irish down under

Mayo star Rowe nails difficult kick for first AFLW goal in stunning performance

Her Collingwood side fell short but there was no shortage of Irish pride at Ikon Park.

sarah Sarah Rowe on the ball earlier. Collingwood FC. Collingwood FC.

MAYO AND COLLINGWOOD star Sarah Rowe has kicked her first AFLW goal as her star continues to rise Down Under.

And what a goal it was. 

Although her Pies side were beaten by Carlton at Ikon Park, 23-year-old Rowe was outstanding from start to finish, her hard running and direct involvement causing serious problems for the hosts.

The Kilmoremoy ace nailed a challenging kick from a difficult angle on the third-quarter buzzer to make her first Aussie Rules goal a memorable one, and she finished up leading the way with 13 touches.

“Don’t step off your line, don’t play on, don’t hit the post — there was a bit of that,” she laughed in the post-match press conference when she was asked what was going through her mind as she kicked.

“I suppose I was like, ‘Back yourself, you’ve done this 100 times at training.’ Wayne [Siekman -- head coach] has gone through a lot with me: walking up and my mindset to that. It’s really helped. I was actually thinking of him as I was taking the shot. 

“I just steadied myself, remembered what I had done in training and went for it”

Adjusting to the oval ball game has been no easy process, Rowe openly admits, but she is delighted to be growing in confidence with each passing week.

Sarah Rowe Rowe in the 2017 All-Ireland final against Dublin. Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

“Yeah, absolutely. Every week I learn so much. We go back and reflect after every game. I’m really eager to learn and I’m always asking for feedback. Every week, I set targets for myself and I try and match them and progress.

“From week one to week five now, I feel a lot more comfortable. I’m very sure on the rules and other things I made small mistakes on at the start. 

“It’s been really good. It’s really satisfying to progress every week and to keep learning.”

Rowe was the only of the five-strong Irish contingent in action in the weekend’s early round of Irish fixtures.

Cora Staunton and Yvonne Bonner both start in the half-forward line as Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants face Melbourne at Blacktown International Sportspark [2.05pm AEDT] on Sunday.

Clare’s Ailish Considine is named on the interchange bench for Adelaide’s visit to North Melbourne [4.05pm AEDT] while Tipperary star Aisling McCarthy starts for reigning champions the Western Bulldogs as they make the trip to Fremantle [3.05pm AWST].

McCarthy’s name was mentioned in the press conference, with Rowe more than pleased to discuss the Irish invasion at length and show her pride in her roots.

“There’s a really big interest in Ireland at the moment, there’s a lot of talk about AFLW,” she concluded.

sarah In the post-match press conference. Collingwood FC. Collingwood FC.

“Aish Mc[Carthy] did really well last week in her game. We catch up all the time for coffee so it’s nice to have that bond where we understand where we’re coming from and understand the struggles you go through.

“Obviously you’re used to being very aware of what’s going on at home and knowing the game really well. To come out here and to be that person who always has to ask questions, who has to look for direction all the time; it can be challenging at times.

“It’s great to have people like Aish Mc and Yvonne Bonner. They’ve done really well and it’s a credit to the Irish.” 

Bernard Jackman joins Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey to discuss the backlash to World Rugby’s league proposal, captaincy styles, sports psychology and more in The42 Rugby Weekly.

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