AFLW Round 3 to go ahead despite challenges

ANOTHER round of AFLW action is upon us, and COVID-19 protocols have again popped up, forcing another game to be cancelled. Once again there will only be six games this weekend, with the Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast Suns not able to field sides due to Covid forced isolations. The round does take on a special meaning with 13 of the 14 teams wearing Pride-themed jumpers to support the LGBTQ+ community for Pride Round.

Geelong vs Collingwood
January 21 at 7:10pm AEDT
GMHBA Stadium

Tonight’s action sees Collingwood drive down the highway to face the Cats. Now Geelong has shown a fair bit of improvement this season, but Collingwood is in a rich vein of form and will be a challenge to stop.

Geelong gain Nina Morrison back this week, but the Cats do lose Chloe Scheer who will be a huge loss. Collingwood on the other hand do gain Chloe Molloy back this week, but Stephanie Chiocci has not recovered in time from the Achilles issue which saw her as a late out last week.

Collingwood has already shown this year how much they are one of the teams to beat this season, so Geelong will certainly have a lot on their hands if they want to win. They have to stop the likes of ball magnet Jaimee Lambert, and Collingwood’s leading goal kicker Aishling Sheridan. They also have to ensure that the likes of Stacey Livingstone and Ruby Schleicher don’t keep their forwards quiet.

West Coast vs Adelaide
January 22 at 12:40pm AEDT
Swinburne Centre

West Coast will be desperate to cause one of the upsets of the season and earn its first win of the season after blowing their chance at a win last week. Adelaide on the other hand is in good form once again so far this season, with two good wins to start the season and come into the clash on the back of a good win against North.

Adelaide does go into the clash very much the favourites, but the fact that this match is on neutral turf does throw an interesting element into the game.

In order for West Coast to win though, they have to stop Ashleigh Woodland. She has kicked four goals in each of the two matches so far this season, so will have to be kept quiet in order to ensure an Eagles victory. They Eagles struggled against the tall forwards at Gold Coast, and they will be without captain Emma Swanson in this clash, meaning Evie Gooch and Mikayla Bowen will need to create some run against the ball-winning prowess of Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard.

Melbourne vs St Kilda
January 22 at 3:10pm AEDT
Casey Fields

Melbourne finally gets a home match for the first time this season, playing host to a St Kilda side desperate for its first win.

Melbourne is one of the in-form sides of the competition this season, while St Kilda seem to be in for a long season, having not looked close to winning. St Kilda has a lot to contend with if they want to get the win over the Dees.

The Dees have a strong midfield with the likes of Karen Paxman and Tyla Hanks in there, plus a mobile forward line full of tall targets like Tayla Harris and small but quick targets like Kate Hore.

Melbourne on the other hand, need to keep Kate Shierlaw and Caitlin Greiser quiet to help them get the win. Collingwood proved last week that keeping them quiet can go a long way to getting the win, so if Gabby Colvin and Libby Birch can keep those two quiet, Melbourne’s task will certainly be a lot easier.

Richmond vs Fremantle
January 22 at 5:10pm AEDT
Swinburne Centre

Richmond is back at home this week, hosting a Fremantle side in good form, but in the middle of a big month away from home.

Richmond proved last week that it can match it with the better teams in the competition, despite ultimately not getting the chocolates. Fremantle on the other hand, sit on the top of the ladder, still undefeated and proving why the Dockers are still one of the teams to beat this season.

For Fremantle, the two key Tigers to keep quiet are Katie Brennan and Monique Conti.

Conti is a ball magnet, averaging 27 disposals a game so far this season, while Brennan is a dangerous forward capable of causing a lot of headaches and scoreboard damage .

On the flip side, Richmond must win the midfield battle in order to have any hope of winning. Fremantle have a seriously strong midfield, so if Richmond can get keep on top there against the likes of Kiara Bowers and Hayley Miller things will be a lot easier for them.

North Melbourne vs GWS Giants
January 23 at 1:10pm AEDT
Arden St Oval

North Melbourne returns to Arden Street this week, and will be looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season against Adelaide last week. GWS will also be looking to get back on the winners list after the GIANTS lost to Fremantle last weekend.

For North, if they can keep the likes of Alicia Eva and Alyce Parker quiet, that will slow GWS’ forward momentum and options into their forward line, which will make the Roos’ job a lot easier.

GWS on the other hand, have to stop Ash Riddell and Emma Kearney. Those two are ball magnets and very dangerous players for the Kangaroos.

Brisbane vs Carlton
January 25 at 7:10pm
Metricon Stadium

A victim of the Covid chaos sees a match up that we were expecting in Round 2 ultimately happen only a week later.

Brisbane is going to be hungry for their first win after a shocker in Round 1 against Adelaide. Carlton is going to have to be wary of that if they want to keep their winning momentum going.

The Blues on the other hand, are coming off their first win of the season last week against the Cats and will be looking to keep that winning momentum going.

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