PREVIEW | VFLW Round 8 – Second half, here we come

THINGS are starting earlier than normal this week in the VFLW, with a rare Friday night clash kicking off the weekend’s smorgasbord.

Port Melbourne vs Western Bulldogs
Friday at 5:05pm
ETU Stadium

The weekend begins with a rare Friday night clash as the Borough host the Bulldogs.

This is a clash between third and fourth, and is sure to be an intriguing one. Both teams are also coming off confidence boosting wins, which just adds to the energy around tonight’s clash.

Both sides have made several changes. Jordan Mifsud and Kaitlyn O’Keefe are among the Borough’s inclusions, while the Bulldogs have brought back Courtney Ugle and Jaime Henry.

Williamstown vs North Melbourne
Saturday at 10am
DSV Stadium

Saturday’s action begins out at windy old DSV Stadium with a clash that could have wide ranging ramifications.

It is second versus ninth, but with the number of draws the Seagulls have had this season there is only one game separating the pair.

One thing that does really separate these teams is their defence, with Kiera Leare, Nicole Julian and the rest of the Seagulls’ defence one of the competition leaders. So, Renee Tierney, Nyakoat Dojiok and the rest of the North Melbourne forwards are going to have to work doubly hard this week.

Darebin vs Carlton
Saturday at 10:15am
Genis Steel Oval

Not long after the previous game starts, Darebin and Carlton will square off in Preston.

These teams are coming off very different results last week, with one coming off a frustrating loss and the other a tight win.

Darebin has slowly been increasing their forward potency in recent weeks, and their job will get a bit easier this week with no Octavia Di Donato to contend with, which will be music to the ears of the likes of Monique DeMatteo.

Essendon vs Casey
Saturday at 11:05am
Windy Hill

Game three on Saturday is not far away from game two, and will see the Bombers host the Dees.

These two are currently fifth and sixth on the ladder, and are only split by percentage so will be gunning for the win tomorrow.

Essendon’s defence was one of its shining lights last week, but El Chaston, Marnie Robinson and the other defenders will be busy tomorrow trying to keep the dangerous Niamh O’Neill, Joanna Lin and other Casey forwards quiet.

Geelong vs Collingwood
Saturday at 12pm
Deakin Uni

The last match slated to kick off tomorrow could have massive consequences for the ladder.

It is the eighth placed Collingwood against the 10th placed Cats, and with mere percentage splitting them and many of the teams around them, this result has the potential to be very consequential.

With the ladder as tight as it is, the forwards and their scoring volume will be more crucial than normal. Can the likes of Hannah Burchell and Breanna Pratt outscore Kaitlyn Day and the rest of Collingwood’s forwards, or vice versa?

Box Hill vs Southern Saints
Sunday at 11:30am
Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve

The last match of the weekend, and the only one on Sunday, sees the Hawks and Saints heading on a road trip.

Both of these sides will not be happy with how last week went for them, so will come out for vengeance.

This match may come down to the battle of the tall forwards. Tamara Luke and Chloe Hunt have both been in superb form this season, but which one will be most influential this weekend?

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