VFL Women's Rd 2 AFL review
A string of second-half comebacks marked the second round of the inaugural NAB AFL Women’s competition, in a week that saw the competition’s first double-header match. Bess Keaney takes a look at Round 2 action.
79 Swisse VFL Women’s players took to the field in a week that saw Adelaide, Carlton and Brisbane move clear on top of the table with two wins apiece.
Adelaide upset odds-on flag favourites the Bulldogs in a hard-fought match at VU Whitten Oval on Friday night, pulling away in a tightly contested second half thanks to straight kicking.
Carlton celebrated its family day in style, kicking off a double-header at Ikon Park with a come-from-behind win over GWS Giants, while Melbourne kept the Magpies to a scoreless second half to post their first victory in the competition.
Over 650,000 viewers tuned in to Channel 7 to watch Melbourne overcome Collingwood at Ikon Park on Saturday night, with the three Victorian games drawing an average crowd of more than 7,000.
Brisbane upset home-side Fremantle in front of a 10,000-strong crowd and consigned them to equal bottom of the table alongside Collingwood and GWS after Round 2 was completed.
Standout performances in front of goals highlighted VFL Women’s players Cat Phillips (Melbourne Uni) and Sarah Perkins (Eastern Devils) as ones to watch.
Phillips, who was drafted to the Demons as a category B rookie, kicked two goals in as many minutes to bring her side level with the Magpies in a huge third quarter. The former Ultimate Frisbee player snapped her first from the right forward pocket, and two minutes later found herself on the end of a Sarah Lampard (VU Western Spurs) pass, burning the Magpies’ Penny Cula-Reid (St Kilda Sharks) to slot her second from 20 metres out.
Perkins, who was named in the 2016 Swisse VFL Women’s Team Of The Year but was overlooked on draft day, proved why she deserved her spot on the Crows list. The third-highest goalkicker in the 2016 VFL Women’s competition, Perkins kicked two straight from set shots, including an impressive forty-metre punt to push the Crows’ margin out to ten points.
Darebin Falcons duo Karen Paxman and Elise O’Dea were crucial to the Demons’ second-half resurgence, notching up 15 disposals apiece and helping to keep the Magpies scoreless after the main break.
Emma Kearney was once again a key player for the Bulldogs on Friday night. The priority pick from Melbourne Uni, who played for Melbourne Stars in WBBL, led the round with 23 disposals in her side’s loss to Adelaide. Her ability to surge from the backline and transition into attack is something Melbourne will look to shut down ahead of next week’s clash at VU Whitten Oval.
The Blues once again found value from marquee signing Bri Davey (St Kilda Sharks). The former Matilda’s goalkeeper notched up another twenty disposals in her side’s win at home.
VFL Women’s players led the way in four of six categories below. We list all the stats leaders:
KICKS: 16 – Hannah Scott (Eastern Devils) Western Bulldogs
HANDBALLS: 14 – Brianna Davey (St Kilda Sharks) Carlton
MARKS: 6 – Jess Cameron (Diamond Creek) Collingwood (2nd behind Tayla Harris (QLD) Brisbane with 7)
HITOUTS: 14 – Breann Moody (Cranbourne) Carlton (3rd behind Emma King (WA) Collingwood with 33)
TACKLES: 10 – Jess Dal Pos (Darebin Falcons) GWS
GOALS: 2.1 – Cat Phillips (Melbourne Uni) Melbourne / Sarah Perkins (Eastern Devils) Adelaide 2.0