Delighted Dockers boss sees pieces coming together

IT was hard to wipe the smile off Dockers’ coach Lisa Webb’s face after her side defeated Richmond in the AFL Women’s yesterday.

Speaking post-match, Webb said her side “got back to the way we wanted to play footy, really challenged the girls during the week. We were disappointed with our performance last week and we showed a lot of fight and a lot of grit out there today so I’m really proud of them.”

Webb said things are starting to come together for the Dockers finally, and that a win like the one they got yesterday was very important in the context of their season.

“We’ve had a couple of performances where we just thought that we just didn’t put our best foot forward and today we started to see a bit more of that. I was really proud of Tuks (Makaela Tuhakaraina) coming back in, and Dana East, and Angela Stannett spent a fair chunk of time as an inside mid, and we’ve been really trying to push and develop those players. Obviously we didn’t have (Ebony) Antonio or (Kiara) Bowers, so really proud of their performance despite a few changes as well.”

Richmond gave the Dockers a lot of pressure to contend with in the second half with the Dockers withstood very well. Webb said that it “absolutely” gave them confidence that they were able to do so in such a way.

“We’re trying to find the right mix at the moment, and we did change a few things,” Webb said. “Obviously Roxy came back as well so we’re just trying to find what’s the best mix and challenge players with their flexibility and roles. Especially late when we put Aine behind the ball and then Ange Stannett in and then what the backs look like with that. Really pleased to be finding out a lot about our players in these games.”

With a few big names out of the side yesterday, Webb praised others who led well and stood up in their absence.

Hayley Miller’s been terrific, back to her really good football today, and Stannett really supports her really well, and so does Pughy. Gabby O’Sullivan was out there as well which was another really exciting one for us to have back out there, and Aine, she’s fairly handy as well. So we’re really well supported by our leaders, especially with those other two out.”

It has been a big few weeks for the Dockers, who stayed in Melbourne between their games in Round 4 and 5.

“It’s been a really good week for us as a bonding experience and I’m just really pleased, four points is really important but just the fight and grit that they showed. That resilience, especially when they came back late” Webb said.

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