ICYMI R2: Smart Pies, scary-good Lions, and the young Dee built for the big stage

WHILE some teams have used round two to solidify their claims as ones to beat this season, others have rectified poor showings last week. 

Each week Gemma Bastiani will look at a key talking point in each game in this handy wrap up, just in case you missed it. 

Bannan loves the big stage 

In her 25 AFLW games, Alyssa Bannan has played on the MCG twice, and in both matches played a vital role in her side's victory. In its preliminary final against Brisbane last season, Bannan kicked a game-high three goals to confirm Melbourne's first ever Grand Final appearance. And on Friday, with the Demons down by four points, Bannan once again saved the day. Working exceptionally hard back into attack, she got on the end of a long Eliza West kick inside 50 and, under pressure, snapped for goal putting her side in front and securing victory.

Brilliant Bannan gives Dees the match-winner

00:53 Sep 2. 2022. 6:50 PM

Alyssa Bannan kicks what proved to be the match-winning goal with this unreal finish giving her side the lead

Richmond needs to take its chances 

For the second week running, Richmond has dominated large parts of the game but failed to capitalise on the scoreboard. Winning the inside 50 count 31-7 at three quarter time against Adelaide, the Tigers led by just eight points, so when the Crows got going in the final quarter they were quickly overrun. Last week it was Georgie Prespakis kicking her first two goals in the AFLW to sink the Tigers and this week it was Abbie Ballard goaling for the first time. All the pieces are there for Richmond, but it needs to make it count on the scoreboard. 

AFLW S7 Highlights: Richmond v Adelaide

05:15 Sep 3. 2022. 1:30 PM

The Tigers and Crows clash in round two of the 2022 NAB AFL Women's Competition

Morrison and Bowen are the best wing combination in the league 

A fit Nina Morrison and the recruitment of Mikayla Bowen has added an element of discipline to Geelong that the club previously hasn't had. The hard work and unrewarded running the pair contribute allows them to make more of the clearances they have been consistently winning in recent seasons. They have combined for 67 disposals so far this season - 27 against Fremantle - and are structurally more important than any other players at the Cats. 

Morrison makes this snap look easy in the wet

00:41 Sep 3. 2022. 2:12 PM

Nina Morrison snares the first goal of the match in some style

Isabelle Pritchard is the Bulldogs' biggest improver 

Pritchard earned her move onto the ball last season thanks to a big preseason and the point of difference she offered. This season, she has taken it up a notch and become the biggest improver in her side. Against Port Adelaide she won 16 disposals, nine of which were contested, and won five intercepts. Her athleticism and willingness to take the play on is really important for a side that wants to move the ball quickly and play attacking footy. 

AFLW S7 Match Highlights: Port Adelaide v Western Bulldogs

04:48 Sep 3. 2022. 4:05 PM

The Power and Bulldogs clash in round two of the 2022 NAB AFL Women's Competition

The Bombers play until the final siren 

For the second week in a row, Essendon has surged home and very nearly snatched the win against Carlton. After keeping Hawthorn scoreless in the final quarter last week while piling on 3.2 of their own, the Bombers did exactly the same thing against the Blues on Sunday. Young, emerging sides are often forgiven for falling away late in games against more experienced opponents, but that is not the attitude Essendon is taking, only becoming more dangerous as the game goes on. 

Last two mins: Blues hold on over Bombers in thriller

03:13 Sep 4. 2022. 12:57 PM

Enjoy the nail-biting final moments between the Blues and Bombers at the ETU Stadium

The intelligence of Collingwood continues to win out 

Collingwood's experience and footy intelligence has it well placed to challenge for the flag this season. The way its defensive unit works for one another and sets up a brick wall behind the play is a sight to behold and has led to two straight wins to open the Pies' season. Jordyn Allen and Lauren Butler have improved once again, first and foremost stopping their opponents but then starting some exciting attacking chains. When teams allow Collingwood's defence to dictate the play, they are asking for trouble. 

AFLW S7 Highlights: Collingwood v Sydney

05:04 Sep 4. 2022. 2:59 PM

The Magpies and Swans clash in round 2 of the 2022 NAB AFL Women's Competition

Brisbane's attack is to be feared 

Last season the Lions averaged more than 40 inside 50s for nearly 50 points each week to lead the competition, and they have continued where they left off this season. Piling on 76 and then 67 points across the first two rounds, Brisbane overwhelms its opponent with repeat opportunities and then has all the answers both in the air and on the ground. If Dakota Davidson, Taylor Smith or Jesse Wardlaw don't get you in the air, Greta Bodey, Courtney Hodder or Zimmie Farquharson will get you on the ground. 

AFLW S7 Highlights: GWS v Brisbane

05:18 Sep 4. 2022. 4:56 PM

The Giants and Lions clash in round two of the 2022 NAB AFL Women's Competition

Hawthorn needs to make more of the attack it creates

In its 53-point loss to St Kilda, Hawthorn won the inside 50 count 32-31 and dominated the clearances 24-17 but registered just 1.4 (10) on the scoreboard. The Hawks need to start to capitalise on their ability to move the ball into attack, and even more importantly, shut down the slingshot play from its opponent. Saint Bianca Jakobsson won 21 disposals playing out of the back half and gained 356 metres with her ball use, and the Hawks' inability to limit her rebounding play ultimately hurt them on the scoreboard. 

AFLW S7 Highlights: Hawthorn v St Kilda

05:41 Sep 4. 2022. 6:30 PM

The Hawks and Saints clash in round two of the 2022 NAB AFL Women's Competition

Lauren Bella has finally emerged 

Gold Coast ruck Lauren Bella has always been strong in the taps, but a question has lingered about her ability to impact around the ground. This season, that question has been answered. Winning 26 hitouts against West Coast, it was her five tackles, and 10 disposals at 70 per cent efficiency that really lifted her side through the middle. The past few seasons have seen Lauren Pearce and Breann Moody battle it out for the All-Australian guernsey, but Bella has emerged to challenge for her own glory. 

AFLW S7 Highlights: Gold Coast v West Coast

05:57 Sep 4. 2022. 7:07 PM

The Suns and Eagles clash in round two of the 2022 NAB AFL Women's Competition