Nyakoat Dojiok of the Kangaroos kicks the ball during the 2024 rebel VFLW Second Semi Final between Williamstown and North Melbourne at DSV Stadium. Picture: Rob Lawson/AFL Photos

A review of all the action from Week Two of the 2024 rebel VFLW Finals Series.


WESTERN BULLDOGS           1.0        2.2        4.3        5.4 (34)
PORT MELBOURNE                  0.0        0.1        1.2        3.4 (22)

WESTERN Bulldogs claimed their first finals victory since 2019 and ended Port Melbourne’s rebel VFLW premiership defence with a comfortable 12-point victory in the first semi final at Mission Whitten Oval on Saturday.

Bouncing back after being outplayed by Williamstown in the qualifying final, the Bulldogs earned another crack at the Seagulls on neutral turf as their multi-pronged forward set-up had too many weapons for the Borough defence and Port’s injuries left it without a forward target of its own.

The ball pinged around at a rate of knots in the opening term but both backlines were on top and it took a Bulldogs’ set play to create space for VFLW games record holder Mia-Rae Clifford to mark on the lead and guide through the only score of the first quarter.

The Bulldogs also nailed the only goal of the second term through the sheer workrate of Jaimi Tabb, who took the advantage off a Renee Saulitis holding the ball decision, delivered to Imogen Milford at the top of the square and followed up to receive the handball back and slam it through.

The game was effectively over midway through the third term when Saulitis roved a pack and then Essendon 2022 premiership co-captain Clifford got on the end of a Tallia Pulcino pass for her second goal.

Ava Seton and Bella Stutt finally put the Borough on the board with two wonderful goals either side of the three-quarter time break, but the damage had been done.

Some terrific footwork along the behind line from Mary Sandral put the exclamation mark on the victory, leaving Kaitlyn O’Keefe to grab a consolation goal with the last kick of the day.

Bulldogs ruck Keeley Hardingham was best afield with an outstanding show that netted game highs in disposals (23), marks (seven), tackles (11) and hitouts (23), although her Borough opponent Molly Denahy

Maloney (17 disposals, 26 hitouts) was also terrific for her team as she stared down the daunting task of taking on the best tall in the competition.

Tannah Hurst seems made for finals, upping her career-best 12 disposals from last week to a performance that netted 17 possessions, six tackles and six inside 50m entries as a crucial link-up off half-forward.

Bulldogs skipper Dom Carbone (17 disposals, six tackles, five entries) was tireless in the middle and Ash Snow and Courtney Ugle starred in the backline with 15 touches each and several important intercepts.

Eloise Ashley-Cooper (19 disposals, six clearances, eight tackles) and Lauren Caruso (17 disposals, seven clearances, 11 tackles) worked tirelessly to keep the Borough alive.

Georgia Booth (16 disposals, 10 tackles) gave nothing up cheaply and Seton worked her way into the game to finish with 16 touches, five clearances, nine tackles and a goal.

But the Borough had no recognised goal kickers in the absence of Emily Harley (achilles), Jessie Williams (concussion) and Beth Wilson (knee), while the tackling presence of Courteney Bromage (knee) was also sorely missed.



WILLIAMSTOWN                        2.3        3.3        5.5        5.5 (35)
NORTH MELBOURNE              1.2        7.3        7.4        8.5 (53)

NORTH Melbourne surged into its maiden rebel VFLW Grand Final with a six-goal onslaught in the second quarter to sink Williamstown by 18 points in the second semi-final at DSV Stadium on Sunday.

The Seagulls had not lost since Round 4, recording 10 wins and a draw in that time, but were powerless to stop the Kangaroos once they got rolling, with the visitors launching an avalanche of six goals in 12 minutes before half time to stun the home crowd.

Williamstown kicked two early goals in the third term to get back within 11 points, but North Melbourne successfully shut the game down from there.

Only three behinds were scored after Sharnie Whiting’s goal in the sixth minute of the third quarter until Alana Barba went on a remarkable four-bounce run down the Hobsons Bay wing before drilling a wonderful goal seconds before the final siren to cap an ominous display from the Kangaroos.

But it was that second quarter that had everyone’s tongues wagging.

The Seagulls had controlled the opening term with goals to Whiting and Molly Simpson before Georgia Nicholas got one back for North Melbourne just before the siren.

Whiting booted her second in the opening minute after the quarter time break, but the home team barely got their hands on the ball for the rest of the term as the Kangaroos bounded forward in waves.

Goals to Jen Guy, Tahlia Meier, Renee Tierney, Nyakoat Dojiok (two) and Audrey Rhodes turned a 13-point deficit into a 24-point lead at half time against a team that had conceded less than four goals a game on average this season.

North simply outworked the Seagulls, winning the tackle count 82-58 despite having 37 more disposals.

Barba (16 disposals, five clearances, eight tackles, one goal), Rhodes (12 disposals, eight clearances, 15 tackles, one goal) and Maddie Di Cosmo (10 disposals, 11 tackles) harassed the Seagulls at every opportunity.

Matilda Zander (17 disposals) and Elisabeth Jackson (15 disposals) also did well and Kate Reynolds (53 hitouts) monstered her opponents in the air.

Whiting broke her goal drought with three majors for Williamstown but had her influence dulled around the ground as she was held to six disposals overall.

Meanwhile Emily Eaves (16 disposals, nine tackles, six entries, one goal) and Ash Thorneycroft (16 disposals, six tackles) did their best to drag their team back into the game after the dam wall had been shattered.



Preliminary Final
Williamstown vs Western Bulldogs
Sunday, July 14 at 12.30pm
ETU Stadium
Please click here for details