line but does regularly find herself in defence, preferring to give rare forward line ruck responsibilities to other team mates.

Despite not venturing into the forward line, Scholz certainly picked up the miles in the legs. She finished up with 225m gained her name, which was in the top 10 for the game, which for a ruck is not a common occurrence.

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