|Venue:||Ikon Park, Carlton.|
|Date:||Sunday 14th March, 2021 (1.10 pm)|
|Result:||Lost by 4 points.|
|Goalkickers:||N. Stevens 2.0, G. Gee 1.1, D. Vescio 1.1, S. Gibbs 1.0, T. Harris 1.0, M. Prespakis 0.1., Rushed 0.2.|
|Umpires:||Tom Bryce, Michael Pell, Luke Porter.|
Game ReviewFreo get home in a thriller.
The game changers have gone down in one of the games of the season at Ikon Park. After leading from start to finish, Carlton was left to rue a late Fremantle surge of momentum, going down by four points in the Round 7 encounter.
Q1 breakdown: It was Carlton’s best quarter of football for the season at Ikon Park, dominating territory and getting reward on the scoreboard against the second-placed Fremantle. It was the Blues’ forward line which got to work, with the Dockers struggling to exit Carlton’s attacking 50 on the back of standout pressure. The triple threat in attack were ultimately the ones reaping full reward, with Nicola Stevens rewarded after a strong mark, Darcy Vescio producing an ever-classy finish and Tayla Harris clunking a contested mark and goaling from long-range. On the back of ruck dominance for Breann Moody, Carlton’s midfield were getting first use, while Mua Laloifi was at her rebounding best for Fremantle’s rare forays forward.
Q2 breakdown: Good teams respond, and that was exactly the case in the second quarter in the case of Fremantle. The Dockers got straight back into the game very quickly, producing two goals in the opening 10 minutes and putting Carlton’s defence under pressure. While the Game Changers didn’t hit the scoreboard in a meaningful way in the second term, their ability to quell the damage meant they took an eight-point lead into the main break. Kerryn Harrington starred down back, collecting 10 disposals and restricting star forward Gemma Houghton to just one disposal in the opening two terms. Maddy Prespakis was in the middle of an entertaining head-to-head battle with Kiara Bowers, while Lucy McEvoy’s combativeness at the contest was evident in a hard-hitting contest.
Q3 breakdown: The third quarter was as even a term as we’d seen throughout the day at Ikon Park, with both teams trading the momentum and scoring opportunities. Outstanding forward pressure from Nicola Stevens created something out of nothing for the Blues through a Serena Gibbs goal, before Georgia Gee answered a Jasmin Stewart goal. The Game Changers were unlucky not to get more scoreboard reward in the final five minutes, playing the game in their forward half on the back of unrelenting pressure.
Q4 breakdown: With both teams fulling aware of what was on the line, all 42 players were going all out to get the ball going their way. It looked like the Blues were in prime position, after a Darcy Vescio assist for Nicola Stevens saw the Game Changers open up a 15-point lead. However, with just six minutes remaining on the clock, a rush of three goals in a matter of minutes saw Fremantle retake the lead. The experienced Freo outfit managed to see out the game with the siren blowing as the Blues won possession on centre wing, rendering the hosts to a four-point defeat.
Blink and you'll miss it.
Carlton ruck Breann Moody got away with a moment of madness in the third term after marking the ball deep in Fremantle's defence. She turned and decided to rush the ball through in quite an unorthodox manner – kicking it through as if it were her own goals. The behind was paid, a free kick to Fremantle was not, and the Blues retained possession.
Three things we learned:
1. In the first contest between these two sides since the 2019 preliminary final, it was clear that these two teams knew exactly what was on the line. After a dominant first quarter by the Blues, the standard of play over the course of four quarters was almost as good as we’ve seen of any two teams this season in perfect conditions for footy at Ikon Park.
2. Breann Moody has continued to make significant strides in her game this season. The 2018 best-and-fairest winner was one of the standout rucks in the competition last year, and she was at another level in the Round 7 encounter. Utilising her running capacity to full advantage, Moody was a constant threat in the air and around the ground, finishing with 18 disposals, six marks and 22 hitouts.
3. The experience at either end of the ground will be crucial as Carlton’s young chargers continue to develop their game. Arguably the Blues’ best two contributors on the day were Kerryn Harrington and Nicola Stevens, with the two leaders producing standout cameos on Sunday afternoon. Flanked by Charlotte Wilson, Harrington did everything possible to shut Fremantle out, while Stevens was the star in an effective forward line for the Blues which produced the highest score against Fremantle this season.
"A few things went wrong, we tripped over a couple of times, had a free kick go against us which got momentum and territory back their way. It was a little five-minute window of disaster from our perspective. Nothing we did wrong, it was just the way the game unfolded. That's why it's so difficult to take. We didn't do too much wrong, but they did a lot right in the end." – Carlton coach Daniel Harford
Best; K. Harrington, N. Stevens, B. Moody, V. Laloifi, D. Vescio, M. Prespakis.
|B:||8 Vaomua Laloifi||23 Daisy Walker||32 Natalie Plane|
|HB:||20 Charlotte Wilson||9 Kerryn Harrington (c)||6 Gabriella Pound|
|C:||11 Jess Hosking|
|HF:||13 Lucy McEvoy||21 Nicola Stevens||3 Darcy Vescio|
|F:||7 Tayla Harris||4 Madison Prespakis||19 Georgia Gee|
|Ruck:||16 Breann Moody||5 Abbie McKay||2 Katie Loynes (c)|
|Interchange:||1 Grace Egan||12 Lauren Brazzale||46 Elise O'Dea|
|30 Alison Downie||33 Serena Gibbs|
|Emg:||18 Maddy Guerin||17 Charlotte Hammans|
In: Tayla Harris, Daisy Walker
Out: Mimi Hill (knee), Maddy Guerin (omitted)
AFLW Coaches Votes10 - Kiara Bowers (FRE)
8 - Breann Moody (CARL)
6 - Nicola Stevens (CARL)
2 - Kerryn Harrington (CARL)
2 - Jasmin Stewart (FRE)
1 - Charlotte Wilson (CARL)
1 - Stephanie Cain (FRE)
AFLW Team of the WeekDefenders: Kerryn Harrington
Midfielders: Breann Moody
Forwards: Nicola Stevens