Playing against the reigning premiers of the competition early into the season was a great opportunity to see just how far we have developed as a team. Whilst we didn’t get the win, the effort of the playing group could not be faulted. We pressured North Adelaide right to the dying seconds of the game and we won some crucial stats, including inside 50’s. Despite feeling like we were well in control for significant periods of time, we just couldn’t cash-in when we had momentum.
The game began as we expected it would – a lot of pressure around the ball and both teams struggling to go forward with any fluency and hit the scoreboard. The first goal of the game didn’t come until the last minutes of the first quarter to North Adelaide.
North Adelaide started to get on top in the second quarter, winning the territory battle and having repeat forward 50 entries. Once again, it was our backline that really stood up under pressure, which was superbly led by Sheridan Howell, along with a strong contribution from Lucy Earl, whose one-on-one defensive work and composure to rebound the ball was outstanding. Pleasingly, North were only able to add one goal for the quarter. We headed into the half-time break two goals down and with only four points on the board.
A bit of individual brilliance from Jess Bates in the third quarter saw us kick our first goal, with a one-handed gather, run and long-range shot. Once again it was our backline that kept us in the game, keeping North goalless for the quarter and providing some inspiration and belief going into the final change.
Of the five scoring shots in the last quarter, four of them belonged to us. We were on top and were able to rebound the ball off the half back and send it forward for most of the quarter. Unfortunately, North Adelaide kicked the first goal of the last quarter and we were only able to manage one goal ourselves from a clean loose ball pick up and shot on the run from Lucy Armitage.
While this loss has stung us, the belief throughout our entire squad has grown immensely. North Adelaide are the benchmark that we aspire to be like. A five point margin where we won some key statistical areas suggests we are very close to where we want to be.
We would like to thank all the supporters who came out to cheer us on this week. The players really do appreciate your support and encouragement. We are really looking forward to putting the learnings from this week into action when we take on the Eagles at 10:10am Saturday 13th March at Hisense Stadium.
– Jason Fairall, Senior Coach
Goals: Jess Bates (1), Lucy Armitage (1)
Best: Lucy Earl, Sheridan Howell, Brooke Tonon, Jess Bates, Piper Window, Tamsyn Morriss, Lucy Armitage, Sarah Goodwin