AFLW 2023 Round 4 Preview: Friday
Melbourne is cruising along nicely at the moment with an undefeated start to the season in tact. Meanwhile Hawthorn is currently sitting at one win and two losses, with a win against the Bulldogs book ended by losses to Essendon and Fremantle respectively.
A little bit of history will be created tonight, as these teams are meeting for the first time for premiership points. However, they did meet a month or so ago in a preseason match, which Melbourne won comfortably.
Key Stat Areas
There is plenty for Hawthorn to keep an eye on tonight from a stats front, with the Dees doing significantly better than them in just about every category so far this season.
However, there is one particular statistic that is daunting from any opposition perspective that Hawthorn will have to watch out for. Melbourne have a tendency to really kick away in the second half to blow open matches. This season alone, they have kicked 23 goals across the three second halves they have played, and only conceded four goals.
Key Match Up/s
Eardley is certainly having a run of big tasks this AFLW season. As the tallest defender on her team, this week she will likely have to battle with the high flying Harris, but after a tussle with Aine Tighe last week, she is certainly going to have a few extra tricks up her sleeve.
Harris on the other hand, is just one of plenty of tall targets in Melbourne’s forward line that Hawthorn will have to tackle, both literally and metaphorically, so it will certainly not be a slow night for them.
One of Hawthorn’s most dangerous forwards is Bodey, and Melbourne need to find someone who’s small, quick and able to play essentially a tagging role on her. Enter Heath, who ticks all those boxes and is the perfect fit to try and keep someone like Bodey quiet.
Fleming and Purcell are both similar kinds of midfielders of similar builds who play very similar, yet just as important, roles for their teams, so will be crucial for their respective sides in winning the midfield battle tonight. Expect both to be under plenty of packs, trying to get the first clearance from a stoppage.