GEELONG and the Southern Saints will face off for a spot in the preliminary final in the first match at GMHBA Stadium for the year.
The Saints had the biggest win of the first week of finals, disposing of the highly fancied Port Melbourne by 34-points. Geelong get a second chance after losing to Collingwood by only six points in the qualifying final.
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The Cats and Saints met twice this season with Geelong taking the win on both occasions. Their most recent clash saw the Cats kick four goals in four minutes in the final term to run away with an 11-point win.
That match also started a five-week stretch of away games for Geelong which returns to its home town for the first time since round 10. The Cats haven’t played at GMHBA Stadium this year, but are 5-2 when playing in Geelong.
The Southern Saints will be feeling confident after already disposing of a higher ranked opponent with a solid performance against Port Melbourne. The Saints also kicked the highest score of the finals so far in the win.
The Geelong backs will have their hands full, with Tara Bohanna and Jess Matin both kicking multiple goals against the Borough. Bohanna has been in a rich vein of form recently kicking six goals in the Saints’ last three games, but also dominating in the air and at ground level with her tackle pressure inside forward 50.
Theresa Meissner has done the job on a number of key forwards this year for Geelong, but Maddy Boyd, known as a forward during her time in the AFLW, has moved into the backline and seems a more likely match up for Bohanna.
The depth of the Cats’ midfield and their tackle pressure will certainly test the Saints. Tamara Smith, Laura Gardiner and Paige Sheppard consistently win plenty of the football and have tackle numbers in the double digits.
The winner will go through to the preliminary final to face the loser of Collingwood and Essendon.