NSL Player Focus: Caroline O’Hanlon (Leeds)

DESPITE going down to Loughborough on the weekend, the Leeds Rhinos made a good fight of the match, and were looking like winning for three quarters of the match.

One Rhino that was in the thick of the action was one of its most experienced players, yet newest recruits, Caroline O’Hanlon.

The Northern Irishwoman was in the thick of it all game, running out the game in centre and finishing with 15 feeds and two deflections.

This Player Focus seeks to take a bit of a deeper dive into O’Hanlon’s game, pick apart her technique and approach to the centre position and perhaps get an answer as to why she is so influential.

O’Hanlon is certainly not a lane runner. She will often run on the angle, trying to find the best position to attack or the free player to defend.

Speaking of players to defend, she is not picky with which specific opponent she defends as the ball moves down the court. Perhaps utilising the advantage of being the centre, O’Hanlon’s priority is to make sure any opponent who does not have a player on them gets defended.

This does unfortunately catch her out sometimes when she is further up the court defending and her opponent is free to run down the court and make her presence felt in a more dangerous spot.

She is also not afraid to put her body on the line to help her team, often ending up on the deck after a contest.

O’Hanlon is also not picky when it comes to choosing who to pass the centre pass to.

Although generally preferring to pass to the wing attack or goal attack, she is also not afraid to look to the wing defence or goal defence if need be. She will also take that extra second to scan every option and make sure she chooses the best one.

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