Brittany Bonnici was also again terrific for the Pies, while Dogs spearhead Izzy Huntington was kept quiet by Lauren Butler and Jordyn Allen, albeit from limited opportunities given Collingwood’s territorial ascendancy.
“They responded really well. I guess the first half, things weren’t happening for us. We were doing a lot of things right but we were just a bit fumbly, made the wrong decisions at the wrong time,” Pies coach Steve Symonds said.
“A bit of a tale of two halves, really,” said Dogs coach Nathan Burke.
“The first was good … second half they probably lifted, and just where we’re at at the moment, we really struggled to go with that when they picked it up.”
The Pies head to Brisbane next weekend for a date against the Lions – the side Collingwood displaced at the top of the ladder with Sunday’s win.
Carlton 10.4 (64) defeated Geelong 4.7 (31)
An injury scare to the 2020 AFLW best and fairest Madison Prespakis wasn’t enough to stop Carlton from beating Geelong by 33 points at Ikon Park on Sunday, keeping their pursuit of a finals spot on track.
In bad news, promising Blues youngster Mimi Hill also came from the field with an injured knee in the last quarter, a round after there were three ACL ruptures in the one weekend. The extent of the injury is still unclear.
“She’s off for a scan,” Blues coach Daniel Harford said. “We will do whatever we can to support her through whatever it is.”
The win – which came off the back of a brilliant performance by Prespakis, with a fantastic supporting role played by Darcy Vescio – keeps the Blues in touch with the top six as the AFLW season heads into its home stretch.
Prespakis landed awkwardly on her elbow in the first quarter and she did not join her teammates in the quarter-time huddle.
The 20-year-old midfielder was playing her first game back from a one-match suspension for rough conduct on Richmond’s Sarah Hosking and looked in fairly significant discomfort.
However, she came back on in the second quarter and continued to dominate the match. She collected 27 disposals, three tackles and kicked one goal for the afternoon.
“I think she is OK. She went back out there, had a lot of the footy today Mads … she’s a bit of a warrior,” Harford said.
Vescio was at her lively best early inside Carlton’s forward 50. She kicked two first-quarter goals from close range and then later in the quarter stood strongly in a tackle to handball to Serena Gibbs, who kicked the Blues’ fourth major of the match.
The Blues now sit only one match outside of the top six. They will play Fremantle next week at Ikon Park in a must-win clash, with their last two games much easier (Gold Coast and GWS).
In promising signs for Geelong they put in a much better performance than they did last week when trounced by Richmond. The Cats remain winless in 2021.
Star forward Tayla Harris was rested for the match and Harford was not too concerned that she would miss more footy.
“She’s banged up a bit Tay. She’s had a bit of a dodgy knee for a while. Just a bit of a freshen up for her,” he said.
Anthony is a sports reporter at The Age.
Daniel is an Age sports reporter