ROUND 12 promises to be another big one as the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season draws closer to the end. Five teams will enjoy a bye (Darebin, Essendon, Geelong, Williamstown and the Western Bulldogs), whilst the eight teams in action look to build towards finals.
NT Thunder vs Casey
Saturday July 28, 11:30AM
Traeger Park, Alice Springs
The Thunder come into Round 12 just half a game behind the ladder-leading Collingwood, as they take on the middle-of-the-pack Demons. After a shaky month in June, the Thunder have been back to their dominant form over the past number of weeks and last week was no different as they dominated the Tigers to the tune of a 23-point victory. Ebony Marinoff was spectacular with 28 possessions as well as Emma Swanson, who had 24 possessions and two goals. The Thunder’s ability to get contributions from their entire line-up has been a strength for them all year long, with different standout performers each week.
The Demons will be looking for a much better performance this week, after being smashed by 41 points against the Cats last week in a completely uncompetitive game. A poor performance overall from the team with no real standouts, the Demons will need to bounce back if they are to make a late season charge towards the finals. Youngster, Eden Zanker has developed nicely and will be looking for more consistent strong outings in the back half of the year. Players such as Kate Hore and Katherine Smith will need to continue their strong form from earlier in the year.
Carlton vs Richmond
Saturday July 28, 11:30AM
Ikon Park, Carlton
Traditional rivals battle on Saturday morning at the home of the Blues when Carlton battle Richmond. With both teams sitting at 3-7 and firmly out of finals contention, this game looms as an opportunity for bragging rights among supporters. Following their win in Round 10, the Blues put up a great fight against the Pies, leading by a goal heading into the fourth quarter and in a great position to pull off a huge upset and hand the Pies their first loss. Unfortunately for the Blues, they ran out of legs and fell by 17 points, however there were plenty of positives to come out of the game. In particular, Kristi Harvey dominated with three goals and 17 possessions and put forward a great effort which almost got the Blues the win.
The Tigers have been disappointing in the past month, losing a number of winnable games. They will be hoping to return to their form of a little over a month ago which saw them in the hunt for a finals spot. Courtney Wakefield accounted for more than two thirds of the Tigers total score last week, kicking three goals and two behinds out of the Tigers total 29 points. Phoebe Monahan will also be pivotal in their clash this week, as she looks to continue her terrific form.
Southern Saints vs Hawthorn
Saturday July 28, 11:45AM
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham
The Saints come into the game with only four wins. With finals in doubt, they look to play spoiler and knock the Hawks down the ladder. Coming off a disappointing loss to Melbourne Uni which saw their opponent win just its third game of the season, the Saints will be looking to avenge that performance and knock off the Hawks who have lost just one game to date. The one positive to come out of the game last week was the fact that the Saints finished strong. After kicking just two goals in the first three quarters, they kicked three goals in the last quarter and almost ran over the top of Melbourne Uni but fell by three points. Tara Bohanna in particular took over in the last quarter, kicking two goals to bring them within striking distance, while Alison Drennan was her usual, consistent self with 28 possessions.
For the Hawks, they come off the bye sitting in third position on the ladder, with a game in hand on second-placed NT Thunder. The consistent Jayde Van Dyk and experienced additions to the side, Pepa Randall and Steph Carroll will be looking to continue their run of form that put the Hawks in position to contend for the premiership. With an incredibly tough final month coming up which sees them battle the Falcons, Bulldogs, Thunder and Cats, the Hawks will need to take care of business in this one before they take on four of the best teams in the competition leading into September action.
Melbourne Uni vs Collingwood
Sunday July 29, 10:40AM
Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee
In the final game of the round, Melbourne Uni take on top-of-the-table, Collingwood in a Sunday morning clash. After a huge confidence-boosting win a week ago, the Mugars will be full of belief that they can knock off the best team in the competition. Madison Prespakis put together one of the best all-round games of the season, with a huge 33 possessions, four tackles and one goal. Melbourne Uni has seen a number of impressive performances from their role players over the past month and this has been much-needed, given the attention Emma Kearney has been given from the opposition, with just a 13-possession game last week against the Saints.
A fast-finishing Collingwood saw off a brave Carlton side last week, outscoring them 23-0 in the final quarter to win by 17 points. Sophie Alexander continued to play well up forward, with six shots on goal from her 13 possessions, however was only able to convert two into majors. Stacey Livingstone also made the most of her opportunities up forward, kicking two goals from just six possessions. With a big clash against the Thunder looming in Round 14, Collingwood must take care of business in games such as this if it wants to secure top spot at the end of the home and away season, and establish themselves as premiership favourites.