The VFLW Tigers have stormed home to a 39-point win against the Casey Demons at Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo on Sunday afternoon.
The undefeated Tigers returned refreshed from last weekend’s bye to record a 9.11 (65) to 4.2 (26) victory, marking their sixth consecutive win of the season.
The Round 8 clash kicked off with a strong start from both the Tigers and the Demons. It was a fierce contest from the get-go, with both sides matched for goals in the first quarter (two goals), second quarter (three goals) and third quarter (four goals).
The Tigers struggled to break away from the Demons as rain and cold wind replaced the sunny conditions, and their home turf grew slippery and troublesome.
Richmond’s scoreboard impact was hampered by their 11 behinds to Casey’s two, and at three-quarter time, the Tigers held a slight eight-point lead.
But the Tigers surged in the fourth quarter as they piled on five goals to run away with a comfortable win.
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VFLW Coach Tom Hunter said he was pleased with how girls fared in the conditions, and how they responded to Casey’s high-pressure game.
“Casey put in a great performance, so for our girls to tough it out and get the game going our way, was really pleasing,” he said.
Hunter praised the Tigers’ quality final quarter, where their five goals came in a matter of minutes, courtesy of Laura Bailey, Tayla Stahl and skipper Jess Kennedy.
“The last quarter is a good reflection of the way we want to play, just our ability to get the ball to the outside and then take the ball on a little bit more,” Hunter said.
“We were playing good football (for the first three quarters), but we weren’t getting the results on the scoreboard.
“To open the game up a little bit and make the most of our opportunities forward of the ball was a lovely way to finish the game off.”
Richmond made seven changes to its side for the Casey match, which included three Tigers playing their first game of the year.
Hunter said the Tigers’ performance was emblematic of the style they want to play, and highlighted the strength of the Richmond system to stand up despite missing key personnel.
“When the game was there to be won, they really stepped up in one-on-one contests and our pressure was really good,” Hunter said.
“I think that shows we have a lot of depth in the VFLW program and we have a lot of girls who can come in and not only play well, but play to the level, which is really exciting to me.”
The Tigers thrived at their home away from home, with Bendigo Thunder products Jess Kennedy, Kodi Jacques, Sarah Last and Grace Campbell relishing the opportunity to be back at Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Campbell had a busy day in her hometown, racking up 12 tackles and 16 disposals as she played an important role in the Tigers’ final-term pressure.
Hunter commended Campbell’s ability to “make something happen” when she had her hands on the ball.
“She was fantastic… she just loves the contest and we really value her for that,” he said.
“We’re going to see great growth from her over the back half of the year.”
AFLW signing Hannah Burchell came off the ground in the second quarter with a suspected lower leg injury.
The Tigers will look to add to their winning streak next Saturday, 6 July when they face the Western Bulldogs at VU Whitten Oval at 4.00pm.