Southern Saints v Geelong at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Oval
The Southern Saints take on red-hot Geelong in a must-win game at home. The Saints sit a game clear of the Western Bulldogs in the last finals spot and will want to extend that with a win against the Cats. It will be no easy prospect for the Saints, but they will be feeling confident after handing Port Melbourne just their second loss of the season in round 10.
2019 Premiership Crow Jess Foley made a return to football in round 10 and her experience in the ruck and around the ground will give the Cats an edge. Foley, who juggles a role as assistant doctor with the AFLW side with playing football, had 15 disposals, six marks and three inside 50s in her return.
Casey Demons v Carlton at Casey Fields
The Demons return home to Casey Fields after four weeks on the road and will be looking to use the conditions to hold onto their top-four spot. Carlton slumped to 10th on the ladder after a hard-fought loss to the Bulldogs but are still in finals contention. Maddy Guerin, Abbie McKay and Grace Egan have carried a lot of the workload for the Blues the last few weeks, so will need their fellow midfielders to step up against an experienced and tough Demons outfit.
Casey is the highest-scoring team in the competition, but its defence has also been a highlight. The Carlton forwards are going to have to work hard to penetrate a defence led by Libby Birch that kept Williamstown scoreless in round 10.
Port Melbourne v Collingwood at ETU Stadium
It’s the match-up VFLW fans have been waiting for all season and it will finally play out at ETU Stadium on Saturday. Both teams were undefeated after round 7 with Collingwood still yet to lose a game and on the top of the ladder. Port Melbourne has since lost two games and sits third, but will be looking to make a statement to the rest of the competition who may think the Borough’s best is behind them.
Hannah McLaren has consistently stepped up in defence for Port Melbourne this season. The Richmond-listed player will play a big role this week against the potent Collingwood attack.
Williamstown v Darebin at Downer Oval
Williamstown and Darebin will be looking for their first win in five rounds after both were soundly beaten in round 10. The Seagulls were held scoreless and the Falcons managed just one goal in their respective matches last round, so it could be a low-scoring affair at Downer Oval. Williamstown has already beaten Darebin once this season, but with that victory happening in round one it will no doubt be expecting a completely different Falcons side.
GWS Giant’s Lisa Steane starred in her first game for the Seagulls. She showed the way, leading in disposals and contested possessions and trailing behind just one teammate in clearances and tackles. The Seagulls will need their experienced players to step up to get their third win of the season.
Essendon v Western Bulldogs at Windy Hill
Essendon will be looking to shore up their spot in the top six with a win over a Bulldogs outfit that is also in contention. The Dogs sit just outside the top six and victory would keep them in the finals race, whereas the Bombers slumped to fifth after sitting as high as third. Essendon has struggled against the competitions top sides, but has dominated mid-table teams like the Bulldogs, something that will have them confident heading into round 11.
The Bulldogs’ ruck stocks took a hit in the game against Carlton, with Celine Moody copping a knock to her collarbone that will have her out for at least two weeks. Amanda Tesseri and Ellyse Gamble may be called on to shoulder more of the load, but it will be Moody’s ability to cover the ground and hit the scoreboard that will be missed.
Hawthorn v North Melbourne at Box Hill City Oval
Hawthorn’s finals chances hinge on a win in round 10 and the Hawks will be feeling confident coming up against North. The Hawks sit above the Roos on the ladder by percentage and are two games outside the top six, however, Bec Goddard’s side has found some form the last few weeks. They had nine individual goalkickers in the game against the Falcons and some smart recruiting has injected experience into the side. North will be looking to bounce back from a tough loss to ladder-leaders Collingwood.
Tamara Luke has shone since returning to her old side and in round 10 equaled the VFLW record for most inside 50s in a game with 11. She will be key for the Hawks with her strong marking around the ground and ability to damage the scoreboard with her goal sense.