Scouting Notes: 2024 VFLW – Round 3

ON a weekend where plenty of ducks were broken, plenty of VFLW listed players also shone above the pack.

North Melbourne 4.7 (31) lost to Casey 5.4 (34)

North Melbourne:

#4 Audrey Rhodes (Midfielder)
17/6/1997 | 162cm

Stats: 25 disposals, 25 tackles, seven clearances, one goal, one behind

The absolute tackling machine, Rhodes took what had already been a pretty solid start to the season to the next level.

It took her less than five seconds of game time to lay her first tackle, and she went on to finish with what might just be a record number of tackles.

That was not her only influence on the game, with her clearance work strong and she had some shots on goal. Her first shot on goal looked like she was trying to add too much power to her kick and it was skewed, while her second was a lot more smooth and actually resulted in a goal.

#12 Maddie Di Cosmo (Midfielder)
11/2/2002 | 169cm

Stats: 20 disposals, 14 tackles, eight clearances

Another strong game from Di Cosmo, who did not have to play as much of a lone soldier role as she has perhaps had to in previous weeks.

She backed up a ridiculous tackling effort last week with another similarly impressive one, plus her clearance game was particularly crucial for the Kangaroos.

#26 Alana Barba (Midfielder)
26/9/2001 | 162cm

Stats: 22 disposals, 10 tackles, five clearances, one behind

Part three of the midfield tackling machine team, Barba created a lot of momentum through midfield and into attack.

She even went up for a ruck contest, but with a 32cm difference between her and the Casey ruck, was never going to be able to win that one.


#36 Tegan Williams (Forward)
7/3/2004 | 178cm

Stats: 11 disposals, six hit outs, four tackles, one mark, one goal, one behind

Little Miss Everywhere, Williams had such a hand in much of the play in Casey’s front half on Saturday.

Pinch hitting in the ruck to taking strong marks and snapping through a major, Williams had a huge hand in ensuring Casey picked up its first win of 2024.

#19 Niamh O’Neill (Forward)
10/5/1996 | 171cm

Stats: 12 disposals, two goals, one behind, one clearance

After a pretty solid shift last week, O’Neill lifted another step again this week. Never still for very long, She was always presenting in the forward line, creating options and helping to drive plenty of attacking options for her team.

#18 Meg Macdonald (Defender)
29/6/1998 | 170cm

Stats: 23 disposals, eight tackles, seven clearances

A true captain’s performance from the debut season skipper, Macdonald was playing off half back but had a lot of influence through the midfield. Her tackle pressure was making sure her Kangaroos’ counterparts could not get the ball through midfield easily, while her clearance work was setting up her team mates for success further up the field.

Southern Saints 5.6 (36) lost to Geelong 8.6 (54)

Southern Saints:

#8 Sophie Phillips (Midfielder)
30/7/2003 | 163cm

Stats: 16 disposals, two marks, two clearances, one goal

Quite the energiser bunny through midfield, plenty of energy and drive into attack came for the Saints on Saturday from Phillips.

She even popped up to slot through a goal.

#9 Winnie Laing (Midfielder)
24/5/2002 | 165cm

Stats: 17 disposals, three tackles, two marks, one clearance, one goal

A player who is renowned for her speed, Laing certainly used that to her advantage on the weekend. Her speed and ability to run for a long time helped her be very valuable for the Saints on transition down the wing, and helped her make an influence in all thirds of the ground. She even pushed into attack more than usual, which did see her able to sneak through a goal.

#29 Chloe Hunt (Forward)
2/12/1997 | 175cm

Stats: six disposals, two tackles, two goals, one behind, one mark

Once again Hunt burst out of the blocks and was on the board early for the Saints in very Chloe Hunt fashion. She did not have much of an impact on the scoreboard as the match progressed, but her efforts without the ball, including her follow up work, was still impressive.


#29 Molly Walton (Defender)
06/05/2004 | 173cm

Stats: 12 disposals, five rebound 50s three marks, three tackles, one clearance

Despite her young age, Walton continues to show a composure and maturity beyond her years.

Particularly early in the match she was kept on her toes with plenty to do, but she calmy went about her work, providing plenty of rebound off the last line of defence.

#36 Breanna Pratt (Mid/Forward)
1/10/1998 | 169cm

Stats: 18 disposals, two tackles, one clearance, one goal

A long time servant of the team, Pratt made a strong contribution to the Cats’ win.

Playing across midfield and attack, not only did she create a lot of opportunities to attack by feeding the forward line, she provided a strong, reliable marking target in the forward line for her fellow midfielders to capitalise on.

#51 Zoe Larkins (Midfielder)
13/7/2003 | 153cm

Stats: 11 disposals, four tackles, one mark, one goal

As Geelong managed to work its way back into the match, Larkins was a huge part in making it happen.

Not only was she lively and hard at the contest in midfield, she also snuck forward several times and impacted on the scoreboard.

Darebin 1.4 (10) lost to Essendon 5.10 (40)


#44 Victoria Blackwood (Defender)
15/12/1999 | 171cm

Stats: nine disposals, nine tackles, two marks, two rebound 50s

In a game where the Falcons defence had plenty to do, Blackwood was one that stood tall.

In her first game back for 2024, she was impressive on the last line of defence, taking a number of crucial intercept marks.

#53 Monique DeMatteo (Forward)
24/5/1997 | 168cm

Stats: seven disposals, six tackles, five marks, one clearance, one goal, two behinds

In her first game for the season and for her new club, DeMatteo showed why she is such a valuable pick up for the Falcons.

The Falcons’ only goal kicker, she provided a strong marking target up forward and is perhaps the missing link the Falcons needed in attack. She also pushed up the ground to add more influence there.


#61 El Chaston (Defender)
23/02/2002 | 170cm

Stats: 14 disposals, three marks, three tackles, three clearances, one goal

Seemingly taking the responsibilities of captaincy in their stride, Chaston’s game is continuing to elevate even further in 2024.

Playing a bit more of a midfield role on the weekend, they were really lively while continuing to create plenty of drive like in previous weeks.

#64 Ashlea Melnikas (Forward)
17/3/1995 | 168cm

Stats: 22 disposals, seven clearances, four marks, four tackles, one goal, one behind

Having slotted into her new side seamlessly, Melnikas’ influence on the game continues to grow week by week.

On the week her particular strengths were around clearances, and she saw plenty of the ball but was really effective with it. She also provided a very strong marking target up forward.

Box Hill 5.7 (37) defeated Collingwood 0.3 (3)

Box Hill:

#42 Danika Spammer (Midfielder)
2/7/2002 | 155cm

Stats: 18 disposals, 12 tackles, three clearances, two marks

An absolute workhorse through midfield, a lot of drive through the area, particularly as the game progressed, was thanks to Spammer.

She was also a tackling machine, leading allcomers in the category.

#46 Gabby Collingwood (Midfielder/Forward)
15/1/1999 | 165cm

Stats: 21 disposals, five marks, three tackles, one clearance

One of Spammer’s partners in crime in midfield, Collingwood’s influence on the game was more in the earlier parts but was just as important.

Her strong marking ability helped provide the Hawks with a reliable target in transition, which was particularly important with how high the defensive pressure was and how congested it was.


#55 Maya Ellin (Midfielder)
8/6/2005 | 169cm

Stats: 11 tackles, nine disposals, one clearance, one mark

An absolute tackling machine, Ellin was an ever present weapon through the midfield for the Magpies.

In a game characterised by its tackling pressure, Ellin’s 11 tackles was the second highest on the ground, showing that she was always willing to be at the core of the contest and was always willing to throw herself at the contest.

#68 Jaide Anthony (Midfielder)
20/11/2003 | 165cm

Stats: 14 disposals, seven tackles, three clearances, two marks, one behind

Another tackling machine, Anthony was another key part of the midfield pressure Collingwood was able to lay.

She also provided great clearance work and great drive into attack.

Williamstown 1.3 (9) lost to Port Melbourne 5.2 (32)


#6 Emily Eaves (Midfielder)
18/4/2001 | 165cm

Stats: 11 disposals, nine tackles, six clearances, one mark

Another typically hard working game from Eaves, who continued to display similar traits to what she has right through this season.

She saw plenty of the ball and used it effectively, but another strength she was able to show off was her run. She has quite the tank, and never seemed to be tired while out of field.

#24 Megan Williamson (Midfielder)
2/2/2000 | 158cm

Stats: 13 disposals, nine tackles, four clearances, two marks

A bit of an energiser bunny, Williamson was certainly not afraid to throw herself into the contest.

That enthusiasm did cost her a few turnovers, but she still saw plenty of the ball and was able to use it effectively and worked well alongside her fellow midfielders to effectively create transitional drive for her side.

#27 Ashlee Thorneycroft (Midfielder)
27/8/1989 | 165cm

Stats: 14 disposals, nine tackles, three clearances,

Much like Eaves and Williamson, Thorneycroft was a crucial cog in the midfield for her side.

She saw plenty of the ball and used it effectively, created a lot of effective transitional drive for her side, but also created a lot of defensive pressure too.

Port Melbourne:

#36 Ava Seton (Midfielder)
19/4/2004 | 165cm

Stats: 20 disposals, seven tackles, four clearances, two marks

Another strong performance from the hard working former Queenslander, although she created plenty of run and drive out of the middle of the park, she was also influential in other areas.

She laid plenty of strong, effective tackles, but also worked her way forward to kick the first goal of the day with very strong accuracy.

#5 Lauren Caruso (Midfielder)
19/11/1999 | 161cm

Stats: 13 disposals, six tackles, four clearances, three marks

Another midfielder with plenty of the tank, Caruso created a lot of drive out of midfield.

She was hard working from defence right into attack, and was strong under pressure, managing to get a kick away legally while in the middle of being tackled.

#21 Madeleine Patterson (Forward/Ruck)
16/5/1997 | 187cm

Stats: 13 hit outs, 10 disposals, one mark, one tackle, one goal.

Although her positive traits as a forward were again on display, Patterson showed a bit more of her versatility in this game.

Her qualities as a ruck came more to the fore, competing well in any ruck contest she found herself in and proving to be a reliable ruck choice if and when she is needed.

The remaining two games will be published tomorrow.

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