AFLW Round 5 – Western Bulldogs v Collingwood: Woof 

Sunday afternoon, feet up, cup of tea made. Football on the TV. Perfection.

 

The dog is behaving, or at least, it’s chewing things outside, where the damage doesn’t need to be vacuumed up.

 

The standard of the women’s competition has improved so much since the opening weekend. The opening quarter continues the trend. It makes all of that 5-6-5 bollocks look a bit kneejerk. Shock. The fact Carlton played last night also helps. Sorry, Percy Jones.

 

The Bulldogs are the front runners in the competition at the moment, even without K.Brennan,  I.Huntington and D.Bannister (not to be confused with D.Banister – the Old Man). I’m reading A Wink from the Universe, Flanagan’s book on the 2016 Bulldog men, during the breaks. It’s easy to see the parallels.

 

Collingwood are still a mathematical chance, but as a very wise physiotherapist once said, if you’re relying on other teams, you’re buggered. West Coast fans may disagree.

 

Kate Sheahan is absent from the call. Kelli Underwood, Chyloe Kurdas, Ben Waterworth are hitting all the right notes.

 

Steph Chiocci is reported early. Clumsy. She’s pulverised Libby Birch.  She forgot to stop running when her opponent bent over the pick up the pill. Not sure she elected to bump, but she’ll probably go.

 

The Dogs dominate the inside 50s, but struggle to put it on the board. Meg Hutchins is walked to goal line and kicks the Pies first. Utri kicks a beauty. The competition front runners run to the front. They lead 3.4 to 1.0 at the first change.

 

Emma Kearney is well held by the helmeted head of Britt Bonnici early. Last week’s hero, Brooke Lochland, also can’t get near it.

 

The Pies start as the stronger in the second, clawing their way back. Libby Birch gets Mo Hope high and late in a marking contest and goes into the book. Her head is taped after the hit she took earlier from Chiocci.

 

Bonnici is still wearing Kearney like a glove and when she throws her over the boundary line a little zealously, the melee sends a Fox Footy cameraman flying. Boundary rider Sarah Olle awkwardly shuffles through the middle of the chaos.

 

Monique Conti is shining, but she just can’t seem to finish. She took a beautiful mark over her head earlier in the quarter, despite measuring only 165cm. Now she gathers nicely off a pack, and snaps, but it bounces the wrong way.

 

Bonnie Toogood has a chance to polish an even quarter with a goal for the Dogs, but her kick is no good, and goes out on the full. Kearney and Lochland have worked their way back into the contest. Ellie Blackburn is running the show.

 

Half-time gives everyone a chance to cool off. When they resume, Brooke Lochland kicks a goal before I’ve put my book down.

 

Collingwood respond after Caitlyn Edwards is tackled high. They’ve now kicked 3 goals from 4 Inside 50s, all from free kicks. My feeling is that they lack the polish of their opponents.

 

A horror turnover proves the point. Ruby Schleicher’s kick across goal is a shocker. After applying good pressure, Toogood comes up with the ball and handballs low to Blackburn in the square. She goals.

 

Chiocci finally reappears, winning the next clearance. She’s been totally out of it since her report early on.

 

In the final quarter, the Pies kick behinds when they need goals. They’re left to rue their misses when Nicole Callinan shoots the Dogs out to a 21-point lead, the biggest of the day.

 

The Pies throw Molloy forward, perhaps too late, but when she marks and goals, there’s a slim chance of a fightback. They get to within eight points with less than two minutes to play.

 

The game ends in a contest when a hit on Hannah Scott off the ball costs the Pies a shot on goal. It’s not totally clear on the TV how serious the incident was. The Dogs kick themselves forward again, and the clock peters out.

 

The Dogs will drive back up the highway to Melbourne needing one more win to secure their Grand Final spot. They still look comfortably the benchmark in the competition, and have done from the beginning. It took an Erin Phillips masterclass to knock them off in their only loss.

 

I wouldn’t be betting against them from here.

 

 

COLLINGWOOD              1.0   3.0   4.2   6.5   (41)
WESTERN BULLDOGS    3.4   4.6   6.7   7.7   (49)

GOALS
Collingwood: Edwards 2, Hutchins, Barden, Molloy, Bernardi
Western Bulldogs: Lochland 2, Toogood, Utri, O’Connor, Blackburn, Callinan

BEST
Collingwood: Garner, D’Arcy, Edwards, King, McIntosh
Western Bulldogs: Blackburn, Conti, Kearney, Lamb, Ferres

INJURIES
Collingwood: Nil
Western Bulldogs: Nil

Reports: Chiocci (Collingwood) reported for high contact on Birch (Western Bulldogs) in the first quarter, Birch (Western Bulldogs reported for striking Hope (Collingwood) in the second quarter.

Umpires: Young, Curtis, Heffernan

Crowd: 2700 at Ted Summerton Reserve, Moe

 

About Jack Banister

Journalism student @ Melbourne Uni, Brunswick Hockey Club Men's Coach, tortured Tigers fan.

Comments

  1. Dave Brown says:

    Good stuff, Jack. Yep, I reckon Bulldogs the ones to beat this year. GWS and Melbourne leading into the finals should prove a nice preparation for them. But with the closeness of the comp this season anyone still in the running could win it on their day.

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