AFLW Team of the Week/Leesa Catto Media MVP votes: Round 2, 2018

The footy couldn’t come fast enough after a long working week of criticism and controversy.

The players responded by doing their talking on the field, and we were treated to four games of impressive football which all featured better use of the ball by foot, even including the weather-affected match on Friday night.

As was the case for round one, it was difficult narrowing the best players of the week down to just 21 (the shortlist began with 31), particularly with so many Melbourne and Western Bulldogs players putting in such high quality performances.

Here are the Leesa Catto Media MVP votes and the Team of the Week for round two!

TOTW/Leesa Catto Media MVP votes: Round 1, 2018


Back pocket: Jess Duffin (Collingwood)
Key stats: 17 disposals (15 kicks, 2 handballs), 64.7% DE, 7 marks, 3 tackles, 4 rebound 50s, 4 one-percenters
Previous TOTW:
Jess Duffin was thrown into defence after Collingwood lost momentum in the first term, and had it not been for her rebound efforts, the Magpies could’ve been blown out. Her defensive work was just as remarkable in what was her first game of the season, amassing seven marks and four spoils, and using the ball efficiently when her teammates opted to blaze away.

Full-back: Brianna Davey (Carlton)
Key stats: 16 disposals (13 kicks, 3 handballs), 81.3% DE, 6 tackles, 6 one-percenters
Previous TOTW: R1 (BP)
To put it bluntly, Carlton would not have won on Friday if it weren’t for Brianna Davey. She was one of the few players on the field with composure, using the ball at a stunning 81.3% despite the weather and clearing multiple lines with her long bombs out of defence. Unfortunately, Davey will miss the remainder of the season after rupturing her ACL in the final quarter.

Back pocket: Chloe Molloy (Collingwood)
Key stats: 15 disposals (12 kicks, 3 handballs), 73.3% DE, 6 marks, 4 tackles, 3 rebound 50s, 6 one-percenters
Previous TOTW: R1 (BP)
Chloe Molloy showed her incredible round one performance was no one-off, putting in another excellent shift in the back pocket for the Magpies. She was important in Collingwood’s efforts to repel the relentless Freo attacks, and her six one-percenters showed she did more than just rack up numbers. We’re only two rounds in, but Molloy is a clear front-runner for the Rising Star.

Half-back flank: Dayna Cox (Adelaide)
Key stats: 13 disposals (9 kicks, 4 handballs), 92.3% DE, 6 rebound 50s
Previous TOTW:
Adelaide was soundly beaten at the weekend, but the defensive effort that Dayna Cox put in despite being under heavy fire from the Melbourne mids was exceptional. She stood up against the pressure to amass six rebound 50s, and her disposal efficiency of over 90 per cent is absolutely phenomenal. Without Courtney Cramey in the defence, Cox has stepped up to be the Crows’ best rebound defender.

Centre half-back: Bianca Jakobsson (Melbourne)
Key stats: 17 disposals (13 kicks, 4 handballs), 7 marks, 70.6% DE, 3 rebound 50s
Previous TOTW:
Having previously done her work in the forward end, Bianca Jakobsson has made a successful transition to Melbourne’s backline after being acquired in last year’s sign/trade period from Carlton. She racked up the intercept marks and was quick to send her team back into attack, operating at a high disposal efficiency and standing up as the pillar in the Demons defence.

Half-back flank: Lisa Webb (Fremantle)
Key stats: 17 disposals (14 kicks, 3 handballs), 7 marks, 64.7% DE, 3 clearances, 3 rebound 50s, 3 inside 50s
Previous TOTW:
These might be the best stats we’ve seen from any player on debut (apart from the first ever game) – not bad for a 33-year-old. When the Dockers started slowly, it was Lisa Webb who dragged them out of their slumber and didn’t take the foot off for the rest of the match. She patrolled the field and took ownership of her midfield position despite being inexperienced.

Centre: Emma Kearney (Western Bulldogs)
Key stats: 18 disposals (15 kicks, 3 handballs), 61.1% DE, 5 marks, 9 tackles, 4 clearances, 3 rebound 50s, 3 inside 50s
Previous TOTW: R1 (C)
Emma Kearney proves week in, week out why she is the competition’s premier inside midfielder and clearance winner. She did it all at the weekend, racking up disposals, using the ball cleanly, clearing lines and tackling hard. At this point, if you were building a team from the ground up, Kearney would have to be one of the first players in your side.

Half-forward flank: Melissa Caulfield (Fremantle)
Key stats: 12 disposals (6 kicks, 6 handballs), 75% DE, 4 inside 50s, 2 goals
Previous TOTW:
Melissa Caulfield was a prominent figure in Fremantle’s forward line in front of a big crowd against Collingwood, kicking two goals (one a clutch set shot to give Freo its first lead) and setting up another, essentially making her the difference maker. She provided just about the perfect performance from a half-forward.

Centre half-forward: Tegan Cunningham (Melbourne)
Key stats: 10 disposals (6 kicks, 4 handballs), 70% DE, 6 marks, 4 contested marks, 2 goals
Previous TOTW:
It looked as though Tegan Cunningham could be the new star key forward in this league during the pre-season, and so far her performances are proving that theory to be correct. Her overhead contested marking is sensational, and while there was nothing spectacular about her goals, her presence and use of the ball to setup teammates for such a tall player makes her invaluable.

Half-forward flank: Christina Bernardi (Collingwood)
Key stats: 11 disposals (11 kicks), 27.3% DE, 7 marks, 2 goals
Previous TOTW:
Despite her very low disposal efficiency, Christina Bernardi single-handedly kept Collingwood in the contest against Fremantle. She took contested marks to kick goals in the forward line and had multiple intercept contested marks in the backline, putting her body on the line for her team. The use of the ball needs improvement, but the endeavour was spectacular.

Forward pocket: Jessica Wuetschner (Brisbane)
Key stats: 6 disposals (5 kicks, 1 handball), 50% DE, 2 goals
Previous TOTW: R1 (Int)
Jess Wuetschner continues to show why she is the competition’s top mid-sized forward at the moment, kicking two goals completely against the tide including a snap to savour. The decision to award her a free kick for last touch out of bounds might’ve been questionable, but her unbelievable snap with the find from deep in the pocket was extraordinary.

Full-forward: Isabel Huntington (Western Bulldogs)
Key stats: 6 disposals (5 kicks, 1 handball), 50% DE, 4 marks, 3 contested marks, 2 goals
Previous TOTW:
Despite only playing less than a half of football against Brisbane, Huntington earns her spot for being the difference maker. She took back-to-back contested marks in the goal square to slam home easy goals, giving the Western Bulldogs a lead they would not surrender all day. Sadly, the promising, versatile star will miss more time after rupturing her ACL in the same five minute window she kicked her two goals, the opposite knee to which she did the same injury in 2016.

Forward pocket: Aliesha Newman (Melbourne)
Key stats: 8 disposals (6 kicks, 2 handballs), 50% DE, 2 goals
Previous TOTW:
Aliesha Newman has goal of the year wrapped up – let’s just get that one out of the way. Three bounces and a checkside angling across the face with the wind making it even tougher defies logic. Aside from her wonder goal, Newman was also able to setup another major as well as kick her second before the clock expired. She continues to rise to prominence in a Melbourne team with so many stars.

Ruck: Erin McKinnon (GWS)
Key stats: 5 disposals (2 kicks, 3 handballs), 60% DE, 24 hitouts, 3 tackles
Previous TOTW: R1 (R)
It was a rough outing for GWS against Carlton, but Erin McKinnon keeps on doing all that is asked of her from a ruck perspective. It wasn’t much of a spectacular week for rucks, but McKinnon has seemingly taken the mantle – at least for now – of the competition’s best tap-woman ahead of Emma King.

Rover: Dana Hooker (Fremantle)
Key stats: 20 disposals (17 kicks, 3 handballs), 50% DE, 14 contested possessions, 6 tackles, 6 inside 50s, 5 clearances, 2 goals
Previous TOTW:
Dana Hooker put on one of the most complete performances we’ve seen in the AFLW’s short history. Whether it be her two extraordinary goals, her six inside 50s or her five clearances, all the while wearing a hard tag after the first quarter, Hooker was on another level. It’s the sort of level Fremantle need her to maintain if they are to continue to get positive results.

Ruck-rover: Kate Hore (Melbourne)
Key stats: 20 disposals (5 kicks, 15 handballs), 70% DE, 7 tackles
Previous TOTW:
In game number two for Kate Hore, she was an effective inside distributor and link-up midfielder for Melbourne. Usually the high handballs count works against a player’s effectiveness in this league, but Hore was able to get the ball out to those damaging Melbourne mids and the subsequently did the damage by foot. That doesn’t happen without Hore’s marvelous performance.

Interchange: Karen Paxman (Melbourne)
Key stats: 21 disposals (14 kicks, 7 handballs), 66.7% DE
Previous TOTW:
Having missed most of the round one opener with back spasms keeping her out of the game after five-odd minutes in the first term, Paxman was back at her very best, racking up clearances, disposals and punishing the opposition. What you see is what you get with Paxman – you know she’s going to perform every time she steps out onto the park.

Interchange: Melissa Kuys (Collingwood)
Key stats: 21 disposals (16 kicks, 5 handballs), 66.7% DE, 6 marks, 5 inside 50s)
Previous TOTW:
Melissa Kuys seemed to be the only midfield who could hack it against Fremantle’s tough interior. The 30-year-old’s work rate needs to be applauded on top of her high disposal game, as she refused to let the Dockers completely have it their own way in the clinches. The Magpies need more contributors like Kuys.

Interchange: Hannah Scott (Western Bulldogs)
Key stats: 13 disposals (12 kicks, 1 handball), 84.6% DE, 6 rebound 50s, 1 goal)
Previous TOTW:
The competition’s premier half-back makes her TOTW debut this season after putting in one of her very best shifts. With almost every disposal being effective, Scott racked up an incredible six rebound 50s and, as she so often manages to do, had an impact on the scoreboard with the most stunning 45 metre snap on the run – despite only being on a slight angle – you will ever see.

Interchange: Kirsty Lamb (Western Bulldogs)
Key stats: 20 disposals (13 kicks, 7 handballs), 60% DE, 4 marks
Previous TOTW: R1 (Int)
The Western Bulldogs have found their extra regular contributing midfielder in Kirsty Lamb which was the Dogs biggest issue last year, aside from the absence of Katie Brennan. Lamb makes it impossibly for teams to clamp down on Emma Kearney and Ellie Blackburn, as she is proving to be just as damaging as the Dogs’ high profile midfield pairing.

Interchange: Sarah Hosking (Carlton)
Key stats: 12 disposals (6 kicks, 6 handballs), 60% DE, 16 tackles
Previous TOTW:
The weather seemed to suit Sarah Hosking’s play style as she broke Ebony Marinoff’s record of the most tackles by a player in an AFLW match, amassing 16 tackles in the wet conditions. The Giants midfielders were rattled against Carlton, and it’s in large part due to the tackling performance of Hosking. We know she can get the disposal numbers, but it’s those efforts without the football that made her stand out in round two.

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