What’s the overall reaction to that?
We thought we had the control for basically the whole night, the wind was quite strong so the third quarter was no surprise when they took advantage and kicked a couple. We thought we looked pretty good behind the ball the whole night and it was just a matter of taking our opportunities until it broke open late.

Did you think you had much to change at three quarter time?
No, the coaches just said we’re fine and don’t panic, if we keep doing what we’re doing we’ll get the result. We’re an extremely fit group so we’re always going to run out games strong. Also, with that breeze it was going to be hard for West Coast to score, and our backs were solid all day.

Four straight RAC Derby wins now, how did that one sit compared to the other three?
Probably in some ways it has more merit because West Coast are improving. We’re really happy and today we had quite a young list, we’re actually a younger list than West Coast and had less experience out on the park today. It’s really good for those six debutants to come into such a fierce, competitive game and produce.

04:15 Mins
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AFLW | Trent Cooper post-match round 1

Watch Trent Cooper's press conference after round one's RAC Derby against West Coast

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Out of those debutants, who most impressed you?
To be honest all of them, but early Makaela Tuhakaraina’s forward pressure and where she put that first goal off the back of her efforts and Jessica Low was the same down back. Dana East was pretty quiet in the first half, but she finished really strong. Aine had to do a lot more ruck work than we planned but she fought the game out really well and Ann McMahon was also a bit slow to get into the game but worked into it strongly. It would’ve been lovely if she scored that goal late.

Aine spent some more time in the ruck, what was that in response to?
Mim just had a couple of knocks through the game, so we just had to get her off and assess her. Aine wasn’t planning on spending that much time through there in her first game but she battled well. She looked really dangerous late when she was forward.

Ebony Antonio started your day and finished it, how did you see her performance?
The Eagles’ wings were their best two players in Mikayla Bowen and Charlie Thomas and they matched up well on Stephanie Cain and Ebony Antonio. Ebony’s finishing, to kick three goals on a day that was very difficult for finishing – I thought was outstanding.

00:27 Mins
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Ebony Antonio from the boundary!

A tough tackle from Tuhakaraina leads to an incredible reverse banana goal from Ebony Antonio.

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Kiara Bowers - her fourth straight RAC Derby medal now?
This is perfect for her because she tied with Ebony, so she didn’t have to make a speech! She would be happy to do that every single time. But for her to have 24 touches and 14 tackles, she was just Kiara. I’m just lucky to have her in the side, we all are, but she just went about her business as usual.

Kara seemed to spend a fair bit of time off in the first half, do you have an update on her?
It was more the second half for Kara, first half was just rotations as normal. In the second half she just had a hyper-extension of the knee and she went back out there, but towards the end of the game we had it under control, so we didn’t need to play her. We’ll just monitor her during the week. We’ve got an eight day break now before we play GWS.

You are heading over east now, what’s the one biggest learning from today that you’ll take into the week?
There was a period in the third quarter where we over handballed, and our kick-to-handball ratio wasn’t where we wanted it to be. We changed that in the last quarter, but that was probably that ‘under pressure’ game that led to us playing that style of play.

What are you looking forward to with your extended travel trip?
We are really looking forward to the trip away, it’s certainly going to have some challenges, but playing professional sport there are always going to be challenges. We’re really looking forward to getting away together and seeing how many of those games we can hopefully win.

02:18 Mins
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'It's definitely a step up' | Airlie Runnalls

We caught up with Airlie after her debut game.

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