R2 preview: Can Cats down Dogs, will Crows bounce back?

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY v NORTH MELBOURNE

7.15pm EDT, Friday, February 8

Drummoyne Oval

  • The battle of the midfields. Both sides have engine rooms that run deep, with Giants Courtney Gum, Jess Dal Pos, Alicia Eva, and Alyce Parker set to take on Emma Kearney, Jenna Bruton, Ash Riddell and Jamie Stanton.
  • A match-up to keep a close eye on is in the ruck, with the All-Australians from the last two years, Emma King and Erin McKinnon, set to go head-to-head with plenty of pride on the line.
  • The Giants managed just 23 inside-50s against Brisbane in round one, the fewest of any side. Their forwards will have their work cut out for them against Tahlia Randall, Danielle Hardiman and Jess Duffin.

ROUND TWO TEAMS Check out all the ins and outs

COLLINGWOOD v MELBOURNE

4.45pm EDT, Saturday, February 9

Victoria Park

  • Questions over Collingwood's forward line have not been completely answered. Sophie Alexander looked dangerous last week but will miss this weekend with concussion. Sarah D'Arcy needs more support.
  • Magpies defender Ash Brazill looks set to take on Melbourne forward Tegan Cunningham in an intriguing battle. Brazill (a netballer) has the reach to go up against basketballer Cunningham, who has marking power and is also an important source of rebound.
  • This will be the first AFLW match played at Collingwood's traditional home ground, Victoria Park. Both the club's VFL and VFLW teams have played there; the AFL side’s last match there was in round 22, 1999. The Pies’ AFLW team has previously played home games at Ikon Park and Olympic Park Oval.

FULL FIXTURE Where and when is your team playing?

WESTERN BULLDOGS v GEELONG

7.15pm EDT, Saturday, February 9

VU Whitten Oval

  • The Bulldogs will be unfurling their 2018 premiership flag before the game, with under-18 players Isabella Grant and Bridie Garlick (daughters of former players Chris and Simon respectively) taking part in the ceremony, alongside coach Paul Groves.
  • Geelong will be hoping Phoebe McWilliams has recovered from her minor hamstring injury, with its forward line missing a focal point last week in the one-point win over Collingwood.
  • Fiery Cats ruck Aasta O'Connor will be coming up against her old side, which whom she won a flag last year. Key back Meghan McDonald also played at the Dogs as a forward in 2017 but was delisted after that season.

 

The Bulldogs will unfurl their 2018 AFLW premiership flag ahead of the clash with the Cats

CARLTON v ADELAIDE

4.05pm EDT, Sunday, February 10

Ikon Park

  • Both teams had forward line issues last week, with Carlton struggling to get the ball inside 50 effectively and Adelaide kicking a disappointing 1.11.
  • This match will feature two players highly rated through their junior careers: Crow Chloe Scheer and Blue Maddy Prespakis. The two have won numerous awards as they rose through the ranks and looked comfortable at the top level last week.
  • This will be the first time these two sides have met at Ikon Park; their previous two meetings were at Thebarton and Norwood ovals in Adelaide. 

FREMANTLE v BRISBANE

3.05pm WST, Sunday, February 10

Fremantle Oval

  • Much has been made of the revamped forward line Fremantle employed last week, but it will face a stern test against Brisbane's defence of Kate Lutkins, Leah Kaslar, Shannon Campbell and Sam Virgo, the best in the competition
  • Kiara Bowers made a stunning debut after two years on the sidelines with knee injuries. With first-game nerves out of the way, how good can she be?
  • Brisbane rotated just four players – Emily Bates, Ally Anderson, Nat Exon and Jordan Zanchetta – through its midfield against Greater Western Sydney. With the temperature forecast to each 35 degrees on Sunday, they may need some reinforcements.