AFLW 2023 Round 8 Preview: Saturday

TODAY is another Super Saturday worth of AFL Women’s action, as all four top teams battle each other among today’s calendar of clashes.

  • Team
  • Western Bulldogs
  • Sydney

Whitten Oval

Recent Form

The Western Bulldogs will be desperately hoping to turn their form around this afternoon and snag their first win of 2023. They tackle a Swans side who hit a bit of a stumbling block last week after some promising form in previous weeks.


A little bit of history will be created this afternoon at the Whitten Oval as these two sides will be meeting for the first time ever in their history.

Key Stat Areas

The Bulldogs are more kickers of the ball than handballers, while for the Swans it is the opposite. The Bulldogs also need to be mindful of the Swans strength around hit outs and clearances, especially with the outs the Bulldogs have today.

Key Match Up/s

Jorja Borg vs Bella Smith

Two new rucks flung into the top ruck slot this week thanks to injuries, how these two go with all that pressure and expectation will be intriguing to see. Any success starts with the rucks, so there is plenty of pressure on these two, especially considering the calibre of the teammates they are replacing.

Naomi Ferres vs Rebecca Privitelli

Privitelli is the key target up forward for the Swans, and a crucial cog in any success the red and white have. Ferres or whoever ends up on her will need to play in front and stop Privitelli’s ability to go up for the mark.

Ellie Blackburn vs Chloe Molloy

The battle of the captain’s and the midfield maestros, this is sure to be an entertaining battle between two stars of the game. They are also both hugely crucial to any success their team has on the day, so if one can be kept quiet the other’s team is going to get a huge boost.

  • Team
  • Brisbane
  • Adelaide

Brighton Homes Arena

Recent Form

Both of these teams are again having strong seasons, and are full steaming ahead towards another finals campaign. They are both currently in the top four and would love nothing more than to maintain that status with a win today.


As two of the original and long time strongest teams of the competition, there is plenty of history between these teams. Today will be the 10th meeting between the two sides, with Brisbane having won six of the previous nine meetings. Crucially, both times these two met last season it was the Lions who emerged victorious.

Key Stat Areas

Both these teams tend to kick the ball more than handball it. Adelaide has been doing better in the hitouts than the Lions have this season, but the Lions have the better clearance figures, both overall and broken down into specifics.

Key Match Up/s

Breanna Koenen vs Eloise Jones

Jones’ importance to the Adelaide forward line has really grown this season, so she is one of those players Brisbane cannot afford to let loose. Luckily for the Lions they have Koenen, who does match up well with Jones and has the knowledge and experience to really keep Jones quiet.

Dakota Davidson vs Chelsea Biddell

Up the other end, and Davidson is vital to the success of the Brisbane forward line with her aerial and set shot ability. Now Biddell is probably not the most obvious choice to match up on someone like Davidson, but has developed a reputation of beating big name opponents, so could just be the player given the unenviable task of dealing with Davidson.

Orla O’Dwyer vs Niamh Kelly

The battle of the two speedy Irish wingers, this is sure to be an entertaining battle. These two provide plenty of run and attacking momentum for their respective sides, so are vital cogs to the success of their teams.

  • Team
  • Carlton

Henson Park

Recent Form

These two teams will both be wanting to get back on the winners list after losses last week. GWS will be frustrated it could not keep the winning momentum going from their first win of the season a fortnight ago, while Carlton will have been frustrated it could not turn a two match winning streak into three.


As two of the original teams of the AFLW, there is certainly plenty of history between these two teams. These two have met six times in their history, with Carlton winning five times. Crucially for the Giants though, their sole win was in the clash last season.

Key Stat Areas

Both of these teams prefer to handball the ball more than kick it, so how these similar styles clash will be interesting to watch. Carlton has also been doing better in the hit outs than GWS, but the Giants have the better clearance numbers.

Key Match Up/s

Katherine Smith vs Darcy Vescio

Vescio is one of the most important cogs in not just Carlton’s forward line but in Carlton’s entire team, so Smith or whoever else ends up on her will have a big job to do. It might just be Smith who ends up on them though because she has the agility and know how to counter Vescio’s influence.

Zarlie Goldsworthy vs Gabriella Pound

Up the other end, Goldsworthy is proving to be just as vital for the success of GWS in any given game. Pound or whoever else ends up on her will have to play in front all day to counter Goldsworthy’s aerial ability as that is one of the strongest parts of her game.

Nicola Barr vs Mimi Hill

The two midfield bulls who get things going from the middle for their respective teams. Barr in particular is under an increased pressure today as the one who needs to be the main ball winner out of stoppages for GWS.

  • Team
  • Port Adelaide
  • Gold Coast

Alberton Oval

Recent Form

Both these teams come into today’s clash off the back of losses last week, and will be keen to get back on the winners list as quickly as possible. Gold Coast will be particularly desperate to get back on the winners’ list to maintain its spot in the top eight.


These two did meet in Yartapuulti’s inaugural campaign last season, but that was not a happy day for the newbies with the Suns coming away with a 14 point win.

Key Stat Areas

Port is more of a kicking side than a handballing one, while the Suns are more handballers than kickers. Gold Coast has had more inside 50s than Port this season, but once inside 50 Port has been the more efficient side of the two.

Key Match Up/s

Angela Foley vs Tara Bohanna

Bohanna’s importance to the Suns’ forward line and link to the midfield is well spoken about, so Foley or whoever else ends up on her has a very important job to do today. Height wise Foley is perhaps not the most obvious opponent choice for Bohanna, but football smarts wise she certainly is.

Ashleigh Saint vs Vivien Saad

Up the other end, and Saint’s importance to the Power’s forward line is also well spoken about. Saad or whoever ends up on the star forward will have to make sure they are playing in front all day to counter Saint’s aerial prowess.

Maria Moloney vs Claudia Whitfort

Someone whose importance to the Suns team that has really grown this season is Whitfort, and with her grunt and booming kick is a huge weapon out of the middle for the Suns. Thankfully for the Power they have Moloney, who should be a good match up physically for Whitfort.

  • Team
  • Melbourne
  • North Melbourne

Ikon Park

Recent Form

Both of these teams are again having strong seasons, and are full steaming ahead towards another finals campaign. They are both currently in the top four and would love nothing more than to maintain that status with a win today. They are also both on the same number of wins and losses, which is one ahead of fourth placed Brisbane, so will be keen to maintain that buffer on the chasing Lions.


There is plenty of history between these two teams. They have met six times, and although the Kangaroos won the first time these two teams met, Naarm has won every single meeting since.

Key Stat Areas

These two have vastly different disposal preferences. The Dees are renowned for their handball game, while the Kangaroos are plus-101 in kicks over handballs. The Kangaroos have also had vastly more Inside 50s than the Dees this season, but Melbourne’s efficiency inside 50 has been significantly better.

Key Match Up/s

Tahlia Gillard vs Kate Shierlaw

Although North has a lot of strong tall forward options, Shierlaw is perhaps the most dangerous. Thankfully for the Dees they do have Gillard, who is just growing in confidence every game and has the mobility and reach to match it with the star Roo.

Paxy Paxman vs Jasmine Garner

The two midfield bulls of their respective teams, these two are hungry for the ball and competitive beasts, and will not stop until they have won the clearance for their team. Paxman’s return to the Dees team is well timed to provide a perfect match up to Garner.

Eliza West vs Ash Riddell

Staying in the midfield, and part two to the success of North Melbourne’s midfield is most certainly Riddell. The Dees have West who is just as quick and agile as Riddell, so as two players who are physically similar, should provide an interesting tussle.

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