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VFLW: Southern Saints falter at Casey

The Southern Saints were undone by wet weather and a cleaner Casey Demons outfit. - St Kilda Saints,AFLW
The Southern Saints were undone by wet weather and a cleaner Casey Demons outfit.

The Southern Saints suffered their third loss of the season on Saturday, going down by 11 points against Casey Demons on Saturday afternoon.

Returning from a bye, the Saints endured their first game of ‘wet weather footy’ out at Casey Fields, but it was the Demons who came out the cleaner team, marking and kicking with greater accuracy than the Saints.

Trailing by 12 points at three-quarter time, the Saints lifted their work-rate to surge the ball forward several times, but ultimately failed to capitalise on the scoreboard.

Saints midfielder Ali Brown was a late out from the line-up with a wrist injury, Jamilla Hull her replacement, while youngster Georgia Ricardo also lined up for her first game in the red, white and black.

READ: Southern Saints mid-season review

The Saints failed to match the Demons’ intensity in the first quarter, though they did manage to limit Casey to only one goal.

Unfortunately, it was an infringement of the protected zone that resulted in a 50-metre penalty that saw Casey forward Taylor Mesiti convert from the top of the goal-square.

The Saints returned with greater intent in the second quarter but failed to do any damage on the scoreboard with only two behinds for the term.

And while it seemed that the Saints may have escaped the quarter without Casey adding to their total, Sophie Phillips kicked the Demons’ second moments before the siren signalled the main break.

The Saints were without skipper Georgia Walker in the second half, with concerns the defender may have had a knock to the head, though the doctors gave her the all-clear after the game.

Casey defender Bianca Jakobsson began to inflict plenty of damage from the backline, limiting the Saints’ attack with her clean marking despite the wet conditions.

The third term ended in a contested stalemate, with neither team adding more than a minor score to their totals.

Contending with a 12-point deficit at the final break, the Saints needed to employ a comeback, but with rain setting in and Demon forward Kaila Bentvelzen opening the final term with a goal, it looked to be an uphill battle.

The Southern Saints faced wet and windy conditions at Casey Fields on Saturday

The Southern Saints finally broke through in the eighth minute of the final term, with Danielle Lawrence becoming the team’s only goalkicker.

Saints head coach Peta Searle lamented a poor training session on Thursday night as a contributing factor to the Saints’ performance and believed that too many of her players had not mentally prepared enough for the game.

“We were flat in the first quarter,” Searle admitted post-match.

“The girls didn’t really give it a crack and play the way they should play until the third and fourth quarter, and it was too late for that – you need to play four quarters.

“There was also a bit of naivety to it … when you are trying to play surge footy and you try and kick sideways, so that is just more game education that we need to go through.”

READ: Searle adds another string to bow

Still, Searle took plenty of positives to come out of the game and highlighted several players who had stood out.

“Kayla Ripari was outstanding. Ashleigh Allsopp, a young Eastern Ranges girl (from the TAC Cup competition) was very clean for wet conditions, and Amy Silver, in only her third game for us, had an impact,” she said.

The head coach noted the team won’t do too much differently in the lead-up to their Round 10 clash against Geelong at Deakin University on Saturday.

“We are sitting at 4-3 with a pretty inexperienced side, so we aren’t going to change things too much. It’s about living and learning,” Searle said.

“I think the processes should be the same. It should be equally reviewed either way if you win or lose.

“We will just have more of a philosophy about what surge footy looks like, what we’re trying to achieve in wet footy and a bit about attitude to work to outnumber.”

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CASEY DEMONS              1.2         2.2         2.3         3.3 (21)
0.0         0.2         0.3         1.4 (10)

GOALS  D. Lawrence
BEST     K. Ripari, A. Silver, L. Arnell, A. Allsopp, S. Johnson, M. Maitland


Geelong v Southern Saints
1pm Saturday 14 July, Deakin University