Emily Everist kicks the ball during the 2024 rebel VFLW match between the Box Hill Hawks and Williamstown at Fenjiu Stadium. Picture: Rob Lawson/AFL Photos

A review of all the action from Round 4 of the 2024 rebel VFLW season.


Western Bulldogs     1.0        3.2        4.2        4.4 (28)
1.3        2.4        2.5        3.8 (26)

THE renaissance of the Western Bulldogs continues to gather steam after they defended bravely to hang on for a thrilling two-point rebel VFLW victory over a Georgia Nanscawen-led Essendon at Mission Whitten Oval on Saturday.

The Bulldogs led from early in the second quarter and maintained a nine-point advantage at three quarter-time.

But they were plunged into a genuine battle for the four points when Bombers debutant Emily Gough kicked a goal to cut the margin to just two in the third minute of the last term.

And despite last year’s preliminary finalists throwing the kitchen sink at them in a 37-25 inside-50 count, the Bulldogs held firm, with the teams trading two behinds each for the remainder of the game as the home team claimed a second victory in the first four rounds.

Playing her first VFLW game since the 2022 Grand Final win, Nanscawen picked up where she left off, burrowing into the packs on her way to a game-high 27 disposals, eight tackles and five inside-50s.

She had strong support from new captain El Chaston, Amy Gaylor and ruck Steph Wales, while Mia Busch laid nine tackles in a solid effort.

But the Bulldogs were not going to be denied as their rock-solid defence helped them home, led by Ashleigh Snow, who had 20 disposals, took eight marks and delivered five rebound-50s and former Bomber Tamsin Crook (five marks, six rebounds). Meanwhile, Dom Carbone led the team with 24 and Sarah Skinner was also prominent with 18 touches and a goal.



Box Hill Hawks            1.0        3.1        4.4        4.7 (31)
Williamstown               0.2        1.3        3.3        3.3 (21)

BOX HILL Hawks maintained their undefeated record, but not with a massive fight as they held off Williamstown by 10 points at Fenjiu Stadium.

The Seagulls seemed to have the better of general play for most of the game, but the Hawks surprisingly ended up with significantly more of the ball and capitalised on any minor errors to kick the first three goals.

Williamstown did break an amazing run from the Hawks’ defence when Sharnie Whiting snapped truly out of a pack at the 12-minute mark of the second quarter to get her team on the board.

It was the first goal Box Hill had conceded since Lauren Jatczak converted for Casey Demons 15 minutes into the second quarter of Round 1 – a total of 237 minutes between majors conceded.

The Seagulls added two more early in the third quarter, including a second from Whiting that levelled the scores after nine minutes, but the Hawks clamped down and recruit Rosie Dillon restored their breathing space eight minutes later with a great long running bomb that turned out to the final goal of the game.

The Hawks ended up +46 in disposals, +38 in marks and +27 in hitouts as they denied the Seagulls time and again, led by a terrific display across half back from Caitlin Thorne (20 disposals, eight marks, six tackles, six inside-50s).

Dillon added 18 touches to seven clearances, nine tackles and that winning goal, Danika Spamer attacked the footy like a terrier to lay 12 tackles and Tamara Luke showed off her strong hands with seven marks to go with 14 touches, 25 hitouts and a goal.

Ash Thorneycroft was brilliant with and without the ball for Williamstown, leading all comers with 23 disposals (22 kicks) while adding eight clearances and 10 tackles, and Mikayla Plunkett was brilliant in a tagging role on Charlotte Baskaran, restricting the Hawks star to just 12 possessions and little impact on the game.



Collingwood  2.2        3.2        4.3        4.5 (29)
Carlton              0.1        1.3        1.5        1.6 (12)

Collingwood broke through for its first victory of the VFLW season in style, shutting down Carlton’s running power to record an impressive 17-point triumph at Victoria Park.

Kaitlyn Day gave the new-look Magpies a perfect start with a goal inside the first three minutes before Sachi De Giacomi put them 13 points up by quarter time and the Blues couldn’t get back within single figures for the rest of the game.

Jaide Anthony and Eliza Wood traded majors leading into half-time and Wood’s goal proved to be Carlton’s only major as Collingwood’s defence locked down in the second half, with the home side booting the only six-pointer after the main break through Carly Remmos.

It was a victory built on pressure as Carlton was repeatedly forced into handballing under pressure. The Blues had 25 more disposals but they were all handballs as their ascendancy with clearances (30-21) and inside-50s (36-21) was nullified.

No.9 AFLW draft pick Lucy Cronin was the hero for Collingwood, with the key defender repeatedly turning the Blues back on her way to 25 disposals, eight marks and 11 rebound-50s in a game when no other player had more than four.

Remmos contributed 18 disposals and a goal, while Sarah Ingram (17 touches, six clearances and five tackles), Rebecca Grant (17 disposals and six marks) and Anthony (eight marks and a goal) were also influential.

The prolific Keeley Skepper was the clear standout in Navy Blue, winning a game-high 28 possessions and adding six clearances, 11 tackles, seven inside-50s and four rebounds – all team-high numbers. Meanwhile, Wood (19 disposals, six marks), Izzy Khoury (19 disposals, five clearances, seven tackles), Maddy Guerin and Lila Keck all played well.



Casey Demons            0.1        3.2        6.3        8.4 (52)
Port Melbourne           0.1        0.4        2.4        4.5 (29)

CASEY Demons produced their second-straight season-shaping statement with a stunning 23-point beating of reigning premier Port Melbourne at Casey Fields.

After downing flag fancy North Melbourne last week, the Demons beefed up their team to take on a rival who had been imperious so far this year. They broke the game open with three goals in the second quarter, holding the Borough goalless and going into the break up by 16 when Niamh O’Neill kicked truly on the siren.

Port fired a couple of shots early in the third quarter, but Casey had the immediate answers and back-to-back goals to Alyssa Bannan sealed the deal.

The Demons fished with their highest score and biggest win over the Borough at Casey Fields and helped the visitors equal the highest tally they have conceded away from home in their 51-game existence.

The Demons had 65 more disposals and 16 more inside-50s as the experienced Sarah Lampard took the initiative with 28 disposals, six marks, six tackles and seven entries.

Development-listed player Tylah Burn (25 disposals, five clearances, eight entries) enjoyed a breakout game, O’Neill (nine marks, two goals) starred in attack, while Meg Macdonald, last week’s hero Jo Lin and No.12 draft pick Ryleigh Wotherspoon all proved too hot to handle.

Eloise Ashley-Cooper was tireless for the Borough with 20 touches, five marks and nine tackles, Stella Reid continued her strong year in attack with seven marks and a goal, Kaitlyn O’Keefe kicked two goals and Ava Seton again performed well.



Geelong Cats               1.1        1.1        2.2        5.3 (33)
Darebin Falcons        1.0        2.1        3.2        4.2 (26)

GEELONG needed a 10-minute purple patch in the last quarter to deny Darebin a drought-breaking victory in a seven-point Colac classic as the rebel VFLW headed back to country Victoria.

Trying to snap a 24-game losing run and celebrate Simon Ruedin’s 50th VFLW game with a memorable win, the Falcons got the perfect start when Ruedin kicked the opening goal in just the fourth minute of her milestone match.

Although the Falcons went into the first break a point down to Chantal Mason’s goal for the Cats, they regained the upper hand through Monique De Matteo soon after the restart.

Cat Olivia Stewart and Falcon Sabine du Parquet (six marks) traded goals during the third term as Darebin went into three quarter-time six points up and sniffing victory for the first time in almost two years.

However, Breanna Pratt stepped up to deny them with two big-time goals split by a Zoe Larkins strike as Geelong kicked three goals in 10 minutes to finally get the job done.

The Cats had 60 more disposals but three less inside-50s as the Falcons pressed time and again under the leadership of co-captain Caitlin Bunker (18 disposals, five marks, five clearances, nine tackles) and Ange Gogos (21 disposals, 10 clearances), while Emily Rayment laid 10 tackles, Riley Christgoergl had seven rebounds and De Matteo kicked two goals.

Pratt’s two goals proved the game breaker for Geelong while Larkins had 10 tackles as the Cats shared the footy around, led by Brooke Plummer’s 20 touches and six entries, while No.23 draft selection Bryde O’Rourke and Geelong Falcons top-up Mekah Morrissy had 14 disposals each on debut.



GWS Giants                   3.4        4.7        6.8        9.10 (64)
Southern Saints         0.0        0.1        0.1        0.2 (2)

AFLW club best-and-fairest winner Zarlie Goldsworthy put on a show as the GWS Giants took full advantage of a weakened Southern Saints outfit to record a 62-point victory at Blacktown International Sports Park.

The Saints left several AFLW-listed players in Melbourne and the game was over at quarter-time as a Giants’ team with plenty of them kicked 3.4 to 0.0 in the first quarter.

While the Saints fought gamely to keep the home team’s scoring in check, they couldn’t make a scoreboard impression themselves as they recorded their lowest VFLW score.

The Giants had 116 more disposals and a whopping 49-15 inside-50 discrepancy, but they also laid more tackles (88-82) in what would have been the most pleasing aspect for coach Cam Bernasconi.

Goldsworthy was imperious on her way to 28 disposals, five clearances, seven tackles and four goals, and the quality of the Giants performance was shown by her support acts, with Brisbane Lions AFLW premiership player Mikayla Pauga (20 disposals, 14 tackles, one goal), Jess Doyle (22 disposals, five tackles, two goals), Haneen Zreika (24 disposals, six tackles, one goal) and Madison Brazendale (24 disposals) all dominant.

Georgia Foran (15 disposals, six marks), Abbey Tregellis, Charlotte Ryan and Winnie Laing battled hard for the Saints, Georgia Ricardo had eight rebounds and Madison Torpey put in a solid shift in the ruck against Fleur Davies.



Sydney Swans             6.2        9.4        13.10  17.12 (114)
North Melbourne       1.0        2.1        3.1        4.1 (25)

SYDNEY rolled out a cavalcade of stars and duly put North Melbourne to the sword, beating the highly touted Kangaroos by 89 points at Henson Park.

The Swans fielded 12 members of its 2023 AFLW semi-final team – including superstar Chloe Molloy, best-and-fairest winner Laura Gardiner and young gun trio Montana Ham, Cynthia Hamilton and Sofia Hurley, plus draftees Sarah Grunden and Lara Hausegger among 20 AFLW listed players.

And with the Kangaroos taking none of theirs on the plane, the Swans piled on six goals to one in the first quarter and never looked back to hand the visitors their highest score conceded and biggest VFLW defeat.

Sydney had 16 of the top 17 rated players on the ground and 12 of the top 13 ball winners, as they piled up 302 disposals to 160. The Swans also had more marks, clearances, inside-50s and tackles.

Gardiner was again the standout with 34 touches, five clearances and a goal. Molloy kicked two goals from 19 touches, while Bella Smith (17 disposals and three goals) and Montana Ham (21 disposals) were also influential and Hamilton and Brooke Bailey combined for five goals.

The Kangaroos didn’t give up in Matilda Zander’s 50th VFLW match and can take a lot of credit from being able to kick four goals, headed by a couple to Nyakoat Dojiok.

Nic Hales was particularly outstanding down back in her efforts to turn back the tide with 21 disposals, four marks and four rebounds, while Zara Flanigan had five rebounds in her 11 touches.