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AFLW finals series kicks off and not even COVID can stop it

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The AFLW finals series is set to get underway, despite a COVID-19 scare for the Collingwood Magpies ahead of their qualifying final against the Brisbane Lions.

The Pies have 18 players unavailable for selection and fell below the minimum number of players required to field a team under the AFLW’s COVID Match Rescheduling Guidelines (16 primary-listed players and five train-on players) due to a combination of COVID-19 infections, close contact isolations, long-term injuries and suspension.

Collingwood, who finished sixth on the ladder and just snuck into the finals, were due to face the third placed Brisbane at the Gabba, however the game will now be re-scheduled by the AFL.

The Adelaide Crows finished top of the AFLW ladder for the third time in six seasons and will enjoy a well-earned rest in week one of the finals and progress to a preliminary final. 

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The Crows built their season around a strong defence and lost just one game during the regular season.

Week two of the finals will see Adelaide play the winner of the fourth v fifth qualifying final featuring the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos against the Fremantle Dockers.

The Crows will go into their preliminary final as heavy favourites against the Kangaroos or Dockers.

The Melbourne Demons finished second on the ladder, finishing on the same points as the Crows and just behind them on percentages.

The Demons have become known as an ‘almost side’ after winning the second-most games in AFLW history, however they have never won through to a grand final. 

The Dees will go straight through to week two of the finals and will host a preliminary final against the winner of the Lions vs Pies game.

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Melbourne play fast, attacking footy and look like a complete, all round team and will feel confident that they can finally progress to a grand final.

The Brisbane Lions finished third on the premiership table and will be aiming to become the first AFLW club to win back-to-back premierships.

The Lions finished the season with the best attacking record and will be hoping Irish star midfielder Orla O’Dwyer can continue her good form and lead the side to another premiership.

North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos will face the Fremantle Dockers in a qualifying final and will need to improve after an average score of just 34.6 per game this season.

It is a difficult path to the grand final for the Kangaroos as they will need to beat Adelaide in the preliminary final in week two if they are to progress to the big game.

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The Fremantle Dockers finished the AFLW season in fifth place and will head to Victoria to play the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos in a qualifying final.

The Dockers started the season strong, however their form has dipped in recent weeks as the team was impacted by COVID-19 interruptions and a lack of player availability.

The Collingwood Magpies snuck into the AFLW finals in sixth position after an inconsistent season.

The Pies are coming off the back of a solid three weeks to end the regular season and will be hoping to cause an upset or two in the finals series.

The 2022 AFLW finals series promises to be an intriguing battle. Bring it on!

Picture of Joel Martelli
Joel Martelli
The only thing that Joel Martelli loves more than football (seriously, we wouldn't be surprised if he has a Wollongong Wolves tattoo) is writing about all things sports. With a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies Degree specialising in Journalism, he spends his days uncovering breaking athlete news stories and diving deep into play-by-play strategies. We're glad that he's put his passion to the pages of Only Sports as one of our dedicated sports writers.

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