|Venue:||Ikon Park, Carlton.|
|Date:||Sunday 7th March, 2021 (12.40pm)|
|Result:||Won by 33 points.|
|Goalkickers:||S. Gibbs 2.0, D. Vescio 2.0, G. Gee 2.0, N. Stevens 1.1, G. Pound 1.0, M. Prespakis 1.0, N. Plane 1.0, L. McEvoy 0.1, L. Brazzale 0.1, Rushed 0.1.|
|Umpires:||Gen Devenish, Martin Rodger, Peter Bailes.|
|Injuries:||M. Hill (ACL knee) out for the season.|
Game ReviewBlues stay in finals hunt after crushing Cats.
Carlton superstar Madison Prespakis had an injury scare on return from suspension as the Blues gave their finals hopes a boost with a comfortable 33-point win over Geelong. Marquee forward Tayla Harris was left out of the selected side but Carlton still found plenty of avenues to goal, piling on their highest score of the season against the winless Cats. Darcy Vescio, Serena Gibbs and Georgia Gee kicked two goals each in the 10.4 (64) to 4.7 (31) victory at Ikon Park on Sunday. The result kept Carlton in touch with the top six but came at some cost as young gun Mimi Hill had to be helped off the field by trainers after suffering a knee injury early in the final term. "We'll cross our fingers and hope that it's not as bad as it could be," Blues coach Daniel Harford said.
Earlier, reigning league best-and-fairest Prespakis hurt her left elbow pushing off the ground while trying to feed out a handpass through traffic from her knees. She spent quarter-time on the bench undergoing medical assessment and had the joint strapped, but returned to play a key role in the Blues' midfield. Prespakis finished with 27 disposals and a goal as Grace Egan (24) and Kerryn Harrington (21) joined her in racking up huge possession tallies. "Mads went back out there and had a lot of the footy today," Harford said. "It makes a big difference to that midfield when she's in there and we missed her last week in that regard, but she's a fighter. "She's a bit of a warrior and not too much stops her."
Carlton had previously struggled to score in first quarters this season - managing a total of just 1.2 in five opening terms - and conceded Sunday's first goal to Geelong's Rebecca Webster. But Vescio found space out the back to kick two goals in a minute to seize the lead and the Blues had four on the board by quarter-time. Geelong forward Phoebe McWilliams and Blues defender Alison Downie both left the field temporarily after a nasty head clash during the second quarter, and the Cats lost Millie Brown to a right hamstring issue. Amy McDonald, Sophie Van De Heuvel and Webster were Geelong's best contributors. Harris was listed as "managed" and will be available to return when Carlton host high-flying Fremantle in another crunch clash at Ikon Park in round seven. - AFLW Website.
The Blues thump Cats. - By Marni Olsson-Young, Carlton Media.
The Game Changers have enjoyed their return to Ikon Park, returning to the winners' list with a 33-point win over Geelong. While the Blues were tested at stages through the afternoon, strong performances from Darcy Vescio, Georgia Gee, Maddy Prespakis and Kerryn Harrington were at their very best to help the team to an all-important win.
The Blues were able overcome a series of slow starts in recent rounds to kick things off strongly at Ikon Park, scoring freely early in the match. It was all about Darcy Vescio early, the veteran Blue notched two goals in two minutes and kept herself involved with a number of assists. Waiting in the wings was second-game Blue Serena Gibbs, taking the tall role for the afternoon inside 50. It didn't take long for the youngster to open her AFLW account, a crafty handball from Vescio and a confident kick saw Blues come from around the ground to celebrate. Nat Plane bobbed up in attack to polish off what was a strong opening for Carlton, notching her own goal before the end of the term.
The second quarter started in much the same fashion as the first, with the Blues finding easy entries into attack. Nicola Stevens kicked off the quarter with an impressive goal from the pocket, which was followed shortly by a second Gibbs goal. Geelong bolstered its defence thereafter, sparking a Cats onslaught of inside 50s. Third-year defender Charlotte Wilson was strong in her ability in the backline, coming off the best in several one-on-ones and keeping Geelong goalless in the second term despite their efforts. Maddy Prespakis returned to the field after a knock to her elbow, adding back some grunt in the centre and keeping the Blues dominant into the main break.
There's no better way to open a quarter than with a cheeky defenders goal and Gab Pound had to be the one to slot it. Taking her run through the centre, the inaugural Blue decided to go for the barrel over the top and slot her first of the season. From there the Blues got on a run with some brilliance from Darcy Vescio resulting in a Prespakis goal. The Cats steadied thereafter and it was an arm-wrestle to the siren as they notched two of their own.
The Cats played with great desperation in the final term, controlling the play with repeated entries inside their forward 50. Resolute defending by Kerryn Harrington, Mua Laloifi and Charlotte Wilson helped the Blues survive the onslaught - while clean movement from Lucy McEvoy and Gab Pound gave the Blues the spark they needed. The term was soured after young star Mimi Hill left the field with what looked to be a knee injury. Able to survive the Cats' relentless attack, the Blues eventually found some space when Georgia Gee broke away for two quick goals to close off the game.
Moment of the match:
It's hard to go past a first goal for a highlight, but Serena Gibbs thought she might double down on that with two goals in just her second Navy Blue outing. It came late in the term off the back of a slick handball from veteran forward Darcy Vescio and Gibbs was able to seal the deal. If the goal was sweet, the celebration was sweeter: Blues came from across the ground to celebrate the youngster.
Three things from the game:
1. Serena Gibbs has developed into a genuine tall forward option for the Blues. In just her second game, the youngster showed Bluebaggers her potential with two strong goals and plenty of good work inside 50.
2. We say it every week, but Darcy Vescio is in some form in 2021. The veteran Blue has proved her ability to not only impact the scoreboard, but organise the forward line around her. She finished the day with two goals and 10 disposals.
3. Lucy McEvoy is finding her groove after an injury interrupted start to the year. The second-year Blues' ability to play in virtually any position was crucial, especially following the fourth quarter injury to Mimi Hill. Her ability to read the play, get into the right positions and consistently find time under pressure is something Carlton fans should look forward to watching for many years to come.
Best; M. Prespakis, D. Vescio, E. O'Dea, G. Egan, A. McKay, S. Gibbs.
|B:||8 Vaomua Laloifi||18 Maddy Guerin||12 Lauren Brazzale|
|HB:||20 Charlotte Wilson||9 Kerryn Harrington (c)||6 Gabriella Pound|
|C:||4 Madison Prespakis|
|HF:||2 Katie Loynes (c)||21 Nicola Stevens||3 Darcy Vescio|
|F:||10 Mimi Hill||33 Serena Gibbs||19 Georgia Gee|
|Ruck:||16 Breann Moody||5 Abbie McKay||13 Lucy McEvoy|
|Interchange:||1 Grace Egan||11 Jess Hosking||46 Elise O'Dea|
|30 Alison Downie||32 Natalie Plane|
|Emg:||25 Jessica Edwards||17 Charlotte Hammans|
In: Madison Prespakis, Katie Loynes
Out: Tayla Harris (managed), Daisy Walker (omitted)
MilestonesFirst Goal: Serena Gibbs
AFLW Coaches Votes8 - Madison Prespakis (CARL)
5 - Kerryn Harrington (CARL)
5 - Rebecca Webster (GEEL)
4 - Grace Egan (CARL)
4 - Darcy Vescio (CARL)
2 - Breann Moody (CARL)
1 - Gabriella Pound (CARL)
1 - Amy McDonald (GEEL)
AFLW Team of the WeekDefenders: Kerryn Harrington
Midfielders: Madison Prespakis
Interchange: Grace Egan