‘She’s got plenty of tricks’ – Rowe catches the eye on big weekend for Irish in Oz

MAYO STAR SARAH Rowe well and truly impressed in her first outing with AFLW side Collingwood, scoring two goals while showing that she can transfer her Gaelic football skills to Aussie Rules.

Sarah Rowe impressed in her first run-out while Aisling McCarthy was on the opposing team.

Source: Collingwood FC/Luke Henry.

The Melbourne-based outfit were narrowly defeated by 2018 champions Western Bulldogs in a pre-season clash but 24-year-old Rowe was most definitely a shining light for the Pies.

A late goal saw the Bulldogs — Tipperary ace Aisling McCarthy’s side Down Under — come out on top on a scoreline of 5.5 (35) to 4.4 (28).

One of the big talking points after however was Collingwood’s new face, as Rowe earned rave reviews. As the club put it themselves, “among Collingwood’s best players was star Irish recruit Sarah Rowe,” while head coach Wayne Siekman also had some nice words for her:

“She’s got plenty of tricks,” he said. “She’s got a great tank, she moves up the ground and gets back, and she got on the end of a couple. And she’s going to get better every game she plays.”

Great to get my first run out with the 🥧’s #sidebyside #goodbyepreseason pic.twitter.com/CigU9fRGk4

— Sarah Rowe (@SarsRowe) January 20, 2019

The Kilemoremoy sharpshooter, who has also played international soccer with Ireland, signed a one-season contract with Collingwood in August but continually reaffirms her commitment to inter-county football, saying she’ll be back in the green and red of Mayo once her duties in Australia conclude.

Rowe is one of five Irish women contracted to AFLW clubs. McCarthy is at Western Bulldogs and Clare’s Ailish Considine signed a rookie deal with Adelaide Crows, both off the back of the Cross Coders trial programme.

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Rowe facing Dublin in the 2017 All-Ireland final.

Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Donegal’s Yvonne Bonner was another successful product of that camp and she has joined Cora Staunton at Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants.

Both impressed in their 47-point pre-season win over the Brisbane Lions, with Staunton hitting three goals and Bonner’s “pace, contested marking and set shot goal highlights of her AFLW debut.”

“We had quite a few first-gamers today and I felt so proud of them. In the midfield we had a couple, but Bonner did amazingly,” Giants midfielder Courtney Gum said.

Our Irish stars have been 🔥🔥🔥@duckie15 has kicked three goals and Yvonne Bonner one as we lead by 39-points at the end of the third term. pic.twitter.com/VsPgQKFH8K

— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) January 19, 2019

“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.”

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