'I think Harf is still trying to figure out who's who': Blues' double trouble

DOUBLE trouble. Carlton's twins Sarah and Jess Hosking have wreaked havoc this AFLW season and they are yearning to do it one more time.

The identical siblings' unique understanding is a subtle weapon to use against Adelaide in the Grand Final at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

How the Blues can cause a major boilover

04:49 Mar 27. 2019. 12:22 PM

Nat Edwards and Sarah Black preview the AFLW Grand Final

Even though the midfield duo has been separated by Jess playing mainly in defence this season, their innate sense of where the other one is at any time was again evident in last weekend's preliminary final victory against Fremantle.

With the Dockers on the attack, Jess leapt to spoil a high ball. Sarah pounced on the ground ball and instinctively flicked it over her shoulder to her sister for a clearance from the defensive 50 zone.

"There was that moment where Jess spoiled the ball on their forward line and I got it and popped it over my head knowing she would be running. So, it's definitely there, but we just don't realise it happens. You can almost close your eyes and know the other will be there," Sarah said.

"A lot of people ask us about the twin telepathy stuff and whether we notice each other when we play. People say they watch us play and see we have some sort of belief that we just know where the other person will be."

The Hosking twins were the first players to get their hands on the Grand Final match ball during a tour of the Sherrin factory in Scoresby in Melbourne's outer east on Thursday morning. And, obviously, the plan is to see that ball close-up more often on Sunday when the Blues seek the famous club's first premiership since 1995.

The 23-year-olds reckon the likeness and close jumper numbers (Sarah wears No. 10 and Jess 11) even confuses statisticians on game day. The pair still laugh about a discrepancy in the tackle stats from a game against Greater Western Sydney last year.

"I got the record for tackles in a game. I took it off (Crows midfielder) Eb Marinoff that day and she has since taken it back," Sarah said.

"I was credited with 16 tackles and Jess stood at one or two. And Jess said, 'I know I had more than two tackles'. I think I stole a couple off her."

While Jess helped identification by wearing her blonde hair tied back during the Sherrin tour, it's difficult to split the pair who are the same height and have similar builds.

"Most of the girls are pretty good … they know the difference. But I think ‘Harf’ (coach Daniel Harford) is still trying to figure out who's who," Sarah said with a laugh.

"At the start of the season we wore different coloured boots to try to help them out, but now we've gone to both wearing a blue pair or red pair. Now they resort to calling us ‘Hosko’ again to see who turns around first."

Selected by Carlton from VFLW club Seaford in the 2016 NAB AFLW Draft, the netball converts have been inseparable this season after Jess was hindered by knee and shoulder injuries during the competition’s first two years.

Although Sarah hasn't missed a game and strives to be the first player to reach 50 AFLW games, Jess had to sit out her first season while recovering from a left ACL operation and then had the next season interrupted by shoulder surgery.

"I was drafted knowing I wouldn't play any of (the 2017) season. And then when I got to the club, they were testing my shoulder. They got me on the medical table and my shoulder popped out. I said it was normal, it happens all the time and doesn't hurt. And they said you'll be booked in (for surgery) next week," Jess said.

"I had a shoulder reconstruction and ended up having another one last year. It popped out in the last game and then I played a couple of VFLW games and it kept popping out and I had surgery last July."

Carlton had its main training session and strategy meeting on Wednesday night and the group will have a light run on Adelaide Oval on Saturday morning.

Key forward Tayla Harris was a late withdrawal with a shoulder ailment when the Blues played the Crows in round two at Ikon Park. Carlton led by 17 points late in the third quarter, but Adelaide, missing defender Chelsea Randall with a hamstring issue, rallied to kick six of the last seven goals for the 13-point win.

"We're pretty confident if we can pull together four solid quarters we can match them. In that round two game, we probably put together only two-and-a-half quarters and then they ran over the top of us. But when we were on, we were beating them by a couple of goals, so we know we need a four-quarter effort," Sarah said.

"We just want to play our brand of footy. We're not going to go in over-defensively and if we can play four quarters, we're going to have a bloody good game on our hands."