AFLW Talking Points: Revenge very sweet for devastating Dees
ALTHOUGH they may not have won the flag last year, Melbourne still got some sweet revenge on Adelaide, winning the Grand Final decider by 18 points and defeating the Crows for the first time in four matches. Adelaide got out of the blocks very quickly, but much to Melbourne’s credit they really stood up to the Crows and took care of everything the Crows through at them, and came away with the chocolates.
Pressure across the ground befitting of a Grand Final rematch
One of the most noticeable things from both sides was the relentlessness of their pressure across the ground. Both sides were relentless all game, and did not let up until the final siren. In a sign of how relentless the pressure was, the teams finished with a combined 124 tackles.
Melbourne bolder and calmer with the football in hand
One thing that was particularly noticeable from Melbourne’s game was that the Dees were more calm with the football in hand, and more willing to play bolder with the ball. This was missing from their game at times last season and particularly on Grand Final day, so if they can take the confidence from the fact that they are able to do that against the team that has been the competition benchmark for so long, that is going to hold them in good stead moving forward.
Is there anywhere Chelsea Randall can’t play?
Despite the Crows losing, the game was just another reinforcement of how dangerous Adelaide skipper Chelsea Randall can be, but also how versatile she is too. She started in defence, but then by the end of the game she had played just about everywhere except the ruck, so future Adelaide opponents are going to need to remember that even though Erin Phillips is gone, Randall is still in that Adelaide side, and will hurt you if you do not keep an eye on her.
Watch out for the Dynamic Dee-ream team in midfield
There were many star performances from Dees last night, but one new and potentially very dangerous trio came to the fore and future Dees opponents are going to have to watch out for them.
Between them Karen Paxman, Olivia Purcell and Eliza West had a combined 71 disposals, and were at times hard to stop through the midfield. Paxman is much talked about, but Purcell and West seem to have taken their game to another level in the offseason, so will be an exciting prospect to watch for the Dees fans in weeks to come.
Newer Dees making the most of their opportunities
As well as the aforementioned trio, some of Melbourne’s less experienced players were also impressive against the Crows and seemed to really take the opportunity they had been given with both hands. Tahlia Gillard was really impressive in defence in the spot left by Gabby Colvin‘s injury, while both Maeve Chaplin and Samantha Johnson were impressive through midfield.