22/04/2024

The Inner Sanctum's AFLW Team of the Week, Round 8. (Design: Will Cuckson)

The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week comprised of the best performing players in Round 8 of the 2022 AFLW season.

The Inner Sanctum has put together a team of the week comprised of the best performing players in Round 8 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.

Everybody played one game aside from GWS and St Kilda, who will have their performances averaged out across both games.

You can read last week’s team here.

Laura Pugh was a force driving the ball out of defensive 50, finishing with a career high 21 disposals, laying five tackles, taking two marks, and gaining 254 metres. Vivien Saad has come into her own in the Suns’ defensive 50, and was an aerial force to be reckoned with for the goalless Caitlin Greiser with seven marks.

Hannah Priest led the Saints to their first victory in season 2022, using the ball excellently off half back while also linking up with the midfield group. Ruby Schleicher should be a lock in everyone’s All-Australian team, and was once again the biggest aerial presence in the Pies’ statement win over the Western Bulldogs. Gab Pound proved once again why she’s so important for Carlton’s defensive structure in the win over GWS.

Sophie Conway kicked a career high three goals in the romping win over West Coast in a near season best wing performance. Along with 16 disposals, nine tackles and 282 metres gained, no Eagle was stopping this roaring Lion. Anne Hatchard is the most prolific marker in the competition by a long stretch, averaging 2.1 more than second-placed teammate Erin Phillips. She’s vital to the Crows outside run and spread, while also winning plenty of her own ball through the middle. Karen Paxman is benefitting from the hard work of her contested teammates, winning 28 disposals and kicking a goal in a tough test against North Melbourne.

Lauren Pearce is giving the best rucks in the competition a healthy test week after week, and got the better of both Kim Rennie and Emma King. Jaimee Lambert has a big task ahead of her with Brit Bonnici also succumbing to an ACL injury, but was at her absolute best with 22 disposals, seven tackles, five marks, three clearances, and three goals. Ebony Marinoff‘s second 30 disposal game of the season has her charging towards game 50 in some of the hottest form of her career.

After a quiet year so far, and six behinds last week, Dani Ponter was due a big game. Her two goal, six mark, 20 disposal game was just that. Tara Bohanna may have been on the losing side, but her three goals has seen her gain ground to sit equal third in the 2022 goalscoring tally. Courtney Hodder is coming into form at the right time, kicking another two goals. After the damage was done, she rotated through the midfield and provided excitement with her dash towards the Lions’ 50.

Sabrina Frederick proved that she can be the Pies’ number one forward target after being dropped to the VFLW, kicking 2.3, taking four marks, and winning 12 hit outs in her best game in a long time. Darcy Vescio became the first AFLW player to kick 50 goals with their two goals on the weekend, helping to give their side an all-too important win for a bit of pride after a rough season.

Emily Bates is firming as a league best and fairest candidate, after another massive midfield performance. Shelley Heath is one of the competition’s most underrated lockdown defenders, but this week, coach Mick Stinear threw her forward with one task in mind: stop Emma Kearney. She held the damaging Roos captain to 11 disposals – her lowest tally in two years. Airlie Runnalls kept finding the ball in her hands along the wing, and kicked a goal. Maddy Prespakis was at her best, winning four clearances, 20 disposals and a kicking a goal against a Giants midfield that wasn’t budging easily. Ellie Blackburn has led her side to victory so many times, and while 18 disposals and two goals weren’t enough to bring home the win, she worked harder than any other Bulldog.

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