AFLW Team of the Week, round two

FIVE Lions headline womens.afl's Team of the Week for round two, after holding Gold Coast to a record-low score.

In a sign of the growing depth of the competition, reporters from across the round's action put forward 21 potential players for midfield selection, with only eight able to make the cut.

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. 

DEFENDERS

Nat Grider (Brisbane), Ruby Schleicher (Collingwood), Jade Pregelj (Gold Coast), Hannah Priest (St Kilda), Tahlia Randall (North Melbourne)

The rise of Schleicher continued with a valuable rebounding role (and bonus goal) against the Cats, with Grider performing a similar job for the Lions.

Randall well and truly held Caitlin Greiser (as well as sneaking forward for her own goal, much to her delight), while Priest and Pregelj were tough and tireless under continual pressure.

Roo delight after Randall's roost takes flight

00:34 Feb 7. 2021. 1:32 PM

Tahlia Randall backs herself in and drills a beautiful shot from distance to notch her first ever AFLW goal

MIDFIELDERS

Rhiannon Watt (St Kilda, ruck), Ellie Blackburn (Western Bulldogs), Kiara Bowers (Fremantle), Brianna Davey (Collingwood), Anne Hatchard (Adelaide), Emma Kearney (North Melbourne)

In a slight departure from the norm, in a relatively quiet week for the rucks it’s a defensive job that gets the nod. Watt blanketed the in-form Emma King, while managing 16 disposals herself.

Blackburn (22 and two goals), Davey (25 and one) and Hatchard (23 and one) all showed the value of midfielders hitting the scoreboard, receiving the most AFLCA votes in their respective matches.

Bowers (23 and 14 tackles) was awarded the Derby medal, while Kearney (22 and eight tackles) bustled her way through St Kilda's midfield.

Bowers powers this long bomb all the way home

00:34 Feb 7. 2021. 8:34 PM

Kiara Bowers throws the ball on the boot at the stoppage and the bounce does the rest for a vital goal

FORWARDS

Dakota Davidson (Brisbane), Kate Hore (Melbourne), Danielle Ponter (Adelaide), Kate Shierlaw (St Kilda), Jesse Wardlaw (Brisbane)

A pair of Lions in Davidson and Wardlaw kicked four apiece as their team routed Gold Coast, while Hore hit the scoreboard twice in a typically clean performance against Richmond.

Ponter's class shone through with three goals, and while Shierlaw (13 disposals, eight marks) kicked two behinds, it was a career-best game after a strong summer.

Ponter produces two freakishly good finishes

01:05 Feb 7. 2021. 5:59 PM

Adelaide's Danielle Ponter shows off her class with consecutive stunners

INTERCHANGE

Lauren Arnell (Brisbane), Sophie Conway (Brisbane), Alyce Parker (GWS), Georgia Patrikios (St Kilda), Belinda Smith (West Coast)

Conway held her position on the wing brilliantly against Gold Coast, working hard both ways.

Young tyros Parker and Patrikios (27 apiece) put in typically tireless performances against deep midfields.

Smith (17 touches) takes the defensive bench spot after a tireless effort in torrid conditions, while Arnell (15 disposals, six marks) is the forward rotation after some pretty clever footy.

Alyce Parker takes a sensational contested mark against the Crows. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

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