Women’s Premier Division MOTW: Warriors back on track
Written by Phoebe McWilliams.
Macquarie University are back on the winners list following a 23-point win over the Southern Power on Saturday afternoon at Waratah Oval. The Warriors dropped their first match of the season in Round 12 and will be pleased to have taken the points in the weekend’s game against a hard-tackling Power.
The two sides have met twice already this season, with Mac Uni winning on both occasions by 65 and 39 points respectively. The Power continue to reduce the winning margin, with the 23-point loss on the weekend the closest the two sides have been, thanks largely to a strong start by the home side.
The Power had the majority of the footy in the first five minutes and moved the ball well with plenty of handball-receives and short kicks to hit up targets. They scored the first goal of the game through the small-forward Rhe Lotter. Lotter and Ash McClure are a dangerous combination. They have that sixth sense of knowing where and when each other are going to run/kick. The perfectly weighted pass from McClure to Lotter summed this up perfectly and Lotter made no mistake putting through the set shot.
Both times these sides have met this year, Mac Uni’s forward/ruck Laura Russell has kicked three goals and for a period in the first quarter it looked as though history was going to repeat itself for a third time. Russell made her presence felt taking three strong marks in her side’s forward fifty. However, thankfully for the Power, Russell was unable to capitalise on her set shots.
Strong defensive pressure by Mac Uni made it difficult for the Power to exit out of their defensive 50 and eventually the Warriors were able to get a goal on the board when Meredith Gray put through her team’s first. The second Warriors’ major came through midfield ball magnet Lisa Steane. Steane pushed forward to take a mark inside 50, kicking a goal on the siren to give her side a 9-point lead at quarter time.
The second quarter started similar to the first with Power having plenty of possession and kicking the first three points. Macquarie then took control adding two goals to their tally, the first from a free kick inside 50 to Liz Fassone. The second came through the Lisa ‘Steane Train” Steane who read the ruck tap, took off with explosive speed through the middle and delivered the ball inside 50. Fellow midfielder Ellie Herron ran onto the ball and put it through extending the Warriors lead to 19-points.
The second half of the match was in contrast to the first as the game tightened up. Both sides began playing defensively creating a large number of stoppages. Free flowing passages of play became extremely rare and players became frustrated with a number of free kicks being given away.
Only one goal was scored in the entire half. The goal came in the last quarter when Steane read the long ruck tap by Russell and delivered the ball into 50. Eventually Aislinn Albury ended up with a mark 10m out straight in front and put it through to seal the game.
Steane’s work in the midfield was a highlight of the game. Coach Dan Ranson praised the work rate and positive attitude of one of his key midfielders.
“I love coaching her. She’s super fit, very, very skilled and is very positive on and off the field.
“To have someone come in, brand new to the club and be so outwardly positive about everything has helped the entire group.”
When asked what’s taken Steane’s game to the next level, Ranson believes it’s been the improvement in her ball use.
“I think it’s been her decision making. She’s always had that fitness, she works very hard at it. Her skills are great – she rarely misses targets. I certainly think her knowledge of the game and her decision-making has improved a lot.
In other results across the competition there was a draw between the Auburn Penrith Giants and the Western Wolves, who both scored 3.4.22. Sydney University (13.9.87) beat the UTS Shamrocks (4.1.25) by 62-points. Finally the UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs (7.7.49) defeated the Newtown Breakaways (3.3.21) by 28-points. Rhe Lotter’s goal on the weekend now places her on top of the leading goal kicker tally, equal with Mac Uni’s Simone Freeman on 16 goals.