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The Western Bulldogs have secured the minor premiership and a spot in the 2018 AFLW grand final with a two-point win over Melbounre on Saturday night.
Western Bulldogs 5.3 (33)
Melbourne Demons 4.7 (31)
It’s a preliminary final without having such a title when the Western Bulldogs take on the Melbourne Demons at Whitten Oval. The winner will play in the grand final next weekend. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:10pm AEDT.
The Western Bulldogs could have locked in their spot in the 2018 grand final last Saturday, but after a loss to the GWS Giants they find themselves in a must-win match. They will be looking to bounce back and will be lifted by the inclusion of their captain, Katie Brennan.
Melbourne, who four of the AFLW Captains picked as most likely to reach the grand final, will need to play well across all four quarters if they are to feature in the final match of the season.
The Demons kicked six goals, three behinds in a huge opening quarter against Carlton last Sunday, only to manage two goals and six behinds for the final three quarters.
While Melbourne’s ferocious start proved too big of a margin for Carlton to come back from, it will take more than a first quarter blitz to beat the ladder leaders, the Western Bulldogs.
Katie Brennan returns to the Bulldogs line up, after recovering from an ankle injury that has kept her out for three weeks. Aisling Utri also returns to the forward line, with Kirsten McLeod (injured) and Emma Mackie (omitted) to miss the clash with Melbourne.
Melbourne have made two changes as well, one forced due to Melissa Hickey’s torn ACL, while Cat Phillips has been omitted. Bianca Jakobbson and Sarah Lampard will come into the side, returning from injuries.
The Western Bulldogs and Melbourne Demons are equally matched teams and both are desperate to play in the AFLW grand final after disappointing 2017 seasons. Both teams have had injuries this season, but are in-form now and putting together strong performances.
It will be a tight contest between these two ladder-leading teams. However, the inclusion of Brennan for the Bulldogs and exclusion of Hickey for the Demons has me leaning towards a Bulldogs’ win.
Bulldogs by 3.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:10pm AEDT.