It’s set to be scorcher around the country on Sunday but the AFLW has decided against shifting the start times of three games. It hasn’t gone down well. Plus teams and tips.
AFL Women’s players are expected to play in sweltering heat on Sunday after the league opted against changing game times.
The forecast in Melbourne is for 34C at 1.10pm when St Kilda takes on Brisbane, Perth is tipped to reach 34C for West Coast’s 3.10pm clash with Collingwood, while Adelaide is expected to be 33C at 5.10pm when the Crows tackle the Western Bulldogs at 5.10pm.
St Kilda, which is set to liaise further with the league on Friday in relation to the match, intends to use water mist fans on the sideline of Trevor Barker Oval in Sandringham, in a bid to combat the extreme conditions.
Under the league’s heat policy — which is in place for the entire AFLW season — teams can also employ extra water carriers. Extended breaks can also be implemented to allow players more recovery time between quarters.
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Collingwood coach Steve Symonds — who will travel to Perth in a fly-in fly-out arrangement approved by the Western Australian government — conceded that the blistering conditions are “not ideal” for players.
“It’s not ideal for any athletes doing that,” he said on SEN.
“We also train in those conditions as well … we’re smart about our training (times).
“We’re asking a lot of it. The grounds are a little bit harder.”
He suggested that summer evenings could be a prime timeslot that AFLW could capitalise on and “specialise in”.
The league said it continued to monitor weather, and maintained that “the health and safety of everyone remains paramount”.
“Specifically for the 2022 AFLW competition, at all matches there are additional water carriers, extended breaks, an increase to the number of team trainers and unlimited bench rotations,” it said.
Melbourne star Daisy Pearce spoke last week about the “horrendous” nature of playing in such hot weather and admitted it was something she lost sleep over in the lead-up to games.
“It’s horrendous, I won’t mince my words,” she told 3AW recently.
“You have to convince yourself that it’s fine. You know it what it’s like – you can’t concede that its going to be tough, the opposition is in the same conditions, all that.
“I lose sleep over it.
“When you run out on a 35 degree day and it’s humid, it is a tough game to play over the course of a couple of hours. It’s what we have to deal with at the moment … but it’s tough going.
“From a player comfort point of view – give me a 15 degree rainy Melbourne day any time.”
The AFL Players’ Association has also previously expressed concerns to the league about players returning after recovering from Covid and being required to play off short breaks to get matches completed.
Gold Coast v Geelong
Friday, Metricon Stadium, 6.10pm
B: Saad, Ahrens
HB: D’Arcy, Dunn, Keaney
C: Watson, Drennan, Hammond
HF: Hampson, Surman, Whitfort
F: Bohanna, Dupuy
Foll: Bella, Rowbottom, Stanton
Inter: Heslop, Danckert, Groves-Little, Yorston, Perkins
Em: Randell, Perry
In: Dupuy, Groves-Little
Out: Howarth (Injured), Perry (Omitted)
B: McMahon, Keryk
HB: Emonson, McDonald, Rankin
C: Morrison, Prespakis, Van De Heuvel
HF: Crockett-Grills, McWilliams, Kearns
F: Scheer, Darby
Foll: Caris, Webster, McDonald
Inter: Friswell, Featherston, Maguire, Gardiner, Ivey
Em: Clarke, Higgins
In: Caris, Maguire, Gardiner
Out: Johnson (injured), Fuller (omitted), Moloney (suspension)
Originally published as AFLW Round 6: All the teams, tips and news