AFLW Sarah Black's 2021 Season Review.

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TigermanM2

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 7, 2013
7,470
24,986
AFL Club
Richmond
MAY 5. 2021. 6:00 AM
Tigers' season review: Best win, unsung hero, early call for 2022
Sarah Black


The Tigers celebrate a goal against the Bulldogs in round nine, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

AFTER a few weeks of promising performances, the dam wall finally broke for Richmond in round five, recording its first ever AFLW win.
The Tigers went on to finish with three victories: a marked step up on last year's winless season, but still off the pace of the established sides.

Coach: Ryan Ferguson

Leadership group: Katie Brennan (captain), Sarah Hosking (vice-captain), Christina Bernardi, Harriet Cordner, Sabrina Frederick, Phoebe Monahan, Alana Woodward

2021 finishing position: 10th, three wins and six losses, 84.6%

Best team performance: Geelong 2.1 (13) lost to Richmond 9.6 (60) in round five.

After honourable losses to Collingwood and Carlton, it was party time against Geelong, recording the side's highest ever score along its way to its first AFLW victory. Monique Conti and number one pick Ellie McKenzie – in a break-out performance – starred, with Katie Brennan booting three.

Best individual performance:
All-Australian midfielder Monique Conti had plenty of outstanding performances this year, and led the way in the club's breakthrough win over Geelong. The creative Conti had 27 disposals, six intercepts, four inside-50s and three clearances.

NAB AFLW Rising Star nominations: Ellie McKenzie

Debutants: Tessa Lavey, Luka Lesosky-Hay, Ellie McKenzie (AFLW debuts); Harriet Cordner, Sarah D'Arcy, Sarah Dargan, Sarah Hosking (club debuts)

Delistings: Emily Harley, Luka Lesosky-Hay, Cleo Saxon-Jones, Holly Whitford

Most improved: There's no doubt the additional support of recruits Harriet Cordner and Sarah D'Arcy helped, but key back Bec Miller came on in leaps and bounds this year. She's got excellent reach and showed her increased confidence when opting to run the ball out of 50, instead of somewhat panicked kicks.

Star recruit: There's no doubt Sarah Hosking provided some much-needed depth to the midfield, but Harriet Cordner was a rock in defence. She provided a calm head and was able to read the play well, adding some composure to a relatively inexperienced line. Cordner finished fourth in the Tigers' best and fairest.

Unsung hero: Winger Kate Dempsey had an injury-affected first AFLW season, managing just one game, but hit the ground running this year. She covered the ground well and was an important linking player down the field, positioning herself well, particularly in attack. Dempsey averaged 12.3 disposals, including a high of 22 against Gold Coast.


Tiger Kate Dempsey attempts a mark against Brisbane. Picture: AFL Photos

What worked:
- Big, big tick for Richmond's recruiting strategy last year, adding experience across all three lines. New coach Ferguson implemented a clear game plan with a solid defensive structure, which seemed to have an immediate impact in minimising the poor losses

What needs improvement:
- A main factor in the club's string of losses in the first half of the year was players' lack of composure when entering attack. Rushed and high kicks didn't help the forwards at all, and played straight into the opposition's hands. The team steadied somewhat as the season progressed, but it was still an issue against the stronger sides.
- The Tigers were comfortably the lowest tackling side in the competition, averaging 47.3 (compared to second-last Collingwood's 52.1 after the home and away season). Some teams have naturally lower tackle counts due to their game style, but to sit in 14th after winning just three games is an area of concern.
- Support for Monique Conti. The best and fairest had a few more players around her this year, but the Tigers are still highly unlikely to win without their best midfielder starring. Conti averaged 22.3 disposals in 2021, with draftee Ellie McKenzie next best with 15.6. Richmond played best with Katie Brennan forward, and need another inside midfield rotation to keep the skipper there permanently.

Early call for 2022: Now some holes have been plugged, Tiger eyes should be looking towards the draft. With just four players remaining from the 13 drafted over the past few years, an injection of young talent will help propel Richmond further up the ladder, but it will get harder to continue to close the gap at the same rate.

Season rating: 4.5/10
 

TigermanM2

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 7, 2013
7,470
24,986
AFL Club
Richmond
4.5/10 bit harsh.

If you just look at it from only a win/loss perspective I guess 4.5 is fair but given the progress from season 2020 to 2021 I would rate us a bit higher.

I guess the other side to the argument is that you shouldn't get bonus points for being so poor in the first place and then getting to where you should have been all along.
 
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Juke

Club Legend
May 29, 2013
1,422
4,319
AFL Club
Richmond
Would have given us a 5.5 at minimum - Lavey's debut game and onwards the girls really started to gel more and were more confident in their ability. We could easily have beaten Carlton.
 
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Stan Judkins

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 14, 2018
1,434
2,664
AFL Club
Richmond
4.5/10 bit harsh.

If you just look at it from only a win/loss perspective I guess 4.5 is fair but given the progress from season 2020 to 2021 I would rate us a bit higher.

I guess the other side to the argument is that you shouldn't get bonus points for being so poor in the first place and then getting to where you should have been all along.
5.5/10 - 6/10 compared to last year
but on the face of ranking on a year to year basis, 5/10 this year, we were competitive relatively & beat other lowly teams GC, Cats and WC
We beat no teams above us on the ladder, so when we do, then it'll be 6/10 or greater
 

TigermanM2

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 7, 2013
7,470
24,986
AFL Club
Richmond
MAY 11. 2021. 6:00 AM
Blues' season review: Best win, unsung hero, early call for 2022
Sarah Black

Season rating: 5.5/10


In 2019 Blues made the Grand Final,

In 2020 they were among the premiership favourites, finished second on the conference B ladder and were in the Prelim when the season was cancelled.

In 2021 they were again early premiership favourites and missed finals !!!

Sorry Sarah normally love your work but you've had a shocker here. That's a massive fail by the Blues in 2021 and a 4/10 from me!
 

TheTassieHawk

Senior List
Oct 12, 2019
186
124
AFL Club
Hawthorn
MAY 11. 2021. 6:00 AM
Blues' season review: Best win, unsung hero, early call for 2022
Sarah Black

Season rating: 5.5/10


In 2019 Blues made the Grand Final,

In 2020 they were among the premiership favourites, finished second on the conference B ladder and were in the Prelim when the season was cancelled.

In 2021 they were again early premiership favourites and missed finals !!!

Sorry Sarah normally love your work but you've had a shocker here. That's a massive fail by the Blues in 2021 and a 4/10 from me!
Objectively I have to agree, but let’s see how each of the other teams are rated on a relative basis for 2021 as from memory of previous draft and trade analysis there seems to be a reluctance to harshly score teams from some of the more established AFLW journos.
 

Bojangles17

Hall of Famer
May 17, 2004
35,302
45,450
Punt Rd ‘17? ‘19?
AFL Club
Richmond
Considering we were winless the previous season, I'd say a score of 6/10 was warranted.
Massive improvement.
The trick now is to improve on that again.
IMHO to improve by as much again will require another positive recruiting trade haul similar to , hosking cordner and Darcy , can’t depend on wafer thin AFLW draft that runs 10 deep , hope we re active once again
 

Bojangles17

Hall of Famer
May 17, 2004
35,302
45,450
Punt Rd ‘17? ‘19?
AFL Club
Richmond
MAY 5. 2021. 6:00 AM
Tigers' season review: Best win, unsung hero, early call for 2022
Sarah Black


The Tigers celebrate a goal against the Bulldogs in round nine, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

AFTER a few weeks of promising performances, the dam wall finally broke for Richmond in round five, recording its first ever AFLW win.
The Tigers went on to finish with three victories: a marked step up on last year's winless season, but still off the pace of the established sides.

Coach: Ryan Ferguson

Leadership group: Katie Brennan (captain), Sarah Hosking (vice-captain), Christina Bernardi, Harriet Cordner, Sabrina Frederick, Phoebe Monahan, Alana Woodward

2021 finishing position: 10th, three wins and six losses, 84.6%

Best team performance: Geelong 2.1 (13) lost to Richmond 9.6 (60) in round five.

After honourable losses to Collingwood and Carlton, it was party time against Geelong, recording the side's highest ever score along its way to its first AFLW victory. Monique Conti and number one pick Ellie McKenzie – in a break-out performance – starred, with Katie Brennan booting three.

Best individual performance:
All-Australian midfielder Monique Conti had plenty of outstanding performances this year, and led the way in the club's breakthrough win over Geelong. The creative Conti had 27 disposals, six intercepts, four inside-50s and three clearances.

NAB AFLW Rising Star nominations: Ellie McKenzie

Debutants: Tessa Lavey, Luka Lesosky-Hay, Ellie McKenzie (AFLW debuts); Harriet Cordner, Sarah D'Arcy, Sarah Dargan, Sarah Hosking (club debuts)

Delistings: Emily Harley, Luka Lesosky-Hay, Cleo Saxon-Jones, Holly Whitford

Most improved: There's no doubt the additional support of recruits Harriet Cordner and Sarah D'Arcy helped, but key back Bec Miller came on in leaps and bounds this year. She's got excellent reach and showed her increased confidence when opting to run the ball out of 50, instead of somewhat panicked kicks.

Star recruit: There's no doubt Sarah Hosking provided some much-needed depth to the midfield, but Harriet Cordner was a rock in defence. She provided a calm head and was able to read the play well, adding some composure to a relatively inexperienced line. Cordner finished fourth in the Tigers' best and fairest.

Unsung hero: Winger Kate Dempsey had an injury-affected first AFLW season, managing just one game, but hit the ground running this year. She covered the ground well and was an important linking player down the field, positioning herself well, particularly in attack. Dempsey averaged 12.3 disposals, including a high of 22 against Gold Coast.


Tiger Kate Dempsey attempts a mark against Brisbane. Picture: AFL Photos

What worked:
- Big, big tick for Richmond's recruiting strategy last year, adding experience across all three lines. New coach Ferguson implemented a clear game plan with a solid defensive structure, which seemed to have an immediate impact in minimising the poor losses

What needs improvement:
- A main factor in the club's string of losses in the first half of the year was players' lack of composure when entering attack. Rushed and high kicks didn't help the forwards at all, and played straight into the opposition's hands. The team steadied somewhat as the season progressed, but it was still an issue against the stronger sides.
- The Tigers were comfortably the lowest tackling side in the competition, averaging 47.3 (compared to second-last Collingwood's 52.1 after the home and away season). Some teams have naturally lower tackle counts due to their game style, but to sit in 14th after winning just three games is an area of concern.
- Support for Monique Conti. The best and fairest had a few more players around her this year, but the Tigers are still highly unlikely to win without their best midfielder starring. Conti averaged 22.3 disposals in 2021, with draftee Ellie McKenzie next best with 15.6. Richmond played best with Katie Brennan forward, and need another inside midfield rotation to keep the skipper there permanently.

Early call for 2022: Now some holes have been plugged, Tiger eyes should be looking towards the draft. With just four players remaining from the 13 drafted over the past few years, an injection of young talent will help propel Richmond further up the ladder, but it will get harder to continue to close the gap at the same rate.

Season rating: 4.5/10
Considering how competitive we were against the top sides and a tough draw seeing we were winless first year , 6/10
 

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