The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week comprised of the best performing players from Round 5 of AFLW season seven.
Defenders are rewarded for defensive play, midfielders receive accolades for their dominance, while forwards receive a shout-out for hitting the scoreboard and applying pressure.
The team selected is…
Akec Makur Chuot has put together two fantastic weeks for Hawthorn, and was an instrumental part of her side’s first ever AFLW win. Along with being a part of the final play that sealed the match, she had 13 disposals for 411 metres gained, five marks and two tackles.
Mua Laloifi was one of Carlton’s best in a wretched night against Melbourne at Ikon Park. Finishing with 20 disposals, three tackles and two marks, she kept the defensive group together.
Collingwood’s Lauren Butler had a day out in a scrappy win against Essendon. Along with kicking her first AFLW goal, she also collected 16 disposals and two marks, a force to be reckoned with out of defence.
Geelong skipper Meg McDonald was unlucky to miss the team last week, but takes her deserved spot at centre half-back this week. Helping to lock the Saints down to just six scoring shots, she finished with 14 disposals and five marks.
Maddie Shevlin had possibly her best game in yellow and black in a nail-biter against the Lions. She was the leading possession getter off half back with 24 disposals, constantly providing an offensive presence on the rebound.
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Sarah Lakay earned a Rising Star nomination for her massive 42 hit-out, seven disposal and five tackle effort in the Western Derby. While the Eagles went down, she showed that she has what it takes to step in her side’s number one ruck role.
Anne Hatchard had quite possibly one of the most dominant individual performances of the year, as the Crows thumped the Giants on Sunday afternoon. Leading from the middle, she collected 28 disposals, six clearances, six marks, five tackles, and kicked three goals.
With a last quarter for the ages, Hayley Miller willed her Dockers to Derby victory with a true captain’s game. She claimed the best on ground medal with her 26 disposals, eight clearances, six tackles and two score involvements.
Alongside Georgie Prespakis, Amy McDonald is setting the standard for contested inside midfielders in season seven. With a monumental 23 contested possessions from her 34 disposals, she made sure the Cats midfield dominated the Saints in every facet in a thumping win.Embed from Getty Images
The Western Bulldogs’ Rylie Wilcox and Port Adelaide’s Ange Foley have been selected on our wings this round.
Wilcox kicked two crucial goals in the second half against North Melbourne, not allowing the game to die when it was slipping out of their grasp. Foley meanwhile ran all day and used her silky ball skills to the advantage of her teammates, finishing with 16 disposals for 353 metres gained, four marks, and a goal.
While her sister has been shining with the Power, on the other side of town, McKenzie Dowrick had a career-best game in the Crows’ forward line. After struggling to break into the team last season, she kicked a career-high four goals, having previously only kicked a best of one in 2020.
Suns captain Tara Bohanna lines up at centre half-forward after an inspirational showing against Port Adelaide. When the chips were down, she kicked three goals to go with 14 disposals, seven marks and five tackles.
Hawks dynamo Tahlia Fellows has the position on the other flank, after she also broke out in her third AFLW game. Known as ‘Big Boy’ after retired men’s skipper Ben McEvoy, she kicked three crucial goals to drag the Hawks back into the lead, and was running until the end.
Brooke Lochland conversely started the game on fire for the Swans, setting up their lead in the first quarter. At the best we know she’s capable of, the veteran kicked three goals, had 17 disposals, five marks and four tackles, but just couldn’t get her team over the line.
After missing last week’s must-win game against Brisbane, Tayla Harris was back with a vengeance against another one of her former sides in Carlton. Flying high for five marks, she kicked three goals, and was also a handy presence in the ruck, chopping out for Lauren Pearce as she has done so well this season.
Jasmine Garner has no right being on the bench this week, but such was the quality of the on-ball brigade. She willed the Kangaroos home to a 3-2 record, grabbing a game-high 26 disposals (14 contested), nine clearances, seven marks and three tackles.
Gold Coast’s Jacqui Dupuy may have claims to the title of most improved player in the league in season seven after a very consistent first half of the fixture. She played second fiddle to Lauren Bella perfectly this week, with 12 disposals, nine hit-outs, four clearances, three tackles, and more crucially, two goals.
Geelong coach Dan Lowther decided this was the week to move Shelley Scott into her more natural key forward post, and it paid off in spades immediately. The 54-game veteran kicked three goals for just the second time in her career as she led the Cats to their record score.
It was a hard day to be a Bulldogs defender, but Katie Lynch epitomised the way they selflessly kept going despite the result. She was flying high alongside Issy Grant and Sarah Hartwig with 22 disposals and seven marks on Friday
How often does a player collect 36 disposals, 12 tackles, eight clearances, and a goal, and not be the best player for their team? Such was the quality across the ground for the Crows that Ebony Marinoff has been relegated to the bench. Underestimate the ‘Hatchoff’ one-two punch at your peril.
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