ON Sunday, the Casey Demons proved too strong for Collingwood in their Elimination Final, and a big factor in that success was Melanie Hogg. The only player on the ground to register more than 20 disposals, Hogg played a crucial role to help her side stay alive in the finals, and this Player Focus takes a deep dive into her performance.
Stats: 23 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles, 6 clearances, 1 behind
Having started on the bench, it took Hogg a while to get into the game because the play was all on the other side of the ground, making it hard for her to get a rotation. About eight minutes in, she eventually got on and headed into the midfield.
She did not have too much of a breakout impact in the first quarter, but laid an excellent tackle on Collingwood ruck Grace Matser, which was not rewarded with a free kick for one reason or another.
Another of Hogg’s acts saw her drop a mark under pressure on the forward 50 arc, rounding out a steady start to proceedings.
Hogg got into the action much more during the second term. She did not start in the midfield, but it was only about four minutes before she was in the thick of the action.
She continued to show her strong tackling capabilities, and in parts of the second term found herself playing a more defensive role, as Collingwood produced a few good attacking opportunities.
Although she was not always in the middle of the pack, she was often just on the outside of it, positioning well as the next option out of the pack.
Not only is Hogg a strong tackler, but the second quarter proved she is strong while being tackled too, as she once stood up and still managed to get a kick away while being swarmed on by multiple Magpies.
Her final act of the quarter was one of the most beneficial of the game, as her kick inside 50 was marked by teammate Katie Angelis, who went back and kicked truly to put another goal on the board for Casey.
It was not a totally blemish free quarter for Hogg though, as she was pinned for holding the ball once.
As usual, Hogg did not start in the middle, but when she did find her way on-ball she ended up working towards either end of the ground.
Much like in the second quarter, she was often just on the outside of the pack and not necessarily in the middle of it, waiting for the first touch, pass or scramble from the fire.
There were multiple occasions in the third term where she proved how strong she was while being tackled, wriggling out of tough grapples to still dispose of the ball and not be pinged for holding it.
She almost troubled the scorers too in the third term, running into goal and having a shot, but ultimately missing. She may have not known how much time and space she really had, having kicked the ball far sooner than she needed to.
Hogg did not have as much to do in the final quarter as she had in some of the previous periods, but still made an impact on the game.
She spent much of the quarter in an entertaining battle with Marla Neal, and once again continued to prove how strong she is when being tackled. At one stage she was able to slip out of a tackle and ultimately set up a goal for her side.
She took a really strong mark in the quarter too, and laid a punishing tackle on Kara Colborne-Veel, which resulted in a holding the ball free kick.