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Bright Start for GIANTS in AFLW Practice Match

GIANTS Media  January 20, 2018 1:31 PM

Highlights: AFLW Practice Match Some of the best moments from the AFLW practice match between the GIANTS an the Brisbane Lions.
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Aimee Schmidt and Jacinda Barclay fly for the ball in the practice match against the Lions on Saturday.

I was really pleased with our endeavour. I thought we looked to execute what we rehearsed and that’s what practice matches are for.

The GIANTS have begun their final preparations for the 2018 NAB AFL Women’s competition in the best possible fashion with a comprehensive 50-point win over the Brisbane Lions in a practice match on Saturday morning.

In hot conditions that saw the mercury reach 32 degrees, the GIANTS looked impressive as they dismantled the 2017 runners-up 12.4 (76) to 4.2 (26). 

The game, which consisted of five 15-minute periods, was dominated early by the GIANTS who - thanks to two early goals to Phoebe McWilliams - led by 29 points after the first two terms. 

A spirited fightback from the Lions saw them draw to within nine points midway through the fourth period before goals to Renee Forth and Cora Staunton stretched the GIANTS' lead back to 19 points at the final break.

A five-goal final term - that included two goals to experienced draftee Courtney Gum - saw the GIANTS run out winners by 50 points.

GIANTS AFLW Head Coach Alan McConnell was pleased with the performance of his GIANTS but believes there’s still room for improvement.

“I was really pleased with our endeavour. I thought we looked to execute what we rehearsed and that’s what practice matches are for,” he said.

“I think what was pleasing was that everyone played their bit.

“There’s lots of things to tinker with, but everybody had their moment in the sun at some point.

“We’ve encountered a couple of scenarios in the game that we probably haven’t rehearsed which was also really good and the ability of our girls to have composure and cope with that was really pleasing."

Gaelic Football legend Staunton was one of the stand-outs for the GIANTS in her first-ever AFLW match after making the move from Ireland, finishing with two goals including a classy left-foot snap.

McConnell summed up her performance after the game: “She showed us why she’s here”.

A crowd of around 350 people turned out to watch the game at the WestConnex Centre with many keen to get their first taste of football since the men’s season wrapped up four months ago.

“I was blown away by the number of people here, particularly young women looking to see what they might aspire to be like in years ahead,” McConnell said. 

“I was really pleased that our girls took the time to have a photo before the game with those that were here early enough and it didn’t affect their preparation.

“I was really pleased to see them embrace the fans after our hit-out as well.”

The GIANTS begin their 2018 NAB AFLW season on Saturday, February 3 at Casey Fields against Melbourne before returning home to play Carlton at Drummoyne Oval on Friday, February 9. 

Goals: McWilliams, Gum, Staunton 2, Beeson, Privitelli, McKinnon, Eva, Forth, Schmidt.

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