In a tough slog of a game, 19-year-old GIANTS midfielder Alyce Parker stood out in the tough conditions, playing a key role in her side’s one point win over Gold Coast.
The Holbrook product racked up 22 touches and laid five tackles as she adapted to the constant driving rain that lashed Blacktown International Sportspark on Saturday.
“It is tough, but if you watched us last year, we had a lot of it. So to play in the rain, we relish it,” Parker said.
“It just turns into a game of toughness and who can really compete out there.”
The GIANTS struggled at times to adapt to the conditions and the pressure put on them by the dogged Gold Coast had them trailing at half-time.
“They were tough, we probably at times didn’t give them enough respect in the way that they played,” Parker said.
“They were tough and, in the end, we held on and I think our experience, and our endeavour to win – because we wanted to win and get that round one tick – got us through.”
The win was the GIANTS’ first ever in round one, and also coach Alan McConnell’s first win at Blacktown International Sportspark.
“It’s good to get a result in round one, which is new for us, and the girls have afforded me a lot of firsts in my career and one of them being today in that we won the game by only kicking one goal, but we will take it,” McConnell said.
While the GIANTS managed to get the four points, McConnell isn’t shying away from the GIANTS’ struggles to impact the scoreboard.
The GIANTS had 21 more inside 50s than the Suns but could only manage four scoring shots.
“We need to kick more goals,” McConnell said.
“I was really disappointed structurally in the first half. The opposition looked like they were going to score off every one of their entries.
“We looked really vulnerable behind the ball which is something we’ve worked really hard at.
“Round one and the nature of the conditions maybe hijacked us a little bit, but I thought after half-time, and in the last quarter, that while there wasn’t much scoring going on, I didn’t think we were going to get scored against, which was different to how the game played out in first half.”