MELBOURNE sent shockwaves through the competition with a powerful performance over North Melbourne and Fremantle made it a perfect 10 with a demolition of fellow flag fancy Adelaide.
Carlton and GWS belted their songs out for the first time, while that first win continued to elude Geelong, Gold Coast and Richmond.
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Round three had it all.
Highest scoring match
- Melbourne 9.6 (60) defeated North Melbourne 8.3 (51). Not only was this Casey Fields thriller the highest-scoring match of the round, it was the fifth-highest of all time, as some sublime skills were on show.
- Britt Bonnici (Collingwood), 31
- Ellie Blackburn (Western Bulldogs), 25
- Monique Conti (Richmond), 25
- Brianna Davey (Collingwood), 25
- Jaimee Lambert (Collingwood), 25
- Karen Paxman (Melbourne), 25
Leading goalkicker for the round
- Jackie Parry (Melbourne), 3.0
- Taylor Smith (Brisbane), 3.0
Overall leading goalkicker
Dakota Davidson (Brisbane), seven
- Andrea Gilmore (West Coast), head knock
- Ashleigh Guest (Western Bulldogs), cut eye
- It was another disappointing night at the office for Geelong. The Cats seem to regularly push too high up the ground, losing their structure on the rebound and then struggling to have meaningful inside-50s. Former VFLW Cat Amy McDonald's developing form on the wing and in defence over the last few weeks is a bright spot for the Cats.
- Ellie Blackburn may be sitting on nine votes from three matches, such is the Dogs skipper's form. It took until the final term – and some Jess Fitzgerald magic – for the Bulldogs to properly shake clear from Geelong, and while it wasn't pretty, it marks the first time the Dogs have won two games straight since rounds one and two of 2019.
- The Giants broke through for their first win of the season, and it was a well-rounded team performance. Alyce Parker, Bec Beeson and Britt Tully relished the wet conditions, while it was a tight and disciplined back five in defence. Inclusions Taylah Davies and Tait Mackrill added a different look up forward.
- The difficult second season has continued for Gold Coast, which is one of the handful of teams which can't buy a goal at the moment. The Suns finally broke through for their first major after eight straight goalless terms, and the young midfield's struggles are not helping the forwards.
- The Saints failed to capitalise when kicking with the strong Moorabbin wind in the first quarter and were scoreless in the last. The continued improved form of Kate Shierlaw is a positive for the Saints, but they were beaten in the middle, recording 14 fewer clearances against the deeper Carlton midfield.
- The versatility of Elise O'Dea was on show, with a shrewd coaching move seeing her stationed in the inside-50 where the wind was blowing, whether that meant she played as a forward or defender. Maddy Prespakis led from the stoppages and the Blues finally broke their 2021 duck.
- Didn't this game deliver. Melbourne turned on the jets in the second term, booting six goals to take the side out to a game-winning lead. Tyla Hanks, Lily Mithen and inclusion Maddi Gay combined well with veteran Karen Paxman, while the tall timber up forward dominated.
- A game of two halves for North Melbourne, which was ripped apart in a way not seen since Adelaide piled on five goals in round five, 2019. After the main break, the Roos reasserted their midfield dominance, giving some much-needed supply forward, but it was too late.
- Bad kicking is bad football, and inaccuracy has been a concern for Adelaide for some time now. The Crows were outplayed in most areas of the ground, but Sarah Allan can hold her head high in defence. Erin Phillips was moved forward and had an impact, but it was a switch made too late.
- It's now 10 straight wins for Fremantle, and what a way to cap it off. The Dockers, led by Kiara Bowers, Hayley Miller and Tiah Haynes, were ferocious in the contest and incredibly efficient once the ball was in their attacking half. Most pleasingly, they did it without Gemma Houghton starring for most of the game, the key forward was often double-teamed.
- An alternating frustrating and pleasing match for Tigers coach Ryan Ferguson. The improvement is clear for all to see, but the final polish is still missing. The final-break switch of Katie Brennan to the middle and Ellie McKenzie up forward was a positive result, and the overlap run is developing, but that first win is still elusive.
- The Magpies just did what they needed to do, taking full advantage of the wind when they had it and drawing Richmond into giving away silly free kicks. Britt Bonnici's elite workrate and creativity has her an early favourite for the Pies' best and fairest, and it's tough to shut her, Brianna Davey and Jaimee Lambert down all at the same time.
- Brisbane shook off a slow start to pile on six goals in the third quarter, breaking free of West Coast's early pressure. Youngsters Belle Dawes and Courtney Hodder led the onslaught from the midfield in the third term, while the seven goalkickers – including three from developing key Taylor Smith – would have pleased the Lions coaching staff.
- The first-term pressure was some of the best we've seen from West Coast, who would have been ruing the five behinds kicked before the initial break. Unfortunately, the Eagles struggled to sustain it and lost their dare when moving the ball. Star kids Bella Lewis and Mikayla Bowen found plenty of the footy, while Aisling McCarthy was busy despite some attention from Cathy Svarc.
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