HERE'S a quick look at the round three 2020 NAB AFLW matches this weekend.
ST KILDA v MELBOURNE
7.10pm AEDT, Friday, February 21
RSEA Park, Moorabbin, Vic
- In the first of two Pride Games for the weekend, the Saints will be eager to atone for last week's fourth-quarter fadeout against Adelaide. Eighteen-year-old Georgia Patrikios (average of 18 disposals, 342m gained) has been her side's best in the first two matches.
- Daisy Pearce's creative role at half-back could see St Kilda forced to play a negating forward on the Melbourne superstar. Pearce has been highly influential at key moments and adds composure to the backline.
- Tip: Melbourne will just have too much experience for the fledgling St Kilda side. Dees by 16 points.
WESTERN BULLDOGS v CARLTON
3.10pm AEDT, Saturday, February 22
VU Whitten Oval, Footscray, Vic
- We've seen the best and the worst of the Bulldogs in the space of two weeks, with a stunning first term to open the season followed by a game where they just couldn't find the scoreboard. The inclusion of Brooke Lochland (hamstring) and Izzy Huntington (concussion) is a much-needed boost.
- Carlton has been in a similar situation to its opponent, and with both teams sitting on one win and one loss in a log-jammed Conference B, this match carries greater importance than its round three status suggests.
- Tip: Everyone remembers Lochland's seven-goal haul in the first Pride Game, but Carlton just scraped over the line in the rematch. Expect a similar result this week, Blues by eight points.
ROUND THREE TEAMS ARE IN ?? @brookelochland returns to the @bulldogsw lineup where she'll be looking to repeat her record making 2018 Pride Game performance in front of the big sticks ??— AFL Women's (@aflwomens) February 20, 2020
See teams: https://t.co/LUSqfnUGH3 pic.twitter.com/7ggYO1fWiK
GOLD COAST v BRISBANE
4.10pm AEST, Saturday, February 22
Metricon Stadium, Carrara, Qld
- Gold Coast will be coming off the high of its first win in the competition, having laid an impressive 73 tackles in a game lasting around 70 minutes. The Suns have named eight former Lions in their team.
- It's been a strong start to the season for Brisbane, unexpectedly sitting undefeated after two rounds. Emily Bates has gone to another level in 2020, averaging a career-high 19 touches.
- Tip: With a big cross-over between the two sides, there'll be a fair bit of spice in the very first AFLW QClash. Saying that, the established team's form has been irresistible so far. Lions by 19 points.
FREMANTLE v COLLINGWOOD
7.10pm WST, Saturday, February 22
Fremantle Oval, Fremantle, WA
- There's been a lot of focus on Fremantle's attack, the strongest in the competition, but it's the work up the ground that's getting the ball in there. Kiara Bowers is first in the competition for tackles, sixth for clearances and third for kicks, metres gained and inside 50s.
- Collingwood defenders Stacey Livingstone and Ash Brazill have been in sparking touch so far in 2020. The two keys aren't just tall stoppers, they have also been rebounding, with their booming kicks setting up their side very well.
- Tip: It's a battle of the undefeated sides, with the winner gaining a buffer on the loser in Conference B. The Pies have been impressive, but the home advantage will be too much. Dockers by 14 points.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY v WEST COAST
1.10pm AEDT, Sunday, February 23
Blacktown International Sportspark, Rooty Hill, NSW
- GWS showed flashes of strong form against North Melbourne, but just didn't have the polish when needed, booting 2.7
- Expansion side West Coast has struggled to get going so far this season, but both losses have come against strong sides in Collingwood and Fremantle. Finding options in front of goal has proved to be a challenge so far.
- Tip: The Giants will be looking to sharpen up their general play around the ground, and made a statement dropping 2017 All-Australian ruck Erin McKinnon. Giants by 13 points.
RICHMOND v NORTH MELBOURNE
3.10pm AEDT, Sunday, February 23
Ikon Park, Carlton North, Vic
- Richmond will be ruing the several missed opportunities which cost it the chance to record its first AFLW win last week. And to make matters worse, the Tigers' injury list has now extended to the point train-on player Hannah McLaren is needed to make up the squad of 23.
- North Melbourne is slowly clicking into gear, with its team depth a serious concern for other sides. It's no longer a case of just trying to stop Emma Kearney, with Jas Garner, Jenna Bruton, Ellie Gavalas and Ash Riddell causing headaches around the stoppages.
- Tip: Unfortunately for the undermanned Tigers, there's very little chance of winning this game against a hardened side. Kangaroos by 34 points.
GEELONG v ADELAIDE
5.10pm AEDT, Sunday, February 23
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong, Vic
- In welcome news for the winless Geelong, All-Australian defender and best and fairest Meg McDonald has made a return from a broken finger well ahead of schedule. This should free Melissa Hickey up to play midfield, taking pressure off the impressive but young Liv Purcell.
- Adelaide's match last week was an excellent example of just doing enough, clicking in the final few minutes to take the lead against St Kilda. That injury list is also starting to contract, regaining Courtney Cramey with Rhiannon Metcalfe to return through the SANFLW.
- Tip: Adelaide defeated Geelong by 66 points in the 2019 preliminary final, the last time these sides met. While it won't be that margin this time around, the Crows should win this by around 20 points.