IT is now halfway through the 2022 AFLW Season, and now attention now turns to the back end of the season.
With two wins all that separates third and eighth, every win is crucial in the run to finals. This weekend sees another weekend full of cracking matches, and the Western Australian teams finally playing at home after weeks on the road.
Gold Coast vs Geelong
Tonight at 6:10pm AEST
This could be one of the most enthralling matches of the weekend.
Geelong os coming off a drought breaking win, while Gold Coast had a good run of wins ruined by the Dees last weekend.
One thing Geelong will have to be aware of and prepare for is the potential last quarter surge from the Suns. They have done it in their last two matches, so who is to say they won’t do it again tonight.
Richmond vs North Melbourne
Tomorrow at 2:10pm AEDT
Last weekend’s injury carnage just made an already tough task for Richmond a lot harder.
Losing both Hannah Burchell and Laura McClelland means Monique Conti is going to be relied on more to get the ball out of the centre, so someone is going to need to step up and give Conti some support.
North on the other hand will go into the match as favourites, and will be buoyed by the confidence of defeating the previously undefeated Dockers last weekend. Their attack opportunities are so varied, and against an already weakened Richmond backline this is going be such an asset.
Melbourne vs GWS
Tomorrow at 4:10pm AEDT
Melbourne is coming off a less then ideal performance against the Suns, but still got the four points. GWS on the other hand are coming off a Covid enforced bye, but did have a good win against the Bulldogs back in Round 4.
Casey Fields has become quite the fortress for the Dees, with the side winning their last 10 matches at the venue.
One thing that has exposed GWS this season is zone defending. North deployed it against them back in Round 3 and the Giants really struggled to get it out of their defensive 50. It will be interesting to see whether the Dees implement a similar system in their forward 50 tomorrow night.
GWS on the other will have to catch the Dees on the hop from the opening bounce. One thing we have seen from the Dees on a number of occasions this season has been that their opponent has been able to get it quickly out of the opening centre bounce to their forward 50 and score a goal.
Fremantle vs Carlton
Tomorrow at 3:10pm AWST
After what must have been an emotionally exhausting few weeks on the road, Fremantle finally return home to face Carlton at their fortress, Fremantle Oval. Carlton on the other hand are coming off a disappointing loss to Adelaide and will be desperate to get back on the winners list.
Carlton have a lot on its hands if they want to do one of the toughest tasks in the AFLW and beat the Dockers at the home. For one thing, they need their midfielders to stand up and take on the heavily stacked midfield of the Dockers. Somehow get on top in the midfield, and life becomes a lot easier for the Blues.
St Kilda vs Brisbane
Sunday at 1:10pm AEDT
Trevor Barker Oval
St Kilda had a prime opportunity to register their first win on Tuesday night and blew it against the Eagles. A few late errant kicks into 50 cost them in the end.
This weekend they come up against a Lions side in a rich vein of form and looking difficult to stop. Since their Round 1 loss, they have been one of the best teams in the competition and a very tough opponent for all who face the,
The likes of Orla O’Dwyer and Sophie Conway may expose the fact that St Kilda need more pace in their side desperately, but unfortunately the player they should bring in, and the one they desperately needed against the Eagles, in Kate McCarthy is playing VFLW this weekend. So, the question will be where do they find that needed pace from?
West Coast vs Collingwood
Sunday at 12:10pm AWST
Mineral Resources Park
Much like their Western Australian rivals, the Eagles are finally back home after a number of weeks on the road and are coming off a nail biting win against the Saints. They come against a Collingwood side who has lost their last two matches and will be desperately trying to avoid making it three losses in a row.
There are many questions surrounding the match. How much confidence will West Coast take out of Tuesday win and will it reinvigorate their season? Are Collingwood on the slide? How much will the travel factor play a part? How much will the short break and quarantine arrangements affect the Eagles?
Only time will tell.
Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs
Sunday at 4:40pm ACDT
The Bulldogs are coming off a good, confidence boosting win last weekend and had a good, solid four quarter performance. This week will be a much tougher challenge though.
They come against an Adelaide side who have been the most dominant side all season and very tough to beat. Not only that, but the match is being played at Adelaide’s fortress of Norwood Oval.