A Three-Peat for the AFLW!

Share This Post

In their third night game in a row, the team formerly known as the Friday night thrillers graduated to the Night Time Thrillers, overcoming an early 10-point deficit in the first quarter to record a thirteen-point victory in front of a parochial home crowd at Kinetic Stadium in Frankston.

The Hawks are now the fifth quickest team to win back-to-back games, exemplifying the professionalism and quality game plan that’s being produced.

Early in the first quarter, Port Adelaide peppered away at the Hawthorn goals but was only able to record one goal and four behinds, before Hawthorn was able to hit the scoreboard through a major to Sophie Locke, who was rewarded with a holding-the-ball call after an exceptional tackle in front of goal.

After the quarter-time break, it was Hawthorn’s turn to pepper away at goal, with numerous opportunities to take the lead but the girls were only able to score two minors in this period, despite their ascendancy.

After half-time, the girls started to take control around the ground and were able to score the last three goals of the match, with Bridie Hipwell kicking her first AFLW goal to put the girls in front before Aine McDonagh scored a great goal off the back of some excellent Aileen Gilroy work upfield before skipper Tilly Lucas-Rodd sealed the game from the goal square in game number 50.

For the seventh week running, the tackle count was won by the fledgling Hawks.

A +30 aggregate to the Hawks (70 to 40) was the catalyst for Port turning the ball over and not surprisingly, the two tiny tackling machines Tilly Lucas-Rodd and Tamara Smith led the tackle count for the brown and gold with nine and eight tackles respectively.

This week 18 out of the 21 players selected made at least two tackles each, showing the work rate and effort without the ball to stifle Port Adelaide’s attacks.

Players from both teams contest for the ball during the round seven AFLW match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Port Adelaide Power at SkyBus...
It was a picturesque setting at Frankston’s newly unveiled Kinetic Stadium | Getty Images

After last week’s epic win against the Eagles, the team saw three changes in total for the game with Dominique Carbone omitted, while Zoe Barbakos and Tegan Cunningham were out through injuries, allowing Kaitlyn Ashmore, Laura Elliott and Sarah Perkins to take the field.

With the late withdrawal of Cunningham, it meant that our forward line (coached by Lou Wotton), had a different focal point in attack, with fourth gamer and new convert to Aussie Rules Aine McDonagh, being the main target for our midfield going into our forward 50, with the luxury of being able to roll Jess Duffin up forward to assist in attack when needed.

With the key defenders of Jenna Richardson, Mackenzie Eardley, Emily Everist and Catherine Brown at his disposal.

The forward 50 efficiency this season continues to improve, with the team recording 23 inside 50s for nine scoring shots.

Aine McDonagh of the Hawks kicks a goal during the round seven AFLW match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Port Adelaide Power at SkyBus Stadium on...
Aine McDonagh continues to stand out for the Hawks | Getty Images

In the middle, midfield line coach David Mackay used five different centre bounce combinations this week, with the combination of Lucy Wales, Tilly Lucas-Rodd, Charlotte Baskaran and Aileen Gilroy attending three centre bounces together, which was the most used on the evening. 

The team this week won three out of the nine centre bounces and lost clearances 27 to 20 but through the defensive pressure, were able to minimise the Port Adelaide attack through the middle.

The Best:

Tilly Lucas-Rodd 

Our fearless skipper had a huge influence in game 50. 

Rodd had 19 touches, three marks, a staggering nine tackles, attended nine centre bounces and collected three clearances, while also kicking the match-winning goal in another sublime all-round performance.

Rodd continues to lead the young team every week in an exemplary manner, leading by example and never afraid to put her body on the line to help secure victory.

Jenna Richardson 

In her second game at the AFLW level, Richo was given the task of playing on AFLW superstar Erin Phillips whenever she rotated forward.

For a 20-year-old, this would be a daunting challenge, but not for Richardson.

Buoyed by her VFLW season where she was recognised for her defensive efforts by being named in the Team Of The Year, Richardson kept Phillips goalless while also influencing the play with her spoiling and pressuring, but Phillips did kick three behinds.

Her ability to not let Phillips get good looks offensively is what would make the Hawks coaching panel proud and us. 

She ended the night with 12 touches, three marks and two tackles, while continuously showing her defensive talent.

Hawks coach Bec Goddard is pictured hugging Akec Makur Chuot after their win during the round seven AFLW match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the...
Bec Goddard embraces Akec Makur Chuot after a brilliant win | Getty Images

Aine McDonough 

In her fourth game and being a new convert to Australian Rules, Aine continues to show incredible promise as a key forward.

Using her tall frame to her advantage, Aine was able to take five marks on the night (game-high), while also recording seven disposals, three tackles and two hit-outs.

In the third quarter with the game incredibly tight, Aine used her incredible strength to out-position her opponent, before using her speed to run towards the goal and kick truly, putting the team out to an almost two-goal advantage.

With each game she plays, Aine is showing her increased confidence and work rate and is now a key player in a developing forward line.

Tamara Smith 

On the football field, if anything in opposition colours moves, you can be guaranteed that Tamara Smith will tackle it. 

Smithy continues to show an incredible work rate through our midfield, and if not for being 22 at the start of the year, would surely be in contention for a Rising Star nomination. 

This week she laid eight tackles, collected 11 disposals and had three clearances for the evening while continuing to show the heart of Phar Lap and showing that she is a crucial component in our young midfield.

Mackenzie Eardley 

Big Mack, one of our draftees in the 2022 NAB AFLW draft, continues to develop as a key defender at an incredible rate. Her positioning in one on one contests is fantastic and this week she took some telling marks in defence, while also helping to stop Port Adelaide raids inside our defensive 50. Mack ended the contest with 11 disposals, nine of which came from her thumping boot, while taking three marks and making two tackles.  

 Lucy Wales 

Lucy continues to show that she is going to be an excellent asset to the Hawthorn lineup for the next decade. 19-year-old Lucy showed on Saturday night why she is important in the team structure, attending all of nine our centre bounces and spending the majority of her time rucking through the middle.

Lucy had 10 touches, two marks, five tackles, 17 hit-outs and two clearances in a game that will show NAB Rising Star selectors that she is a worthy recipient of a nomination for round seven. 

If Lucy isn’t nominated for the Rising Star award this week, it would be fair to say that the selectors have their eyes painted on as our #1 ruck continues to go from strength to strength in her maiden AFLW season.

Kaitlyn Ashmore

The Energiser Bunny of the team returned to the lineup after a minor hamstring injury and picked up where she left off, recording 16 touches, two marks and six tackles in a game where she was deployed more behind the ball than in her conventional wing spot, due to the narrow expanses of Kinetic Stadium. 

Kash continues to show her value to the team, with her experience in crucial moments important in steadying the ship, especially during Port Adelaide’s period of ascendancy in the first quarter.

With three wins on the trot now, the girls are starting to hit their straps and have a chance of making the top eight in their first season in the AFLW, as they currently sit in the 11th position, with just one win and percentage outside of the top eight.

Next week the team has their first interstate away game, against 15th placed GWS, in a game that will hopefully see the girls continuing to showcase the excellent game plan that Bec Goddard and the coaches are instilling in the players.

We continue to watch the girls striving and playing with the heart, effort and endeavour that means another win for the Hawthorn team is just around the corner.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Talking Hawks MVP: Round 5

After a promising fortnight against two top eight contenders, the young Hawks team took flight to the Gold Coast where unfortunately they were outworked and

Talking Hawks

Talking Hawks MVP: Round 4

While young and inexperienced on the field, (With sixteen players having played 100 games or less), the Hawks fought valiantly in a Gather Round thriller