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AFLW season review: Part three

Dalton's goal-den moment Chloe Dalton becomes the first Olympic gold medallist to kick a goal in AFLW.

CARLTON embarrassed critics in 2019, appearing in its first AFLW Grand Final in an extraordinary 12-month turnaround.

The Blues improved week on week to give themselves an opportunity at the ultimate success but fell just short.

With the season now behind us, we take a look each player’s individual performance.

15. Chloe Dalton

Rugby sevens Olympic Gold Medallist Chloe Dalton arrived at Carlton as a rookie listing for the 2019 season. 

In her first season on the senior list, Dalton played every game and improved by the week, cementing her name in the Carlton midfield. 

Making an impact immediately, she averaged 9.2 disposals, 3.6 tackles and two inside 50s per game, with her dash and ability to apply pressure her main strong suit.

The midfielder was at her best in the Round 6 clash with Brisbane, racking up 13 disposals, two marks and two tackles.

Memorably, she kicked her first goal against Adelaide in Round 2: however, it was her four goals across Round 7 and the preliminary final win which showed her scoring prowess.

 

16. Breann Moody 

Carlton ruck Breann Moody recorded another consistent season after winning the joint best and fairest award in 2018.

Moody shared ruck responsibilities in AFLW 3.0 with fellow Blue Alison Downie, averaging 9.4 hitouts a game. 

Her best performance in the ruck came in the Blues’ Round 3 victory over the Giants, finishing the day with 17 of the team’s 34 hitouts for the match.

While Alison Downie has surpassed Moody in the ruck stats this year, the youngster remains an important player in the middle and showed her ability to provide an option inside 50.

18. Tilly Lucas-Rodd

Carlton called on the tough in and under skill of Tilly Lucas-Rodd in Round 6 after missing out on selection after the Club’s Round 1 clash against North Melbourne. 

A Rising Star in the inaugural AFLW season, Lucas-Rodd was brought back in as an experienced head when the Blues’ finals campaign was heating up. 

Across her final four games, she averaged seven disposals and four tackles as a pressure forward.

The young midfielder stood up in big games, with her best coming in the preliminary final victory over Fremantle.

She notched 10 disposals, three tackles and a goal in her performance to propel Carlton into their first Grand Final appearance.

 

19. Georgia Gee

Georgia Gee arrived at Carlton as a star for the future, and she recorded another consistent year in Navy Blue after her debut campaign of 2018.

Missing only the first round of 2019 after an interrupted pre-season, Gee was consistent with an average of 11 disposals and 3.4 tackles a game.

Her best coincided with the Blues’ first win of the season over the Giants at Drummoyne Oval in Round 3.

Gee was a key contributor with 14 disposals, 6 tackles and a goal to help Carlton get on the board with their first win.

The youngster would go onto pick up a NAB AFLW Rising Star nomination in Round 6: she continues to develop and has become an important component of the Blues’ midfield structure.

20. Charlotte Wilson

It was a year of firsts for 2018 draftee Charlotte Wilson, playing in a Grand Final just a month after her AFLW debut.

Wilson made her debut against Collingwood in Round 5 in what was a triumphant night for the Blues against the old enemy.

The young defender played her role on debut, finishing with five disposals while providing a strong defensive presence despite being the youngest player in the competition.

While not having the biggest disposal numbers, it was her ability to play on and lock down more senior opponents which drew praise from her coaches. Her rundown tackle in the opening quarter of the Grand Final said it all.

 

21. Nicola Stevens

Nicola Stevens was a consistent performer in her second year at the Blues and was a key pillar of the defensive unit. Her final month in particular showed why Carlton was so keen to secure her services at the end of 2017.

The experienced defender averaged nine disposals across the season and was third in the team for rebound 50s.

Stevens formed a watertight defensive structure with fellow Blues Gab Pound and Kerryn Herrington, with their synergy building week on week. 

Although Carlton fell short at the last hurdle, Stevens showed her big game credentials with her performance in the AFLW Grand Final.

She managed 15 disposals, two tackles and two rebound 50s for her efforts in defence, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the dominant Crows.

22. Rhiannon Watt 

Rhiannon Watt was selected as a mature-age recruit at pick No. 40 in the 2018 NAB AFL Women’s Draft.

She arrived at Carlton after a standout season for the Southern Saints in the VFLW competition, where she won the Saints’ best-and-fairest award and featured in the Team of the Year.

Watt debuted in Round 2 against Adelaide, collecting six disposals and combining with Alison Downie and Breann Moody in the ruck in what was a respectable six-disposal performance to kick off her AFLW career.

Over the two games she played in 2019, Watt averaged six disposal, splitting her time between the ruck and up forward.