Round 5 of the AFLW season was headlined by the Cats leapfrogging the Suns and the Crows into fourth place in conference A, as the Cats have gone from winless, to a game within a finals place in just two weeks. The Dockers are now the only undefeated side left in the competition after an 18 point victory over the Lions. With just three weeks left in the home and away season Adelaide vs GWS and Melbourne vs Carlton will be crucial in shaping the ladder in each conference. We have a full preview and tips here.
Friday 13th March, GMHBA Stadium, 7:10pm AEDT
Two weeks ago the Cats sat 6th in conference A with zero wins, after back to back wins the Cats now sit in fourth, remarkably just one win outside of the top three in the conference. However the Cats face conference leaders North Melbourne, who are on a four game win streak after smashing Adelaide by 42 points. Kaitlyn Ashmore was the star for the Kangaroos with four goals, whilst Emma Kearny (26 disposals), Jenna Bruton (25), Jasmine Garner (24) and Ashleigh Riddell (24) found plenty of the footy in a dominant performance from the Roos. Nina Morrison put together a hard nosed performance for the Cats with 23 disposals and eight tackles. After a shock loss in round one, the Roos have strung together four consecutive wins and have shown they clearly have the most talented side in the competition. The Roos have an incredibly deep midfield, a stingy defence and a forward line that puts up big scores week after week. Although the Cats have finally found some form, wins against the Tigers and Suns don’t stack up against a side with the talent that North Melbourne possess. The Cats don’t have the offensive firepower to go with North Melbourne who sent a massive statement to the league in round five. The red hot Kangaroos won’t have any troubles beating the line in this match, expect the Kangaroos to keep marching on their merry way.
Saturday 14th March, Hickey Park, 3:10pm AEDT
Brisbane relinquished its place at the top of conference A after an 18 point loss to Fremantle. The Lions struggled offensively for the first time this season as the Dockers elite defence held the Lions to just one goal. Emily Bates (28 disposals) and Alexendra Anderson (25 disposals) played lone hands as the Lions were comprehensively beaten across the ground. Collingwood remained in the finals hunt in conference B as the Pies cruised to a 32 point victory over the Western Bulldogs. Brianna Davey (30 disposals, 10 tackles) and Jaimee Lambert (24 disposals, 7 tackles) both had a day out as the Pies led from start to finish. This is a massive game for both sides, the Pies must win to stay in finals contention in conference B whilst the Lions will be well and truly fighting for a finals spot if they lose this week. Home ground advantage will be crucial in this matchup as the Lions haven’t lost at home this year, whilst the Pies lost their only interstate match this year. Brisbane will be eager to send a statement after losing their spot at the top of the conference and need a win to cement their spot in the top three, expect a big bounce back from the Lions at home.
Saturday 14th March, RSEA Park, 5:10pm AEDT
Richmond travel to Moorabbin to take on the Saints, still looking for their first win after copping a 45 point hiding from the Giants in Wagga Wagga last week. Monique Conti once again was Richmond’s only shining light, collecting 21 disposals and laying six tackles. The Saints suffered a second half fadeout in round five, kicking just one goal in the second half in a 21 point loss to the Blues. The Saints injury list has severely hampered their depth as it was exposed in the second half against the Blues, whilst Georgia Patrikios further enhanced her rising star credentials with 18 disposals. It’s difficult to predict this clash between two cellar dwellers of the competition. Whilst there isn’t much separating these sides on the ladder, the Saints have performed much better than the Tigers this year. The Saints beat premiership contenders Melbourne, lost to the undefeated Dockers by just one point and lost to the reigning premiers Adelaide by 13 points. St Kilda’s biggest defeat this season was a 25 point loss in round one. The Saints have been in the majority of their games late, but have struggled to execute in fourth quarters. Whilst the Tigers have losses of 56, 45 and 34 points this season, they’ve been outclassed every week this season. The Saints shouldn’t have too many troubles registering their second win of the season.
Saturday 14th March, TIO Traeger Park, 7:40pm AEDT
AFLW heads to the nation’s centre as the Demons host the Blues in the match of the round, where the winner will be a game clear in second place in conference B. The Demons are coming off a 59 point thrashing of the Eagles last Sunday. It was a dominant performance by the Dees, who kept the Eagles scoreless in three of the four quarters. Karen Paxman again starred with 21 disposals, whilst Libby Burch was rock solid in defence with 10 disposals and 5 marks. In her first game for Melbourne, cult figure Sarah Perkins showed that she could be a major x-factor in the Dees premiership push. Carlton finally put together an efficient performance in attack as the kicked 8.2.50 en route to a 21 point victory over St Kilda. Star midfielder Madison Prespakis remains in red hot form after racking up 26 disposals as Kerryn Harrington was unbeatable in defence, with 21 disposals and 8 marks. This game shapes up to be an absolute cracker, the winner will almost have a finals spot lock up, whilst the loser will have a tense battle with Collingwood for third place in conference B. Carlton’s forwards got going against the Saints, however the Demons defence led by Libby Burch and Daisy Pearce has stood up against the top teams this season. Given the unfamiliar conditions that the Alice Springs humidity will provide, defence will be crucial in this match. The Demons have been superb all season outside of a blip against the Saints, in the following two matches the Demons have shown why they are premiership contenders. The Dees will cement the number two spot in conference B and pick up a win in a ripping game.
Sunday 15th March, VU Whitten Oval, 1:10pm AEDT
The Dockers travel to Whitten Oval as the only undefeated team in the competition after defeating Brisbane last week. Kiara Bowers continued her stellar season with 22 disposals and 15 tackles, the tackling machine looks a certainty for a second All-Australian selection. The Dockers backline was once again immense as they held the Lions to just four goals, their lowest goal tally this season. The Dogs difficult season had its finals hopes completely dashed by Collingwood, in a 32 point loss in Morwell. Captain Ellie Blackburn was the Dogs best with 17 disposals and 5 tackles, however the Dogs never threatened as the Pies led from start to finish. The Dockers are only a game ahead of second and third place in conference B, so the Dockers will need to keep winning to guarantee top spot. The Dockers have been rolling all season, whilst the Dogs have not been able to get going at all. The Bulldogs don’t have enough attacking power to kick a winning score against arguably the best backline in the history of the AFLW. The Dockers have been superb this season and they will pick up another convincing win as they march towards finals football.
Sunday 15th March, Hisense Stadium, 3:10pm AEDT
The Giants travel to Adelaide with a chance to put the reigning premiers finals hopes to bed. A loss for the Crows will put them two games outside of the top three in conference A with two games left in the season. The Crows were comprehensively beaten by North Melbourne as the Crows were shown how far they are off the pace from the top teams. The Giants put together a stellar four quarter performance as they smashed the Tigers by 45 points. Alyce Parker bounced back from a poor outing against the Lions, picking up 24 disposals and laying four tackles, whilst Cora Staunton kicked four goals. The only negative for the Giants; 7.14 meant they missed out on some much needed percentage. Ebony Marinoff (26 disposals) and Anne Hatchard (23 disposals) were shining lights for the Crows. Adelaide have struggled to gain any momentum this season as injuries have curtailed their tilt at back to back premierships. The Giants midfield have been outstanding this season, whilst the Crows have struggled to find the right combinations as they haven’t gotten any consistency from their midfield group. They may be the outsiders, but the Giants are full of momentum and match up incredibly well against an underperforming Adelaide line up, the Giants will all but end the Crows season with an upset win away from home.
Sunday 15th March, Mineral Resources Park, 5:10pm AEDT
Round six concludes with a clash between two sides who have had their finals dreams dashed in their inaugural season. The Suns were inside the top three of conference A after round three, but two consecutive losses have ended any hopes of a finals appearance in their first season. The Eagles won their first game in the club’s history in round four, but were handed a brutal reality check in a 59 point loss to the Demons in round five. Dana Hooker (14 disposals) and Emma Swanson (13 disposals) worked hard but were down on their usual production as the Eagles were held scoreless in three of the four quarters against the Demons. Jamie Stanton played a lone hand for the Suns with 23 disposals, as the Suns were held to just two points in the second half. Although the Eagles are at home in a clash between two struggling sides, the Suns deserve their place as favourites in this clash. The Suns have losses by one point (against GWS), 13 points (against North Melbourne) and a draw (against Brisbane). The Suns have shown they can compete against the top sides, with their tenacious pressure and a defensive structure that has proven tough to score against, the Suns remain in games against good sides. Whilst the Eagles have losses of 27 points, 45 points, 28 points, and 59 points. They’ve struggled to compete against every side. This will be an ugly affair, but the Suns will pick up their second win of the season.
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