It’s halfway through the AFLW season and every team has at least a win and a loss on the board, signalling the improved standard of the competition from last year.
Western Bulldogs (1st) 3 wins, 1 loss
The Dogs have been hit with three big injuries – Daria Bannister and Isabel Huntington rupturing their ACLs and captain Katie Brennan injuring her ankle after playing so well in the opening three rounds.
Brooke Lochland announced herself in round four with a record seven goals while joint best and fairest winners, Emma Kearney and Ellie Blackburn, have been their usual exceptional selves. Players like Libby Birch, Aasta O’Connor and Bonnie Toogood, among others, have also had great starts to the season.
Brisbane Lions (2nd) 3 wins, 1 loss
Last year’s grand finalists are in an excellent position to reach the decider and go one better than 2017. Sitting in second only thanks to an inferior percentage, Brisbane has shown they are as hungry as ever.
With Jess Wuetschner scoring for fun in the forward line, the strong and assured Sabrina Fredrick-Traub leading by example and Leah Kaslar and Kate Lutkins doing brilliantly in defence, there is plenty to like about the 2018 version of the Lions.
Melbourne (3rd) 2 wins, 2 losses
The pre-season premiership favourites are still in a good position to advance to the grand final. They lost narrowly to the Dockers and were beaten by a Collingwood side that better adapted to the trying conditions.
The elite midfield is talked about extensively and with good reason. Elise O’Dea, Karen Paxman and Daisy Pearce are crucial to any Melbourne success. Players like Kate Hore and Tegan Cunningham have been good while Aliesha Newman and Richelle Cranston are just two players whose x-factor can help the Dees in the second half of the season.
Fremantle (4th) 2 wins, 2 losses
The Dockers have won both their homes matches and lost both of their away matches. They’re doing much better than the 2017 version of the team, who at this point in the season had a single point on the board after a draw with GWS.
Dana Hooker was excellent last season and has kept up that form in 2018. The likes of captain Kara Donnellan, Ebony Antonio and emerging talent Emily McGuire – a rising star nominee – hold Freo in good stead in the grand final race.
Carlton (5th) 2 wins, 2 losses
The Blues have been a mixed bag. Their defensive style of play has been criticised and, in the last two rounds, it hasn’t been particularly effective, culminating in that heavy loss to the Dogs.
Bri Davey’s injury is undeniably huge but Carlton has had more goalless quarters (9) in the first four rounds of the competition than any other team and things need to change if they want to seriously push for a grand final spot.
GWS Giants (6th) 1 win, 2 losses, 1 draw
The Giants are no longer the easy beats of the competition. With a close loss to the Dees, a good win over the Pies and rain playing its part in their loss to Carlton and draw with the Crows, GWS has come improved immensely.
Alicia Eva has been outstanding for her new club while Phoebe McWilliams has built upon her good showing in the 2017 season and taken it to another level.
Adelaide (7th) 1 win, 2 losses, 1 draw
This wasn’t the position the reigning premiers had hoped to be in at this point of the season, nor were they expected to be this low on the ladder.
The return of the likes of Erin Phillips and Courtney Cramey, alongside the likes of Chelsea Randall and Ebony Marinoff should see the Crows’ second half go better than their first.
Collingwood (8th) 1 win, 3 losses
The Pies are off to another slow start but they can take plenty of confidence from their win against the Dees and apply it to the rest of the season.
Chloe Molloy has been the stand out in her first season of AFLW, playing in defence as opposed to the forward line where she played in 2017.