Jade Pregelj and Maddy Brancatisano compete for the ball during the AFLW practice match between Brisbane and Gold Coast at Brighton Homes Arena on August 19, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

WITH four rounds remaining in the 2023 NAB AFLW season, just four points and percentage separate fourth-placed Brisbane from 13th-placed Fremantle.

It means a jam-packed month of games ahead, but the next two weeks alone could help build some separation on the ladder.

From the race for top-two to just scraping into the last finals spot, which games could shape the eight?


Gold Coast v Brisbane, R7 at Heritage Bank Stadium
The most important QClash in the short history of the AFLW, the two Queensland rivals are only separated by percentage in fourth and fifth. The more senior Lions have now let games slip to Richmond and Collingwood, while the Suns could finish round seven in fourth if they score their first QClash win.

Carlton v Collingwood, R7 at Ikon Park
Arguably Carlton's toughest opponent for the year thus far, Collingwood will be riding high after an upset win over Brisbane. A win would set the Blues up nicely for a shock finals appearance after an off-season review, while the Pies need to keep adding to their points to stay in touch with the chasing pack.

Alana Porter is tackled by Abbie McKay during the S7 match between Carlton and Collingwood at Ikon Park in round one, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Richmond v Essendon, R7 at Ikon Park (Dreamtime)
Injuries have decimated Richmond, who have lost key games to Walyalup and Gold Coast in successive weeks. Another defeat could make back-to-back finals series a much harder proposition, while the seventh-place Bombers are gunning for their first top-eight finish.

Geelong v Walyalup, R7 at GMHBA Stadium
The Cats were cruising up until two weeks ago, when successive losses to Narrm and Essendon saw them crash down the ladder. They can ill-afford to lose further touch with the top echelon, while 13th-placed Walyalup needs to at least do some remedial work on its percentage (75.1).

Megan Kauffman tackles Nina Morrison in Fremantle's round two AFLW match against Geelong at Fremantle Oval on September 3, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Brisbane v Adelaide, R8 at Brighton Homes Arena
A match-up with years of history, Brisbane and Adelaide have played off in two Grand Finals in the space of seven seasons, for one win apiece. The Lions have dropped two games behind the Crows, and an upset will go a long way to locking in a top-four spot.

Narrm v North Melbourne, R8 at Ikon Park
North Melbourne has always been just one step off Narrm since joining the competition in 2019, but the Roos have been closing the gap every season. Most recently, these two sides played in last year's preliminary final, with Narrm kicking clear in the final term to win by 17.


Collingwood v Geelong, R8 at Victoria Park
Despite Geelong's sprightly start to the season, the Cats are currently sitting on the same number of wins and losses as the Pies, who have slowly worked their way into 2023. Geelong may have the midfield depth over Collingwood here, and the Cats' healthy percentage will be key late in the season.

Walyalup v St Kilda, R8 at Fremantle Oval
This may end up being last chance saloon for these two clubs, depending on results in round seven. Both are developing sides who probably don't quite yet have the talent to match it with the top sides, but can get on a roll and score quickly if things go their way.

Serene Watson, Ella Friend and Jesse Wardlaw celebrate St Kilda's win over Hawthorn at RSEA Park in round six, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

Rounds nine and 10 blockbusters

Essendon v Carlton
Richmond v Geelong
Adelaide v North Melbourne
Collingwood v Richmond
Gold Coast v Essendon
Brisbane v Melbourne