INDIGENOUS round continues this weekend as several clubs celebrate the occasion at their home grounds, in their Indigenous guernseys, and the first ever AFLW Dreamtime Match will take place on Sunday afternoon. 

We will see powerhouses Collingwood and Adelaide face off at Victoria Park, and if you are to watch one AFLW match this weekend, make sure it's Narrm v Brisbane to close out the round. 


North Melbourne v Geelong at University of Tasmania Stadium, 5.10pm AEST 

The first two expansion sides to be added to the competition back in 2019, North Melbourne and Geelong have played off three times with the former taking the points in each. Although the Cats come into this one higher on the ladder, the Kangaroos have fought hard against both of last season's grand finalists. The exciting battle will be through the middle, where star Roo Jasmine Garner and exciting youngster Georgie Prespakis will fight for clearances to set their respective sides up. 

Geelong has been quite a dour team to date, not consistently scoring itself but able to completely limit its opponent's ability to score itself. The Cats are conceding a goal from just 4.4 per cent of forward entries and their defence has allowed just 27 points – the fewest in the competition. North Melbourne, however, is working to establish its new forward line chemistry. It is vital that the Roos look to spread Geelong's defensive group, and in particular not allow Annabel Johnson to just sit in space behind the ball and intercept at will. 

Tip: The Roos have never lost in Tasmania and will continue that streak. North Melbourne by five points. 

Nina Morrison gets a kick away during round one, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Greater Western Sydney v West Coast at Giants Stadium, 11.10am AEST 

Although they were on the receiving end of the highest score from a first-year side last week, the Eagles tightened the game after a first-quarter blowout. What has largely let West Coast down so far this season is an inability to arrest momentum within quarters. It conceded four consecutive goals against Port Adelaide in round one, six to Gold Coast in round two and nine to Essendon last week. It simply cannot allow the Giants' new-look forward line to get a hold of them in a similar way this weekend. 

There has been plenty of talk about the Giants' new game style, and it is now being reflected in the side's ability to win the uncontested ball. Fifty-eight per cent of GWS' possessions so far this season have been uncontested, the highest uncontested possession rate the side has ever had, and by winning the ball on the outside it has been able to engage the speed that it worked so hard to recruit during the off-season. It is with this outside run that it will create plenty of attack and expose the Eagles' vulnerable backline. 

Tip: The Giants will start to gather some momentum. GWS by 25 points. 

Belinda Smith and Taylah Davies contest the ball during round four, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Gold Coast v St Kilda at Great Barrier Reef Arena, 12.05pm AEST 

Gold Coast and St Kilda have played off just once in AFLW history – last season for the Saints' dramatic first win of their campaign. The respective clubs' stories are quite different this time around. St Kilda has been playing like a team unleashed, using its clever intercepting backline to slingshot into attacking chains and then applying plenty of pressure to keep the ball in their forward half. The concern this week, however, is the absence of Bec Ott, Clara Fitzpatrick and Jayde Van Dyk who have been structurally critical to how the Saints have been playing. Without the trio in the side, Bianca Jakobsson will be forced to play a more accountable brand of footy, limiting her attacking mindset to an extent. 

This will also be a battle between the most improved rucks in the competition. Both Lauren Bella and Erin McKinnon have always been strong tap rucks, able to set up their midfield group with deft touches at stoppages, but this season each has vastly improved her impact around the ground. Both have been winning more ball, applying more pressure, and gaining more ground with their impact, so this is the matchup to watch. 

Tip: Gold Coast's strength in the midfield has great potential to unsettle the Saints' depleted backline. Gold Coast by two points. 

Nicola Xenos and Daisy D'Arcy wrestle during round eight, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Port Adelaide v Sydney at Alberton Oval, 12.40pm ACST 

In this season's second match between expansion sides, both Port Adelaide and Sydney are searching for their first win. For the Power, it is an exciting batch of young players who are leading the way. Both Abbey Dowrick and Hannah Ewings have already earned NAB AFLW Rising Star nominations, and lead the club for disposals, while more experienced players like Angela Foley and Kate Surman are setting up well on the outside and delivering the ball forward. Meanwhile, the Swans have lost the dynamic Cynthia Hamilton for this game due to concussion, which takes some speed and agility out of their midfield mix. Where Sydney does have an upper hand is through the ruck. Liz McGrath has been ruled out for Port Adelaide, so this is an opportunity for Ally Morphett and Kate Reynolds to really take charge in the air. 

Both sides have been a bit reckless to date, each averaging more than 20 frees against across their opening three games, and while not a lot separates them statistically, Port Adelaide has been better at controlling the ball and adjusting during games. The Swans have instead started brightly and faded as games have gone on.  

Tip: The Power got as close as you can without getting the win last week, but on Saturday they'll finally break through. Port Adelaide by 15 points. 

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Port Adelaide players look dejected after a draw during round three, season seven, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Fremantle v Carlton at Fremantle Oval, 11.05am AWST 

The Blues have faced Fremantle five times in AFLW history, and the only time Carlton has claimed victory was in an upset preliminary final win in 2019. It now comes across the Dockers just as they start to find their system again. That return to form came off the back of Kiara Bowers' enormous effort through the middle, spreading expertly from stoppages to encourage an uncontested game for the Dockers. Equally important is Emma O'Driscoll's work in defence. Without Janelle Cuthbertson, O'Driscoll becomes the side's key defender, often taking the most dangerous opponent while also trying to generate run and attack and looks to be a good match up for Phoebe McWilliams, who has been working hard higher up the field for Carlton early in the season. 

Last week showed that the Blues know how to find a groove out of the middle, but once pressure is applied around the ball, they struggle to find clean chains of possession, and they have copped another blow with Maddy Guerin ruled out for the season with an ACL injury. If the likes of Bowers, Dana East and Hayley Miller can bring their hard tackling best, they will disrupt Carlton's connection enough to take the win. 

Tip: The Dockers will take the confidence from last week's performance back home this week. Fremantle by 10 points. 

Airlie Runnalls tackles Kerryn Harrington during round six, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs at Box Hill City Oval, 3.10pm AEST 

The undefeated Western Bulldogs will look to continue that run against new side Hawthorn on Saturday. Maintaining possession through marks, and more specifically contested marks, has been the Dogs' bread and butter this season, averaging a record 10.3 contested marks per game. From this, they are delivering the ball forward 34.4 times per game, which keeps opposing defences under consistent pressure. Attacking duo Gab Newton and Celine Moody have proven to be tough to contain, and Hawthorn key defenders Catherine Brown and Akec Makur Chuot will have their hands full. Coach Bec Goddard may even revert to Tegan Cunningham in defence after some time spent forward last week to better match up on the Dogs pair. 

Through the middle, Tilly Lucas-Rodd and Tamara Smith have been the powerhouses for Hawthorn, but they come up against stars Kirsty Lamb and Ellie Blackburn, who are well supported by Jess Fitzgerald and breakout star Isabelle Pritchard. The Bulldogs' midfield has become very dynamic this season, strong and contested, but also very good at using power to break away from stoppages and agile enough to evade most opposition pressure.  

Tip: The Dogs will continue their unbeaten streak. Western Bulldogs by 35 points. 

Gabby Newton celebrates a goal with teammates during round three, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Collingwood v Adelaide at Victoria Park, 12.10pm AEST 

Late last season a depleted Collingwood side pushed the dominant Crows until the last siren and fell by just two points. Now hosting an Adelaide side that has at times been shaky, the Pies will be looking to claim the victory they couldn't quite take six months ago. Collingwood is playing a more direct game this season, averaging a club record 22.7 clearances and sending the ball inside 50 nearly seven times more than it did last season. It has essentially co-opted the Crows' suffocating game style of last season which relies on clever, intercepting defenders and immense forward pressure, and it is working a treat. 

Adelaide has won its last two games thanks to last-quarter surges. Early in games it has conceded territory for significant periods of time – something we rarely saw last season – but has been able to defend strongly enough that opponents have been unable to pile on large scores. Thanks to this, it has remained in touching distance on the scoreboard so when it has flicked the switch in the final quarter, it has been able to steal victory. The Pies are a more consistent side throughout games than previous opponents North Melbourne and Richmond and won't be as easy to throw aside in that final push. 

Tip: Collingwood looks strong in the midfield, but the Crows combination of Chelsea Randall, Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard is just a level above. Adelaide by one point. 

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Teah Charlton gets a handball away under pressure from Ash Brazill during round nine, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Essendon v Richmond at ETU Stadium, 2.10pm AEST 

In the AFLW's first ever Dreamtime Match, the established Tigers must face a bullocking Essendon side that is full of confidence. The Bombers are the highest scoring first-year side the competition has seen, averaging 56 points per game, while also piling on a massive 84 points last week. Much of this scoreboard dominance has come late in games, where they have kicked 3.2 (20) in each of their three final quarters and conceded just eight points in the same time period. This looms as dangerous for the Tigers, as final quarters have been their worst this season, kicking just 14 points – 13 of which were in last week's win over Hawthorn. 

On paper Richmond's midfield group looks like it should easily take control of the game, with Monique Conti, Grace Egan, Sarah Hosking, and Ellie McKenzie running point, but they have averaged just 19 clearances per game to date, the fewest of any side this season, while the Bombers are getting first hands to it an average of 25.7 times. If Essendon continues that clearance work, the Tigers will be under pressure as the Bombers are kicking a goal from a quarter of their inside 50 entries. 

Tip: If Essendon can protect its backline from too much pressure, it's in with a shot for a third win. Essendon by six points. 

Essendon players celebrate a goal during round three, season seven, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Narrm v Brisbane at Casey Fields, 4.10pm AEST 

Remarkably, Narrm and Brisbane have played each other six times since the AFLW began, with the latter winning just once – their very first game back in 2017. Since then, Narrm has taken the points each time, but with the last three narrow victories culminating in a combined winning margin of just nine points. This season, however, Brisbane is a frightening prospect. The most prolific scoring side the competition has ever seen, the Lions are scoring from 60 per cent of their 40 average inside 50 entries. For this reason, Narrm must put in a strong defensive performance high up the ground to prevent Brisbane from getting the ball forward.  

The other huge factor in this game is the absence of Tayla Harris, who will miss through suspension. Last season Harris controlled the air against Brisbane and really set up the Demons in the forward half, but without her someone else must present well in the air to prevent Brisbane from picking off kicks forward and rebounding at will.  

Tip: The Lions' attack will simply prove too difficult to contain. Brisbane by 20 points. 

For the duration of AFLW Indigenous Round, the Demons will be rebranded as the Narrm Football Club. Narrm is the Aboriginal name for Melbourne which comes from the Woi Wurrung language, spoken by the traditional owners of the city and its surrounds.

Brisbane's Orla O'Dwyer (left) and Jade Ellenger shed a tear after a loss in the preliminary final against Melbourne on April 2, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos