Battle of the top two highlights VFLW Round 12

THERE are only three weeks left in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s regular season, but the race for the finals is starting to heat up. There is still plenty to play for for a number of sides, and we take a look at what may transpire.

Collingwood vs Western Bulldogs
Saturday at 10am
AIA Centre

This one certainly has more importance in it for the Pies then it does the Bulldogs.

Collingwood’s place in the top six is yet to be secured, so they need to keep winning in order to ensure their place in the finals is secured. The Magpies will go into the match as favourites, particularly after a strong fortnight, and gain a youthful injection with their ins this week. Among their inclusions this week is Grace Matser and Charlotte van der Vlies.

The Bulldogs on the other hand, also gain a bit of youth this week, but will likely struggle to match it with the much more experienced Pies.

Darebin vs Geelong
Saturday at 11:05am
Preston City Oval

This weekend’s clash may become a do or die one for Darebin. If Darebin want to play finals this year, they have to win this weekend against Geelong.  

With a tough run home, this weekend’s clash against Geelong is their best chance to pinch a desperately needed win.

This weekend’s clash is pretty must win for Geelong too. The Cats need one or two more wins to secure their place in the finals, and the last thing the Cats will want is to still need to secure their place when the final round comes around.

The Cats will be hampered by the loss of ball magnet Laura Gardiner, while the Falcons regain Alice Caddy.

Port Melbourne vs Casey
Saturday at 2pm
ETU Stadium

These two sides could not be in more different situations on the ladder.

Casey will be super keen to end its losing run, after the Demons lost their previous two matches. They will try and get some momentum back before finals.

Port on the other hand is out of the finals contention so have absolutely nothing to lose in the final three weeks.

Both sides have absolutely swung the changes this week, with a combined 13 changes made between the two sides. A couple of notable inclusions for Port are Jessica Joyce and co-captain Claire Dyett, while for Casey, Amber Clarke and Tahlia Fellows are among the inclusions this week.

Williamstown vs North Melbourne
Saturday at 2pm
Williamstown Oval

After last weekend’s results, Williamstown are no longer in the finals race, but that does not mean they do not have anything to play for. They will be looking to build on last weekend’s draw with Carlton, and build a building block to bounce off into 2023.

As for North Melbourne, they are still in the finals race but need to keep winning in order to stay in the run. Both sides will see this game as very winnable, but which one will come out on top?

Hawthorn vs Essendon
Sunday at 9:30am
Box Hill City Oval

Arguably the match of the round to kick off Sunday’s action, as Essendon travel down the freeway to tackle the Hawks. A first versus second battle and a mouth watering clash for all.

After Casey’s recent slip ups, Hawthorn will be keen to secure up their top place and deny Casey the opportunity to get back into the prime ladder positions.

As for Essendon, this will be the first good test for the Bomers in some time, and it comes as perfect timing as preparation for the finals, which are not that far away.

Southern Saints vs Carlton
Sunday at 11am
Trevor Barker Beach Oval

Last weekend’s result realistically ended any hope Carlton had of making the finals, so the Blues will be looking to just have a strong end to the season and build on into next season.

Meanwhile for the Saints, their season is well and truly still alive, and they are at the point where they can fix minor issues to be perfectly ready for finals.

Both sides have some handy ins this week, but also have some bad outs. For the Saints, the likes of Grace Buchan and Amelia Peck are in for the likes of Olivia Flanagan. While for Carlton Serena Gibbs is back in for her first game of the year, and she is joined by the likes of Rylie Wilcox coming back in for the likes of Marnie Jarvis.

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