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Melbourne Football Club

Loss to turn into a positive: Pearce

Daisy Pearce: Post-match Matt Burgan speaks to Daisy Pearce after the narrow loss against Fremantle
Being part-time athletes, a lot of the time when we train and spend time together as a group, we’re time poor and you’re always in a hurry and you’ve just finished a day’s work. So, these next couple of days that we get over here as a group will be a really positive thing
Daisy Pearce

CAPTAIN Daisy Pearce says the team is already looking to turn a loss on the road into a positive, by bonding together before its trip to Alice Springs.

After losing by five points to Fremantle at Fremantle Oval on Sunday, Melbourne will now spend a further two days in Perth, before heading to Alice Springs early on Wednesday morning, in the lead-up to next Saturday’s clash against Collingwood at TIO Traeger Park.

Pearce said remaining in Perth as a group, in preparation for the Central Australia clash, was the best result possible after a loss.

“I felt like we prepared really well for this and we were really set-up to show our best footy for this, but we had too many patches where we weren’t and you can’t put that down to the travel,” she told melbournefc.com.au.  

“We have to pick ourselves up from the disappointment pretty quickly and try to use these couple of days that we have over here in the west to freshen up and spend some quality time [together].

“Being part-time athletes, a lot of the time when we train and spend time together as a group, we’re time poor and you’re always in a hurry and you’ve just finished a day’s work. So, these next couple of days that we get over here as a group will be a really positive thing.

“Hopefully we’ll head over to Alice Springs and use this disappointment as a group, so it’s a good thing. When you lose like that, going home by yourself isn’t very fun, so as much as it’ll hurt, it’s good to stick together as a group and bounce back.”

Reflecting on Melbourne’s first AFLW loss for the season, Pearce said it was an evenly fought contest against Freo and she wasn’t surprised by the closeness of the match.

“It was down to the wire and that’s what we expect in this competition – it’s pretty cutthroat and every team is fairly even,” she said.

“The positive was that we were in it right up until the end, but we wasted a few opportunities and it’s always disappointing when you don’t come out on top – particularly in this format, where losses really hurt and opportunities go begging.

“We can’t dwell on it, in this short format, and we’ve got to find a way to recover really quickly and learn as much as we can from the disappointment of today and move onto next week.”

The 2017 Melbourne best and fairest said her team's opening term, when it had six scoring shots (1.5) to none, was a factor in the loss. But she added that Fremantle upped the ante in the second term.

“We didn’t capitalise on our opportunities in the first quarter,” she said.

“In the second quarter, as well, I thought we let ourselves down with our defensive efforts and Fremantle lifted their intensity really well at the start of that second quarter.  

“It took us a little while to respond and they got a couple of goals out of it as a result. We came away from games like that only remembering the disappointing bits and the things we could’ve done better, but we’ll review those pretty closely and hopefully get them right next week.”

Pearce was outstanding yet again, winning a game-high 23 disposals, but the champion played down her performance.

“You always come out thinking ‘what could have I done better?’,” she said.

“It’s hard to reflect when you’ve lost. There were times when I could’ve done more, but like the game, I’ll have a look at my side of things and see where I could’ve got more involved in offence and helped out defensively a little bit more.

“This game is all about learning and that’s what we’ll do.”