Who flew under the radar in AFLW Round 8? (Design: Will Cuckson)

The big stars got their accolades, but who flew under the radar in Round 8 of the 2022 AFLW season?

After a two-week hiatus which saw plenty of shocks and plenty of starring performances, The Inner Sanctum’s ‘Who flew under the radar’ is back.

And whilst the stars did get the recognition they deserved, there were still plenty of players who quietly put together solid performances. We take a look at the underrated players from the past weekend of AFLW action.

GWS vs St Kilda – Kate Shierlaw

Shierlaw has put together a solid 2022 season, but in the Saints heartbreaking loss against the Giants, she played her best game this year.

Working hard as she always does up forward and whenever she got called up to ruck, she finished with season highs in disposals (12), metres gained (257m), contested possessions (eight), kicks (eight) plus three marks.

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She’s helped to lead this young St Kilda lineup all year long, and her hard work paid off up in Blacktown.

Fremantle vs Adelaide – Rachelle Martin

It’s another appearance for Martin, and it was one of her best performances in the Crows impressive win out west.

Bringing tons of pressure and creating plenty of chances up forward, she might not have kicked a goal, but finished with 11 disposals plus a game high seven tackles.

It was a landmark win for the Crows against a strong Dockers lineup, and Martin played a big role in keeping her side at the top of the table.

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Richmond vs Geelong – Gabby Seymour

It’s a record third appearance in this column for Seymour, who is starting to make a name for herself in the ruck at Tigerland.

Whilst she finished with single digit disposal numbers (nine), she put the effort into each ruck contest and finished with 27 hit outs, nine contested possessions, three tackles and two clearances.

Seymour is enjoying her best AFLW season by far, and she’ll look to develop even more as the year comes to a close with its final two rounds.

Melbourne vs North Melbourne – Mia King

Many may have thought young Mia King would peak with her Rising Star performance in Round 1, but it was another robust performance down in Casey for the ever consistent midfielder.

Always working hard in the contest and around the ground against one of the best midfields in the competition, she finished with 13 disposals, seven contested possessions and a career and game-high 10 tackles.

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King has played a major role in a powerful Kangaroos midfield, and she’ll continue to do so for the rest of the season and come finals.

St Kilda v Gold Coast – Nat Exon

Injury issues have interrupted Exon’s 2022 campaign, but she showed on Sunday why she is talked about so highly at Trevor Barker Beach Oval.

Up against a strong Gold Coast midfield, she got back to her best form and finished with 14 disposals, eight tackles, three clearances, plus a goal early on in the contest.

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It was relief for her and the Saints as they picked up their first win in 336 days. Exon can rest easy knowing she played a major role in that victory.

Collingwood vs Western Bulldogs – Alison Downie

The experienced Downie has been invaluable this year for the Pies, and it was a strong showing in Collingwood’s massive clash against the Bulldogs.

Up against one of the best rucks of the AFLW in Celine Moody, she worked hard each contest and finished with 18 hit outs, seven disposals, and a career high six tackles.

With Erica Fowler injured and Sabrina Frederick in questionable form, she had a big task ahead of her, and rose to it.

The Pies picked up the crucial win comfortably at their spiritual home, launching themselves comfortably back into finals contention.

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West Coast vs Brisbane – Cathy Svarc

She has been a contested beast since joining the Lions in 2020, and Svarc put on another elite defensive showing in the record victory over the Eagles.

Dominating each contest and tackling left, right and centre, she finished the game with 13 disposals, nine contested possessions, four clearances, and 16 tackles.

Svarc also kicked one of the Lions’ 15 goals on the day, showing off that she can be as much of a damaging offensive presence as she is a defensive one.

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GWS vs Carlton – Keeley Sherar

It’s been an exciting and promising first year for Eastern Ranges product Keeley Sherar, exciting Blues fans with the spark she adds to the side.

Continuing her form after a solid showing against the Saints, she finished the game with 12 disposals, five tackles, and an equal game-high five marks.

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She’s been a handy inclusion for the Blues since her debut in Round 3 and she’ll only continue to develop not just in these last two games, but in years to come.

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