An outstanding effort from first-year player Hannah Ewings underscored a magnificent team performance from Port Adelaide to claim their maiden AFLW win. Joining her in the dominance by the young guns was Abbey Dowrick and Indy Tahau which shows that Port Adelaide is only growing with each game.
After countless solid performances, Ewings is well and truly a fancy for the Rising Star award. Contributing three goals, 19 disposals and nine clearances, she has been a focal point of the midfield in the Port Adelaide side.
Being picked up in the AFLW draft with their first selection, Ewings was the best SA product. She averages 15 disposals, 5.8 tackles and 2.5 inside 50s. Adding to her all-round ability around the ground is her ability to finish her good work on the scoreboard which was featured in this game against the Swans.
Speaking to the media post-game, Port young gun Dowrick talks about the belief the group have in Ewings.
“Hannah is an absolute gun and you know when you give it to her she’s going to do something with it like all the girls but Hannah’s got a booming kick and she’ll do something with it for sure,” she said.
Dowrick herself has been a revelation at AFLW level, being picked up as an open age signing she has thrived. Playing as a midfielder/forward she has averaged 17.5 disposals, 2.8 marks, seven tackles and 3.8 inside 50s.
She spoke about her belief in herself and the focus on enjoying the game rather than the results only.
“You could just tell with some games, you really enjoy it and playing with the girls is all I ever want to do and to play good footy with the girls, the rest sorts itself out, I suppose,” Dowrick explained.
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Being one of the first ever AFLW Port Adelaide players to share in a win, Dowrick was speechless when asked how she felt.
“It’s going to take a bit to sink in, it’s something we’ve been building towards, it’s surreal and [I’m really] just speechless, it’s the best feeling.”
Capping off the performances by the young Port brigade was a somewhat seasoned player in Indy Tahau. Coming to Port Adelaide from the Lions, Tahau played 23 games and won a premiership for Brisbane.
Since coming over she has doubled her average disposals, her tackle count and her inside 50 count. She is a big part of the defence for Port Adelaide and has been a rock considering their inexperience.
Making the win all the more momentous was the captain Erin Phillips’ 50th AFLW game milestone. Playing 46 games for the Adelaide Crows before crossing to Port Adelaide this season, Phillips has been a massive leader for the young group.
Dowrick explains what she means to the group and how they found the inspiration to get the job done.
“It means everything, I think everyone in the group can say they look up to Flip (Erin Phillips) and I certainly do, she’s such a mellow person but she just gets the job done and we couldn’t ask for a better captain.”
In a positive note for Swans fans, Montana Ham returned to AFLW for her second game after a knee injury. Being cleared of the dreaded ACL after Round One, Ham returned full of confidence and poise.
Leading the Swans team with 20 disposals, Ham also contributed four marks, five tackles and four clearances. She will only build as the team do considering the lop-sided result for Sydney.
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