2024 AFL Sydney Women’s Premier preview: Round 5

FINALLY a blockbuster round awaits where each game has ladder position implications. The progress of the preseason work and personnel changes should be taking full effect, and all teams should have dusted off the new season rust and start settling into their rhythms.

In fact, it is possible four teams could end up in a tie at the top of the ladder, whilst three teams could be tied winless, leaving a huge gap between the top and bottom half of the competition. Any change will be extremely valuable to the team earning the result, but the team with the most to gain is North Shore who sit atop the table in its mission to push up to finals this year.

The Bombers now face a run against fellow top end competitors and it is time to test their mettle. A win for them, whilst obviously mathematically possible, would make it extremely difficult for five other teams to pass them in the rest of the games for the season.

Saturday, May 4 @ 12:30pm
Sydney Uni Oval

A tight, low-scoring contest awaits. Both team’s strengths are through the midfield. However, the main difference of their inside football modus operandi is that Sydney Uni’s inside players tend to come out the back of the contest and surge, whilst Parramatta’s like to swing and run out the front and run before looking down field.

Brianna Wade up front will be the difference on the short ground if the Students let her get easy ball in and let her finish the goals without pressure. But it is expected both teams will play the majority between the arcs and constantly squeeze each other out wide out to the wings.

The team that finds a way to control the pathway through the centre will take control of the result, with the margin to be under a goal, perhaps in the way of the home team.

Saturday, May 4 @ 12:40pm
Weldon Oval

A stunning performance defeating reigning premiers East Coast Eagles last week announced Manly Warringah as a contenders, but this week it is a case of whether or not the Wolves can they repeat it.

The weekend’s strengths and weaknesses in this match up are completely different. The UNSW team has vastly improved over the summer, but they are still finding it difficult to find enough effective avenues to goal to turn fantastic efforts into victories.

Watch for Manly to try and repeat the on field running away from contests that suits them so well and to come away with a win by a couple of goals.

Saturday, May 4 @ 1:50pm
Gore Hill Oval

The biggest test for both teams this year, and there will no excuses. It will test what the Bombers and Bats have built on and how each of them could find a way to separate themselves from the other and take home the four points.

North Shore has had a tendency to not find rhythm in the first half and overtake teams with two or three goals in the third term and then hold on. The Bombers cannot do that here as UTS might be up by four goals if they are allowed to go straight through the centre or if North Shore is constantly pressured into making mistakes.

Both teams must not fall into the trap of putting players up front to finish goals, and minimise the importance of getting the ball up there in the first place. The major key to the result is going to be the centre clearances. The team that takes control of that armwrestle will win.

For UTS, the Bats will look up every time they get the football and see a North Shore player coming fast. The big question will be whether they have learnt enough from their finals run last year to negate that yet, or if it will it continue to stifle them. If they have, they win by three goals. If not, they yet they win by a point In front late with North Shore coming but not able to put that final finishing score on the board.

Emily Cleghorn has been very good to start the season for the Bombers. but the likes of Matilda Eder and Kara Selvarajah working in tandem might benefit to extract enough forward 50 entries to put a score on the board.

UTS to be in front and just hold on by a single digit margin.

Saturday, May 4 @ 4:30pm
Kanebridge Oval

The reigning premiers were last round in their loss to the Wolves, so everything for East Coast Eagles this week will be about their bounce back character, something they have not had to look for for quite a few years.

Pennant Hills has been gallant in its matches so far, and held teams in the first halves of games. The Demons will need to do the same here, because the Eagles forwards will be hungry.

A lot depends on the personnel available though, as the usually dominant Eagles spine continues to be depleted, and the big challenge for the Eagles coaching staff is to make sure they enact the next player up philosophy to keep them flowing.

East Coast should win rather comfortably and return to winning form.

St George Dragons have the bye.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments