The message remains clear for the Gold Coast SUNS AFLW squad – play our style for a full four quarters and we can match it with the best ahead of Saturday’s date with Richmond.
Head Coach Cameron Joyce says his side are ‘under no illusions’ about the test that awaits them at the Swinburne Centre on Saturday night but know what’s required to return home with the four points.
“The Tigers have significantly improved, they’re playing some pretty good footy and are hard to score against,” Joyce said at Friday morning’s press conference.
“We really want to try and play our footy for as long as we can. Obviously, teams will try take that away from us but if we can stick at it, which we have for long enough in the games that we’ve won, again tomorrow night, we’ll be right in it.
“Our midfield has been growing each week, our backline is holding up a bit better than they were last year and then we were able to score well last week too.
“If we can put those things together and keep getting better each week, I think we’re in with a shot.”
Both sides enter the clash with last-start wins – the SUNS a home win against Port Adelaide while the Tigers toppled the previously-undefeated Brisbane Lions.
Despite draining conditions at Bond University last Sunday, Joyce says his side have recovered well with a six-day turnaround.
Defender Gabrielle Biedenweg-Webster will be unavailable for the fixture, succumbing to a knee complaint from the Round 4 match while versatile back Daisy D’Arcy is listed as a test ahead of official team selection on Friday evening.
Converting opportunities into scores will be crucial against a Richmond side who allowed Brisbane just a solitary major last weekend, with the likes of Tara Bohanna, Courtney Jones and Kalinda Howarth hoping to cause plenty of headaches for the Tigers defence.
The opportunity for a few ‘firsts’ for the team are also on offer this weekend with the SUNS chasing three straight wins for the first time in its short AFLW history.
“We have a fair bit of work to do before that happens, but we’re excited about the challenge of facing the Tigers tomorrow night,” Joyce added.
“It’s a chance to get away together which brings the group together a bit more too.”