A dominant display by AFLW champion Erin Phillips steered the Adelaide Crows home to a 14 point win over Melbourne to remain one of just two undefeated sides.
Phillips was at her scintillating best on Saturday afternoon, treating the Adelaide fans to a splendid display composed of three goals, two behinds and 17 disposals. Two of Phillips’ goals scored were before half time, keeping the shell-shocked visitors at bay.
The second quarter was a quieter patch on the scoreboard, with the Crows going goalless but peppering away with four points. Phillips broke through with her third goal in the third quarter.
After Rachelle Martin popped up for the home side, it was Phillips’ final major that sealed the victory after a brief comeback by the Demons.
With her three goal haul against the Demons, Phillips overtakes Carlton star forward Darcy Vescio as the all-time AFLW leading goal-kicker. Phillips currently has 46 goals to her name.
“I’m feeling fantastic and I just love playing with this team,” Phillips said post-game.
“We’ve got such a great forward line so it can be anyone’s day.
“When we have targets like Ash Woodland, she is just an absolute rocket up forward, so when we have players like her, it makes my job easier.”
Although quieter than usual so far in 2022, Woodland has scored 10 goals to date in four games, and is at the top of the leading goal-kicker tally for this season so far.
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The scoreline (4.11.35 to 3.3.21) was flattering to the Demons in the end. Scoring their first goal in first minute of the last quarter, it was the longest they’ve gone without a goal in a game in 2022.
Star forward Tayla Harris kicked the first, streaming through an open goal after the three quarter time break.
Captain Daisy Pearce then gave the Crows fans a little scare, but her second goal came after the full-time siren, when the game was over.
Young midfielder Eliza McNamara tried to lift her side with 22 disposals alongside Tyla Hanks, who finished 20 disposals.
The Demons’ forwards were starved for opportunity, with Alyssa Bannan, Kate Hore, and Shelley Scott all kept noticeably quiet by a rock-solid Crows defence.
The stars of the Crows came out to play on all lines today.
In the midfield, the dynamic inside midfield duo of Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard were enormous. Hatchard had 29 disposals and Marinoff 26 in what was big day out. The midfield group also helped to attribute to the 44 forward entries, a stark contrast to the Demons’ 21.
The Crows defence answered some doubters, with both Marijana Rajcic and Sarah Allan continuing their fine form. The defensive unit is arguably the best in the league, only conceding 63 points in their four games of the 2022 season.
Defence all over the ground was strong, with the Crows racking up 69 tackles, with 19 in the first quarter alone.
Another injury concern arose for Crows captain Chelsea Randall, who left the ground in the second quarter after another hamstring injury. The severity is still unknown, but the star defender was out last week due to the same injury.
With a superior percentage, Adelaide now overtakes Fremantle on the AFLW ladder, the only other undefeated side after four matches. Both teams have a longer break until their next scheduled game with both playing next Sunday.
Adelaide will travel to Victoria to play Carlton at Ikon Park, while Melbourne look to bounce back at home against the Gold Coast Suns at Casey Fields.
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