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AFLW Round 2: Four Things To Watch

Troy Daniel  February 9, 2018 4:25 PM

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 11:  Libby Birch of the Bulldogs is tackled during the round six AFL Women's match between the Brisbane Lions and the Western Bulldogs at South Pine Sports Complex on March 11, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Media/Getty Images) - Western Bulldogs,AFLW

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 11: Libby Birch of the Bulldogs is tackled during the round six AFL Women's match between the Brisbane Lions and the Western Bulldogs at South Pine Sports Complex on March 11, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Hot in the city

The weather forecast for this Sunday in Brisbane has been shifting back and forth all week, but it does look destined to settle somewhere in the mid to high 30s, starting a conversation around how best to look after athletes in extreme conditions.  It’s not an unfamiliar conversation to be having this time of the year, but usually it’s around tennis not football.

But here we are.  If you play footy in February, and in Queensland, it’s going to happen and the AFL will consider implementing a heat policy. 

So what to expect? Possibly longer breaks, and potentially even more players on the interchange.  Whatever it is, we’ll know more the closer the game gets,

 

Shop early, avoid the rush

There was a lot to like about the opening round win over the Dockers, but everyone at the kennel remembers what happened this time last year – an exciting first up win before things went south the next week, and really for the rest of the season. The Dogs would get close at times, but history only records one more win for the rest of the inaugural AFLW season.

With a short season comes pressure to pick up early wins before you get locked out of the grand final race early, and you can be sure Paul Groves and his team will be doing everything possible to bring back the points to Melbourne on Sunday night 

With the reigning premiers waiting at Norwood Oval next Saturday, we’ll learn a lot over the next fortnight.

But…

Last weekend was a great team win, with established players and new faces all cracking in and impacting the result, so it’s not necessarily a like for like comparison from this year to last.   

The Dogs also have Katie Brennan, whose work in front of goal last weekend was weapons-grade material.   Dogs president Peter Gordon told the ABC’s Jon Faine on Friday morning that Brennan was one of the best players he’d ever seen, female or male. 

High praise indeed, but you probably have to watch her live to appreciate how her presence alone shifts the game.  There’s the talent, and then there’s the almost visible chip on the shoulder. 

After missing most of last season, Brennan looks determined to pay her teammates back for her absence which is bad, bad news for the rest of the competition.

 

The others

The Lions opened their season in fine fashion last weekend, disposing of last year’s premiers, the Adelaide Crows in a grand final rematch that they looked to have circled on their calendar the minute the 2018 fixture dropped.   

After the Crows got the early jump Brisbane aggressively switched gears, held Adelaide scoreless and dominated all the stats categories that matter, including the scoreboard, to eventually take home an impressive 12-point win.

One player that no doubt came up in Paul Groves’ edits would have been the 182cm Sabrina Frederick-Traub who looked to have enjoyed the extra space to roam following the departure of Tayla Harris and Tahlia Randall’s shift into the ruck.

Frederick-Traub took Round 1 by the throat and is the very definition of one to watch, for both coaches and fans.

Is it Sunday yet?