Main content

Match report: Giants and Dockers play out first AFLW draw

AFLW Highlights : GWS v Fremantle The Giants and Dockers clash in the Round 3 of AFLW action
GWS and Freo played out a thrilling draw - ${keywords}
GWS and Freo played out a thrilling draw

A COOL set shot by Aimee Schmidt secured a thrilling draw for Greater Western Sydney against Fremantle in a fierce and entertaining contest at Blacktown International Sportspark.

Both sides were searching for their first win of the inaugural NAB AFL Women's season and the Dockers appeared on track, leading at every change and for the vast majority of the contest. However, the Giants, buoyed by an enthusiastic 4000-strong crowd, mowed down their opponents with five second-half goals to leave the match tied at 7.1 (43) to 6.7 (43).

Full match coverage and stats

The Dockers made the better start, kicking 1.3 in the opening quarter and keeping the home side scoreless, before adding another two goals in the second. The Giants’ intensity was rewarded with two second-quarter goals, putting them within striking range at the main break, which was extended from 16 minutes to 20 under the heat rule.

With vice captain and marquee player Emma Swanson making her mark in her first appearance of the season, GWS gained the ascendancy in the midfield in the third term and took the lead with a goal to Phoebe McWilliams, before the Dockers hit back through Stacey Barr and Ashley Sharp to gain a five-point advantage at three-quarter-time.

After a torrid tussle in the final term, Schmidt took her opportunity to level the scores with only time-on remaining, leaving a frantic final period in which both sides fought unsuccessfully for the decisive point.

Don't do that again 
There was confusion, especially in the first quarter, with both sides wearing predominantly white playing strips. Word emerged that the Dockers made an operational mistake and brought over the wrong strip – they should have brought their purple one. The Giants did the Dockers a favour by rushing a set of charcoal shorts to the ground for the home side to change into at the first break. There could a sanction for Fremantle in the coming days.

Did you see that? 
Fremantle forward Ashley Sharp's wheel around and snap off the left foot midway through the second term was as timely as it was elegant. Apart from being a goal to savour from a side that has struggled to apply scoreboard pressure, it halted the Giants' second-quarter momentum and put the visitors back on top. Sharp was the game's highest scorer with three majors.

 

On the rise 
Giants player Ellie Brush is new to the game, but being pushed up into the midfield showed the confidence the coaching staff have in her. Originally touted as a defender, where she played most of her soccer, Brush showed her speed and intensity were useful around the ground.

 

The difference
Fremantle's inability to capitalise on its statistical advantages cost them. Despite being well ahead in contested possession, clearances and inside 50s – and having conjured up five more scoring shots than their opponents – the Dockers paid for never shaking off the Giants. As Fremantle coach Michelle Cowan said afterwards: "Footy's about key moments, key opportunities, and you've got to take those opportunities."

Say what?
"Ask the players at the end how many have actually been in such a tight contest like that, where everything’s sort of happening, and not too many have been in it. So, it’s a real sort of learning exercise for the girls." - Giants coach Tim Schmidt.

"Pretty frustrating. The girls worked pretty hard throughout the whole week. The effort, I thought, was really good throughout the game." - Fremantle coach Michelle Cowan

What’s next?
The Dockers head back home for the next three rounds, starting with their clash with Adelaide at Fremantle Oval next Sunday. The Giants travel to Brisbane to play the Lions at South Pine Sports Complex next Saturday.

Stephanie Walker brings Taylah Angel down with a brilliant tackle. Picture: AFL Photos

GWS         0.0     2.0      5.0      7.1      (43)                  
FREMANTLE      1.3     3.5     5.5     6.7     (43)            

GOALS
GWS: McWilliams 2, Brush, Nguyen, Barclay, Walker, Schmidt
Fremantle: Sharp 3, Donnellan, Phillips, Barr 

BEST
GWS: Swanson, McWilliams, Barclay, Tully, Brush
Fremantle: Donnellan, Filocamo, Sharp, Barr, Hooker 

INJURIES
Fremantle: Haynes (shoulder), Davidson (ankle)
GWS: TBC 

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Garroway, Barr, O’Brien

Crowd (estimated): 4,000 at Blacktown International Sportspark