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The reigning AFLW champions dee-stroyed contender Collingwood last week, to open the 2023 season with a third-term masterclass and confirmed their premiership contender credentials.  
 
It was such an exhilarating and satisfying match to watch.  We witnessed the Eliza Mac comeback, Heathy versus the goliath Davey, new captain Kate starring, Banno and Edo kicking goals, an exciting new tall unearthed in Campbell and our fleet of mids were everywhere especially in that third quarter. And what about those repeated pinpoint deliveries into the forward 50 arc?
 
This weekend the team flies to Canberra for their first ever game at Manuka Oval against fellow foundation club Greater Western Sydney on Sunday at 5:05pm.  
 
In a pre-match interview last week Scott Gowans, the Swans coach, described GWS as the worst performing foundation club. Before this match no expansion team had defeated a foundation team.  
 
Thus, GWS should have been well motivated, but it was the Swans who backed up their coach’s words with a stirring victory at North Sydney Oval.
 
GWS started well, being 25 points up mid-way through the third quarter but a Chloe Molloy inspired comeback led the Swans to a 5-point historic first ever win for the expansion side.
 
This Sunday evening GWS will encounter a whole new level of dangerous forward line against the Dees talls, speed, and (fingers crossed) accuracy.  
If we match their intensity, we have the defensive structure to take control and kick a winning score.  
Selection 
 
One change: Maeve Chaplin returns from concussion and will add steel and strength behind the ball.  Her ability to attack the contest and deliver a booming kick will be welcomed back.
Megan Fitzsimon has been omitted due to injury.
Defenders Colvin and Wilson along with Rhi Watt are the emergencies.
 
While our best players were duly lauded for last week’s win there were couple of teammates who we hope will improve their performance this week:  Fitzy was quiet (possibly injury impacted), Westy was in and out, and the defensive group Birch, Gillard and Goldrick seemed a bit rusty.
 
At the MFC AFLW launch Meggs asked the coach how Gaby Colvin (named as an emergency) could break into such a strong defensive team, and he was at pains to emphasise what a competitor Gaby is.  He is bullish on her so there is certainly pressure on that backline to perform.
 
GWS has named an unchanged line up.
 
Our opponents, GWS
 
Watching their game last week GWS has a sprinkling of experience across the group with Alyce Parker, Alicia Eva, Chloe Dalton, Bec Beeson, Nicola Barr (who plays her 50th game) and a group of tall defenders in Pepa Randall, Grace Hill and Cambridge McCormick.
 
Tall forward Georgia Garnett was lively kicking two nice goals and small Haneen Zreika can play.  
They will be smarting from their loss last week so expect them to come out strongly.
 
Meggs’ view
 
Last Friday, you could see that the Pies were intense and got on top in that first half led by Bri Davey and Brit Bonicci.  Girls let’s start stronger this week.  
 
Watching the GWS game our general field kicking and handball skills appear a level above, so if we work hard enough we will overrun them early in the match and secure a big win.
 
The new 60 cap interchange rule is advantaging Melbourne as we have many quality fit midfielders such as Hanksy, Liv Purcell, Westy, Lily M, Paxy plus running machines B Macken and Eliza Mac on the wings and Kate Hore and Heath have gameday midfield roles at certain times.  
 
This advantageous depth allows the Dees to share the load, unlike many teams such as GWS who have really only a couple of strong quality mids at their disposal and who will likely tire during the new regime of extended matches and rotation cap.
 
During the recent Casey VFLW season both Fitzy and Goldie had turns on the ball and did well.
 
If GWS star mid Alyce Parker is getting on top at any point expect Coach Mick to throw Giant slayer Shelley Heath on to her.
 
Hore, Harris, Zanker and Bannan are all stars in our forward line and Meggs struggles to see how Pepa Randall and her GWS defensive cohort can contain their collective brilliance.  
 
The full ground defence is supported by a strong structure of well drilled teammates setting up and responding to ball movement.  Of course, it doesn’t work as well when there is quick ball movement like Collingwood were able to do last week so expect GWS to try and unpick our systems. Good luck with that Cam (GWS coach Bernasconi).
 
Last week Georgia Campbell kicked a nice goal, nicely celebrating her birthday and her first win.
 
Our number one looks the goods as a ruck/ forward and will be tremendous support for Loz Pearce.  If Georgia continues to develop, she shapes as a likely successor.
 
Tomorrow’s weather looks fine.  Feeling confident this week.  
 
Us Dees supporters need some good news this weekend and Meggs expects our champion AFLW team to deliver in Canberra and find our voice.  
 
Go Dees!
 
Melbourne by 35 points
THE GAME
 
Melbourne v GWS at Manual Oval, Canberra, on Sunday 10 September 2023 at 5:05pm (Melbourne time)
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall Melbourne 4 wins GWS 1 win
At Manuka Melbourne 0 wins GWS 0 wins
The Coaches Stinear 0 wins Bernasconi 0 wins
MEDIA
 
TV - live free on 7mate.  Foxtel, Kayo.  Check your local guides.
Mobile – AFL Live Official App and AFLW Official App
Radio - check your local guides.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET  
 
Melbourne 6.8.44 defeated GWS 1.1.7 at Casey Fields in Season 6 Round 6  - 12 February 2022 
This Season 6 clash was one way traffic with the Dees handing GWS their biggest defeat of the season at Casey Fields, Melbourne’s fortress.
If not for the notorious windy conditions, the Dees could have won by more as the forwards had issues converting.  The defenders including Ali Brown, Libby Birch and Gaby Colvin were miserly, racking up intercepts and only allowing GWS one solitary goal, late in the game.
The Coach sent Shelley Heath to GWS’s star Irish forward Cora Staunton and kept her goalless.  
 
What an impressive list of tagging victims Heathy has accumulated over the years.
Our star midfielders Lily Mithen, Paxy Paxman, Tyla Hanks and Eliza West all gathered 20 or more disposals for the day and Tayla Harris and Kate Hore kicked two goals each.
GOALS
 
Melbourne Harris Hore 2 D Pearce Scott
 
GWS Giants Doyle
BEST
 
Melbourne Hanks Mithen West Paxman
 
GWS Giants Randall Parker Eva Dallaway
THE TEAMS
 
GWS
 
B J. Hicks P. Randall 
HB C. Dalton G. Hill T. Evans 
C J. Doyle N. Barr M. Brazendale
HF Z. Goldsworthy H. Zreika A. Parker 
F G. Garnett B. Mowbray 
FOLL F. Davies A. Lister A. Eva
I/C (from) T. Cattle A. Dallaway T. Germech J. Grierson C. McCormick  C. Miller K. Smith
 
IN T. Cattle J. Grierson C. Miller 
 
OUT 
 
MELBOURNE
 
B L. Birch T. Gillard 
HB S. Goldrick M. Gay S. Heath 
C S.Lampard T. Hanks E. McNamara 
HF T. Harris L. Mithen A. Bannan 
F E. Zanker K. Hore 
FOLL L. Pearce E. West K. Paxman
I/C (from) G. Campbell  M. Chaplin G. Colvin B. Mackin  O. Purcell R. Watt C. Wilson 
 
IN M. Chaplin G. Colvin C. Wilson, R. Watt
 
OUT M. Fitzsimon (Injured)
 
Injury List: Round 2
 
Saraid Taylor (foot) test
Maeve Chaplin (concussion) test
 
AFLWPreviewRd022023.png
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