Full AFLW R3 preview: Bring on the blockbusters

THERE'S been a few alterations since Monday, but it's still a blockbuster round of footy.

We'll have a much better picture of how sides are placed at the conclusion of round three of the NAB AFLW competition, with a series of games between relatively even sides.

The W Show: 'Harsh reality' of fixture changes, No.1 pick surprises Pearce

15:18 Feb 11. 2021. 5:50 PM

Nat Edwards and Daisy Pearce discuss the impact of fixture uncertainty on the players, Ellie Blackburn's elite form and how the Lions dismantled the Suns

GEELONG v WESTERN BULLDOGS

7.10pm AEDT, Friday, February 12
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong, Vic

  • Of immediate concern to Geelong is scoring just three majors across two matches (admittedly against pace-setters North Melbourne and Collingwood), including six goalless quarters. Despite losing two matches, the Cats have laid the equal-second fewest tackles this season.
  • A third Friday night match for the high-scoring, free-flowing Dogs, who are starting to hit their groove, and confidence will be up after a breakthrough win last week. The Bulldogs aren't getting too much of the footy (ranked second-last for disposal), but using it well when they have it.
  • Tip: Two sides who have had contrasting fortunes so far this year, and who have historically struggled with consistent form. The Dogs' momentum might carry them over the line here, eight points.

WATCH IT LIVE Cats v Bulldogs

Watch it LIVE: Cats v Bulldogs. Picture: AFL Media

GWS v GOLD COAST

3.10pm AEDT, Saturday, February 13
Blacktown International Sportspark, NSW

  • After weeks on the road in pre-season and round one, two consecutive home games are just what the doctor ordered for the Giants. Coach Alan McConnell has highlighted the team's disposal (41 per cent efficiency against Adelaide) as an area of concern.
  • The Suns will be desperate to get at least one goal after the board after a dismal two-point effort last week against Brisbane. They took just one mark inside 50 for the game and allowed 22 up the other end.
  • Tip: A difficult one to call, with both sides coming off a poor performance. The last time these played resulted in a one-point win to the Giants, but the Suns might just get over the line here. Four points.

WATCH IT LIVE Giants v Suns

Watch it LIVE: Giants v Suns. Picture: AFL Media

ST KILDA v CARLTON

5.10pm AEDT, Saturday, February 13
RSEA Park, Moorabbin, Vic

  • St Kilda have alternatively dominated and been dominated in its games this year. With Caitlin Greiser, Jacqui Vogt, Kate Shierlaw and Darcy Guttridge, the Saints have the potential to score quickly, but struggled to translate their possession into a meaningful tally against North Melbourne.
  • It's starting to get a little serious for pre-season premiership fancy Carlton, sitting at 0-2 in a nine-round season. The inclusions of defenders Mua Laloifi (concussion) and Gab Pound (hand) and midfielder Lucy McEvoy (cheekbone) will help enormously.
  • Tip: Patrikios v Prespakis, yes please. The two former Calder Cannons teammates will face off in the middle of the ground, but it's the latter looking likely to finish with the choccies. Blues by 17 points.

WATCH IT LIVE Saints v Blues

Watch it LIVE: Saints v Blues. Picture: AFL Media

MELBOURNE v NORTH MELBOURNE

7.10pm AEDT, Saturday, February 13
Casey Fields, Vic

  • Melbourne has done everything asked of it in the first two rounds of the season, seeing off second-year clubs Gold Coast and Richmond. Conceding early majors would be a bit of a concern, but the number of goals they've created at their end (16 in two weeks, equal-second highest) would please coach Mick Stinear.
  • Similarly, North Melbourne has ticked every box in front of it thus far. The Roos are winning plenty of the footy (ranked second for disposal), controlling play (second for marks) and converting inside 50 (equal-second for goals).
  • Tip: By the end of this match, one team will have lost their first game for the season. Despite the somewhat chaotic conditions the blustery Casey Fields can throw up, the powerful Kangaroos should hold firm. North by 22 points.

WATCH IT LIVE Demons v Kangaroos

Watch it LIVE: Demons v Kangaroos. Picture: AFL Media

ADELAIDE v FREMANTLE

12.40pm ACDT, Sunday, February 14
Norwood Oval, SA

  • Is the rampaging Adelaide back as one of the premier sides of the competition? Early signs indicate yes, although their two wins have come against strugglers West Coast and GWS. Danielle Ponter's habit of converting one goal into three is proving to be a dangerous one for opposition sides.
  • The all-conquering Dockers head to Adelaide, having just overtaken the Crows' own record for consecutive wins (now nine straight). There'll be a few battered bodies after playing in a torrential downpour, and accuracy will be front of mind after kicking 2.11.
  • Tip: Will Chelsea Randall return to her defensive roots to take on the equally athletic Gemma Houghton? This match is very much a flip of a coin, but the Crows' midfield depth may be too much. Crows by five points.

WATCH IT LIVE Crows v Dockers

Watch it LIVE: Crows v Dockers. Picture: AFL Media

RICHMOND v COLLINGWOOD

3.10pm AEDT, Sunday, February 14
Swinburne Centre, Vic

  • We're fast becoming accustomed to rescheduled games, and at the start of the week, Richmond was drawn to play West Coast and Collingwood to make the trip north to face Brisbane.
  • Despite boasting some high-profile forwards in Katie Brennan and Sabrina Frederick, the Tigers have kicked just three goals across two games. Inaccuracy and supply have been issues, but they simply need to get on the board more to win games.
  • Collingwood steadily dismantled Geelong, proving they have too many threats all over the park. Ruby Schleicher is becoming a genuine rebound defender, while the pacey Sarah Rowe slotted in perfectly across half-forward after missing round one with a shoulder injury.
  • Tip: The Tigers were hoping to break their duck against West Coast, but a fixture reshuffle proved that was not to be. Unfortunately, that win is now unlikely to come this weekend. Pies by 28 points.

WATCH IT LIVE Tigers v Magpies

Watch it LIVE: Tigers v Magpies. Picture: AFL Media

BRISBANE v WEST COAST

4.15pm AEST, Monday February 15
Hickey Park, Qld

  • Brisbane nearly played a perfect match against Gold Coast, holding their intrastate rivals to just two points while kicking 10 goals. The Lions appear to have a good mix of experience and youth, with the latter – led by Nat Grider, Belle Dawes, Jesse Wardlaw and Dakota Davidson – beginning to dictate matches.
  • West Coast lost no admirers for its tough performance in soggy conditions against Fremantle, with Mikayla Bowen and a much-improved Belinda Smith among those trying their hearts out. After needing to dip into top-up players to fill the emergency slots, Melissa Caulfield (hamstring) and Maddy Collier (concussion) are now available.
  • Tip: Lions have too much momentum at the moment, and the Eagles are making one of the longest trips in footy from Perth to Brisbane. Lions by 32 points.

WATCH IT LIVE Lions v Eagles

Watch it LIVE: Lions v Eagles. Picture: AFL Media

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