TEAMS: Giant's ACL comeback, Roo returns after 714 days

GREATER Western Sydney recruit Katherine Smith will play her first game since rupturing her ACL as a Demon in December 2019, while Jess Duffin will also make her long-awaited return.

Kangaroo Duffin, 31, sat out the 2020 NAB AFLW season due to pregnancy, giving birth to Georgie in late June.

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Her return to the Kangaroos' side has been waylaid by an adductor injury and the subsequent need to build conditioning, meaning Saturday will mark 714 days since her last AFLW match.

Duffin told about the difficulties in regaining core strength after her pregnancy, particularly due to gym closures during Melbourne's lockdown.

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North Melbourne's defence will also receive an additional boost with the return of Danielle Hardiman (concussion), while Sophie Abbatangelo and Brooke Brown will have a straight swap in the forward line.

Jas Grierson has been managed.

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The Roos are playing Carlton in a must-win match for both sides, and the Blues have suffered a big loss after the suspension of AFLW best and fairest winner Maddy Prespakis.

Key forward Serena Gibbs will debut, with Nat Plane returning after her omission in round three.

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Smith is the only inclusion for GWS, who lose Tanya Hetherington to a 4-6 week ankle injury, while opponents Western Bulldogs have also made just the one change.

Bailey Hunt will return after a calf injury, forcing father-daughter recruit Issy Grant out after a quiet match.

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Fremantle's defence will have to manage twin Lions towers Jesse Wardlaw and Dakota Davidson without Evie Gooch, who is out managed (back tightness), with Bianca Webb her replacement.

In-form Brisbane defender Nat Grider returns after a week out with illness, taking the spot of Lily Postlethwaite (ACL).

The young Lion suffered a knee injury in last week's loss to Adelaide, with Brisbane confirming in its team announcement on Friday afternoon scans had shown a torn ACL.

Saturday, February 27

Western Bulldogs v GWS at VU Whitten Oval, 3.10pm AEDT


B: N.Ferres 16 E.Gamble 14  
HB: A.Guest 19 K.Lynch 10 E.Brown 9
C: B.Hunt 21 E.Blackburn - C 2 D.Berry 7
HF: E.Georgostathis 17 I.Huntington 4 B.Lochland 1
F: B.Toogood 8 K.McLeod 6
Foll: C.Moody 13 G.Newton 5 K.Lamb 27
I/C: D.Marshall 26 K.Rennie 24 H.Scott 22 S.Hartwig 15 J.Fitzgerald 23  

Emerg: I.Pritchard 20 I.Grant 3  
In: B.Hunt
Out: I.Grant (omitted)


B: T.Evans 18 G.Garnett 17  
HB: P.Randall 21 A.Lister 14 L.Stephenson 12
C: N.Barr 8 B.Tully 36 A.Eva - C 2
HF: H.Zreika 24 J.Dal Pos 7 T.Mackrill 32
F: C.Staunton 13 R.Privitelli 19
Foll: E.McKinnon 23 A.Parker 3 E.Goodsir 1
I/C: E.Bennetts 22 J.Allan 39 R.Beeson 6 T.Davies 16 K.Smith 4  

Emerg: L.Steane 20 A.Schmidt 11  

In: K.Smith
Out: T.Hetherington (ankle)

Fremantle v Brisbane at Fremantle Oval, 2.10pm AWST


B: A.Stannett 4 J.Cuthbertson 29  
HB: M.Sergeant 23 E.O'Driscoll 3 L.Pugh 32
C: E.Antonio 12 J.Stewart 7 S.Cain 20
HF: K.Antonio - C 15 R.Roux 17 G.O'Sullivan 22
F: G.Houghton 27 S.Duffy 6
Foll: M.Strom 21 K.Bowers 2 H.Miller 19
I/C: B.Webb 26 T.Haynes 33 P.Seth 18 S.Verrier 5 A.Sharp 1  

Emerg: M.Hyde 28 K.Grieve 13  

In: B.Webb
Out: E.Gooch (managed)


B: S.Campbell 20 N.Grider 10  
HB: E.Zielke - C 8 K.Lutkins 13 B.Koenen 3
C: J.Ellenger 5 C.Svarc 25 S.Conway 12
HF: G.Bodey 15 D.Davidson 14 C.Hodder 21
F: J.Wardlaw 30 L.Arnell 16
Foll: T.Smith 31 I.Dawes 17 E.Bates 1
I/C: O.O'Dwyer 9 A.Anderson 18 R.Lugg 11 I.Tahau 26 T.Hickie 24  

Emerg: J.Wuetschner 23 J.Zanchetta 2  

In: N.Grider
Out: L.Postlethwaite (ACL)

North Melbourne v Carlton at University of Tasmania Stadium, 7.10pm AEDT


B: D.Hardiman 31 N.Bresnehan 12  
HB: J.Duffin 27 T.Randall 16 A.Gilroy 8
C: K.Ashmore 10 E.Kearney - C 9 J.Bruton 35
HF: D.Bateman 11 I.Eddey 3 K.Gillespie-Jones 5
F: S.Abbatangelo 1 D.Bannister 2
Foll: E.King 60 J.Garner 25 A.Riddell 7
I/C: E.Gavalas 22 M.King 23 T.Nestor 24 V.Saad 39 G.Campbell 43  

Emerg: B.Lynch 20 G.Hammond 44  

In: D.Hardiman, J.Duffin, S.Abbatangelo
Out: B.Lynch (omitted), J.Grierson (managed), B.Brown (omitted)


B: K.Harrington - C 9 C.Wilson 20  
HB: V.Laloifi 8 G.Pound 6 M.Guerin 18
C: L.Brazzale 12 A.McKay 5 M.Hill 10
HF: D.Vescio 3 T.Harris 7 G.Gee 19
F: N.Stevens 21 E.O'Dea 46
Foll: B.Moody 16 G.Egan 1 J.Hosking 11
I/C: N.Plane 32 L.McEvoy 13 A.Downie 30 D.Walker 23 S.Gibbs 33  

Emerg: J.Edwards 25 C.Hammans 17  

In: N.Plane, S.Gibbs
Out: M.Prespakis (suspension), J.Edwards (omitted)

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