The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week comprised of the best performing players in Round 6 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.
The Western Bulldogs, Gold Coast, Brisbane all played two games across the round, so their players’ performances will be averaged out. Fremantle did not play a game this round.
Naomi Ferres had a standout defensive performance against Geelong with 18 disposals and six marks, and helped to keep Gold Coast quiet in the final quarter. Brooke Brown has made the most of her new defensive opportunity, and has been one of North Melbourne’s most consistent players.
Emma Kearney has become a regular of the Team of the Week, and was once again a driving force off half-back against Collingwood. Ruby Schleicher meanwhile down the other end of the ground was one of the few continually repelling the North attack, with 20 disposals and five marks. Kerryn Harrington led Carlton’s backline admirably in its best defensive performance of the year, keeping St Kilda goalless.
Eloise Jones has become a star through and through, and was peerless along the wing with another 20 touches in Adelaide’s big win over GWS. Emma Swanson won’t be taking any further part in the season with a finger fracture, but deserves to be recognised for a massive 22 disposal, two goal game in a high scoring loss to Richmond. Orla O’Dwyer is at her best when she’s hitting the scoreboard, and kicked two goals across both the QClash win and the loss to Melbourne. She also laid a career high 12 tackles, showing a different level of intensity.
Emma King was a menace around the ground for North Melbourne, with 20 disposals and five marks to go with her excellent tap work. Could Jasmine Garner be rocketing into best and fairest contention? After a slower start to the season, she’s launched back into the form that had many calling her the best player in the competition in previous years. 26 disposals and three goals suggests she just might. Kirsty Lamb is easily the AFLW’s most improved inside midfielder, and was both a contested force and a much-needed goalsneak in both of the Bulldogs’ matches this round.
Tayla Stahl kicked three goals for the first time in an AFLW game, taking advantage of strong delivery inside 50 from her midfielders. What can we say about Tayla Harris‘ game against Brisbane? With the match on the line, she threw herself at every ball coming inside 50 (and led out of it just as well), finishing with an equal league record seven contested marks and kicking two vital goals to snatch victory. Aimee Schmidt will have the toothless Giants regretting they ever let go of her, kicking a career-high three goals to make it seven for the season.
Bonnie Toogood wasn’t as impactful in the draw with Gold Coast, playing second fiddle to Nell Morris-Dalton, but her 15 disposals, seven marks and two goals against Geelong more than made up for it. Courtney Hodder rightfully earned the QClash Medal after playing at her electric best, and kicking multiple goals for the first time since the grand final.
16 tackles speaks for itself – Ebony Marinoff isn’t letting Kiara Bowers sleep on her record. Charlie Rowbottom has one-upped her Rising Star nomination performance, a constant force both through the midfield and forward lines in her past two matches. Even in a loss, Emily Bates still holds her head up high. A combined 45 disposals and 20 tackles across her two games is the mark of a super leader. And speaking of super leaders, Katie Brennan‘s consistency inside 50 was on show, with another two goal performance. Ash Riddell put together her fourth 30 disposal game of the season, still well on top of the overall tally for 2022.
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