Eyecatchers: Who was your club's unheralded star in R3?

Rachelle Martin

Playing just her second NAB AFL Women's game, and first for 2021, Martin was a standout with her energy and pressure across half-forward and through the midfield against Fremantle. Standing 153cm, the West Adelaide product collected 14 disposals and missed a flying shot chasing her maiden goal at the level. After managing one match as a top-up last season, Martin, who turns 22 on Tuesday, overcame an injury setback on the eve of the season to win her place on Sunday and looks a lock for the rest of the season. – Mitch Cleary

Flying Crow Rachelle Martin fires out a handball against Fremantle. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Taylor Smith 

The lanky tall forward who celebrated her 21st birthday on Saturday had the best game of her fledgling career against the Eagles. Smith was cut by Gold Coast at the end of last season and has quickly made the most of her opportunity with Lions. She kicked three goals from 11 disposals against West Coast, including a lovely contested mark and set shot finish when Brisbane began making its move in the second term. At 180cm, Smith is an excellent athlete, has a strong presence in the air and forms a tough match-up alongside Jesse Wardlaw and Dakota Davidson.

Abbie McKay

It was a career-best game from McKay for the Blues in their win against St Kilda on Saturday. The daughter of Carlton great Andrew gathered 17 disposals and laid seven tackles in a tenacious display in the midfield, which also helped paved the way for some brilliance from some of her teammates. McKay, who debuted in 2019, is still finding her feet at the AFLW level but set the benchmark for the Blues in the pre-season and has started to reap the rewards. - Callum Twomey

Abbie McKay is tackled by Saint Georgia Patrikios during the Blues' win. Picture: AFL Photos

Aishling Sheridan

This was only game 10 of Aishling Sheridan's AFLW career, and the Gaelic footballer from Cavan wouldn't have had too many other games of Australian Football under her belt. Her confidence up forward is growing by the week, and her hard running is now being rewarded on the scoreboard. Sheridan kicked two goals from 10 touches against Richmond, and her goal nous is making her more dangerous by the week. - Sarah Black

Sheridan strike hits the sweet spot

00:33 Feb 14. 2021. 4:18 PM

Collingwood's Aishling Sheridan lands an absolute ripper

Bianca Webb

What a way to break your NAB AFL Women's goalscoring duck. With the Dockers owning much of the play in the early stages of the third term against Adelaide, Webb pushed forward to get on the end of a forward-50 stoppage and convert on the run from beyond 35m. Taken at pick No.85 in the 2019 NAB AFLW Draft, Webb is starting to make her presence felt in Dockers colours, playing all three matches to date this season after five in her debut campaign last year. – Mitch Cleary

Webb designs a stunning strike

00:34 Feb 14. 2021. 2:26 PM

Bianca Webb conjures a superb goal on the run to continue the onslaught for Fremantle

Steph Williams

Every time Williams goes near the football something happens. Just moments after Phoebe McWilliams broke the deadlock for the Cats on Friday night, Williams pounced on a loose ball and narrowly missed a goal on the run. Moments later she was applying pressure on Dogs defenders and causing turnovers in her attacking half. Just two games into her NAB AFLW career, she is going to give plenty of back pockets and half-backs sleepless nights in years to come with her intensity around the contest. The Darwin product was taken at pick No.27 in last year's NAB AFLW Draft. - Mitch Cleary

Geelong's Stephanie Williams in action against the Bulldogs. Picture: AFL Photos

Maddison Levi

One of the bright sparks for the Suns was the game of 18-year-old Maddison Levi. Although the numbers don't dazzle – eight disposals and six tackles – it was her impact that would impress coach David Lake. A former Australian junior rugby sevens representative, Levi had speed around the contest and applied great pressure in her role as a tall forward. She also pinched in the ruck a couple of times and was part of the reason the Suns hung in as long as they did. - Michael Whiting

Maddison Levi during a Suns training session. Picture: Getty Images

Georgia Garnett 

For someone playing their first game, Georgia Garnett looked like a seasoned veteran. The 19-year-old was part of the Giants' brick-wall defensive effort that repelled attack after attack from the Suns, particularly in the second and fourth quarters. She gathered a match-high eight intercept disposals in the wet weather, hauled in a contested mark and laid four tackles in a terrific debut. Garnett looked right at home in the big time and wasted almost none of her 10 disposals. - Michael Whiting

Georgia Garnett is sprayed by teammates after a win in her debut game against the Suns. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Sinead Goldrick

Goldrick only got out of hotel quarantine on January 22, having stayed in Ireland into the new year to finish her commitments with Gaelic side Dublin. Her run and creativity off half-back was instrumental in Melbourne's big win over North Melbourne on Saturday night. Goldrick recorded 14 disposals and four marks, but such was her influence and the danger she presented it felt like a lot more. - Sarah Black

Melbourne's Sinead Goldrick in action against Richmond in round two. Picture: AFL Photos

Daria Bannister

One minute and five seconds was all it took for Daria Bannister to remind the football world what she is capable of once fully fit. The powerful forward has battled a series of significant injuries since her first season in 2018, and had a disrupted pre-season after needing surgery on her meniscus. But two quick goals from general play dragged the Roos back into the contest against Melbourne, and set up a thrilling finish to the match. - Sarah Black

Bannister the brute claims a quick-fire double

00:48 Feb 13. 2021. 8:38 PM

Daria Bannister closes the gap for North Melbourne with two goals in 30 seconds

Tessa Lavey

Not many cross-code athletes have managed to look quite as home in their first game as Tessa Lavey. The Olympic basketballer lined up in defence for the Tigers against Collingwood, having only had one practice VFLW match under her belt since playing footy as a young kid. She read the ball well overhead, showed a willingness and the agility to take the game on, and has a powerful kick to complement her competitiveness. - Sarah Black

Richmond's Tessa Lavey gets a kick away against Collingwood. Picture: AFL Photos

Rosie Dillon 

Dillon swooped on the Saints' best and fairest last year but looks to have taken her game up a notch this season, with coach Peta Searle saying her performance against Carlton was one of her best for the club. The hard and tough midfielder picked up six clearances and 14 disposals in a measured effort under pressure from the Blues, who had control of the game for most of the contest. Dillon shrugged off an ankle injury to have an impact with her quick hands and will be crucial for the Saints in their push for the finals. - Callum Twomey

Rosie Dillon at St Kilda's team photo day. Picture: AFL Photos

Bella Lewis 

On a tough day for the Eagles, 18-year-old Bella Lewis shone. Playing in the midfield against an experienced Brisbane brigade, she was a major reason why the Eagles dominated around the contest in the opening half. Lewis, taken at No.3 in last year's NAB AFLW Draft, finished with 15 disposals (nine contested) and four clearances. Coming from a background in trampoline, Lewis is quick off the mark and showed clean hands in tight.

Elisabeth Georgostathis

There's no issue with this 19-year-old's tenacity at the footy. In just her second NAB AFLW season, Georgostathis is winning respect from her teammates with every game she plays due to her willingness to put her head over the ball. The hard-working forward pushed into the midfield at stages against Geelong on Friday night and finished with 10 disposals and four tackles. Taken with pick No.9 in the 2019 NAB AFLW Draft, Georgostathis' toughness looms as the perfect combination with last year's No.2 pick Jess Fitzgerald into the future for the Dogs. - Mitch Cleary

Western Bulldog Elisabeth Georgostathis has been a big improver in 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

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