Full finals preview: Knockout action in four blockbuster semis

WE DIDN'T think we'd be here this early, but the finals of the NAB AFLW competition will start this weekend.

FINALS FIXTURE Every round, every game

Rounds seven and eight have been scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an extended eight-team finals series brought forward.

WATCH IT LIVE How to follow the AFLW this weekend

Saturday, March 21

Semi-final one: North Melbourne (1st, A) v Collingwood (4th, B), Ikon Park, 12.40pm AEDT

  • Last time they met: North Melbourne 7.11 (53) defeated Collingwood 5.1 (31) at Marvel Stadium, round six, 2019
  • Form guide
    • North Melbourne LWWWWW
    • Collingwood WWLLWW
  • North Melbourne will come into this game full of confidence, having won its past five. Emma King had a big impact after being moved to the ruck against Geelong, while the midfield depth is the envy of the competition.
  • Collingwood's heads will be high after a commanding win over Brisbane away from home. The Magpies may well have the perfect foil to Jasmine Garner in Brianna Davey, the Pie able to both run in the middle and play in defence.
  • Tip: This was the one match-up not really wanted by North Melbourne. With no pressure of favouritism, Collingwood should push the Roos right to the line. Kangaroos by five points.

Garner caps off stellar night

00:35 Mar 13. 2020. 10:03 PM

Jasmine Garner puts the icing on an emphatic Kangaroos win with her third major

Semi-final two: GWS (2nd, A) v Melbourne (3rd, B), Giants Stadium, 2.40pm AEDT

  • Last time they met: Melbourne 8.9 (57) defeated GWS 2.6 (18) at Blacktown International Sportspark, round five 2019
  • Form guide:
    • GWS WLWLWW
    • Melbourne WWLWWL
  • GWS was jubilant after its first ever win over Adelaide locked in a finals spot. Key forward Cora Staunton's hit a rich vein of form, while Alyce Parker and Bec Beeson are working well in the midfield together.
  • The Dees have finally done it. After three near-misses, they've qualified for finals. The length of the injury list is scary, their two Irish stars have gone home because of the coronavirus, but there's still plenty of class in that midfield with Karen Paxman, Elise O'Dea, Maddi Gay and Lily Mithen.
  • Tip: Two sides who have been inconsistent at times this year, both playing their first final, but Melbourne's experienced core will be vital. Dees by 17 points.

Speed Demon runs the length of the Flemington straight and snaps truly

00:43 Mar 14. 2020. 10:31 PM

Kate Hore puts her hand up for potential Goal of the Year with a brilliant running effort and snap

Semi-final four: Fremantle (1st, B) v Gold Coast (4th, A), Fremantle Oval, 1.40pm AWST

  • Last time they played: yet to meet
  • Form guide:
    • Fremantle: WWWWWW
    • Gold Coast: LWDLLW
  • The purple train keeps rolling on. Undefeated in the shortened regular season, Fremantle will be hoping that first-place finish doesn't go to waste. There are quite a few steady, experienced heads (Kara and Ebony Antonio, Kiara Bowers) who will be very keen to make up for last year's disappointing finals loss to Carlton.
  • What a travel schedule. The Suns have been in Melbourne, Mackay and Perth over the past three weeks, and now fly back west to take on the Dockers. Sparky forward Kalinda Howarth has been a star this year, but may find things a bit tougher against Fremantle.
  • Tip: This looms as the most one-sided game for the first week the finals, but stranger things have happened in the AFLW. Dockers by 26 points.

Dockers fumble turns out great for teammate

00:31 Mar 15. 2020. 7:31 PM

Laura Pugh snaps a great goal after Gemma Houghton's accidental goal assist

Sunday, March 22

Semi-final three: Carlton (2nd, B) v Brisbane (3rd, A), Ikon Park, 1.10pm AEDT

  • Last time they met: Carlton 6.7 (43) defeated Brisbane 4.3 (27) at Ikon Park, round six 2019
  • Form guide:
    • Carlton WLWWWW
    • Brisbane WWDWLL
  • Carlton is quite possibly the form team of the competition. The Blues win more of the ball than any other team, they've got a strong, well-disciplined backline and Tayla Harris is having an impact in the air and on the ground.
  • On the flip side, Brisbane has hit a bit of a wall in recent weeks, falling to fellow finals sides Fremantle and Collingwood. Of more of a concern is the scoring, with the Lions averaging 38 points between rounds one to four, and just 23 in the past two weeks.
  • Tip: After last year's comprehensive Grand Final loss, Carlton is out for revenge, and Brisbane is standing in its path. Blues by 19 points.

Brazzale provides a brilliant running goal assist to Walker

00:31 Mar 14. 2020. 10:32 PM

Brooke Walker soccers a major after this huge effort from Lauren Brazzale