The Tasmania Devils’ first interstate #NABLeagueGirls match for the season has finished in a 57-point loss to the Eastern Ranges at the Kilsyth Recreation Reserve, however the side showed plenty of improvement in their second match for the season.
Following last weekend’s big loss to the Oakleigh Chargers at North Hobart Oval, the Devils showed signs of improvement, continuing to throw everything at the contest all afternoon in conditions that heavily favoured one end of the ground.
The Devils started with terrific intent, hunting in packs and applying relentless pressure.
The hosts were first to hit the scoreboard through Matilda Hardy, but some excellent pressure inside defensive 50 ensured the Ranges would be kept to just one goal for the opening stanza.
The Devils’ hunger was best displayed late in the opening term by Glenorchy’s Perri King, who laid a terrific smother before gathering the ball and snapping smartly to kick the Devils’ first for the game, but also first for the season and first as a full-time #NABLeagueGirls outfit after being kept goalless last weekend.
The second quarter belonged to the Ranges, kicking four unanswered goals – three of which came in the opening eight minutes. The Devils continued to apply strong defensive pressure to stem the tide before a goal after the siren made the difference 27 at the long break.
Defensive intent was the focus for the third term and the Devils delivered, conceding just the one goal (kicked by Isabelle Khoury at the four-minute mark).
Like the second quarter, a short period of Ranges domination saw the final term belong to the hosts, with four goals in the final 10 minutes extending the margin to 57 at the final siren.
Line coach Jodie Clifford was impressed with the intent shown by the Devils – especially in the tackle count – while also acknowledging that the Ranges handled the conditions best.
“In patches we were first to the ball, but if they weren’t, they still went in hard to try and win it back.
“We wanted the tackle count to be down today because we wanted to be first to the ball.
“It was tough for our defenders to read the ball in the air, and that’s probably where they got the better of us, they were able to use that breeze quite a bit.”
Clifford was impressed by the efforts of Meghan Gaffney, who backed up her strong debut with another impressive performance that included 11 disposals and three tackles.
“Meghan was unreal. At one point she collected her own ball! She is prepared to do the hard yards right across the ground with lots of two-way running.
“Camilla (Taylor) was also influential early, setting the tone for our midfielders and leaders around the ball.
“Amy Prokopiec did an amazing job in defence, while Claire Ransom played a great game on the wing in the first half before moving her into the forward line to utilise her pace.”
Clifford also acknowledged the enormity of King’s goal in the opening stanza.
“The joy at quarter time when the girls had that goal on the board relieved a bit of that pressure for them.”
The Devils’ next assignment will be against the Calder Cannons at Craigieburn’s Highgate Recreation Reserve next Saturday.
EASTERN RANGES: 1.2 5.4 6.4 10.6 (66)
Goals: Isabelle Khoury 3, Matilda Hardy 2, Tarni Brown, Cassy Wilsmore, Kate Ridley, Saskia Nannes, Jess Grace
TASMANIA DEVILS: 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.3 (9)
Goals: Perri King
Best players: Jemma Blair, Perri King, Meghan Gaffney, Claire Ransom, Angelica Clark, Charlie Lovell
Meghan Gaffney: 11 disposals, three tackles; Perri King: 10 disposals, four tackles, one goal; Jemma Webster: Nine disposals; Charlie Lovell: Six disposals, eight tackles
Further stats are available on the official NAB League App.
Match Vision can be found here.