Richmond AFLW ramped up its pre-season on Saturday afternoon with an intraclub match at the Swinburne Centre.
Two teams, one wearing yellow and the other in black, took to the field for the match, which was played over three 15-minute thirds.
Triple Richmond AFLW best and fairest winner Monique Conti showed no signs of slowing down, working her way into the contest and showcasing her damaging best.
Young star Ellie McKenzie was classy in transition and rarely brought to ground in a tackle. With a full pre-season under her belt this season, the 19-year-old will be looking to assert herself on the competition.
Richmond’s midfield stocks looked strong, highlighted by the addition of recruit Grace Egan. The former Blue and VFLW Tiger was tough in an under the contest, and used her strength to feed the football to her runners in Conti and McKenzie.
Poppy Kelly was commanding the ruck contest, while Tessa Lavey and Meg Macdonald were strong performers through the midfield for the black team, with Macdonald winning multiple clearances.
With the continued absence of Harriet Cordner through injury, Bec Miller will look to continue as the leader of the Tigers' defensive unit. New inclusion Libby Graham was a valuable asset alongside Miller, with the athletic defender not afraid to impact any contest. She was seldom beaten in the air and showcased a strong on-field voice.
Draftee Eilish Sheerin was given license to run off half-back, showcasing fantastic dash and decision-making. She offered another attacking option from the back half, sneaking her way down to the opposite 50 and slotting a goal on the run.
Maddie Shevlin relished in her rebound role, eager to run and carry, with elite kicking skills to match. Beth Lynch continued her upward trajectory, showcasing her innate ability to break the lines evident.
Draftee Katelyn Cox was cool under pressure, taking multiple intercept marks, and making good decisions in traffic.
Former Cat Steph Williams will pose a new marking threat to the building Richmond forward line. She was also fantastic on ground level, pressuring her defender into mistakes and never relenting in the tackle. Fellow new recruit Jemima Woods was eager to jump at any contest that came her way.
Veteran Courtney Wakefield was a standout forward during the game, leading at the ball with intent. Stella Reid was equally impressive with her forward craft, while Maddy Brancatisano not only posed a strong marking presence, but was also strong at ground level.
Laura McClelland was a welcome return after suffering a season-ending injury in Round 6 of last season.
The Tigers will head to Perth next week for another valuable hit-out against Fremantle on Saturday.
They will then return to the Swinburne Centre to play an official practice match against expansion team Hawthorn on Sunday, August 14. The match will take place prior to the Men’s Round 22 contest against the Hawks.