AFLW GF underrated stars: Rajcic and Colvin

SATURDAY’S AFLW Grand Final will see Adelaide up against Melbourne. Two sides full of well known stars – Ebony Marinoff, Anne Hatchard and Erin Phillips up against Lauren Pearce, Daisy Pearce and Tayla Harris.

Everyone talks about the well known stars that will be crucial to deciding who wins on Saturday, but there are still plenty of other players that will play a crucial role in deciding the victor that do not get as much media attention as some of their more famous teammates.

Two defenders who may not rack up the possessions but are still influential and crucial to their team’s success: Adelaide’s Marijana Rajcic and Melbourne’s Gabby Colvin.

Firstly, to the Crow in Rajcic. She is certainly not the most well known of defenders in the Adelaide line up (that title definitely belongs to Chelsea Randall), but her composure and level head is a key component of the Adelaide defence.

Although not an inaugural Crow, she is still one of the most experienced players in that Adelaide defence. She may not have the flare of a Stevie-Lee Thompson or the boldness of a Randall, but is still someone that will provide great intercept work, and rebound out of defensive 50 for the Crows to get another forward push going.

She may not get the recognition like some of her other team mates because she has not got the speed or the boldness, and also does not play as high up the ground as some of her other teammates. She also does not rack up the possessions like many of her team mates (she is only averaging 8.9 disposals a game this season), but it is her pressure and other off the ball work that is arguably more important and more impressive. She is also one of the top five Crows in disposal efficiency this season, so they can rely on her to effectively get them out of tricky situations.

Onto the Dee in Colvin. She is another one of those reliable defenders that will do a job and do it well. Playing in the famousness shadow of fellow tall defender Libby Birch has allowed Colvin to slip under the radar and just go about her work without any fanfare or pomp and ceremony.

She has averaged even less disposals than Rajcic this season (only 6.9), but if there is anyone who is an example of the stats not showing the full picture to their game, it is Colvin.

Take last week’s Preliminary Final as a prime example. After some of her work on the weekend she may have earned the nickname “Golden Fist punch Colvin”. There were a number of occasions where she came from behind in a contest with the fist punch, which would then safely ensure the ball was out of danger. Her tackling work was also magnificent, at one stage running down Greta Bodey to deny her a chance to set up another Brisbane goal.

She is also a strong marker, strong interceptor (is currently in the top five amongst her team mates) for average intercept possessions this year) and is a good reader of the ball, so if she is in a one on one contest her opponent is not about to have an easy time of it.

Colvin is also one of the most composed and level headed footballers in the AFLW. There is very little that can fluster Colvin, which will prove valuable in a Dees side playing in their first Grand Final. Although she is only in her third season at AFLW level herself, she has a lot of finals experience behind her, which will help her ensure not just her fellow defenders, but the rest of the Dees line up keep calm if needed on Saturday.

So although this Grand Final will be full of stars and very well known faces, keep an eye out for the underrated stars out there on Saturday that may just decide who takes home the cup.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments