While the first round of the AFLW featured low scores and heavy defence, by the third round open play and goal kicking is deciding matches. It is clear that over the last three weeks accuracy and skill levels have increased, as the players have gained valuable match fitness and experience. At this rate the finals series will be a cracker!
This year also features the first group of women who have been able to play footy their whole lives, without needing to stop at 14 when girls used to have to stop playing. As more of these young women come through the pathways we can also expect the standard of play to lift.
In the first round 3 out of the 10 teams failed to score 20 points, while a further 4 couldn’t make it to 30. The Bulldogs even managed a win with 18 points, while Geelong won with 24 and Brisbane with 29! Just 2 weeks later all 5 winning teams hit 50, with Melbourne, Carlton and Adelaide reaching 60, and of the losers GWS and Geelong were over 35 while the Bulldogs, Magpies and Lions were around 20.
Accuracy has also massively increased, with the higher scores tending to be a result of more successful goals and less behinds than in round 1. In round 1 Adelaide scored 17 points with 11 behinds and a single goal, while in round 3 they got to 66 with 10 goals and 6 behinds. They only had 4 more shots at the goals, but far more of them collected the full 6 points.
Crowds are also doing well, with over 3,000 people at each of the 5 games last weekend – in fact, Fremantle drew about 5,500, while 4,500 went in Adelaide and 4,200 went in Brisbane. The AFLW is continuing to grow and become more entertaining, and as seasons get longer and more girls come through AFL pathways this trend will only continue.