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1:30pm  Aug 16, 2018

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Melbourne dominates team of the week

Sarah Black and Aaron Buxton  February 13, 2018 11:39 AM

MELBOURNE has made a stunning start to the NAB AFL Women's competition, and its form is reflected with six players in AFL.com.au's Team of the Week. 

The Demons have three players – Tegan Cunningham, Kate Hore and Aliesha Newman – in the forward line alone.

Brianna Davey's strong form before her ACL tear sees her selected, along with two other Carlton teammates.

The second-placed Western Bulldogs have four representatives, while at the other end of the table, Adelaide's worrying start to the season is reflected by the Crows not having a single player selected.

The team is selected to mirror the All Australian team: five defenders, six midfielders (including a ruck), five forwards and five interchange players.  

Like the All Australian team, we have selected players in general categories, rather than in traditional positions. The 16-a-side setup often means teams play with differing configurations, making set selections (e.g wings and flanks) difficult.

Defenders: Brianna Davey (Carlton), Kerryn Harrington (Carlton), Bianca Jakobsson (Melbourne), Hannah Scott (Western Bulldogs), Lauren Spark (Western Bulldogs) 

Before tearing her ACL in the fourth quarter, Davey was best on ground against Greater Western Sydney. 

Jakobsson's intercept marking was vital for Melbourne, as was Scott's for the Western Bulldogs. Scott also kicked a stunning goal in a rare foray up the ground.

Spark held the in-form Sabrina Frederick-Traub to one mark and one behind and Harrington was a steady presence down back for the Blues. 

Midfielders: Tahlia Randall (ruck, Brisbane Lions), Dana Hooker (Fremantle), Sarah Hosking (Carlton), Emma Kearney (Western Bulldogs), Elise O'Dea (Melbourne), Karen Paxman (Melbourne)

The 19-year-old Randall (23 hit-outs and four tackles) has impressed after making the move from defence to the ruck this season. 

Hooker (20 touches and two goals) ran rings around Collingwood, while Hosking set an AFLW record for tackles (16) in stormy conditions.

The seemingly unstoppable Melbourne duo of O'Dea (19 disposals) and Paxman (21) continued on their merry way, as did Kearney (18 and four clearances). 

Forwards: Christina Bernardi (Collingwood), Tegan Cunningham (Melbourne), Melissa Caulfield (Fremantle), Kate Hore (Melbourne), Aliesha Newman (Melbourne)

The new-look Melbourne forward line of Cunningham (two goals), Newman (two, including a three-bounce goal of the year contender) and Hore (20 touches across half-forward) completely dominated an under-strength Adelaide defence.

Bernardi's strong contested marking and two goals were positives up forward for the struggling Magpies, while Caulfield's strong pressure at the other end of the ground resulted in 12 touches and two goals.

Interchange: Ally Anderson (Brisbane Lions), Emily Bates (Brisbane Lions), Courtney Gum (Greater Western Sydney), Kirsty Lamb (Western Bulldogs), Chloe Molloy (Collingwood)

Anderson's strong form continued, with 16 touches and six tackles, while teammate Bates was excellent against the formidable Bulldogs' midfield.

Lamb was particularly good in the first half and was instrumental in taking the game away from the Lions.

Gum (16 disposals and eight tackles) continued to seamlessly slot into AFLW, as did Chloe Molloy, who played at both ends of the ground. 

'The regulars' – players who have been selected in multiple AFLW Teams of the Week in 2018: 

  • Ally Anderson (Brisbane Lions, two)
  • Brianna Davey (Carlton, two)
  • Courtney Gum (Greater Western Sydney, two)
  • Emma Kearney (Western Bulldogs, two)
  • Chloe Molloy (Collingwood, two)
  • Elise O'Dea (Melbourne, two)