Essendon v Carlton at Windy Hill

  • Essendon is on the verge of its first-ever finals berth in the VFLW, currently sitting two wins clear of sixth. A win over Carlton in round nine would leave plenty of ground for their opponents to make up and almost guarantee them a place. The Blues are one of four teams still in contention for that last spot in the finals, but need to quickly find form after a disappointing loss to North Melbourne in round eight.
  • Teresa Zampaliogne has emerged as one of Carlton’s most important players this season. The former Fitzroy star has transitioned seamlessly into VFLW football, finding plenty of the ball and using it intelligently for her teammates.

Darebin v Port Melbourne at Bill Lawry Oval

  • If there was any round Darebin did not want to meet Port Melbourne it was the round after the Borough suffered its first loss of the season. Going down to Casey by 41 points, Port will be looking to bounce back and do it with authority. The Falcons have had some handy inclusions over the last few weeks but struggled to hit the scoreboard, which could be their demise in this clash.
  • One such inclusion for Darebin is Jess Dal Pos, returning to her original side after Greater Western Sydney’s AFLW season was over. Dal Pos led the Falcons in disposals, clearances and inside 50s in her return and will be crucial in this match up.
Jess Dal Pos in action for GWS, AFLW round seven, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Geelong v Western Bulldogs at Deakin University Geelong

  • This could be one of the games of the round with Geelong coming off a season-best win against Darebin and a more experienced Bulldogs side looking to keep its season alive. Both teams will have plenty of AFLW experience in their sides, but it has been the Bulldogs who have benefited from some big inclusions that has got them just outside the top six. This clash against the Cats will certainly give the Dogs an idea of where they’re sitting at the pointy end of the home and away season.
  • Danielle Marshall and Nell Morris-Dalton have provided the Dogs with the focal point up forward they were missing in the early rounds. The two combined for four goals and 11 marks and each won 16 disposals against the Southern Saints.

North Melbourne v Casey Demons at Arden Street

  • Like Essendon, Casey is on track for its first ever finals appearance in the VFLW after knocking off ladder leaders Port Melbourne in round eight. The Demons had plenty of big inclusions that were the difference last weekend, whereas the Roos have only included a few AFLW names. North Melbourne has been held goalless at stages the last few weeks, which does not fare well against a potent Casey attack.
  • Alyssa Bannan played her first VFLW game for Casey in round eight and was one of the side’s standouts. She showed plenty of pace and a keen goal sense, finishing with three goals in the big win.
Alyssa Bannan in action for Melbourne in the AFLW, round seven 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Williamstown v Collingwood at Downer Oval

  • An intriguing scenario will unfold at Downer Oval on the weekend with 2019 Collingwood Premiership Coach Penny Cula-Reid coming up against her old side as the coach of Williamstown. The Magpies have the upper hand in this clash as the only unbeaten team left standing and the Seagulls slipping to eleventh after a loss to Hawthorn. Wiiliamstown will also play its first-ever game at home on Downer Oval and will want to make a statement against the Pies.
  • Ash Melnikas has been a tackling machine for Williamstown this season. She lay a game-high 15 tackles against the Hawks and every week has reached double digit tackle numbers. The Seagulls will need her pressure around the footy as Collingwood loves the contest around stoppages.

Southern Saints v Hawthorn at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Oval

  • The Southern Saints currently hold onto the last finals place, but their hold is slipping after two straight losses and pressure from sides like the Bulldogs just outside the top six. A win over Hawthorn will be crucial for the Saints, but the Hawks will be feeling confident after getting their second win of the season over Williamstown last week.
  • Nadia Von Bertouch and Tamara Luke started the season playing for the Southern Saints and will face off against them as Hawks for the first time this weekend. Luke has been good inside 50 for Hawthorn since coming across and Von Bertouch has been consistently having an impact across the ground.
Tamara Luke (centre) leaves the field after St Kilda's round six, 2021 AFLW loss to Melbourne. Picture: AFL Photos