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AFLW: Cooper post-match Q & A - Rd 6 v Cats

Trent Cooper and Steph Cain address the media following Fremantle's win over Geelong Watch Fremantle's press conference after round 6 match against the Geelong

Trent you must be happier now than you were at quarter time?

We knew we didn’t play that well in the first quarter. Geelong, to their credit, they’re always hard to beat and that’s what we have seen. The key stat for us at quarter time was the tackles were up so the pressure was there but we had 10 ground balls to their 30. They were just getting to the ball first so that was the thing we had to address. It’s pretty simple as a coach to say ‘get to the ball first’ – it seems obvious but the girls responded really well to that message and from that part of the game, it didn’t feel like we dominated but we did have control of the game from that part on.

 

What was your message at quarter time because the Cats hardly scored after that?

We knew the way they play that they’re a really hard team to score against, and the way that we play is that we tend to score later in games as they do open up. Our fitness we feel is really, really good, so we are always happy, if we are close enough or if we can just get that little bit in front so we can outrun sides. We needed to get the ball to the outside to be able to do that  and we couldn’t do that in the first quarter because we weren’t getting our hands on it. But once we did, we brought our wings like Kara Donnellan, Steph Cain and Mel Caufield into the game and that’s when we look at our best.

 

You must be thrilled with the balance of the way you defended and were able to open up the score as well?

I’m not sure how the percentage is going to play out for us – if we are going to need it or not – but it was good to have a win. The 19 scoring shots to three probably is a little bit false because we kept missing which kept the ball in that area. If we had have scored a couple more goals, Geelong probably had a chance to go the other way so it wasn’t like a 19 scoring shot to three game I don’t think. They had more of the ball than us overall, it’s just that our forwards did a great job at keeping the ball in that area, even though we would have missed a few more than we would have liked.

 

It’s such a hotly contested race for conference A isn’t it?

We lost one game against Adelaide and then every one has been a final. If we had have lost any of them then we would have been out so it’s been good for us to play under that pressure and build some good resilience amongst the group. We get to play North Melbourne next week – I feel sorry for North Melbourne because they’ve done nothing wrong at all and they have to come across to Fremantle and play in a tough environment in basically a final as well. So we are both in the same boat, but we get the home ground advantage. We’re happy to be in that situation.

 

You must have been pretty happy with Kiara Bowers’ performance?

She’s a machine. What’s great is that while she is a brilliant player, she is so good for our younger players coming in. Matilda Sergeant comes into the midfield and sees the standard that Kiara, and Dana Hooker set with their pressure – I think Dana had double figure tackles again as well, so our young girls who are learning off them know that it’s not just about getting the footy – it’s the defensive side of the game as well and we’ve got great role models through there for those younger players.

 

What’s the early word on Alex William’s injury?

It’s definitely a knee injury. We’re not sure, she will get scans. Alex is one of the best people in our club so fingers crossed it’s not the worst news but if it is we will get around her.

Fremantle’s AFLW team take on North Melbourne in a finals decider next Saturday 16 March at Fremantle Oval, 4.10pm. Entry is FREE*

* subject to capacity