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2023 NAB AFLW Season 8
Collingwood v Richmond
Round 10 •
25 4.1
Full Time
77 11.11
Richmond Won By 52

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    Full R10 preview: GF rematch, who claims minor premiership?

    Gemma Bastiani looks ahead to what promises to be an thrilling final round, with 10 teams still a realistic chance of making the eight

    Alyssa Bannan celebrates after Melbourne's win in the S7 Grand Final against Brisbane at Brighton Homes Arena on November 27, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

    IT ALL comes down to this. With one round to play, 10 teams are still a genuine chance for finals, with a further three mathematically possible finalists.

    The first game of the round, Gold Coast against Essendon, could potentially decide the top four, while the final game, Fremantle against Sydney, will be a nail-biting watch to see if the Swans can qualify in just their second season.

    To cap it all off, round 10 is Pride Round, where the AFLW will celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, wearing specially-designed Pride guernseys and painting the forward 50 arcs in the pride rainbow.

    FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3

    Gold Coast v Essendon at Great Barrier Reef Arena (Mackay), 6:45pm AEST

    In Gold Coast and Essendon's first ever AFLW meeting, the teams will be effectively playing off for a place in the top four. The loser, meanwhile, is a genuine chance to drop out of the top eight altogether. Everything is on the line in Mackay.

    The Suns have already been dealt their first blow, with star midfielder Charlie Rowbottom ruled out for the match. Rowbottom has been responsible for nearly a quarter of the side's clearances this year, and 14.6 per cent of its tackles, so the whole midfield unit must rise to help cover her absence. More positively, however, is the return of Lucy Single from suspension, who likely cops a role on Maddy Prespakis through the middle.

    Both sides boast very similar stat profiles, wanting to win plenty of the footy and find marks around the ground, but where they differ is in Essendon's forward half. The Bombers are efficient in generating shots on goal, while the Suns are great interceptors. Whichever side can find ascendancy in that part of the ground will snatch the win.

    Tip: The Suns will rise to the occasion. Gold Coast by two points.

    Lucy Single in action during round one, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4

    Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne at Whitten Oval, 1:05pm AEDT

    Despite a frustrating, last gasp loss last week, North Melbourne can sew up third spot with a win over the Bulldogs on Saturday. These sides sit at opposing ends of the defensive scale, with the Western Bulldogs conceding an AFLW record 60 points per game, while the Roos are conceding just 20.4 points per game. This is an ominous sign for the home team, who must stand up against a North Melbourne side that sends the ball inside 50 38.5 times each week.

    The Roos try to take advantage of their powerhouse midfield quartet of Jasmine Garner, Ash Riddell, Jenna Bruton and Mia King, flicking the ball around by hand before sending it forward. It will be a huge challenge for the Bulldogs, who have struggled for midfield depth across much of the season. What the Dogs have been known for, however, is their ability to rise to a big occasion, challenging good teams in patches throughout games. Should they maintain that high pressure, spirited footy for long enough, they may just unsettle the Kangaroos on the eve of finals.

    Tip: Third spot is the Roos' for the taking. North Melbourne by 21 points.

    Western Bulldogs players celebrate their over West Coast at Mineral Resources Park in round nine, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

    Port Adelaide v Greater Western Sydney at Alberton Oval, 2:35pm ACDT

    In what is otherwise an inconsequential game in terms of finals, this is a final chance for footy fans to watch champion Erin Phillips play the game. In Port Adelaide's first battle with the Giants, the home side will be on a mission to send its captain out on winning terms.

    A win would allow the Power to go one better than last season, while Greater Western Sydney is working to salvage a season that hasn't gone to plan. Last week the Giants were smashed in uncontested possession, but against Port Adelaide they have a chance to control a bit more of the footy. The latter is still struggling to get its hands on the ball consistently, and that opens a door for a Giants side that wants to attack with venom. Throughout the season both teams have consistently built throughout the opening three quarters before falling away dramatically in the fourth, so this will simply be a battle of endurance.

    Tip: The Power will do it for Erin. Port Adelaide by five points.

    03:34

    Geelong v Hawthorn at GMHBA Stadium, 5:05pm AEDT

    In simple terms, Geelong is one of the sides who needs to win to make finals thanks to its high percentage. Having never played one-another, the Hawks are the great unknown for the Cats, but the high-pressure Hawks have the potential to unsettle Geelong's style. Should Hawthorn make the game very contested and ugly, it could take away the time and space needed for the Cats to use the ball well, particularly on the narrow deck of GMHBA Stadium.

    Emily Bates is playing an underrated role for the Hawks this season, strong at the contest, winning the footy, but then positioning herself expertly behind play to ready the ball beautifully as an interceptor. Geelong needs to be really conscious of her running patterns to limit her output. Meanwhile, the Hawks need to work to shut down the Cats' outside ball movement, because the likes of Jackie Parry, Chloe Scheer, and Aishling Moloney have the ability to put the visitors' defence under immense pressure.

    Tip: The Cats will gather momentum into finals. Geelong by 22 points.

    02:44
    Rebecca Webster and Tilly Lucas-Rodd at the AFLW Pride Round launch in November 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

    West Coast v Adelaide at Mineral Resources Park, 2:05pm AWST

    This game will be a matter of pride for the Eagles. In the final round last season, they fell by a club record 78 points to Melbourne, scoring just one behind themselves. Now, matched up against an equally frightening opposition, they simply cannot finish another season in such a manner. Meanwhile for Adelaide, a win will put immense pressure on the Demons to nail down top spot with a win of their own later in the evening.

    Both West Coast and Adelaide want to move the ball by foot, getting the ball to the outside and playing a kick-mark game. That being said, the Crows are far better at winning and maintaining possession, averaging 268.6 disposals at 66.8 per cent efficiency compared to the Eagles' 213.6 disposals at 60 per cent. In addition, Adelaide brings that high efficiency into its attack, kicking at an AFLW record 51.3 per cent accuracy at goal, taking a shot from 45.5 per cent of their forward entries. Essentially, when the Crows get the ball inside 50 they will punish you on the scoreboard.

    Tip: A tough way for the Eagles to end their season. Adelaide by 40 points.

    Adelaide players celebrate a goal during round four, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

    Brisbane v Melbourne at Brighton Homes Arena, 6:05pm AEST

    It has taken until the final round of the home and away season for us to be treated to a Grand Final rematch, but arguably far more is on the line at this stage of the year. Brisbane faltered last week, and a loss against the Demons will see them fall out of the top four altogether, while Melbourne needs a win to sew up top spot.

    The main concern for Brisbane heading into this game is its capacity to contain Melbourne's expansive forward line. Averaging 5.7 goalkickers, 13.4 marks inside 50 and 69.4 points per game, the Demons' attack is unprecedented in its potency. Meanwhile, Brisbane is conceding its highest average points against since 2019 – the last time it missed finals – and allowing its opposition to kick at record accuracy. Essentially, this game will be won or lost in Melbourne's forward line.

    While the Demons have been the constant this season, Brisbane has been the unknown week-to-week. But what we do know is that the Lions tend to bring their best footy against the best teams.

    Tip: It will be tight, but the Demons' consistency is too hard to pass up. Melbourne by 11 points.

    00:33

    SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5

    Carlton v St Kilda at Ikon Park, 1:05pm AEDT

    A win for the Saints and they all but make their first ever finals series. That is what it comes down to, and Carlton will no doubt be out to spoil the party. In the three match-ups between these two sides to date, the Blues have won all three by an average of 30.3 points. But now it is St Kilda with the hot hand, full of confidence after toppling last season's grand finalist Brisbane last week.

    Carlton's forward efficiency has dropped away in recent weeks with Breann Moody needing to spend more time in the ruck, and Phoebe McWilliams out of the side. The Blues cannot find themselves rushing their ball movement forward as in the last couple of games, because it will simply provide St Kilda's defence a platform to slingshot attacking runs. The Saints are very direct with their disposal, wanting to get the ball on the boot and gain ground, so they are increasingly damaging when attacking off turnover.

    Tip: The Saints will do the damage on the scoreboard early. St Kilda by 12 points.

    Breann Moody and Stephanie Wales compete in a ruck contest during the match between Essendon and Carlton at Windy Hill in round nine, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

    Collingwood v Richmond at Victoria Park, 3:05pm AEDT

    In a frustrating season for the Pies, where injury has marred an otherwise potential-filled year, it will come down to Sunday's clash with the Tigers to decide whether they reach a fifth-consecutive finals series. Collingwood needs the win, and to make up some percentage if it is to make it. Once again without important defensive duo Ruby Schleicher and Lauren Butler, it is important that Richmond really challenges the home side's depleted backline. Living in their forward half will be key, because the alternative is exactly what Collingwood wants – trapping the ball in attack, setting up a high defensive line and intercepting any attempts to exit. Instead, Richmond must force Collingwood to defend deep.

    Another injury blow, albeit this one on the Tigers' side, is ruck Gabby Seymour's unavailability. Given the rich vein of form Pies ruck Sabrina Frederick is in, Richmond's Poppy Kelly must be ready for a physical four-quarter battle. Frederick has the potential to really take the game by the scruff of the neck, and Kelly simply cannot allow this to happen.

    As has been the case for much of the season, Richmond just needs to be within touching distance of the lead coming into the final quarter to be a genuine chance, but this is especially pertinent this week as the Pies fall away significantly late in games. Collingwood has won just one final quarter this year, so the Tigers just need to weather the early storm, then put the foot down.

    Tip: It's time for an upset. Richmond by three points.

    00:47

    Fremantle v Sydney at Fremantle Oval, 2:05pm AWST

    In a remarkable turn of events, Sydney is just one win away from a maiden AFLW finals berth just 12 months on from a winless debut season. The only thing standing in its way is an improving Fremantle side. The Dockers showed some real grit in the Casey weather conditions last week, using the wind to their advantage to limit the pain on the scoreboard, and this week conditions will likely be similar at Fremantle Oval so presents as an opportunity for the home side to capitalise.

    Sydney is consistently finding marking targets inside 50, led by Bec Privitelli in a career-best season, but also through Chloe Molloy, Cynthia Hamilton, and Montana Ham. Because of this, the Swans are generating regular scoring opportunities from their forward 50 entries. It is here that they can challenge the Dockers, taking a shot on goal from 46.1 per cent of their inside 50s, compared to Fremantle's 37.3 per cent. While this is thanks to the forward personnel the Swans boast, it is also due to the uncontested ball movement the side is working to achieve, while Fremantle is focused more heavily on contested ball and tackle pressure.

    Tip: It's time for Swans fans to dream. Sydney by six points.

    00:28

    Magpies' finals hopes zapped after costly loss to Tigers

    Richmond outclassed Collingwood in the final round of the season with a 52-point win

    Monique Conti celebrates a goal during the match between Collingwood and Richmond at Victoria Park in round 10, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

    RICHMOND has dashed Collingwood's finals chances with its best win of the year, sending the Pies crashing out of contention to the tune of 52 points.

    Both sides – who have been hit by injuries to key players this season – will miss finals after qualifying last year, sitting one game out of the top eight following the Tigers' thumping 11.11 (77) to 4.1 (25) victory at Victoria Park.

    It marked Richmond's highest ever AFLW score, topping the 68 against West Coast last season.

    MAGPIES v TIGERS Full match coverage and stats

    After St Kilda's win over Carlton, Collingwood came into the game knowing it had to win by at least three goals – more to create a buffer over Sydney – in order to put itself back into the finals race.

    05:57

    Halfway through the match, it had only raised its percentage by 1.5 of the required 7.3, and the Pies went on to score just one point in the second half.

    The Magpies didn't have it all their own way early, the teams level in inside 50s at quarter-time, but the home side were able to capitalise deep inside their own attack with two goals.

    Two quick set shot conversions from Richmond skipper Katie Brennan not only hauled her side back into the game, but gave them the lead halfway through the second, with the Pies struggling to effectively clear their defensive half.

    00:50

    But a series of Tiger behinds was quickly followed by a Nell Morris-Dalton brace, immediately wiping out the brief lead.

    00:32

    The cumulative absence of Collingwood defenders Ruby Schleicher (PCL), Lauren Butler (hamstring) and Selena Karlson (shoulder) really hit home as Richmond peppered its attacking half in the third term, with Jordy Allan forced to play a tight defensive role rather than provide her usual rebound.

    The Tigers owned the footy throughout the game, winning the midfield battle and denying the Pies first use of the ball.

    Mon Conti, Grace Egan and Eilish Sheerin combined beautifully in the midfield, while Brennan and the returning Sarah D'Arcy were a handful in attack where the Tigers recorded 22 scoring shots to five.

    00:36

    Brit Bonnici (who seemed to reach for her back throughout the game), Mikala Cann and Aish Sheridan battled hard, but just didn’t win nearly enough of the ball to have a meaningful impact.

    00:50

    Magpies have room for improvement
    The Pies will be looking to improve on two key areas ahead of next season – taking marks inside its own forward 50 (creating easier scoring opportunities for its forwards), and limiting opposition marks in attack. The marks inside 50 count sat at 1-10 at half-time, with only Richmond's inaccuracy keeping it interesting in the first half. It finished at 2-14, as the Tigers began to run the footy inside 50 in the second half.

    Richmond's new midfield mix set for 2024
    After including debutant key back Amelia Peck and with Sarah Hosking shifted forward, the Tigers decided to throw Sheerin onto the ball, with immediate effect. Sheerin – who played as an inside midfielder for AFL Sydney club Inner West Magpies – was just the bullocking presence needed for Conti to shine, recording 11 clearances off her own boot.

    Up next
    It's season over for both sides.

    ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS

    COLLINGWOOD       2.0    4.0    4.0    4.1 (25)
    RICHMOND              0.3    2.8    4.9    11.11 (77)

    GOALS
    Collingwood: Morris-Dalton 2, Brazill, Smith
    Richmond: Brennan 4, Greiser 2, Conti, D'Arcy, Hosking, Jones, Yassir

    BEST
    Collingwood: Sheridan, Cann, Bonnici, Brazzale, Frederick
    Richmond: Conti, Sheerin, Egan, Brennan, Dempsey

    INJURIES
    Collingwood: Nil
    Richmond: Nil

    Reports: Nil

    Crowd: 3,948 at Victoria Park

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