21/04/2024

Despite the loss to the Demons, St Kilda defender Tilly Lucas-Rodd was a star down back with 22 disposals (Photo: St Kilda FCW/Twitter)

It was a field day down in Casey for the Demons and Saints defenders as Melbourne ran away and continued their unbeaten start to 2022.

It was a field day down in Casey for the Demons and Saints defenders as Melbourne ran away and continued their unbeaten start to 2022.

Both teams were led by their two best small defenders, with Tilly Lucas-Rodd and Sarah Lampard, who both finished high in their respective team’s disposals counts.

Lampard, who missed the Dees’ previous win over Richmond at Punt Road Oval due to health and safety protocols, slotted seamlessly back into the Demons lineup, providing run, dash & dare off half-back.

She created a few chances inside Melbourne’s forward 50, finishing off with an equal career-high 16 disposals, the same number she acquired in her previous game against the Bulldogs.

Lampard wasn’t the only one who was provided class and run off half-back, with St Kilda’s Lucas-Rodd also having a career game.

Lucas-Rodd came into the contest in red hot form, announcing herself as one of the league’s best defenders. And today it was no different against a strong Melbourne outfit.

Despite the Demons running rampant in the final quarter, she still stood tall down back. She finished up with a career-high in disposals (22) and in tackles (nine), with 15 of those disposals kicks.

Her effort still wasn’t enough for the Saints to pick up their first win of the 2022 season, going down to one of the premiership favourites by a whopping 41 points.

Despite the final margin, it was tight throughout the entire game with the margin still at deadlock heading into the final break.

Following three-quarter time Melbourne put the foot on the gas, conceding zero points as they continued their unbeaten start to 2022.

Harris stars up forward

In what was a game dominated by each team’s defenders, superstar forward Tayla Harris put up a terrific performance in only her third appearance for the Demons.

Always providing a target whether that be on a wing or inside forward 50, the ex-Brisbane and Carlton player plucked a few good grabs and often converted.

By the end of the game, she’d finished with eight disposals, plucking four marks and kicking an equal-career high three goals.

Melbourne coach Mick Stinear said post-match he was happy with how’s she performed, including this week.

“We didn’t get great delivery to our forwards today so to have someone like Tayla able to compete and bring the ball to ground or to take those contested marks was handy,” Stinear said.

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