AFLW Round 2 – Brisbane Lions v Western Bulldogs: Dogs have their day in the sun

Brisbane Lions v Western Bulldogs

4.35pm, 11 Feb 2018
South Pine Sports Complex Brisbane

Danielle Spicer



35 degrees in the shade, and a humidity level I can only assume is responsible for Nat Exon’s hairstyle, this game shaped up early as a top of the table clash favouring Brisbane.


Unfortunately for the home side, inaccuracy up forward meant this wasn’t the case.


The AFL heat policy was not enacted, resulting in the breaks being left as per normal.


Talk of the town this week, Katie Brennan’s impact was significantly dampened by Leah ‘Xena’ Kaslar, who kept her reasonably quiet, despite needing to sit the last quarter out due to a knee complaint.


Early on, Sophie Conway exploded from the blocks, with intent and enthusiasm which was sorely missing from the rest of the Brisbane side (Ashmore and resident speedster McCarthy were tagged heavily from the first siren), however she was unfortunate to miss in front of goal twice.


The resulting kickout quickly bounced into the Bulldogs forward 50, where due to some poor defence, Brennan found herself lining up for a seemingly easy shot at goal, only for the ball to fall away for a behind.


Late in the first, Huntington took an incredible intercept mark, showing the smarts of the highly lauded 2017 number 1 draft pick under pressure. This would prove ominous as she imposed herself early in the second to take two nearly identical overhead marks in the goal square, converting both.


However shortly after her second, fate would intervene as she landed awkwardly on her right knee, and was stretchered off afterwards, spending the rest of the game in a heavy brace on the sidelines.


Two more goals in the second to Scott and Bruton silenced the Brisbane home crowd leading into half time, despite Conti giving up a 50 metre free kick which led to a Frederick-Traub mark inside 50 then only resulted in a behind.


However, the Doggies had done their damage.


A clever play by Wuetschner (slapping the ball onto her opponent’s foot on the boundary) gifted her a shot on goal from the pocket early in the third which she duly converted, giving Brisbane a much needed lift.


In a week where a very controversial memo went out to AFLW clubs aiming to reduce congestion, it seems these two teams didn’t get it. A very plugged up game where clearances were rare early, only the Bulldogs were able to get the numbers to the ball to open the game up in their favour.


Leading into the fourth it became as clear as ever that Ashmore and McCarthy needed to break their shackles, but neither could leave their mark, bar a late run from McCarthy which resulted in a turnover.


Gibson was thrown into the centre in the beginning of the last, and proved herself one of the most effective players that quarter, despite missing a shot on goal which seemed simple enough, but was carried away by the breeze following a similar effort from the 2017 Best and Fairest, Emily Bates.


The ball spent a lot of time in the Lions forward 50 in the last quarter, but for all the scrapping it amounted to little as the Bulldogs refused to take their foot off the pedal.


Hildebrand was huge in tidying up loose ends throughout the second half, and Zeilke refused to concede, but neither could produce their trademark ownership over a game which was slipping away rapidly. Another massive effort from number 7 pick Jordan Zanchetta showed the tackling machine she is threatening to become, and although not showy, gave Lions fans something to smile about on a day where they suffered their first AFLW home and away loss.


Exon showed her wares throughout her debut for the Lions, proving herself a handy trade in the deal which left Brisbane without Tayla Harris. Frederick-Traub imposed herself at stages, but clearly struggled with being the number 1 long range target inside 50.


Imposing her physique onto several packs, she could keep her feet, but was unable to take many possessions.


Kearney, Lamb, and Bruton came out clearly the best for the doggies in a stifled contest which was equally frustrating as it was exciting.


However, there were very encouraging signs with Bates again showing her best and fairest form, Lutkins proving herself as a name not to be forgotten, and Anderson continuing to emerge as an elite player for the Lions.


Not quite the result that this Lions supporter was hoping for, but very confident that this could be the loss to kick us into gear for the remainder of the 2018 season.




Brisbane  Lions           0.2    0.3    1.4    3.6    (24)

Western Bulldogs       0.1    4.2    4.2    5.3    (33)


Wuetschner 2, Anderson
Western Bulldogs: Huntington 2, Bruton, Scott, Utri

Anderson, Bates, Zielke, Lutkins
Western Bulldogs: Lamb, Kearney, Blackburn, Bruton 

Western Bulldogs: Huntington (knee) 

Reports: Nil 

Umpires: Broadbent, Adair, Strybos 

Official crowd: 5300 (approx) at South Pine Sports Complex (Brendale)




  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Nice report Danielle,

    it was a very unexpected game and I think the Dogs did their homework on how to unsettle the Lions. I remember the Lions of last year being at everything and being the footy bullies, but the Dog’s have taken their moniker to heart and are just plain dominating. Such a shame about Huntington. And all the other injuries.

    It will be interesting to see how Brisbane responds against Carlton next week. I will be there to witness it myself!

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