AFLW Round 6 match reports: Gold Coast Suns v Geelong

AFLW’s unheralded star put on a clinic to launch North Melbourne to another victory over Richmond. Find out who starred for the Roos.

The North Melbourne juggernaut rolls on.

Darren Crocker’s Kangaroos flexed their muscles after Richmond skipper Katie Brennan – against the breeze – pulled her Tigers within five points in the early stages of the second half.

North’s one-two punch of Jasmine Garner and Ash Riddell, who won 18 of her game-high 29 disposals in the second half, proved a class above as the Roos cantered away to a 5.7 (37) to 2.6 (18) triumph.

The Kangaroos are now one of only three teams with five wins for the season, joining undefeated Adelaide and Fremantle at the top of the ladder.

Richmond defied a lopsided inside-50 count until the third term, in large part because of in-form defender Rebecca Miller and Sarah D’Arcy, but there was an inevitability about the result.

What was a manageable deficit suddenly blew out when Sophie Abbatangelo snapped truly, then the tough Daria Bannister converted a set shot after leaving the ground in the first quarter following a heavy hit.

Bannister and Daisy Bateman (ankle) both returned after potential game-ending injuries.

Neither side kicked a goal in the final term, with the Abbatangelo and Bannister goals effectively ending the plucky Tigers’ resistance despite them having the aid of the wind at the end.

North Melbourne terrorised Richmond with intense tackle pressure, particularly in its attacking 50, with Mia King (six tackles), Garner (five) and Jenna Bruton (five) contributing as much as anyone.

Garner (26, one goal, seven clearances) was best afield again, a week after scoring a maximum 10 coaches’ votes as the Roos inflicted the Dockers’ first defeat of the season.

Only the relentless Riddell could challenge her for that honour, but they were far from the only influential North players.

Tahlia Randall was again a reliable target up forward, while Emma Kearney (21) worked her way into the contest, Ellie Gavalas (19) was good from go-to-whoa and Bruton (18) added offence to her defensive pressure.

This was never supposed to be a competitive match on paper, given the Tigers started the afternoon with one victory from five games.

They also lost Laura McClelland (syndesmosis) and Hannah Burchell (ACL) to season-ending injuries last week.

But coach Ryan Ferguson would be pleased with the way they fought, including Monique Conti, who finished with 25 disposals after having only nine to half-time.

TIGERS 0.1 1.3 2.3 2.6 (18)

KANGAROOS 1.2 3.2 5.5 5.7 (37)

BEST Tigers: Miller, Conti, Brennan, D’Arcy, McKenzie, Seymour Kangaroos: Garner, Riddell, Gavalas, Randall, Kearney, Bruton

GOALS Tigers: Yassir, Brennan Kangaroos: Randall, M. King, Garner, Abbatangelo, Bannister

INJURIES Tigers: Nil Kangaroos: Bateman (ankle)

Punt Road Oval



3 J. Garner (NM)

2 A. Riddell (NM)

1 R. Miller (Rich)


— James Mottershead

Gold Coast has staked its claim as a finals contender after breezing past Geelong by 11 points on the back of its highest AFLW score.

The Suns, who didn’t win a game last season, remarkably sit only percentage outside the top six with four rounds to play and got there in style, surpassing their previous highest score by three points.

In a night of records for the Suns, Alison Drennan, who was easily best on ground, had 30 disposals, the most ever for Gold Coast.

Both sides’ modus operandi this season has been to flood numbers around the ball and play a heavily contested brand, but despite a high tackle number it was one of the best scoring games of the season.

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The Cats jumped out of the blocks with sharp disposal and transition helping them to an early two goals through Kate Darby and Zali Friswell.

Geelong flooded everyone back after they went two goals up resulting in a game of kick-to-kick for about five minutes, but a 50m penalty to Lauren Bella in the shadows of quarter time undid the Cats’ defensive work and handed the Suns a well-deserved first goal.

Gold Coast was able to stop Geelong’s sporadic attacks in the second quarter and maintained its dominance around the ground, but unlike the first quarter they capitalised in front of goal.

Tara Bohanna perfectly read the ball off a pack to snap the Suns’ second and give them the lead, while Tori Groves-Little was the most exciting player on the ground in the quarter and capped off their work with a goal.

It gave the Suns a handy nine-point lead at the main break.

The Suns turned up the heat and put together one of their most dominant quarters in AFLW history in the third term, kicking 3.3 to put the game out of reach of Geelong.

So good was the Suns’ display they had recorded their second-highest score in AFLW history by the time the siren sounded to end the third quarter.

Goals to Jamie Stanton, Groves-Little and Ellie Hampson capped off the free-flowing ball movement and clearance work up the ground.

A last quarter surge from the Cats added respectability to the scoreboard with three goals, but they were never really in it after they kicked the first two of the game.

Scheer class

With the Suns itching at the opportunity to rise into the top six, the Cats needed the perfect start to the game.

Chloe Scheer delivered it with a perfect pass to Kate Darby for the first goal.

Scheer was awarded a down field free kick 55m from goal, and rather than bomb her kick to the top of the goal square she placed it into a small pocket of space where only Darby could mark.

A few minutes later the Cats thrust forward again through Scheer who again picked the perfect option in Zali Friswell who kicked Geelong’s second.

Two bests one

Georgie Prespakis took bragging rights over last year’s number one draft pick Charlie Rowbottom with a commanding midfield performance.

Last year’s second selection at the draft lined up on Rowbottom at the first bounce, giving fans exactly what they wanted.

But Rowbottom, who has enjoyed an outstanding debut season, was beaten by midfield bull Prespakis.

Prespakis finished with 17 disposals, six tackles and six clearances, while Rowbottom managed 15 disposals, five tackles and four clearances.

Scoring flows, scoring woes

After kicking two goals in the first eight minutes of the game it looked like the Cats were set for a big night of scoring. But that was as good as it got for the next two quarters of football as Geelong didn’t register another score until the 10-minute mark of the third term.

Conversely the Suns kicked their highest ever score, surpassing their Round 2 total of 46 by three points.


SUNS 1.3 3.3 6.6 7.7 49

CATS 2.0 2.0 3.0 6.2 38


Suns: Drennan, Hampson, Whitford, Surman, Groves-Little.

Cats: Prespakis, Morrison, Emonson, McWilliams.


Suns: Groves-Little 2, Bella, Bohanna, Stanton, Hampson, Surman.

Cats: McWilliams 2, Scheer 2, Darby, Friswell.


Suns: nil.

Cats: nil.


Metricon Stadium



3 A. Drennan (GC)

2 E. Hampson (GC)

1 C. Whitford (GC)

Originally published as AFLW Round 6: All the scores and news out of this week’s matches

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