K rock Football

Maintain the standard: Meg Mac

Meg McDonald made her return from a broken finger in Geelong’s AFLW loss to Adelaide on Sunday. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

ALL-Australian defender Meg McDonald has urged her Geelong AFLW teammates to “maintain the standard” into this week’s clash with competition newcomer Richmond.

Despite falling to their third consecutive loss to start the season against Adelaide on Sunday, McDonald believes there was plenty for the Cats to take out of the 11-point defeat by the reigning premier.

“We spoke a lot in the post-game about the energy we felt between each other out there on the field and the unity win the group, and that should set a new benchmark for us,” McDonald said.

“We haven’t spoken about Richmond yet, but we’ve spoken about maintaining that connection and building on it from here on out.

“We played the reigning premiers, and we played a good standard against them.

“We’ve got maintain that standard into next week.”

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McDonald, who missed the opening two rounds after surgery on a broken finger in late January, returned to solidify a developing defensive unit.

The reigning best-and-fairest said she had been impressed by the backline’s evolution, which includes draftee Millie Brown.

“Millie was awesome last week, and she’s growing with every performance, so it’s really pleasing to have her down there playing a similar role to me – that anchor position,” McDonald said.

“We’ve loved the addition of Maddy Keryk. She had an awesome game in Perth. Similarly today, I think she took, maybe, three intercept marks in the last quarter.

“She reads the play really well. It’s good to have the left foot coming out of the backline.

“Maddy McMahon’s such a tenacious player, we’ve got the skipper (Mel Hickey) down there, and Bec Goring’s just solid every week.

“I love being part of the defensive line, and I think we’ve held up really well thus far this season, and a real focus today was to be part of the attack, and to really try and squeeze them in.

“I thought we did that better, so, hopefully, we can get more scoring opportunities off the back of that as well.”

McDonald who spent the majority of the second half against Adelaide on livewire Danielle Ponter is likely to face Sabrina Frederick in Saturday’s clash in Bendigo.

“I have tended to play on Sabrina when we’ve played teams that she’s in,” McDonald.

“I think it depends on where she lines up. (But) as much as match-ups are important, we like playing our own structure in the backline.

“So, depending on where she plays, I think there are plenty of us that can take her.”

Twitter: @tom_king79