AFLW 2023 Round 4 Preview: Friday

THIS Grand Final Eve public holiday is a jam packed one in the AFL Womens, with four matches across two states on the calendar.

  • Team
  • Richmond
  • Fremantle

Ikon Park

Recent Form

Richmond are cruising along pretty nicely at the moment with only one loss so far this season, and come into today’s clash off the back of a win against Carlton. Fremantle on the other hand have had an up and down season so far, and come into today’s clash off the back of last week’s loss to Essendon.


These two sides have only met once previously, and it was a 30-point win to the Dockers back in Season 6.

Key Stat Areas

Both of these sides prefer to kick over handball, so it will be interesting to see how that matches up this afternoon.

Although Fremantle is doing better in the inside 50 count than Richmond is, Richmond has been more efficient inside 50 than Fremantle has so far this season.

Key Match Up/s

Laura McClelland vs Aine Tighe

Tighe is the focal point of the Fremantle attack, and with her height and improved aerial and running ability, is not easy to match up on. With no Rebecca Miller in the side, McClelland or whoever ends up on Tighe is not going to have an easy afternoon at the park.

Katie Brennan vs Laura Pugh

Up the other end, Brennan is the equivalent of the Richmond attack, but in a different way to what Tighe is for Fremantle. Pugh, or whoever ends up on Brennan, needs to be prepared for a lot of running as not only is Brennan the leading forward target, but also the link between the midfielders and the forwards.

Monique Conti vs Hayley Miller

Who does not love a battle between two talented midfielders? Among the best in the competition for a reason, they are sure to provide an entertaining battle and with no Kiara Bowers in the side, Millers’ role increases in importance.

  • Team
  • Carlton
  • Sydney

Ikon Park

Recent Form

Both teams come into today’s clash in very similar situations. Both teams are coming in with their win/loss ratios sitting at two of each, and so both will be keen to turn that ledger positive with a win today.


A little bit of history gets to be created at Ikon Park this afternoon, as these two sides have never played each other before until today.

Key Stat Areas

Two very different game styles are set to clash this afternoon. Carlton are more of a handballing side while the Swans tend to prefer to kick the ball.

The inside 50s and inside 50 efficiency is somewhere Carlton seriously need to focus on today as the Swans have done significantly better in both categories than the Blues have so far this season.

Key Match Up/s

Darcy Vescio vs Brenna Tarrant

A lot of Carlton’s forward success lies with the lively Vescio, so Tarrant or whoever may end up on Vescio will not have an easy afternoon. Whoever is on Vescio will always need to stay switched on, because if Vescio gets loose that will spell trouble for Sydney.

Vaomua Laloifi vs Rebecca Privitelli

Up the other end, and Privitelli is just as important to the Swans attack as Vescio is to Carlton’s. Laloifi needs to be prepared to spoil the ball every time it comes near Privitelli because the Swan is a massively strong marking target for her team.

Jess Good vs Ally Morphett

They say it all starts with the ruck, and this duel in particular is set to be an interesting one. Two of the young, breakout rucks of the competition this season, whoever can get on top here is going to give their team a handy boost.

  • Team
  • Western Bulldogs
  • St Kilda

7:15pm AEST
Whitten Oval

Recent Form

Neither of these sides have had ideal first months of the 2023 season to say the least. The Saints only picked up their first win of the year last weekend, while the Bulldogs are still searching for that maiden win.


These two sides have played three times in their history since the first meeting in 2020, which was in fact St Kilda’s first ever game in the competition. The Bulldogs have won two of the three encounters, while St Kilda’s sole win over the Bulldogs came in 2021.

Key Stat Areas

Some interesting areas to take a look at are the inside 50s versus inside 50 efficiency and hit outs versus clearances.

St Kilda has had more inside 50s than the Bulldogs have this year, but once inside 50 the Bulldogs have been more efficient.

Meanwhile the Bulldogs has been doing better in the hit outs this year than the Saints have, but the Saints have been doing better in the clearances.

Key Match Up/s

Katie Lynch vs Jesse Wardlaw

As the tallest defender in the Bulldogs’ line up today, Lynch is certainly not going to have an easy afternoon having to try and contain a player like Wardlaw. Her run, aerial ability and link up play are all areas Lynch is going to have to keep an eye on today.

Ellie Blackburn vs Jaimee Lambert

There is nothing quite like a match up of two tough nut midfielders is there? Blackburn and Lambert are the starting cogs of it all for their teams, and up against each other are sure to provide an interesting battle as neither will back out of a contest.

Kirsty Lamb vs Tyanna Smith

As the ‘deputies’ or second in the chains to Blackburn and Lambert respectively, the battle between Lamb and Smith is just as important for the success of their teams today. These two also love a fierce contest so expect a tough battle between them.

  • Team
  • West Coast
  • Port Adelaide

7:15pm AWST (9:15pm AEST)
Mineral Resources Park

Recent Form

Neither of these sides have had ideal first months of the 2023 season. With only one win combined to show for their first months of the season, these two sides will both be desperate for a win today.


The first, and only time so far, these two sides have ever met was back in Round 1 last season, which was Port’s first game in the competition, but it was not a happy debut for those from Alberton as the Eagles won by two goals.

Key Stat Areas

Port Adelaide has had more inside 50s than the Eagles have this year, but once inside 50 the Eagles have been more efficient.

Although both sides have been poor in these areas, West Coast has done better in the uncontested possessions than Port, while the reverse can be said for contested possessions.

Key Match Up/s

Zoe Wakfer vs Jade Halfpenny

With no Ashleigh Saint in the line up today, Halfpenny’s role as that leading forward target grows in importance today. While not having to contend with Saint makes Wakfer’s job just that bit easier, she still has to make sure Halfpenny cannot have Saint-like influences on the game.

Lauren Wakfer vs Matilda Scholz

Scholz is having a stellar debut season while the trust placed by West Coast on Wakfer to be that number one ruck has only grown in recent weeks. So the fact the pair have to face each other today is sure to be a fascinating battle between two of the young, up and coming rucks of the competition.

Aisling McCarthy vs Abbey Dowrick

Two of the hardest and toughest midfielders in their teams, both McCarthy and Dowrick play a similar role for their respective sides as each other, so for one to get on top of the other in the head to head battle is sure to give their side a nice boost.

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