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AFLW game analysis: Round 3

Justin Cooper, Carlton Media  February 20, 2017 1:46 PM

AFLW Highlights | Carlton v Adelaide The Blues and Crows clash in the Round 3 of AFLW action.

Carlton fell to a fast-finishing Adelaide in its first loss of the NAB AFL Women’s League, going down by three points at Thebarton Oval on Sunday.

A vocal and full local crowd of 9,006 packed the stands to see the winning 60m goal from Olympic basketballer and Crows captain Erin Phillips in the final stages for the home side to emerge victorious in a low-scoring affair, 2.5.17 to 2.2.14.

The dangerous Darcy Vescio (five disposals, one goal) was well held but defensive general Bri Davey again topped the disposal count with 23 disposals, including four tackles, six rebound 50s and three marks. 

Davey’s influence was telling. Despite the Crows having 35 inside 50s (17 more than Carlton), they could only conjure two goals, with Davey seemingly repelling almost every Adelaide attacking foray.

Arguably the best player on the ground, the Blues marquee missed the majority of the third term but returned in the final quarter to rack up seven possessions and almost boot the winning goal when swung forward in the dying stages.

Danielle Hardiman (15 disposals, six tackles) and captain Lauren Arnell (14 disposals, six tackles) also led from the front when the Blues were in control early in the game.

Versatile tall Bianca Jakobsson pulled in seven marks with her 11 disposals to take her total tally of marks for the season to 17, the most of any Blue in the opening three rounds.
 

Carlton’s ability to keep the Crows goalless in the first half and to just one major in three quarters would’ve pleased coach Damien Keeping, with the Blues also winning the hitouts 28-18.

Rucks Alison Downie (seven disposals, three tackles, 18 hitouts) and Breann Moody (10 disposals, seven hitouts) combined for the game-high 28, but it was Adelaide’s ability to break the Blues’ runaway from the stoppages in the second half that proved defining.

After averaging 61 per cent disposal efficiency in the opening two rounds, that figure dived to 53 per cent for the Blues in what became a scrappy affair in windy conditions. 

Now sitting in third on the AFLW ladder behind Brisbane and Adelaide, the Blues will look to rebound with a win against the fourth-placed Melbourne at Casey Fields on Saturday in a double-header with the JLT Community Series.