Preview | AFLW Season 7: Round 2
AFTER a huge Round 1 of action, a massive Round 2 in the AFL Women’s – including a bumper Sunday – will kick off this evening at the home of football, the MCG. We take a look at the nine games and how they are shaping up.
Melbourne vs. North Melbourne
Friday at 5pm local time
One of the potentially most interesting clashes of the round. A clash between two flag contenders being played at the hallowed turf of the MCG. This will be an interesting test for both sides. For Melbourne, it is yet another test against a top contender to start off the season, while for North it will be a proper test of where they are at this season after not really facing it last week against Gold Coast.
Matches between these two are always very close, with games often not decided by more than a kick. Expect nothing different tonight.
Richmond vs. Adelaide Crows
Swinburne Centre (Punt Road Oval)
Saturday at 11:40am local time
A very early start for these two sides as they are set to take the field in a rare AFLW morning game. Both of these sides lost in Round 1 in frustrating circumstances, so expect a fiery battle out at Punt Road tomorrow morning.
The midfield battle in this one is sure to be an entertaining one. Both have very talented midfielders such as Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard for the Crows, and Monique Conti and Ellie McKenzie for the Tigers, so whoever can get on top there is going to go a long way to them winning the match.
Port Adelaide vs. Western Bulldogs
Saturday at 1:10pm local time
The Port Adelaide and Western Bulldogs match is a highly anticipated close contest. The Power are coming off an impressive first up performance despite the loss, while the Dogs are coming off a hard fought win over GWS.
It will also be a very emotionally-charged match, as it Port Adelaide’s first home game at their historic home Alberton. While the teams are pretty even on paper on terms of talent, the question will be can the AFLW experience of the Bulldogs propel them over the line, and can the Power avoid a repeat of the final quarter fade out from last week?
Fremantle vs. Geelong Cats
Saturday at 11:40am local time
Possibly the most fascinating match of the entire weekend. Both teams have a point to prove this weekend. Fremantle is out to try and prove that last weekend’s shellacking was not a sign of what is to come from them this season, while Geelong is keen to keep this winning momentum going that they started last week.
The game is at Fremantle’s home ground so that is an extra little challenge for Geelong to overcome, but if they can capitalise on Fremantle’s injuries and not let the Dockers use last week as motivation, that will go a long way to them winning.
Essendon vs. Carlton
Sunday at 11:10am local time
Expect this one to be fiery. Essendon against Carlton is always going to be a big rivalry, but then add a whole new league and some old faces in a new jumper playing against said old team, and it is going to be spicy.
It will be the first time former Blues Madison Prespakis and Georgia Gee face their old sides, and with the way things went down last season expect those two to get a bit of extra attention. Without all of that, this match is also going to be a fascinating one because compared to Round 1 it is a step up in challenge for Essendon and a step down for Carlton, so both camps will be circling this clash as a true test and maybe even a potential win.
Collingwood vs. Sydney
Sunday at 1:10pm local time
The repeat of the practice match from a few weekends ago, this time on Collingwood’s turf. Sydney will take some confidence out of how they played in that practice match, but they will bear in mind that the likes of Mikala Cann and Jaimee Lambert will be in the Pies’ side this time round, plus Sarah Rowe comes back from suspension this week.
The Swans will also be without Montana Ham, so will need to find a suitable replacement for her, which will not be easy. Everything certainly points to a Collingwood victory in this one, and the Pies will certainly be keen to continue their winning ways from last week too.
GWS GIANTS vs. Brisbane Lions
Sunday at 3:10pm local time
A trip to the nation’s capital awaits the GIANTS and Lions this week, and both teams are coming off contrasting weeks. The GIANTS are coming off a frustrating loss to the Bulldogs, while the Lions are coming off a comprehensive win over Fremantle.
It is quite the contrast in difficulty of opponents for both sides this week, but they both have players the other will need to stop. For Brisbane it’s the midfield trio of Ally Anderson, Emily Bates and Orla O’Dwyer was outstanding last week, while for GWS it is Cora Staunton, who GWS need to work out how to help out better so she is not caught out in the forwardline without any assistance.
Hawthorn vs. St. Kilda
Box Hill City Oval
Sunday at 4:10pm local time
Another potential 50/50 game this weekend, as both Hawthorn and St Kilda have a genuine shot at winning this one.
For Hawthorn, they were impressive for three quarters last week but faded in the last, while St Kilda won a must win against Sydney, and this one is another must win if they really want to make progress up the ladder this year. The match has special significance for Tamara Luke, Tilly Lucas-Rodd and Kate McCarthy, who will all come up against their old side for the first time.
Gold Coast SUNS vs. West Coast Eagles
Sunday at 5:10pm local time
Another clash that will tell us all a lot about where both Gold Coast and West Coast sit this season.
It is a lot easier opponent for the Suns this week compared to their Round 1 opponent, and they are at home, which will help their case. If they really do want to progress further up the ladder and make finals, they need to win this one. Meanwhile for West Coast, they got the win at home last week, and if they get the win this week they show that perhaps people have been underestimating them in preseason.