Weekend previews: VFLW – Round 3

AS the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition begins to take shape, we see a number of intriguing encounters in round three. The round kicks off with the battle of the unbeaten teams, as the Hawks take on the Blues in Box Hill and culminates with the classic Richmond and Collingwood rivalry down at Punt Road. The Darebin Falcons, Western Bulldogs and Melbourne Uni Football Club all enjoy byes this week. 

Hawthorn vs Carlton

Saturday May 19, 11:30AM
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

The Hawks look to continue their impressive start to the season when they take on the Blues in a Saturday morning clash at home. After a decisive victory over the Bombers in round one, the Hawks were able to grind out a tough seven-point win over Casey to improve to 2-0 for the season. Sarah Perkins has looked dangerous up forward to begin the season, booting three goals and creating a number of scoring opportunities for herself and her teammates. The Hawks welcome back Melissa Kuys in defence after she missed the game against Casey, however the side will be without fellow defender Pepa Randall. Carlton is also coming off two terrific performances in the first two rounds, with comprehensive wins over the Saints and the Bulldogs. The Blues hit the scoreboard with ease the past week led by Jess Hosking, Kimberley Cunico and Kate Shierlaw’s two goals each. Expect a tight contest as two of the early season contenders go head-to-head.  

Southern Saints vs Casey Demons

Saturday May 19, 3:30PM
SkyBus Stadium, Frankston

The Saints bounced back in a big way last week, recording a 30-point win over Williamstown, and will look to build off of that performance with another strong outing against the Casey Demons, who are winless from their only outing. Danielle Lawrence was a force to be reckoned with last week as she absolutely tore the Seagulls apart, kicking four goals, and was complemented by Alison Drennan who had another outstanding performance with 35 disposals and a goal. Casey produced a strong performance against Box Hill last week, before ultimately running out of legs in the last quarter as the Hawks ran over the top of them en route to victory. The Demons will look to put together a full four-quarter effort and notch up win number one of their VFLW season. Their defence was key in their contest last week, led by Katherine Smith, and they will need another strong performance from her and her fellow defenders in order to shut down the prolific Saints, who kicked nine goals in their victory last week.  

NT Thunder vs Essendon

Saturday May 19, 4:00PM
TIO Stadium, Darwin    

The Thunder come into their round three clash fresh off the bye, while the Bombers come off another disappointing encounter, having lost to Melbourne Uni. The Thunder absolutely destroyed the Darebin Falcons in the opening round to the tune of a 54 points and were dominant in all facets of the game. Led by AFLW stars Chelsea Randall and Emma Swanson who each got plenty of the footy with 23 disposals and 31 disposals respectively, as well as a dominant performance from Marijana Rajcic who kicked three goals and four behinds from her 25 possessions up forward. Essendon on the other hand are in desperate need of a win, having dropped its first two encounters. The Bombers were good in patches last week, holding a half-time lead over Melbourne Uni, and were in the game right until the end before succumbing to an eight-point defeat. Captain, Lisa Williams led from the front and will look to put in another strong game and lead the Bombers to their inaugural VFLW win.  

Williamstown vs Geelong

Sunday May 20, 2:00PM
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

The Cats were a part of history last week as they played out the first ever VFLW draw against the Pies, while Williamstown fell for the second straight week. Renee Garing led the way through the middle of the ground with 30 possessions, with new recruit Richelle Cranston also turning in an impressive performance. Their side faces a desperate Williamstown team who look to announce themselves in the competition by getting their first win on the board. Despite the loss last week, Jess Duffin was a standout with three goals from her 20 possessions to help keep the Seagulls within striking distance. Williamstown will be hoping that the changes made at the selection table will inspire a new sense of belief into the players, with several inclusions into the side.

Collingwood vs Richmond

Sunday May 20, 2:00PM
Swinburne Centre, Richmond

Two traditional rival clubs go head-to-head on Sunday afternoon down at Punt Road Oval. The Tigers were unbelievable in round one, holding the Western Bulldogs goalless in a 38-point victory. However, they were on the other side of a goalless affair last week with an almost identical scoreline, this time resulting in a 39-point loss which saw them held to only four behinds. They look to get back on the winners list against an impressive Collingwood side, who come in with a win and draw to their name. Despite being the better team for the majority of the game last Sunday, the Pies’ bad kicking ultimately did them in, resulting in the competition’s first draw. Jaimee Lambert was terrific last week, alongside Sarah D’Arcy, who really put their impact on the game early. Young gun, Sarah Dargan also continues to develop nicely as she turned in an impressive 21-possession game in a breakout performance.

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