AFTER a 2020 season ruined by a knee injury, the 2019 All Australian ruck Lauren Pearce is back to her best, and Melbourne is the lucky beneficiary.
Pearce played just two games last year, but in the last three weeks is averaging 17 disposals, 16 hitouts and three marks a match.
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"Having consistent game play has definitely been the key for me," Pearce told Credit to the Girls podcast.
"It was hard for me last season to come in and out, and as much as I wanted to play some games, the right decision was made by the medical staff. I just had to suck it up, in a way.
"I may not have had as much of a pre-season as the other girls with the way my load is at the moment, but the club has kept me healthy and fit and ready to play, and alongside that, the girls have been so understanding of my training schedule.
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"I've thanked them a few times for their understanding, and also the staff, I wouldn't be able to play this season without them and the way they've put this program together.
"The consistency with my game has been nice, and having a bit of fun out there [has helped] – yes, the games are tough, but if something good happens, let's have fun."
Melbourne's resurgence has come in part on the back of a few positional changes, with Daisy Pearce swapping from defence to the forward line and the 183cm Eden Zanker lining up in the middle.
"It just sparked something different. With changes in the team, you get a bit excited, not only with Daisy forward, but having Eden in the middle. I don't know, a change is as good as a holiday, isn't that what they say?," Pearce said.
"She (Daisy Pearce) is just very smart, she's clever, she doesn't kick five goals a game, but what she sets up, the talk and everything she brings.
"We idolise her as a person, the players, and we see her step up and it has helped us a lot over the last couple of weeks."
1.00 – Round eight moments: Courtney Hodder, Darcy Vescio and Roxy Roux
4.00 – Your round 8 recap
8.00 – Who gets the last finals spot?
12.00 – The Agenda: Fremantle star and AFLW b&f fave Kiara Bowers' one-match ban
16.34 – How do AFL and AFLW MRO penalties match up, given the respective season lengths?
20.00 - Star Melbourne ruck Lauren Pearce joins the show
23.30 – The new "senior coach" on the scene at Melbourne
27.04 – Pearce talks Melbourne's tough run home
31.25 – Pearce weighs in on the Bowers-Zanker MRO incident
35.00 – Your round nine cheat sheet
38.52 – After shutting down Jas Garner, who's next on Cathy Svarc's list?
46.23 – On the socials: Collingwood mother and son
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