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Match Preview: AFLW Round 6 v Adelaide

The GIANTS will need a big forward-line performance if they're to match the potent Crows. - AFLW,Adelaide Crows
The GIANTS will need a big forward-line performance if they're to match the potent Crows.

The GIANTS will face one of the biggest tests in the NAB AFL Women’s competition when they take on the red-hot Adelaide Crows at Unley Oval on Sunday.

The GIANTS will be keen to prove themselves against the form side of the competition, but it will be no easy feat with Adelaide flying high off the back of a win over the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos – the Kangaroos’ first loss in the AFLW.

The GIANTS continue to show glimpses of their best, and matched Melbourne early in their round five encounter, but will need to string the pieces together if they’re to beat the Crows.

Adelaide has lost just one game this season – and that a mere one-point loss to reigning premier Western Bulldogs – and now sit atop the Conference A table after displacing the Kangaroos.

The GIANTS still sit fourth in Conference B and are still a mathematical chance to make finals, but will need to win their last two games and rely on other results falling their way.

They showed what they were capable of two weeks ago against Collingwood, and will be looking to get back to that form against the Crows.

Goals have been elusive for the GIANTS, who will be looking for big games from a forward line boasting talent enough, with Irish duo Cora Staunton and Yvonne Bonner always looking dangerous, while Christina Bernardi continues to prove a strong marking option.

Staunton, Bonner and Bernardi have all been dangerous up forward, sharing the lead for the GIANTS’ goalkicking tally.

At the other end of the ground, Amanda Farrugia and the GIANTS’ defence will be looking to get the upper hand over the most potent attack in the league.

Stevie-Lee Thompson and Erin Phillips sit first and second on the league goalkicking tally, and will need to be contained if the GIANTS are to topple the Crows.

South Australian Lisa Whiteley will also play her first game, making her the eighth GIANT to make her AFLW debut this season.

Last Two Meetings:

Round 4, 2018: GIANTS 2.7 (19) drew with Adelaide 2.7 (19) at Blacktown International Sportspark.

Round 1, 2017: Adelaide 7.6 (48) def. GIANTS 1.6 (12) at Thebarton Oval.

The Three Points:

1) Clearance Queens: The Crows and GIANTS are currently ranked first and second in the competition for clearances, averaging 26.2 and 24.4 respectively. With the GIANTS holding a slight advantage in the ruck (averaging 28 hitouts to 26 per game), hitouts to advantage will be a huge factor in winning the midfield battle.

2) As close as it gets: The last time these two teams faced off, it was a drawn match at Blacktown International Sportspark. The sides battled it out in teeming rain, and finished the match with a perfectly tied 2.7 (19) apiece. The GIANTS will likewise be looking to keep the Crows’ scoring in check when they face off at Unley Oval on Sunday.

3) The case for All Australians: Bec Beeson continues to impress since making the switch to the midfield, and is ranked equal eighth in the competition for possessions, averaging 18 a game – nine of which are contested. Yvonne Bonner has slotted wonderfully into the Australian football set-up, and while she says she still wants to work on being better prepared mentally for the physicality of the game, her skills have been wonderful to watch, as has her ability to read a situation under pressure.