Collingwood vs. Carlton
MATCH UP STATS
Collingwood vs. Carlton
Line betting:Collingwood: -1.5 with SportsbetCarlton: +1.5 with Sportsbet
Friday, February 3 from 7.40pm at ICON Park.
THE new frontier in Australian Rules football begins on Friday night when traditional rivals Carlton and Collingwood take their hostilities to the world of women’s football.
With a bitter rivalry that stems back a century in men’s footy, it should not take long for it to spill over into the women’s game – and over 10,000 fans are expected to witness the first incarnation at Ikon Park.
The match was planned for the training oval at Olympic Park, but massive demand forced the AFL to make a move to ensure everyone who wanted to witness history could do so.
To the naysayers out there who say women shouldn’t play football, just make sure you watch this game, because, if the local competitions are anything to go by, it is jam-packed with crash and bash to go with eye-watering skill and blistering pace.
The Pies, as they always do, are aiming for the flag. But expectation rarely matches reality and we reckon they might just be benefiting from the Collingwood name in the odds department, given they are $1.81 favourites with Sportsbet.com.au to win the match, with the Blue Baggers at even money.
While all the buzz is about the Magpies – especially starlet Moana Hope – the Blues have actually recruited an eclectic mix of talent that could really cause surprises.
While they will build around midfield machine Lauren Arnell, who booted 37 goals from the midfield playing for the Darwin Falcons last year, top draft pick – and die hard Blues fan – Bianca Jakobsson looms as the joker in the pack for a side that features identical twins Jess and Sarah Hosking, along with master horse trainer Peter Moody’s daughter Breann Moody.
Jakobsson, who returned from a knee reconstruction only last year, is a gun half forward who roams between the arcs and uses her pace to burn off opponents and speed to hit targets in the attacking 50 – and find the goals.
Arnell, 29, will captain the side and included in the leadership group is former Australian Soccer goal keeper Brianna Davey, the ex-Matilda burning up the training track in pre-season.
The Blues acknowledge they have a young group, while the Pies – led by the aforementioned Hope – reportedly have a full healthy list to choose from on Friday night – apart from Canadian Kendra Heil, who ruptured her ACL early on in the preseason.
Hope kicked 100 goals for St Kilda last season and could quite possibly be the most talented player in the competition.
But the Pies also sport superstar captain Steph Chiocci, who led the Bulldogs in last year’s exhibition match and has elector skill and speed in the midfield.
Former Port Adelaide pocket dynamo David Rodan will be keeping a close eye on the Pies, with his sister Helen Roden – yep, that is the correct spelling – coming home from college basketball in the USA to join Collingwood.
Another quirky signing expected to play a big role for the Pies is former Commonwealth Games silver medallist Cecelia McIntosh. The 37-year-old has a silver javelin medal at the games and has also tried her hand at bobsleigh in the Winter Olympics. Jack of all trades who knows how to lock down a dangerous attacker.’ Melbourne Stars WBBL jet Jess Cameron is also a part of the squad and is expected to feature prominently.
Pies Women’s coach Wayne Seikman has already said the club’s plan “from day one, is to make the grand final.”
“These amazing athletes have been waiting a long time for this opportunity to come,” Siekman said.
“They’ve been training so hard for the past eight weeks, but the time has come … it’s their time to shine.
“We’re on top of the world because … we’ve got 27 players to pick from.
“I don’t think there are too many other clubs who could say that.
“I think we’ve got a very good handle on where we’re at.
“We structured our pre-season to make sure that round one … we’re ready — there’s no excuses.”
So who is going to win? Well, it is hard to say.
Good luck being an oddsmaker for this game.
There is no form and no history to go on as it is the first time these women will play against each other as part of a national competition.
You can look at the talent in the side but, again, there has been very little exposure for these women before the new competition was launched, so it is nearly impossible to predict how they will go on the national stage and if they will jell as team mates.
So, with that, we are going to try and predict how this match will go.
Good luck to you… and us.
Match result: Carlton Blues to win ($2 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Line betting: Carlton Blues +1.5 ($1.90 with Sportsbet.com.au)
How about a minor upset to kick off the first ever Women’s AFL season? The Pies are the favourite, but, as we’ve alluded to, it feels like that could just be on name only. The Blues have not had the profile that the Pies have, but word out of the camp is that they have quietly put together a cohesive unit, with gun midfielder Arnell and Jakobsson looking like a pair of tough packages to stop. The Pies do have a couple of wily veteran defenders, but we think they can break the Pies open with their pace and spread. We reckon Moana channels her inner Daicos and boots six goals, but the Blues pull this one out – just. How about Carlton by two points? Seems fair.
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