Ally Morphett in action during round six, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

AS THE official AFLW preseason start date edges closer, recent draftees across the country are putting their best foot forward in their state league games.

Chantal Mason and Emily Gough starred for Geelong and Essendon respectively, while Western Bulldogs captain Ellie Blackburn made her return to the VFLW after five years.

West Australian draft prospects Claudia Wright and Zippy Fish continued their strong form in the WAFLW, as did their South Australian counterparts India Rasheed and Poppy Scholz.


Southern Saints v Casey

Casey defeated the Southern Saints by 16 points on Saturday to make it three wins from six games to start the season.

Recent Melbourne draftees Jemma Rigoni (13 disposals, five tackles), and Delany Madigan (10 disposals, six tackles) both played a part in the win, while Saraid Taylor (12 disposals, five tackles) ran out for the first time this year.

Tahlia Gillard hit the scoreboard while playing predominantly in the ruck, while other AFLW-listed Demons Maeve Chaplin (10 disposals, seven tackles), Grace Hill (eight disposals), and Georgia Gall (eight disposals, five marks) also played in the red and blue.

Natalie Plane kicked a goal from 15 disposals for the Saints, while Caitlin Matthews gathered 12 touches in the loss.

North Melbourne v Geelong

New Cat Chantal Mason starred as Geelong registered an important 24-point win over North Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.

Mason kicked three goals from 18 disposals, continuing her strong form after being drafted to Geelong's AFLW list in December, while fellow AFLW Cats Brooke Plummer and Bryde O'Rourke also hit the scoreboard.

Draft prospects Seisia White (11 disposals, seven tackles), and Kiera Woods (two goals, 10 disposals) were also important in their first game at VFLW level, recently promoted from the Geelong Falcons in the Coates Talent League.

Former AFLW-listed Bombers Renee Tierney and Alana Barba were among the goalkickers for North Melbourne.

Collingwood v Essendon

Essendon made it two victories in as many weeks with a 17-point win over Collingwood at Victoria Park on Saturday afternoon.

Emily Gough has continued a strong start at the Bombers after being drafted in December, with two goals in an impressive performance, and tall utility Matilda Dyke was handy with 19 disposals and five clearances.

AFLW-listed Bombers Alex Morcom (14 disposals, four clearances), Ellyse Gamble (six disposals, three tackles), Amelia Radford (17 disposals, five tackles), and Georgia Clarke (15 disposals) also played in the win.

Speedy small forward Alana Porter was dangerous for Collingwood with two goals, as was Nell Morris-Dalton with one goal from 14 disposals.

Sarah Sansonetti (15 disposals, seven marks) played multiple roles throughout the day, and a positional change appears on the cards for Tarni White this coming AFLW season, spending the bulk of the game as an inside midfielder.

Erica Fowler (eight disposals, six hitouts), Charlotte Taylor (six disposals, three marks), and Lucy Cronin (13 disposals, four tackles) held up the Pies' defence, meanwhile Muireann Atkinson looked settled in just her second competitive game of footy with some neat forward 50 entries.

Eliza James shook off a knock to the mouth to finish the game with 12 disposals and four marks in the loss.

Port Melbourne v Greater Western Sydney

GWS is still undefeated in its VFLW run after a 25-point win over Port Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.

The Giants enjoyed goals from six different players, five of whom are AFLW-listed. One of those, Madison Brazendale was best on ground with 22 disposals and six tackles to go with her goal.

Cambridge McCormick's shift into defence continues to be effective, registering 22 disposals and eight marks, and recent draftee Kaitlyn Srhoj (17 disposals, eight tackles, one goal) appears to have settled well with her new club.

Zarlie Goldsworthy (15 disposals, seven tackles, one goal), Haneen Zreika (14 disposals, one goal), and Emily Pease (10 disposals, six tackles, one goal) also hit the scoreboard for the Giants.

Georgia Garnett was uncharacteristically quiet with just eight touches in the win, while Tarni Evans (19 disposals), Claire Ransom (13 disposals, nine tackles), Daisy Walker (12 disposals), Caitlin Miller (10 disposals), and Jessica Doyle (10 disposals) also played for GWS.

Untried Tiger Charley Ryan hit the scoreboard for Port Melbourne for the second week running, and Laura McClelland (19 disposals, seven tackles) continues to emerge.

Maddie Shevlin (11 disposals), Molly Eastman (11 disposals, seven tackles), and Jemima Woods (nine disposals, 13 hitouts) continued to get their touch back ahead of the AFLW season's start in August.

Western Bulldogs v Carlton

A strong first half led the Western Bulldogs to an 18-point victory over Carlton at Whitten Oval on Sunday.

Ellie Blackburn played her first VFLW game in five years, kicking a goal and gathering 24 disposals in an impressive return. Her fellow AFLW-listed Bulldogs Maggie Gorham (16 disposals, five marks), Dominique Carruthers (13 disposals, five tackles), Sarah Hartwig (12 disposals, six tackles), and Jorja Borg (10 disposals, nine hitouts) also played in the win.

Recent father-daughter signing Meg Robertson starred for Carlton with 23 disposals and four clearances, while Darcy Vescio kicked two goals from 21 touches.

Yasmin Duursma (21 disposals, six marks), Keeley Sherar (19 disposals, eight clearances), Lily Goss (19 disposals, five clearances), Gen Lawson-Tavan (nine disposals, three tackles), and Mia Austin (five disposals, four hitouts) all had an impact for the Blues.

Williamstown v Darebin

Williamstown moved to second place on the ladder with its second win over Darebin for the year.

Former Carlton-listed forward Sharnie Whiting kicked three goals for the winners, while Western Bulldogs premiership player Ange Gogos had 17 disposals and 13 tackles for Darebin. 

Box Hill v Sydney

Sydney steadily piled on the scores against Box Hill to win by 63 points, handing the Hawks their first loss of the season.

2023 All-Australian ruck Ally Morphett made a triumphant return to the footy field after a wrist injury to gather 22 disposals and 27 hitouts in a commanding performance. Tanya Kennedy and Montana Ham also registered an equal-game high 22 disposals during the win.

Bella Smith was dangerous in attack, kicking four goals, while each of Chloe Molloy, Cynthia Hamilton, and Montana Beruldsen kicked two. New Swans Sarah Grunden and Giselle Davies also hit the scoreboard.

Lauren Szigeti and Ella Heads each laid six tackles, while Lisa Steane and Kiara Hillier won 17 disposals apiece. Paige Sheppard (16 disposals), Lara Hausegger (12 disposals), Ruby Sargent-Wilson (10 disposals), and Paris McCarthy (nine disposals) all worked into the game. Meanwhile Alice Mitchell, Aimee Whelan, Eliza Vale, and Holly Cooper had quieter days.

Despite the loss, Charlotte Baskaran and Hayley McLaughlin each won 17 disposals for the Hawks, while Sophie Locke and Bridie Hipwell both kicked a goal. Ainslie Kemp (10 disposals), Laura Stone (11 disposals), and Mikayla Williamson (six tackles) also played.


Glenelg v Sturt

Glenelg remains comfortably atop the SANFLW ladder after a 13-point win over Sturt.

Draft prospects Violet Patterson (20 disposals, six inside 50s) and Poppy Scholz (16 disposals, seven marks) continued their strong form for Glenelg. India Rasheed also remains one of the top draft-eligible players after 20 disposals and a goal for Sturt.

Norwood v South Adelaide

Norwood claimed a shock 25-point win over a second-placed South Adelaide side on Friday.

Kiana Lee kicked two goals in Norwood's victory, while former Port Adelaide forward Laquoiya Cockatoo-Motlap laid an impressive 17 tackles for South Adelaide.

North Adelaide v West Adelaide

North Adelaide remains winless eight rounds into the SANFLW season, going down to West Adelaide by 17 points on Saturday.

Two-time Adelaide premiership player Hannah Button was in the thick of it for West Adelaide gathering 20 disposals, eight clearances and six tackles in the win.

Eligible for the 2024 AFLW draft, Laela Ebert was North Adelaide's standout performer with 23 disposals and 10 marks for the game.

Woodville-West Torrens v Central District

Reigning premier Central Distract won a thriller over Woodville-West Torrens on Saturday, getting over the line by just two points with a late goal.

Former AFLW Crow Katelyn Rosenzweig was impressive in attack with three goals for Central District, including the matchwinner, meanwhile Poppy Waterford brought the pressure for Woodville-West Torrens with 14 tackles.


East Perth v South Fremantle

East Perth claimed its second win of the season, posting the four-point victory over South Fremantle on Saturday afternoon.

Layla Firns, Lillian Ninyett, and Sian Vinicombe were the goalkickers in East Perth's win, while 2024 draft prospect Noa McMaughton had 16 disposals and five tackles for South Fremantle.

Swan Districts v Claremont

Swan Districts has claimed an upset 25-point win over top-of-the-table Claremont on Saturday afternoon.

Former AFLW Eagle and Docker Emily McGuire kicked two goals for the winners, meanwhile top-end draft prospect Claudia Wright continued a rich vein of form, registering a game-high 26 disposals and seven marks for Claremont.

East Fremantle v Subiaco

Top draft prospect Zippy Fish was important as East Fremantle claimed a 16-point win over Subiaco on Saturday.

Fish had 17 disposals and three tackles in the win, while former AFLW Sun, Eagle, and Docker Ashlee Atkins kicked two goals from 15 disposals.

Jess Pillera, Fina Dethlefsen, Olivia Wolmarans, and Taya Strickland were the goalkickers for Subiaco.

West Perth v Peel Thunder

Peel Thunder's winless season continues, after a 71-point loss to West Perth on Saturday evening.

Former AFLW Docker Bianca Webb was amongst the winners' best with 19 disposals and five inside 50s, while Peel's Ebony Dowson was the game's leading disposal winner with 27.


Bond University v Coorparoo

Coorparoo claimed a one goal victory over Bond University on Anzac Day, following the QAFLW's bye round.

New Brisbane draftee Jacinta Baldwick was important for Coorparoo with 19 disposals, eight clearances and five tackles, and for Bond University former AFLW Pie Imogen Evans impressed with 20 disposals and five clearances.

Maroochydore v Yeronga

Maroochydore flexed its muscles in a 46-point win over Yeronga on Anzac Day.

Brisbane draftees Sophie Peters (17 disposals, four clearances) and Indiana Williams (11 disposals, six inside 50s) were immense for the victors. Former AFLW Lion Lucy Bellinger was amongst the goalkickers in the loss for Yeronga.