Smith shines in Eagles derby loss

Cameron NewboldGreat Southern Herald
Pingrup’s Belinda Smith.
Camera IconPingrup’s Belinda Smith. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

Pingrup footballer Belinda Smith was among West Coast Eagles’ best players, helping quell the influence of Fremantle forward Sabreena Duffy in the first AFLW derby played at Optus Stadium in front of more than 35,000 spectators on Saturday.

In their first season of AFLW competition, the Eagles slipped to their second loss, managing two goals as the Dockers finished convincing 45-point winners.

Smith, pictured, is one of three Great Southern players in the Eagles side and she was named among their best despite the heavy defeat.

Playing a shutdown role in defence, Smith kept Duffy to just one goal and won a number of one-on-one battles against the lively forward while collecting nine disposals and laying three tackles herself.

Smith has featured in both the Eagles’ fixtures so far this season, alongside Albany’s Sophie McDonald and Denmark’s Parris Laurie.

Laurie was also terrific for the Eagles in the 2.3 (15) to 9.6 (60) loss, racking up 27 hit-outs and four touches. It was the first time Smith had come up against her former side after playing with the Dockers in the inaugural AFLW season in 2017.

She was then picked up by Western Bulldogs, but last year was cut down by an Achilles injury.

The Eagles will be searching for their first-ever win when they face GWS Giants at Blacktown International Sportspark on Sunday.

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