AFLW Insight: There can be only one winner

THE FINAL two undefeated sides of the NAB AFLW competition, Fremantle and Brisbane, will meet on Sunday at Fremantle Oval.

The Dockers are sitting first in Conference B, having won their four matches, while the Lions are top of Conference A, winning three and drawing one with Gold Coast. 

How do the two teams stack up? 

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FREMANTLE 

What's happened so far

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01:10 Mar 1. 2020. 5:20 PM

Molly McDonald gives away 50 metres and an easy goal to Fremantle in the dying minutes, to tie the game

What's worked
Fremantle hit the ground with a bang, overrunning Geelong in a highly entertaining match before blowing West Coast out of the water. The Dockers have assembled a very potent forward line, and when on song, the midfield is one of the best in the competition. 

What hasn't
Consistency issues have crept in over the past two weeks, with Fremantle just holding firm against Collingwood and falling over the line against St Kilda. Both weeks, the opposition midfield has dominated for long periods of time. Inaccuracy and poor decision-making in attack have also been issues. 

Who's starred
At this stage of the season, Kiara Bowers would be hot favourite to take out the club's best and fairest, having tackled her way through a month of footy. Roxy Roux and Sabreena Duffy have had patches of brilliance, while the unheralded Jasmin Stewart and Philipa Seth have been very consistent.

Freo midfielder boots a ripping goal on the run

00:46 Feb 15. 2020. 8:23 PM

Jasmin Stewart extends the Dockers' lead with an excellent goal on the left

BRISBANE

What's happened so far

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The Suns and the Lions clash in Round 3 of the ALFW

What's worked
The reintegration of Sophie Conway (ACL) has added a dynamism which was missing last year. The backline of Kate Lutkins, Shannon Campbell and Breanna Koenen has now played together for several years, and their synchronicity has shown during tight stages of matches.

What hasn't
It's been fairly smooth sailing for the Lions. Dropping two points to Gold Coast could yet come back to bite, and there have been a few lapses in concentration during matches (playing catch-up against Geelong and fading against Gold Coast). 

Who's starred
Emily Bates has taken her game to another level in 2020, averaging a career-high 21 disposals. Key defender Lutkins is back to her All Australian form of 2018, while mature-age draftees Cathy Svarc, Dakota Davidson and Maria Moloney have added plenty to the midfield and forward line. 

Sneaky Svarc soccers a beauty

00:34 Mar 1. 2020. 5:38 PM

Catherine Svarc sneaks forward and soccers through a brilliant goal

HEAD-TO-HEAD 

Average

Fremantle

Brisbane

Kicks

123.5 (9th)

137.5 (4th)

Handballs

44.8 (14th)

80.8 (6th)

Disposals

168.2 (13th)

218.2 (4th)

Marks

33.2 (11th)

49.2 (2nd)

Tackles

69.5 (1st)

58.2 (7th)

Goals

5.8 (=2nd)

5.5 (=4th)

 

We're going to see two very different styles of footy play out on Sunday afternoon. 

Brisbane is a high-disposal side, whereas the only team ranked below Fremantle in the disposal rankings is lowly West Coast. 

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It makes sense that Craig Starcevich's short-kick game plan generates a high number of marks, while the Dockers sit 11th in the competition for average marks. 

On the flip-side, Fremantle is the best tackling team in the competition – they pressure the ball out of their opponents and get the ball forward as efficiently as possible. 

Both teams pose a potent threat up forward, with Lions Jesse Wardlaw and Jess Wuetschner, and Dockers Gemma Houghton and Sabreena Duffy all dangerous in front of goal.

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