Essendon has survived a scare from the Sydney Swans, holding them off to claim a four-point victory at Ikon Park and their first AFLW win since Round 3.
The Bombers went into the game as heavy favourites, as the Swans have not yet secured a win this season. However, the Swans were prolific in attack early in the game, taking advantage of their chances and putting the pressure onto the Bombers’ defence.
With three goals each going into the second quarter, despite a clear dominance from the Bombers when it came to sending the ball inside 50, it was obvious that the Swans were much better at capitalising on the Bombers’ mistakes, making them pay on the scoreboard.
Going into the main break 10 points down, something needed to change for the Bombers and they responded accordingly with strong forward pressure and better chance creation which allowed them to reclaim the lead and eventually hold on for an important win.
Speaking exclusively with The Inner Sanctum, Bombers star Jacqui Vogt discussed the effect that the win will have on the group as they head into the final two rounds.
“It gives us a lot of confidence. We knew as a group that Sydney would come out pretty hungry. They haven’t won a game so we knew that they’d be up for the fight,” she said.
“Credit to them, but also credit to our girls. We haven’t won for a few weeks, so it was really good to get there and get the win.”
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Vogt also spoke about the belief the team showed when they closed out the victory in the late stages, after a string of disappointing results.
“Just going back to our brand of footy, and really backing ourselves in [got us the win]. We know that when we play our brand it wins us games,” she explained.
In the end, a big reason for the win was the way the Bombers took their chances in attack when it mattered most.
Daria Bannister, Sophie Alexander, and Catherine Phillips each had two goals to their name, while Bonnie Toogood stood up with a wonderful captain’s goal at the end of the third quarter. These stars all have plenty of AFLW experience, and this was evident through their impact in the most intense moments of the game.
Vogt outlined the importance of having these players around to influence the game when it matters most.
“To have a spread like that, it’s really good. We’ve always known that going forward we have some really good targets to hit up and to see them getting goals on the board [is great],” she said.
Vogt herself had a solid outing for the Bombers, finishing with 16 disposals, three marks, and three tackles in the victory. Her versatility has been important for the team this season, and she spoke about how that helps the Bombers as a team.
“Wherever ‘Woody’ [Senior coach Natalie Wood] puts me I just try and play my role for the team. It’s good to be versatile and help the team wherever I’m needed in that moment,” she explained.
Next up, Essendon will travel to Casey Fields to take on Melbourne in a clash that will either make or break its finals hopes, while Sydney will look to finally secure a maiden AFLW win as it hosts the Fremantle Dockers at Henson Park.
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