Preview | VFLW 2023 Round 9: Ladder constricting but results stay exciting

EVEN though it is the middle part of the 2023 VFLW season, things remain tight and with half a game all that separates finals and nor making finals at the moment, there is still so much on the line.

This weekend’s first encounter is out at Casey Fields tomorrow morning where the Dees will be hosting the Kangaroos.

It is a crucial game for both sides, with the Dees trying to keep their season alive while the Kangaroos are trying to stay in touch with the top six.

Both sides have made plenty of changes for this one.

Marla Neal and debutant Gemma Proy are among six changes for the Dees that sees them lose among others Jemma Rigoni and Casey Sherriff. Meanwhile Charli Granville and Madisen Maguire are both making their VFLW club debuts for the Kangaroos this weekend, but Reni Hicks and Sophia McCarthy are among five outs.

At the same time over the other side of town the Bombers and Cats will be battling it out in Tullamarine. With two of the top sides of the competition going head to head, it should be a vastly entertaining clash. Geelong do lead the head to head between the pair, but Essendon won the last time the two sides met and they have never played at the Hangar.

Despite being on a five match winning streak the Bombers have rung in the changes this week. Calder Cannons pair Maddison Ford and Sarah Grunden will both make their debuts this week and are among eight changes. A lot of AFLW level experience is among the eight outs this week, with Dani Marshall and Paige Scott headlining the group.

Geelong has made five changes if their own, bringing in the likes of Renee Garing and AFLW Cat Brooke Plummer for her VFLW debut for the club, who replace the likes of the injured Sophie O’Dea.

In the third of the matches set to get underway at 11am tomorrow, Collingwood will be hosting the Southern Saints.

Collingwood will be looking for a big win here to bridge the percentage gap to the Cats at the top of the table, while the Saints need to win to keep the top six/bottom six points divide.

The Saints may have won the last time the two sides met, but Collingwood lead the overall head to head ledger and the head to head ledger at Victoria Park.

Collingwood has two debutants among their four inclusions, with former AFLW Bomber Caitlin Sargent coming across and Therese McCafferty also making her debut. The Saints have also made two changes, bringing in Bella Enno and Grace Hodder, but losing Rebecca Neaves in the process.

Moving into the afternoon and out at Citty Oval the Hawks are set to face Carlton in a clash that may pan out very differently to those in the past between the two sides.

Boc Hill has never lost to Carlton at City Oval, but Carlton is a much more competitive side than the ones that have travelled there in the past.

Former AFLW Lion Gabby Collingwood is among a host of inclusions for the Hawks this week that also includes Nadia Von Bertouch, but a number of their Eastern Ranges stars including Alyssia Pisano and Laura Stone are out injured.

Meanwhile for Carlton, Gabriella Pound and Marianna Anthony are just some of the AFLW talent out for the Blues, but former captain Ally Bild is among the ins.

To round out Saturday’s action it is off to Port Melbourne where the Borough will be hosting the Seagulls.

Port Melbourne leads every possible head to head ledger between the sides, so the Seagulls have got some history to defy to try and get the win this weekend.

Murray Bushranger Kristy Whitehead is among four inclusions for the Borough this weekend, but Kate Adams is out with a wrist injury and may not play again this season.

Meanwhile for the Seagulls, the changes sheet does not make for pretty reading for Williamstown fans. Former VFLW Roo Rachael Burton comes in for her club debut while Eliza Straford is one of five other inclusions, but among the outs is Bridie Kennedy, Aliesha Newman and Jasmine Kawa.

The last match of the weekend is the sole match on Sunday and a return to ETU Stadium as the Bulldogs host the Falcons.

The Falcons may have been victorious when the two sides met last season, but the sides have never met at ETU Stadium before, and the Bulldogs lead the head to head ledger four games to one.

The Bulldogs have two debutants this week in Pamela Amber and Olivia Fogarty, but lose experienced duo Imahra Cameron and Kate McCarthy to injury.

Meanwhile for the Falcons, it is youth in to replace experience, with Trinity Mills among three inclusions who replace the likes of the suspended Emma Mackay and the omitted Stephanie Normington-Dickens.

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