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The Western Bulldogs and the Demons have history. Prior to the creation of the AFLW league, the AFL ran four years of exhibition matches featuring our two teams between 2013 and 2016.

The winner holds the Hampson-Hardeman Cup, in honour of two women who were founders of the national women’s football competition. After 13 games the Demons hold nine wins, four losses record and currently hold the Cup after trouncing the Dogs last year by 64 points.

The exhibition games were a precursor to formation of the AFLW league.  Eight teams were granted licences including the Dees and the Dogs and thus began the national women’s football league.

The Dogs rose early with a premiership cup in 2018 in Season Two.  However, lately they have stalled, and their alumni of lost dogs includes some of the league’s most impressive names:  Kearney, Conti, Brennan and our own Libby Birch.  Bonnie Toogood has moved to Essendon. Hard names to replace and less than a handful of players remain from their premiership team.

Selection this week

The injury report suggests everyone is available, so Paxy comes in for sure. It will be interesting to see whether they bring Fitzy straight back too. Wilson will likely be the unlucky one to miss out.

Bulldogs reported nil injuries last week and have Brit Gutknecht and Millie Brown listed as test.

Our opponents, Western Bulldogs

All Australian star Ellie Blackburn is clearly their matchwinner and there are other good role players such as stalwart Kirsty Lamb, Jess Fitzgerald, Sarah Hartwig and Deanna Berry. One improver is their ruck Alice Edmonds who, after leaving Richmond, has flourished at the Dogs under Nathan Burke and earned All Australian honours last season.

The Western Bulldogs have only played at Casey Fields once and that was last season’s 64-point drubbing.

Meggs view

Another big score is on the cards this Saturday afternoon.

Last week the Demons were again exciting when they were able to the win the ball and execute to outside runners. We are fantastic to watch, and Mick has the team firing early in the season.

Loz Pearce was great last week and her battle with Alice Edmonds will be good to watch.

Stinear last week praised our multi-faceted, versatile forward structure. It is amazing we have such a dynamic group and expect it will be a real headache for Nathan Burke on Saturday. The marking power of Tayla Harris and Eden Zanker, the speed of Alyssa Bannan, the sublime footy nous, and skills of Kate Hore, and our mids rolling forward to snap goals like Liv Purcell, Sarah Lampard, Blaithin Mackin and Lily Mithen did last week.

Our opponents have lost their opening two games to Geelong by 48 points and to expansion side Hawthorn by seven points and have a percentage of 50.5%.

On the other hand, the Dees have beaten contender Collingwood by 42 points and GWS away by 77 points to be second on the ladder with a percentage of 324.5%.

Hope it’s a pleasant afternoon with not too much wind to hinder the skills.

Go Dees!

Melbourne by 45 points

THE GAME

Melbourne v Western Bulldogs at Casey Fields, on Saturday 16 September 2023 at 3:05pm

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Melbourne 9 wins WB 4 wins

At Casey Fields Melbourne 1 win WB 0 wins

The Coaches Stinear 3 wins Burke 1 win

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 10.13 (73) defeated WB 1.3 (9) at Casey Fields, 9 October 2022

This Season Seven Round Seven clash was all one-way traffic with the Dees earning a percentage boosting win and consolidating themselves in the Top Four.

Other than an accidental clash of heads between Paxy and Loz Pearce it was simply a case of Melbourne’s system overwhelming anything the Dogs could muster.

West and Purcell were instrumental in gaining control of the footy. Excitement machine Banno kicked three goals, with Harris putting her hand up for mark of the year and Zanker doing well too.

Goals

Melbourne: Bannan 3, Zanker 2, Harris 2, West, Hore, Duffy

Western Bulldogs: Hartwig

Best

Melbourne: Paxman, West, Goldrick, Purcell

Western Bulldogs: Blackburn, Ferres, Edmonds, Grant

Injuries

Melbourne: L. Pearce (head knock), Paxman (head knock)

Western Bulldogs: Nil 

Reports: Nil

Crowd: 2,154 at Casey Fields 

THE TEAMS

MELBOURNE

B L. Birch T. Gillard
HB S. Goldrick M. Gay S. Heath
C E. McNamara T. Hanks S.Lampard  
HF A. Bannan L. Mithen T. Harris
F E. Zanker K. Hore
FOLL L. Pearce E. West O. Purcell
I/C (from) M. Chaplin G. Campbell B. Mackin P. Paxman C. Sherriff EMG J. Ivey R. Watt C. Wilson
 
IN P. Paxman
 
OUT C. Wilson (omitted)

WESTERN BULLDOGS

B I. Grant K. Lynch
HB E. Georgostathis K. Coyne M. Gorham
C R. Wilcox K. Lamb I. Pritchard
HF C. Moody G. Newton G. Lagioia
F S. Hartwig D. Berry
FOLL A. Edmonds E. Blackburn J. Fitzgerald
IC D. Carruthers A. Smith B. McFarlane K. McLeod H. Woodley EMG R. Cranston N. Ferres B. Hunt

IN M. Gorham H. Woodley A. Smith

OUT D. Bateman (omitted) N. Ferres (omitted) B. Hunt (omitted)

Injury List: Round 3

Megan Fitzsimon (back) test

Paxy Paxman Chaplin (quad) test

AFLWPreviewRd032023.png

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I feel like we're comfortably a 5 goal better side than the Bulldogs, plus an extra 2-3 goal advantage at Casey Fields, so your margin of 45 points sounds about right. 

Hopefully Geelong can put a few goals past North to take a chunk out of North's percentage as well.

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