Tag: Gabby Collingwood

2020 AFL Women’s Round 2 preview: Expansion sides to face off as inaugural sides do battle under lights tonight

ROUND 2 of the AFL Women’s is sure to bring plenty of big clashes and ignite old rivalries with Collingwood and Carlton set to do battle on Sunday while Fremantle and West Coast will take place in their inaugural Western Derby.

Friday, February 14

Western Bulldogs v. Melbourne at Whitten Oval, 7:40pm, AEDT

Taylah Melki

With one win on the board each expect a high intensity battle from the opening bounce in search of each teams’ respective second win. The Demons announced themselves to the rest of the competition last round, downing premiership favourites North Melbourne by two points and will be riding a wave of confidence heading into their Round 2 match-up. Similarly, the Dogs inflicted their fair share of pain on newcomers St Kilda with an impressive 25-point win. The Bulldogs were slick from the beginning, exploiting their oppositions’ inexperience and making them pay while the Dees fought hard to just get over the line and set up the makings of what could be a strong season.

After waiting 693 days the return of Daisy Pearce was exactly what the doctor ordered for Melbourne and their fans. The talented midfielder-turned-defender was right back in the mix, throwing her weight around and winning plenty of the pill around the contest, something that was sorely missed last season. Karen Paxman is as experienced as they come, able to sense the moment and have an impact while the likes of Elise O’Dea and Lily Mithen could prove a handful for the Dogs who lost a couple of key players during the off-season. Forward, Tegan Cunningham will be looking to have a big game after failing to trouble the scorers last round, only registering a point. But if Cunningham and Kate Hore get going the two could pose a dominant force inside forward 50, plus throw in the likes of Eden Zanker and the Dees have a lot to work with.

With Katie Brennan and Monique Conti both departing the kennel, the likes of Ellie Blackburn and Kirsty Lamb have taken their game to another level and will be hoping to have the same dominant impact as last round. Blackburn is a class act, able to read the play, apply strong tackles and consistently get involved while Hannah Scott has upped the ante. Number one draft pick Gabby Newton did not look out of place in Round 1 with her contested ball work and cleanliness, but will be keen to prove it was not a one-off with a strong showing against Melbourne. Up forward, Bonnie Toogood will have to deliver for the Dogs if they are to apply scoreboard pressure and get over the line.

Tip: Melbourne by 15.

WESTERN BULLDOGS

B: A.Gogos 36 L.Spark 11
HB: K.Herron 31 E.Gamble 14 N.Ferres 16
C: B.Hunt 21 K.Lamb 27 G.Lagioia 12
HF: G.Newton 5 B.Toogood 8 K.McLeod 6
F: E.Georgostathis 17 D.Berry 7
Foll: K.Rennie 24 E.Blackburn – C 2 A.McCarthy 15
I/C: E.Brown 9 D.Marshall 26 N.Callinan 10 H.Scott 22 A.Van Oosterwijck 28
Emerg: N.Morris-Dalton 25 H.Munyard 20

In: E.Brown, A.Van Oosterwijck
Out: I.Huntington (concussion), C.Moody (ankle)

MELBOURNE

B: L.Birch 9 M.Downie 2
HB: S.Lampard 8 S.Goldrick 23 D.Pearce – C 6
C: S.Heath 30 T.Hanks 28 C.Emonson 11
HF: K.Hore 10 E.Zanker 29 S.Scott 12
F: T.Cunningham 1 A.Newman 16
Foll: H.Cordner 21 K.Paxman 4 M.Gay 3
I/C: G.Colvin 32 C.Sherriff 18 N.McEvoy 17 A.Kemp 36 E.O’Dea 5
Emerg: B.Tarrant 20 M.Guerin 22

In: N.McEvoy
Out: M.Guerin

Saturday, February 15 

North Melbourne v. GWS GIANTS at University of Tasmania Stadium, 3:10pm AEDT

Michael Alvaro

North Melbourne will be looking to make good on a shock Round 1 loss when it hosts the GWS GIANTS in Launceston. Premiership points may soon become a premium for Scott Gowans‘ side as it looks to top a tricky Conference A, and the pre-season premiership fancies will expect to pick up their first set in this clash. But the GIANTS are one of the few sides which can match the ‘Roos for experience throughout their squad, and already ground out a win against league newcomer, Gold Coast in an opening round thriller. While North’s home ground advantage paid dividends in its inaugural season, the GIANTS were already made to endure tough conditions last time out, which should put them in good stead to tackle the often-windy Launceston afternoons. Last year’s result – which swung convincingly to the way of the ‘Roos – will also be in the back of players’ minds, but North knows it cannot take anything for granted.

The debut of Lisa Steane looms as one of the stories of the weekend, with the 24-year-old teacher surprised mid-week with news of her inclusion while working. Steane’s replacement of Ellie Brush in the side is the only change for GWS, with its strong and experienced core remaining for what should be a tough test. The midfield combination of skipper Alicia Eva and young gun Alyce Parker will again look to lead from the engine room, and their work will be cut out for them given the depth and strength of North’s midfield. The Kangaroos have made two changes as Daria Bannister (collarbone) and Bethany Lynch come out of the side for Jas Grierson and local girl, Abbey Green, whose inclusion could free up Emma King to play a more permanent key forward role. It makes the North Melbourne forward line one to behold, with a couple of capable tall targets and the likes of Daisy Bateman and Katlyn Ashmore at their feet.

Given how deep the hosts’ talent runs through midfield and around the ground, they are rightly fancied to bounce back to more typical form. The ‘Roos should also take solace in the feats of reigning premier Adelaide, as the Crows overcame a surprise first round loss in 2019 to go undefeated throughout the rest of the season. While last week’s outcome should drive North Melbourne to better results, the pressure will be on given not many would expect GWS to trouble them a whole lot. Nonetheless, the Kangaroos should fare much better in this clash against a side which looks like battling for mid-conference status, so do not be surprised if a statement is made.

NORTH MELBOURNE

B: T.Randall 16 B.Gibson 18
HB: T.Nestor 24 D.Hardiman 31 A.Gilroy 8
C: J.Trend 21 E.Kearney – C 9 A.Riddell 7
HF: S.Abbatangelo 1 K.Gillespie-Jones 5 K.Ashmore 10
F: E.King 60 D.Bateman 11
Foll: V.Saad 39 J.Garner 25 J.Bruton 35
I/C: E.King 4 S.Wright 17 J.Grierson 19 E.Gavalas 22 A.Green 26
Emerg: M.King 23 B.Lynch 20

In: J.Grierson, A.Green
Out: D.Bannister (collarbone), B.Lynch

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

B: P.Randall 21 T.Hetherington 9
HB: R.Beeson 6 L.Stephenson 12 A.Lister 14
C: E.Bennetts 22 A.Eva – C 2 N.Barr 8
HF: H.Zreika 24 C.Staunton 13 J.Hicks 5
F: R.Privitelli 19 I.Nielsen 25
Foll: E.McKinnon 23 J.Dal Pos 7 A.Parker 3
I/C: Y.Bonner 27 L.Steane 20 J.Allan 39 A.Schmidt 11 B.Tully 36
Emerg: T.Mackrill 32 S.Halvorsen 30

In: L.Steane
Out: E.Brush (unavailable)

Tip: North Melbourne by 20 points

Gold Coast v. Richmond at Metricon Stadium, 5:10pm AEDT

Taylah Melki

Two expansion teams are set to face off in an exciting clash at Metricon Stadium, the Suns’ first home game of the season. Both teams will be looking for their inaugural AFLW win, meaning there is plenty at stake for each side. The Suns were highly competitive over the weekend, narrowly edged out by the Giants by a mere one point while the Tigers simply had no answers for the rampaging Blues. Gold Coast went down in trying conditions with rain and wind impacting their ability to handle the ball cleanly and hit the scoreboard. On the other hand, Richmond were simply outclassed – unable to combat the torrential storm that was Carlton credit to their onslaught of pressure in the forward 50. But the girls in yellow and black know how to fight, not willing to be bullied across the field and will be hoping to assert themselves on a relatively young and inexperienced Gold Coast Suns outfit.

Richmond has a plethora of star power across the footy field, none bigger than captain Katie Brennan who has showcased her ability to turn a game on its head. Brennan will have to push up through the midfield, more to give players a chop out and provide added support despite her best work being done inside forward 50 with her leading patterns and strong hands. Full forward Sabrina Frederick could prove to be a handful for the Suns given her strength around the contest and ability to gobble up anything that comes her way while the nifty Monique Conti has shown she is all class with ball in hand, able to hit a target from a mile away. Phoebe Monahan was a ball magnet last round along with Christina Bernardi. The two will have to combine once again if they are to trouble the Suns.

Despite not being top-loaded in a-list class the Suns have a wealth of young up and coming stars that can do damage anywhere on the field. Youngsters in Serene Watson and Ellie Hampson offer plenty of excitement for the Suns’ line-up which could give them that upper hand thanks to their raw talent and unpredictability. Lauren Aherns led from the front last round, recording an equal team-high 15 touches running around ragged and burrowing in hard while Jamie Stanton was strong across the ground for the Suns. Captain Leah Kaslar will have her work cut out for her up against a strong Tigers side.

Tip: Richmond by 5.

GOLD COAST

B: J.Pregelj 42 J.Hickey 4
HB: S.Virgo 22 L.Ahrens 7 S.Watson 14
C: T.Ernst 19 J.Stanton 17 C.Hammond 29
HF: P.Parker 1 K.Surman 26 L.Kaslar – C 11
F: E.Hampson 21 B.Perry 16
Foll: L.Bella 2 J.Yorston 5 H.Dunn 24
I/C: J.Hewett 20 M.Ritson 12 S.Riley 8 D.Heslop 25 K.Howarth 23
Emerg: T.Thorn 15 T.Groves-Little 3

In: E.Hampson
Out: A.Hamilton

RICHMOND

B: R.Miller 15 G.Seymour 28
HB: S.Sansonetti 18 P.Monahan 2 A.Makur Chuot 34
C: K.Jacques 10 K.Brennan – C 3 H.Burchell 9
HF: S.Frederick 14 C.Wakefield 8 T.Stahl 24
F: L.McClelland 16 C.Bernardi 6
Foll: A.Edmonds 11 M.Conti 4 A.Woodward 13
I/C: L.Tesoriero 7 L.Bailey 12 S.Molan 1 M.Brancatisano 5 G.Campbell 43
Emerg: E.Wood 17 C.Fitzgerald 26

In: G.Campbell
Out: H.Whitford (injured)

West Coast Eagles v. Fremantle Dockers at Optus Stadium 7:10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

The Western Derby is the pride of Western Australia and for the first time ever at AFL Women’s level, the two sides can continue the tradition. West Coast and Fremantle go head-to-head in a Saturday night blockbuster with both teams coming off varying form. Last week, West Coast looked strong up against Collingwood at Victoria Park, booting the first goal and holding the Magpies scoreless in the opening term, before Collingwood took control and ran away comfortable victors in the end. Fremantle on the other hand did finish the job, knocking over fellow finalist Geelong in Western Australia in an effort that saw youngster, Sabreena Duffy win Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the week with four of her side’s six goals in the win. Both in Conference B – the more competitive conference – every win is absolutely crucial and neither side will want to relent against its biggest rival.

West Coast is the new kid on the block and they showed last week that they will be competitive, it will just be for how long. Dana Hooker plays her former side this week and it will unlikely faze the star who booted the club’s inaugural – and in the end, only – goal last week with a clever snap out of the pack. She was simply sensational across the four quarters, while Emma Swanson was also impressive with the pair leading from the front as vice-captain and captain respectively. Mikayla Bowen brought her tackling pressure from the Under 18s up to the elite level, while Imahra Cameron showed she has a nice set of wheels to burst away from stoppages and cause headaches for the opposition. Add in the smooth skills of McKenzie Dowrick coming off half-back and the reliability of Chantella Perera and Talia Radan on the last line and the Eagles are strong defensively. The Eagles have made just the one change for the this game, with the club’s social media coordinator Kate Orme making her debut for the injured Ashton Hill.

The expansion side will need to be strong defensively against a forward line that has plenty of excitement and X-factor, including Roxanne Roux, who showed exactly why she was the first West Australian taken last year with her high leaping and booming kick. She is a franchise player at centre half-forward, and with fellow teenage talent Mim Strom, the Dockers have a couple of gems they can build a side around through the ruck and key forward spots. Also up forward is Duffy who was simply sensational, and Ebony Antonio, who with partner and captain Kara and tackling machine Kiara Bowers rotating inside 50, there is no shortage of scoring options. The Dockers have made two changes for the team in Round 2 with Leah Mascall and debutant Bianca Webb coming in for Steph Cain – who unfortunately did her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) – and Mia-Rae Clifford. The question this season will be around the Dockers’ defence given the young rucks have already earned their stripes, but against an Eagles side still looking to gel, they should be able to contain their yellow and blue state-based rivals. In order to win they will want to shut down Hooker and restrict the flow forward while putting plenty of pressure on the opposition defence. Given many of the Eagles have come from the Dockers, the remaining Fremantle players would love nothing more than to get one-up on them early in the season and it will likely happen.

Tip: Fremantle by 35.

WEST COAST

B: C.Perera 27 T.Radan 26
HB: B.Smith 14 S.McDonald 35 M.Dowrick 5
C: M.Collier 8 I.Cameron 19 N.Kelly 12
HF: A.Atkins 9 K.Gibson 2 M.Bowen 1
F: G.Kelly 15 D.Pisconeri 11
Foll: P.Laurie 25 D.Hooker 17 E.Swanson – C 13
I/C: T.Tester 23 C.Guard 4 H.Bullas 24 B.Devlyn 7 K.Orme 32
Emerg: E.Bonser 6 C.Davidson 33

In: K.Orme
Out: A.Hill (knee)

FREMANTLE

B: J.Cuthbertson 29 L.Pugh 32
HB: A.Stannett 24 E.Gooch 8 L.Mascall 14
C: L.Rohde 11 H.Miller 19 J.Stewart 7
HF: E.Antonio 12 R.Roux 17 S.Duffy 6
F: G.O’Sullivan 22 G.Houghton 27
Foll: M.Strom 21 K.Bowers 2 K.Antonio – C 15
I/C: K.Flood 44 B.Webb 26 P.Seth 18 K.Grieve 13 A.Sharp 1
Emerg: E.O’Driscoll 3 M.Clifford 4

In: L.Mascall, B.Webb
Out: S.Cain (knee), M.Clifford

Sunday, February 16

Geelong Cats v. Brisbane Lions at GMHBA Stadium, 1:10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

This Conference A clash on Sunday looms as one of the more intriguing contests of the weekend. The teams head into the match with differing results from Round 1, as Brisbane toppled the Crows at home while the Cats fell to a Duffy-inspired Dockers outfit in the west. Heading into the clash, Geelong will start favourites against the current conference leaders, playing at home and with more experience in the line-up. For the Lions, they have youthful excitement about them and will worry a few teams. They will not win every game in the manner they did in Round 1, but you get the feeling they will push most teams and show that they are building something special for the future.

The Cats have not had to make any major changes to its line-up that fell to the Dockers last Sunday evening, bringing in Rene Caris and Maddy Boyd to their extended squad. Last week it was the developing midfield of Olivia Purcell and Rebecca Webster, teaming with fellow 19-year-olds, Sophie Van De Heuvel and Nina Morrison, while Julia Crockett-Grills found plenty of the ball as well. They are still missing All Australian defender, Meg McDonald from their back five, but the Cats have the reliable Mel Hickey and Maddy McMahon helping youngsters Millie Brown and Denby Taylor. Geelong is growing a great culture of youth all coming through together, and with Phoebe McWilliams and Richelle Cranston bringing experience to the forward half, there is a nice balance of talent that should get the job done in this match.

Brisbane does not necessarily have the names on paper that Geelong has, but some of the players will become household names sooner rather than later. Jess Wuetschner is a big loss for the Lions, having been rested after being struck by lightning on the eve of the season. While she got through the first game, the Lions have erred on the side of caution for a game-by-game basis. Coming into the side on an extended bench are Gabby Collingwood, Jordan Zanchetta and Jade Ellenger. Of the trio, Ellenger has played just the two games and is one of a number of teenagers who are in the Lions line-up alongside recent draftees, Lily Postlethwaite and Isabel Dawes, and second year players, Nat Grider and Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw. Sophie Conway made a successful return from a long term knee injury last round, and along with Ally Anderson and Emily Bates providing plenty of run and hardness through the midfield. Throw in the impenetrable Kate Lutkins at centre half-back and they have enough about them to worry the Cats.

Tip: Geelong by 15.

GEELONG

B: M.Brown 19 M.McMahon 24
HB: M.Keryk 45 M.Hickey – C 18 D.Taylor 28
C: S.Van De Heuvel 27 R.Cranston 30 N.Morrison 9
HF: J.Crockett-Grills 6 M.Maguire 7 R.Garing 12
F: P.McWilliams 23 J.Ivey 5
Foll: A.O’Connor 14 R.Webster 21 O.Purcell 16
I/C: A.McDonald 3 D.Higgins 2 G.Rankin 10 R.Goring 44 G.Clarke 17 R.Caris 1 M.Boyd 26

In: R.Caris, M.Boyd
Out: None

BRISBANE

B: N.Grider 10 S.Campbell 20
HB: R.Lugg 11 K.Lutkins 13 C.Svarc 25
C: E.Zielke – C 8 B.Koenen 3 S.Webb 4
HF: L.Arnell 16 J.Tawhiao-Wardlaw 30 S.Conway 12
F: D.Davidson 14 G.Bodey 15
Foll: J.Keeffe 27 A.Anderson 18 E.Bates 1
I/C: I.Dawes 17 M.Moloney 28 G.Collingwood 7 O.O’Dwyer 9 L.Postlethwaite 6 J.Zanchetta 2 J.Ellenger 5

In: G.Collingwood, J.Zanchetta, J.Ellenger
Out: J.Wuetschner (managed)

Carlton v. Collingwood at Ikon Park, 3:10pm AEDT

Michael Alvaro

Traditional rivals and Conference B hopefuls Carlton and Collingwood are set to do battle at Ikon Park for a four time in their histories, in what promises to be a test of either sides’ true credentials. Both teams come in having feasted on competition newcomers in their opening fixtures, both running out on home turf in comfortable starts to the season. Bizarrely, last week’s season opener was an away match for Carlton, but the Blues once again hold home status against the ‘Pies in this match-up. While the extended history between these two powerhouse clubs is storied, their AFLW meetings have been much more one-sided – with Carlton taking out all three fixtures but the Magpies getting closer to a win every year. The Blues also fared much better in season 2019, embarking on a grand final run while Collingwood floundered and took out the Conference B wooden spoon. But with marked improvement already shown, Collingwood has the elite talent to take it to the Blues.

Much of the off-season talk and narrative coming in to the match surrounded ex-Carlton skipper and new Magpie, Bri Davey. Unfortunately for both neutrals and ‘Pies fans, the 2017 All Australian is set to miss this game after picking up a lower leg injury in Round 1. Davey’s sole omission opens the door for one of Kristy Stratton, Eliza Hynes, or Ebony O’Dea to enter the winning lineup, which has struggled at times to fill out depth outside of its formidable spine. With Davey out, the emphasis down back will be firmly placed on the pairing of Stacey Livingstone and Ash Brazill, while Brittany Bonnici and skipper Stephanie Chiocci will have to dig in hard to combat a powerhouse Carlton midfield. The ruck battle between Sharni Layton and Carlton’s pairing of Breann Moody and Alison Downie will also be one to watch, with Layton’s ability to provide use to her midfielders potentially key to shutting down a usually dominant Carlton engine room.

Twins Sarah and Jess Hosking will take the field together for the first time this year in navy blue, as the latter slots in on the wing while Jess Edwards and Abbie McKay help make up an extended bench. The Carlton core of Madison Prespakis, co-captain Katie Loynes, Grace Egan, and Georgia Gee remains, while the forward targets of Tayla Harris, Darcy Vescio, and Nicola Stevens should also work to stretch the aerial capabilities of Collingwood’s back five. Round 1 Rising Star nominee Lucy McEvoy is also primed to back up an eye-catching debut performance as part of the midfield-forward rotation, only adding to the hardness of Carlton’s overall unit. The only potential concern for the Blues may come down back as Jayde Van Dyk exits the side through injury, but the half back line of Kerryn Harrington, Lauren Brazzale, and popular mature-age draftee Vaomua Laloifi has already proven solid and will have to be as much against the likes of Chloe Molloy and Sarah Dargan. While this fixture has been somewhat of a mismatch in previous years, the increasing number of intriguing match-ups on across the field suggests this one should be a corker, with the Pies looking to elevate their game against the better-established Blues.

CARLTON

B: G.Pound 6 C.Wilson 20
HB: K.Harrington – C 9 V.Laloifi 8 L.Brazzale 12
C: C.Dalton 15 G.Gee 19 J.Hosking 11
HF: N.Stevens 21 T.Harris 7 L.McEvoy 13
F: A.Downie 30 J.Doonan 26
Foll: B.Moody 16 G.Egan 1 M.Prespakis 4
I/C: S.Hosking 10 N.Plane 32 B.Walker 14 K.Loynes 2 D.Vescio 3 J.Edwards 25 A.McKay 5

In: J.Hosking, J.Edwards, A.McKay
Out: J.Van Dyk (injured)

COLLINGWOOD

B: A.Porter 9 S.Livingstone 12
HB: L.Butler 23 A.Brazill 10 E.Fowler 15
C: S.Rowe 7 B.Bonnici 8 S.Chiocci – C 17
HF: C.Molloy 2 S.D’Arcy 4 S.Dargan 46
F: M.Cann 25 J.Allen 6
Foll: S.Layton 1 A.Sheridan 14 J.Lambert 13
I/C: S.Casey 22 K.Stratton 41 S.Alexander 24 J.Membrey 21 M.Shevlin 35 E.Hynes 11 E.O’Dea 50

In: K.Stratton, E.Hynes, E.O’Dea
Out: B.Davey (shin)

Adelaide Crows v. St Kilda at Hisense Stadium, 5:10pm AEDT

Peter Williams

This is expected to be an exciting show of talent for the future, with one side having been there and done it all – twice – while the other is still looking to find its feet in the new league as part of the expansion. A wounded Adelaide Crows side welcomes back some troops for the Round 2 clash against St Kilda with this match considered a must-win contest for the reigning premiers. The Crows were well beaten by a hungry Brisbane Lions side in Queensland, showing how tight the competition has become. Not even a record-breaking disposal count from Anne Hatchard (35) was enough to help the Crows get up in Round 1, and they will want to get a win on the board before the top sides in their conference get too far away. The benefit for the Crows was that fellow premiership contender, North Melbourne also lost, while last year’s finalist Geelong went down too. For the Saints, there are no expectations on their season with such a young list, but being competitive is the bare minimum expected, and after a nervous first quarter last week, the Saints settled and seemed to match it with the Western Bulldogs for large parts of the second half.

The Crows are still missing a host of names heading into this game led by Erin Phillips and Chelsea Randall – the latter of whom will play no further part in the season – but have brought in a couple of debutants in Caitlin Gould and Montana McKinnon. Gould hails from Glenelg and provides a tall presence up either end, while McKinnon is a dual All-Australian at Under 18s level, and could genuinely start ruck if they required her to. Expect her to spend time as a forward however, a role she played in South Adelaide’s premiership side, while rotating through the ruck and providing some strong contested marking ability around the ground. Ebony Marinoff, Hatchard and SANFL Women’s best and fairest winner Najwa Allen form a strong onball brigade and with former MVP, Courtney Gum in the team up forward alongside Danielle Ponter and Stevie-Lee Thompson, they still have the firepower to get the job done. Sophie Li has also come into the side for the Crows, as the only omission was Rachelle Martin – a top-up player who was brought on due to Adelaide’s expansive injury list.

The Saints have made three confirmed changes, with South Australian Nadia Von Bertouch – missing a return to the state where she captained North Adelaide last season – while Kelly O’Neill and Emma Mackie have been omitted. Coming into the side is a mix of youth and experience with former Collingwood talent, Darcy Guttridge and ex-North Melbourne players Alison Drennan and Courteney Munn named in the extended side. Also in to potentially make their debuts are ruck, Poppy Kelly and tall utility, Isabella Shannon who continue the trend of youth at the club. Georgia Patrikios starred in Round 1 with a Rising Star nomination, and expect her to show just as much excitement out on Hisense Stadium. Teaming up with the likes of Molly McDonald, Nicola Xenos and Tarni White, the youth of the Saints will come good in time. They still have experience on the list, with former Crow Jess Sedunary set to make her return to the AFL Women’s having kicked one of the Saints’ two goals last week. While the Saints have plenty to like, expect the Crows to do enough to win in a tight one, even with a few still out. They are desperate, hungry and at home, so a win is non-negotiable when it comes to their premiership aspirations.

ADELAIDE

B: D.Cox 31 C.Biddell 12
HB: A.Foley 3 S.Allan 39 M.Rajcic 32
C: S.Li 19 E.Marinoff 10 J.Mules 23
HF: E.Jones 2 C.Gum 5 R.Forth 27
F: D.Ponter 15 S.Thompson 14
Foll: J.Foley – C 24 A.Hatchard 33 N.Allen 8
I/C: C.Gould 1 A.Considine 16 M.Newman 17 N.Campbell 20 N.Gore 7 M.McKinnon 21 J.Tabb 28

In: S.Li, C.Gould, M.McKinnon
Out: R.Martin (ineligible)

ST KILDA

B: T.White 29 C.Fitzpatrick 24
HB: H.Priest 14 C.Phillips 35 T.Lucas-Rodd 18
C: D.Guttridge 5 J.Sedunary 10 M.McDonald 1
HF: N.Exon 15 K.McCarthy 9 C.Greiser 17
F: K.Shierlaw 12 G.Patrikios 21
Foll: R.Watt – C 7 O.Vesely 23 R.Dillon 25
I/C: I.Shannon 11 A.Brown 2 C.Munn 13 N.Xenos 27 C.Whitfort 4 A.Drennan 8 P.Kelly 16

In: D.Guttridge, I.Shannon, C.Munn, A.Drennan, P.Kelly
Out: K.O’Neill, N.Von Bertouch (knee), E.Mackie

ROUND 2 TIPS: [Total tips in brackets]

Michael Alvaro [5]: Melbourne / North Melbourne / Richmond / Fremantle / Geelong / Carlton / Adelaide
Taylah Melki [5]: Melbourne / North Melbourne / Richmond / Fremantle / Brisbane / Collingwood / Adelaide
Sophie Taylor [4]: Melbourne / North Melbourne / Richmond / Fremantle / Brisbane / Carlton / Adelaide
Peter Williams [4]: Melbourne / North Melbourne / Richmond / Fremantle / Geelong / Carlton / Adelaide

2019/20 AFLW off-season review: Brisbane

WITHOUT a doubt the team hardest hit by the expansion clubs was Brisbane, losing half of its list over the off-season. State rivals Gold Coast picked off seven players, including a number of young stars from last year’s draft and experienced heads. Nat Exon and Kate McCarthy were two of Brisbane’s best last season but departed for the Saints, Sabrina Frederick went to Richmond and McKenzie Dowrick headed home to Perth to fly with the Eagles. It meant all up, 11 players were lost to expansion clubs, while Bella Ayre and Ruby Blair retired and Megan Hunt and Krystal Scott were delisted. Adelaide’s Rheanne Lugg was the only established AFL Women’s player who joined the den. Brisbane had to head to the draft.

Head to the draft they did, picking up the two brightest Queensland talents available in Lily Postlethwaite and Isabel Dawes. Remember those names because the pair will no doubt have an impact in 2020, particularly Postlethwaite who captained her state Under 18s side and could well play midfield first up if given the chance. Catherine Svarc had a terrific season in the QAFLW and provides midfield strength, while the selections of Hannah Hillman, Tahlia Hickie and Lucy Bellinger give the Lions versatility in the key position spots. Selena Priest, Dakota Davidson and Maria Moloney earned a call-up after impressive QAFLW seasons, while they also pre-signed a couple of rookies in Orla O’Dwyer from Gaelic football and Greta Bodey from soccer. All in all, while Brisbane lost a lot of talent, they invested in the future, and wile they might be a year off contending, they sure are going to be an exciting team in 2020.

OFF-SEASON CHANGES:

IN: Rheanne Lugg (Adelaide), Orla O’Dwyer (Gaelic gootball), Greta Bodey (soccer), Lily Postlethwaite, Isabel Dawes (Maroochydore), Catherine Svarc (Wilston Grange), Hannah Hillman, Tahlia Hickie (Coorparoo), Lucy Bellinger (Glenelg), Selena Priest (Coolangatta-Tweed Heads), Dakota Davidson, Maria Moloney (University of Queensland)
OUT: Tori Groves-Little, Paige Parker, Sam Virgo, Jacqui Yorson, Lauren Bella, Leah Kaslar, Emma Pittman (Gold Coast), Nat Exon, Kate McCarthy (St Kilda), Sabrina Frederick (Richmond), McKenzie Dowrick (West Coast), Bella Ayre, Ruby Blair (retired), Megan Hunt, Krystal Scott (delisted)

2020 TEAM LIST:

Ally Anderson
Lauren Arnell
Emily Bates
Lucy Bellinger
Shannon Campbell
Arianna Clarke
Gabby Collingwood
Sophie Conway
Dakota Davidson
Isabel Dawes
Jade Ellenger
Natalie Grider
Tahlia Hickie
Hannah Hillman
Jessy Keeffe
Breanna Koenen
Rheanne Lugg
Kate Lutkins
Maria Moloney
Lily Postlethwaite
Selina Priest
Catherine Svarc
Jesse Wardlaw
Sharni Webb
Jess Wuetschner
Jordan Zanchetta
Emma Zielke

Rookies: Greta Bodey, Brianna McFarlane, Orla O’Dwyer

POTENTIAL 2020 SIDE:

B: Jess Wuetschner – Kate Lutkins – Natalie Grider
HB: Rheanne Lugg – Lucy Bellinger – Lauren Arnell
C: Catherine Svarc
HF: Sophie Conway – Tahlia Hickie – Emma Zielke
F: Isabel Dawes – Jesse Wardlaw – Lily Postlethwaite
R: Hannah Hillman – Ally Anderson – Emily Bates
INT: Shannon Campbell – Arianna Clarke – Gabby Collingwood – Jordan Zanchetta – Breanna Koenen
EMG: Sharni Webb – Jade Ellenger – Jessy Keefe

DEPTH: Dakota Davidson, Maria Moloney, Selina Priest, Greta Bodey*, Brianna McFarlane*, Orla O’Dwyer*

Trying to guess the Lions’ best 21 is incredibly difficult for two reasons. First off, Brisbane has had such a list overhaul of changes, there will be some players in new roles or perhaps making way for the young stars to come in, and the balance between youth and experience will be a tough call for coach Craig Starcevich. The Lions drafted versatile talls with Hillman and Hickie able to rotate through the ruck or key forward which could be the way they opt to go, with Jesse Wardlaw also filling that role. Bellinger can play up either end, but given the strength of the forward half and a missing role at half-back, she could team up with Kate Lutkins as reliable key defensive posts. Jess Wuetschner has played in defence over the winter so expect her to fill that new role, while the experience of Lugg and Lauren Arnell will be crucial off half-back.

The forward half is quite inexperienced with Postlethwaite and Dawes capable of stepping straight in and while they are long-term midfielders, will probably play forward and relieve the likes of Ally Anderson and Emily Bates who made the midfield their own last season, while the mature-age Catherine Svarc could step into the role. Emma Zielke and Sophie Conway could rotate through there, but with Conway coming off a long term injury, it is fair enough to ease her back into it up forward. There is a lot of youth or players yet to really impact consistently at AFL Women’s level, but Nat Grider is a season in and expect her to own a defensive role, while the bench has plenty of versatility in terms of height and roles. It might be a challenging year for Brisbane in 2020, but they will be better for it because they could be back challenging in 2021 once the team has been established.

QWAFL weekly wrap: Preliminary finals

IT was a great day for Coorparoo as both the Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL) and Queensland Women’s Football Association (QWFA) Division One sides made it through to their respective grand finals after close wins in the preliminary final stage.

 

QWAFL:

COORPAROO 2.0 | 7.5 | 9.5 | 9.5 (59)
UNI OF QUEENSLAND 1.1 | 6.2 | 6.7 | 6.7 (43)

GOALS:

Coorparoo: T. Groves-Little 4, J. Wuetschner 2, M. Ingram 2, K. Geddes.
Uni of Queensland: D. Davidson , M. McGorm, E. Pericic, R. Vetter, S. Frederick-Traub, G. Collingwood.

BEST:

Coorparoo: L. Blue, J. Ellenger, K. Lawrence, S. Young, T. Groves-Little, K. Geddes
Uni of Queensland: S. Frederick-Traub, M. Hunt, A. McNabb, S. Webb, E. Pericic, G. Brennan

Coorparoo is through to the QWAFL Grand Final, earning the right to face minor premiers Wilston Grange once again after defeating University of Queensland by 16 points in an exciting contest. The Blues made the most of limited opportunities in the first term to boot 2.2 to the Red Lions’ 1.1. The second term was the complete opposite to the first quarter with a massive 10 goals scored between the sides, as both teams scored five apiece. Coming out in the second half, it was the Blues who made the most of their chances, booting the only two goals of the half, while the Red Lions peppered the goals with five behinds. Neither side scored in the final term which saw the second-placed team set up a meeting with their semi-final conquerors.

Tori Groves-Little was the difference up forward on the day for the Blues, booting four of the game’s 15 goals, while Brisbane Lions’ AFL Women’s star Jess Wuetschner finished the game with two majors, as did Matilda Ingram. The Red Lions had six individual goal kickers including Brisbane AFLW players Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Gabby Collingwood who each scored a major. Frederick-Traub was named the losing side’s best player, along with Megan Hunt, Alana McNabb and Sharni Webb. For the winners, Laura Blue was named the best on ground, along with Queensland Under-18 representative Jade Ellenger and Kylie Lawrence.

 

QWFA Division One:

COORPAROO 3.2 | 3.2 | 8.7 | 9.7 (61)
BURLEIGH 1.2 | 4.5 | 5.5 | 6.7 (43)

GOALS:

Coorparoo: M. Pullinger 6, M. Farmer 2, C. Osler.
Burleigh: Not supplied.

BEST:

Coorparoo: E. Rose, E. Dillon, K. Day, M. Walkington, M. Farmer, M. Pullinger
Burleigh: Not supplied

Coorparoo made it the double in the top two women’s grades, after running out winners over a determined Burleigh by 18 points to advance through to the QWAFA Division One Grand Final. The Blues finished top of the table after the regular season, but had a shock loss to second-placed Aspley Hornets in the semi-final stage to be forced to earn their way back into the decider. On the weekend, they fought back from a half-time deficit to record a three-goal win. Coorparoo started strongly, booting three goals to one in the opening term, but then the Bombettes hit back with the only three goals of the second term to head into half-time with a nine-point advantage. Coorparoo powered their way into the Grand Final with a five goals to one term in the premiership quarter, holding off the visitors to win and have another crack as Aspley. Meg Pullinger starred with six goals to be the difference between the sides, while Emily Rose and Emma Dillon were named the Blues’ best on the day.

QWAFL: The run home

AFTER looking at both Western Australia and South Australia’s top female competitions, we delve into Queensland’s highest grade, with the Queensland Women’s Australian Football League (QWAFL) and also take a glimpse into the first division.

QWAFL:

1 Wilston Grange (11 wins, 1 loss | 381.14% | 44 points)

After a near perfect season, Wilston Grange had a shock loss to sixth placed University of Queensland in the last round, going down by 18 points at home. Prior to that, they had answered every challenge thrown at them and still sit in pole position for the overall premiership favouritism. They face Coolangatta Tweed and Yeronga South Brisbane in the final three rounds, either side of a bye. Courtney Daniec has been the star player for the ladder leaders, named in the best seven times of a possible 10 matches, whilst booting nine goals for the season. Catherine Svarc has been equally as impressive with four goals in 10 games and named in the best six times, but the future of Queensland football has been on show with talented bottom-ager Isabel Dawes who has been named among the best in every game she has played – six matches – and continued that form at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. Jacqueline Yorston (seven goals in six games) is another youngster who has stood out, while the experience of Kate Lutkins and Jamie Stanton – before her move to Victoria – has proved invaluable. The Gorillas are well placed heading into the final few rounds.

 

2 Coorparoo (8 wins, 4 losses | 181.92% | 32 points)

Heading into its third and final bye for the season, Coorparoo have locked away second spot with a superior percentage to Coolangatta Tweed. The byes have proven to come at opportune times, with the second placed side losing three of its matches leading into them. They lost two consecutive games early in the season, including one to Bond University in Round 3, have lost both games to Wilston Grange, and went down to Yeronga South Brisbane in its most recent encounter just last weekend. The team has had an even contribution of stars, with Charlotte Edmunds named in the best five times from 11 matches, while Hayley Moore (nine matches), Kayla Geddes (11) and Maili Forbes (11) have all found their way into the team bests four times. Jenae Goven has started up forward with an impressive 25 goals in 10 games, including a haul of eight goals against Bond University. Brisbane Lions’ AFL Women’s player Jessica Wuetschner has made an impact in limited appearances, booting 23 goals in six games, named in the best three times. In terms of youth, Coorparoo has top talents Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw and Tori Groves-Little playing important roles in the side. Both players stood out at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, and in their combined nine appearances, they have booted 13 goals.

 

3 Coolangatta Tweed (6 wins, 5 losses | 123.12% | 24 points)

The Blues had an initial shaky start to the season, losing three of its first six games, but two of its three wins were by a combined 165 points, restricting their opponents to just two goals total. In a remarkable fixture, they played just one game in three rounds with byes either side of the match, and played blocks of six and seven games throughout the season. They come up against the top team Wilston Grange this weekend, as well as Coorparoo in the final round. Maddy Roberts has played just the seven games, but her talent has been evident, named in the best on six occasions, likewise Georgia Breward with five bests from five games. Lauren James has been the dominant goal kicker for the side, booting 16 goals in 11 matches and named in the best four times. Talented youngster and NSW/ACT All-Australian player Brianna McFarlane has booted nine goals in six games and been impressive up forward. Selina Goodman and Tayla Jay Daly have also booted six goals this season.

 

4 Yeronga South Brisbane (5 wins, 6 losses | 56.03% | 20 points)

Yeronga South Brisbane have a game in hand compared to Bond University and hold a narrow percentage advantage over their nearest rivals. They take them on in the penultimate round of the season, after University of Queensland next week and the ladder leaders, Wilston Grange in the final round. Emily Bliss has been the standout player for Yeronga, named in the best an impressive eight times from 10 games. Assisting Bliss are young stars, the small but talented top-age Georgia Brehmer, and bottom-age tall utility Dee Heslop. Both players have been named in their sides’ best in five of the six games they have played. They do not have a dominant goal kicker, with Courtney McDonnell (nine goals), Jade Ransfield (seven), Demi Leach (six) and Kaitlyn Cantrell (five) the leading goal kickers. Brisbane AFL Women’s player Emily Bates has also stood out from five games, booting two goals and named in the best four times.

 

5 Bond University (5 wins, 7 losses | 50.35% | 20 points)

Bond University has a bye in the final round of the season, with games against bottom-placed Maroochydore and fourth placed Yeronga South Brisbane ahead. Their five wins have come against Coolangatta Tweed (two), University of Queensland (one), Maroochydore (one) and an upset win over Coorparoo in Round 3. Kristyl Smith has been the standout player for Bond Uni so far this season, named in the team bests nine of a possible 11 times. Alexandra Evanshas also been a standout performer, named in the best six of a possible 12 matches, while Arianna ClarkeErin Sundstrom and Tamsin Perry have been consistent players as well. Teenage ruck Lauren Bella has played six games and named in the best five times, while bottom-agers Charlotte HammansEmmii-Lee Zanker CloseGeorgia Ellerand Serene Watson have stepped up in the senior side and continued their form at the national carnival. Fellow state representative Taylor Smith has also managed six games and was named in the best twice.

 

6 University of Queensland (4 wins, 7 losses | 87.82% | 16 points)

Whilst the University of Queensland has had just the four wins this season, but their game of the year came last round when they toppled the premiership favourites, Wilston Grange. It was a memorable away match which saw the sixth placed side head home with an 18-point victory. They have also beaten each of the bottom four sides once so far this season. Breanna Koenen has not missed a beat this year in her six games – named best in all of them – while also booting four goals. Megan Hunt has found her way into the best five times from nine games and also booted three goals. But with an eye to the future, Queensland Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the recent AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships, and All-Australian squad member, Natalie Grider has been a promising up-and-coming talent, playing eight games, booting four goals and has been named in the best five times. Dakota Davidson is the only goal kicker in double figures with 10 majors, while Sabrina Frederick-Traub has booted seven goals in just three games when not playing for Brisbane in the Winter Series. Gabby Collingwood and Kate McCarthy are other Brisbane AFL Women’s Players who have played limited games with the club.

 

7 Maroochydore (1 win, 10 losses | 36.42% | 4 points)

The bottom-placed Maroochydore started the season with a bang, defeating University of Queensland by 12 points. In that match they booted 10 goals and showed what they are capable of, but have just managed the maximum of three goals a game since. They pushed both Yeronga South Brisbane and Bond University all the way in rounds six and seven, and have restricted their opposition to less than 10 goals in all but three matches showing a good defensive effort. The Roos have also had the benefit of some stability at the top end, with Rachel Crack (10 games), Tayla Gesch (11), Tiffany Dale (11) and Kate Surman (10) all named in the best a total of 27 of a possible 43 times between them. Up forward, Isabella Freeman leads the goal kicking with eight majors, courtesy of a bag of five in the opening round win over University of Queensland. Georgia Doherty has booted seven goals in nine matches, while Marybeth Banks has five in nine. The Roos face Bond University and University of Queensland either side of Coorparoo in the final three rounds, and will be hoping to finish the season off on a high note.

 

QWFA Division 1:

In the 11-team, division one grade, Coorparoo, Aspley Hornets and Moreton Bay lead all comers, with massive percentages to be the clear flag favourites in a three-team race. Broadbeach is fourth with seven wins and a draw from 12 matches, while Burleigh and Kedron are ready to pounce six points behind. Wilston Grange and University of Queensland trail with five wins from 12 matches, while Coolangatta Tweed and Yeronga South Brisbane have two wins apiece ahead of the winless Maroochydore.

In the leading goal kicker stakes, Aspley Hornets’ Chloe Macdonald looks to be a class above the grade with 37 majors in 13 matches, including bags of nine, seven and six. Meg Pullinger is a clear second with the Coorparoo product averaging three goals a game from her eight matches, having booted 24 majors for the season. Aspley Hornets have two more goal kickers in the top five, with Sarah Madden (19) and Shaye Easton (15) either side of Moreton Bay’s Cassandra Chamings with 17. Wilston Grange’s Tamika Hansen (14), Kedron’s Lisiti Asimcdonald (12), Broadbeach’s Talena Irvine (11), Burleigh’s Wendy Bristow (eight), Yeronga South Brisbane’s Erin Sargeant (seven), University of Queensland’s Katherine Heliotis (seven) and Coolangatta Tweed’s Macey-Leigh Gore (seven) as their respective club’s leading goal kickers, while Abbey Main and Jessica Champion are the two multiple goal kickers for Maroochydore.

Sargeant and Moreton Bay’s Amy Higgins are the two leading players so far this season, named in the best 10 times from 12 games, while University of Queensland’s Jessica Middleton has had a perfect start to the season with nine bests from nine games. Teammate, Philomena Stephen, Yeronga South Brisbane’s Charmaine Hass and Coorparoo’s Amy Duxfield have also made their way into their respective team’s best. Looking at the top youth in the grade, Queensland bottom-ager Lily Postlethwaite has been named in the best five times in seven matches, booting eight goals in the process for Moreton Bay.

AFLW Previews: Round 4

ROUND three saw the return of reigning AFLW MVP, Erin Phillips, whose presence gifted her side with its first win of the season. Meanwhile, Melbourne suffered its first loss of the season against the Dockers, who are finding some form in recent weeks. Carlton struggled without captain, Brianna Davey, and now without star forward, Tayla Harris for this week, they will have to really step it up against the Bulldogs. Up north, the bottom-of-the-ladder Magpies and the high-flying Dees will battle for premiership points in what will be a memorable match in Darwin. 

 

Western Bulldogs vs. Carlton

Friday February 23, 7.05pm at VU Whitten Oval

The Western Bulldogs’ loss to the reigning premiers came as a surprise, as the Dogs had been dominant and had put their hand up for grand final contention this year. But the loss was not the biggest blow for the game, with the Dogs losing superstar forward, Katie Brennan to an ankle injury. Brennan will be hard to replace, as her presence in front of goal and on-field leadership is second to none. But as one door closes, another opens, making room for code-crosser, Kim Rennie to come into the Bulldogs side for the first time. For the Blues, their impressive start to the season came to an end last week, losing against a dominant Brisbane outfit. The Blues were outclassed, and unfortunately will continue to miss the skill of captain, Brianna Davey, who is out for the season with an ACL injury. Teammate, Tayla Harris will also be missed, after her hit on Brisbane’s Leah Kaslar last week cost her a spot in the round-four team. Last year’s AFLW leading goal-kicker, Darcy Vescio will be out to bag a few majors, after having a slow start to the season. Keep an eye out for debutant, Courtney Webb who will be looking to secure a spot in the midfield for the Blues. Former Carlton captain, Lauren Arnell has also been named in the team, and will be hoping to pull out all stops for the Blues in her first outing since round one. With the Western Bulldogs and Carlton coming off unexpected losses, expect the sides to come out firing, making for a highly contested AFLW Pride Match.

 

Brisbane vs. Fremantle

Saturday February 24, 4.35pm at South Pine Sports Complex

The Brisbane Lions put on a clinic against the Blues, once again raising their hand for grand final contention. The Lions are yet to feel the loss of marquee player, Tayla Harris, with the likes of star forward, Sabrina Frederick-Traub stepping up to fill the void. Frederick-Traub has impressed with her marking so far, but will be keen to hit the scoreboard in a big way this week. University of Queensland recruit, Gabby Collingwood comes back into the side to replace the injured Sophie Conway, and will be hoping to keep her spot in the team with a promising performance against Fremantle. With two wins under their belt, the Dockers have a spring in their step, and would be aiming for a third consecutive win this week. Their accuracy in front of goal proved to be their point of difference last week, with young gun and Rising Star nominee, Emily McGuire making a name for herself in her first outing as a Docker. Captain, Kara Donnellan stood tall once again for Fremantle, racking up plenty of touches and applying immense pressure on the Melbourne midfield. After serving her suspension, expect Stacey Barr to be out to prove a point at South Pine Sports Complex, and cement her spot in Fremantle’s line-up. 

 

Melbourne vs. Collingwood

Saturday February 24, 7.10pm at TIO Traeger Park 

After three rounds, Collingwood is still winless, and will be hoping to end its losing streak against the Demons this week. Brittany Bonnici and Stephanie Chiocci each had dominant starts in last week’s game against the Giants, getting the Pies on the scoreboard. The Magpies showed glimpses of their ability to control games, but fell away late in the match, succumbing to GWS’ pressure. If Collingwood can keep its intensity up throughout the game, the Demons could feel the pressure, after struggling in front of goal last week. Forward, Moana Hope slotted two goals and found some much-needed form, which she will be eager to maintain. Round 1 Rising Star nominee, Chloe Molloy will aiming to continue to show her excellent footy skills and strength for the Pies. Collingwood will be hoping that after serving her two-match ban, Sarah D’Arcy will be firing on all cylinders, and the inclusion of Holly Whitford will give a much-needed spark to the side. Up the other end, Melbourne will be seeking to get back in the winners’ column with a dominant performance over the struggling Pies. The Collingwood defenders will have their work cut out for them, having to control power forward, Tegan Cunningham, who has scored in every match so far. The class of Melbourne’s ever-reliable captain, Daisy Pearce and experienced defender, Karen Paxman may be hard for the Pies to stop. Speedy forward, Aliesha Newman has also proven to be a handy goal-sneak, and may be able to use the conditions to her advantage. The Northern Territory clash will prove to be a difficult one for the players, as they must also contend with the extreme heat and humidity.

 

GWS vs. Adelaide

Sunday February 25, 4.35pm at Blacktown International Sportspark

With both teams securing their first win for the 2018 season in round three, they will be searching to claim that elusive second win. The Crows had a sluggish start to the year but will be hoping to hit their straps late this season. The return of superstar, Erin Phillips kick-started Adelaide’s season, after struggling without her goal-kicking ability, class through the middle, and leadership across the field. The Adelaide line-up has been further bolstered with the experienced Courtney Cramey set to play her first game for the season. The All-Australian defender will be a huge in for the Crows, who will be hunting to take down GWS. Superstar forward, Sarah Perkins will also be looking to have a big day out this week, as she has struggled in front of goals in the past few outings for the Crows. Down the other end, keep an eye out for GWS forward, Aimee Schmidt who was explosive against the Pies. Star midfielder, Courtney Gum also impressed, and showed that age does not matter in AFLW, racking up plenty of touches and bagging two goals in her outing last week. Nelson Marlins Bay recruit, Pippa Smyth is set to make waves for in her first appearance for GWS, after delivering some promising results in the AFLW Draft Combine last year. The Giants can expect to see big things from the former netballer, and will be hoping that she can perform on the big stage. Sitting on even points on the ladder, the Giants and Crows are evenly poised, making for a close contest between the teams. A win for either team would restore some much-needed faith from their supporters, after a disappointing start to the season.

Team Selection: AFLW – Round 4

THE Bulldogs are staring down a tough battle with the loss of star captain, Katie Brennan this week, after she went down with an ankle injury in round three. Brennan’s stellar performance in the competition so far leaves big boots to fill for debutant, Kim Rennie. The first-gamer comes from a basketball background, and is an exciting prospect for the club.

Facing the Dogs this week, Carlton have also endured a major loss to its starting line up. Star forward, Tayla Harris received a one-week suspension for striking former teammate, Leah Kaslar in a heated affair at Ikon Park last week. But coming in is Lauren Arnell, former captain of the side, who will hopefully guide the Blues to a win this week. 

On Saturday, Brisbane’s Sophie Conway will be forced to watch from the sidelines after a shin injury. The Rising Star nominee should be back next week, as it has only been declared as a minor injury. In her place, University of Queensland recruit, Gabby Collingwood will come into the side for her third game of the season.

Former Eastern Devil, Sophie Casey won’t be pulling on a black and white jumper this week, after being suspended for striking GWS’ Cora Staunton. This has left her with a one-week suspension, and has handed an opportunity to the young Holly Whitford to play her second game for Collingwood.

For the Crows, star defender, Courtney Cramey will take the field on Sunday for the first time in 2018. Cramey will be faced with the tough task of containing the in-form Phoebe McWilliams, and will need to regain her 2017 best as an All-Australian defender.

But fellow defender, Dayna Cox has been forced to take a seat on the sidelines this week, after she was suspended for striking. This looks to hinder Adelaide in their conquest against GWS this weekend.

Friday, February 23

Western Bulldogs v Carlton at VU Whitten Oval, 7.05pm AEDT

WESTERN BULLDOGS
B: H.Wildes 17, L.Birch 18, N.Callinan 10
HB: H.Scott 22, B.Toogood 28, B.Lochland 1
C: E.Blackburn 2
HF: J.Bruton 35, L.Spark 11, M.Conti 8
F: K.McLeod 6, A.O’Connor 4, N.Ferres 16
Foll: T.Ernst 19, E.Kearney, 5, K.Lamb 27
I/C: A.Gogos 36, K.Rennie 24, B.Hunt 21, A.Utri 23, L.Bailey 13
In: K.McLeod, K.Rennie, L.Bailey
Out: K.Brennan (ankle), J.Anderson, D.Berry

CARLTON
B: K.Gillespie-Jones 5, D.Hardiman 31, K.Harrington 9
HB: N.Plane 32 N.Stevens 21, C.Webb 17
C: M.Gay 8
HF: K.Shierlaw 25, B.Moody 16, K.Loynes 2
F: T.Lucas-Rodd 18, D.Vescio 3, G.Pound 6
Foll: A.Downie 30, S.Hosking 10, J.Hosking 11
I/C: R.Hicks 24, S.Li 35, L.Arnell 13, M.Keryk 4, S.Audley 26
In: N.Plane, C.Webb, L.Arnell, M.Keryk
Out: L.Brazzale (shoulder), T.Harris (suspension), G.Gee (rested), K.Grieve

Saturday, February 24

Brisbane v Fremantle at South Pine Sports Complex, 3.35pm AEST

BRISBANE
B: B.Koenen 3, K.Lutkins 13, J.Stanton 17
HB: N.Exon 15, L.Kaslar 11, S.Campbell 20
C: E.Bates 1
HF: K.McCarthy 9, T.Randall 16, E.Zielke 8
F: J.Wuetschner 23, I.Ayre 2, K.Ashmore 10
Foll: S.Frederick-Traub 14, J.Zanchetta 7, A.Anderson 18
I/C: N.Hildebrand 22, A.Clarke 21, S.Webb 4, G.Collingwood 28, B.Gibson 25
In: G.Collingwood
Out: S.Conway (injured)

FREMANTLE
B: E.Antonio 12, A.Williams 9, E.Gooch 8
HB: B.Smith 18, C.Davidson 33, S.Cain 20
C: D.Hooker 17
HF: H.Miller 19, S.Barr 10, K.Donnellan 15
F: M.Caulfield 29, E.McGuire 31, A.Atkins 37
Foll: A.Janz 30, G.O’Sullivan 22, L.Webb 16
I/C: L.Mascall 14, A.Lavell 7, A.Sharp 1, J.White 11, L.Filocamo 4
In: S.Barr
Out: G.Houghton (omitted)

Melbourne v Collingwood at TIO Traeger Park, 5.40pm ACST

MELBOURNE
B: H.Cordner 21, L.Duryea 11, B.Jakobsson 7
HB: K.Smith 13, J.Grierson 19, A.Guest 17
C: E.O’Dea 5
HF: R.Cranston 30, L.Mithen 14, S.Scott 12
F: K.Hore 10, T.Cunningham 1, A.Newman 16
Foll: E.Hoare 46, K.Paxman 4, D.Pearce 6
I/C: M.Hickey 18, B.Patterson 24, A.Mifsud 9, M.Downie 2, C.Phillips 35
In: H.Cordner, A.Mifsud
Out: E.Humphries, L.Pearce

COLLINGWOOD
B: E.Grant 5, R.Schleicher 18, I.Ross 21
HB: C.Molloy 2, C.McIntosh 20, M.Kuys 9
C: A.Barden 38
HF: S.D’Arcy 4, J.Garner 43, S.Chiocci 17
F: M.Hutchins 25, M.Hope 23, C.Bernardi 6
Foll: E.King 60, J.Lambert 13, B.Bonnici 8
I/C: H.Whitford 28, S.Dargan 46, L.Tesoriero 7, J.Duffin 27, C.Edwards 1
In: S.D’Arcy, H.Whitford, S.Dargan
Out: T.Morgan, S.Casey (Suspension), B.White

Sunday, February 25

Greater Western Sydney v Adelaide at Blacktown International Sportspark, 4.35pm AEDT

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
B: A.Farrugia 18, T.Hetherington 9, R.Forth 27
HB: N.Barr 8, P.Monahan 28, E.Brush 10
C: A.Eva 2
HF: J.Dal Pos 7, P.McWilliams 3 J.Hicks 5
F: J.Barclay 34, C.Staunton 13 R.Beeson 6
Foll: E.McKinnon 23, C.Gum 26 E.Swanson 17
I/C: M.Freckelton 20, M.Collier 14, P.Smyth 15, A.Schmidt 11, E.Bennetts 22, B.Tully 16, P.Randall 21

In: M.Freckelton, M.Collier, P.Smyth
Out: L.Stephenson (Omitted)

ADELAIDE
B: S.Thompson 14, S.Allan 39, M.Rajcic 32
HB: A.Foley 3, J.Hewett 20, C.Cramey 22
C: E.Phillips 13
HF: D.Varnhagen 9, S.Perkins 28, J.McCormick 5
F: R.Wallace 15, J.Allan 25, J.Sedunary 17
Foll: R.Metcalfe 11, C.Randall, 26, E.Marinoff 10
I/C: S.Armitstead 16, A.Holmes 1, E.Jones 2, J.Mules 23, R.Killian 7, A.Hatchard 33, G.Bevan 4

In: A.Foley, C.Cramey, S.Armitstead, A.Hatchard
Out: D.Cox (suspension), R.Lugg (injured)