A strong final quarter was the highlight for the GC SUNS in Saturday morning’s AFLW match simulation clash against the Sydney Swans at Heritage Bank Stadium.

The SUNS were beaten out of the gates by the Swans who kicked the game’s opening four goals in the opening term but the SUNS wrestled back control.

There were plenty of positives to take from the SUNS’ first pre-season hit out in which Cameron Joyce’s side kicked five of the game’s final six majors.

Kalinda Howarth kicked three goals while vice-captain Jac Dupuy also chimed in with a pair of majors.

Speaking post-match, Joyce was pleased with how his side built into the contest are a slow start.

“We were a little bit slow starting. They jumped us a bit at the start, I thought we moved the ball okay in the first quarter, it was just a matter of capitalising more,” Joyce said.

“As the game went on, we got better and better and the scoreboard and all the key stats reflected that.”


The first of two pre-season matches provided opportunity for the SUNS to test a number of new connections and combinations with six players playing their first game in SUNS colours.

Off-season recruits Ella Maurer, Darcie Davies, Niamh McLaughlin, Meara Girvan, Maddy Brancatisano and Jordan Membrey, as well as 2022 draftee Alana Gee all took the field on Saturday morning. 

“We’re making sure we’re looking at the synergy of the team and trying a few players in different positions,” Joyce added.

“It’s about managing that while also playing a strong brand of footy.”

The SUNS next and final pre-season test is at Brighton Homes Arena next Saturday morning in an official practice match against Season Seven Grand Finalists the Brisbane Lions.

“We played every player that was available (against Sydney). It bodes well for next week to hopefully be able to pick a strong squad going into Brisbane.”