AAP AFL

Magpies upbeat despite first AFLW defeat

By AAP Newswire

Collingwood did everything right except finding a winning last-quarter goal against Fremantle on Saturday, but coach Steve Symonds likes what they are building, with Sharni Layton key to that in the ruck.

The Magpies suffered their first loss of the AFLW season at Fremantle Oval falling to the Dockers by three points following wins against West Coast and Carlton after a one-win 2019 campaign.

The Magpies were the dominant team, though, finishing with 93 more disposals than the Dockers, 65 extra handballs and 13 more inside-50 entries.

But they couldn't turn that into scoreboard pressure kicking just four goals. Fremantle's pressure with 73 tackles was the difference in the end.

Collingwood had all the standout players. Jaimee Lambert racked up another 32 possessions, Sarah Rowe 22, Brittany Bonnici 20, Brianna Davey 18, Ash Brazill 17 and Chloe Molloy 15 - all more than the highest ball winner for Fremantle.

That's why while never happy to lose, it was an upbeat coach Symonds reflecting on the performance where the Magpies did plenty right.

"It's great winning and we enjoy that, but for us it's about developing our style of play and trying to execute that," Symonds said.

"I think we are getting there even though there are still areas to work on and sometimes you can sit back and see things that aren't quite right. But we are heading in the right direction as a new team coming together.

"We'll learn from our mistakes and what we now do from here is important. We've already talked about moving on for Melbourne next week. We'll set ourselves for that, it's going to be a great game and we are looking forward to it."

The performance of former netball superstar Layton in the ruck was another shining light for Collingwood. She finished with 10 possessions, 26 hit outs and two clearances.

But what was especially exciting, which will make her dangerous moving forward, was her ability to take a strong contested mark in the first quarter resulting in a goal.

She was unlucky not to be paid another in the last quarter in the goal square, and Symonds couldn't speak more highly of her.

"She openly has a laugh to herself about the level she was at last year when she first started, but she's progressed so well and our group really thrive off her as well," Symonds said.

"They understand she's not going to nail everything perfectly every single time, but she's trying and getting better every training session and week.

"She's got a real presence on the field as well and at training which brings our other girls along. We love having her on the team, she's fantastic."