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Snapshot of round three of the AFLW season

THEY SAID IT: “She’s amazing. I don’t know who picks rising stars. I thought she might have got the nod last week. I think she’s going to be very hard to overlook this week” – Western Bulldogs coach Nathan Burke was full of praise for teenage winger Rylie Wilcox, who was sublime in the win over Fremantle and kicked a stunning goal on the run.

PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Adelaide ball-magnet Ebony Marinoff had a huge say in her side’s hard-fought 14-point win over North Melbourne, racking up a game-high 29 disposals, 13 tackles, seven inside-50s and six clearances. It was the super-talented midfielder’s best game of the season so far. Only three players have had 25+ disposals, 15+ contested possessions and 10+ tackles in an AFLW game, and Marinoff has now done it three times.

THE MOMENT: Carlton and Port Adelaide were locked at 27-all when Blues first-gamer Lily Goss received a free kick in the dying seconds of Sunday’s clash at Ikon Park. Goss’s long kick on the final siren from just outside the 50-metre arc was spoiled by a Power defender and the ball stopped just short of the goal line. Despite some confusion, the AFL umpiring department confirmed the score would have counted if the ball had rolled over the line.

STATS THAT MATTER: Brisbane star Emily Bates reached 1000 career disposals as the Lions ran riot against Gold Coast. Bates had 21 disposals and 11 tackles, claiming the QClash Medal as best afield. The Suns’ 73-point defeat was their worst in history, while the Lions’ 33 goals across the opening three rounds sets a new benchmark for the competition. Brisbane’s percentage is an astonishing 401.8.

TALKING POINT: There’s the sporting cliche about a game of two halves, but what about a match of one quarter? Melbourne looked to have solved their scoring issues of late with 6.1 to no score in the first quarter against St Kilda. But the Demons did not score another goal for the rest of the game and the Saints turned a mauling into an honourable 26-point loss.

INJURIES: A Smith (NM, concussion), C Staunton (GWS, broken nose), J Lambert (Coll, leg), M Guerin (Carl, knee) E Shannon (Haw, concussion), K Bowers (Frem, ankle)

WHAT’S NEXT: North Melbourne and Geelong kick off round four under lights in Launceston on Friday, while expansion sides Port Adelaide and Sydney will be both vying for a maiden AFLW win when they do battle at Alberton Oval on Saturday. Sunday’s Collingwood-Adelaide clash should be a beauty but the final game of the round shapes as the best of the lot, with flag contenders Melbourne and Brisbane set to lock horns at Casey Fields.

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