The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week comprised of the best performing players in Round 5 of the 2022 AFLW season.
Defenders are rewarded for their defensive play, midfielders receive accolades for their dominance, while forwards receive a shout-out for hitting the scoreboard and applying pressure.
Only GWS missed a game this round, so players from every other team can be considered. West Coast players will have their performances averaged between their games against Geelong and St Kilda. You can read last week’s team here.
The cream always rises to the top, and that’s exactly what happened once again this week for Sarah Allan and Libby Birch, two of the best defenders in the competition. Allan helped to keep opponents Carlton to just one goal for the game, while Birch kept the dangerous Tara Bohanna from having a scoreboard impact.
Though the Saints still couldn’t notch up a win, captain Hannah Priest did all she could to keep the Eagles forward entries at bay, finishing with a season high 24 disposals and four marks. Katie Lynch was an aerial wall against the toothless Tigers, amassing seven marks. Nat Grider provided endless dash off half back for Brisbane, leading her side to a third win straight.
It can be hard to shine in Melbourne’s star-studded midfield group, but Lily Mithen‘s 12 tackles and four clearances against the pressure-heavy Suns did just that. Kirsty Lamb was one of the best in and under midfielders of the round, picking up 27 touches and two clearances. Mimi Hill‘s outside running and poised disposal didn’t let her down in her comeback game.
Sometimes, the veterans do it best, and Lauren Pearce‘s monster 20 disposal, 20 hit out and seven clearance game was no match for the Suns’ Lauren Bella. The competition game-leader Ebony Marinoff is bulldozing her way to the 50 game milestone, with a season high 31 disposals, 10 tackles, eight marks, and two clearances. Jasmine Garner exploded with her best game of the season, out-hustling Fremantle’s midfield with 29 disposals, four marks, three tackles and three clearances. The only thing that let her down was a paltry three behinds.
Despite kicking 1.3, Jess Matin threatened to do the same thing she did to the Eagles last time they met, constantly leading up at and attacking the footy. Bonnie Toogood kicked a goal while continually pushing out of the forward 50 as a marking option, finishing with 15 disposals and four marks. Greta Bodey’s link up play and ground level pressure was remarkable against the staunch Collingwood backline, also kicking a goal.
Ailish Considine is reaping the rewards of the consistency of playing for three games straight, kicking two goals in a game for the first time since 2019. Tayla Harris is still yet to go goalless in a game, kicking another two and sneaking up the season goalkicking tally into second place, after Ash Woodland and Katie Brennan had quiet weeks.
The super-captain stays in for another week, and Hayley Miller is looking like an early All-Australian lock. Emma Swanson battled hard in the Eagles midfield for two games straight. Montana McKinnon had a career best ruck showing, and earns her spot as our backup. Rebecca Webster has been building form, and finally breaks through into the team after 20 disposals, 11 tackles and a goal. Ruby Schleicher couldn’t hold down the floodgates all game, but was once again one of the round’s best intercepting defenders.
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