A MOMENT of panic from the usually unflappable Jess Duffin nearly cost North Melbourne its finals spot as Fremantle pressed late in Saturday's match.
Duffin is one of the best ball-users in the competition but admitted to blanking when kicking in with just one minute remaining and the Roos ahead by only two points.
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The defender jogged out of the square and with Emma O'Driscoll baring down, flicked a handball to an unaware Tahlia Randall. After 20 seconds of panicked play, the Roos rushed a behind.
This time, Duffin bombed it long to the tall target of Emma King just outside 50.
"After the game, I'm pretty sure every teammate came up and asked me what I was thinking, and the answer was, 'I wasn't'," Duffin told Credit to the Girls.
"I definitely wasn't thinking. I kind of went into panic mode a little bit, which didn't help the situation. I started to run out of the square thinking I was going to go long, and I blanked. I blanked and then I saw Tahlia.
"I wasn't sure whether to kick or handpass, and it was a moment where if I could take back, I'd get the ball and kick long, but unfortunately I can't, and I looked like a bit of a dill. I'll take that one."
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Duffin also spoke about her journey back to football after giving birth to daughter Georgie in late June, compounded by Melbourne's lockdown and a hamstring/adductor injury on the eve of round one.
"I had a little bit of a chat to 'Dais' (Pearce), it was probably more pre-pregnancy rather than when I was pregnant, but in saying that, I know Sharni Webb from Brisbane is currently pregnant and has reached out to myself and Daisy," Duffin said.
"It's just little things you don't think about. Daisy was really, really good, she sent me a message before my first game back and gave me some good luck, said what to expect and not to expect too much, and not to put too much pressure on myself.
"She was really good in giving me confidence through the messages she sent, in just trusting my body and things like that. She's obviously a midwife as well, so she had plenty of advice, which was nice."
2:00 – Geelong's breakthrough celebrations headline the moment from round nine
4:00 – Breaking down all the games from the final round of the home and away season
5:30 – Houghton and King's MRO lucky escapes
10:20 – Kalinda Howarth's 2021 woes
14:02 – The door is still ajar for two Blues veterans
15:25 - Kangaroos star Jess Duffin joins the show
17:58 – Duffin's brain fade
23:05 – How Duffin sees this week's opponent in Collingwood
26:03 – Recovering after pregnancy during a pandemic
31:05 – Juggling baby Georgie, AFLW and work as a personal trainer
35:40 – Mega finals preview
38:58 – With Daisy Pearce out of the side, which Melbourne midfielder is untouchable?
44:17 – On the socials: A Pie reading their own press
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