AFLW Round 1 – Adelaide Crows v Brisbane Lions: Not really the sound of music

 

I realised what a big ask it was when I saw Erin Phillips strolling onto Norwood Oval with her colleague, Courtney Cramey, and the management staff of the Adelaide Crows. Bugger. She wasn’t fit to play.  Oh well, I reasoned. There are plenty of other stars.

 

To do a Sound Of Music … let’s start at the very beginning.

 

The coach’s presser has proven to be a key component leading into Adelaide’s matches. And I wasn’t disappointed: on questions around why Erin Phillips had not trained much during the week, Coach Goddard’s response was that you don’t take your Rolls Royce into the bush unless you have to.  And Rolls Royce Phillips is.

 

Continuing with the Sound Of Music theme, Phillips is a difficult problem to solve. She’s older than the other players. She does need to be treated differently as she has successfully played elite level sport for longer than any other player.  And she’s a vital component of the team, not just because of her athleticism and footy brain, but also because she is a magnificent leader.

 

The premiership flag was unfurled prior to the match, oddly right down the other end of the ground away from the two stands where most of Adelaide’s faithful were sitting. And then it was on.

 

Unfurling Of The AFLW premiership flag

 

The first bounce was as exciting as last year’s grand final – the crowd was vocal in urging last year’s premiers to go further.  Indeed the three year old in our party was overwhelmed with the noise and began to cry.  I, too, felt like crying at the end of the first quarter with no score to the Crows, but plenty of chances. It didn’t help that my fave, Sarah Perkins, was literally held by two, and sometimes three, opponents. Brisbane could smell blood.

 

The second quarter was a happier hunting ground for the Crows. Debutantes Eloise Jones and “Ruthie” Wallace kicked truly, as did Chelsea Randall. Indeed, Randall played a blinder but she can’t do it on her own.

 

From a Crows point of view, there’s absolutely no point in talking about the second half. They didn’t kick anything. Again, when you look at the statistics, they had enough of the play to do something with it. I wondered whether these talented women were just closing their eyes and kicking, hoping the ball would land in the right place.  So often they cleared the ball from the back line, only to hand it over to an ever grateful Lion. They also seemed to have forgotten how to shepherd.

 

Special mention must be made of Sabrina Frederick-Traub. She is extraordinary. It looked as if she had trouble running and her calf was strapped. But she doesn’t really need to run. She just reaches up to mark, and then kicks truly. She probably only needs to do three good things per match to win it for the Lions.

 

The Lions were calm and focused in the second half, whereas the Crows were all over the shop.  The crowd was as quiet as the vonTrapps when escaping from the convent. There was certainly nothing to sing about.  Perhaps they could have dwelt on some of their favourite things like the premiership cup in the shed and the premiership flag flying aloft at Norwood.

 

The Lions deserved to win. They were the minor premiers in 2017 and were pipped at the post by a more committed team on the siren.  They picked up where they left off and were clinical in their demolition of Adelaide.

 

A few positives though – Chelsea Randall moved to another level and played a great captain’s game.  And I like the look of Eloise Jones and Ruth Wallace.  If other teams have to put two or three players onto Sarah Perkins, I don’t think they’ll get away with it.  Brisbane managed it, just because they have so many good players.

 

Adelaide has some mountains to climb if they are to find their dream.

 

Oh, and by the way, the interpretation of the “last person to touch the ball before it goes out of bounds” rule needs some work.  There were probably two goals obtained as a result of differing interpretations.

 

 

Adelaide:                     0.0       3.1       3.1       3.1(19)
Brisbane Lions            1.2       1.3       3.6       4.7(31)

 

GOALS
Adelaide                      Jones, Wallace, Randall
Brisbane Lions            Wuetschner (2), Conway, Ashmore

OUR VOTES
Frederick-Taub 3, Randall 2, Jones, 1

UMPIRES
Crosby, McPhee, Dore

CROWD
11,120 including an extremely well behaved 3 year old in our party.

About Anne Cahill Lambert

One of the first females to be admitted to membership of the G. Thank you Mr Cain. Nicknamed The Hyphen by Alamanac Editor, despite the fact I don't have one.

Comments

  1. Yvette Wroby says:

    Well done Anne. I watched the game and agree with your assessments. ‘‘Twas quiet in them stands. Sabrina was wonderful and the Lions are here. Round 2 will be telling for all 8 clubs. Can’t wait

  2. Mark Duffett says:

    Still some grounds for optimism, the season has a long long way to run.

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