With just two rounds of the AFLW home & away season remaining, it’s time to look at some of your favourite Gold Coast SUNS players who are stamping their authority on the competition.
Talls going to work
Lauren Bella’s brilliant ruck craft has long been noted throughout the AFLW, but the 22-year-old has this season struck up one of the league’s most versatile ruck combinations alongside Jac Dupuy.
Bella’s average of 21.1 hitouts per game, along with Dupuy’s 9.9 per game has the SUNS sitting in third for total hitouts across the competition.
Dupuy, now in her second season at the SUNS, continues to go from strength-to-strength, earning the admiration of her teammates with her contested work both in the air and on the ground.
She remarkably led the SUNS for both contested possessions and contested marks in its Round 7 win over Sydney, and it’s no surprise she finds herself in the top handful of players in the contested marks category (10 contested marks) – only her captain Tara Bohanna (11) has bettered Dupuy for the SUNS.
Further to the SUNS ruck craft, it’s no surprise to see both Charlie Rowbottom and Claudia Whitfort among the top echelon of players when it comes to clearances.
Rowbottom (50 clearances) sits alongside Geelong’s Amy McDonald (53) and Fremantle’s Kiara Bowers (56) as the only players to reach the half-tonne to date with Whitfort averaging 4.6 clearances a game herself.
The pair also lead the SUNS for contested possessions with Rowbottom sitting comfortably inside the league’s top 10 with an average of 13.3 per game, while Whitfort has been doing her bit to feed her forwards, sitting in the league’s top five for Inside 50s (34 total).
Often placed as the last line of defence for the SUNS, Vivien Saad has been a revelation down back in her second season on the Gold Coast.
The 30-year-old has been a key piece of Cameron Joyce’s defensive set-up, and it’s not surprising why with an average of eight intercept possession per game, a figure only bettered by Richmond’s Eilish Sheerin.
If it’s not Saad, it’s more than likely two-time defending Players’ Player Daisy D’Arcy firing the SUNS forward outside of defensive 50 with an average of four rebound 50s per game – a stat that has her placed well inside the league’s top 10 and in the conversation for another honour at this year’s Club Champion awards.