Is it do or die time already? AFLW Round 2 preview

AFL Nation - Thu, 7th Feb 2019 - 0 Comments

It may only be Round 2 of the AFLW season, but it’s not too soon to be talking about finals implications.

Given the competition is only seven weeks long, going 0-2 can make finals an uphill battle, while a 2-0 start can put you in the box seat in your conference.

Friday night’s clash between GWS and North Melbourne from Drummoyne Oval is a prime example of this.

The Giants were impressive against Brisbane in Round 1, but ultimately fell short.

They now face a North Melbourne side coming off a massive win over Carlton and despite Conference B being the weaker of the two, the Giants could be behind the eight-ball if they lose again.

North are going into this match favourites after pulling apart the Blues, but they face a much tougher task in a Giants side loaded with midfield talent.

The Roos will be hoping their star power fires again, but if GWS can hit the scoreboard they should get the job done.

Tip: GWS by 5

Victoria Park hosts footy once again with Collingwood taking on Melbourne on Saturday evening.

The loser of this game falls to 0-2 and for the Dees, who have been on the cusp of the Grand Final two seasons in a row, this would be a harsh blow.

They were expected to beat Fremantle last week and should go into this game favourites as well, but the Pies showed a grit and competitiveness against the Cats that will keep them in this game.

Collingwood will be hoping key forward Sophie Alexander can get up after a concussion ended her Round 1 early. She provided a target up forward and they struggled once she went off.

For the Dees, their forward line looked potent last week with Eden Zanker, Tegan Cunningham and Shelley Scott providing a trio the Pies may struggle to contain.

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Tip: Melbourne by 15

In a match between two teams that picked up Round 1 wins, Geelong will take on reigning premiers the Western Bulldogs at the Whitten Oval.

The Cats snuck over the line last week against the Pies without arguably their three best players in Phoebe McWilliams (hamstring), Mel Hickey (knee) and Richelle Cranston (suspension). It seems unlikely they’ll get any of them back for Round 2, however.

It’s hard to know whether the Cats belong in the upper echelon of teams just yet, but we’ll certainly learn more based on this performance against the Dogs.

The Bulldogs themselves were outplayed by Adelaide in Round 1, but the Crows’ inaccuracy allowed them to escape with a massive win.

They’ll need Ellie Blackburn to get on top in the midfield and will be hoping for more from Monique Conti, who was quiet last week.

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Tip: Bulldogs by 10

After a poor start to the season, Carlton will host Adelaide at Ikon Park and will be hoping to bounce back.

The Blues were dominated by North Melbourne, struggling to win a clearance and despite winning the inside 50s, they only managed six scoring shots to the Roos’ 17.

Stopping Adelaide duo Ebony Marinoff and Erin Phillips will be the key challenge, both having dominated the Blues in the past.

For the Crows, this is a danger game given their loss to the Bulldogs last week, but if they play at their best they should be too strong for a Carlton side still trying to find its identity under new coach Daniel Harford.

Tip: Adelaide by 25

Fremantle was the surprise packet of Round 1, upsetting Melbourne at Casey Fields, picking up their first win outside of Western Australia in the process.

They now head home to take on a Brisbane team who was equally impressive last week.

The Dockers looked a team reborn under new coach Trent Cooper, with Ebony Antonio providing a spearhead up forward and Kiara Bowers’ addition to the midfield immediately paying dividends.

They’ll have to get through the sturdy Brisbane backline though, with Kate Lutkins, Sam Virgo, Shannon Campbell and captain Leah Kaslar proving consistently to be the best defence in the competition.

The Lions looked fantastic through the midfield and up forward as well, with Jess Wuetschner kicking three goals, while Sabrina Frederick-Traub dominated further up the ground.

Freo’s home ground advantage should be a factor here, but it’s hard to tip against this Lions side just yet.

Tip: Brisbane by 4

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