VFLW Round 4 vs North Melbourne

Sunday 6th March 2022, Arden St Oval

Darebin Falcons 3.6.24 def North Melbourne 1.2.8

📸 Photos by @Rob Lawson Photography

Darebin Falcons had a good win on the road this week, with a consistent team effort proving too strong for North Melbourne.  The Falcons defence kept North Melbourne to only one behind in their first half and overall their lowest score in the VFLW.  Although both teams had 30 inside 50’s and nearly equal time in possession, the Falcons got much better reward for effort and took out a 16 point win at Arden Street this week. 

Round 4’s team saw Alyssa Misfud, Naomi Celebre, Simone Ruedin, Rachel Hibbert coming in for Alice Caddy who injured her shoulder in last week’s match, and youngsters Chloe Weston-Sirett, Angelique Reibelt and Trinity Mills. The first quarter saw some slippery footy, with the Falcons bringing good pressure to the contests and the ball was kept in tight.  Winger Emma Mackay was moved forward to bring some more speed to the attacking game, which had an almost immediate effect.  The ball was moved well from the defence line, through the middle and Mackay took a good mark on the 50 meter mark.  She then ran around nicely away from the defender on her left and, with a straight kick that bounced through the big sticks, she gave the Falcons the early lead.

In the second quarter, Falcons again had some great forward movement. Mackay got another kick on goal that was rushed behind, and Steph Simpson was unlucky with a bouncing kick that was just off line.  .North Melbourne brought a renewed intensity and kept the ball in their half for much of the second quarter, courtesy of some classic Jess Duffin intercept marking, and classy kicking.  However, the Falcs backline continued to repel including Victoria Blackwood’s goal saving tackle.  North’s Georgia Nicholas got the first score with a kick that hit the post in the last minute.  This point was the only return for 23 forays inside their attacking 50 metres in the first half.

The third quarter started off with North’s first goal, with Jess Mourney showing speed to pick up the ball off the contest and kick the first goal of the quarter.  It was a pressure cooker of a quarter, with Steph Simpson run down a smother, Emma Mackay with a fierce tackle deep in the forward, and Naomi Celebre winning the ball with a great tackle in the backline.  With no further scores, Falcons led by 2 points at the final change.

The final term, the Falcons were able to reset their structures better, and with a full team commitment to the tackle, were able to win the ball, and to find better options to get the ball forward.  Sabine Cowley du Parquet showed great awareness to get a soccer off the ground for the first goal of the quarter.  Rachel Hibbert kicked in again to Alyssa Misfud finding good space in the goal square, but the ball was rushed over by the defenders.  With some good roving off the pack, Step Simpson had another shot on goal but was too narrow, going through for a minor score.  The forwards were working hard to keep the ball inside the 50 metre arc, and to keep attacking pressure with strong leading.  Steph Simpson found Rachel Hibbert in some space on her own 35 metres on a slight angle.  Hibbert went back and kicked straight over the goal umpire’s head.  The Falcons kept peppering the goals with another snap from Steph Simpson just off line for another behind.  The rain got heavier and the ball more slippery still, but the Falcons kept the pressure up, with the ball in their goal square as the final sounded. 

Coach Kate Tyndall said she was really pleased with the team effort reiterating that a full squad approach will be needed for the VFLW 2022 season.  “I could name nearly every player today for those in the best.  Ange Gogos with her tackling, Vic Blackwood with some great play, Mackay too was good all round.  I think Alyssa Misfud was a good target and supporting the ruck work, and Lynch also did well in the hit outs.  It is great to see the team being on the right track, and just looking for our own improvements week to week”  With 16 a side, and new rules like the defender having to stand on the mark, and the lasso last touch free kick for going out of bounds, and having to play in high summer, the players workload is significantly higher.  The 2022 season is unpredictable with the AFLW home and away finishing up this weekend, and finals the first weekend in April, so VFLW fans can expect some changes in the teams.  Falcons will be looking to build on this win and get some confidence in their own game plan, and the squad’s ability to execute under pressure.

Next game: Saturday 12 March, Darebin v Carlton, 4pm, Bill Lawry Oval, Northcote

The replay and all live VFLW matches in 2022 can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/AFLVictoria

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