Round 5 Saturday 5 February

Casey Fields
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    Demons return to winners list after tough fight with in-form Suns

    GOLD Coast has almost caused one of the upsets of the season, pushing Melbourne until the final siren at Casey Fields on Saturday night. 

    The Demons got back on the winners list by beating the spirited Suns 5.8 (38) to 4.2 (26) as the away side worked to make the most of the significant wind advantage it had in the final quarter. 

    DEMONS v SUNS Full match coverage and stats

    There were enticing one-on-one match-ups across the field, but none more so than Charlie Rowbottom taking on Eden Zanker at the contest.

    AFLW Match Highlights: Melbourne v Gold Coast

    06:03 Feb 5. 2022. 9:17 PM

    The Demons and Suns clash in round five of the NAB AFL Women's Competition

    The tall, tough duo brought the physicality, and Zanker arguably won out as she positioned herself well outside stoppages to become a handball outlet for Melbourne, ending the game with 18 disposals and eight tackles. 

    Pressure was rife as the two sides combined for 178 tackles, the most aggregate tackles in competition history, with Lily Mithen leading the way with 12. 

    The Suns' defence held up particularly well, given the absence of Jade Pregelj, as they withstood an onslaught of Melbourne inside 50s. Lauren Ahrens had her hands full with Tayla Harris, but battled strongly for three quarters until a leg injury kept her out of the final term. 

    Concerns for star Suns defender after awkward tackle

    00:37 Feb 5. 2022. 8:37 PM

    Gold Coast's Lauren Ahrens leaves the field with a leg injury after this incident

    In the final quarter, Melbourne started to find the kick into the corridor it has become known for this year, setting up an early goal to Harris, but Gold Coast’s awareness and ability to close down space caused the Demons to fumble at ground level. 

    But it was the impressive work of Melbourne’s defensive unit that won out, repelling repeated entries from the Suns as they threatened to snatch the win.

    AFLW icon completes a great passage of play by the Demons

    00:46 Feb 5. 2022. 8:32 PM

    Tayla Harris slots a goal in the third quarter after a great run by Lily Mithen

    Libby Birch stood strong in the air, taking five marks, and Shelley Heath used her speed and aggression at ground level to make life tough for Kate Surman. 

    Pressure is everything 
    Melbourne has been found out in recent weeks, with its skilful game style being broken down by opposition pressure. The Suns did their homework and applied that pressure right across the field, but the Demons came prepared and did the same. Gold Coast ended the game with 91 tackles, marginally beating the Demons in the metric, who registered 86 of their own. 

    Dees captain stands up in hour of need

    00:42 Feb 5. 2022. 7:54 PM

    After almost a half of footy with no major score, Daisy Pearce delivers exactly what her team needed

    Suns surge 
    Gold Coast has won its last two games thanks to a final-quarter surge that it threatened again on Saturday night. With the help of the wind, the Suns were strong at the contest and looked for runners on the outside to get the ball into a spacious forward 50. This was highlighted by Jamie Stanton’s running goal, set up beautifully by Ellie Hampson on the wing. 

    Kalinda collects cleanly and snaps to perfection

    00:37 Feb 5. 2022. 8:53 PM

    Gold Coast forward Kalinda Howarth kicks a spectacular goal to give her side some hope late in the contest

    Wind woes 
    It took both sides some time to navigate the difficult wind they faced at Casey. Early shots were seen curling away from the big sticks and sailing through for behinds as players got used to how it would affect the ball in the air. 

    Wha's next? 
    Melbourne is set to remain at home to face GWS on Sunday, while the Suns will head home to face Geelong at Fankhauser Reserve. 

    MELBOURNE               0.3     2.4     4.7     5.8     (38)  
    GOLD COAST               0.0     1.0     2.0     4.2     (26)  

    GOALS  
    Melbourne: Harris 2, D.Pearce, McNamara, Fitzsimon  
    Gold Coast: Drennan, Hampson, Stanton, Howarth 

    BEST   
    Melbourne: Zanker, Heath, Mithen, Birch 
    Gold Coast: Drennan, Stanton, Howarth, Rowbottom 

    INJURIES   
    Melbourne: Nil 
    Gold Coast: Ahrens (hamstring) 

    LATE CHANGES  
    Melbourne: Nil 
    Gold Coast: Jacqueline Dupuy replaced by Brittany Perry 

    Reports: Nil  

    Crowd: 1,124 at Casey Fields 

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    Team Stats

    Disposals

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    Kicks

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    Handballs

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    Free kicks

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    Clearances

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    Inside 50

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    Marks in 50

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    Contested Possessions

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    Tackles

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    Hitouts

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