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Big stakes this weekend. For the winner, will it be a Dees minor premiership and potential home grand final or will it be a Lion‘s Top Four finish and a double chance? 
 
Huge interest circulates in the how the ladder unfolds over this weekend’s final round of the 2023 home and away season with some 10 teams vying for 8 places.  
 
It’s AFLW Pride Week, a celebration of people from all walks of life coming together, being respected, loved and accepted. Women’s football continues to be a benchmark when it comes to inclusivity and a safe workplace.  
 
Mick Stinear and Craig Starcevich are foundation coaches of their respective teams, and this is the 9th time they have met. Stinear leads with 6 wins and 2 losses. 
 
Milestones this week include Starc’s 75th match as coach and Libby Birch’s 75th AFLW game.  
 
The last match between these sides was the Demons inaugural premiership win in the Season Eight grand final at Brighton Homes Arena, Springfield.  We’re back there this Saturday at 7:05pm for a rematch.  
 
Can’t wait.
 
Selection this week
 
The big selection news this week is that Tayla Harris has recovered from her hamstring injury.  She will make her presence felt against one of her old sides.
 
We also have Rhi Watt back, and a nice surprise with Jordey Ivey set to play her fourth game in the red and blue.   
 
Last week’s debutant Georgia Gall, Georgia Campbell and Charlotte Wilson have been omitted.
 
Unfortunately, Maddi Gay is 1-2 weeks away.  Such an important player for the Dees and was a standout in last year’s final series.  
 
Brisbane will bring back two of their best players in Sophie Conway and Cathy Svarc who missed last week in the Lion’s surprise loss to St Kilda, plus Ruby Svarc.
 
Our opponents, Brisbane
 
While, apart from Daisy retiring, no one wanted to leave the Demons during the offseason.  
 
Whereas the Lions lost their best mid Emily Bates and a proven goal sneak in Greta Bodey to Hawthorn. Plus, Jessie Wardlaw, the Season Seven competition leading goalkicker, signed with St Kilda.
 
Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne have filled 10 of the 12 available places in AFLW grand finals, dominating the landscape since the league’s inception. The Lions remain a force to be reckoned with.
 
However, this season Brisbane has been upset by lower teams three times. By Richmond in Round 1, Collingwood in Round 6, and St Kilda in Round 9.  
 
Conversely, the Lions are undefeated against Top 4 teams with narrow wins over North (by 2 points in Round 4) and Adelaide (by 3 points in Round 9).
 
This season Ally Anderson and Sophie Conway have really stepped up in the absence of Bates.  
 
Marking tall Dakota Davison has 15 goals this season and the exciting Courtney Hodder is a real handful at times.  
 
Brisbane has a great defence led by their captain Bre Koenen with good support from Nat Grider and Shannon Campbell. Their main ruck Tahlia Hickey wins plenty of hit outs but expect our Loz Pearce match her and have greater impact around the ground.
 
Meggs view
 
Expecting this match will be played in a finals-likemanner with significant consequences for both teams.  
 
Brisbane has already beaten Adelaide and North so will fancy themselves against us too.
 
If things go awry during the match, remember that this team has incredible belief.  Our coach Mick Stinear really rates his charges versatility and won’t be afraid to mix it up.  
 
Our forward line is the envy of the competition and we have scored 173 points more than the Lions this season. With Tay back to support Zanker, Hore and Bannan we have picked our best available lineup.
 
Hopefully the sponginess of the playing surface is long gone, and we break the record for the highest all-time score at this ground also known as the Michael Voss Oval. 
Why not?
 
Both midfields are high quality and bat deep, so we need to get our hands on the footy first and use our runners.  
 
The weather forecast says 20-21 degrees with a chance of rain.  
 
Let’s bring our own heat, put the Lions to sleep and win this Season 8 minor premiership.  
 
Go Dees!
 
Melbourne by 18 points
THE GAME
 
Brisbane v Melbourne at Brighton Homes Arena, Springfield, on Saturday 4 November 2023 at 7:05pm (Melbourne time)
HEAD TO HEAD 
 
Overall Melbourne 6 wins Brisbane 2 wins
At Springfield Melbourne 1 win Brisbane 0 wins
The Coaches Stinear 6 wins Starcevic 2 wins
MEDIA 
 
TV - Fox Footy, Kayo.  
Mobile – AFL Live Official App
Radio – WARF Radio.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET - Season 7 Grand Final
Melbourne 2.7 (19) defeated Brisbane 2.3 (15) at Brighton Homes Arena, Springfield, 27 November 2022
Playing the first ever match at a new venue with a spongy surface not ready-for-purpose did impact the ability of all players to execute skills, run and carry and thus a low scoring but engrossing affair ensued.
A win by just four points was the final result but the Dees looked more determined on the day, particularly the final three quarters.  
Tahlia Gillard kept competition leading goalkicker Jess Wardlaw scoreless, while Westy, Hanksy and Liv P ultimately wore down their more highly decorated midfield opponents in Emily Bates and Ally Anderson.  
Tayla Harris was a real presence and kicked a goal while Irish player Blaithin Mackin scored our only other goal.
But like so many Demon victories it was the collective mindset and uncompromising effort of the Dees that won the day.  More contributors, a spread of the frenetic effort, plus the underrated gun players we have on every line.
This mindset, our #DemonSpirit, has evolved from the coaching and mentoring abilities of AFLW pioneers Mick Stinear and Daisy Pearce and has been embraced by the whole club. 
MELBOURNE 0.1.1 1.4.10 2.5.17 2.7.19
 
BRISBANE LIONS 2.0.12 2.0.12 2.3.15 2.3.15
 
GOALS 
 
MELBOURNE Harris B. Mackin
 
BRISBANE Davidson C. Svarc
BEST
 
MELBOURNE West Hanks Gay Paxman Gillard
BRISBANE LIONS Campbell Grider C. Svarc Anderson Bates
 
INJURIES
 
MELBOURNE Nil
 
BRISBANE: Koenen (right knee)
 
REPORTS
 
MELBOURNE Nil
 
BRISBANE LIONS Nil
 
CROWD 7,412 at Brighton Homes Arena, Springfield
THE TEAMS 
 
BRISBANE LIONS
 
B P. Boltz, S. Campbell
HB B. Koenen N. Grider J. Ellenger
C. O. O'Dwyer I. Dawes S. Conway
HF L. Postlethwaite D. Davidson C. Mullins
F T. Smith C. Hodder
FOLL T. Hickie C Svarc A. Anderson
I/C J. Dunne E. Hampson D. Heslop P. Monahan R. Svarc EMG A. McKee M. Pauga B. K. Smith 
 
IN S. Conway C. Svarc R. Svarc
 
OUT A. McKee (omitted) M. Pauga (omitted) B. Smith (omitted)
 
Milestone: Craig Starcevich (75 games as coach)
 
 MELBOURNE
 
B L. Birch T. Gillard 
HB S. Goldrick S. Heath M. Chaplin
C B. Mackin T. Hanks E. McNamara
HF A. Bannan L. Mithen E. Zanker
F K. Hore T. Harris
FOLL L. Pearce E. West P. Paxman
I/C M. Fitzsimon J. Ivey O.  Purcell C. Sherriff R. Watt EMG G. Campbell G. Gall C. Wilson
 
IN T. Harris J. Ivey R. Watt
OUT G. Campbell (omitted) G.Gall (omitted) C. Wilson (omitted)
 
Milestone: Libby Birch (75 games)
Injury List: Round 10
 
Gabby Colvin  - Achilles  | Test
Tayla Harris - Hamstring   | Test
Aimee Mackin - Ankle   | Test
Maddi Gay  - Hamstring   | 1-2 Weeks
Sarah Lampard - Wrist | 3-4 Weeks
AFLWPreviewRd102023.png
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