Presented by Ida Sports. And with a Brisbane win, the 2022 AFLW Preliminary Finals are set for the expanses of the MCG and Adelaide Oval.
Brisbane v Collingwood — Sunday @ GABBA
Brisbane 1.4.10 | 4.5.29 | 6.8.44 | 10.10.70
Collingwood 0.1.1 | 1.1.7 | 2.1.13 | 3.2.20
Brisbane: Greta Bodey (2), Jesse Wardlaw (2), Ally Anderson, Shannon Campbell, Zimmorlei Farquharson, Courtney Hodder, Orla O’Dwyer, Ruby Svarc
Collingwood: Sabrina Frederick, Chloe Molloy, Aleisha Newman
Collingwood came into this game on the back foot, even with the game having been delayed by a week to allow them to field a team due to Covid interruptions. Both Aishling Sheridan and Eliza James missed due to health and safety protocols, a significant loss to Collingwood’s forward structure. Added to this, important defenders Sophie Casey and Jordyn Allen were absent due to suspension and a foot injury respectively. Ebony O’Dea’s inclusion meant they had a ready-made opponent for Courtney Hodder and in the face of missing players, the Pies’ defence stood strong and remained relatively organised throughout the first half, but really struggled to transition into their own attack.
A key matchup throughout the day, Cathy Svarc was given the task of running with Jaimee Lambert in the middle. Svarc once again proved herself to be the ideal run with player as she got the job done both defensively and offensively. Thanks to her speed and quick thinking, Svarc is able to let her direct opponent have a little space as she looks to win the ball herself, but can then turn on the afterburners defensively should her opponent win the ball, and this is exactly what she did against Lambert. Winning 13 disposals and five inside 50s while also laying seven tackles, Svarc held Lambert to just 12 disposals—her equal-lowest disposal count this season and significantly below her season average of 20.3.
While Lambert had her hands full, Mikala Cann was the player to step up for Collingwood, winning a game-high 20 disposals and laying seven tackles. Cann’s relentless running and willingness to push herself from contest to contest largely kept the Pies in the game while Brisbane peppered the scoreboard.
For the Lions, star midfielder Emily Bates continued with her career-best season. The biggest threat at stoppages, Bates won a game-high six clearances as part of her 19 disposals, delivering the ball forward six times and racking up 369 metres gained for the day.
The most entertaining matchup for the day, however, was out on the wing with Sophie Conway and Sarah Rowe going head to head. The pair are known for their work rate and enduring ability to support their defenders and then create attack. Running side by side, they were everywhere, particularly in the first half. Early in the piece, Rowe’s positioning in the back half was causing problems for Brisbane as they went forward, ending the game with 12 disposals, four intercepts and 249 metres gained. But it was the attacking freedom with which Conway was able to play that saw her arguably win the head to head. Conway won 15 disposals, importantly delivering the ball inside 50 five times and registering 358 metres gained.