Carlton AFLW coach Damien Keeping has praised his players’ character following their 13-point win over a plucky Greater Western Sydney at Ikon Park on Saturday.
The Giants’ pressure made it a tough afternoon for the Blues, who finally broke the deadlock with a three-goal final term to keep their unbeaten start intact.
“We weren’t surprised that they (Giants) brought a really strong and competitive performance against us. They were strong against Adelaide and challenged us to earn the win,” Keeping said.
“We’re really pleased with the result and the way our players found a way to win when challenged.
“The character of the group is fantastic. We’re so proud of their attitude and willingness to learn, to stick at it and face any challenge that comes at them – that’s the make-up of a strong, successful team."
Keeping singled out marquee players Bri Davey (20 disposals, four tackles) and Darcy Vescio (seven disposals, two goals), who again lived up to their billing.
“Bri (Davey) is in good form and the challenge for her is to maintain the consistency she’s started with. She’s an exceptional talent and the way she was able to stabilise our defence today was really significant,” he said.
“Darcy’s (Vescio) work rate was phenomenal. She worked through the closer attention and she brought her teammates into the game. I thought Darcy’s hard work brought Kate Shierlaw into the game for her first match.”
The Blues will face arguably their greatest challenge yet when they travel to Adelaide next week for a top-of-the-table clash against the undefeated Crows.
“We’re ready for our next challenge of going interstate for the first time. Each week is a new measuring stick for us to constantly get better – that’s the challenge for our group," Keeping said.
“Adelaide are very good around the contest and up for the competitive side of the game. We’re expecting a fierce contest and that’s how we’ll prepare.”
Co-vice-captain Madeline Keryk is expected to return against the Crows after missing Round 2 because of soreness.
Carlton travels to Therbarton Oval in Adelaide for the 11.35am EST encounter on Sunday, 18 February, with the game to be broadcast live on FOX Footy.