As we hit the final stretch of the season, with the recent event of International Women’s Day, there was a renewed focus on equality in sport, and obviously with the AFLW, there are plenty of signs of equality.
Except on the scoreboard.
It looked like the heavy hitting teams lifted for International Women’s Day – Some decent winning scores to go with a couple of absolute smackings.
North on the Crows in Hobart, GWS on Richmond in Wagga Wagga, and the biggest of the lot was saved for the big day, when Melbourne pumped West Coast by 59 points – Easily the biggest win of 2020.
Geelong (5.8-38) defeated Gold Coast (2.6-18) @ Great Barrier Reef Arena
Fancy that, in the space of a fortnight, Geelong have gone from being winless and having a cellar party with Richmond, to only a game behind a finals spot in Conference A.
And with the way they’re playing right now, it’s not unsurprising.
After trailing by a goal at the half, the Catters turned the game in the 3rd Quarter with some classic ‘Run and gun’ footy in the stinky conditions, which utterly eclipsed the Suns, who looked as dumbfounded as an 8-year-old learning division and multiplication.
The pivotal moment came right on the 3/4 time siren, when the Cats forced a turnover inside their forward 50, and with about 2 seconds left, the ball fell to Rocky Cranston, who snapped the ball over her shoulder from 40 out, and as everyone stood dumbfounded, it bounced through for a goal, extending the lead to 12 points.
The Cats kept the Suns goalless in the 2nd Half, and scoreless in the final quarter.
North Melbourne (9.9-63) defeated Adelaide (3.3-21) @ North Hobart Oval
Sorry, that should read:
Kaitlyn Ashmore (4.0-24) defeated Adelaide (3.3-21).
The AFL Women’s YouTube page didn’t even post highlights of the game…. apparently you can’t show graphic content.
The Kangas may have utterly dominated, kept the Crows goalless for the equivalent of 3 quarters and won by 7 goals, but I’m thoroughly disappointed in them.
They couldn’t even win by 50 points – Are you ladies even TRYING?
Still, it was a sharp contrast to their Round 5 encounter a year ago – North went in unbeaten (With the Crows close behind at 3-1), but Adelaide gave them a deadset thumping in a 64-29 win, and the Roos were ultimately tipped out of the finals under the stupid Conference setups.
This time around, Erin Phillips was withdrawn before the game due to general soreness, although I doubt she could have a made a lick of difference, because North were a good 4 steps ahead all day.
After giving up the first goal of the game 8 minutes in, the Roos, led by Jasmine Garner a lazy 24 disposals, 2 goals and 7 marks, absolutely dominated general play, and kicked the next 9 goals (And could easily have kicked more), as the Crows didn’t kick a second goal until Stevie Lee Thompson kicked a junktime goal 10 minutes into the last term – She kicked another just shy of full time.
With Brisbane losing, North go back on top of Conference A with a percentage of a lazy 209.5, while this result does reconfirm something everyone outside of South Australia knew – The Crows season is pretty much screwed.
2-3 with a percentage of 80.3.
They’re bordering on smoked.
GWS (7.14-56) defeated Richmond (1.5-11) @ Robertson Oval, Wagga Wagga
Ah, Wagga Wagga.
Remember kids, you can’t call Wagga Wagga ‘Wagga’…. because calling Wagga Wagga ‘Wagga’ is WRONG.
Anyway, after last week’s convincing loss, the Giants racked up the biggest win in their AFLW history, led by the Irish Methuselah Cora Staunton with 4 goals (She also set up Rebecca Privitelli’s goal at full time)…
To think, Cora broke both bones in her right leg last May, and still came back at age 38 to play this season.
Irish people – They are one of a kind.
After her performance in front of goal, she’s now known as ‘Four-a’ Staunton… top notch humour from the Giants’ social media team.
4.1 was a rare display of accuracy from Staunton, when you look at how absolutely gash the goalkicking was in this game – 7.14 versus 1.5, although that said, 4 GWS behinds were rushed, which means it was closer to 7.10… which still wasn’t great.
The Tigers kicked a goal 8 minutes in to cut the gap to 2 points… and after that, the only fight they showed was from Laura McLelland, who lifted Britt Tully off the ground by her jumper and slammed her back down, causing Tully’s head to smack the turf – The braindead display of frustration earned McLelland a 2-game ban for rough conduct.
GWS rocket straight back into 3rd spot in Conference A, and forget about Richmond winning a game in 2020, you know what would be an even bigger accomplishment?
Actually losing to them.
Carlton (8.2-50) defeated St Kilda (4.5-29) @ Ikon Park
When Carlton released that stupid “Can You Smell What The Blues Are Cooking?” membership slogan a couple of years ago, I thought it was just Carlton being Carlton.
They should have saved it for their women’s team.
At 4-1, the Blues have equalled last season’s win total, and they quite simply look like a much better team than last year, despite getting lumped in a much tougher conference.
Tayla Harris and Sarah Hosking were good up forward, Maddy Prespakis did what she usually does in the midfield, but the anchors down back have proven to be Kerryn Harrington and Charlotte Wilson, who combined for 16 marks, and kept the Saints to just 1 Second Half goal.
Despite the natural bias against defenders, Harrington definitely didn’t go unnoticed by the Coaches.
The Saints definitely had their chances, but it felt like everytime they looked like getting back into the contest in the 3rd Quarter, they’d piss up a shot at goal, and then as soon as Carlton got down to their forward 50, they’d kick a goal and twist the knife that little but more.
In another case of deja vu for the Sainters, they were called for a 50m penalty which led to a goal, when Hannah Priest ran through the protected area as Lucy McEvoy was lining up from 40 out in the 3rd Quarter.
A tough kicked turned into a certainty, and a 19 point lead became 25, and no doubt it will lead to more debate about the harshness of 50m penalites in the women’s game.
If you ask me, given a 50m kick is worth pretty much double in the women’s game, why not bring back the classic 15m penalty?
The biggest test of 2020 for the Bluebaggers awaits in Round 6 – Melbourne in Alice Springs.
Collingwood (8.5-53) defeated Western Bulldogs (3.3-21) Morwell Rec Reserve
Celebrating Brittany Bonnici’s 23rd birthday, the Collingwood Skeleton Crew looked way too good on paper for the Doggies (Even with the injury toll), and that’s the way it turned out on the scoreboard in Morwell.
Chloe Molloy set the tone with 2 goals in the opening quarter, Irishwoman Sarah Rowe had 21 & 2 goals, Brianna Davey racked up 30 disposals and 10 tackles (And a perfect 10 votes), Coaches Player of the Year leader Jaimee Lambert racked up 24 disposals, as the Pies never looked like losing, especially after keeping the Dishlickers to 15 inside 50s for the game.
The Dogs are now out of the race, and I suppose the simple answer for why they’ve fallen off the cliff is the expansion player drain since the 2018 flag – Emma Kearney leaving for North straight after she won the flag and the Best & Fairest, followed by Katie Brennan last year – You can’t replace leadership like that overnight.
Melbourne (10.6-66) defeated West Coast (1.1-7) @ Casey Fields
You wouldn’t even know it looking at the scoreboard, but the Dees only had 22 fit players available for the game, meaning they were forced to use train-on players, including a former Adelaide cult hero – Sarah ‘Tex’ Perkins.
The most popular Tex in Adelaide savoured the chance to play in the AFLW again, nailing Eagles captain Emma Swanson with a great tackle to set up the opening goal, and then ending the game with a goal after the siren.
Her teammates made sure she definitely won’t forget it.
The Big Birds must have been feeling pretty good off last week’s win, given they were within a kick of the Dees halfway through the 2nd Quarter, and still only 11 points behind at the Half.
That said, do you want to know what the score was for the remainder of the game?
7.6 to 0.0.
It was the 4th-largest AFLW win in its short history, and the Eagles equalled Geelong’s record from last year’s Prelim Final for the lowest AFLW score.
Their percentage is now a lazy 33.2% – They’re just about being outscored by an average of 3-1.
Funnily enough, despite the score, only one player kicked multiple goals for the Dees – Eden Zanker.
With this romp, the Redlegs go up to 2nd in Conference B at 4-1, with a far superior percentage to Carlton (And Freo) of 214.3%, and in a strange coincidence, they’ll play both the Blues and Dockers over the next fortnight, which will absolutely decide their finals fate.
Still, at least this year the Dees can’t miss the finals on percentage.
Fremantle (7.8-50) defeated Brisbane Lions (4.8-32) @ Fremantle Oval
Between Freo’s men knocking off the Eagles in that Preseason Derby on Saturday, and Freo’s women going 5-0, Perth is about to be painted and renamed Perthple.
Unless this recent news of Coronavirus at Freo has something to say about it.
When the Dockers kicked 5 goals in 11 minutes in the 1st Quarter, I thought to myself “Jebus H! How far!”, especially with how thoroughly Ebony Antonio sent Kate Lutkins to the Shadow Realm before she kicked a goal.
Still, to their credit, the Lions cut the margin back to 10 points after keeping Freo goalless in the 3rd Quarter, but despite that fright and some bad goalkicking, the Dockers did what Trent Cooper has made them turn into an art form.
Leading the pack was the AFLW’s tackle machine Kiara Bowers (21 disposals and 15 tackles), and up forward, Sabreena Duffy finished with 4.4, which would suggest that she could easily have kicked 6 or 7 and had a shot at Brooke Lochland’s AFLW record of 7 goals.
It reminds me of when Scott Cummings kicked 7.3 in a game for West Coast back in 1999…. All Mick Malthouse could say was that Scotty (Who eventually won the Coleman Medal) was still 3 goals short of what he wanted.
The Dockers are still unbeaten, and they’ve secured a winning record for 2020.