AFLW – Round 6 Report

AFLW – Round 6 Report

To borrow an expression from horse racing circles, the handicapper deserves a raise, as the AFLW season heads toward the most thrilling final weekend imaginable with five teams still vying for the two Grand Final spots which remain up for grabs.

A culmination of the Giants remarkable come from behind victory to topple the ladder leading Bulldogs and the huge upset win by Collingwood in Brisbane has blown the competition wide open, with the weekends results ensuring that the Western Bulldogs, Melbourne, GWS, Adelaide and Brisbane all hold onto a live chance of reaching the March 24th decider.

Cora Staunton, Phoebe McWilliams, Laura Tesoriero, Lauren Spark continued to fly the flag for AFL in Europe with great aplomb, with Laura Corrigan-Duryea & Kate Shierlaw both fighting to regain their place for the final matches of the season. will continue to follow the progress of all six of these listed AFLW players who have ties to AFL in Europe for the remainder of the season, so stay tuned over the final fortnight for updates on how all of the girls are faring.

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Cora Staunton – #13 – Greater Western Sydney Giants – Recruited from GAA

Cora Staunton has officially reached ‘duck to water’ status, with the former Gaelic superstar putting in yet another starring performance for the Giants, as their late charge for a spot in the Grand-Final continues to gain momentum at the right time of year.

The top of the table Bulldogs made all of the early running in Canberra before a Staunton inspired charge nearing halftime carried the Giants into the lead, as the Irishwoman set up Jessica Dal Pos before immediately adding to the buffer with her best goal of the season so far.

The Bulldogs fought hard in the second half but were helpless to stop the surging Giants, who maintained an 18-point lead at the final siren to stretch their unbeaten run to four games.

Staunton and the Giants are now set for a huge final round Friday night matchup with the Brisbane Lions in Blacktown, where a GWS victory will see them move to the top spot on the AFLW ladder ahead of the weekends other fixtures, while a Lions win also gives them a mathematical chance at their second consecutive Grand Final birth.

Phoebe McWilliams – #3 – Greater Western Sydney Giants – Formerly Wimbledon Hawks (2015)

While Staunton continues to grab the headlines for the Giants, the work of Phoebe McWilliams across half forward is certainly not going unnoticed as she played yet another important role in her side’s victory.

McWilliams was lively during the Giants second-quarter burst and was unlucky not to hit the scoreboard with a tough set shot of her own, but it mattered not thanks to the dominant performances from teammates Courtney Gum and Alicia Eva particularly.

She will once again provide an influential forward half presence on Friday night against a vulnerable Brisbane backline that was exposed by Collingwood at the weekend, with the Giants poised to complete a remarkable comeback after being touted as cellar dwellers following the two losses to open their season.

It’s now a simple equation for GWS, where a win will force Adelaide to register an almighty win against Collingwood to topple them on percentage, and a loss will mean it is goodnight Irene for season 2018.

Lauren Spark – #11 – Western Bulldogs – Formerly Wimbledon Hawks (2015/16)

While it was a joyous night for the Giants in Canberra, things were considerably more sombre in the opposition change rooms as the Bulldogs squandered their chance to book a place in the Grand Final one week early.

Lauren Spark and the Dogs had the better of the match early on and kicked out to a two-goal lead when Kirsten McLeod put through her second major just after halftime, but the Giants were inspired and responded with a flurry of attacking advances that eventually broke the Dogs and saw their lead disappear before the main break.

Spark continued to play in her new role up forward in the absence of Katie Brennan but was starved of any great opportunities, as the Giants continued to control the game until the final siren despite the Bulldogs fighting gamely.

The loss sets the Bulldogs up for a do or die assignment against the Demons on Saturday night at the Whitten Oval, where a loss will see them relying on GWS and Adelaide to lose their respective fixtures to cling on to the second spot and face the Dee’s in a rematch the following weekend.

Lauren Tesoriero – #7 – Collingwood Magpies – Formerly Wandsworth Demons (2017)

Despite being out of premiership contention, Collingwood and Lauren Tesoriero have taken another step to restoring pride in the black and white army after scoring an upset victory against the Lions in Brisbane.

Collingwood shot out of the blocks to score the first three goals of the game which including two to Christina Bernardi, immediately putting the highly-fancied Lions on the back foot. Their tough task became close to insurmountable once conditions turned and a trademark tropical Queensland storm rolled in, making ball handling incredibly challenging and the early Magpie lead even more significant.

Tesoriero was industrious as always through the midfield but it was the Collingwood forward line who shone brightest, with Moana Hope & Christina Bernardi sharing half a dozen goals between them with a great accuracy that was ultimately the difference in the game which finished 8.5 (53) to 5.9 (39).

The result is one that Lions will rue should their season not progress past this Friday night, but there was little they could do against a passionate Collingwood outfit who now have two wins from their past three games.

Laura Corrigan-Duryea – #11 – Melbourne Demons – Irish Banshees Co-Captain (2017 International Cup)

The Demons backed up their thrilling win over the Lions last Friday night with a dominant display against a struggling Carlton side at Princes Park on Sunday, controlling proceedings from the word go to run out 35-point winners.

The win came on the back of their dominant opening quarter which knocked the spirit from the Carlton side and spurred the girls in red and blue onto some big individual performances, with Tegan Cunningham bagging three goals up forward, Daisy Pearce dominant through the middle, Shelley Scott racking up 19 possessions and five tackles and Elise O’Dea arguably the best on ground chiming in with 19 disposals and 3 goals of her own.

Laura Corrigan-Duryea was not in the selected squad but will be banging down the door at training throughout the week to earn a recall ahead of a potential Grand-Final appearance, and she could very well get her chance after vice-captain Mel Hickey had her season cruelly ended by an ACL injury.

A spot in the final is now the Dee’s to lose, with the Saturday night blockbuster against the Bulldogs shaping as the biggest home and away game of AFLW’s short history and certainly one not to miss, particularly if the Giants take the points on Friday night.

Kate Shierlaw – #25 – Carlton Blues – Formerly Wimbledon Hawks (2016)

While the Demon’s celebrated, it was another tough night to be wearing Navy Blue as Carlton endured their fifth consecutive loss and sunk to the bottom rung of the home and away ladder ahead of a final round trip to Perth next Saturday.

Kate Shierlaw was absent but there would have been little she could do to curtail the rampaging Demons, with courageous games from Darcy Vescio, Georgia Gee, Tayla Harris and Maddy Keryk not enough for the Blues to stay in touch.

Carlton will look to finish their season on a high at the Fremantle Oval on Saturday, with a win enough to see them avoid the wooden spoon, and importantly give them the chance to finish higher than arch-rival Collingwood should they fall to Adelaide at Olympic Park, which would come as a small consolation for the Blues after key injury and suspensions curtailed their strong start to the year.

To watch all the AFL and AFLW matches in 2018 live and on demand, click here and enter the code AFLEUROPE10 to get 10% off your subscription!

2018 Champions League Team Previews – Part One

In the lead-up to the 4th annual AFL Europe Champions League hosted by AFL Netherlands in Amsterdam on Saturday 7th April, will be taking a quick look at the teams who have qualified for the continents’ premier club tournament. 

In our first round of team previews, we showcase two women’s sides including the highly acclaimed champions of the AFL London Women’s Premiership competition, the Wandsworth Demons, and the sole French women’s side the Bordeaux Bombers. 

We will also take a look at the reigning premiers of the Central European Australian Football League, the Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers from Croatia, the formidable Berlin Crocodiles from Germany and semi-finalists from the 2017 Champions League the Leeside Lions. 


Women’s Competition:

Wandsworth Demons

Mitch Skelly – Wandsworth Women’s Team Manager

Tell us a bit about your pathway to qualifying for the 2018 Champions League with a quick recap of your 2017 season…

2017 was a great year for our club. We were the first club in London to introduce a second women’s side and had the numbers to play 18 per side each week. Our women’s Premiership team played some awesome footy throughout the season, going through the year with just the one loss and keeping the opposition goalless most weeks. We lost some key players to the International Cup and European summer travels for the finals campaign, however this didn’t stop the “She-Dee’s” winning both finals comfortably in what was a truly amazing season. To cap things off our women’s conference side were also runners-up in their division, so we couldn’t have been happier with 2017.

What has your preparation for this year’s tournament been like?

With a side made up mostly of Australians the inevitable 2 year VISA cycle sees many new faces in our women’s side. Losing 2 time B&F winner Tessa “Tank” Hankinson will be the hardest felt loss, along with the likes of Gaby Duncan, Beth Nielson and Ri Coldebella to name a few.  On the plus side we’ve been fortunate to recruit some Aussies with footy experience in Elli Keatch and Prip Lodge who will sure up our backline for the coming season. Despite the long cold winter, Sunday trainings have been well attended and everyone is itching to get to Amsterdam and play some footy!

What does your side coming to Amsterdam want to achieve in 2018

Like everyone we’d love to win the Champions League! It looks like there will be some really competitive sides in the women’s draw, so it would be an honour to take home the cup. With the Demon’s men also in attendance, the weekend will also be about having fun and supporting each other, as well as getting to know some of our newer players. The Champions League kicks off a season in which we hope both men and women will go back to back with AFL London premierships.

Describe some players in your team that fans should keep an eye on at Champions League 2018.

Gretta Hankinson – Our biggest error in 2017 was playing “Pudge” in the backline until the final weeks of the season. Her contested marking and goal kicking are her strongest features, although she will have to adapt to life without her sister Tessa feeding her the ball!

Caitlyn Jeffress – “Trucker” is another who came into her own once released from her backline role late in 2017, her ability to pick up the footy at speed is a testament to her previous career in touch rugby.

Sophie Croft – Runner-up in our best and fairest count last year, “Crofty” will play in the ruck and look to give our midfield first use of the footy.

What would you like the world to know about your football club? Are there any funny stories from last season or previous tournaments?

The Wandsworth Demons prides itself on being a family away from home, most of our members are new to London when they join and come from all over the world, of course they’re mostly Australian expats! 2017 was our most successful season to date, all 5 teams made their respective Grand Finals, with 3 cups coming back to our spiritual home, “The Alex”, down at Clapham Common. Our previous effort at the Champions League was a disaster, we didn’t have a full-size squad and most of our girls took the overnight bus from London the Amsterdam. They were barely able to keep their eyes open by the end of the day and were certainly not successful in their pursuit of glory!

The Wandsworth Demons will look to continue their good form from tournaments of the past by winning the title at the 2018 Champions League.

Bordeaux Bombers

Cam Portal – Bordeaux Team Manager

Tell us a bit about your pathway to qualifying for the 2018 Champions League? Quick recap of your 2017 season…

In France, there is still no female competition. This year, we won our place thanks to the good development of our women’s team.

What has your preparation for this year’s tournament been like?

We train hard with the men’s team to prepare the Champions League with skills, strategic exercises and mixed matches of course. We will also have some new girls in the team who will learn everything about this kind of competition in Amsterdam.

What does your side coming to Amsterdam want to achieve in 2018?

Of course, we want to gain as much experience as possible, but this year we really want to have a good result. Last year after finishing first of the pool games, we lost in the semi-final. This year, we want to do better!

Describe some players in your team that fans should keep an eye on at Champions League 2018.

Camille Portal and Coline Duquet would definitely be our players to watch. Camille was part of the team of the tournament at almost all the last European events, and Coline was named the captain of the last tournament and was part of the team of the tournament at the International Cup in Melbourne last August.

What would you like the world to know about your football club? Are there any funny stories from last season or previous tournaments?

With all the rain we’ve had this winter we have learned water footy and some fins and gills might have grown.


From Paris to Bordeaux, this year’s Champions League competition will see last year’s player of the tournament Coline Duquet represent the Bombers.

Men’s Competition:

Ivan Molnar – Zagreb Team Manager

Zagreb Cvjetno Dockers

Tell us a bit about your pathway to qualifying for the 2018 Champions League? Quick recap of your 2017 season…

We qualified to 2018 Champions League by winning Central European Australian Football League in 2017. It is a league that is played by clubs from Italy, Austria, Czech Republic and Croatia. There were two very tough tournaments, one in Milan (Italy) and one in Graz (Austria). Our main rivals last season, both in CEAFL and in Croatian League, were Sesvete Doubleblues. We played some great and close matches against them and won the CEAFL but lost the Croatian Championship in the final.
What has your preparation for this year’s tournament been like?

Our preparations started in January. We have been training mostly indoors due to the very cold weather. Hopefully winter will end before Champions League tournament.

What does your side coming to Amsterdam want to achieve in 2018?

Last year we came to Amsterdam with a strong and experienced team looking for a result and we finished in fifth place, which is a great result if you consider that we had no Australian players in our team. This year we lost some important players but we recruited new young ones. With this young team our main goal is to gather experience and to develop our team for the future.

Describe some players in your team that fans should keep an eye on at Champions League 2018?

Our new players are yet to prove themselves. We will leave it to the spectators to decide after the tournament who will be the next star in our team. The talent is surely there. The rookie of the year of Croatian League in 2017 was from our club, Viktor Kolčić.

What would you like the world to know about your football club? Are there any funny stories from last season or previous tournaments?

There are funny stories and moments from almost every trip we make so it is hard to pick one. The funny fact might be that we are all Lord of the Rings fans. So if someone wants to join the club, one of the conditions is that you must at least know the basics about the Middle-earth.

After finishing in fifth place last year, the Dockers will take a young team to Amsterdam in April.

Berlin Crocodiles

Chris Woods – Berlin Team Manager

Tell us a bit about your pathway to qualifying for the 2018 Champions League? Quick recap of your 2017 season…

For us 2017 was a year of firsts. We had been making steady progress over the previous years – finally making the finals in 2015, after years of absences – and competing in the Grand Final in 2016, where we were thumped by Munich. However, with what has been touted in Berlin as the “Super Draft” in 2016, some handy additions in 2017 and the development of some of our german and international players, we were able to enter 2017 with a very strong squad. We played 35 players across three 9-aside tournaments and five 16-aside matches, and went through the season undefeated, before getting our revenge on Munich to win our first AFLG premiership. It was a great culmination of determination and hard work by many players across many eras of our club. Our club has provided a home for countless footy fans in Berlin over the years, so we were very proud to bring home the silverware for everyone who has been a part of our journey over the years.

What has your preparation for this year’s tournament been like?

The weather has been very cold in the last month, but it hasn’t stopped us getting out on the track in sub-degree temperatures. We have lost a couple of key players from our premiership side last year in Rhys Ironmonger (BOG in the Grand Final) and speedy Steele Sexton, but there are some likely additions that have hit the track with us early this year and we are looking forward to rolling them out during the season.

What does your side coming to Amsterdam want to achieve in 2018?

We are looking forward to testing ourselves against Europe’s best and of course the after party. Our lads love a good away trip and could not think of a better place to go then Amsterdam.

Describe some players in your team that fans should keep an eye on at Champions League 2018?

The “Twin Towers” Josh “Bolly” Bollmeyer and Rowan “Horse” Miegel are our spearheads up forward. Josh came to the club in 2017 and took out the Club, and League, best and fairest – a very handy addition to our premiership team – while Rowan has been around the traps for us for a number of years and is getting better with age.

Felix “Puss” Grob has developed into an agile running half back and represented Germany in last years international cup in Australia. He is just as agile out on the town and gets up to mischief on a regular basis.

Bart “The Flying Dutchman” Rijckaert is our team captain and stalwart in defence. Originally from a small farm in the Netherlands, he says he has never been to Amsterdam, so he has to win a premiership to see what the big smoke is like.

What would you like the world to know about your football club? Are there any funny stories from last season or previous tournaments?

Half the team had to get new boots this year, after their old boots grew mould over the winter break from all the celebratory shoeys that were performed after the premiership success. A valuable life lesson was learned.



It was a big year for the Berlin Crocodiles in 2017. Now they’re a serious threat to win this year’s edition of the Champions League.

Leeside Lions

Chris O’Brien – Leeside Coach

Tell us a bit about your pathway to qualifying for the 2018 Champions League? Quick recap of your 2017 season…

Our path to this year’s Champions League started with us retaining our AFL Ireland title. Having gone undefeated in 2016, 2017 we were a marked target with teams gunning for us. Belfast finally got our number in round 6, but we steadied the ship to top the league and seal another Home final against the South Dublin Swans, in which Ian O’Sullivan rolled back the clock to produce a BOG display.

What has your preparation for this year’s tournament been like?

With a youngish squad most our lads have been training away with the UCC Bombers and CIT Saints over the winter. The old lads have rested up the legs for a few months since the Grand Final but have been hitting the pitch hard since the New Year.

What does your side coming to Amsterdam want to achieve in 2018?

Having reached the semi-finals last year we have earmarked improving on that. Needless to say, having made the semi-final only on the narrowest of percentage margins over the Farum Cats we are well aware of the quality of the opposition across Europe and are not taking anything for granted.

Describe some players in your team that fans should keep an eye on at Champions League 2018?

Having Colin Lordan, Oisin Collins, Paudie O’Connell, Paul Murphy, Dom Joyce and Shane O’Sullivan who were all members of the Irish Warriors IC squad last year, we will be looking to them for experience.

What would you like the world to know about your football club? Are there any funny stories from last season or previous tournaments?

We are currently Irelands most successful club with 6 titles. Our Kangaroo Court sessions are the stuff of legend. So much so that half the lads didn’t come back this year.

The Leeside Lions will be looking to improve on their semi-final performance from last year’s Champions League.


History of the ANZAC Cup

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, the men’s and women’s Australian Spirit sides will go head-to-head with the French national teams to contest the 10th annual ANZAC Cup, honouring those who fought to reclaim the town on the night of April 24th, 1918.

Villers-Bretonneux had been a key post for the Allies prior to the Germans successfully breaking through defensive lines and taking the town on the 24th as part of their Spring Offensive. This was a considerable victory given the towns vantage point over the city of Amiens which was of significant tactical importance to both sides.

As such, the Australian lead counter-attack was an imperative move to be made and was quickly ordered to commence on the night of the 24th, with the 13th, 14th & 15th brigades waiting for the cover of darkness before launching their response at 10pm local time. Their efforts were successful and the town was handed back to the villagers on April 25th – exactly three years after the landing at Gallipoli – but tragically not before 2,473 Australian lives were lost.

The match is now a focal point in the ‘Australia Week’ celebrations organised by local authorities that recognise this sacrifice made by the Australians who retook Villers-Bretonneux.

Played since 2009, the 32 Australian men and women selected to represent their country in the ANZAC Cup are done so based on their own personal or family connection to the armed forces rather than their specific footballing experience or ability, placing extra importance on the already momentous honour of pulling on the green and gold.

Players are hosted by adoring local families and spend time in the lead up to the game engaging with their opposition by running community footy clinics, sharing a dinner and guernsey presentation, taking part in a street parade and holding a combined training session, before attending the dawn service at the Australian National Memorial where the names of 10,733 Australian’s who lost their lives on the Western Front are listed.

While the match is a key feature of the commemorations, the final score is far from front of mind as the week acts to bind Australia and France in honouring the sacrifices made by the ANZAC’s.

2017 captain of the women’s Australian Spirit side Hayley Canton described the event as “one of the best experiences of my life.”

“The football itself is fast-paced and closely contested but the best part is what happens off the field. The opportunity to bond with the people of Villers-Bretonneux through football and our shared history is something you can’t experience anywhere else.”

“We are welcomed into their town and their homes, and experience amazing hospitality. Attending the dawn service and seeing what our countrymen fought for and why the people of Villers-Bretonneux are so grateful for our veterans cements the relationship between our two countries.”

Canton’s sentiments are echoed by her male counterpart Jay Treloar, who will again represent the men’s team in Villers-Bretonneux after being anointed the sides spiritual leader in 2017.

“The chance to play in Villers-Bretonneux as part of the ANZAC Cup is definitely one of the best things I’ve ever done and something I will always cherish,” he said.

“The way we were embraced by the local townspeople left many of us gobsmacked and probably a little overwhelmed by their amazing hospitality. It just highlighted what an amazing group of people those ANZAC’s must have been, that their spirit and reputation still lives on today.”

’’It’s an amazing opportunity for descendants of those brave ANZACs who fought at Villers-Bretonneux and served throughout the world to embrace their memory and pay their respect. I can only say to anyone who may have the opportunity to take part, grab it’’

Stay across for extended coverage in the lead-up to the 2018 ANZAC CUP including player spotlights and match features over the coming weeks.


Men’s Winners

2009 – Australia by 119 points

2010 – France by 24 points

2011 – Australia by 133 points

2012 – France by 69 points

2013 – France by 41 points

2014 – Australia by 229 points

2015 – Australia by 49 points

2016 – Australia by 85 points

2017 – Australia by 39 points

Head to Head – Australia 6, France 3


Women’s Winners

2016 – Australia by 102 points

2017 – Australia by 43 points

Head to Head – Australia 2, France 0


2018 Squads

Australia Spirit Men;


Australia Spirit Women;

Emily BOURKE, Hayley CANTON, Sarah CARTHEW, Rianne COLDEBELLA, Victoria COX, Emma HORNER, Caitlin FAY, Caitlyn JEFFRESS, Priscilla LODGE, Maddy MURPHY, Annabel SHEWRING, Katie STONE, Amy TAYLOR, Courtney THOMAS, Bianca VALENZISI

France Men;

Anthony BERNAD, Nicolas BOCHE, Pierre BOSCART, Clement BOUCHET, Thomas CREPIN, Julien DAGOIS, Herve DESJARDIN, Alex DULCHAIN, Maxime FAVERO, Cyrille GANDOLFO, Baudoin GERMOND, Christopher MARTINE, Vincent MONNIER, Jeremy SARDIN, Raphael UBEDA, Antoine WERNER,

France Women;

Bridgette ALLEN, Naima At El MOUTEN, Gisele Ben KEMOUN, Melanie COLOT, Catherine GILES, Melanie LEROY, Genevieve MARTIN, Claire PEREZ, Anne PILLE, Berengere PORTAL, Camille PORTAL

FIRST BOUNCE: 12pm Women’s, 2pm Men’s

Riley Brettell – AFL Europe

Oxford & Cambridge set for 98th Annual Varsity Match

It’s not often that a matchup between Adelaide and Port Adelaide will take a backseat to another same day fixture when it comes to footy’s biggest rivalries, but this Saturday might just be the exception to the rule.

Some 16,300km away from the pre-season Showdown at the Alberton Oval, two of the games oldest and fiercest combatants will face off again in the 98th annual Varsity Game between Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

The fixture pre-dates the first World War, with the first recorded match between the two sides taking place in 1911 before it became a yearly fixture from 1921 onwards, making it the longest running Australian Rules fixture to be played outside of Australia.

Adding to the significance of the 2018 edition is the inaugural women’s varsity match that will follow the men’s game, breaking new ground after the two teams competed as a composite side in an exhibition against the Wandsworth Demons last year.

Now with the chance to compete against each other for the first time, the Oxford Women who were founded by PhD student Rachel Paterson back in 2012 will host Cambridge at the Marston Road Sports Ground and be eager to claim the early bragging rights.

That will be no easy task though against a Cambridge side who will be buoyed by the experience of their debut Fitzpatrick Cup campaign in Cork in February, where their star Catherine Ludden took out player of the tournament honours.

Footage taken from the 1925 Varsity game

Cambridge University’s ties with Australian Rules football stretch back almost as far as the code itself, with footballs proverbial founding father Tom Wills attending the University in the 1850’s before returning to Melbourne and penning the first laws of the game in 1859.

Club president Chris Jacob says that while the club has gone through a transitional period in recent times, spirits are high heading into their most anticipated game of the year.

‘’The vibe this year has been fantastic… the injection of new people and a whole women’s team had drastically change the culture for the better. We moved training to Newnham College thanks to a new collaboration, and having a permanent home changes the way we approach training as well as socializing. A revamped board has provided new enthusiasm for the future of the club and we only hope to keep building.’’

On the men’s front, it will be Oxford who goes in with the confidence edge after taking out the previous two varsity games, with a tight 6-point victory in 2016 followed by last year’s convincing 52-point result.

Oxford club president Mitchell Robertson said he expects to see two highly competitive matches, and similarly to his Cambridge counterpart channelled Dennis Denuto in describing a very positive atmosphere at the club.

‘’There is such a positive vibe and momentum around the place, particularly for the women where this has been a long time coming and a long-held dream, so to now realise that everything is coming together is a really special moment.’’

‘’We’re hoping the fact it’s the first women’s varsity will draw a crowd and we have quite a few former players coming down from London to watch from the men’s team’’ Robertson said.





Riley Brettell – AFL Europe

AFLW – Round 5 Report

AFLW – Round 5 Report

It was another big weekend of AFLW action at the weekend which has seen the Western Bulldogs become the first team to claim outright top spot on the ladder for the year, going one game clear of Melbourne and Brisbane ahead of next weekends ‘moving round,’ which sees do or die clashes right throughout the penultimate round of fixtures.

Cora Staunton, Phoebe McWilliams, Laura Tesoriero, Lauren Spark continued to fly the flag for AFL in Europe with great aplomb, while Laura Corrigan-Duryea & Kate Shierlaw were both rested for the weekend. will continue to follow the progress of all six of these listed AFLW players who have ties to AFL in Europe for the remainder of the season, so stay tuned each week for updates on how each of the girls are tracking.

To watch all the AFL and AFLW matches in 2018 live and on demand, click here and enter the code AFLEUROPE10 to get 10% off your subscription!

Phoebe McWilliams – #3 – Greater Western Sydney Giants – Formerly Wimbledon Hawks (2015)

The GWS Giants season remains alive after they registered a huge underdog win on the road in Perth, toppling the Dockers by 18-points as Phoebe McWilliams produced a very lively performance up forward.

McWilliams helped set the tone for the Giants early by taking a strong pack mark ten-minutes into the match and kicking truly to register the first goal of the game and her seventh for the year, which got the ball running for a four goal to one opening half in favour of GWS.

Her presence and interplay with Cora Staunton across half forward proved crucial for the Giants, as McWilliams finished with three shots on goal from her five mark, seven disposal outing to be one of her sides best in a huge win for the club.

The result remarkably catapults the Giants into the top four and sets up a huge Saturday night clash against the ladder leading Bulldogs in Western Sydney where a victory could see them sit second at the end of the round if results go their way.


Cora Staunton – #13 – Greater Western Sydney Giants – Recruited from GAA

Mayo legend Core Staunton was the other link in the Giants AFL Europe led forward line and more than matched the high standards being set by McWilliams, with Staunton proving nearly impossible to stop whenever the ball came near her.

She put her name on the scoreboard with another example of what is quickly becoming her trademark dash and snapped finish, but she was equally as influential defensively with four strong tackles which had the Dockers visibly rattled.

The GAA legend continues to grow in confidence and with good reason, with her goal-assist on the weekend taking her to the top of that category across the entire league.

Staunton will continue to play a huge role in the Giants surge for the top two and will need to be at her best this weekend, with Saturday nights encounter with the Dogs the ultimate litmus test for the legitimacy of her sides premiership claims.


Lauren Spark – #11 – Western Bulldogs – Formerly Wimbledon Hawks (2015/16)

Top spot is now the Dogs to forfeit in the final two games of the regular season after they moved a game clear at the pointy end of the ladder with their eight-point win over a gallant Collingwood side in Moe.

The performance of Lauren Spark was just as Dogs supporters have come to expect from the former Wimbledon Hawk, proving a key cog in the wheel in the most potent forward line in the competition after being thrust out of the key defensive post which she has made her own this season in order to fill the void left by superstar spearhead Katie Brennan.

Spark had 6 disposals as teammates Ellie Blackburn, Emma Kearney & Brook Lochland starred, taking the Dogs to their fourth win in five games and putting them in a strong position ahead of next Saturdays away trip to Western Sydney, where they will face a Giants side hell-bent on keeping their season alive.

Lauren Tesoriero – #7 – Collingwood Magpies – Formerly Wandsworth Demons (2017)

While the trip to Moe was a fruitful one for the Bulldogs, it made for another tough weekend for Collingwood who were resigned to their fourth loss of the season and remain rooted to the foot of the table.

In what is becoming the story of the Magpies season, the girls in black and white were gallant right throughout the match and kept the Dogs within reach for much of the game thanks to strong games from Caitlyn Edwards, Sarah D’Arcy & Steph Chiocci among others.

Lauren Tesoriero did her part for the side in coming off the bench and gathering seven disposals, but unfortunately, it was another tale of too little too late for the Pies as they goaled with ten seconds remaining to bring the margin back to eight points.

All is certainly not lost down at Victoria Park though, with a matchup against the Lions in Brisbane providing the chance for Collingwood to leapfrog their arch-rival Carlton on the ladder which can add to the motivation as they hunt for a second win of the year.

Laura Corrigan-Duryea – #11 – Melbourne Demons – Irish Banshees Co-Captain (2017 International Cup)

The clash between Melbourne and Brisbane loomed as the clear match-up of the round heading into the weekend and what was produced on Friday night certainly lived up to that billing, as the Demons prevailed in a close encounter that ensures only percentage separates these two sides vying for a spot in the Grand-Final.

Laura Corrigan-Duryea was one of four changes for the Dees squad as coaches looked to freshen up the squad who had travelled to Perth & Alice Springs in the preceding fortnight.

While Corrigan-Duryea watched from the sidelines, her teammates engaged in a tight, seesawing affair that developed into one of the games of the season, with the star trio of Paxman, Pearce and O’Dea leading the way for the Dees to counter the efforts of Kate Ludkins & Sabrina Frederick-Traub in the opposition camp.

The Lions had their chances to snatch the four points in the dying stages of the game after some wayward Melbourne kicking for goal opened the door, but the Dees held strong and remained a goal to the good at the final siren.

They now face the struggling Blues at Princes Park next Sunday afternoon, as they look to reclaim their position in the top two ahead of a blockbuster final round game against the Bulldogs.

Kate Shierlaw – #25 – Carlton Blues – Formerly Wimbledon Hawks (2016)

Carlton selectors swung the axe after the Blues big loss to the Western Bulldogs and Kate Shierlaw was one of the five omissions from the side ahead of their clash against the reigning premiers in Adelaide, though the inclusion of superstar recruit Tayla Harris wasn’t enough as Adelaide claimed a 35-point win.

While the result keeps Adelaide’s surge for a top two spot alive with two games to play it spells trouble for Carlton who have now lost three matches on the bounce. Whilst still mathematically possible, it will require a minor miracle for the Blues to mount a late push for the top.

Shierlaw will be looking for a quick recall for this Sunday’s match against Melbourne at Princes Park.

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