By Kyle Champion
After last week’s win, Thunder is back on the winner’s list currently sitting in fourth place.
The comeback victory over Carlton had debutant Rhiannon Busch enter the competition on very a happy note.
“It was a great win last Saturday,” Busch said. “To come back from three goals down and get the win was good news for us and we were very happy with the result.”
Although Busch wasn’t named in the initial squad for Thunder, luck has shined on the former NTFL Women’s Premier League Best and Fairest and now she has an opportunity to compete at VFLW level.
“I found out on Thursday when Heidi (Thompson) said I’d be playing,” Busch said. “A few weeks earlier Heidi told me I had the potential to be called up. Thursday I got the call and was pretty excited.”
Busch has played for both Palmerston and the Southern Districts which has made her transition to Thunder all too familiar.
“There are a few girls I’ve played with in the past,” Busch said. “We got a few Crocs girls from the Southern Districts who I play for. Then there is a couple of players from my old club Palmerston, so it’s nice to see some friendly faces.”
Thunder’s next opponent is Darebin on Sunday. In Thunder’s debut game last year, the Falcons got mauled by Thunder with a record-breaking score.
Busch wasn’t present at the time but believes Darebin shouldn’t be underestimated despite their poor season.
“You can never take any game lightly,” Busch said. “I know they’re a few wins below us but that doesn’t matter. To win we’re going to have to do what we did last week, stick to our structures and stick to our gameplan.”
Thunder has been hammered hard by injuries and unavailability this year, but Busch believes there might be some relief soon.
“Hopefully Charlie Deegan can return,” she said. “I know she has had that concussion the previous week but hopefully she’ll be right for Sunday. I think there are a few Adelaide girls to come back and maybe we can get Katie Streader back on the park.”
In Darebin’s premiership years the Falcons were a force to be reckoned with.
Stars like Katie Brennan, Nicole Callinan, and Daisy Pearce once represented this mighty club.
Since their departure, the Falcons have struggled to compete against the AFLW affiliated clubs and now lie at the bottom of the ladder.
However, they may not be entirely defenceless.
AFLW Lions veteran Lauren Arnell has returned to the Falcons. Arnell was present in both the 2016 and 2017 VFLW premierships alongside ruck Lauren Pearce.
Pearce has been holding down the fort since day one as one of Darebin’s more consistent players. In 2018 she was selected in the team of the year and looks ready to double up on that achievement in 2019.
Darebin has claimed only one victory this year. Ironically that win was against Williamstown and they defeated Thunder two weeks ago.
Thunder will be looking not to slip again as the top four positions on the ladder have turned into a race for finals.
VFLW Round 10: NT Thunder vs Darebin – 12:00pm AEST Sunday 14 July, Preston City Oval, Melbourne