Rising Star, R5: Eagles' matchwinner, No.1 gun fire

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TWO BREAKTHROUGH wins and two NAB AFLW Rising Star nominations.

Richmond's Ellie McKenzie and West Coast's Mikayla Bowen's efforts in their clubs' big victories have been recognised as the round five nominees for the award.

The 19-year-old Bowen is in her second year of AFLW, having been selected as an academy under-age selection from Swan Districts ahead of the Eagles' first season in 2020.

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In her 11th game of AFLW, Bowen starred against Gold Coast and was a key contributor to West Coast's first win in a year.

The midfielder was tireless, recording 21 disposals, 389m gained, seven marks, three clearances and the match-winning goal.

A tough contested ball winner often found on the bottom of packs, it was Bowen's effect on the outside that set her performance apart this week.

No.1 pick and Eagles young gun named R5 Rising Stars

01:58 Mar 1. 2021. 6:00 PM

Richmond's Ellie McKenzie and West Coast's Mikayla Bowen are the NAB Rising Stars for round five

McKenzie had an equally crucial role in Richmond's first ever AFLW victory, carving up the GMHBA Stadium turf on her way to 16 disposals and 294m gained.

Selected with pick No.1 in the 2020 NAB AFLW Draft from the Northern Knights and Fitzroy JFC, the 18-year-old has settled nicely into the top level, rotating between the midfield and the forward line.

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Against the Cats in the Tigers' historic win, McKenzie found plenty of the footy, kicking a goal, taking five marks and finishing with four inside 50s.

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Players are eligible for the NAB AFLW Rising Star if they are 21 years and under as of 1 January, 2021, and have not been previously nominated. 

Two players will be nominated per home-and-away round of the NAB AFLW season.

2021 NAB AFLW RISING STAR NOMINEES

  • Belle Dawes (Brisbane), round one
  • Tarni White (St Kilda), round one
  • Tyla Hanks (Melbourne), round two
  • Jess Fitzgerald (Western Bulldogs), round two
  • Nat Grider (Brisbane), round three
  • Abbie McKay (Carlton), round three
  • Tyanna Smith (St Kilda), round four
  • Becky Webster (Geelong), round four
  • Mikayla Bowen (West Coast), round five
  • Ellie McKenzie (Richmond), round five

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