AFLW Players Hit Back Over Style Concerns
AFLW players have declared results will continue to trump aesthetics amid demands for a more attractive style of play.
League officials have contacted coaches expressing their concern after a low-scoring start to the second AFLW season.
Friday night's primetime season-opener between Carlton and Collingwood at a near-capacity Princes Park proved to be particularly miserly.
No goals were scored in the entire second half as the Blues, who kept numbers back throughout the match, prevailed 3.4 (22) to 2.2 (14).
Carlton skipper Brianna Davey insists the Blues weren't instructed to flood their defensive 50, instead suggesting nerves influenced the scoreline.
But while players are conscious of the need for entertainment, Davey says winning games must remain top priority.
"As players and as teams, we probably don't really care what it looks like as long as we're getting that win," Davey said on Wednesday.
"We understand from a spectacle point of view, we want people to enjoy watching the game.
"We'll continue to do that but at the same time ... we're here to win games. At this point, we'll do whatever we need to to get over the line for that particular game."
Western Bulldogs defender Hannah Scott took a similar view, noting that teams could ill-afford to sacrifice the defensive side of their games.
"It is a very short season and one loss can be detrimental to your season," she said.
"It is very difficult. You just have to do whatever you can to get the win."
Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney shared in the highest-scoring and most entertaining match of the round with the Demons claiming a 7.3 (45) to 6.3 (39) victory.
AFL chief Gillon McLachlan on Tuesday said he was comfortable with the standard of play but wanted to see coaches take a more attacking mindset.
Collingwood assistant coach Daniel Harford criticised the league's interjection, saying officials needed to figure out what they wanted from AFLW.
"Do they want it to be a serious, competitive environment?" he asked on RSN radio.
"Or do they want it to be a showcase of free-flowing entertainment slash football?"
The league announced on Wednesday that Carlton and the Bulldogs will contest the inaugural LGBTI Pride Game at Whitten Oval on February 23.