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The Adelaide Crows have won their first game of the AFLW season, leaving the Carlton Blues at the bottom of the table after a 13-point win at Ikon Park.
The Crows found themselves down by 17 points at one point in the third quarter, but they then ran on 37 unanswered points to take a lead which was never going to be tracked down.
The difference in the end was the movement of Erin Phillips, who went back onto the ball and ensured Adelaide would dominate the centre clearance.
The other masterstroke was moving Stevie-Lee Thompson into the forward line, as she kicked four goals while the Crows surged ahead.
The Blues will be frustrated after building a four-point lead into halftime and then going on with it early in the third through some excellent defensive work.
The Carlton Blues and Adelaide Crows will be both out to get their first wins of the new AFLW season when they square off at Ikon Park. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 4:05pm (AEDT).
While the competition’s inaugural premiers weren’t right up the pointy end last year, they were solid, and should be confident of heading to Melbourne and getting their first victory of the season after a tough loss last weekend.
Taking on defending premiers the Western Bulldogs in Round 1, the Crows struggled to get any flow or rhythm into their game and ended up going down by a point, 18 to 17.
It was low-scoring and dominated by the quality defence of both teams, but the Crows should be able to play a more open and free-flowing game style against the Blues, allowing players like Chloe Scheer and Erin Phillips to get them rolling up front.
If they can dominate possession and territory on the ground, then there is almost no question they will win, because their defensive line, led by Angela Foley and Sarah Allen, is up there with the best in the competition, evidenced by keeping the Bulldogs to just two goals last week.
It’s hard to get a read on where their opponents, Carlton, are truly at though after just one week of action.
Last year’s wooden spooners struggled big time at North Hobart Oval, but they were taking on the new team on the block, North Melbourne, who have been widely tipped to make this year’s grand final.
In a game where they were blown off the park by 32 points, their defence struggled to stop the North Melbourne forward line, and that’ll be a problem again this week given the quality of the Crows in that department.
If the Blues can’t keep this game in the midfield, they are going to struggle, with Georgia Gee, Breann Moody and Katie Loynes all having huge roles to play.
Of course, finding enough points to challenge the Crows will also be a struggle, and after scoring the least points out of all ten teams in Round 1, it’s something they must address.
The Crows are better across the ground and player for player, should have a pretty heavy advantage in this game against the Blues, who will have to continue the search for their first win next week.
Crows by 10.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this Round 2 AFLW game from 4:05pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
First bounce: 4:05pm (AEDT)
Venue: Ikon Park
TV: Live, Fox Footy 504 (7Mate – Adelaide only)
Online: Live, Foxtel app, Foxtel now, Kayo Sports, AFL live app
Betting: Adelaide $1.58, Carlton $2.40
Umpires: Courtney Gibson, Gabby Simmonds, Jack Edwards
B: 10. Sarah Hosking, 9. Kerryn Harrington, 21. Nicola Stevens
HB: 6. Gabriella Pound, 1. Brianna Davey (c), 12. Lauren Brazzale
C: 19. Georgia Gee
HF: 4. Madison Prespakis, 7. Tayla Harris, 3. Darcy Vescio
F: 13. Kirby Bentley, 30. Alison Downie, 32. Natalie Plane
Foll: 16. Breann Moody, 2. Katie Loynes, 15. Chloe Dalton
I/C: 11. Jess Hosking, 36. Jayde Van Dyk, 26. Shae Audley, 8. Amelia Barden, 25. Jessica Edwards
B: 3. Angela Foley, 39. Sarah Allan, 14. Stevie-Lee Thompson
HB: 31. Dayna Cox, 26. Chelsea Randall, 22. Courtney Cramey
C: 10. Ebony Marinoff
HF: 32. Marijana Rajcic, 33. Anne Hatchard, 16. Ailish Considine
F: 4. Chloe Scheer, 13. Erin Phillips (c), 23. Justine Mules
Foll: 24. Jessica Foley, 9. Deni Varnhagen, 27. Renee Forth
I/C: 6. Hannah Martin, 12. Maisie Nankivell, 28. S.Perkins, 2. Eloise Jones, 15. Danielle Ponter