Round Two kicks off with Friday Night footy when Melbourne and North Melbourne go head-to-head at the MCG.
With the opening weekend delivering some cracking games, this round is certain to deliver with old foes meeting for the first time, while one expansion side gets to take AFLW to their home deck for the first time in history.
The Inner Sanctum has chosen five things to look out for in Round Two.
Rivals Meet in the AFLW for the first time
Carlton and Essendon are set to go head-to-head this round, headlining a blockbuster Sunday of AFLW. The match will take place at ETU Stadium in Port Melbourne at 11:10am.
There’s over 100 years of passion, hatred and fierce competition between these two, and the newly formed women’s clubs will only add fuel to that fire.
Headlining Essendon’s expansion signings was former Blues, Maddy Prespakis and Georgia Gee, the former a three-time club best and fairest winner with Carlton before making the move the Bombers.
Rivalry aside, the match itself is going to be red-hot.
Kerryn Peterson looking likely to match up on Bombers’ co-captain in Bonnie Toogood who had a great first game in the red and black, booting two goals.
The midfield battle will be intense, with Essendon’s midfield of Prespakis, Jacqui Vogt and Paige Scott going up against the Carlton midfield of Mimi Hill, Jess Dal Pos and Elise O’Dea.
Two other teams will also meet for the first time with Richmond and Adelaide going head-to-head in round two. With both teams looking to avenge losses from the previous round.
AFLW Fever hits Alberton
While Port Adelaide’s first AFLW game was an away one, round two will see Port Adelaide play its first home game in AFLW at Alberton Oval when the Power take on the Western Bulldogs.
Despite playing in Perth last week, a lot of Port Adelaide supporters turned out in force to see history made for their club, so there is no doubt that with this week’s game, Power fans will be out in full force.
The game is set to be an exciting one, with the Bulldogs coming off the back of a nail-biting win over the Giants while Port Adelaide lost to West Coast following a strong last quarter from the Eagles.
There is plenty of matchups to look out for in this game, with the young Bulldogs backline of Katie Lynch, Eleanor Brown, Isabelle Grant and Sarah Hartwig set to take on a star-stutted Port Adelaide forward line of Gemma Houghton, Justine Mules, Abbey Dowrick and potentially Erin Phillips spending time up forward.
The midfield battle is also one to watch with Phillips, Maria Moloney, Jacqui Yorston going up against Jess Fitzgerald Kirsty Lamb and Ellie Blackburn.
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Trailblazers hit 50 Games
There are two more AFLW players to hit the coveted 50 game milestone this round with Emma King from North Melbourne and Sarah Hosking from Richmond both expected to hit the milestone this weekend.
Emma King was first selected as a marquee signing for Collingwood back in 2016, playing 14 games in the black and white stripes before making the move to Arden Street to be apart of North Melbourne’s inaugural AFLW team.
King has two All Australian selections to her name, getting picked in 2017 and 2019, also winning North Melbourne’s leading goal kicker award in that timeframe.
Sarah Hosking was drafted to Carlton in the 2016 draft, taken at pick 19 which was Carlton’s third selection in the draft. Along with King, Hosking made her debut in Round One of 2017 in the inaugural AFLW match.
Since then, Hosking has played 30 games for Carlton before making the move to Richmond during the 2020 sign and trade period, where she’s now in the club’s leadership group and captained Richmond last week in the absence of Katie Brennan.
AFLW Returns to the MCG
For the first time in AFLW history, a match for premiership points will be played at the MCG when North Melbourne and Melbourne go head-to-head on the hallowed turf.
Melbourne have history playing on the MCG, with their Preliminary Final against Brisbane in season six being played at the iconic venue, while this will be North Melbourne’s first appearance.
Despite being scheduled for prior to the Qualifying Final between Melbourne and Sydney, the game is set to be a blockbuster in its own right, with both teams coming off strong wins against Adelaide and Gold Coast respectively.
The midfield battle is going to be one to keep an eye one with Melbourne’s Lily Mithen, Eliza West and Karen Paxman taking on the likes of North Melbourne’s Jenna Bruton, Jasmine Garner as Ash Riddell.
Old Teammates square off
Maddy Prespakis and Georgia Gee aren’t the only players going up against their old sides with Bella Smith and Aliesha Newman coming up against their old side in Collingwood on Sunday afternoon and Victoria Park.
Newman spent plenty of time in the midfield in round one and could go toe to toe with Collingwood stars Chloe Molloy and Jaimee Lambert. While Smith could be going head to head with the likes of Tarni Brown.
Another name that will be facing their old club is Sydney Swans coach Scott Gowans, who spent two seasons at Collingwood as their midfield coach after departing North Melbourne.
While Speedster Kate McCarthy will be facing her old side in St Kilda, after making the move to Hawthorn. The match also marks McCarthy’s first appearance for season 2022, making her club debut for Hawthorn with coach Bec Goddard confirming the news.
Tilly Lucas-Rodd will also face her old side, after making the move across from St Kilda to Hawthorn over the off-season. The Hawthorn Captain will be going up against the young St Kilda midfield with the likes of Tarni White and Georgia Patrikios.
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