Women’s Premier Division MOTW: Warriors maintain their stronghold on the Bulldogs in 2019

Photo: Narelle Spangher, AFL NSW/ACT


Written by Michael Shillito

UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs vs. Macquarie University – Village Green on Saturday 10 August

We’re into the home straight of the regular season, and the finish line is in sight. Last Saturday saw the penultimate round of action; which locked in the teams for the Second Semi-Final. But the last spot in the top four is still up for grabs and will be decided in the last game of the season.

UNSW Eastern Suburbs were in the top four going into their clash at the Village Green on Saturday afternoon. They knew it would be a big ask to remain in fourth against a strong Macquarie Uni side who were keen to guarantee themselves the double-chance in the finals. Both sides had players unavailable due to GWS duty in their final VFLW invitational clash; but there was still plenty of talent on the field ready to play their part.

The enormity of the task facing the Bulldogs was clear for all to see in the first quarter, as they struggled to get any meaningful possession of the footy. Tackled, bumped and left second for the contested footy, the Bulldogs were unable to stop the Warriors juggernaut. Time and again the Macquarie side took the ball forward and the Bulldogs were rarely able to get the ball anywhere near their forward 50. Three unanswered goals in the first term set up an 18-point quarter time lead, and it would be a tough challenge for the Bulldogs to recover from that.

The Bulldogs didn’t give up and tightened the game up in the second term. But for all their efforts to stop the Warriors, they could only manage a solitary behind to show for it on the scoreboard. The Warriors were unable to get the same clean possession as they got in the first term, but still managed one major score. As the teams returned to the rooms at half time, the Warriors had a 24-point advantage.

The Bulldogs never stopped putting in the effort, but they didn’t have the firepower to match it with a red-hot Warriors outfit. Mac Uni continued to apply the pressure and prevent the Bulldogs from doing anything to get back into the contest. The Warriors were on fire, hitting their targets and keeping the ball inside their forward 50 for long periods of time. The quarter would see the Warriors slam another three unanswered goals through the big sticks, racing away to a 43-point lead at the last change.

The result of the game was beyond doubt, and the last quarter had the feel of largely going through the motions. The Warriors added another goal, but the hard work had already been done. The final siren completed a comprehensive 51-point win, with the Bulldogs held to just a single point for the day.

Meagan Kiely, Pippa Smyth and Laura Russell were standout contributors for the Warriors as they completed another big win against the defending premiers. The win ensures the Warriors will have the double-chance in the finals. The percentage gap between them and Sydney Uni is such that even if the Warriors were to drop the final round game, the Bombers won’t catch them.

Alison Parkin, Jasmine Smith and Zara Hoare kept putting in all day for the Bulldogs. But the Bulldogs were outclassed around the ground and unable to match it with the Warriors when it mattered.

Southern Power leap-frogged the Bulldogs into the top four when the Power completed a 31-point win over Inner West Magpies at Picken Oval. Sydney Uni were 95 points too good for Newtown in an evening game at Sydney Uni No 1 Oval. And East Coast Eagles maintained top spot with a comfortable 36-point result over UTS AFC at Waverley Oval.

East Coast and Macquarie Uni will face off in the Second Semi-Final. That is locked in. It’s also guaranteed that Sydney Uni will be playing in the First Semi-Final. But the last spot in the final four will be decided in the last round.

Southern Power are fourth, a game ahead of UNSW-ES and there’s little separating their percentage. The Power and Bulldogs play each other in the final round. To the winner will go the spoils of a spot in the finals. For the loser, no finals. It all comes down to Saturday afternoon at Waratah Oval.

Match Results

Macquarie University –3.0 | 4.1 | 7.2 | 8.4 (52)

UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs – 0.0 | 0.1 | 0.1 | 0.1 (1)

Macquarie Uni Goals – L Russell 3, E Smyth, A Albury, M Kiely, K Russell, P Smyth

Macquarie Uni Best – M Kiely, P Smyth , L Russell, G Ferreira, E Graham, J Thorp.

UNSW-ES Best – A Parkin, J Smith, Z Hoare, S Griffiths, S Longville, S Koh.


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