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Foundation teams Fremantle and Melbourne clash early Saturday afternoon at the Demons’ fortress at Casey Fields in this penultimate round of the 2023 home and away season.  

It’s Shelley Heath’s 50th game this week and there is not one Melbourne supporter who doesn’t love Heater. The way she goes about it at 160 cms, big smiles and then takes on some of the biggest names in AFLW reducing them to shadows of their former selves.  

Her tackles are a joyful work of art to be savoured. Heater earned 1 coach’s vote last week for her efforts running with one of the league’s best players in Jasmine Garner.  Meggs presumes Mick voted for Heath, but he cannot believe that North coach Darren Crocker gave Jazzy 1 one vote for her game. Gosh, Emma Kearney and Erika O’Shea were much better choices for him if he wanted a North player.

Our group really jelled and felled North Melbourne last week and held them to a miserable 1-point for the last 3-quarters. Incredible team defence Dees. Such a driving force from Hanksy and Liv Purcell, with Tahlia Gillard an impenetrable wall with her punching and marking.

Fremantle, who were Season Six preliminary finalists, haven’t defeated any team in the eight this season and their form line suggests nothing different will occur on Saturday.

Selection this week

Some were debating whether Tayla Harris is in our best side. Well to Meggs there is no doubt Tayla brings so much to this team. Selfless, incredible physical presence, arguably the best contested mark in the league, kicks the ball a mile, just makes a contest when it looks impossible.  So, if Tay’s fit, she’s selected for sure.

The selection committee will also have to decide whether to bring back Gaby Colvin at the likely expense of Charlotte Wilson. Willo was excellent last week in defence especially in the third quarter.

Will there be mystery injury of the week?  Maeve went down nastily last Saturday but we presume she’s good to go.  A tough cookie is Maeve.  

Our opponents, Fremantle 

For Fremantle the bad news is that Ebony Antonio is out for the Season. Freo have a couple of tests for Round 9 in Amy Mulholland and the experienced Sarah Verrier.

Irish export Aine Tighe is a tall, athletic, rangy player who has taken to AFLW and is really exciting to watch. Her pace and skills allow her to be such a dynamic forward and certainly a hard one to match up on. The Dees brains trust has a conundrum.  Who has the pace and size to run with Aine? Expect it won’t be Birch but Gillard or more likely Goldie or Gay.  

In the midfield they have league champion Kiara Bowers, skipper Hayley Miller and Irish newcomer Orlagh Lally who was impressive last week against the Saints. Dana East was busy too.

Ruck Mim Strom has impressed this year and will test Loz Pearce and Georgia Campbell on Saturday.  Freo are 4 wins 4 losses and won well at home against St Kilda last week.

Meggs’ view

No rain is forecast for Saturday, and it will be sunny, a coolish 17-19 degrees with gusty winds.

Meggs is heading down the Monash and anticipates a Dees victory but expects Freo to bring a committed effort. Hopefully our contested ball work and slingshot run and carry game style will prevail.

It would not surprise if one of our top-drawer forward titans kicks a bag on Saturday.  

Having three league leading goal scorers in your side (Zanker, Hore and Bannan) must give Mick Stinear supreme confidence that his team can always kick a winning score.  Watch out in the 4th quarter.

Freo’s defenders will have their work cut out for them for sure.

A little percentage boost won’t hurt our minor premiership aspirations so let’s win and win well.  

Keep our eyes on the prize. Go Dees!

Melbourne by 38 points

THE GAME

Melbourne v Fremantle at Casey Fields, on Saturday 27 October 2023 at 1:05pm (Melbourne time)

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Melbourne 5 wins Fremantle 2 wins

At Casey Fields Melbourne 2 wins Fremantle 1 win

The Coaches Stinear 0 wins Webb 0 wins

MEDIA

TV - Fox Footy, Kayo.  

Mobile – AFL Live Official App

Radio – Casey Radio 97.7 fm from 12:35pm.

THE LAST TIME THEY MET (Round 6, Season 7)

Melbourne 10.6 (66) defeated Fremantle 5.6 (36) at Fremantle Oval, 2 October 2022

The Dees were unconvincing for 3 quarters as Fremantle at home were highly competitive and only down by 4 points at the 4-minute mark of the last quarter.

Melbourne’s skilled ball movement and marking superiority proved too powerful in the last quarter with 4 unanswered goals to win by 30 points.

This placed the Dees 5-1 and inside the top-four with Brisbane, Adelaide and Collingwood.  

Kate Hore starred with 3 classy goals, while midfielders Tyla Hanks (21 disposals and 5 clearances) and Liv Purcell (26 and five) set up the attacking chains that proved to be the difference in that final quarter.

Eden Zanker and former Docker Sabreena Duffy kicked two goals each.

Champion player Kiara Bowers (26 and eight inside 50s) and their captain Hayley Miller (17 and five clearances) were the best for the Dockers.

MELBOURNE 2.1.13 5.2.32 6.3.39 10.6.66

FREMANTLE   2.1.13 3.2.20 5.3.33 5.6.36 

GOALS 

MELBOURNE Hore 3 Duffy Zanker 2 Harris Pearce Purcell

FREMANTLE Bowers Franklin  Kauffman Miller Tighe

BEST 

MELBOURNE Hanks Purcell Hore Zanker Paxman Harris

FREMANTLE Bowers Miller, East Tighe O'Sullivan  

INJURIES 

MELBOURNE Nil

FREMANTLE Nil

REPORTS

MELBOURNE Nil

FREMANTLE Nil

THE TEAMS 

MELBOURNE

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

No change

FREMANTLE

B E. O'Driscoll P. Seth
HB R. Roux S. Gibbs M. Scanlon 
C J. Low G. O'Sullivan O. Lally
HF H. Miller L. Pugh M. Kauffman 
F S. Wielstra K.  Bowers
FOLL M. Strom D. East A. Stannett
I/C J. Flynn M. Hyde T. Mulder A. Mulholland A. Runnalls EMG E. Fiedler A. Hetherington M. Tuhakaraina

IN A. Mulholland S. Wielstra

OUT A. Tighe (knee soreness) M. Tuhakaraina (omitted)

Injury List: Round 9

Gaby Colvin - Achilles | Test
Tayla Harris - Hamstring  | Test
Aimee Mackin - Ankle  | 1 Week
Sarah Lampard - Wrist  | 2 - 4 Weeks 

AFLWPreviewRd092023.png

 

 

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