Geelong will take on the Gold Coast Suns in the first ever AFLW match held in Mackay.
Match Preview Round 5
Gold Coast Suns v Geelong Cats
Friday March 6
Great Barrier Reef Arena, Mackay
Last time we met:
This will be the first time these two teams have met in the AFLW competition.
The Suns have arguably been the most surprising team in the competition this season.
The expansion club has a relatively inexperienced list compared to other teams, however they have been able to match it with some of the best in the competition.
They lost by one point to GWS, they beat Richmond and drew with rivals the Brisbane Lions in the first ever QClash.
Last week they took it up to flag favourites North Melbourne losing by just 13 points.
Geelong finally got their first win on the board last week against Richmond.
The Cats recorded their largest ever score, registering 67 points to Richmond’s 45.
Geelong had eight separate goal kickers in what was an outstanding team game.
The Gold Coast love contested footy and they love to tackle.
They are currently ranked number one in the competition for tackles averaging 64 per game.
The Suns recruited a handful of experienced players from the Brisbane Lions in last year’s trade period with the likes of former Brisbane captain Leah Kaslar and Sam Virgo joining the side.
They also brought in Western Bulldogs premiership player Tiarna Ernst and former Lions and North Melbourne player Jamie Stanton.
Stanton has been a standout for the Suns, however it’s been some of the Gold Coast's less experienced players who have been dominating.
Hannah Dunn, who was previously a train-on player with GWS, has improved dramatically since joining the Suns and leads the team for clearances and tackles.
Another is Essendon VFLW player Lauren Ahrens who leads the team for intercept possessions and is second in the team for metres gained.
Finally, forward Kalinda Howarth leads the team's goal kicking with five majors in four matches.
Howarth was on the Lions’ list last season but didn’t get selected to play a game.
Now she sits just two goals behind the competition's leading goal kicker.
The Suns have been able to make stars from mid-range players by playing team-oriented football with lots of pressure.
Player to watch:
Renee Garing got on the scoreboard for the first time last week against Richmond when she kicked her first goal of the season.
Garing moved from the midfield to the forward line in 2020, and in a practice match against the Western Bulldogs she kicked three goals from her defensive pressure inside forward 50.
This week’s game in Mackay is likely to be a wet one with showers and thunderstorms predicted.
If Garing can apply her forward 50 pressure in the wet conditions against the inexperienced Suns, she could find herself once again on the goal kickers list.