AFLW Stocks Rising: Jenna Bruton goes beast mode; the Lions who couldn't be tamed

In week three of the 2023 AFLW finals series, Jenna Bruton and her Kangaroos charged into a maiden Grand Final, Anne Hatchard took one of the marks of the year, and several Lions stood up when the team needed them. Here's whose stocks are rising as we head into Grand Final week.

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


Hats off to Hatchard's hanger

After the Kangas failed to convert a mountain of time spent in their 50 into any sort of scoreboard pressure, the door was still open for Adelaide. With three minutes to go and a seven point margin to overturn, the Crows needed a goal.

Najwa Allen marked an attempted clearance from North within range. While her kick didn't have the journey, it did fall into a Crow's hands.

With a huge pack on the goal line, Anne Hatchard launched from the back of the pack and rose above everyone else, getting some serious hang time in the process.

Almost immediately she stuck boot to ball and scored that much needed goal to close the gap to a single point.

Jenna Bruton goes beast mode

North Melbourne have finally made it to a grand final and had an array of contributors as per usual. While Jas Ferguson and Sarah Wright stood up in defence, Emma Kearney and Jas Garner led from the front, and Tahlia Randall was a presence up forward, it's time for Jenna Bruton to get her flowers.

The pocket rocket dominated the third quarter with 13 disposals and four inside 50s, setting up a Randall major as well. Her 28 disposals -- 13 contested -- led all comers and as did her seven inside 50s.

Chuck in four score involvements and four intercept possessions and this often overlooked midfielder made sure she couldn't be missed in her club's most important game so far.

Scheer brilliance

After sustaining a hairline fracture in her collarbone in Geelong's elimination final win over Essendon, you'd be forgiven for thinking that was Chloe Scheer's season done.

That wasn't the thought process of Scheer or the Cats and after Geelong got the job done in the semifinal against Melbourne, she was named to play in the prelim against the Lions.

As if to prove just how right and ready she was, she scored a goal around the body from 45 metres out. No big deal. Unfortunately, though, Scheer's goal wasn't enough for the Cats, who went down by four points in the end.

But you can't help but marvel at her career-best season which consisted of 20 majors -- her biggest return in six seasons of the AFLW.

Have fun trying to tame these Lions

Brisbane young gun Belle Dawes played an enormous game through the midfield on Saturday and, as has been the case for the entire season, was the Lion most combative around stoppages. The 22-year-old's possession numbers don't jump off the page (21 disposals ain't too shabby, by the way), but they don't need to, her game-high 14 tackles, eight clearances, and 405 metres gained perfectly epitomising her influence.

That's your toughness on the inside, and it was well supported by the outside class of Orla O'Dwyer, who was also terrific with 21 touches, six inside 50s, 560 metres gained, and a goal. Both players have been ultra consistent for the Lions this season and will again be critical in Sunday's epic encounter against the Roos.

Oh, and, by the way, don't underestimate the difficulty of Shannon Campbell's clutch match-winning goal in the final quarter. Going back for a set shot under that sort of pressure with a spot in the big dance on the line is not an easy kick to execute -- bravo!