Grand Final Preview – Women’s Premier Division
Written by Michael Shillito
It’s been an enormous season for Women’s footy in Sydney; and the climax of the season comes on Saturday at Kanebridge Oval when Manly-Warringah Wolves take on Inner West Magpies in the Premier Division Grand Final.
This has been Manly’s first season at Premier Division level, and they couldn’t have asked for a better first year. The Wolves only dropped one game in the regular season as they raced away to the minor premiership. After a week off in the first week of the finals, they were tested by East Coast in the Major Semi-Final, but a six-point win was enough to get them the first spot in the Grand Final, and another week to prepare and get over any niggles.
Isabella Rudolph has delivered the goods up forward for the Wolves this season, and they will be looking to her to add to her tally of 14 goals for the year and spearhead the charge up forward. Also keep an eye out for Jessica Layton, who has been a consistent high possession winner for the Wolves throughout the year and the Magpies will have to work hard to keep her quiet.
Inner West Magpies have timed their best footy to perfection this season, coming from fifth to make the Grand Final. The Magpies have had to play three sudden death finals to get to the competition decider; but have got it done every time. A six-point win over North Shore in the Elimination Final was followed up by a 11-point win over Southern Power in the Minor Semi-Final and last week they were 14 points too good for East Coast in the Preliminary Final.
Leading the way for the Magpies this season has been Rebecca Privitelli, continuing her AFLW form with 19 goals for the season to date and being an imposing presence on the forward line all season. Lael Kassem has again been a strong force for the Magpies this year, finishing second in the Mostyn Medal count after another outstanding season. Also watch out for Eilish Sheerin, who has been a prolific ball-winner for the Magpies in 2020 and is one that the Wolves will be looking to contain in this contest.
The two sides have met once this season, with the Wolves taking the contest by 30 points at Weldon Oval in round 3.
The Magpies have hit their best form at the right time of the year, and have had a great finals campaign to get to the big dance. But it’s hard to go past the dominance of the Wolves throughout the season, and they will be refreshed and ready to go. The Wolves have been the standout all year; and would surely have to be the hottest of favourites to emulate what their Men’s team did in 2013, and take out the flag in their first season in Premier Division.
Prediction – Manly by 17 points.
Covid-19 Protocols and Ticketing
To enable AFL Sydney to effectively implement and operate a COVID safety plan, Grand Final days will be ticketed to ensure crowd numbers stay at or under 500 at any time. Tickets are not available to the general public and will not be issued on the gate. The only tickets available have been allocated to each competing team which they will share among players, officials and spectators. Entry into the venue will only be permitted to ticket holders. Contact your club for more information on how to secure a ticket, otherwise you can stream all the action live on our Facebook page.