VFLW Preliminary Final Preview: Darebin Falcons v St. Kilda Sharks

2.30pm Saturday September 16 at Piranha Park


So what’s happening?

This Saturday, fresh from their takedown of Melbourne University last weekend, the St. Kilda Sharks take on the mighty Darebin Falcons. The Falcons were thumped by Diamond Creek in their semi-final. Heading into this second week of VFLW finals, things could not be simpler. The winner of this game gets to play Diamond Creek in the Grand Final on September 23 at Etihad, that soulless, tin can down by the docks. The loser gets to go back to work or study the next day and resume the ‘semi’ part of the life of a semi-professional athlete.


And what happened to the Falcs last week?

Last week was a real eye-opener for Darebin fans – even Jilly-Come-Latelys like me. The Falcons were outrun and outgunned by a fresher, fitter and hungrier band of Creekers. On a warm afternoon, on the wide expanses of Piranha Park, the Falcons were out-positioned by the likes of Chloe Molloy (get around her, she is going to be a mega-star) and the running of Steph Chiocci who must surely be some kind of an endurance athlete. Chiocci made several runs with the ball from halfback, but it was her running to position that really impressed. Chiocci made it to contest after contest to feed off the ruck work of Alison Downie.


In addition, not to put a fine point on it, the Falcons had a stinker. I saw Karen Paxman fumble (sure a Halley’s Comet like event, rare and because rare, unforgettable) and I saw Daisy Pearce beaten in one on one (see Halley’s Comet reference).


There were mitigating circumstances: the following Falcs had played in the AFLW* State of Origin Game: Pearce, Paxman. Arnell, Dal Pos, Hickey and for the Allies, one Katie Brennan and Elise O’Dea. Daisy Pearce was injured during the State of Origin Game and looked sore on Sunday. The Creekers, on the other hand had only two players in the Origin teams. Certainly, the Creekers were livelier than the Falcons.


What will happen this week?

A week is a long time in football… And other clichés. Here’s my predictions.


  1. The Falcs will be angry, and hungry. After being shown up against the Creekers, the Fab Three (O’Dea, Paxman and Pearce) will be ready to unleash mid-field fury.
  2. The Sharks lost by 62 points last time these two sides met, and yet, I would say that the pressure is on the Falcs. The Sharks have nothing to lose and the Falcs have plenty to prove.
  3. No one can stop Brianna Davey from the Sharks, so they probably will not even try. Even if Davey does put on a clinic, she has to have someone to kick it to. That is where the Great Wall of Darebin will come into play, formed by Hickey, McDonald, Roe and perhaps Lawson-Tavan. The Darebin backs will be looking to limit easy ball movement.
  4. Look to see Katie Brennan isolated one out in the forward line. KB kicked seven in her last game against the Sharks. No one from the Sharks (apart from Davey) can go with her once she gets moving. Also, Katie Brennan, who won two the VFLW Helen Lambert Medal for Best Player this week as well as sharing the Leading Goalkicker Award with Chloe Molloy, has been in the kind of form that makes me extremely optimistic about the Dogs AFLW team in 2018.
  5. Jasmine Garner from the Sharks will be curtailed by the hard running of one Mel Hickey, who did not have her best game last week and is an immensely proud and committed player.
  6. Falcons to win, and win convincingly.


What’s next?

If the Falcs do win through, can we beat Diamo? Omen watch, for Falcs fans. The Creekers have beaten us twice this year. Darcy Vescio did not play in our Round 3 loss (rested) and she has been out since injuring her knee during the only victory we’ve had against Diamond Creek, so she did not play in Sunday’s loss either.


No Darcy, No Darebin against Diamo?


As Sammy Hagar famously sang in Van Halen’s , 1986 hit  Why Can’t This Be Love?


“only time will tell if we can stand the test of time”.


So deep, So true.




*By the way, many people on my Twitter feed were talking about the ABC doco on the AFLW season, “Heroes” and lauding Sarah Perkins. Now, I love Perko as much as the next person, but the part that really got me right in the feels was watching Ellie Blackburn tear up. One of the toughest players going around, one of the best players going around, still processing her feelings over having a losing season with the Dogs. Ellie Blackburn, captaining the team, playing like a star, and then going to work at Aldi the next day. You cannot fake passion, can you?



About Jackie Lynch

North Melbourne fan by birth, but Bulldogs for the AFLW and Darebin Falcons for the VFLW. I am a high school teacher in the Mighty West and a parent of two kids. Other interests include history, reading, running slowly and the Facebook Page Shit Brick Fences of Melbourne.


  1. David Jacobson says

    Nice piece Jackie. Let’s hope our Falcs win the big one this week. I feel we need to improve on the last couple of weeks but I have faith!

  2. Jackie Lynch says

    Missed this at the time, David. Yes, and YES we did it!

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