THE Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season rolls along into round four with a number of huge games throughout the weekend. The Hawks enjoy the bye after a huge win over Carlton, helping further establish them as league leaders. The Thunder, Cats and Pies all look to build on impressive starts, while the Bombers and Seagulls desperately try to notch up their first wins.
Melbourne Uni vs NT Thunder
Saturday May 26, 11:50AM, Avalon Airport Oval
The NT Thunder sent another huge message last week in its demolition of the Bombers, moving to 2-0 for the season with both wins being dominant. Terrific performances from captain, Angela Foley with 28 possessions and two goals, alongside Emma Swanson, who also added two goals herself, contributed to the big win in Darwin. The Thunder look to continue its unbelievable run against a rested and ready Melbourne Uni, who is fresh off the bye. The Mugars will need a huge game from AFLW MVP winner and North Melbourne recruit, Emma Kearney through the middle of the ground if they wish to stop the prolific offence of the Thunder and improve on their 1-1 beginning to the season.
Darebin vs Casey Demons
Saturday May 26, 12 Midday, Bill Lawry Oval
The Demons come off a disappointing loss to the Saints last week, where poor goal kicking, along with a poor last quarter ultimately did them in. Despite the loss, Casey was impressive throughout the game and showed great signs without getting the four points. Former Bendigo Pioneer, Eden Zanker was particularly impressive as she works to continue developing throughout the competition. AFLW teammate, Kate Hore also had a terrific game in her own right. Big performances from these two could help the Demons to get back on track. The Falcons on the other hand come off a bye and will look to establish dominance early on after having two weeks of preparation. Hannah Mouncey will look to continue her spectacular start to the season, building off her three-goal effort in the Falcons’ last encounter.
Western Bulldogs vs Collingwood
Saturday May 26, 2PM, Victoria University Whitten oval
Collingwood is looking to continue their great run of form in round four in a clash against the Western Bulldogs. Undefeated from their three games (two wins, one draw), the Magpies have built quite the impressive squad to begin the season. Jaimee Lambert found form last week in a two goal, 24 possession effort to lead the Pies to a comfortable win. This came alongside another impressive performance from former Calder Cannon, Sarah Dargan, who continues to grow in leaps and bounds. The Bulldogs come into the contest in desperate need of a win to get their season going, having lost their first two encounters, and rested with a bye last week. Hayley Wildes has been off to a great start in the opening two games for the Bulldogs, tallying up a high amount of possessions and using the ball extremely well. They will need another great game from Wildes, as well as a step up overall from the team at large if they wish to notch up their first win.
Geelong vs Carlton
Saturday May 26, 4:30PM, GMHBA Stadium
The Cats come into round four in a great run of form, having smashed Williamstown by 53 points last week. A terrific effort saw the Cats hold Williamstown to just four behinds for the entire game, with relentless effort down in defence, led by their captain, Rebecca Goring, who was spectacular. The emergence of NT recruit, Evelyn Dhamarrandji in round three just added to Geelong’s dominance in the competition so far. The supporting cast such as Richelle Cranston have also stepped up and been great for the Cats in the first three weeks and will be pivotal again against a Carlton side who also find themselves in good form. Despite a loss to the Hawks last week, the Blues still come in with a great deal of hope against Geelong. Last week was a classic ‘’burn the tape’’ game for the Blues as they were beaten in all areas by a determined Hawthorn side who were firing on all cylinders. If the Blues are able to find their form from the first two games with players such as Darcy Vescio, Jess Hosking and Lauren Arnell continuing their good stretch, it will go a long way towards getting a rebound win.
Southern Saints vs Essendon
Sunday May 27, 11:30AM, Trevor Barker Beach Oval
The Saints fought their way to a well-earned victory last week, placing them at 2-1 heading into their clash against the bottom of the ladder Bombers. Alison Drennan continued her fantastic start to the season with another great outing of 22 possessions and a goal, and was instrumental in the Saints fourth quarter run to get them over the line in a close finish. Four goals in the final term showcased the Saints’ firepower, which they will look to put to great use in overwhelming an Essendon defence which has given up big scores throughout the early rounds. Essendon enter the round winless and are in desperate need of a big game to kick-start their season. For this to happen, they must put together a full four-quarter effort, something that has eluded them thus far. After being held scoreless from quarter time onwards last week, they will be looking to take control early and maintain that pressure to the end this time.
Williamstown vs Richmond
Sunday May 27, 2PM, Williamstown Football Ground
What a difference two weeks makes! After a terrific outing in round one, the Tigers come in off the back of two blowout losses and will look to get back on track against the equally struggling Williamstown. The Tigers had a strong performance last week from Jacqueline Graham in defence but struggled to get any other meaningful contributions down back, which resulted in an overall poor performance. With just two goals in the last two weeks the Tigers will also be looking for better results from the forwards. A four goal game from co vice-captain, Kate Dixon propelled them to victory in round one and a similar effort from her or another Tigers player would go a long way towards a win. Williamstown, similar to Essendon find themselves winless from three games and will be doing everything they can to avoid going 0-4. An incredibly disappointing performance last week saw them fall to the Cats by nine goals, with them being dominated in all areas. Jess Duffin, however continues to be a shining light for the team, despite their poor performance overall. A better team effort could do wonders for the Seagulls and potentially yield their first win.