Recap of the AFLW Qualifier Matches

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
13/11/2023
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AFLW Qualifier Recap as Only Six Teams Still Remain

Blowouts, upsets, and nail-biting moments highlighted what was a great Qualifier weekend for the AFLW as we inch closer to the Grand Final.  

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  • Brisbane and Adelaide start the weekend off with an all timer.
  • Melbourne thrashed by their neighbours to the North.
  • Sydney upsets Gold Coast.
  • Geelong marches past Essendon.

The qualifier round of the AFLW season did not disappoint as the results and games themselves were anything other than what was expected. Both of the Grand Final favourites dropped their matches while fifth seeded Gold Coast was ousted in what was a wonderful weekend for Women’s AFL in this country.  

Down Goes Adelaide 

The Adelaide Crows finished the AFLW’s home and away season with just a single loss compared to nine victories as they were crowned the league’s minor premiers.  
 
Now, the Lions are no pushovers having finished the season with a 7-3 record and having defeated the Crows back in week eight.  
 
Factoring all of this in and most predicted a tightly contested game, and these two teams delivered.  
 
Brisbane came out hot, taking the game to the minor premiers to show them that they would not be an easy out. This energy saw the Lions jump out to an early 7-0 lead.  
 
Adelaide would quickly settle into the match with a goal of their own to make the game 7-6. Brisbane then put through two behinds followed by two goals to stretch the lead to 21-6. 
 
Adelaide bounced back with three straight goals of their own to take a 24-21 lead into halftime.  
 
The Crows would then see their lead balloon to as much as 11 points in the third quarter before the Lions went on a run.  
 
Brisbane would outscore Adelaide 18-5 in the remainder of the match to take the victory 39-37 and claim the automatic bye.

Defending Champion’s Melbourne Annihilated 

Melbourne, the AFLW’s defending champions finished the home and away season second on the ladder. Still, they were the favourites to win the Premiership leading into Qualifier weekend.  
 
Facing third seeded North Melbourne, the Demons were heavy favourites to win. Not only did they lose, but they did so in embarrassing fashion.  
 
Melbourne was completely outclassed by the Kangaroos suffering a massive 50-9 loss.  
 
From the opening whistle it was apparent that Melbourne just didn’t have their best as they quickly found themselves down double digits and trailed 16-1 at halftime.  
 
The Demons final point total of nine is their second lowest ever while the 41-point loss is also their second largest loss.  
 
For North Melbourne, the win was massive as they have notoriously struggled in the past against the league’s “big three” with just a 2-14 record against Brisbane, Melbourne, and Adelaide.  
 
Melbourne is by no means out of it but are now just 3-3 in their last six and will face a tough Geelong side in the semi-finals while North Melbourne grabbed the all-important bye.  

Sydney Upsets Gold Coast 

Fifth seeded Gold Coast took on the eighth seeded Sydney Swans in the first of two elimination qualifiers. The Swans were able to pull off the upset in dominant fashion taking the match 58-41. 
 
Gold Coast scored the game’s opening goal early but after that it was all Sydney as they steadily grew their lead going into halftime up 26. The match was essentially over at this point as the deficit was too much for Gold Coast to overcome.  
 
The Suns outscored the Swans 23-14 in the second half but it wasn’t nearly enough as Sydney comfortably took the victory.

Geelong Takes Down Essendon 

The Second elimination qualifier saw the sixth seeded Geelong Cats handle Essendon with relative ease.  
 
Geelong jumped out to a 22-1 lead by the end of the opening quarter and never looked back. By the time halftime hit the match was already a blowout with the Cats leading 49-13. 
 
Essendon fought back hard in the fourth quarter scoring 20 points to Geelong’s zero, but it was much too little too late as the Cats took the win 51-33.

The AFLW qualifiers were all but predictable as fans were blessed with an entertaining weekend of footy. Upsets were abundant as Geelong was the only higher seeded team to win their respective matchup meaning now, next week’s semi-final’s will be all the more interesting with the league’s top two teams in action.