After two rounds of AFLW action, a gap separates the best from the rest, but that doesn’t take away from those who are growing with every match at the level.
The Inner Sanctum takes you through Round Two, complete from A-Z. The defining highs, lows and controversies surrounding Round Two of AFLW Season Seven.
A is For Amazing Amy: Amy McDonald was the absolute standout in the Cats’ 26-point win out west against the Dockers. The midfielder was everywhere, setting up countless forward attacks on her way to amassing 29 disposals and five tackles. Her domination allowed the Cats to win the midfield battle on their way to a great win.
B is For Blue reunion: The first meeting against their old teammates at Carlton proved to be an exciting affair for new Bombers Madison Prespakis and Georgia Gee. In particular, Prespakis was spectacular, racking up 21 disposals, six tackles and a goal that brought the game back to three points. Gee also collected 10 touches and laid four tackles against her old side.
C is For Conti’s Classy Contest: Richmond Tigers’ midfielder Monique Conti demonstrated once again why she is a superstar in the league with a superb 26 disposal performance against reigning premiers the Adelaide Crows. The silky smooth midfielder is a pleasure to watch and will be a key part of any Tigers success this season.
D is For Dog Down: Nearing the end of the first half, Bulldog Britney Gutknecht suffered a horrific right leg snap, following an attempted smother by Abbey Dowrick. The game was put on hold for 31 minutes whilst Gutknecht was being looked after, and the injury soured the Bulldogs’ win.
E is For Eagles wings clipped: After a triumphant win against Port, the Eagles had no flight against the Gold Coast Suns. Scoring their two goals late in the last quarter put some respect on the scoreboard for the Eagles after being comprehensively outshined for three quarters.
F is For Fast starts: The Sydney Swans came out of the gates against Collingwood strong, as they did a week ago against St Kilda. However, like last week, they faded late, with match fitness an issue according to Swans’ coach Scott Gowans.
G is For Gold Coast record: Gold Coast’s 33-point win over West Coast is the biggest win in their AFLW history. The Suns’ previous biggest win was 25 points – also over the Eagles – in 2020.
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H is For Hough about that: She did it once, and she’ll do it twice. Gemma Houghton inked her name in the history books last week, kicking Port Adelaide’s maiden AFLW goal. This week, it was more of the same, with Houghton kicking Port’s first and only goal for the game, and the club’s first AFLW major at Alberton Oval.
I is For Intense finish: It was a fast start from the Blues at ETU Stadium on Sunday, leading by 21 points at the end of the third quarter. The Bombers made a late charge in the fourth, booting three goals in a matter of minutes, however, the Blues rallied the troops and held strong to walk away as one-point winners against their old foe in their first AFLW meeting.
J is For Jakobsson class: St Kilda’s reigning club best and fairest winner Bianca Jakobsson has started the season in great touch once again. Against the Hawks in Round 2, she claimed a game-high 21 disposals and provided great rebound off half back to give her side opportunities to capitalise on their overall domination. A game-high six marks shows she is getting in the right places and providing the Saints with valuable clean use of the ball.
K is For Kicking goals for fun: Four goals last week, now 2.2 against the Hawks; St Kilda’s Kate Shierlaw has started the season in fine form. The Saints are playing well and enjoying their footy, and Shierlaw’s skills and goal-nous are making her a difficult match-up for opposition defenders. Saints fans will be hoping the supply and skill on show continue as they head into a difficult matchup against Melbourne next week.
L is For Lambert leads Magpies: Jaimee Lambert, who picked up an ankle injury late in the match against the Sydney Swans, was instrumental in the team’s dominance. Lambert collected 20 disposals throughout the match to lead all players in a Collingwood team that looks primed to go deep in the finals.
M is For Memorable finish: Melbourne’s Alyssa Bannan provided the highlight of the round with her heroics taking her side to victory. Her only goal came in the dying minutes to put the Demons in front to clinch the win against the hard-pushing Kangaroos.
N is For No fuss Nina: Former number one draft pick Nina Morrison has started the season in great touch. Against the Dockers, she collected 13 disposals, laid eight tackles and kicked a great goal to get the Cats on the board. With her ability to just lay in and get the job done without fuss, her and the Cats midfield pose a threat to most other sides in the competition.
O is For Outstanding Orla magic: The Irish flavour is getting richer across all the AFLW. Leading the way is Brisbane Lions premiership player Orla O’Dwyer, who is picking up where she left off from All-Australian honours in season six. As the Giants looked to be bold and move the ball through the centre of Manuka Oval, the Lions winger gathered a loose ball from a pass on the edge of the forward 50 before kicking a tremendous goal on the run to give Brisbane the lead and swing momentum its way.
P is For Perfect conversion rate: Jordan Membrey helped the Magpies to a big win over the Sydney Swans with two goals. Membrey has now kicked a perfect 14.0 for her career. The behindless goal streak is not only an AFLW record, but also a V/AFL record.
Q is For Quality hyphen-performance: Whilst the Hawks were outclassed at home against the Saints, it was not through lack of effort from Tilly Lucas-Rodd. The Hawks’ captain was the side’s highest disposal winner with 21, as well as laying a game-high 13 tackles. She is certainly showing the way for the newly founded team.
R is For Rotating Randall: Chelsea Randall, traditionally a forward, started the match against Richmond in midfield. The versatile player was moved to the backline as needed to absorb the Tigers’ relentless pressure. Her efforts helped the Crows hang on through three quarters before going ahead late in the match for good.
S is For Sell out: A sold-out Alberton Oval crowd watched on as Port Adelaide played its maiden home game. As per tradition with Port’s men’s side pre-game, fans held up their scarves and sang along to INXS’ ‘Never Tear Us Apart’. Unfortunately for the home team, they were overrun by the Bulldogs, who came out on top by 19 points.
T is For Tackling Tenacity: It wasn’t through a lack of effort from Docker Kiara Bowers that her side went down to the Cats. The veteran amassed a game-high 12 tackles in what were blustery, tough conditions at Fremantle Oval. Unfortunately, she did not have enough teammates on the day play well enough to help repel the relentless Geelong pressure.
U is For Underrated Roo reaches 50 games: Emma King has been a great pick-up for the Kangaroos since crossing over from Collingwood after 14 games. Notching up her milestone over the Demons, she was as influential as always kicking the opening goal as well as another late goal to keep them in touch.
V is For Vescio strikes again: Darcy Vescio was immense for Carlton in what ended up being an extremely tight finish. Vescio’s three goals ended up being crucial to Blues’ victory on the day, and it is exactly what we have come to expect from them throughout their career. Vescio’s influence and experience will continue to be crucial for the Blues throughout the season, and these were definitely on show on Sunday afternoon.
W is For Wasted opportunities: For the second straight week, Richmond dominated long stretches of the contest, and for the second straight week their profligacy in front of goal cost them, losing late. Richmond will need to find a way to complement its midfield dominance with goal scoring if it stands a chance at finals contention.
X is For X-Factor for the Dees: The strength of the Demons’ list was on full display against a fairly strong Kangaroos outfit on Friday night. Tyla Hanks, Olivia Purcell and Karen Paxman combined brilliantly in the midfield to give them first use. While Eliza West was quieter, she impacted the game when it was there to be won.
Y is For You knew they’d be hungry: After falling to the Demons in the historic Preliminary Final at the MCG last season, the year after they finally broke through for their maiden Premiership, the Lions managed to stave off the threat of a player exodus through expansion and managed to keep the bulk of its squad together. After an impressive first-up win against Fremantle in Round 1, the Lions’ 47-point demolition of the Giants in Canberra is sure to be a warning shot to the rest of the competition that they indeed are one of the teams to beat in season seven.
Z Is For Zreika Zaps: It was a fast start for the Giants at Manuka Oval as they jumped the Lions, kicking the first two goals of the game to open up an early buffer. Spending more time closer to goal to start this year, Haneen Zreika helped contribute to the Giants perfect start by duly converting a set shot to kick just her sixth career goal.
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