The Brisbane Lions have stamped their premiership credentials with a devastating display, as they thumped Gold Coast by 73 points in the AFLW QClash at the Gabba.
- Jesse Wardlaw kicked four goals in the Lions’ win
- The result was the Suns’ heaviest AFLW loss
- The Giants, Magpies and Crows also claimed victories
GWS, Collingwood and the Adelaide Crows were the other teams to post wins in the AFLW’s Indigenous Round on Saturday.
The Lions were ruthless against their Queensland rivals, piling on 12.10 (82) to 1.3 (9) with Jesse Wardlaw doing much of the damage with four goals.
The electrifying Wardlaw was an influence around the ground as well as close to goal, while Emily Bates was at her brilliant best with 21 disposals and 11 tackles.
The reigning AFLW best and fairest champion, Bates was one of several standouts in a dominant midfield along with ball-winners Alexandra Anderson (28 disposals, one goal) and Phoebe Monahan (25).
Greta Bodey was another goal threat for the Lions and finished with three majors, while Zimmorlei Farquharson added two.
Records were re-written as the Suns registering their biggest AFLW loss, while the Lions’ 33 goals across the opening three rounds sets a new benchmark for the competition.
The Lions have had little trouble scoring this season but they showed against the Suns that they can also match it with the best defensively as they conceded only the one goal.
The QClash looked far from one-sided when the Suns matched their more fancied opponents for the opening 10 minutes but once Wardlaw kicked the first goal the dam wall burst and the Lions added two more in as many minutes.
The Suns were scoreless and trailing by 42 points at half-time but were more competitive after the main break and had multiple shots on goal to at least get some reward for their efforts.
Charlie Rowbottom led the way for the Suns with 16 disposals and should learn a lot from facing the Lions’ onball brigade, while veterans Lauren Ahrens (16) and Alison Drennan (15) also battled hard.
Ellie Hampson (12 possessions) and Shannon Danckert (9) also fought out the game as they returned to the side but the Lions again proved that the Suns need to add more talent to hope to compete with the top teams.
Giants secure derby win
Greater Western Sydney has kickstarted its season with a commanding 47-point derby triumph over Sydney in the first AFLW match to be played at the SCG.
Nicola Barr was the spark for the Giants as she booted two first-half goals in an electric first game of the season that helped set up a 9.11 (65) to 2.6 (18) victory on Saturday.
The inaugural number one draft pick, Barr again put her name in the record books when she snapped the opening major of the match to become the first goal kicker in an AFLW Sydney derby.
The Swans (0-3) made a bright start but could only manage two behinds before the Giants (1-2) worked into the game and the floodgates soon opened.
The experienced Giants midfield proved too slick on the outside and finished on top 246-170 in disposals, as Alyce Parker (22 possessions) and captain Alicia Eva (19) led the way.
Meghan Gaffney showed good signs and used the ball well in her first game for the Giants, while fellow debutant Zarlie Goldsworthy added a highlight in the third term with a clever goal and enthusiastic celebration with family and friends near the fence.
Veteran Cora Staunton slotted two majors and made sure there was plenty of spice in the first clash between the cross-town rivals in a running battle with Swans defender Alana Woodward.
The Swans moved the ball forward often enough to only trail 35-25 in inside 50s, but failed to make the most of their opportunities near goal.
Rebecca Privitelli was one of the main culprits and finished with 0.3 but the 27-year-old was one of the Swans’ better attacking options against her old team.
Ally Morphett was another former Giant among the Swans’ best players, the young ruck making her presence felt around the stoppages while Lisa Steane had a quieter first outing after switching clubs.
Alexia Hamilton was thrown forward and kicked the Swans’ only major of the first half following a strong pack mark in the goal square, while Brooke Lochland added another just after the main break.
GWS head to Giants Stadium for the first time in season seven to host West Coast on Saturday, while the Swans will be on the road to face Port Adelaide later that day.
Magpies continue winning form
Collingwood has maintained its unbeaten start to the season and inflicted Geelong’s first defeat with a dour four-point win at Kardinia Park.
Neither side could register a goal in a scrappy first half, before the Magpies ultimately escaped in an absolute war of attrition, 2.3 (15) to 1.5 (11).
Collingwood registered the first six inside-50s and outmarked the Cats 19-5 in the opening term, setting the tone for an opening half of field domination that was not translated on the scoreboard.
Geelong spent most of its time chasing and tackling as the Magpies running brigade — led by captain Steph Chiocci, Aishling Sheridan and Jaimee Lambert — had it all on their terms.
It was more of the same in the second stanza, at the end of which Collingwood led 0.3 to 0.1.
The Cats were being outplayed, but their defence was standing tall again — to that point, Geelong’s backline had conceded one goal across 10 quarters this season.
Speedy defender Alana Porter finally notched the first goal of the afternoon — and the first of her AFLW career — with a fine finish with 9:13 remaining in the third to give the Magpies the edge.
Georgia Clarke countered with Geelong’s first, converting a free kick to tie the scores at three-quarter time.
The Cats’ midfield trio of Georgie Prespakis, Amy McDonald and Rebecca Webster flipped the script to start getting right on top and give Geelong repeated field position advantage.
Against the grain, Jordyn Allen marked and goaled to give Collingwood the lead midway through the fourth period.
Prespakis’s snap and Meg McDonald’s flying shots could only register behinds as Geelong sought a late match-winner, the ball remaining encamped in the Cats’ attacking 50 down the stretch.
Magpies centre half-back Lauren Butler was nearly caught holding the ball and Cats forward Chloe Scheer almost tackled too high but the umpires’ whistles were put away as Collingwood’s under-pressure backline defended grimly to the full-time siren.
Ponter lights it up as Crows clip Roos
Danielle Ponter lit up Unley Oval, while Ebony Marinoff put on a midfield masterclass as Adelaide overcame some early wobbles to grind out a 14-point win over North Melbourne.
Best-afield Marinoff (29 disposals, 13 tackles, seven inside-50s, six clearances) worked tirelessly both ways, while Darwin-born Ponter — the niece of Michael Long and cousin of Cyril Rioli — had the crowd on their feet with two goals from the top shelf.
The Crows controlled proceedings from quarter-time onwards after being jumped by the Kangaroos, who booted their only two majors — through Alice O’Loughlin and Vikki Wall — during a period of first-quarter ascendancy.
The Kangaroos’ tackling pressure was immense and their gun midfielder Jasmine Garner began exerting her influence.
They moved ahead by 12 points early in the second term before a moment of misfortune sparked the stagnant Crows.
Centre half-back Sarah Wright accidentally toe-poked the ball out of bounds before conceding a 50-metre penalty for not giving the ball directly to Hannah Munyard, who duly strolled in to kick Adelaide’s first.
The reigning premiers, finally, were away.
The Crows finished the half strongly and trimmed North’s advantage to one point when Danielle Ponter threaded a classy checkside goal with 52 seconds remaining.
The Kangaroos were without winger Amy Smith after half-time after she was concussed in the second term in a collision with Marinoff and were unable to get back on top.
Behind a notable midfield lift, the Crows had the better of a goalless third-quarter arm-wrestle to draw level at the last change before dominating the fourth.
Captain Chelsea Randall, who had her hands full with Garner in an engrossing four-quarter duel, won a crucial 50-50 ground ball against the Roos superstar, which set the table for Ponter to shine.
Ponter gathered the pill, spun around Jasmine Ferguson and Wright, and finished brilliantly to put Adelaide in total control before ruck Caitlin Gould iced it with a late major.
Source: AFL NEWS ABC