Swans to keep a lid on ahead of AFLW finals Suns clash

Joanna Guelas |

Sydney Swans players are excited, and confident, ahead of their maiden AFLW finals campaign.
Sydney Swans players are excited, and confident, ahead of their maiden AFLW finals campaign.

Ahead of their first-ever AFLW finals campaign, Sydney are planning to “keep it simple, stupid”.

Leaving their winless inaugural season behind them, the second-year expansion club will go head-to-head against Gold Coast in the first elimination final at Heritage Bank Stadium on Saturday.

The Swans have played the Suns just once before, losing by 34 points thanks to a Charlie Rowbottom masterclass.

But Gold Coast will be without Rowbottom this weekend, after the 20-year-old underwent season-ending surgery on the ankle she injured in round nine.

The midfield advantage is no doubt exciting for the young Sydney side, but co-captain Chloe Molloy is urging her side to keep a lid on it.

“What we’ve done for the past 10 rounds has worked. It’s keep it simple, stupid,” Molloy said.

“The best part about this group is they’re so naive to know what this (Gold Coast game) probably means.

“That’s the power – no one expects anything from us.

“No one expected us to win games, no one expected us to rock up here in week one of finals.

“Now we’re already history makers – first win, first win on the road, first back-to-back wins, now we’ve got three in a row and now we’ve made finals.

“Stay humble and embrace it.”

Adelaide Crows players celebrating.
Minor premiers Adelaide will host the Lions in a bumper clash on day one of the AFLW finals.

Competition heavyweights Adelaide take on the Brisbane Lions earlier in the day at Norwood Oval in the first qualifying final.

The Lions will be without defender Dee Heslop, who was slapped with a three-game ban for a sling tackle which knocked out Melbourne ruck Rhi Whatt last Saturday.

But teammate Charlotte Mullins was cleared to play, overturning a one-match suspension for striking Demon Shelley Heath.

Adelaide will receive a welcome boost with Najwa Allen available after serving a three-game ban.

Brisbane were the only side to best the three-time premiership winners this season, pipping the Crows in round eight by three points in Queensland.

On a high from toppling defending premiers Melbourne, the Lions’ Jade Ellenger believes they can replicate their winning ways against the Crows to mark skipper Bre Koenen’s 75th game.

“It’s no secret that we play best footy against the best teams,” Ellenger said on Thursday.

“We love a challenge and Adelaide is the best challenge.

“It’ll be tough but we’re excited.”