Weekend previews: VFLW – Week 1 Finals

THE home and away season has come to an end and the finals have finally arrived in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s season. Collingwood, Hawthorn, NT Thunder and Geelong all battle it out over the coming weeks with the hope of raising the premiership cup.

 

Collingwood vs. Hawthorn

Saturday September 8, Stannards Stadium, 10:15AM

Collingwood and Hawthorn finished the home and away season in the top two spots and as a result have an opportunity to advance straight through to the Grand Final. Collingwood suffered just two slip-ups throughout the season; an early season draw against Geelong and a late season loss against the Thunder, both of whom will head into battle in the elimination final on Sunday. The Pies have a number of huge inclusions into their line-up with Sarah D’Arcy, Sophie Alexander and Brittany Bonnici among others returning to the line-up. The three inclusions will look to re-discover their early season form and re-establish themselves in the side. Collingwood will also be looking for a big contribution from star, Chloe Molloy who has been unbelievable all season long with her poise under pressure, elite decision-making and overall strong play. For the Hawks, they also enter the game with extreme confidence having defeated fellow finalists Geelong and the Thunder in their past two games. The Hawks lost just two games for the season and played consistent footy throughout the year, establishing themselves as a true contender. They make several inclusions (extended bench) highlighted by Melissa Kuys, who can be a real game-breaker at her best. Their forward line featuring Sarah Perkins and Phoebe McWilliams has been dangerous all year and should once again play a huge role in getting the Hawks over the line. The injection of youth, including Eastern Ranges duo Emerson Woods and Sarah Kendall joining Mikala Cann, provides the Hawks with plenty of excitement. Midfielder, Emma Mackie will also look to continue her terrific home and away season form with a big game in the finals to push the Hawks towards the Grand Final and a hugely important week off.

 

Northern Territory (NT) Thunder vs. Geelong

Sunday September 9, Stannards Stadium, 11:45AM

The NT Thunder meet Geelong on Sunday morning in the elimination final with both sides desperate to keep their premiership dreams alive. The Thunder have looked unstoppable at times throughout the season, posting several dominating defeats by high margins. By far the highest scoring team in the competition, their forward line has been firing on all cylinders, with some scoring contributions from the midfield to assist. They will have had plenty of preparation time, having not played since their Round 15 defeat at the hands of Hawthorn, with their bye coming in the final round of the home and away season. Jess Sedunary, Jenna McCormick and Angela Foley have all been huge for the team throughout the season and should once again have a big impact on the outcome. For the Cats, they narrowly missed out on an opportunity to face the Pies in the qualifying final, having lost to Hawthorn in the last round of the season. They look to shake off the disappointment and move into the second week of finals with a win, while also preventing elimination. Erin Hoare and Megan McMahon are among several inclusions for the Cats, with each having played a pivotal role in Geelong’s early season success. Richelle Cranston will be the player to watch for Geelong as she has been the catalyst in a number of victories this season with her commanding presence throughout the ground. A huge game of footy with both sides hoping to keep their dream alive for at least one more week.

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