15/04/2024

The fixture for AFLW season seven has released. (Photo: Port Adelaide AFLW/Twitter; Adelaide FC; Essendon FCW/Twitter)

The Inner Sanctum has taken a look at the games to look forward to in AFLW season seven, as well as the highs and lows for each club.

The fixture has dropped for AFLW season seven, with the four new expansion teams entering the competition for the first time.

The Inner Sanctum has taken a look at the games to look forward to, as well as the highs and lows for each club.

Fans will be excited for…

The first ever AFLW Showdown will be played in Round 7 at Adelaide Oval, and the Crows will be hoping their fans pack out Port’s home game. With such a fierce rivalry between the two South Australian teams as well as former Adelaide Crows Erin Phillips, Justine Mules and Angela Foley possibly facing their old side, it will be a match-up not to be missed.

Fans will be nervous for…

The season six grand final rematch against the Melbourne Demons in Round 1 looms as a huge fixture. After half time in last season’s decider was close, the Crows ran rampant in the second half to take the premiership. The Demons will be hoping to inflict a loss to start the Crows’ premiership defence, after they unfurl the premiership flag in front of their fans at Norwood Oval. 

Interstate trips:

In season seven, the Crows travel for the first time to play Richmond at Punt Road Oval. Considering they are a non-Victorian based side, the Crows are lucky to have a home state showdown as an away fixture as well as three away games in Victoria, one game in Queensland and no games scheduled in the west.

Happy to miss:

Considering the form they have shown in recent years, the Crows will be happy not to be playing Essendon in the home and away fixture. With shrewd recruiting including some AFLW stars from other sides, the Crows will not get to test themselves against what some think is the strongest looking expansion side.

Madeline Irwin

Fans will be excited for…

The annual Q-Clash is a game Brisbane fans will be excited about as the rivalry between the two Queensland based teams has built over the last few seasons. As an AFLW powerhouse, the Lions will want to assert their continued dominance against the Suns who have struggled to perform in the competition.

Another clash that will excite Brisbane fans is the game in Round 8 against the Adelaide Crows. The first big encounter between these two sides was the Grand Final in 2017, which the Crows won. Revenge was exacted in 2021 when the Lions won a premiership against the Crows. Both sides have formed this organic rivalry, which is unique to the AFLW league.

Fans will be nervous for…

The fans will be nervous come Round 4 when the Lions travel to Casey Fields to play the Melbourne Demons. Coming up against the Demons is a tough ask for any team, let alone at Casey Fields, however the Lions should fancy themselves given their form last season. 

Embed from Getty Images

Interstate trips:

The Brisbane Lions have a fairly good fixture travel-wise only having to travel to play in Victoria and Canberra once. They play four games in Victoria against Melbourne, North Melbourne, Richmond and Collingwood. 

Happy to miss:

The Lions will be happy to miss out on playing both the Adelaide Crows and Fremantle Dockers away. Given the Lions play well generally in front of their home fans, it will suit them to play these seemingly tougher opponents in Queensland. 

Madeline Irwin

Fans will be excited for…

The opening fortnight of action is set to be an exciting one for Blues fans and players. They’ll open the AFLW season with arch rivals Collingwood on Thursday night before facing newcomers Essendon. The match against the Bombers will be that little bit spicier due to the moves of Maddy Prespakis and Georgia Gee.

They’ll also get plenty of prime-time action with at least five games being broadcast on Channel 7 plus four Friday night games in the second half of the season, two of which are at Ikon Park.

Fans will be nervous for…

Whilst they’ll have plenty of games to be nervous about, the Blue girls first half of the 2022 season is set to be tough once more.

In their opening five games they’ll face three finalists from the earlier 2022 season in Collingwood plus Fremantle and Melbourne in consecutive weeks (Rounds 4 and 5). They also face an Essendon side who look set to be a force to be reckoned with in their first season.

Interstate trips:

The Blue girls will only take three trips interstate this year, all of which will be played in three different states.

The first will see them travel out to Fremantle in round four before heading to the inner west of Sydney two weeks later to face GWS. In round nine they’ll then travel up to the Gold Coast to face the Suns in Friday night footy.

Happy to miss:

Whilst they’ll still face three finals sides from last year, they’ll still be relieved that they won’t have to face reigning premiers Adelaide, the Brisbane Lions or North Melbourne unlike last season.

Josh Ward

Fans will be excited for…

The opening game of the season will be a highlight for many footy fans let alone the Collingwood faithful. They open the season at Ikon Park against their oldest rival Carlton. While the rivalry was initially formed in the old days of the VFL, the AFLW rivalry is building between the clubs and will be a cracking contest.

Embed from Getty Images

Fans will be nervous for…

The Collingwood fans will be nervous for the aforementioned Round 1 clash against Carlton as well as the game against Essendon in Round 5. Now that they have their two biggest rivals in the competition, the Magpies will want to stamp their authority early against the Bombers who have also recruited former Magpie Sophie Alexander.

Interstate trips:

Collingwood doesn’t have much travel planned for the upcoming season. The Pies have three away games in Victoria against Carlton, Geelong and St Kilda as well as away games against Fremantle and Brisbane.

Happy to miss:

Being potentially short in the midfield in terms of depth due to long-term injuries to Brianna Davey and Brittany Bonnici, Collingwood will be happy to miss a clash with the Hawthorn Hawks. The Hawks have a slew of midfield options in Tilly Lucas-Rodd as well as chop out options in Jess Duffin and Kaitlyn Ashmore which could cause headaches for the Pies. The experience that Bec Goddard has brought in will see them go a long way and they could be a sneaky threat come finals time.

Madeline Irwin

Fans will be excited for…

Essendon’s first ever AFLW match will take place under lights at traditional VFL ground North Port Oval, taking on fellow newcomers Hawthorn. It will be both clubs’ first chance to make a strong impression on not only fans, but the competition as a whole. 

Similarly, the week after against Carlton will be a strong opportunity for Maddy Prespakis and Georgia Gee to explode against their former club in what will no doubt be one of the biggest games of the season.

Fans will be nervous for…

A Round 9 trip to the ever difficult to play Casey Fields against grand finalists Melbourne will be one of the biggest challenges of Essendon’s first fixture. The Dees haven’t lost at their home ground since Round 7, 2019, and it will take a complete group performance to get over the top of the likely flag contenders.

Interstate trips:

The Bombers will enjoy three interstate trips in season seven, the first of which arrives in Round 3 against the Eagles. They’d be hoping for an early season win there against the rebuilding side, before heading to Queensland in Round 6 to take on preliminary finalists Brisbane. Closing out the season will be a clash against fellow expansion side Port Adelaide at spiritual home Alberton Oval.

Happy to miss:

Essendon is one of the teams that will avoid reigning premiers Adelaide this season. If all expectations are met, however, the Dons may very well find themselves contesting the Crows at some point in the extended finals series. Similarly, they also avoid last year’s finalists North Melbourne and Fremantle. The VFLW players of the group will happy to avoid St Kilda, after a draw and just a 10 point victory in their state league match ups with the Southern Saints before a comprehensive grand final victory.

Alex Catalano

Fans will be excited for…

After spending much of last season on the road, the Dockers have a nice run in Western Australia from Rounds 4 to 6. This will give fans a chance to support the team at home to make up for the time away last year. 

The highlight of the season will be the Thursday night primetime Derby against cross town rivals West Coast at the incredible Optus Stadium. It’s the first time the Derby will be under lights. After being challenged by West Coast in last year’s edition, Fremantle will be looking to make it five from five in the historic clash. 

Fans will be nervous for…

Fremantle has one of the harder draws, that sees them having to play four of last year’s top six. The draw includes both of last year’s grand finalists and to top that off, the games are also back to back with a home game against Melbourne and then a trip to Adelaide to take on the reigning premiers. It will be no easy task for the Dockers, but if any team can take on a challenge, it’s them. 

Interstate trips:

Fremantle is no stranger to an interstate trip, and this season the club will visit five states across the season. Starting the year with a trip to the Gabba to take on the Lions, it’s an important game for both teams who have both been strong sides previously. 

A Friday night clash against the Dogs comes in Round 3 at Ikon Park, followed by a trip to Adelaide in Round 7, and to top it all off, a trip to Sydney to face the Swans in Round 9. 

Happy to miss: 

Facing some of the hardest teams in the competition, one thing that Fremantle will be avoiding is a clash with Port Adelaide who snared much loved former player Gemma Houghton in the expansion signing period.

Former Fremantle forward Gemma Houghton in her new colours. (Photo: PAFC)

Missing out on this game gives Fremantle fans a bit more time to come to terms with the departure of the much loved figure. It also gives Fremantle less exposure to the unknown variables that will be presenting themselves within the expansion teams, so it can set itself up against the known teams of the competition. 

Kristin Sims

Fans will be excited for…

Geelong gets the chance to start its season off strong against Richmond on a Sunday afternoon at home in Round 1. The Cats recorded their biggest win since 2019 against the Tigers last season, who they traditionally match up well against. With home games against Collingwood and St Kilda as well in the first half of the fixture, who they also ran close last season, Geelong has every opportunity to begin season seven with a bang.

Fans will be nervous for…

A date with Adelaide in South Australia would make any club nervous, but for Geelong, the stakes are even higher. The Cats have never beaten the reigning premiers, and were embarrassed by them in the 2019 preliminary final. This game could be one that decides whether the Cats return to finals, and should be a tense affair.

Interstate trips:

Geelong travels just three times in season seven, with the majority front ended. It will have to spend two of its four weeks on the road, first to visit Fremantle in Western Australia before heading to Tasmania two weeks later to face North Melbourne. The Cats will be jumping on the bus around Victoria before heading to face the Crows later in the year in Round 9.

Happy to miss:

The Cats still haven’t met the Demons yet, and won’t do so this season. Many fans will probably see this as a good thing, as Melbourne will once again come into this AFLW season as premiership fancies. They also miss Brisbane, but perhaps would have liked to face off with them considering they ran the Lions to within just two points in Maroochydore last time they met.

Alex Catalano

Fans will be excited for…

The AFLW Q-Clash in Round 3 in Brisbane. This early season intra-state rivalry will certainly give the Suns a chance to see how they are progressing against one of the competition’s powerhouses. Fans will also be excited for the opportunity to see the Suns across the entire state of Queensland, with games in two different locations on the Gold Coast, as well as Brisbane and Mackay.

Fans will be nervous for…

A Round 1 matchup against perennial finalist North Melbourne away at Blundstone Arena in Tasmania. The Gold Coast supporters will be hoping for a strong showing to start the season, so this first up contest on the back of a long roadtrip is one that could have a significant impact on the mindset of the side.

Interstate trips:

The Suns, after the Round 1 trip to Tasmania, play the next four games in Queensland. This leaves them with only three more away games for the season – two of which are to Sydney. Interestingly, the Suns only play one game in Melbourne for the season.

Happy to miss: 

The Suns will be happy to avoid reigning premier Adelaide, as well as preliminary finalist Fremantle and another finalist last year in Collingwood.

Scott Kertes

Fans will be excited for…

The GWS Giants supporters will be looking forward to games against opposition that should feature in the bottom half of the AFLW ladder this season. These games would be the Round 4 match at home against the West Coast Eagles, Carlton, Gold Coast and Hawthorn. 

Another game that will be worth watching for Giants fans is the first ever Sydney derby to be played at the SCG against the expansion side, the Sydney Swans. Both firming as potential up and coming lists, the Giants will be keen to get one over on their state rivals. 

Fans will be nervous for…

The hardest game for the Giants on paper is their match-up against the reigning premiers at Wigan Oval in Adelaide. Still retaining most of their list, the Crows seem like another big threat this season while the Giants are under a new coach and will still be trying to gel as a team.

Interstate trips:

The Giants will do more travelling than most teams having only one other team in their state. They have an away game against Sydney at the SCG which helps, however they have to travel to Adelaide once to take on the Crows. They also have to travel to Victoria three times to play the Bulldogs, Collingwood and Richmond.

Happy to miss:

GWS will be happy to avoid Essendon and Port Adelaide in this season’s fixture. As a team that seems likely to finish in the bottom half of the ladder, they will be happy to avoid the two expansion clubs that look likely to shake up the competition and even be a chance for finals.

Madeline Irwin

More Aussie Rules News

Fans will be excited for…

There’s already plenty of anticipation for the Hawks’ first ever match, but it’s built even more so due to their opponents being traditional rivals and fellow new girls Essendon at the historic North Port Oval.

Fans from the eastern suburbs will also get the opportunity to see them play twice at Box Hill City Oval in the opening five rounds. Frankston fans will also get to see them three times at SkyBus Stadium, including against finalists Brisbane.

Fans will be nervous for…

Whilst they have a relatively comfortable fixture, Hawks fans will be nervous about their ending to their first campaign.

They’ll face up with two finals opponents in Brisbane and Fremantle, with the match against the Dockers set to be played out west in the final round.

Interstate trips:

There’s only the two interstate trips for the Hawks this year, both of which will be in the final three rounds of the season.

Their final one (as previously stated) will see them travel out west to Fremantle Oval whilst their first sees them travel to Henson Park for Pride Round against the Giants.

Happy to miss:

Whilst they do have two finals opponents this coming season they’ll still be pleased they won’t play last season’s grand finalists in Adelaide and Melbourne plus the Kangaroos and Pies.

Josh Ward

Fans will be excited for…

Melbourne broke record after record in its Round 9 smashing of Fremantle last year, and it will surely be excited for another chance to do so in Round 6. 

Breaking records for the biggest winning margin (88 points), highest score (107 points), and highest scoring quarter (43 points), the Dees will be full of confidence when travelling back to Perth to face the Dockers once again. 

Fans will be nervous for…

The Grand Final replay against Adelaide in Round 1 is sure to be a cracker, but it’s also a game that will definitely have Melbourne fans on edge. 

The Demons lost to the Crows twice last season, the first taking place in Round 4, and the second coming in the big dance. Obviously a loss would not be a good start to the season, so fans would be hoping that the club can redeem their past defeats and kick the year off with a win. 

Interstate trips:

The Demons will have to fly out three times this season, with the first trip landing in Round 1, where they will face the reigning premiers in the aforementioned Grand Final rematch at Norwood Oval. 

After that, they will stay in Victoria for four weeks, until they jet off to Perth and the Gold Coast for clashes with the Dockers and Suns in Round 6 and 8 respectively, to complete their interstate schedule. 

Happy to miss:

Given both of their losses last season came against the Crows, who they will have to face straight away, there won’t be many other challenges that the Demons will be scared to tackle head on. 

However, they will at least be pleased with the fact that they won’t have to play Collingwood, given they have been fixtured to play the other four finals teams from last season at some point this year. 

Brandon Patane

Fans will be excited for…

North Melbourne fans will get an opportunity early in the season to see some high quality football, with games against grand finalists Melbourne and Adelaide in Rounds 2 and 3 respectively. The side also has three games at its spiritual home of Arden Street, as well as catering for Tasmanian fans with home games in both Launceston and Hobart.

Fans will be nervous for…

The excitement of the matchups above will also see fans nervous that the side will not get off to a great start to the season. Both games are away games, so claiming one win from the two may well be considered a win overall. The Kangaroos also face two other finalists for the season in Brisbane amd Collingwood, giving them quite a challenging season.

Embed from Getty Images

Interstate trips:

North Melbourne only travel to two states outside of Victoria, for two games in South Australia and two home games in Tasmania.  Compared to the possibilities it could have faced, the club’s travel is limited and a huge boost for the side.

Happy to miss: 

Given its position on the ladder at the end of last season, North was unlikely to miss too many of the top sides. It would be happy to miss contender Fremantle, as well as avoid trips at all to Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales.

Scott Kertes

Fans will be excited for…

The first ever AFLW Showdown in Round 6 will no doubt be one of the biggest events of the AFLW calendar. With the fire well and truly alive between Port and Adelaide in the men’s competition, fans will be keen to see the clubs go head to head for the first time in the women’s season too. South Australian crowds have always shown up for big AFLW games, and Friday night at Adelaide Oval is the perfect opportunity to do so again.

Fans will be nervous for…

All four expansion sides will be wanting to start their seasons as strongly as possible with a win. Port will have to travel interstate against West Coast in Round 1, the only one of the new teams playing away from home to start the season. Without the crowd behind them and against a team desperate to get off the bottom of the ladder, the Power will have their work cut out for them.

Interstate trips:

The Power start their season in Western Australia against the Eagles at Mineral Resources Park. In Round 3, they’ll come up against Carlton at Ikon Park in their first trip to Victoria for the year. Round 5 sees Kate Surman, Jacqui Yorston, Britt Perry and Cheyenne Hammond return to Queensland to take on their old side Gold Coast, before closing out the year with another two trips to Victoria against Hawthorn and St Kilda.

Happy to miss:

Port Adelaide will play just two of last season’s finalists, and get to do so both times at home, playing Adelaide at Adelaide Oval and North Melbourne at Alberton. The club also misses travelling to New South Wales, playing the Swans at home and not coming up against the Giants.

Alex Catalano

Fans will be excited for…

Richmond fans will be the envy of the competition, with Victorian based supporters able to see their side in nine of their 10 games. The Tigers have seven games in Melbourne, as well as an away game to Geelong and a home game in Mildura versus the GWS Giants.  The Tigers also host the reigning premiers Adelaide in Round 2 at Punt Road, a game that gives them an opportunity to challenge themselves against the benchmark of the competition.

Fans will be nervous for…

There is not a lot for fans to be nervous for with regards to the fixture. Games against the premiers in Round 2 and preliminary finalists Brsbane in Round 5 will be a challenges, but both are at home.  If anything, fans should be nervous that the side doesn’t take advantage of the great draw they have.

Interstate trips:

There’s just the one interstate trip for the Tigers, with a Round 7 clash against the lowly Eagles in Perth. Road trips to Mildura and Geelong also add to their travel, but compared to the other sides, there is limited travel for Richmond.

Happy to miss: 

The Tigers avoid grand finalists Melbourne as well as other finalists from last year in Fremantle and Collingwood. They also have only two matchups of a possible four against the new sides, so perhaps they would be happy to miss these given the unknown quantity these sides could be.

Scott Kertes

Fans will be excited for…

In their fourth season in the AFLW, the Saints will face off against Geelong and Gold Coast in consecutive rounds, the only two sides they beat last year. The Saints match up well against the Cats, also beating them in 2021, and will be hoping to make it three in a row in season seven. A strong draw in the second half of the season sees the Saints play four of their last five games in Moorabbin.

Embed from Getty Images

Fans will be nervous for…

Both Sydney and Hawthorn host their first ever home games against St Kilda, which will no doubt be hostile environments for the struggling Saints. The following week, St Kilda plays Melbourne. While it defeated the grand finalists in 2020, their last two match-ups have been lost by a combined 85 points.

Interstate trips:

St Kilda travels just two times in season seven, once to face Sydney and the second time to play Gold Coast in Mackay. After Round 4, the longest trips the Saints will have to make will be to jump on the bus to Geelong and Ballarat.

Happy to miss:

The Saints will avoid Fremantle, Brisbane and North Melbourne from last year’s finalists, while they also avoid playing at Casey Fields, hosting Melbourne at Moorabbin. They also miss Essendon, considered the strongest of the expansion sides coming into season seven.

Alex Catalano

Fans will be excited for…

The Sydney Swans have a proud group of supporters, and they have waited patiently for the chance to see their women’s team run out on the track.

The club recruited well in the sign and trade period, as well as the draft, so the Swans fans will surely be excited to cheer on the team this season, regardless of what happens.

Fans will be nervous for…

While they have avoided games against the top three sides from last year, clashes with the Dockers, Kangaroos, and Magpies, who all finished inside the top six, will be true tests of where the club stands upon entering the league.

If the Swans can hold their own in those games, then they may have a chance at making an impact sooner rather than later. 

Interstate trips:

The Swans will play five of their 10 inaugural AFLW games outside of New South Wales, and there will be a lot of back and forth travelling involved.

The first trip will see them travel down to Victoria Park and face Collingwood in Round 2, followed by a clash with fellow newbies Port Adelaide at Alberton Oval in Round 4. Round 6 will see the Swans come back to Victoria to face North Melbourne at Arden Street, before returning once again in Round 8 to play Essendon at IKON Park.

Sydney will finish its season with a trip to Geelong in the final round, facing the Cats at GMHBA Stadium. 

Happy to miss:

Sydney has avoided clashes with both of last year’s grand finalists, Adelaide and Melbourne, which would be a relief heading into this season. It has also avoided the Brisbane Lions, who were quite a strong oufit last season as well. 

Brandon Patane

Fans will be excited for…

After claiming the wooden spoon last season, this season will be all about building for this young West Coast side. There’s no better way to gain some confidence than coming up against other building sides Port Adelaide and Essendon, hosting both expansion teams at Mineral Resources Park. The best young talent across the country will be on display in these two matches.

Fans will be nervous for…

The Derby is always a must watch fixture, but hasn’t been one that’s brought much joy for Eagles fans yet. The ‘little sisters’ of the state are yet to beat the Dockers, but will get their next chance to do so in a Thursday night matchup in late September.

Interstate trips:

West Coast will travel to Victoria three times, Queensland and New South Wales in season seven. The most challenging of these match-ups will arise in a Round 10 encounter with grand finalists Melbourne at the indomitable Casey Fields. They’ll start off their time on the road against Gold Coast, then GWS at Giants Stadium, Hawthorn in Frankston, and Geelong at Ikon Park.

Happy to miss:

West Coast will only have two season six finalists in Fremantle and Melbourne to contend with, avoiding Adelaide, Brisbane, Collingwood and North Melbourne. These are all sides the Eagles are yet to defeat even once in their three seasons in the AFLW, so they will be hoping season seven is one that promises at least a few more victories.

Alex Catalano

Fans will be excited for…

The Bulldogs had quite a sizable win against the Eagles last season, beating them by 60 points at Optus Stadium in Round 9. 

While they didn’t manage to take home a finals spot off the back of it, the Bulldogs will face West Coast in the same round this season, and they will be looking forward to it, especially if it offers them another chance to push for a finals place. 

Fans will be nervous for…

Looking through the Bulldogs’ first half of the season, there is a lot that they could be nervous about. The Giants and Dockers both handed losses to the Dogs last season, while the Kangaroos have also been quite formidable in the past. Expansion sides Port Adelaide and Hawthorn also look quite well-rounded despite being new to the league.

Bulldogs fans will be desperately hoping that the team can hit the ground running and nab a couple of tough wins in those first five weeks. 

Interstate trips:

The Bulldogs will only have to make two trips interstate this year. The first will be to South Australia in Round 2, where they will face Port Adelaide at Alberton Oval. 

They will then spend six weeks in Victoria before flying over to Perth in Round 9, to face the West Coast Eagles at Mineral Resources Park. It’s a fairly simple interstate schedule for the Dogs, which they would be pleased with. 

Happy to miss:

Despite the fact that they ended up defeating them by one point, the Bulldogs’ encounter with the Crows was an intense one last season and they will be glad that they have avoided the reigning premiers in this year’s fixture.

They have also avoided Collingwood, which beat them to sixth place last year after defeating them in Round 8. Had the Western Bulldogs won that game, they very well may have claimed that last finals spot instead. 

Brandon Patane

Subscribe to our newsletter!

About Author

Leave a Reply