AFLW Team of the Week, round one

THERE'S a host of familiar faces in womens.afl's Team of the Week for round one.

But a new age bracket of players is rising through the ranks, with seven players aged 21 or under picked in the 21.

North Melbourne's 62-point demolition of Geelong is reflected with four selections in the team.

The team 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. 

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DEFENDERS

Harriet Cordner (Richmond), Janelle Cuthbertson (Fremantle), Stacey Livingstone (Collingwood), Tahlia Randall (North Melbourne), Tarni White (St Kilda)

Cordner (10 intercept possessions, seven marks) made a big impact in her first match in the yellow and black, while Randall (nine spoils) and the unheralded Cuthbertson (an incredible 17 intercept possessions) dominated the air.

Livingstone's intriguing battle with Tayla Harris continued, and she directed her backline with aplomb and at the other end of the experience continuum, Saint White (20 disposals, seven marks) was assured beyond her years.

Magpie Stacey Livingstone renewed acquaintances with Tayla Harris. Picture: Getty Images via AFL Photos

MIDFIELDERS

Emma King (North Melbourne, ruck), Ellie Blackburn (Western Bulldogs), Jasmine Garner (North Melbourne) Karen Paxman (Melbourne), Alyce Parker (GWS), Erin Phillips (Adelaide)

King was back to her formidable best against Geelong, pushing forward to kick three goals and recording 30 hitouts.

The cream rose to the top in round one: a fully-fit Phillips (23 disposals, two goals) sent a stern reminder to the rest of the competition, Paxman broke the Suns apart with 25 and eight intercept possessions, while Garner (18, two goals and five score involvements) picked up where she left off.

Parker (28 and 409m gained) more than held her own against Fremantle, with Blackburn (21 and two goals) nearly dragging the Dogs over the line by herself.

Phillips wows with stunning finish

00:32 Jan 30. 2021. 6:38 PM

Erin Phillips showed her class in front of goal with a brilliant dummy before snagging the goal on her left to increase the Crows' lead

FORWARDS

Sabreena Duffy (Fremantle), Ellie Gavalas (North Melbourne), Gemma Houghton (Fremantle), Izzy Huntington (Western Bulldogs), Chelsea Randall (Adelaide)

Dangerous Fremantle duo Sabreena Duffy and Gemma Houghton terrorised GWS' defence, booting three goals apiece, as did Kangaroo Gavalas.

Two All-Australian defenders in Izzy Huntington (five contested marks and two goals) and Chelsea Randall (19 disposals and five inside 50s, playing across half-forward) seamlessly made the switch to attack.

Duffy drives through for goal number two

00:45 Jan 31. 2021. 5:02 PM

Sabreena Duffy brushes off oncoming traffic with ease and slots her side's second goal of the game

INTERCHANGE

Georgia Patrikios (St Kilda), Belle Dawes (Brisbane), Nat Grider (Brisbane), Britt Bonnici (Collingwood), Sarah Perkins (Gold Coast),

Patrikios (23 disposals and five inside 50s) was instrumental in her side's exciting win over the Bulldogs, Dawes (21 touches, seven clearances) had a breakout performance with Bonnici (22) at her industrious best.

In the key position interchange positions is a pair of Queensland-based players in Grider (16 touches at 81.3 per cent efficiency) and Perkins (11 and two goals).

Perkins pumped after kicking maiden Suns goal

00:22 Jan 30. 2021. 3:47 PM

Sarah Perkins takes a strong mark and kicks her first Gold Coast major after the quarter-time siren

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