Essendon v North Melbourne at Windy Hill
- Essendon faces off with North Melbourne for the first time this season in a must-win game. The Bombers have slipped to fifth on the ladder after losing to the Bulldogs, taking their ledger to three losses from their last five games. While the Roos haven’t fared as well as the Bombers the last few rounds, a rousing come-from-behind win against the Hawks in round 11 will have North up and about and confident for this game.
- North Melbourne’s midfield trio of Meagan Kiely, Molly Eastman and Sarah Skinner have been some of the most consistent performers across the VFLW this season. Essendon will have to ramp up their characteristic pressure to dampen the influence of this trio and win the footy at the source.
Casey Demons v Port Melbourne at Casey Fields
- It was only four rounds ago that Casey handed Port Melbourne its first loss of the season and the Borough will be looking for revenge. Since the loss to Casey, Port has only won one of its last three games and need to turn it around to go into finals with confidence. Like the Borough’s last few losses, the game against Casey was even up until half-time but turned after the main break. Coach Lachlan Harris will be asking his players for a four-quarter effort to grab the win over a vulnerable Demons side that lost to Carlton last week.
- Jaide Anthony has been noted as one of the most talented players in this year’s draft pool and has shown why in her first two games at VFLW level for Port Melbourne. The versatile Anthony has appeared in Port’s best players in both games and will be key in the coming weeks.
Carlton v Geelong at IKON Park
- Geelong and Carlton meet for the first time this VFLW season and a win for the Blues would keep them in touch of the top six. The Cats shored up second place on the ladder in round 11 and the Blues had a win against one of the in-form teams of the competition in Casey. Carlton was buoyed by some big inclusions who will need to be at their best if the Blues are to knock off the Cats, who are currently on a seven-game winning streak.
- One big inclusion for Carlton was Brooke Walker who, in her first game back in the VFLW, was lively inside forward 50, finishing the game with three majors from 11 touches. The former rugby 7s player will inject some speed and experience into the Blues lineup.
Darebin v Collingwood at Bill Lawry Oval
- Ladder leader Collingwood takes on Darebin, currently in last place, at Bill Lawry Oval on Saturday. The Falcons came so close to notching their first win of the season but were forced to split the points with Williamstown last round. At the moment it seems there is no stopping the unbeaten Magpies, who will no doubt come into the game not underestimating an opposition looking to challenge the top team in the competition.
- Mikala Cann has a reputation for her work at the contest, often found at the bottom of the pack at stoppages. The Pies hard nut broke the record for the most handballs in a VFLW game, with 20 against Port Melbourne.
Williamstown v Hawthorn at Downer Oval
- Williamstown and Hawthorn meet again after their round eight clash that saw the Hawks come away as 16-point winners. The Seagulls have played their last three games at Downer Oval and are yet to nab a win at home. The game will depend on teams mastering the often tricky and blustery conditions, with whoever does that best while taking their opportunities being the likely winner.
- Chantella Perera returned to the Hawks against North and was at her usual best in the backline. Returning after plying her trade in the AFLW for West Coast, the Hawks will be pleased to have the 2018 Grand Final best on ground’s experience back in the line-up in defence.
Southern Saints v Western Bulldogs at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Oval
- The Southern Saints face off with the Western Bulldogs for the second time this season in a must-win clash for both sides. The Saints are just keeping the Bulldogs out of the top six with their superior percentage, but a win to the Dogs will have them jump the Saints into sixth. The Dogs also have a much harder run home compared to their opponents, making a win here even more crucial.
- Amanda Tesseri and Simone Ruedin were in the votes for their work in the ruck against Essendon in round eleven. The duo will need to step up again to combat the Saints’ talls who are influential all over the ground.