|Venue:||Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast.|
|Date:||Friday 19th March (4.10 pm)|
|Result:||Won by 60 points.|
|Crowd:||272 (restricted capacity)|
|Goalkickers:||D. Vescio 5.1, N. Plane 2.0, B. Moody 1.1, L. Brazzale 1.0, L. McEvoy 1.1, E. O'Dea 1.0, N. Stevens 1.1, B. Walker 1.2, M. Prespakis 0.2, Rushed 0.1.|
|Umpires:||Cameron Manthey, James Strybos, Sam Whetton.|
Game ReviewVescio masterclass steers Blues to record-breaking victory.
Carlton's finals dreams stay alive after a record-breaking win over the Gold Coast Suns. The Game Changers have kept their finals dreams alive with a dominant 60-point win over the Gold Coast Suns on Friday night at Metricon Stadium. It was a day of records for the Blues: both individual and team, with Darcy Vescio kicking a career-best five goals to become the first AFLW player to kick 40 career goals, while the Blues also recorded their highest ever score and the highest ever score in the competition. After a slow start, the Blues fought their way back into the game through some brilliance in the middle from Breann Moody while the Kerryn Harrington, Gab Pound and Mua Laloifi were resoloute in defence. The Blues will now turn their attention to another must-win game on the road against the GIANTS.
Quarter one: It was all Suns in the first quarter as they stunned the Blues with the opening three goals of the game. The Suns simply outplayed the Blues, dominating them across every key statistic. Grace Egan, Maddy Prespakis and Abbie McKay fought hard around the contest to try and wrestle their side back the control - tackling hard and making the opposition begin to earn their possessions. The Blues were finally able to get onto the scoreboard through some nice repeat efforts from Georgia Gee, who ran hard from the half-back line, combining with a number of teammates before finding Darcy Vescio in the square for the goal.
Quarter two:It was a much more energetic start to the quarter by the Blues driven largely the dominant ruck work of Breann Moody, propelling the Blues from the midfield into attack. With the Blues locking the ball in their forward half, Darcy Vescio was able to find her second goal of the day cutting the Suns' quarter-time lead. Georgia Gee's was a standout in the term, with her nine disposals and three score involvements to half time sparking the Blues' comeback. However, the story of the term was Darcy Vescio who kicked her third goal of the game to become the first AFLW player to kick 40 career goals.
Quarter three: Jess Hosking's quick clearance to start the second half set the tone for the Blues, who put the the slow start to the game well behind them. Darcy Vescio continued to have a day out on the Gold Coast, kicking another goal to kick the second four-goal haul of her career. Lucy McEvoy worked herself into the game, playing an important role in Carlton's forward line and on the ball: a team-high 9 contested possessions to half-time a testament to the increase in her work rate. Fans would have been ecstatic to see the hard-running of Brooke Walker back on the field, the returning Blue breaking free from her opponent to kick one of her trademark goals. While the forwards were providing the excitement, it was the backline stability lead by Kerryn Harrington, Gab Pound and Mua Laloifi that allowed the Blues to rebound quickly and score freely during the quarter. A five goal to none quarter saw the Blues take a 33-point lead into the final break.
Quarter four: There was no slowing the Game Changers down in the final term, as they looked to build on the third quarter lead and keep their finals hopes alive. Darcy Vescio found another way to entertain the Blues fans in attendance, taking a screamer in the goal square before kicking her fifth goal of the day. Nat Plane's second goal saw the Blues kick their highest-ever AFLW score. If that record wasn't enough, Breann Moody's first goal of the day saw the Game Changers record the highest ever AFLW score and cap off a dominant-team display.
Three things from the game:
1. It is in fact the Darcy Vesci-show. The inaugural Blue's injury-free pre-season has seen her return to career-best form in 2021. Her career-best five goals and constant forward line pressure were the difference when the Blues were mounting their comeback against the Suns. Sitting at the top of the AFLW goal kicking tally for 2021 with 14 goals and becoming the first AFLW player to kick 40 career goals, Vescio is truly back to her very best.
2. Breann Moody is simply in a league of her own. The 2018 Carlton best and fairest was at her dominant best on Friday evening, especially in the second quarter when the team needed her the most. Her combination of deft tap work as well as thumping centre clearances saw her win the hit-out count 22 to 13 and stake her claim for All Australian selection come year's end.
3. Lauren Brazzale's impact playing on the wing is perhaps one of the most underrated in the competition. The inaugural Blue provided plenty of run and aggression during the crunch periods of the game, while her football smarts were key in helping the Blues' forwards dominate the back half of the game.
Best; D. Vescio, G. Gee, L. Brazzale, B. Moody, K. Harrington, G. Pound.
|B:||8 Vaomua Laloifi||23 Daisy Walker||12 Lauren Brazzale|
|HB:||6 Gabriella Pound||30 Alison Downie||9 Kerryn Harrington (c)|
|C:||2 Katie Loynes (c)|
|HF:||19 Georgia Gee||7 Tayla Harris||3 Darcy Vescio|
|F:||32 Natalie Plane||21 Nicola Stevens||17 Charlotte Hammans|
|Ruck:||16 Breann Moody||4 Madison Prespakis||13 Lucy McEvoy|
|Interchange:||1 Grace Egan||5 Abbie McKay||46 Elise O'Dea|
|11 Jess Hosking||8 Brooke Walker|
|Emg:||18 Maddy Guerin||33 Serena Gibbs|
In: Charlotte Hammans, Brooke Walker
Out: Serena Gibbs (omitted), Charlotte Wilson (managed)
MilestonesFirst AFLW Player to kick 40 career goals: Darcy Vescio
Both a Carlton AFLW and AFLW Competition Record Score: 13.9 (87).
AFLW Coaches Votes10 - Darcy Vescio (CARL)
8 - Breann Moody (CARL)
3 - Lauren Ahrens (GCFC)
3 - Georgia Gee (CARL)
2 - Lucy McEvoy (CARL)
2 - Kerryn Peterson (CARL)
1 - Lucy Single (GCFC)
1 - Natalie Plane (CARL)
AFLW Team of the WeekForwards: Darcy Vescio
Interchange: Breann Moody