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Sarah Rowe wins rave reviews in AFLW pre-season game

Sarah Rowe showed that she can transfer her football skills to Aussie rules with a brilliant display for AFLW side Collingwood in a narrow pre-season defeat to champions Western Bulldogs.

The Mayo star scored two goals as the Pies showed well against the competition’s standard bearers.

The first goal sparked huge celebrations, with all her teammates converging on Rowe to share in the landmark.

The athletic former international soccer star won rave reviews afterwards.

“She’s got plenty of tricks” said Collingwood coach, Wayne Siekman. “She’s got a great tank, she moves up the ground and gets back, and she got on the end of a couple.”

Donegal sharpshooter Yvonne Bonner also impressed alongside Rowe’s former Mayo teammate Cora Staunton as Greater Western Sydney continued the improvement they showed last year with a dominant defeat of Brisbane.

The Giants were 47 points too strong for the Lions at Layshon Park, with Staunton bagging three goals and Bonner one.

While Staunton is now considered a leader at GWS, after a successful debut season 12 months ago, Bonner’s speed and aerial strength alongside her provided them with another significant outlet for a team focussed on premiership glory in 2019.

“We had quite a few first-gamers today and I felt so proud of them” said midfielder Courtney Gum.

In midfield we had a couple, but Bonner did amazingly. She plays forward in Gaelic football, as does Cora, and their speed was such a bonus for us because it put Brisbane’s defenders under a lot of pressure.

“She took a couple of good marks and even though Gaelic doesn’t have as much contact, she really got into the spirit of the contact in AFLW.”