AFLW stocks rising: Kangas best Cats again, Swans' starlet shines

In Round 3 of the 2023 AFLW season the Kangas were too strong for the Cats again, not even a snake could stop Izzy Huntington's comeback, and the Swans have a future star ready and raring now. Here's whose stocks are rising after the second round of Season 8.

Our footy experts cast their eye over the weekend's action to find out whose stocks are up in the AFLW.

The hoodoo continues

When Geelong kicked the opening three majors of their game against North Melbourne on Friday night, you could sense a monumental result beckoning at GMHBA Stadium, the Cats yet to beat the Roos in their short AFLW history.

But goalless at half time was no issue for the away side who kicked the next four unanswered to runaway with a nine-point victory and extend their unbeaten record against the Cats to 6-0.

And shock horror, Jas Garner stole the show for a third straight game. The superstar Roo picked up 32 disposals (22 kicks), 12 tackles, a game-high 12 clearances and nine inside 50s, 600 metres gained, and a goal.

Put simply, she just can't be stopped at the coalface and around the ground, and was able to burst away from stoppages and provide a pivotal outlet from defence to ensure her side had ascendancy when it was needed.

To the rescue!

Of all the reasons to delay a football game, a snake being spotted is the last thing you would think of. But that's exactly what happened ahead of the GWS-Richmond clash at Blacktown, the match originally slated for 1:05 p.m but pushed back by 30 minutes.

The venomous red-bellied black snake was seen lurking in one of the forward pockets before a snake catcher was called to retrieve it.

And to the relief of everyone at the ground, he did just that, the vision of the man calmly holding the dangerous reptile instantly iconic.

The postponed clash commenced to see the Tigers trump the Giants by 19 points, handing the home side their third straight defeat to begin Season 8.

Comeback queens

While the snake in Blacktown meant everyone was deprived of footy for 30 minutes, the extra half an hour was added to 616 days away from the field for GWS' Izzy Huntington who finally made her return to the field. The former No.1 draft pick ruptured her ACL two seasons ago while playing for the Bulldogs, adding to a horror run of injuries for the forward; this was her third ACL tear.

In the middle of rehab, she made the move north to the Giants and after 20 long months was finally given the green light to play footy again.

It was a quiet day in tough conditions for Huntington with five disposals and two marks to her name but it was the first of hopefully many uninterrupted games. In similar scenes at Huntington's old club, Aurora Smith returned for the Western Bulldogs after tearing her ACL in 2022 and missing 580 days of footy.

While Melbourne ran rampant over the Dogs, Smith notched up 12 disposals and four tackles in her comeback match. Here's hoping for even more comebacks, and far fewer ACL injuries.

A huge future for star swan

After a winless season last year, there are plenty of positive signs for the Swans despite their loss to one of the flag favourites in Brisbane on Sunday.

Ally Morphett has shown she should be one of the favourites to win the AFLW's Rising Star award; nominated in Round 1, Morphett was a huge presence for the Swans in the middle of the ground, gathering a staggering 38 hitouts, six clearances, and 17 disposals, while she also kicked one of the goals of the round while assisting ball magnets like Laura Gardiner (41 disposals, if you don't mind!) find the pill.

A tall presence at 188cm, Morphett is just 19, but is quickly coming to terms with her size and athleticism. She'll be hard to stop over the next 10 or more years!