I thought the rule was very clear though - if Dogs player, pay Melb free. If Melb player, ball up. We got one in the last quarter paid to us - I'm sure its b/c the umpire made a mistake.
Those umpires were atrocious live. The inconsistency was appalling. First quarter where Moody was pushed out but a holding free paid to them, Pearce pushed Grant in the middle of the back and mark paid to her.
Burke/Lee/Grant/Bains should be kicking in the door at the AFL umpiring dept Monday morning.
Also, Blackburn is 10x the player that their captain is, yet Pearce was positioned in front in every promotional shot leading into round 1.
Blackburn is a star, but she needs mature bodies helping her out.
Absolutely shattered for Huntington just about the only player other than Blackburn we couldn't afford to lose. I thought when Huntington went down we could be in for a 10+ goal loss but I was impressed that we fought back the way we did.
Our start to the game couldn't have been any worse with basic errors at every turn. Having 3 players on the goal line and not 1 of them rushing it through is just unforgivable at any level let alone the AFLW.
We also just kept bombing it and not building any chains and a the end of the first quarter we were -20 for short kicks which is off the chart. More and more clubs are switching to the short kick chain model but it's something that we have not really tried yet which is concerning.
In patches it seems our basic skills just fell away, something that's happening less and less in the AFLW. Maybe it's just because we are so young but it's certainly something to keep an eye on.
Blackburn was outstanding as usual and I thought Bennetts was excellent through the middle while Pritchard and Ferres impressed in defence, especially with how inexperienced we were down there.
Some things of note...
We had 9 players under 21, Melbourne had 4.
We didn't generate a single goal, with all 3 coming from turnovers.
We have continued our 2021 trend of being extremely undisciplined and giving away free kicks that just shouldn't be happening at this level. The free kick count for holding, high tackle and push in the back was 11-5 the Dees way.
We had 18 unforced turnovers while Melbourne just had 6, this is the biggest differential in AFLW history.
I'm a big fan of Lochland, but there are a couple of contests in that last quarter she wouldn't want to see again. She took a good contested mark later, but her earlier efforts, esp for a senior player, were not a great example for a team full of youngsters.
On the plus side, Brown is a solid defender, kept Harris relatively quiet. I think Grant might make a good KPD too, she just looks and moves like a natural footballer.
Any chance Morris-Dalton and Moody can pinch-hit as KPFs in Issie 's absence? Might be asking a bit much of resting rucks in summer games though.
Listening to Nathan Burke's post match interview it's obvious we've started the season with several important players on the injury list. This forces us to play some players who are fringe in terms of skill level and/or experience and I think that clearly showed out last night. Hopefully, when we get a more settled team available, we should see a marked improvement because there were signs of good system after the poor first quarter.