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Preview: Crows vs Blues

Jacob Doole, Carlton Media  March 2, 2018 10:16 AM

Team Selection | AFLW Round 5 Emily Angwin brings you all the team selection news ahead of our AFL Women's game against Adelaide.

Carlton’s AFLW Game Changers are facing a do-or-die clash this Saturday night as they travel to Adelaide to take on the Crows.

With two wins, two losses and sitting fifth on the ladder, the Blues need a win against the reigning premiers to stay in the hunt for a maiden Grand Final berth.

After being beaten by an AFLW-record 73 points against the Bulldogs last week, they’ll be looking for some major improvements across the board.

A big batch of returning players should help the cause, with Tayla Harris, Lauren Brazzale, Georgia Gee, Danielle Hardiman and Katie Loynes all set to return after missing last week’s loss.

That added quality across the whole ground should help a team that, according to coach Damien Keeping, has struggled to execute their game plan in recent weeks.

The return of Harris from suspension should be especially influential, as she provides a strong forward target for a team that has looked lost at times when in attack.

While Adelaide have struggled to find consistency in the first half of the season, they are still largely the same side that won the inaugural AFLW premiership last year.

After losing their first two games, the return of superstar Erin Phillips has revived their season, with a win against the ladder-leading Bulldogs and a draw against Greater Western Sydney their results since.

Phillips and 2017 All-Australian Sarah Perkins will be tough match-ups for the Blues, as the two have shuffled between the forward line and midfield in recent weeks.

Crows Blues Image
Danielle Hardiman (left) and Lauren Brazzale (right) are back for the Game Changers. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Carlton’s midfield brigade will need all of their trademark defensive grit to hold them, with Shae Audley (33 tackles, fourth in AFLW) and Sarah Hosking (23 tackles, tenth) both more than capable of containing the threat.

Last time they met was in round three last season, with the two sides combining for just four goals in a three-point Crows win.

Both teams struggled to hit the scoreboard last week, and with Carlton’s strong defensive record this matchup could once again be a low-scoring slugfest.

But with so much talent returning for the Blues and a high-quality opponent, it should be a fantastic matchup with huge ramifications for the AFLW season.