Western Bulldogs vs. Adelaide Crows
MATCH UP STATS
Western Bulldogs vs. Adelaide Crows
Season record:Western Bulldogs: 1-0Adelaide Crows: 1-0
Line betting:Western Bulldogs: -9.5 ($1.90 @ Sportsbet)Adelaide Crows: +9.5 ($1.90 @ Sportsbet)
Friday, February 10, 2016, 7.30pm AEDT, Whitten Oval, watch on Seven Network, Fox Footy.
WE are only one round into the inaugural AFL Women’s season and it is already an absolute smashing success, exceeding any and all expectations for the first foray into professional Aussie Rules by women.
With crowds filled to bursting point at every game – more than 50,000 attended across the four matches in round one – and a noted love of the return to suburban footy grounds, every one wants a piece of the the AFLW action.
And that includes the punters, who will be keen to get around this weekend’s biggest game, which pits second vs. third in a clash between the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide Crows.
The Bulldogs are now the red hot favourites to win the flag at $2.75 with Sportsbet.com.au, ahead of Carlton at $3.25 and then the Crows at $6.
On Saturday, they whacked Fremantle by 32 points, 6.8 (44) to 1.6 (12).
Emma Kearney would not be denied for the Doggies, racking up 23 disposals – the third highest tally of any player in round one.
She was helped by marquee star Katie Brennan who had 16 disposals to go with a Bulldogs high of four marks and a joint match high six tackles.
Brennan also booted two goals to be the only multiple goal kicker on the ground.
Towering Tiana Ernst dominated in the ruck with 19 hit outs and four tackles.
It was a dominant performance from the Doggies to start off in the new competition and signalled a note to the league – and to punters – that they are going to be very tough to stop.
Bulldogs coach Paul Groves said it was the perfect way for his charges to start out the season and cold prove important, given the short length of the season – only seven rounds – and the need to finish on the top two to make the grand final.
He said the club would not put any extra pressure on its charges or change its goals for season 2017.
“I don’t think you reassess expectations,” Groves said after the match.
“The expectations are for us to be competitive and play good, hard, solid football.
“If that results in wins and we have fun doing it, then happy days for us.
“We’ve got a very solid list and we’ve got a lot of depth.
Over in Adelaide, though, the Crows put together their own demolition job earlier that day, smashing Greater Western Sydney by 36 points, 7.6 (48) to 1.6 (12).
Top draft pick Ebony Marinoff was in everything for the Crows, racking up 20 disposals – more than any other player on the park – to go along with six tackles.
Chelsea Randall also had six tackles to go along with her 16 disposals and dangerous former Australian Opals basketball star Erin Phillips dominated with three goals and 15 disposals, providing the highlight by bouncing straight back up after getting absolutely ploughed and then booting one of her majors.
The pocket rocket looks to be the ace in the hole for the Crows, with her Eddie Betts like forward play.
“She’s an unbelievable athlete and she showed a glimpse of what she’s capable of today,” Crows coach Bec Goddard gushed over Phillips after the game.
Adding to the interest between these two teams is both produced round one’s AFLW Rising Star Award nominees, the first of 14 who will vie for the end of season award.
Crows midfielder Marinoff was best on ground in the Crows’ win over the Giants, the former surf lifesaver more than justified her selection by the Crows with their first pick in the draft, number seven overall.
The Doggies young defensive dynamo, 20 year old Bailey Hunt, was the key figure in a stopping crew that held Fremantle – among the favourites for the premiership – to just one goal in the match.
The number 60 pick looks like she could prove to be one of the steals of the draft.
Match result: Western Bulldogs to win ($1.45 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Tri bet tip: Either team under 15.5 ($1.72 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Line betting tip: Adelaide Crows +7.5 ($2 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Winning margin spread: Western Bulldogs to win by 1-19 ($2.30 with Sportsbet.com.au)
The Doggies look every bit the favourites to win the inaugural AFLW premiership after slaughtering the Dockers and, while the Crows looked every bit as impressive as the Bulldogs, the first interstate trip could take a serious toll on the Adelaide girls. Brennan might just be the best player in AFL W, with apologies to Carlton’s remarkable Darcy Vescio. She is a star on the ground and in the air and both with and without the ball. While the Crows do have the likes of Phillips, Marinoff and Randall, this looks a bridge to far for the women from Adelaide and the Dogs will be keen to both solidify Whitten Oval as their home fortress and pin down their favouritism for the cup. It is hard to say how the result will go, but, given both teams racked up the points in round one, there is enough talent there to at least keep it close. Given the low scores in round one, we reckon there won’t be much in it at the end. We’re going for the Bulldogs to win, but we are having a little each way, just in case the Crows’ superb round one performance survives the big trip to Melbourne. We will hunt a little extra value on the line and back the Crows to keep it close, +7.5 at even money. And, going the other way, and given we think it will be close, but the Dogs will win, we’re taking them to claim victory by 1-19 points.
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