Adelaide Senior Coach Matthew Clarke says the importance of his side’s hard-fought victory over North Melbourne on Sunday cannot be dismissed.
With the AFLW season being a 10-round campaign, Clarke said the Crows’ gritty 13-point win against the Kangaroos at Norwood Oval would prove crucial in their quest to earn another finals berth.
The hosts withstood an almighty surge from the visitors, who booted a late goal in the third term to cut the margin to just 11 points and then another late in the fourth quarter.
But the Crows held on to claim a 5.7 (37) to 3.6 (24) triumph.
Clarke told the media post-game he was impressed with his players’ character and ability to remain calm under pressure.
“Ultimately we were challenged really hard in that last quarter,” Clarke said.
“To hang on under a little bit of duress and have that moment of composure was really pleasing.
“Overall we knew we’d come up against a really hard opponent but to come away with the win is probably the most pleasing.
“Possession around the ground was fairly even and that was evident that it went down to the wire in the last quarter.
“Heading into the season we knew it would be a really tight competition so to get wins early is going to be really significant.”
Forward Ashleigh Woodland led the way inside-50 with four majors, backing up her four-goal haul from the Round One win over Brisbane, while Stevie-Lee Thompson (15 disposals) booted one.
Midfielder Anne Hatchard (29 possessions) was also prolific, as was veteran Erin Phillips (23 touches).
“I actually think she (Woodland) played significantly better today,” Clarke said.
“Last week she was good and ended up on the end of a couple but today her contest was really strong.
“To have a fortnight like she has is really, really pleasing.
“(Hatchard’s) workrate is outstanding.
“Her aerial presence was great, she took a lot of marks and she was really strong and a lot of that is off workrate.
span style="font-weight: 400;">“We now set ourselves for next week, which is going to be another challenge.”