The Seniors claimed their second win against Old Melburnians with a performance coach Mitch Lower described as their best of the season.
At a soggy and windy Elsternwick Park, the Redbacks got off to a fast start and were never headed, sealing a fantastic victory by outscoring the Olds by two goals into the wind in the last quarter to see the final margin tick up to 49 points, 8.9 (57) to 1.2 (8).
After being cleared to play despite mid-week neck soreness, stand-in captain Thomay Nicolaou won a crucial toss and her side capitalised in the opening quarter.
With her side’s first foray, Nicolaou snapped a goal and within two minutes Evangeline Clough-Good had added another with a clean pick-up and long goal on the run. It kick-started yet another match where her relentless run and carry instigated many of the Redbacks’ attacks. RMIT refused to allow the Melburnians any respite, with Kylie de Bruyn and Neve O’Connor prowling across the high half-forward line to mark and reset their side’s attack. Chelsi Old was the beneficiary of her side’s forward pressure and O’Connor emphasised a quarter of Redback dominance as she roosted through a fourth unanswered goal from outside the paint in the shadows of quarter time.
The second quarter loomed as a crucial period in the match as the Redbacks would either hold firm and head into the main break with a lead or allow the Melburnians back into the contest.
It was the former for the away side as de Bruyn, O’Connor and Meg Bryant controlled the airwaves in defence despite the rain. The backline was assisted by the midfield’s pressure on the Olds’ ball carriers, which forced wide and shallow entry and denied their forwards the chance to win easy possession in the danger zones.
RMIT conceded just a goal into the wind and sealed the match in the third quarter as the lead ballooned out to 36 by the final change. In her final match before returning home to the US, Hannah Coffey emphasised just how far she has come in her three months of playing Australian Rules with her dogged attack on the loose ball and hard running.
Lily Baker defied the non-key forward friendly conditions with tremendous work-rate and repeat efforts. She reaped the rewards of her labour in the third quarter with a goal and a pair of score assists including a deft handpass to set up Eliza Goulding on the run.
Mitch Lower set his side the final challenge of winning the fourth quarter against the wind and, as they had done all day, the Redbacks proved their worth. Olivia Giaccotto stunned and delighted the crowd with a goal from 35 out on the run and Julz Nannetti capped an electric quarter with a turn-and-shoot major on the run.
RMIT has the bye this weekend and will host Mazenod on Saturday July 13.
RMIT Redbacks 4.2 4.3 6.8 8.9 (57)
Old Melburnians 0.0 1.2 1.2 1.2 (8)
Best – Clough Good, Nicolaou, O’Connor, Coffey, Old, de Bruyn.
Goals – Nicolaou, Clough-Good, Old, O’Connor, Baker, Goulding, Giaccotto, Nannetti.