14/04/2024

Chelsea Biddell in the Crows backline. (Photo: Jack Hudson)

After five games, Adelaide has given up just nine goals, and has only had one opposition player kick multiple goals in a game.

Adelaide has claimed its fifth win of the 2022 AFLW season, making it a perfect five from five in a 39-point victory over Carlton on Sunday afternoon.

Despite their kicking woes in front of goals, it was the other end that continued to impress.

Ultimately, one of the most pleasing aspects of the victory for Adelaide and their fans alike was the way their defence stood up (once again) under relentless pressure, particularly without veteran leader Chelsea Randall.

Injured Crows defender Chelsea Randall in action against North Melbourne in Round 2.
(Photo: Jack Hudson)

Adelaide’s backline is amongst the best in the competition, having conceded just nine goals across five matches in 2022.

Chelsea Biddell, Marijana Rajcic, and Sarah Allan have been sensational, eliminating some of the competition’s most dangerous forwards week after week.

The impact of Biddell in particularly is one that can’t be understated. She’s stepped up into her new role without any fuss, doing just as a big a job as any of her teammates.

She spoke to The Inner Sanctum post-game, citing how well the group works together.

“Obviously Chelsea Randall is a huge out for anyone, particularly being the captain,” Biddell said.

“But we work really well as a unit in the backline, so I think it was really pleasing to get the job done without her being out there.

“Both Sarah and Marijana are great leaders and their communication back there makes it a lot easier. It’s easy to settle in and play your own game and focus on your own game when you know they’ve got your back.”

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The highest score Adelaide has conceded so far in 2022 is just 24 points, in its win over the Kangaroos in Round 2. No player is yet to boot a big bag on the Crows defence, only having given up multiple goals to Melbourne’s Daisy Pearce.

Biddell says the way the Crows have structured and the messages from the coaching group have enabled them to continue performing to the highest level.

“Obviously the coaching is really good and our structures are really important to us as a backline… our ability to read the play and trust our own abilities is really important,” she explained.

“The way we work together back there is really good, and I think that contributes to our success a lot.”

As for Biddell herself, she credits her pre-season work to her rise in form.

It has allowed her to perform at the top of her game in 2022 and is one of the main reasons why she has been able to improve.

“I worked pretty hard in the pre-season and finding my spot in the team has given me the confidence to play my own game,” she continued.

“Obviously when the team is going well it’s easy to play a little bit better as well.”

Adelaide will play the red-hot Western Bulldogs at Norwood Oval on Sunday afternoon, while opponents Carlton get set to play the Dockers in Western Australia at Fremantle Oval on Saturday night.

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