AFLW preliminary final preview: Lions v Magpies

Saturday, April 10

Brisbane v Collingwood at the Gabba, 4.10pm AEST

Recent form

  • Brisbane finished the season with mixed form, seeing off eventual fifth-placed North Melbourne by 15 points at the Gabba in round eight, but fell just two points short of Melbourne at Casey Fields in the final round. The Lions had last week off after finishing in the top two, a good break after three trips in four weeks.
  • The Pies were a little shaky in their final few matches, with losses to the Lions in round seven and Adelaide in round nine punctuated by a comfortable win over St Kilda. They finished their qualifying final match full of running, kicking three final-quarter goals to steal the win against North Melbourne.

WATCH IT LIVE Lions v Magpies

Key players

  • Brisbane is such an even team, it's tough to individualise. Tagger Cathy Svarc will be steeling herself for another clash with Bri Davey, Dakota Davidson plays an important role in crashing packs and bringing the ball down to smalls Courtney Hodder and Greta Bodey, while sweeping defender Kate Lutkins has a stellar finals record.
  • As above, Davey will no doubt be locked in an enthralling battle with Svarc, with Britt Bonnici and Jaimee Lambert also midfield threats. Ash Brazill's starting position will be interesting, with the key back playing forward of late. Chloe Molloy can turn a match with just one goal, while the Roos played a defensive job on rebounder Ruby Schleicher last week.

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Injury concerns

  • As in previous years, Brisbane's medical staff deserve a pat on the back, with minimal injury issues. Lily Postlethwaite is a long-termer after tearing her ACL earlier this year.
  • No new names on the injury list for the Pies, with Sophie Casey (concussion) now clear to play if selected. Lauren Butler (hamstring) is an outside chance should the Pies qualify for the Grand Final.

Last time they met

  • Round seven, 2021. Collingwood has unsuccessfully tried to play Brisbane in Queensland several times this year, with the only game to go ahead hurriedly moved to VU Whitten Oval after another small COVID outbreak. The Lions just had the better of the incredibly windy conditions, scoring 4.11 (35) to the Pies' 4.8 (32). Collingwood lost two players to injury, but Ally Anderson starred in the midfield and Bree Koenen and Cathy Svarc kept Chloe Molloy and Bri Davey quiet.

Tip

  • Having played at the Gabba just three weeks ago, Brisbane has a definite home ground advantage. The Lions are seemingly never ruffled, and the week off may just give them an edge. Brisbane by seven points.

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