AFLW Round 2 – Melbourne v Adelaide: The answer was blowing in the wind

10 February 2018 at 5.05 pm (it’s an odd time, eh, but better than 2 pm in the heat)
Casey Fields, Cranbourne, Victoria


Let me deal with the venue, first.  Victoria is included in the descriptor above as, unless you are a south east Melbourne resident or a member of the AFLW Demons, it is unlikely you will know where Casey Fields are.  I have family who live in that neck of the woods and therefore know how difficult it is to get to.  Aside from its size, the difficulty of getting there probably explains why only 3,800 souls turned up to watch the brilliance of Paxman and Pearce, and not so much any Adelaide player – other than Chelsea Randall, Abbey Holmes and Danya Cox.

In the AFLM, just two grounds are used in Melbourne: the MCG and Etihad.  I know the AFL has a desire to attract women from all over the place, but it is insulting to players and spectators alike to have these matches away from easy access.  It takes a minimum of one and a half hours to catch public transport from the centre of town to Casey Fields.  It involves a train ride, a walk, a bus ride, and another walk.  And then there is no decent seating unless you happen to be a VIP.

Not even a railway line nearby

I understand why the AFL wouldn’t want to commit the AFLW to the ‘G or to Etihad, but there are other very good ovals that are easily accessible and appropriate for a crowd – including for those of us who travel from interstate.  Just some of those ovals include Punt Road (over the back fence from the ‘G), Princes Park, Brunswick Street Oval and Victoria Park.

The huge crowd lifted Fremantle on Saturday night, and every team ought to be able to get as many supporters as possible to voice their commitment.

Onto the game which promised to be a difficult one with the wind blowing a small gale and Phillips and Cramey still missing.  Adelaide was lucky to have Holmes back from injury and McCormick who returned from W-League duties with Adelaide United, having scored a goal for the team last weekend.

The AFL issued some “guidance” to coaches during the week about minimising congestion around stoppages.  The idea is that scoring will be increased if this occurs.  Well, surprise, surprise:  no coach is going to back off around stoppages if there is a chance the opposition will kick a goal or their team will kick a goal.  I hope this week the AFL issues instructions to the umpires to be consistent about holding the ball: I think this would all but remove most of the stoppages.

Even with Randall, Holmes and McCormick, it is difficult to win matches without others stepping up to the plate.  There were a few flashes of brilliance, especially from Danya Cox, but time and time again the Crows got the ball and kicked it straight onto the chests of Demon players.

I was optimistic at the end of the first quarter as there was just a point the difference and the Demons had been kicking with the considerable gale that was presumably howling into Bass Strait.

But it was the second quarter that blew the Crows out of the water and into Bass Strait with the wind.  The Demons were forensic and went about their work in a considered and calm way.  While Metcalfe was able to get up and tap the ball out of the centre, it was inevitably into the arms of Blessed Jesus a grateful Demon (GD) who invariably did something useful with it, like kick a goal.

I note that some writers have suggested Marinoff as the Crows’ best player.  I can’t agree with that:  while she had 18 disposals, most of them were to one of those GDs.  Indeed, her disposal efficiency is running at only 37%, while someone like Karen Paxman is running at 62% and Dayna Cox at 71%.

There are some positives for the Crows – ok, maybe I’m being a Pollyanna but here goes:

  • Accuracy for goal was absolutely dead eye with four straight goals kicked.
  • Consistency – at least they scored a goal each quarter.
  • Brisbane and the Demons were the two teams that beat Adelaide last year so it’s best to get them out of the way early.
  • Ruth Wallace and Eloise Jones continued to impress as debutantes while Dayna Cox is turning into a reliable set of boots.
  • Holmes and McCormick are a welcome return and help for poor Chelsea Randall who seemed to be doing it all on her own.

Congratulations to the Demons and especially Newman for that terrific goal.  They were great and their supremacy all day meant that Paxman was able to leave the field during the last quarter for a much-needed kneading of her back.  She is a super star and a thrill to watch.  Special mention should also be made of Mithen.  She seemed to be everywhere, like her father before her.

Hopefully Adelaide’s stars will come out to play next week and the Crow mojo will return to face an unbeaten Bulldog outfit.  Hope springs eternal so I have the rosary beads out as well.


Melbourne:                 1.1       5.2       7.4       8.8(56)
Adelaide                      1.0       2.0       3.0       4.0(24)

Melbourne                  Cunningham 2, Newman 2 (one of them was extraordinary), Scott, L. Pearce, Hickey, Cranston
Adelaide                      Holmes, Hewett, Wallace, McCormick

Paxman 3, Mithen 2, Randall 1

Gibson, McGinness, Heffernen

3,800 but there would have been many more if access to the venue was easy.


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.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Anne, I too was cranky that the one shaded area of the ground remained mostly empty. VIP’s can jump. Last year that was used by supporters generally and so you can watch the game without the sun blaring down.

    Melbourne were magnificent. Crows not themselves. And I don’t have your mobile otherwise I would have met up with you at the game!

    Kirby Fenwick of Girls Play Footy fame (and ‘The First Friday in February’) came from Ballarat by public transport and I think she was travelling almost 4 hours. They were returning via Frankston which I think cut the return trip somewhat.

    I want seating and shade thank you. That’s why I won’t head to the Collingwood home ground. Too hard.

    The AFL may get more people tot he ground with better facilities.

  2. Great stuff, Anne.

    And you make a very valid point: I have a pretty good handle on the layout of Melbourne geographically, but as someone who lives in the western suburbs I would not have the foggiest idea how to get to Casey Fields.

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Hi Anne, I visited Casey Fields twice on Saturday – the first time and the last.

    I moved over to the shaded part near the Crows’ race, after spending the first half under one of the canopies on the far side.

    The atmosphere was a throwback to the good old suburban ground days, but if you didn’t drive, sheesh. Took me about 50 minutes each way from 3204.

    The Dees look flag material.

  4. Anne Cahill Lambert says

    Thanks people:
    Yvette: you need to lead the charge for ceasing matches at Olympic Park Oval.
    Smokie: You need to get out more!
    And Mark: I love the suburban feel of some of the grounds too, but this is a bridge, or ground, too far.

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