AFLW Team of the Week, round five

THE WESTERN Bulldogs' twin towers dominate up forward, while top teams Collingwood and Brisbane have three nominees apiece in the round five Team of the Week.

Breakthrough wins for Richmond (three) and West Coast (two) are recognised in the selections, but there's no such luck for Geelong, GWS, Melbourne or St Kilda, who do not have a player picked.

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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. 

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

DEFENDERS

Lauren Ahrens (Gold Coast), Maddy Collier (West Coast), Aileen Gilroy (North Melbourne), Stacey Livingstone (Collingwood), Kate Lutkins (Brisbane)

Ahrens (19 disposals, 11 intercepts, seven marks) was a shining light for the Suns in a heartbreaking result, while Livingstone (17 touches, nine intercepts) was equally prolific for the Pies.

Lutkins (13 disposals, seven intercepts) was the lynchpin in an outstanding Brisbane defensive effort, Gilroy (16 disposals, 429m gained) was constructive off half-back and Collier (22 and eight intercepts) played her best game in Eagles colours.

Lion Kate Lutkins in action against the Dockers. Picture: Will Russell, AFL Photos

MIDFIELDERS

Lauren Bella (Gold Coast, ruck), Emily Bates (Brisbane), Monique Conti (Richmond), Brianna Davey (Collingwood), Jasmine Garner (North Melbourne) Ebony Marinoff (Adelaide)

Bella got her hands on the ball against West Coast on plenty of occasions, recording 20 hitouts, seven disposals and four inside 50s.

Garner (32 disposals, nine clearances, one goal) was determined not to let North Melbourne lose for a third consecutive week, while Bates (26, six intercepts) inspired her side to an upset win over Fremantle.

Conti (27 touches, four inside 50s) was instrumental in the Tigers' first ever win, Davey's dominant season continued with 25 and two goals and Marinoff (23 and six clearances) dictated play against St Kilda.

Crow Ebony Marinoff in action against the Saints. Picture: Getty Images

FORWARDS

Katie Brennan (Richmond), Isabel Huntington (Western Bulldogs), Chloe Molloy (Collingwood), Bonnie Toogood (Western Bulldogs), Darcy Vescio (Carlton)

The Dogs' two-pronged attack of Huntington and Toogood had near-identical stat sheets, kicking three goals apiece from 10 disposals and five marks, while Brennan also bagged three from 17 and five marks.

Molloy (three goals from eight touches) was the difference against Melbourne and everything Vescio (two goals and two goal assists) touched turned to gold against the Roos.

Toogood living up to the name with stunner

00:37 Feb 27. 2021. 4:47 PM

Bonnie Toogood shrugs off an opponent before finding the sticks in superb style

INTERCHANGE

Greta Bodey (Brisbane), Kiara Bowers (Fremantle), Mikayla Bowen (West Coast), Sarah D'Arcy (Richmond), Kirsty Lamb (Western Bulldogs)

Bowen picked up a NAB AFLW Rising Star nomination for her 24-disposal, seven-mark effort against Gold Coast, Bowers (20 disposals, 498m gained) nearly dragged the Dockers over the line herself while Lamb (20 and five clearances) picked up the 10 AFLCA votes.

D'Arcy (16 disposals, 10 intercepts) now looks well settled in defence, and Bodey's fine second AFLW season continued with 17 touches and two inside 50s in a game played primarily between the arcs.

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