ON VERY short notice, Harriet Cordner was thrown into the ruck against North Melbourne, and she didn't miss a beat.
With Lauren Pearce out of the side due to a knee injury, the Demons needed someone to fill her void, and Cordner was more than happy to do just that.
While the 27-year-old, who is usually found in the backline, was up for the task, she wasn't given too much time to prepare.
“I’ve only started training it over the last week really,” Cordner told Melbourne Media.
“We kind of tried a few things in the practice game, and then basically chucked me in there after that – so not long.
“It was very different to a key defender, but it was good.”
Cordner, who has played 19 games across three seasons in the red and blue, said she was more than happy to take on any task her coach assigns her.
“I’m just happy to play whatever role the team needs me to play, but I’m excited for the challenge,” she said.
“I did find it challenging today, especially against (Emma) King – she’s obviously pretty tall.
“But I like the freedom of playing in the ruck so we’ll see what happens next week.”
The 177cm utility has had minimal practice in the centre of the ground, but stuck to the basics with her role against the Kangaroos.
“I played a bit in VFL there which is obviously quite a bit different,” she said.
“My instruction was just to compete, play as an extra midfielder, which I guess was to try to keep it simple.”
The defender-turned-ruck had a major impact for the Dees, neutralising the hit-outs and winning eight disposals for the afternoon.
“I like being around the ball and just getting involved,” Cordner said.
“I guess as a defender it sort of comes to you, whereas in the midfield you’re in and under and around the contest a lot which is really good.
“I love the physicality of it.”
Cordner’s role was crucial in the context of the game, as she helped Melbourne claim a two-point victory at Casey Fields.
And after a tight loss in Round 1 last season, the Dees knew just how important Saturday’s match was.
“It’s really good that we got the win in the end because we haven’t won a lot of close games recently,” Cordner said.
“We wanted to get off to a good start this season and we definitely did that today.”