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The Round Up: AFLW Round Nine 2022

Presented by Ida Sports. For the second week in a row records tumbled as we witnessed the first ever triple digit score in the AFLW.

Carlton has won three in a row. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line
Carlton has won three in a row. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line

St. Kilda v Geelong — Saturday @ Moorabbin Oval

St. Kilda 1.2.8 | 2.5.17 | 2.6.18 | 2.6.18
Geelong 0.3.3 | 0.3.3 | 0.6.6 | 0.9.9

Goals

St. Kilda: Caitlin Greiser, Kate Shierlaw
Geelong: N/A

Injuries

St. Kilda: Nat Exon (TBC)
Geelong: N/A

St. Kilda got its second win of the season—and consecutive wins for the first time in club history—off the back of Tilly Lucas-Rodd’s sheer dominance around the ball in the first half. Coming into the game St. Kilda were averaging the fewest clearances in the competition, and were coming up against the Cats who were more than competent at stoppages. Lucas-Rodd had other ideas, however, as she registered 12 clearances for the game, equal second most in AFLW history, with 22 disposals and seven inside 50s. She has been so clever and strong through the midfield for St. Kilda this year, and against the Cats she took away one of their strengths this year, as the next most clearances on the field came from Amy McDonald with four.

Another Saint who is having arguably the best season of her career is defender Bianca Jakobsson. Averaging 15.4 disposals and 6.2 intercepts this year, Jakobsson registered 17 and six respectively against the Cats. More impressive, however, was her game awareness in the backline and ability to gauge the tempo of a game and how to change it to get the Saints back in control. Her maturity alongside captain Hannah Priest in the back half is such a calming influence for a side that has regularly been under the pump this year.

Geelong kicked nine straight behinds for the game from their 31 inside 50s. This is the second time the Saints’ defence has forced poor accuracy from their opponent in order to limit the damage, after the Lions kicked a record 11 straight behinds against St. Kilda earlier this year. Outside of their accuracy at goal, these teams were fairly evenly matched across the field, but the Saints did a better job of taking their chances than the Cats did.

GWS Giants v Richmond — Saturday @ Sydney Showground Stadium

GWS Giants 0.1.1 | 2.2.14 | 2.2.14 | 6.2.38
Richmond 5.2.32 | 5.3.33 | 7.3.45 | 7.4.46

Goals

GWS Giants: Cora Staunton (3), Emily Pease, Rebecca Privitelli, Brid Stack
Richmond: Katie Brennan (2), Christina Bernardi, Megan Kiely, Tessa Lavey, Maddy Shevlin, Courtney Wakefield

Injuries

GWS Giants: N/A
Richmond: N/A

Both the Giants and Tigers have been somewhat unpredictable this year, impressive at their best, but stagnant at their worst, so it was tough to predict how this one would go. The inclusion of Courtney Wakefield and Tessa Lavey for Richmond, however, completely changed the makeup of the side and went a long way to setting up the victory. Wakefield’s strength and presence up forward takes some pressure off Katie Brennan and forces defensive units to be far more accountable, while Lavey’s neat kicking into attack is an enviable asset. Both players had a big hand in the first quarter as the Tigers piled on their highest opening quarter score in their history (and the third highest in competition history) which was ultimately the difference in the game.

In the midfield, Monique Conti has still at times been a lone hand for the Tigers, battling hard but in need of help. This wasn’t the case against the Giants as Sarah Hosking stepped up to the plate and formed an impressive duo with Conti. Hosking ended the game with 23 disposals—the most in her career—as well as seven tackles and a game-high eight clearances, all with some awkward strapping on her face after a stray elbow split her cheek open early in the game.

For the Giants, Alyce Parker was ruled out of the game relatively early through concussion protocols after a clash with Jess Hosking. While Parker is one of the best midfielders in the competition and an important player for the Giants, they can at times lean on her impact a little too much. Without her playing for a portion of the game, GWS was forced to be more proactive through the middle, knowing they needed to pick up the slack, and in doing so became a tougher team through the midfield. This is not the first time key players missing has actually forced the Giants into a better performance, with their win over the Bulldogs earlier this year the best example of this.

Rebecca Miller’s impressive season has continued, as she stood strong in Richmond’s backline once again. Her positioning is outstanding and more than once forced GWS to kick almost directly to her as they went forward. She finished the game with 12 disposals—all kicks—seven intercepts and seven marks, three of which were contested.

Fremantle v Melbourne — Saturday @ Perth Stadium

Fremantle 1.0.6 | 1.1.7 | 1.1.7 | 3.1.19
Melbourne 3.0.18 | 6.5.41 | 13.6.84 | 16.11.107

Goals

Fremantle: Maggie MacLachlan, Hayley Miller, Mikayla Tuhakaraina
Melbourne: Daisy Pearce (5), Tayla Harris (3), Kate Hore (3), Karen Paxman (2), Alyssa Bannan, Shelley Scott, Casey Sherriff

Injuries

Fremantle: Matilda Sergeant (head knock)
Melbourne: Eden Zanker (quad tightness)

Before the opening siren even sounded, Fremantle was well and truly on the back foot in this one. A crucial game for the Dockers in the context of earning the home final, they were already without Gabby O’Sullivan, Amy Franklin (both through health and safety protocols), Roxy Roux (hamstring), Janelle Cuthbertson (facial fracture), Mikayla Morrison and Kiara Bowers (both knee injuries), when Emma O’Driscoll, Ebony and Kara Antonio were all withdrawn just an hour before the game began due to health and safety protocols, leaving the Dockers stretched for players. Ann McMahon, Maggie MacLachlan and top up player Mikayla Western were all called up to play, making the Dockers the least experienced side for the round with just a 17.1 game average, compared to Melbourne’s 30.7.

Early in the piece Fremantle’s pressure was immense, but once Melbourne got going they simply couldn’t be stopped. On the open expanses of Perth Stadium and protected from the elements, the Demons’ elite skill came to the fore. They used the ball at 67.7% disposal efficiency for the game, and most impressive was Tyla Hanks’ slick handballs out of the contest into the path of running teammates. Hanks has a knack for placing the ball out in front of her outside runners so they don’t need to break stride as they power into attack.

Once into the attacking half, the powerful forward line of the Demons put on a show. Tayla Harris was again taking strong contested marks, clocking another four and kicking three goals to become the first player ever to kick 17 goals in an AFLW season. Kate Hore’s movement around packs and willingness to take her opportunities saw her kick three goals. Karen Paxman’s work rate resulted in multiple goals for the first time in her career. And Daisy Pearce presented strongly, turning forward 50 pressure into scoring opportunities, snagging five goals to become just the fourth player in competition history to kick five or more goals in a game.

All of this led to Melbourne becoming the first side to break the 100 point barrier in the AFLW, pipping Brisbane’s highest score of 98 after just six days. Much of this damage was done in the third quarter, where Melbourne kicked 7.1 for the highest scoring quarter the competition has ever seen. They did this by getting the ball inside 50 a massive 53 times and by taking 23 marks inside 50 (two more records).

West Coast v Western Bulldogs — Saturday @ Perth Stadium

West Coast 0.0.0 | 0.0.0 | 1.0.6 | 1.2.8
Western Bulldogs 1.1.7 | 3.5.23 | 6.7.43 | 10.8.68

Goals

West Coast: Hayley Bullas
Western Bulldogs: Brooke Lochland (3), Nell Morris-Dalton (2), Bonnie Toogood (2), Deanna Berry, Richelle Cranston, Kirsty Lamb

Injuries

West Coast: Dana Hooker (shoulder)
Western Bulldogs: N/A

After a tough loss last week, the Bulldogs looked refreshed for this game, and it showed in the way they controlled the ball. They played a clean, stable kick-mark game, winning 67 more disposals and taking 39 more marks than West Coast for the game. This also saw them get the ball inside 50 37 times—20 more than the Eagles.

Once they were inside 50, they proved to be dangerous thanks to a multitude of options, registering a shot on goal 64.9% of the time. After an interrupted year, Brooke Lochland was able to kick three impressive goals—her first multiple goal bag since round five 2018—while Nell Morris-Dalton is steadily becoming a more reliable option in attack, and Bonnie Toogood continued to impress. 

In the face of this, Sophie McDonald has had a good season in defence. Despite the Eagles regularly conceding high scores, McDonald has done her part. Exceptionally clever, she positions herself really well in one-on-one contests, and is able to use her smarts to win those contests regularly. 

At the other end of the ground, Katie Lynch had arguably her best game, gathering a career-high 18 disposals—used at 88.9% efficiency no less—while also taking eight marks and registering nine intercepts. Without Ellyse Gamble back there, Lynch took a real leadership role on and backed herself in.

As usual, Kirsty Lamb starred for the Dogs. Casually registering another 20 disposals, eight inside 50s, seven score involvements and five clearances, Lamb is the engine room for her side. Even late in the game as she was painfully cramping and the Dogs were comfortably on their way to a big win, Lamb was running hard and fighting at every single contest as if the game was in the balance.

Related—The Round Up: AFLW Round Eight 2022

Brisbane v North Melbourne — Sunday @ Whitten Oval

Brisbane 3.0.18 | 5.4.34 | 6.6.42 | 7.8.50
North Melbourne 1.0.6 | 1.0.6 | 2.1.13 | 2.2.14

Goals

Brisbane: Sophie Conway (2), Maria Moloney (2), Dakota Davidson, Taylor Smith, Jesse Wardlaw
North Melbourne: Jasmine Garner, Tahlia Randall

Injuries

Brisbane: N/A
North Melbourne: N/A

Brisbane was happy to let North Melbourne win some disposal in the back half, and as the Kangaroos attempted their uncontested game, the Lions were able to close down any options that may have presented higher up the field. North won the disposal count 196-197, but simply couldn’t translate that into any meaningful attack, registering just 21 inside 50s compared to Brisbane’s 37.

The Lions were much more direct when they won the ball, but it was also what they did without possession that really suffocated the Kangaroos. Continuing their team-first trend, the Lions registered 36 one percenters and laid 76 tackles for the game. This was led by their two 50 gamers in Ally Anderson and Emily Bates who each laid 11 tackles for the day.

Ally Anderson became one of the first players to run out for their 50th game this weekend. Image: Magen Brewer
Ally Anderson became one of the first players to run out for their 50th game this weekend. Image: Magen Brewer

Winger Sophie Conway is very quietly having an outstanding season. She covers the ground better than anyone and plays a really attacking game, which is a key aspect of a valuable winger. Against the Kangaroos Conway kicked two goals, delivered the ball inside 50 five times with her 14 disposals while also registering five intercepts, having a big say in the result.

Sophie Conway has been one of the Lions' most important players this year. Image: Megan Brewer
Sophie Conway has been one of the Lions’ most important players this year. Image: Megan Brewer

There were key moments of this game where North Melbourne seemed to really lack awareness of what was happening around them, and what Brisbane’s best assets were. Presumably this was simply due to the pressure the Lions were bringing, but the less experienced Kangaroos were certainly exposed. They insisted on playing straight line footy, and this resulted in poor forward entries—a problem that has plagued the side this year. Without significant adjustments, it’s hard to see the Roos making a big impact in finals.

Adelaide v Collingwood — Sunday @ Norwood Oval

Adelaide 2.4.16 | 2.4.16 | 3.6.24 | 4.6.30
Collingwood 0.0.0 | 2.3.15 | 3.3.21 | 4.4.28

Goals

Adelaide: Ashleigh Woodland (2), Erin Phillips, Danielle Ponter
Collingwood: Eliza James (2), Tarni Brown, Chloe Molloy

Injuries

Adelaide: N/A
Collingwood: Erica Fowler (neck), Jaimee Lambert (ribs) 

Adelaide got out to an early lead in the first quarter through their disciplined, territory controlled game style that prevented Collingwood from even registering an inside 50 for the first quarter. Erin Phillips broke her streak of six behinds to kick her 47th career goal in that first quarter, and Ashleigh Woodland’s first goal for the game saw Adelaide become the first AFLW club to kick 300 goals.

Collingwood evened the contest from the second quarter onward, upping the pressure, especially inside 50. Despite Adelaide’s awareness and positioning aimed to cut off options into the corridor, the Pies were still able to find options in the middle of the ground, their favourite avenue into attack. While they fell agonisingly short, Collingwood reinforced what the Western Bulldogs showed earlier in the season: Adelaide is beatable.

Providing drive out of the defensive half, Ruby Schleicher racked up a career best 31 disposals and ten marks, continuing her rediscovered attacking game from last week. Not letting her defensive game slide in the process, Schleicher also registered 11 intercepts for the match and was a big reason the Pies got so close on the scoreboard.

In her 50th game, Ebony Marinoff (unsurprisingly) starred. She did her usual power of work around the ball, but what has been special about her form in recent seasons has been her transition into attack. Using her 24 disposals at an impressive 75% efficiency, Marinoff got the ball inside 50 six times and won seven clearances to lead all players on the ground.

Carlton v Gold Coast— Sunday @ Princes Park

Carlton 3.1.19 | 3.2.20 | 5.3.33 | 7.4.46
Gold Coast 0.1.1 | 2.2.14 | 2.4.16 | 2.4.16

Goals

Carlton: Jess Good (2), Nicola Stevens (2), Georgia Gee, Courtney Jones, Darcy Vescio
Gold Coast: Tara Bohanna, Ellie Hampson

Injuries

Carlton: N/A
Gold Coast: N/A

Carlton has now won three games on the trot thanks to an uptick in pressure in the forward half of the ground. They have won the tackle count in their last two games, and more specifically have laid more tackles inside 50 than their opponents in their last three games. This forward half pressure put them in good stead against the Suns, as the visitors needed to win to remain a chance for finals so came out strong at stoppages, but to no avail.

Mimi Hill has returned from injury with a bang. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line
Mimi Hill has returned from injury with a bang. Image: Rachel Bach / By The White Line

The young Blues might have had a rocky start to the season, but they are really starting to prop up the side in the back end of the year. Mimi Hill’s impressive return from an ACL injury continues, racking up a game high 25 disposals. Courtney Jones’ pressure and reliability in attack kept the Suns’ defenders under pressure as she kicked the eighth goal of her career in her eighth game. Paige Trudgeon was matched up on Sarah Perkins and held the star goalless. Maddy Guerin won three clearances and gained 357 metres with her 12 disposals. If Carlton can tap into this young talent and continue to develop them as a group, they can become a pretty ominous side in seasons to come.

For the Suns, despite a disappointing loss, Claudia Whitfort showed why they brought her in during the preseason. Although falling away a little late in the game, Whitfort equalled her personal best of 19 disposals, won four clearances and delivered the ball inside 50 three times. She is the kind of big bodied onballer the Suns can build a long term midfield around.


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