Long, better kicks on the rise after AFLW round one

AFLW TEAMS kicked longer more often and more effectively in the opening round on average than in the competition's first two seasons, in a strong start to the 2019 campaign. 

The five matches, four of which were decided by four points or fewer, averaged 36.9 effective kicks, an increase from 31.1 last year and 26.8 in 2017. 

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Emphasising that significant jump was that five clubs' total effective long kicks at the weekend ranked in the top eight for a single game in AFLW history. 

Three of the five – Brisbane, North Melbourne and Fremantle – won their games. 

Most effective long kicks in an AFLW game

CLUB

YEAR

TOTAL

Adelaide

Round 6, 2018

47

Melbourne

Round 6, 2018

46

Greater Western Sydney

Round 1, 2019

44

Brisbane

Round 1, 2019

43

Greater Western Sydney

Round 7, 2018

42

North Melbourne

Round 1, 2019

41

Collingwood

Round 1, 2019

40

Fremantle

Round 1, 2019

40

 

There was also major improvement in round one in overall kicking efficiency (57.6 per cent, up from 52.4 last year and 50.8 in 2017) and average effective kicks per team (69.6, up from 66.3 last year and 59.9 in 2017).

AFLW talent manager and new Geelong ruck Aasta O'Connor said the improved numbers were a reflection of pathway programs and the competition’s and teams' maturation and greater professionalism. 

"The players are far more physically prepared when they come through those pathways," O'Connor told AFL.com.au

"We've now had three pre-seasons…the girls' hamstrings are stronger, their quads are stronger and they're able to move through the footy with penetration and power. 

"The (new rules for) kick-ins have contributed a little as well, and there are specified kickers in the back half – Hannah Scott is a very good example of that at the Western Bulldogs – and they know to get the ball in their hands."