Roux misses out on Fremantle derby dominance

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
Roxanne Roux of the Dockers is tackled by Emma Kearney of the Kangaroos during a  2021  match.
Camera IconRoxanne Roux of the Dockers is tackled by Emma Kearney of the Kangaroos during a 2021 match. Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Fremantle continued their streak of AFLW derby wins on Saturday, despite the absence of star forward, Dongara’s Roxanne Roux.

Roux was racing the clock last week to recover from knee and quad issues in time for the season opening derby, but was left on the sidelines as the Dockers took the Eagles apart 6.7 (43) to 2.3 (15).

Ebony Antonio and captain Hayley Miller stood up to fill the forward’s shoes. Antonio joined Kiara Bowers in the first joint derby medal win. She slotted the first goal of the game late in the first quarter, finishing with three goals, while Miller kicked two.

While West Coast controlled the ball for the majority of the second quarter, they went into half time goal-less. Skipper Emma Swanson changed that in the opening minute of the third term after finding herself open in the goal square. Her one and only goal capped off a team best 23 disposals for the game, a number only beaten by Dockers’ 2021 best and fairest Bowers with 24 disposals.

Fremantle coach Trent Cooper said West Coast’s recent improvement made the derby win even sweeter..

“In some ways it probably has more merit because West Coast are improving,” he said.

“We’ve got quite a young list and had less experience than West Coast on the park today. It’s good for those six debutants to step into such a fierce game and produce.”

The Dockers’ win makes four derbys in a row, a stark contrast to the Fremantle men’s outfit, who in round 22 last year broke the Eagles’ 11 game streak, winning their first derby since round three in 2015.

The round one fixture was touted as a great opportunity for the women’s game, with no men’s game to overshadow it. The derby was played in front of more than 5500 spectators at Fremantle Oval.

Fremantle are headed east for the next four rounds, and will be hoping Roux is fit in time for their clash with the GWS Giants on January 16.

“We hope that once she gets up and firing, she can give us something as well,” Cooper said.

The Eagles will join them on the road for a five round stretch, only returning to Perth to face Richmond on February 16.

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