AFLW 2023 Round 3 Preview: Saturday

  • Team
  • Richmond


Recent Form

The hosts have had a frustrating start to the season and still find themselves winless heading into Round 3. Meanwhile the Tigers have experienced all the ups and downs even in the first fortnight of the season, and currently find themselves sitting at one win and one loss.


These teams have met three times in their AFL Women’s history. GWS won the first match between the sides, but Richmond has won the two subsequent clashes.

Key Stat Areas

Richmond is more of a kicking side, while GWS is more of a handballing side. GWS’ uncontested game is also better than Richmond’s, but the Tigers’ have done better in the contested possession game so far this season than the Giants have.

Key Match Up/s

Tarni Evans vs Katie Brennan

Brennan is one of Richmond’s most important linking cogs between the midfield and forward line, so the Giants need someone who can run with her all day. Enter Evans, who certainly has the height and strength and the running capacity to match it with Brennan.

Isabel Huntington vs Eilish Sheerin

After over 600 days on the sidelines, Huntington returns and although she may not be at 100% just yet, she will still provide a much needed presence in GWS’ forward line. Richmond cannot afford to forget about her influence on the game, and Sheerin is someone who should match up on Huntington well.

Alyce Parker vs Monique Conti

Both arguably the best players on their respective teams, Parker and Conti are both link one for their teams in getting it out of the stoppage and both are tough at the contest, so should provide an entertaining battle.  

  • Team
  • Adelaide
  • Essendon

Wigan Oval

Recent Form

Both these teams come into today’s clash with an undefeated record to start 2023, so will be keen to maintain that record today. Both teams had to fight for their wins last week against Richmond and St Kilda respectively, so come into today’s clash a little battle hardened.


Today is a historic one between these two in the sense that it is the first time they will play each other in the AFLW competition.

Key Stat Areas

Two key areas that Essendon in particular will have to focus on are the handball and uncontested possession categories. These are two of Adelaide’s strongest categories, so Essendon will need to keep an eye out for that.

Key Match Up/s

Niamh Kelly vs Georgia Gee

Two very quick wings that provide a lot of run for their team, Kelly and Gee will provide an entertaining match up to see whose speed and link up with the other midfielders is the most influential.

Ebony Marinoff vs Madison Prespakis

Two tough footballers who are relentless at the ball. These two are the core ingredient to any successful clearance for their team, so will also be crucial to stop but at the same time provide an entertaining one on one battle.

Chelsea Randall vs Bonnie Toogood

Two of the faces of the competition. Two tough footballers who are relentless at the ball.

Toogood is such a crucial target for the Bombers up forward, but will certainly have her work cut out for her trying to navigate past Randall and her influence.

  • Team
  • Melbourne
  • Western Bulldogs

Casey Fields

Recent Form

These two sides could not be coming into this clash in more differing levels of form. Melbourne is cruising with an undefeated start to the season, while the Bulldogs are winless after a poor start to the season.


As the oldest rivalry in AFLW and the rivalry that started the path to AFLW, there is certainly plenty of history between these two teams. Since the AFLW start in 2017 though the Dees have the upper hand in the head to head battle, only losing twice to the Bulldogs and not so since 2021.

Key Stat Areas

Unsurprisingly considering the starts to the season the two sides have had, Melbourne is dominating the Bulldogs in just about evert stat category. There are a couple of key areas though that the Bulldogs do need to focus on, including handballs, turnovers and inside 50 efficiency.

Key Match Up/s

Tahlia Gillard vs Gabrielle Newton

One of the Bulldogs’ top targets up forward is Newton, and combining her height with her tendency to run and she is not always the easiest to match up on. Enter Gillard, who is very tall but as she proved last week certainly has the running capacity to match it with Newton.

Olivia Purcell vs Ellie Blackburn

Blackburn is certainly one of those barometer players for the Bulldogs, so as an opposition if you keep her quiet you make your life a lot easier. Although not likely to be a tagging job Purcell is likely to be the one who matches up on Blackburn, and as someone who likes to play in a similar style to Blackburn is sure to provide stiff competition for the star midfielder.

Eden Zanker vs Katie Lynch

Zanker is just one of a number of tall, strong targets the Dees have up forward, so the Bulldogs’ defence are going to have their work cut out for them no matter who matches up on who. Zanker however is particularly dangerous in the air and is very mobile for someone of her height, and Lynch provides someone who can perhaps match it with Zanker.

  • Team
  • Fremantle
  • Hawthorn

Fremantle Community Bank Oval

Recent Form

Both these teams currently sit at one win and a loss to begin 2023, so both will be keen to add to that win column today. The Dockers come into this clash off the back of a loss to Collingwood last weekend, while Hawthorn come in off the back of a come from behind win over the Bulldogs.


With Hawthorn being one of the newest teams in the AFLW there is not too much history between these sides, but they did meet once last year. It was Round 10 and it was the Dockers who prevailed in a nail-biter.

Key Stat Areas

Neither of these sides have been strong ball winners so far this season. However, despite Fremantle having the better disposal efficiency, Hawthorn have been the more efficient ones inside 50. Also, Fremantle have been the better of the two sides at centre clearances, but Hawthorn have been better at stoppage clearances.

Key Match Up/s

Hayley Miller vs Emily Bates

Two of the best in what they do, both of these two have been two of the best in the competition for a long time.

The importance these two have to their respective teams is much talked about, and again today they will be link one or at most two in the clearance chain for their respective sides.

Aine Tighe vs Jenna Richardson

Last time these two sides met Tighe was instrumental in helping the Dockers get over the line so her influence cannot be underestimated. Tall, mobile defenders is not something Hawthorn have in ample supply, but Richardson is certainly one of them, and so may find herself with the unenviable task of trying to keep the Irishwoman quiet.

Kiara Bowers vs Jasmine Fleming

Bowers is again having her usual stellar start to the season, and so Hawthorn are going to have to be mindful of quelling her influence today.  The responsibility for that may fall to the young Fleming, who in many ways plays a very similar style to Bowers.

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