DETAILS: Richmond v Melbourne
DATE: Friday 14 January
TIME: 7:10pm (AEDT)
LOCATION: Swinburne Centre
BROADCAST: Fox Footy
TICKETS: Unfortunately, tickets for Friday night's game have officially sold out, with no more to be released.
LAST TIME WE MET: Round 2, 2021 | Melbourne v Richmond | Casey Fields
Melbourne’s second game of the 2021 season saw them host Richmond at Casey Fields, with the Dees walking away 28-point victors.
The match began as an even contest, the scores level at the first break. It was young gun Alyssa Bannan, who was playing just her second AFLW game, that sparked a fire in the Demons, kicking back-to-back goals and pushing them to an 11-point lead at half time.
The second half saw the home side dominate the play, Melbourne defenders keeping Richmond to just two goals for the remainder of the game. Majors from Kate Hore, Shelley Scott and Karen Paxman put the finishing touches on the win for the Demons.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Melbourne
Zanker is coming off a standout performance in Melbourne’s Round 1 win over the Bulldogs, collecting 20 disposals, four tackles and one goal. The No.29, who previously featured heavily in the side’s forward line, has been spending more time on-ball in a midfield role, her strength through clearances and ability to hit the scoreboard becoming an asset to the team.
Pearce is one of the leading rucks in the competition and looks to be continuing this title in 2022, after another exceptional game for the Dees last weekend. Pearce had 14 disposals and 11 hit-outs for the match, with her follow up through stoppages and strength at ground level a major value.
Goldrick returns to the side having missed Round 1 under the AFL's Health and Safety Protocols. The defender proved to be a huge match up in Melbourne's win over the Tigers last season, keeping star forward Katie Brennan to just one point for the entirety of the game. Goldrick's speed and aggression are a strength for the side coming out of defence, and the 31-year-old will no doubt be looking to burst out with a first-game performance.
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PLAYERS TO WATCH: Richmond
Conti is an obvious choice when it comes to Tiger talent, with the 22-year-old dominating the midfield in Richmond’s Round 1 win over St Kilda. Conti had 29 disposals, nine clearances and seven tackles, making an indisputable impact on the win. She continues to be one of the league's more powerful midfielders, with explosive energy through the centre an important aspect of the team's game.
Richmond showed in their first game of the year that their forward line is full of strength, with Courtney Wakefield the perfect example of that. Last week, Wakefield registered nine disposals and kicked two goals, earning herself a spot in the top players for the night. The 34-year-old will be a key player to watch if she takes to the field on Friday.
This former Dee is an All-Australian defender and an experienced AFLW player, currently in her sixth season since the league's inception. She will create a tough match-up against Melbourne’s forwards come Friday night, her sleek aerial skills and intercept marking a major threat for the Dees.
COACH'S VIEW: Tamara Hyett
“During our game against the Bulldogs, we showed some really good signs as to the way we want to play. The challenge for this group each week will be to execute more consistently across the full four quarters,” Hyett said.
“When we look ahead to our game against Richmond, we know they set up well behind the ball and are a strong intercept marking team, so we will need to be smarter with our ball use in the forward half.
"It should be a great match and the group is excited to run out against another quality opposition in the Tigers."