AFLW 2022 finals LIVE updates: Demons battle Lions for grand final berth in first AFLW game at MCG

Key posts

‘The only club I wouldn’t put my hand up for right now’

By Caroline Wilson

It is almost four years since Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett spoke to Cyril Rioli’s wife Shannyn in a manner that ultimately precipitated the champion footballer’s dramatic exit from the football club and the game he had so richly punctuated for more than a decade.

The incident has been privately acknowledged by the Hawks and publicly downplayed by Kennett but never have the Riolis publicly addressed what took place in Launceston during the Indigenous round of 2018 after the club’s narrow victory over Port Adelaide.

Rioli described the incident as “the final straw” in the club’s precarious relationship with its Indigenous players and their culture after a string of events in previous years.

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Cyril Rioli and Shannyn Ah Sam-Rioli.

Cyril Rioli and Shannyn Ah Sam-Rioli.

Pearce still a drawcard

Mithen ready to deliver on the biggest stage

By Sarah Burt

The MCG has hosted 2952 matches of men’s AFL and VFL football, and today it is finally the women’s turn.

In the AFLW’s sixth season, the preliminary final between Melbourne and the Brisbane Lions will make history as the first game in the league’s history played at the stadium.

The Demons played in the first official VFL match at the MCG in round two, 1897, and in their 50th AFLW match, the W side now get their chance, something key Melbourne midfielder Lily Mithen says is “surreal”.

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Lily Mithen.

Lily Mithen.Credit:Joe Armao


Who will win the AFLW preliminary finals and why?

By Emma Kearney

It’s been an unusual build-up to the AFLW finals series – one match was postponed and the grand final was pushed back a week. But we are now at the pointy end, with the four best sides poised to face each other in what will be two exciting preliminary finals.

Will it be the grand finalists from last season, Brisbane and Adelaide who make it through to the big dance? Or will Fremantle and Melbourne finally get their shot at the ultimate prize? If their recent games are anything to go by, these games shouldn’t be missed.

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Who will get the job on Tayla Harris?

Who will get the job on Tayla Harris?Credit:Getty Images

Crows ring the changes, Tuhakaraina back for Freo


B: N.Gore, S.Allan
HB: S.Thompson, C.Randall, M.Rajcic
C: A.Considine, A.Hatchard, J.Mules
HF: D.Ponter, E.Phillips, T.Charlton
F: A.Woodland, R.Martin
R: C.Gould, E.Marinoff, H.Button
I: C.Biddell, M.Newman, H.Munyard, M.McKinnon, B.Tonon

E: A.Ballard, Z.Prowse

In: M.Newman, H.Munyard, M.McKinnon, B.Tonon
Out: M.Dowrick (omitted), J.Hewett (omitted), Z.Prowse (omitted), E.Jones (suspended)


B: L.Pugh, J.Cuthbertson
HB: A.Stannett, E.O’Driscoll, S.Verrier
C: A.Runnalls, K.Bowers, S.Cain
HF: E.Antonio, G.Houghton, G.O’Sullivan
F: K.Antonio, A.Tighe
R: M.Strom, H.Miller, D.East
I: B.Webb, J.Low, M.Hyde, R.Roux, M.Tuhakaraina

E: M.Maclachlan, T.Toth

In: M.Tuhakaraina
Out: S.Wielstra (ankle)

Brooke Tonon will be hoping similar celebrations occur today.

Brooke Tonon will be hoping similar celebrations occur today.Credit:Getty Images

One change each for Demons, Lions


B: L.Birch, G.Colvin
HB: S.Goldrick, S.Lampard, S.Heath
C: K.Paxman, T.Hanks, L.Mithen
HF: A.Bannan, K.Hore, S.Scott
F: D.Pearce, T.Harris
R: L.Pearce, O.Purcell, M.Gay
I: C.Sherriff, E.West, E.Zanker, E.McNamara, M.Fitzsimon

E: T.Gillard, J.Parry

In: E.Zanker
Out: T.Gillard (omitted)


B: S.Campbell, I.Tahau
HB: J.Ellenger, N.Grider, B.Koenen
C: O.O’Dwyer, E.Bates, S.Conway
HF: I.Dawes, J.Wardlaw, G.Bodey
F: D.Davidson, C.Hodder
R: T.Hickie, A.Anderson, C.Svarc
I: P.Monahan, L.Pullar, R.Svarc, T.Smith, Z.Farquharson

E: M.Moloney, M.Harmer

In: I.Tahau
Out: M.Harmer (omitted)

Eden Zanker embraces Tayla Harris.

Eden Zanker embraces Tayla Harris.Credit:Getty Images


Greetings, everybody

By Ronny Lerner

Hello everyone and welcome to our blockbuster live Saturday footy blog for the first weekend of April.

It’s all about the women in the first half of the day with the AFLW preliminary finals taking place.

First up Melbourne face the Brisbane Lions in the first ever AFLW match staged at the MCG.

And then the Crows battle the Dockers at Adelaide Oval.

Which two teams will face off for the 2022 premiership next week? We will know at around 4.45pm Melbourne time!

Then after all the excitement surrounding the AFLW, it’s time for the men to do battle.

First up, GWS take on Gold Coast in the twilight fixture at Giants Stadium, then the night-time double-header sees undefeated Collingwood tackle Geelong and Brisbane host North Melbourne at the Gabba.

It promises to be an action-packed 10 hours of footy and you won’t miss a beat by sticking with us!

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