The new AFLW season kicked off with a bang last week, especially for last year’s top two teams in Fremantle and North Melbourne, who again look to be the teams to beat.
Round 2 is the annual Pride Round, kicking off with the Dogs and the Blues from the Whitten Oval. Here are my AFLW tips for the weekend.
Friday night footy, every kids dream, and there is no better game for these women than the AFLW annual Pride Game between the Doggies and the Blues. Wearing specifically designed jumpers to promote inclusion and unity, this match is set to be a ripper, with both teams coming off losses last week and keen to register their first win of the season.
Carlton went in as favourites last week against the Magpies, but Collingwood, surprising many, left the Blues goalless in the first half and ran away as winners at Princes Park. Carlton’s forward line really lacked any firepower, with star forward Tayla Harris having no real impact in the match with the Magpies defence rock solid headlined by Ruby Schleicher and Stacey Livingstone.
The Bulldogs lost a close tussle with St Kilda in what was a pretty open and free-flowing match. Former number one draft pick, Izzy Huntington, was superb and Ellie Blackburn led from the middle. However, St Kilda were more accurate in front of the goal when it mattered and won by nine points.
Carlton are heavy favourites in this match, but the Doggies at home look overs at $3.14. It shouldn’t be a blow out of a match, so either Carlton 1-39, or Western Bulldogs at the line (+12.5) if you want some value.
The forward line of Carlton would have had a roasting from coach Daniel Harford, so they should come in to this game with plenty go energy. Tayla Harris is a competitive beast, and wouldn’t have liked having a slow game last week so expect her to be up and about in this match. Bulldogs Bonnie Toogood is living up to her last name and is in great form, combining with Huntington well in that forward 50.
My BYO bet
Presparkis 15 touches.
Georgia Gee ATG
A quick fixture change means the Pies and the Cats will meet this round at Collingwood’s spiritual home of Vic Park.
After years of not being able to snag four points in the season opener, Collingwood finally got that win over Carlton. After a ten-month layover, an expected hard, tough and low scoring match gave Collingwood a strong lead at half time. They held on to that lead and even with a flourish of goals in the last term by Carlton, the Pies came out as six-point winners.
Chloe Molloy is back to her outstanding 2019 Rising Star form, slotting two goals from her newly found forward position, and founding player Britt Bonnici was absolutely brilliant in the midfield.
The Cats were abysmal last week in their loss against North Melbourne. They didn’t make a dent on the scoreboard until the last quarter, going down by 62-points to the flag favourites. They’ll be needing to make drastic changes
The Pies are short head to head, so I’m on Collingwood at the line (-18.5) for a bit more value.
Chloe Molloy will have more attention on her this week, but her athleticism and skill won’t be matched so keep her in mind for an any time goal scorer, along with Irish recruit Aishling Sheridan. The super-speedy forward is pretty clever and often able to get behind her opposition in the forward 50 to snag some unopposed goals in space.
Pies @ line
Aisling Sheriden ATG
Chloe Molloy ATG
Collingwood +40 $5.50
Melbourne have always been up and around it since the AFLW’s inception with many tipping them to be one of the teams to beat this year. Coming off a nice 21 point win against the young Gold Coast, they’ll be excited to register what could be a percentage-boosting game against Richmond, who have not yet won a game in the AFLW competition.
Melbourne, took a bit of time to settle in to their game last weekend, having travelled on the day they played, so will be much more relaxed in their home city. All Australian Karen Paxman was unstoppable, and Lily Mithen was at her best, and busy as always rolling through the forward and midfield. Richmond, meanwhile, had a 29 point defeat to Brisbane, and still look to be a work in progress.
The match is being played at Casey Fields, and with minimal protection there, the wind may play a huge factor on scoring in the game, so keep an eye on the weather on the day.
Depending on the weather, the Dees should be able to cover the line to get a bit more bang for our buck than the straight head to head. There aren’t many defenders that can match Teagan Cunningham for height in the forward line, so look to add her in for an any time goal scorer. Richmond skipper Katie Brennan kicked 0.3 last week, so she’ll be determined to make amends and kick a major or two.
Melb @ line
Teagan Cunningham ATG
Katie Brennan ATG
Krstel Petrevski ATG
North are good. Very, very good. It was literally a training drill for them last week and after their 62 point thrashing of Geelong they have gone from one of my favourites, to the favourite for the flag.
The Saints, though, showed a lot of heart and looked pretty good, especially early on in their win against the Dogs, but they’ll have to come up with something special to cause the upset here.
Emma King and Ellie Gavalos were a class above the rest, both kicking three goals each. Kingy doing so all in the first term, and ending up with a perfect 10 votes from the coaches.
The Saints played consistent footy in their win against the Dogs, with midfielder Georgia Patrikios easily the best on ground for the team with 24 disposals and one major.
Saints should put up a fight in this match, but North are just such an outstanding team with incredible power and pace through their midfield. North at 1-39 though for a bit more value, as the Saints, coached by female footy icon Peta Searle, won’t be a team to roll over.
Ellie Gavalos should be good for an any time snag after her brilliant match last week and Darcy Gutridge got on the end of a couple of plays late in the match, so another one to keep an eye on for a goal scorer.
My Bet – featured BYO
ATG – Ellie Gavalas
15 touches – Patrikios
Last minute change up for the AFLW here, so this year’s Q Clash has been brought forward. Last year’s ended in a rare draw so both teams are wanting to lift that Queensland cup for the first time.
The Lions go into this as favourites coming off a nice win against Richmond. Hopefully, as long as they tidy up their kicking for goal this week, they should come away as easy winners.
Gold Coast, in just their second season of the competition, probably exceeded expectations last year, and although they’ll be competitive, will most likely still be a mid-to-bottom range team this year. The young Suns started well in their match against Melbourne, but the experience and depth of the Dees allowed them to kick five unanswered goals, going down by 21 points at Metricon Stadium. Cult hero and inaugural Adelaide premiership player, Sarah Perkins, starred for her third club kicking 2 majors for the Suns.
Head to head outright market too short to bother with, but Brisbane should be able cover the line (-16.5). Greta Bodey, who has played a couple of years of the sport coming from soccer, has a great goal sense so any time goal scorer is worth a look. Two-time All Australian Emily Bates will run rampant in the midfield with her extremely good ball usage and efficiency. Expect to hear her name a lot during the game.
My Bet – featured BYO
Brisbane Line (-16.5)
Bates 15+ disposals
Sarah Perkins ATG
These two teams have both been in a rollercoaster of emotions the past week. Neither team have been able to train after being sent into quarantine, so their preparation has been anything other than ideal.
Adelaide, after not making finals last year, were back to their best with the inclusion of arguably the best player we’ve seen in the AFLW, Erin Philips, who is back after a knee reconstruction. She received a perfect 10 by the coaches, having 23 disposals and kicking 2.3 in their 38 points win over the Eagles.
The Giants went down to flag contenders, Fremantle, by 30 points, in what was overall an underwhelming performance. Alyce Parker stood strong and kept the Giants in the game, and without her might have been an ugly loss.
These two teams met in a pre-season game where Adelaide were 20 point winners, and they’re heavy favourites again in this match. The line is set at just 13.5 and the Crows should be able to cover this given the experience of players like Phillips, Randall and Marinoff.
Erin Phillips will be rolling between the midfield and forward line throughout the season, so she is fairly safe to have in as an any time goal scorer for the Crows. Rebecca Privitelli made a shift from the backline to the forward line last year, where she looks as comfortable as anything so another one to watch out for.
Crows @ line
Erin Phillips 2+ Goals
Erin Phillips most goals on ground
Fremantle are one of the teams to beat this year. They were undefeated last year and without the opportunity to play for a premiership, they have a point to prove. Eagles are just in their second year in the competition, and there is a noticeable difference between their elite and the rest.
Fremantle had a great first game last week coming out as 30 point winners over GWS. Gemma Houghton had a field day with 20 disposals and 3.2 on the scoreboard. Twenty-year-old Sabreena Duffy also kicking three, proving last years breakout year was just the beginning.
The Eagles struggled in their first match showcasing their lack of depth. Veteran Dana Hooker was solid as always with 19 disposals, and Western Bulldog Irish recruit, Aisling McCarthy, fitting well into her new team.
Confident Fremantle will easily win this one and might be able to cover that line that is set at 18.5. Gemma Houghton a key target for Fremantle clearly, so 2+ goals a good option for her, leaving the speedy Sabreena Duffy a bit of space as an any time goal scorer. Premiership player Kellie Gibson from the Eagles missed a couple of opportunities last week, so the experienced forward would be keen to find the middle of the big sticks this week.
Fremantle @ line
Sabreena Duffy ATG
Houghton 2+ goals