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Seagulls outdo VFLW Tigers

VFLW R4: Post-match VFLW Coach, Tom Hunter, speaks to Roar Vision following the Round 4 match against Williamstown.

The VFLW Tigers have suffered a 31-point Round 4 loss to the Williamstown Seagulls, 3.3 (21) to 8.4 (52), on Sunday afternoon at Williamstown Football Ground.

It was a strong start for the Tigers, spearheaded by debutant Courtney Wakefield, who introduced herself to the home and away season as she booted the opening goal. 

But Williamstown swiftly responded with two of their own majors and held a slight lead at the end of the first term.

The home team applied some scoreboard pressure in the second quarter as they piled on three quick goals in a matter of minutes.

But the Tigers stayed in contention. Lauren Tesoriero showcased her monster kick as she drove the ball forwards and demonstrated her ability to read the play as she opened up opportunities for Richmond. She booted two goals in the second half and played a pivotal role in the midfield. 

Richmond’s aerial presence was also strong, headed by Emily Findlay (six marks), and Alana Woodward (five marks).

The Tigers never gave up, which was exemplified in their defensive efforts. They led the way for tackles, amassing a team total of 71, compared to Williamstown’s total of 59.

But despite their tough performance, they were unable to make inroads on the resounding Williamstown side, who sailed away in the final term.

Coach Tom Hunter said Richmond’s performance, particularly their defensive cohesion, showed promise.

“We’re happy with our contest and the way we put pressure on the ball. We’re just going to have a lot of growth areas about when we’ve got ball in hand, what we’re going to do, and winning one-on-ones around the contest as well,” Hunter said.

Debutants Amelia Barden, Grace Bibby, Gab Dellar and Courtney Wakefield displayed true Richmond spirit in their first home and away match.

Coach Hunter said Barden gave the side excellent run around the contest and Wakefield provided the girls with a new option up forward.

He said to have Wakefield back, who has recovered from an elbow injury sustained in a practice match, was “really special”.  

Utility Phoebe Monahan shone all over the ground as she led the team for disposals (17) and kicks (7) while also recording seven tackles. 

Skipper Jess Kennedy was also instrumental. She played with grit as she layed seven tackles in the first half and provided constant support for her teammates.

Coach Hunter said the team is proud to have such a selfless leader.

“Sometimes she’ll go unnoticed but she’s probably the one at the bottom of the packs and the one cracking in and lifting the intensity for the other girls. I’m really proud that we’ve got a leader that does those things,” he said.

The Tigers will come up against Essendon on Saturday afternoon in a Round 5 Dreamtime special.  Held at Tigerland at 4pm, the match will be a curtain raiser to the Richmond v Essendon Dreamtime match at the MCG that follows.

Coach Hunter said the team hopes to get as many Tigers fans to the Swinburne Centre as possible. 

“To support all the girls, but also the occasion, would be fantastic,” he said.