With the opening round only days away, AFLW teams were out in force this weekend playing practice matches around the country. We’ve pulled together the highlights and the must know details for you in The Roundup. Keep an eye out for this regular feature throughout the season as we recap every game in every round.
Collingwood v Melbourne @ The Holden Centre
Collingwood 0.4.4 | 0.5.5 | 2.6.18 | 3.6.24
Melbourne 1.1.7 | 2.1.13 | 4.2.26 | 6.2.38
Collingwood: Lambert, Membrey, Sheridan
Melbourne: Cordner, Hanks, Heath, Kemp, Scott, Sheriff
Collingwood: Alexander (eye)
Melbourne: Guerin (calf), Kemp (ankle), Mithen (ankle), Newman (head knock)
- Collingwood’s ball use around the ground is much improved, but their lack of forward options was evident and when they did get opportunities in front of goal, they didn’t always take them.
- Melbourne’s biggest letdown through the first three seasons of AFLW has been their accuracy in front of goal, but this is certainly something that’s drastically improved, particularly when it comes to their set shots.
- Daisy Pearce’s return was impressive. She was enthusiastically warming up in full kit, and once she led her team out onto the field she didn’t miss a beat, even in a few tough contests. Impressive.
Western Bulldogs v Geelong @ VU Whitten Oval
Western Bulldogs 2.2.14 | 2.5.17 | 4.10.34 | 8.11.59
Geelong 2.3.15 | 3.4.22 | 5.4.34 | 7.5.47
Western Bulldogs: Toogood (3), McLeod (2), Moody, Morris-Dalton, Marshall
Geelong: Garing (3), McWilliams (2), Cranston, Ivey
Western Bulldogs: Blackburn (hand)
- The big question hanging over the Cats heading into the season is how they will get enough goals on the board. Enter tenacious tackler Renee Garing. She kicked three goals in an impressive display up forward and looks to be the forward line support Phoebe McWilliams is crying out for.
- With Ellie Blackburn injuring her hand in the second it looks a little worrying for the Dogs. What was encouraging, however, was their ability to regroup without their best player and captain in the second half and win back the lead.
- Dani Marshall—the first American to join the AFLW—showed why she made the long journey. Her work in the ruck was particularly important, but her ability to go forward adds another string to the Dogs’ bow.
Carlton v North Melbourne @ Ikon Park
Carlton 0.1.1 | 2.3.15 | 3.4.22 | 6.7.43
North Melbourne 5.1.31 | 6.1.37 | 7.3.45 | 8.3.51
Carlton: Harris (2), Walker (2), S. Hosking, McEvoy
North Melbourne: Garner (2), Em. King (2), Ashmore, Bannister, Abbatangelo, Bateman
Carlton: Brazzale (head knock)
North Melbourne: N/A
- This one was emblematic of Carlton’s 2019 season; a slow start, gallant fightback but falling just short. Their inaccuracy didn’t do them any favours either, but they certainly seemed to gain steam as the match went on.
- The Kangaroos look scarily fit and will run some teams into the ground this year. They want to go fast, play on, never give their opposition a break. Not to mention their conditioning session after the match was over making it evident that fitness is a big focus for Scott Gowans’ team come season 2020.
- Young players from both sides stood out, with Lucy McEvoy (Carlton) and Ellie Gavalas (North Melbourne) set to make a splash during season proper.
Gold Coast v St. Kilda @ Fankhauser Reserve
Gold Coast 2.1.13 | 3.4.22 | 3.5.23 | 3.6.24
St. Kilda 2.2.14 | 3.3.21 | 5.9.39 | 6.10.46
Gold Coast: Perry (2), Kaslar
St. Kilda: Sedunary (2), Shierlaw (2), McCarthy, Vesley
Gold Coast: N/A
St. Kilda: N/A
- Cheyenne Hammond and Paige Parker’s run and carry out of the backline was a big highlight for the Suns and points to a game style they’ll no doubt look to throughout the season.
- The Saints’ cleverly cobbled together team is giving many players a second chance, and those players are taking that chance and running with it. Lucas-Rodd, Shierlaw, Watt and Sedunary all impressed and will no doubt have fans wondering why they were initially delisted by their previous clubs.
- There was a lot to like about Saints youngsters Patrikios and Vesley who looked like absolute naturals and will no doubt make early debuts.
Fremantle v Adelaide @ David Greys Arena
Fremantle 2.1.13 | 2.2.14 | 3.4.22 | 5.5.35
Adelaide 1.1.7 | 7.3.45 | 7.3.45 | 8.4.52
Fremantle: Houghton (3), E. Antonio, O’Sullivan
Adelaide: Forth (2), Gum (2), Allen, Jones, Mules, Newman
Fremantle: Tighe (knee)
Adelaide: Li (concussion), Varnhagen (knee)
- Fremantle are already thin on ruck stocks, and Tighe’s knee injury was the absolute last thing they needed, but it was an opportunity for Mim Strom to step up and show what she could do and she certainly held her own.
- Adelaide have absolutely not taken a backward step even with a flurry of injuries, and their ability to pile on six goals in the second quarter was evidence of the ruthlessness that we all remember from 2019’s finals series.
- It’s the young stars that will lead Adelaide this year, in particular Marinoff, Hatchard and Jones.
GWS v Brisbane @ Tom Wills Oval
GWS 2.2.14 | 3.5.23 | 4.7.31 | 5.7.37
Brisbane 0.0.0 | 0.0.0 | 0.1.1 | 0.3.3
GWS: Nielsen (2), Beeson, Bonner, Schmidt
- The combination of Jess Allen to Alyce Parker at the contest for GWS is looking to be a beautiful partnership with the young guns in perfect harmony.
- With all their losses over the past two off seasons there is a worry about Brisbane’s ability to score, and this has amplified in their goalless outing. While Jess Wuetschner watched on from the sidelines, the Lions looked all at sea in their forward half and there doesn’t seem to be an obvious answer to the problem. Craig Starcevich has a huge challenge ahead.
- Ingrid Nielsen might just reinvent herself as a forward this year for the Giants. Her height and clean boot makes her a great foil for Staunton and Bonner inside 50.
Richmond v West Coast @ Punt Road Oval
Richmond 2.0.12 | 4.0.24 | 5.7.37 | 7.9.51
West Coast 0.1.1 | 2.5.17 | 2.5.17 | 3.5.23
Richmond: Stahl (3), Bernardi (2), Brennan, Wakefield
West Coast: Hill, Gilmore, Tester
West Coast: N/A
- Richmond were able to make the most of their early chances and it was Tayla Stahl and Christina Bernardi leading their forward line in this manner.
- West Coast had the opposite issue, not making the most of their second quarter dominance.
- As expected, it was the lesser-known names who really shone in this battle of expansion sides. Imahra Cameron, Tarnee Tester and Sophie McDonald were all crucial for the Eagles, and Stahl, Laura McClelland and Ella Wood starred for Richmond.