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AFLW Round 5 Preview: Lions v Demons

Melbourne v Brisbane Lions
7.05pm AEDT (6.05pm AEST), Friday, March 2
Casey Fields

Returning home after an eight-day road trip, Melbourne looks to get its season back on track after two straight losses, while the Brisbane Lions will be looking to make it three wins in a row. 

The Demons made four changes after a trying fortnight. Forward Eden Zanker, the club’s first pick in the 2017 AFLW Draft, will make her debut, while Brooke Patterson, Lauren Pearce and Claudia Whitfort (also in line to play her first match) were named in the side on Thursday afternoon.

They replace injured defender Meg Downie (shoulder), and omitted trio Erin Hoare, Laura Duryea, and Alyssa Mifsud.

Captain Daisy Pearce will look to put a disappointing performance behind her after being curtailed by Collingwood’s Brittany Bonnici last weekend. Vice-captain Elise O’Dea said it was up to Pearce’s teammates to help her perform.

"Daisy has been tagged her whole football career because she's a gun, but it shouldn't be left up to one player," O'Dea told

"We should be looking after her to make sure we're bringing her into the game and making sure she's not copping too much heat off the ball.”


The second-placed Lions, which won in poor conditions at this venue last year, made one change to the team that beat Fremantle last weekend, recalling Shannon Campbell who missed last weekend with illness.

The Lions are yet to drop an away match since the competition started last year.

"Our record away from home is phenomenal, we haven't lost a game away from home…the travel doesn't bother our girls," club CEO Greg Swann said.

Swann confirmed the Gabba would be available for the Grand Final if the Lions finished first for a second year straight.

"It's going to be hard. The Bulldogs are sitting pretty on top, but there's still three games to go, so who knows.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs