Western Bulldogs defender Hannah Scott has had a huge season. The Dogs are on top of the ladder, she’s been touted as a possible All-Australian selection and proudly represented her club and shared her personal experiences in the inaugural Pride match.
And it culminates tonight in what is shaping up to be a Round 7 elimination final against second-placed Melbourne.
The Bulldogs could have locked in a Grand Final spot last week, but went down in a shock loss to the GWS Giants.
“We just didn’t match them in the intensity, so that’s definitely something we’re looking to bring this week,” she said. “Everything is on the line and we have to play like it.
“We’ve got such an even spread of contributors this year. I think that personally I’ve worked on things like my disposal efficiency and I’m pretty happy with how I’m using the footy.
"I’m super pleased with the girls and now just worry about concentrating on the game and hitting the first quarter harder than we’ve hit anything.”
Scott is certainly not letting the expectation phase her either, noting that she wants to keep her normal routine of pasta the night before and a low-key afternoon in the lead-up to the game to “go in a little bit more relaxed and allow yourself to play good, natural footy.”
She counts the away win over Brisbane and, of course, the 73 point win against Carlton in the Pride match as her favourite games this season.
“That (Pride) game was more than just a game for me, and it was really special to run out in that jumper. The four quarter effort that we put together was pretty enjoyable to be a part of. It was really pleasing for the coach (Paul Groves) as well to see us play exactly how he wanted us to.”
On injuries to major players such as captain Katie Brennan and no. 1 draft pick Izzy Huntington, she believes that “obviously it’s devastating but I think we’ve coped pretty well.”
“I think that the mindset of the girls that have been injured has been fantastic, I couldn’t speak higher of them. They just showed up to every training session and the positivity they’ve brought has taken us to another level.
“You just wanna go out and win for them and show them that everything that they’ve put on the line wasn’t for nothing. So I think it has really galvanised us.”
She admits that Melbourne will be looking to do the same, after star defender Mel Hickey tore her ACL muscle in last weekend’s game against Carlton.
“I know now that Melbourne will be feeling that pain and they’re gonna come out harder than ever.”
And her prediction for tonight?
“I think it’ll be a really enthralling battle - the way that Melbourne have come back from those two losses and got themselves into second position, a playoff game between one and two on the ladder. It’s going to be great to watch. I hope that it’s an enjoyable one.”