Team of the Week: Every club represented, Roo misses out

FOR THE first time this season, an AFLW Team of the Week regular has failed to make the cut.

North Melbourne defender Jess Duffin has not been selected, while the opponent her shut her down, former teammate Emma Grant, has earned herself a spot on the bench.

Overall, it was an incredibly even split across the 10 teams, with every side having at least one player selected.

The team, brought to you by AccorHotels, is selected to mirror the All Australian side: five defenders, six midfielders (including a ruck), five forwards and five interchange players.  

Like the All Australian team, it has players selected in general categories, rather than in traditional positions. The 16-a-side set-up often means teams play with varying configurations, making set selections (e.g wings and flanks) difficult. 

AFLW Match Highlights: Adelaide v GWS

04:43 Mar 10. 2019. 4:14 PM

The Crows and Giants clash in Round 6 of the AFLW

Defenders: Ash Brazill (Collingwood), Ellie Brush (GWS), Kate Lutkins (Brisbane), Meg McDonald (Geelong), Hannah Scott (Western Bulldogs)

It's the first selection of the year for Scott and Brush, who held up well in under-siege defences. Scott led the competition for rebound 50s this round with nine, while Brush took several goal-saving marks.

Key back McDonald (22 disposals) was another to emerge with her reputation intact after a swarm of inside-50 entries, while Lutkins (20 disposals, eight rebound 50s and seven tackles) was back to her best.

Brazill's strong year continued (19 disposals and six rebound 50s), with the Pie favourite to back up her 2018 Collingwood netball best and fairest win with a Collingwood AFLW best and fairest.

Ash Brazill is in the team for a fourth time

Midfielders: Lauren Pearce (ruck, Melbourne), Kiara Bowers (Fremantle), Ebony Marinoff (Adelaide), Karen Paxman (Melbourne), Erin Phillips (Adelaide), Maddy Prespakis (Carlton) 

Pearce inched closer to a possible All Australian berth, setting an AFLW record for hitouts to advantage (14), as well as 12 disposals and four clearances.

The dynamic Adelaide duo of Marinoff and Phillips (24 touches each and 13 clearances between the pair) continued to wreak havoc and look set to have a strong finals series if the Crows qualify.

Familiar faces Bowers (16 disposals and 19 tackles, two short of Marinoff's AFLW record), Paxman (24 touches, eight clearances and seven tackles) and Prespakis (a round-high 27 disposals) round out the midfield.

Forwards: Tegan Cunningham (Melbourne), Jasmine Garner (North Melbourne), Gemma Houghton (Fremantle), Stevie-Lee Thompson (Adelaide), Brooke Walker (Carlton)

Cunningham's match-winning performance has seen her selected alongside Thompson, who is now outright favourite for the competition's leading goalkicker award.

Houghton (11 disposals, four marks and a goal) was very dangerous, Garner (13 touches, four tackles and three inside-50s) controlled North Melbourne's forward line while Walker had her best-ever match, breaking the game apart with two quick goals and 12 disposals.

Interchange: Britt Bonnici (Collingwood), Jenna Bruton (North Melbourne), Emma Grant (Collingwood), Alicia Eva (GWS), Maddy McMahon (Geelong)

Two shutdown players feature on the bench. Bonnici (21 disposals) held Emma Kearney well under control and Grant nullified the dangerous Duffin as a defensive forward.

Bruton (19 and five clearances), Eva (20 and six rebound-50s) and McMahon (17 and seven rebound-50s) round out the team.

The Regulars:

(Players who have been selected three or more times this season. Sixty-seven players have featured in the Team of the Week in 2019)

Jess Duffin (North Melbourne) – 5
Meg McDonald (Geelong) – 5
Erin Phillips (Adelaide) – 5
Maddy Prespakis (Carlton) – 5
Emma Kearney (North Melbourne) – 4
Ash Brazill (Collingwood) – 4
Karen Paxman (Melbourne) – 4
Ally Anderson (Brisbane) – 3
Kiara Bowers (Fremantle) – 3
Kerryn Harrington (Carlton) – 3
Emma King (North Melbourne) – 3
Kate Lutkins (Brisbane) – 3 
Ebony Marinoff (Adelaide) – 3
Lauren Pearce (Melbourne) – 3 
Cora Staunton (Greater Western Sydney) – 3
Stevie-Lee Thompson (Adelaide) – 3

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