Round 4 Thursday 27 January

Victoria Park
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    It's Miller time: Skipper steers Dockers to victory over Pies

    FREMANTLE has comprehensively stamped its claim as a premiership contender, beating the previously undefeated Collingwood by 31 points at Victoria Park on Thursday evening.

    The Dockers held the Pies to their lowest-ever AFLW score of seven points, having previously recorded nine in round two, 2019 against Melbourne.

    It was a low-scoring grind for much of the game, with an engaging battle playing out between Fremantle's multi-pronged forward line and Collingwood's well-structured back five.

    But Hayley Miller, Gemma Houghton and Ebony Antonio kicked a goal apiece in the last quarter to sew up the 5.8 (38) to 1.1 (7) result.

    AFLW Match Highlights: Collingwood v Fremantle

    04:10 Jan 27. 2022. 7:40 PM

    The Pies and Dockers clash in round four of the NAB AFL Women's Competition

    With disposals and clearances fairly even, the Dockers held a 20-5 lead in inside-50s to half-time, but the Magpies' defence had held on for dear life, conceding just 2.3.

    Fremantle's pressure was such it forced the normally clean Collingwood into multiple skill errors by hand and foot, and the Pies were unable to dictate play through steady disposal.

    MAGPIES v DOCKERS Full match coverage and stats

    As the game progressed, the Magpies forward structure broke down nearly completely, and it looked like their best way of scoring was off a quick rebound, but Fremantle's inaccuracy kept the Pies just 12 points adrift going into the final quarter.

    Brit Bonnici (25 disposals, 488m gained) and Jaimee Lambert (18, five clearances) were tireless in the midfield, with defenders Ruby Schleicher and Stacey Livingstone holding up well under enormous pressure.

    Miller (19 disposals, two goals) and Bowers (26, five clearances) were at their customary best, but it was the performance of Aine Tighe (12 intercepts) in defence that caught the eye, dictating play and being a constant thorn in Collingwood's side.

    Miller magic should signal stumps

    00:43 Jan 27. 2022. 7:16 PM

    Hayley Miller imposes herself on the contest again with this dagger in the last

    Anything you can do, I can do better
    Brit Bonnici scored Collingwood's only goal in the second quarter with a perfect front-and-centre crumb in one of the Pies' rare forward forays. The momentum from the Bonnici's second career goal in her sixth season was shortlived, with Fremantle captain Hayley Miller coolly slotting an impressive goal from around 40m on a tight angle. It took the margin to eight points at half time.

    Skipper steals show with this ripper

    00:59 Jan 27. 2022. 6:19 PM

    Hayley Miller continues her stellar start to the season with this beautiful interception and kick from distance

    Impressing at both ends of the field
    Aine Tighe's first three matches have been spent up forward with the occasional relieving stint in the ruck, but with Fremantle's attack featuring Ann McMahon, Roxy Roux and Gemma Houghton for the first time this year, Tighe was forced into defence. Covering for Janelle Cuthbertson (second game missed with concussion), Tighe lined up against the experienced Sabrina Frederick and competed well, particularly at ground level.

    A complete domination
    The statistics out of the game will make for damning reading for Collingwood coach Steve Symonds. For a high-disposal side, the Pies had 48 fewer kicks, and lost the inside-50 count 41-10. The Dockers also dominated contested possessions 122-99 and took eight marks inside 50 to zero.

    Rousing start for rock-solid Roux

    00:30 Jan 27. 2022. 5:48 PM

    Dockers livewire Roxy Roux gets her side off to the perfect start with this superb mark and goal

    Say what?
    "It certainly wasn't part of the plan. We just couldn't get a connection between the arcs, if I'm honest. We lost territory early, and then the ball was going deep into their forward 50. I thought we battled manfully as far as making sure we kept the contest in the defensive area, the score could have blown out a lot." – Collingwood coach Steve Symonds

    "Our backs were fantastic all day with their set up, but the score probably comes about from our midfield dominance. I think we kept them to 10 inside 50s, so that was a phenomenal effort by our midfielders. Our forwards didn't kick as many goals as they would have liked, but they kept the ball inside our forward area for a long period of time." – Fremantle coach Trent Cooper

    Houghton's mesmerising finish adds more icing

    00:45 Jan 27. 2022. 7:17 PM

    Gemma Houghton shows some sublime skill to complete this banana on the run

    Up next
    Both sides have quick turnarounds, playing again on Tuesday. Collingwood will hopefully face West Coast (whose Friday game was cancelled due to AFL health and safety protocols) at Victoria Park, while Fremantle will take on the Western Bulldogs at VU Whitten Oval.

    COLLINGWOOD     0.1     1.1     1.1     1.1     (7)
    FREMANTLE          1.1      2.3     2.7     5.8     (38)

    Collingwood: Bonnici
    Fremantle: Miller 2, Roux, Houghton, E. Antonio

    Collingwood: Bonnici, Lambert, Schleicher, Livingstone, Rowe
    Fremantle: Miller, Bowers, Tighe, E. Antonio, Roux 

    Collingwood: Nil
    Fremantle: Nil

    Reports: Nil

    Crowd: 1257 at Victoria Park

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