ROUND two is here and it brings plenty of intriguing match-ups across the board. We preview each match and tell you which players to look out for.
Essendon vs. Melbourne Uni
Saturday 12pm at Windy Hill
Two big names are making debuts for their respected sides at Windy Hill.
One is a well-known name while the other is a name we will all come to know very shortly. AFLW best and fairest, Emma Kearney will run out for her first game with Melbourne Uni this year on Saturday. Kearney swapped the red, white and blue for the blue and white stripes in the AFLW off-season, and would be keen to continue to display the blistering form that we saw in the AFLW.
Kendra Heil is the other notable debutant, as she hails from Canada and made her way onto an AFLW list. Heil was drafted to Collingwood but a knee injury cut her AFLW career short. She now has the opportunity to show what she’s made of in the red and black on Saturday.
Richmond vs. Darebin
Saturday 1pm at Swinburne Centre
Richmond are coming off a big round one win while Darebin suffered a shock loss.
The Tigers have co vice-captain, Kate Dixon to thank for this, as she kicked four goals in the win over the Bulldogs. This week, she will be joined by GWS AFLW star, Louise Stephenson, who played two games for the Giants this year. They will both line up in the forward line and could be a formidable duo.
Darebin have responded by throwing former Ainslie footballer, Hannah Mouncey in the back pocket. Mouncey began her career at Darebin at full-forward last week and kicked a goal. AFLW stars, Lauren Pearce and Nat Exon are the notable ins for the Falcons. Pearce strung together a few good games towards the end of the AFLW season for the Dees while Exon was consistent as ever in the Lions midfield.
Casey vs. Hawthorn
Sunday 11.30am at Casey Fields
Casey have hired new coach, Damien Keeping to lead the Dees brigade against a Hawthorn team that came off a big round one win.
Keeping has not held back in his first round of selection, bringing in plenty of Melbourne AFLW players to combat Hawthorn’s fire-power. The Demons boast an all-AFLW half-back line with Jasmine Grierson, Harriet Cordner and Darcy Guttridge all looking to make their presence known at Casey Fields.
However, the Hawks also boast a dangerous back line, with Meg Hutchins, Pepa Randall and Melissa Kuys all lining up in the defensive half. But Hawthorn’s midfield could be the difference in this game, with Julia Crockett-Grills and captain, Emma Mackie coming off stunning round one performances. Also be sure to keep an eye out for the duo of GWS’ Phoebe McWIliams and former Eastern Ranges player, Olivia Flanagan, who will feature in Hawthorn’s forward line yet again.
Carlton vs. Western Bulldogs
Sunday 12pm at RAMS Arena
Last time Carlton played the Bulldogs in the AFLW, Brooke Lochland kicked seven goals. But the Bulldogs are without her amongst other important AFLW stars while Carlton is flying high after a round one win.
The Blues will be without Sarah Hosking this weekend but you wouldn’t even know, as Jess Hosking will be out there at RAMS Arena and is likely to bring the same aggression as her sister. Be sure to keep an eye out on Darcy Vescio in the forward line, who found some form last week with two goals and 17 disposals after a quiet season in the AFLW by her standards.
The Bulldogs have bolstered their midfield this week, bringing a current and former AFLW star into their round two line-up. Kimberley Rennie, Bailey Hunt and Hayley Wildes all featured in the Bulldogs’ premiership year and will be joined by Collingwood retiree, Bree White, who is an experienced star. Be sure to look out for debutant, Tara Morgan, who is likely to have the match-up on the dangerous Darcy Vescio on Sunday.
Williamstown vs. Southern Saints
Sunday 2pm at Williamstown Football Ground
Both teams are coming into round two searching for a win, after the Seagulls went down to the Pies and the Saints went down to the Blues.
Williamstown have left Jasmine Garner out of its round two side despite a wonderful performance last week. Garner played in the forward line for most of the game but was able to go back in the last quarter and make an impact. The Seagulls have still included Garner’s AFLW teammate, Jess Duffin in the side, who relished in her role through the middle of the ground. Bulldogs premiership player, Jenna Bruton is also a notable out, so it will certainly be a challenge for the Seagulls on Sunday.
That’s because midfielder, Alison Drennan kicked off her season perfectly with a dominant display in the midfield. Drennan collected 15 disposals and laid 11 tackles against the Blues and would love to have a repeat performance at Williamstown. Also be sure to keep an eye out for Samantha Johnson, who complemented Drennan well with 16 disposals and three marks.
Collingwood vs. Geelong
Sunday 2.30pm at Olympic Park Oval
While the men go head-to-head at the MCG, the women will take centre-stage just outside at Olympic Park Oval.
The Pies are coming off a close win against the Seagulls and their AFLW stars stood up in the performance. Sarah Dargan starred in the midfield with 24 disposals and six tackles while Sarah D’Arcy was a solid contributor in defence with 17 disposals and eight marks. Dargan and D’Arcy would be hoping to build on these performances against a formidable Geelong outfit.
The Cats have brought in a name that we will all come to learn in time, with Northern Territory player, Evelyn Dhamarrandji coming into their round two side. She will play in the forward line alongside Kate Darby, who has been in some nice form as of late. Richelle Cranston and Rebecca Garing will be the ones to look out for, as they dominated the midfield last week with 30 disposals and 20 disposals respectively.