"You can be a good defender, or you can be one of the best in the league."

Western Bulldogs' coach Nathan Burke's proposition for young midfielder-turned-defender Katie Lynch.

While they failed to get the job done against the undefeated Collingwood Magpies, Lynch was one of the shining lights for the Dogs while they were under siege by the classy Pies forwards in just her sixth game at the back - who knows how good she could be after 26?


Some of the biggest, most anticipated games of 2021 have been scheduled for a month of showstopper footy in the AFLW, yet much has been made of the contested space in the media between the men's and women's games of the code in this time of overlap.

From former spin king Shane Warne's unfortunate gaffe about 'proper footy' to dozens of columns analysing the minutiae of men's training runs while the women scream out for more in-depth coverage.

Scheduling issues not only see high quality AFLW matches relegated to 'curtain-raisers' behind largely meaningless men's hitouts, but put on narrative-filled spectacles like Katie Brennan and Monique Conti's Richmond Tigers taking on their former side the Western Bulldogs while half of Melbourne is still at work on a Friday afternoon.

There is much to be proud of in this, the fifth season of top-flight footy, but when even the best of the women's game still struggles against the most lukewarm of the men's competition, there is obviously still a hell of a long way to go.


The entire list of winning teams get the gold star this week, for the simple fact that they contributed significantly to the highest scoring round in the history of the league.

The combined total of 86 goals and 87 behinds was 66 points higher than the previous record of 77 goals and 75 behinds from Round 1 this year; the rampaging Brisbane Lions put 55 points on their opponents the GWS Giants and yet that historically decent effort was the lowest score for any victorious side in Round 6.

It might not have been a sterling week for nailbiters, but with the top six sides far from locked in, it was a demonstration of the tough getting going in a way we haven't seen before this year.


Two clubs in the definition of an 'eight-point-game' this weekend are the Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne-Tasmania Kangaroos.

Both sit on the same number of wins, with the superior percentage of the Kangas resulting in their current position within the finals-bound group while the Dogs sit a rung outside.

As an established side with plenty of stars who have played a lot of games together at both AFLW and lower levels, the overarching pressure still lies upon the shoulders of the Kangaroos to make good on their promise.


Any pretence of an 'even' fixture has been discarded in a border restrictions compromised season. Plenty of voices are unimpressed by the inequity of the clashes, but players who were distraught by 2020's fizzer finish have been largely ready to play 'anyone, anywhere, anytime' (genuine questions posed by player employment, study and care-giving notwithstanding). As a result, Round 7 sees wall-to-wall blockbusters between similarly placed sides clamouring for elusive finals spots.

Of the seven games on offer, it's hard to go past the aforementioned Kangaroos vs Bulldogs game in Tasmania on Saturday, Sunday's desperate Carlton Blues up against the daunting purple haze of the Fremantle Dockers or another Sunday special when the Lions host the Collingwood Magpies at Hickey Park. The results of these contests will be huge in the context of each side's season trajectory.