Eyecatchers: Who was your club's unheralded star in R2?

Teah Charlton

First-year Adelaide midfielder Charlton is quietly establishing herself in a premiership-contending team and doesn't look like going anywhere, showing glimpses of her skill set each week. In round one it was her defensive game, laying seven tackles in a half against the Eagles. On Sunday against GWS it was her poise with the ball, bouncing confidently on the outside before kicking skilfully. A high-end junior talent, the 18-year-old has impressed coach Matthew Clarke, who loves what she is contributing. It is likely the value of her early-season experiences will pay off for the Crows this season. - Nathan Schmook

Adelaide's Teah Charlton in action during the win over GWS. Picture: AFL Photos

Orla O'Dwyer

The strongest runner on the Lions' list, O'Dwyer played her best game for the club since coming from Ireland prior to the 2020 season. The 22-year-old gathered 18 disposals, nine of them contested, and gained 345m to highlight the constant improvement with her skills. However, it was the defensive side of O'Dwyer's game that really shone against the Suns. Not only did she lay five tackles, but the half forward's relentless running allowed her to gain seven intercept possessions to complete a terrific all-around game. - Michael Whiting

Brisbane's Orla O'Dwyer attempts to break a tackle against Gold Coast. Picture: AFL Photos

Mimi Hill

People at Carlton have been raving about the impact the classy midfielder has had in her first pre-season in the AFLW, after being selected with pick No.10 in last year's NAB AFLW Draft. The captain at NAB League side Oakleigh Chargers, Hill showed some nice patches against Collingwood last week, but was one of the Blues' best against the Dogs. Coming in off the wing, Hill was composed in traffic, as demonstrated by her 16 handballs from her 19 disposals. - Sarah Black

Sarah Rowe

It was an interrupted pre-season for Rowe, who was made to undergo two weeks of quarantine after returning from Ireland before suffering a shoulder injury on the eve of round one that kept her out of the season-opener. However, she showed no signs of starting slow in her first game of the year on Saturday, with her spark across half-forward proving pivotal in a big Collingwood win. Rowe finished with 15 disposals in a lively display, kicking a fine goal in the final quarter to ensure the Magpies started the season with a second successive win. Rowe will only build on her performance, given the setbacks she faced before the campaign had even begun. - Riley Beveridge

Brilliant teamwork results in two quick strikes

01:13 Feb 6. 2021. 4:56 PM

Collingwood gets its rewards with Brianna Davey and Sarah Rowe kicking a wonderful pair of goals

Tiah Haynes

It has been a significant bonus for the Dockers to be able to bring the determined midfielder back for her second stint with the club off the back of an undefeated 2020. With her injury troubles behind her, Haynes appears a significantly improved player in the first two rounds and has slotted seamlessly into the midfield. On Sunday against West Coast she relished the wet conditions, finishing with 11 possessions (seven contested) and three inside 50s. She was one of her team's leading stoppage players, with four clearances. Last seen at AFLW level in 2018, she looks entrenched at a premiership contender after two games in 2021. - Nathan Schmook

Fremantle's Tiah Haynes gets a kick away against West Coast. Picture: AFL Photos

Olivia Barber

Brought in for her AFLW debut, the 182cm forward started with a bang and kicked her first goal just 38 seconds into the contest against Collingwood with a smart soccer off the ground. The youngster provided an option as the deepest forward target all afternoon, despite being marshalled by experienced Magpies defender Stacey Livingstone, and could be proud of her work in the contest. She pinch-hit in the ruck throughout the afternoon, but looked most natural as a forward and showed glimpses of being able to work in tandem with fellow Cats goalkicker Richelle Cranston. - Riley Beveridge

Fancy footwork brings a goal for debutant Cat

00:34 Feb 6. 2021. 3:20 PM

Geelong's Olivia Barber kicks an unbelievable major in the first 30 seconds of her debut game

Serene Watson

On a rough day for the Suns against Brisbane, Watson caught the eye. Drafted as a defender and playing half-back for much of the day, the 19-year-old was thrown into the midfield in the second half and showed she could have a future there. Poised under pressure, Watson gathered 16 disposals, laid three tackles and gained 237m. David Lake wanted a response late in the day, and she gave one. Now it'll be interesting to see where the coach plays her for the remainder of the season. - Michael Whiting

Gold Coast's Serene Watson looks to handball against Brisbane. Picture: AFL Photos

Haneen Zreika 

Now entrenched in her second stint on the Giants' list after being delisted at the end of 2018, Zreika's dash and dare was on full display against Adelaide. After conceding the first three goals, the Giants needed a spark and Zreika provided it, marking in the middle of the ground and playing on immediately to pump the ball deep inside 50. When a stoppage resulted, she was there, getting her head over the ball and drawing a free kick to snare her team's first goal. While the Giants midfielders rack up big numbers inside, Zreika's speed and skill could prove decisive as the team hunts for its first win. - Nathan Schmook

GWS speedster Haneen Zreika at training in December. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Casey Sherriff

Now in her third season on Melbourne's list but playing just her ninth game, Sherriff was a constructive player on the wing against Richmond. She was busy throughout the match, finding plenty of the footy and was a strong link between the defence and forward line. Sherriff finished with 14 disposals all up, as well as laying four tackles - Sarah Black

Ash Riddell

She may not get the headlines of teammates Emma Kearney and Jasmine Garner, but Riddell showed she was just as important as that duo against St Kilda on Sunday. The 24-year-old collected 11 disposals to three-quarter time before exploding with seven touches and a goal in the final term after the leaders were challenged by coach Darren Crocker. The newest member of the Roos' four-player leadership group, Riddell is expected to split her time between the centre bounce, wing and half-forward this year. - Mitch Cleary

Riddell shows off her heels and seals the deal

00:28 Feb 7. 2021. 2:54 PM

North Melbourne's Ashleigh Riddell bursts away at speed and ices the game for the Roos

Sophie Molan

Last year was a baptism by fire for Molan, the then 18-year-old thrust into a starting spot in an understrength Richmond midfield. One year later, she looks to be settling nicely into the AFLW, and her run-and-carry and willingness to break lines was particularly noticeable against Melbourne. Recording 11 disposals (one off her career-high, set against Gold Coast) and four tackles, Molan was Richmond's first ever draft pick and should be a long-term player for the club - Sarah Black

Tyanna Smith

The Saints had midfielder Georgia Patrikios claim the competition's best first-year player last season. And they might be able to have a second in consecutive years. In just her second NAB AFL Women's match, Smith looked at home competing against the likes of North Melbourne's Emma Kearney, Ash Riddell and Jasmine Garner in the midfield on Sunday. The 18-year-old kicked one goal to half-time and could quite easily have added a second, pushing forward to cause the Roos headaches. The Dandenong Stingrays product finished with 16 disposals in an exciting sign of the future. - Mitch Cleary

Saints switch to Smith and find the sticks

00:29 Feb 7. 2021. 1:59 PM

St Kilda get a much-deserved first major after dishing the ball to the running Tyanna Smith, who does the rest

Amber Ward

The South Australian defender has shown why she was highly rated by West Coast recruiters in her first two AFLW games. Comfortable at the top level, the strong-bodied key defender didn't shy away from the contest against Fremantle on Sunday and was physical with her more experienced opponents. She had 11 possessions for the second straight week and three rebound 50s in a backline that at times was under siege, particularly in the second quarter, when the Eagles conceded 11 inside 50s to 1. Has a booming kick, which was on display when she was clearing the ball. - Nathan Schmook

West Coast defender Amber Ward at training in December. Picture: AFL Photos

Katie Lynch

A highly rated junior, Lynch has bounced around between positions and clubs but seems to have found her feet as a defender for the Western Bulldogs. The former Pie was crucial late in the match as the Blues pushed for a win, showing composure and clean hands overhead. Lynch, 20, is athletic, reads the play well and will only improve as her confidence increases through consistent game time. She finished with 10 touches, seven kicks and five marks against Carlton – Sarah Black

Did you head to the footy over the weekend? Tell us your thoughts! Take the survey now