AFLW Round 4 – Western Bulldogs v Carlton: Pride, and a Big Birthday Present

Western Bulldogs versus Carlton
7:05 pm, Friday, 23 February 2018
Whitten Oval, Melbourne


By Yoshi Imagawa


Game day is my forty-fifth birthday. The mighty Bulldogs are playing the Pride Match on my special day.


I could have had a day off, but I choose to work because I want to train with the Dingoes every Sunday; I ask my employer (catering industry) days off on training days. Footy comes first.


But the last minute call to be asked to fill in for staff shortage premise cannot meet the footy comes first policy – I could have watched the last half of the game live if I finished working at the first scheduled time of 6pm.


It’s good for Doggies and Blues to respect and recognise the LGBTQI community, in the same way my Saints and Swans do in the men’s competition. And my respect and honour are towards Sue Alberti. Without her, AFLW would not have been established or the game would have not been played.


Watching the replay on Watch AFL following day, here are match highlights.


Bulldogs are dominating the ball from the first bounce (ball up).


But the first score is not made for the first six minutes. The first season player 20-year-old Toogood is awarded a free kick in the goal square. Her left leg stretches upwards and it brings the first goal for the Bulldogs in the match.


Then within a minute, the young pup gets another chance taking a mark inside 50, but only gets a minor score. Carlton find open space in their goal square, but no score is put. In the Dogs’ backline, Scott kicks wide helping to deliver ball towards forward line. The previous match’s one of best players, Lochland finds open space, but misses. As well as does McLeod.


The first quarter is the ordinary of AFLW games with Dogs 1.4 to Blues 0.0.


In the second quarter, the rising star awarded at Round 2, Birch, reads well to get dropping balls on field. She shows proudness of the rising star. With 12:50 remaining, Lochland is awarded a free kick inside 50. She is on a left angle. As a left footer, kicking a goal is easy done. Lochland is commented later that she is kicking awkwardly but is super affective. As my body movement is bit different from average people, I might be able to learn from her on kicking (if I offend the pup number one, I sincerely apologise). 40 seconds later, she gets another opportunity, but only scores the minor.


Twenty five seconds passing, Lochland knots the second goal drawing like an oval in footy’s journey. Bulldogs turn over with pressures, adopting Richmond boys game plan. Scott is doing brilliant defense tasks and Conti is hungry scoring goals. Meanwhile Carlton’s Stephens is playing hard tackling and defending. Lochland fires up at 8:16 reminding, after kicks and handball. The goal is easy to be made with an easy angle. Stephens defends well on Lochland’s quick runs.


But Bulldogs acting captain Blackburn scores a goal straight a minute after Lochland’s third goal. Conti holding ball and tackled is penalised. Awarded free kick is done high and dropped on the footy field. Lochland finishes her job with soccer style kicking. Hot Lochland kicks her four goals in a single quarter. Blackburn’s kick with the right angle touches the post. The still hungry Bulldogs lead by 44 points in the main break.


In a half time interview with Blackburn, she tells audience that Lochland has moved from midfield to forward to keep attacking. She is firing up on the footy field.


The third quarter becomes tight contest after sunset and with windy and humid conditions. Turn-overs and tackles are seen more. But Bulldogs are good at finding open space later in the quarter helping attacking footy. Birch’s long kick is picked by Lochland who runs and scores a goal. This goal is breaking AFLW record. Lochland is the first woman player kicking five goals in a single match. Another open space creates a long kick done by Conti and Toogood finishes a job. Bulldogs scores eight goals and nine behinds while none does Carlton.


Carlton’s former skipper Arnell answers all after the 57-point trailling. She puts a behind first and two goals follows, including the last one is done after siren.


In the last quarter, Utri misses an opportunity. Sadly she cannot boost in the big game…


Fox Footy commentators anchor their points of views: “Carlton have no Plan B”. “Many Blue girls are tall so can’t run much”. The first comment is reflected on Carlton being put much pressures on Bulldogs’ attacking and not being able to break the line. I find their players tall too and it seems hard to swift flexibility and to turn over. My wonder comes. Will I be a good player as my height is 162 centimetres (5′ 3″)?


I try to get tips to be a small goal kicker by watching Stephen Milne Highlights video on Saturday morning. It is hard to see his leg movement, but fast swifts are essential for small forwards I think. He was a rookie draftee and I am picked with writing background. So I think learning with Milne’s playing style would be good.


The second comment brings further thought on my primary one.


Back to the women’s match, Bulldogs keep scoring. The first is done by Lochland. Conti’s kick is caught by Toogood. The good first year Bulldog scores her third goal. Analysing her leg movement, she attaches left leg on the ground and stretches her right leg when kicking. Lochland takes a chest mark, the trade mark of Nick Riewoldt. Then she scores her seven goals, the best record in the competition. Within a minute, Briton’s long kick is not caught or touched by any player. The Bulldogs score 12 goals and firework is displayed in the sky. It is reflected on the big and best AFLW game.


The Pride Match ends with the highest score of 86 points and most scored goals of seven in a single game. It brings proudness to the home team. And it is a big birthday present as I have to miss an international party because of extended working hours. But I am sure I am having a celebration with Dingoes teammates after Sunday’s club training.


WESTERN BULLDOGS 1.4 6.8 8.9 12.14 (86)
CARLTON 0.0 0.0 2.1 2.1 (13)


Western Bulldogs: Lochland 7, Toogood 3, Blackburn, Bruton
Carlton: Arnell 2


Western Bulldogs: Lochland, Kearney, Scott, Toogood, Blackburn, Conti
Carlton: S Hosking, Arnell, Moody, Gay


3. Lochland (WBU); 2. Toogood (WBU); 1. Scott (WBU)


Umpires: Mirabile, Rowe, Howorth

Official crowd: 8987



Read more about The Women’s Footy Almanac 2017  HERE
(Includes purchase options)

About Yoshihiro Imagawa

A Japanese Saints diehard with huge passions. The Western Bulldogs won the flag in 2016 and Richmond followed in 2017, so why not St Kilda in 2018? Like my St Kilda, I strive and work hard to achieve my life goals both in profession and my private life. Sadly I missed watching footy while my favourite Nick Riewoldt was playing and when St Kilda had Anzac Day clashes in Wellington. But I am excited to be back in Melbourne in July 2018 for two St Kilda matches. Now I am a player for the Osaka Dingoes Footy Club, as well as a public relations officer. My stories of footy in Asia including the Dingoes news can be found on World Footy News.


  1. Yvette Wroby says:

    Thanks Yoshi. What a game. Lochland is a star and I want our Saints players to be ‘Lochlands’!

  2. Kasey Symons says:

    Happy birthday Yoshi – what a gift for you, the Bulldogs breaking records with the highest score in AFLW and Brooke’s bag of 7! Was a fun game to watch.

  3. Hi Yvette and Kasey,

    Yvette – I agree with you. Thanks for your nice comment on our mighty Saints.

    Kasey – Thanks for your birthday message. Yes it was so fun to watch. No more low scoring in girls games.

    News update for all!

    On Sunday at the Dingoes training, I was given two options of my number. Nick Riewoldt’s 12 (I was wearing his gurnesy at the training) or Stephen Milne’s 44 (I mentioned boys about watching his highlights video). Later i have decided to take 44 because I want to be a small forward like Milne and like him I am a very rookie draftee.



  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Happy Birthday Yoshi and congratulations on a terrific report on a symbolically important game. Don’t know about choosing Stephen Milne as a role model although I can picture you as a cheeky goalsneak for the Dingoes !
    If you want to see how a small forward does a master class, have a look at the Marvel:

  5. G’day and thanks for your birthday wishes and comment Phil!

    Why I picked Milne was he was a rookie draftee too. I had only writing background so I want to rise as did Milne.



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