R5 preview: Clash of the titans as Roos and Crows meet

HERE'S a quick look at the round five NAB AFLW Women's matches this weekend. 

BRISBANE v GEELONG
3.45pm AEST, Saturday, March 2
Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex, Burpengary, Qld

  • Brisbane returned to form in stunning style against Western Bulldogs last week, kicking its highest score for the season – and second-highest in the AFLW competition – of 49 points.
  • Geelong has struggled at times to kick big scores this season and will be further undermanned up forward against the Lions, with Aasta O'Connor and Maddie Boyd missing through suspension.
  • Lion Ally Anderson is steamrolling her way to All Australian selection, averaging 22 disposals (up from 18 in 2018) and leading her club in disposals, metres gained, contested possessions, clearances and marks.

CARLTON v COLLINGWOOD
7.10pm AEDT, Saturday, March 2
Ikon Park, Carlton North, Vic

  • Collingwood is winless but had its best performance for the season against Greater Western Sydney last weekend. Former Lion Jordan Membrey was a late inclusion for Sarah D'Arcy and kicked two goals, while young midfielder Sarah Dargan was a NAB AFLW Rising Star award nominee.
  • The match will see three debutants, with 2017 under-18 All Australian captain and Magpie midfielder/half-back Darcy Guttridge playing her first AFLW match after missing all of 2018 with a broken collarbone, and Blues 18-year-old pair Emerson Woods (winger) and Charlotte Wilson (defender) also taking to the field for the first time.
  • Keep an eye out for where Carlton captain Brianna Davey lines up. She has played mainly forward this year, but started in defence last week against Geelong and broke the game open in the second half when she was moved on the ball.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY v MELBOURNE
2.05pm AEDT, Sunday, March 3
Blacktown International Sportspark, Rooty Hill, NSW

  • This is a must-win match for both sides, with the Demons in fourth place in Conference A and the Giants fourth in the B group. The loser could slip out of preliminary final contention.
  • The midfield battle will be vital, with Melbourne's Karen Paxman, Elise O'Dea, Lily Mithen and Maddie Gay set to go head to head with Giants Alicia Eva, Jess Dal Pos, Courtney Gum and Rebecca Beeson.
  • Melbourne has scored 175 points in four matches, the fourth-best in the competition, while GWS has conceded 169 points, the third-most.
Demons midfielder Lily Mithen will be a key part of the onball battle

NORTH MELBOURNE v ADELAIDE
4.05pm AEDT, Sunday, March 3
Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee, Vic

  • This is the big match of the round. North Melbourne and Adelaide have set the pace for the competition in the first half of the season; the Kangaroos are undefeated while the Crows have lost just one match, by a solitary point.
  • Both teams are stacked with stars, including the two winners of the AFLW best and fairest award, Adelaide's Erin Phillips (2017) and North Melbourne's Emma Kearney (2018).
  • The two have the stingiest defences (North Melbourne concedes an average of 24 points and Adelaide gives up 31) and two of the strongest forward lines (the Roos are third-best with an average of 48 points and the Crows are best with 51).

FREMANTLE v WESTERN BULLDOGS
3.05pm AWST, Sunday, March 3
Fremantle Oval, Fremantle, WA

  • The Bulldogs could start with a new-look forward line. The No.1 pick from the 2017 NAB AFLW Draft, Izzy Huntington, is returning from a right knee reconstruction, with last year’s leading goalkicker, Brooke Lochland, back from a fractured right fibula.
  • Fremantle has a great opportunity to get back into the top two of Conference A if it wins and Adelaide loses to North Melbourne. The Dockers' percentage took a big hit from last week's 42-point loss to Crows, pushing them to third.
  • Docker Kiara Bowers has settled into the pace of the AFLW competition with ease after missing the first two seasons with knee injuries. She's averaging 8.8 tackles a match, the most of any player.

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