AFLW Team of the Week, round one

ASH RIDDELL'S record-equalling 35 disposals has the North Melbourne pocket rocket headlining womens.afl's Team of the Week for round one.

Richmond's dominant win over St Kilda was reflected with four nominations, Collingwood and Melbourne had three apiece, while a debutant also gets the nod.

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

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

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DEFENDERS

Jordyn Allen (Collingwood), Libby Birch (Melbourne), Jess Duffin (North Melbourne), Nat Grider (Brisbane), Ruby Schleicher (Collingwood),

Duffin (17 disposals, nine intercepts) didn't miss a beat in her first game back from the WBBL, Birch (18 and nine) was a brick wall against the Bulldogs and Schleicher (15 and eight marks) controlled play out of defence.

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Grider (16 disposals, eight intercepts) was a shining light in a tough day for the Lions, while Allen (15 disposals at 87 per cent efficiency) was impassable across half-back.

Melbourne's Libby Birch fires off a handball under pressure from the Western Bulldogs' Richelle Cranston during round one, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

MIDFIELDERS

Breann Moody (Carlton, ruck), Kiara Bowers (Fremantle), Monique Conti (Richmond), Jaimee Lambert (Collingwood), Ash Riddell (North Melbourne), Alicia Eva (GWS)

Not only did Moody get her hands on the footy first with 25 hitouts, she backed up around the ground with five marks and four score intercepts.

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Riddell (35 disposals, seven clearances) equalled the record for most touches, Conti (29 and nine) was unstoppable against St Kilda while Bowers (24 and seven, 14 tackles) took out yet another Derby medal.

Lambert (22, seven clearances) was the standout mid in a crowded field in her match, and Eva (21 and 11 tackles) got the maximum coaches' votes in Mackay.

Richmond's Monique Conti disposes of the footy during round one, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

FORWARDS

Ebony Antonio (Fremantle), Kate Hore (Melbourne), Cora Staunton (GWS), Courtney Wakefield (Richmond), Ash Woodland (Adelaide)

Antonio (12 disposals, three goals) shared the Derby medal with Bowers, rotating between the wing and the forward line and Woodland (four goals) top-scored across the round.

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Wakefield's six marks were a highlight to go with her two goals, Hore (10 disposals at 80 per cent, two goals) was deadly in attack, while Staunton (four marks, two goals) was the difference in attack for GWS.

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INTERCHANGE

Katie Brennan (Richmond), Anne Hatchard (Adelaide), Bec Miller (Richmond), Georgie Prespakis (Geelong), Eden Zanker (Melbourne)

Tiger bookends Brennan (12 disposals, two goals) and Miller (12 disposals, nine intercepts) took full advantage of a weakened St Kilda side.

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Hatchard (26 disposals, 366m gained) took it right up to the reigning premiers, Zanker (20, 17 contested) didn't take a backwards step against the Dogs while Prespakis (20, seven clearances) had a debut to remember.

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