02/03/2024

Who flew under the radar in AFLW round 9? (Design: Will Cuckson)

The big stars got their accolades, but who flew under the radar in Round 9 of the 2022 AFLW season?

Another week has passed, and there were plenty who got accolades in their team’s victory.

Others continued to quietly contribute to their team, however. The Inner Sanctum takes a look at the underrated players from Round 9 of the AFLW season.

St Kilda vs Geelong – Leah Cutting

Replacing a player of Rhi Watt’s quality is a hard challenge, but in Moorabbin, Leah Cutting stepped up to the task against the Cats.

Coming off a strong showing in the VFLW against the Bulldogs, she worked hard all over the ground and finished with eight disposals, four contested possessions, three marks, 13 hitouts, two clearances and seven tackles.

She’s shown plenty of promise in her first AFLW season, and with Watt out for the remainder of the season and beyond, Cutting will be set for a major role next season and in the Saints last game of 2022.

GWS vs Richmond – Erin McKinnon

McKinnon’s experience was on show at GIANTS Stadium on Saturday afternoon against the Tigers

Up against exciting ruck duo Poppy Kelly and Gabby Seymour, she might not have gathered too many disposals (six), but she still dominated in the contest with 27 hit outs, a clearance and two tackles.

Whilst they came back hard and only just lost at GIANTS Stadium, McKinnon proved on the day why she’s one of the best tap rucks in the league

Fremantle vs Melbourne – Stephanie Cain

It’s been a strong season on the wing for Cain and it continued in the Dockers humbling at the hands of the Demons.

Whilst she didn’t rack up too many disposals (11), Cain still had 215 metres gained, nine kicks, seven contested possessions and a career-high (plus game-high) 10 tackles.

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It was a fighting performance this time around from Cain, and she’ll look to continue that form as finals beckons for her and Fremantle.

West Coast vs Western Bulldogs – Hayley Bullas

The tough midfielder has quietly put together a solid season, and last weekend it was one of Bullas’ better and more fighting performances against the rampant Dogs

She might’ve only had 10 disposals at Optus Stadium, but Bullas still laid a game-high eight tackles, picked up five contested possessions and kicked the Eagles only goal of the game.

West Coast’s and her season may be coming to a close this weekend, but Bullas will look to end it on a bang this weekend against the Kangaroos.

More Aussie Rules News

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The VFLW Bombers and Hawks ready to take the step up

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Brisbane vs North Melbourne – Kim Rennie

Having to step up in the ruck in the absence of Emma King, Rennie took that step in her stride at her old home ground of Whitten Oval against Brisbane.

Facing one of the best rucks in the league in Tahlia Hickie, she fought hard and finished with personal season highs in hitouts (17), disposals (10) and contested possessions (nine).

Rennie also had an equal game high and season high four clearances along with three marks in one of her best performances at the Kangaroos.

Adelaide vs Collingwood – Najwa Allen

Whilst Sarah Allan was the star in defence for the Crows yet again, Najwa Allen still put together solid numbers against the Pies.

Fighting hard to help repel most Collingwood attacks, she finished with 12 disposals plus a season-high seven contested possessions and two clearances.

It’s been a strong season for Allen in a well built Crows defence, and she’ll look to continue that form in Adelaide’s push for a third AFLW premiership.

Carlton vs Gold Coast – Maddy Guerin

The young midfielder has played some of her best footy this year with the Blues, and it was another robust performance against the Suns.

Consistently creating chances inside 50 and helping out in midfield, she had equal-season highs in disposals (12), contested possessions (seven) plus two tackles, three clearances and a season-high 357 metres gained.

Whilst the Blues season may be coming to a close (bare a miracle this weekend) Guerin will hope to put up a strong performance against her old side Melbourne at Casey Fields.

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