The Dragons haven’t had a lot to cheer about since the AUL’s inception, finishing winless last season and notching up two losses to open their 2019 campaign.
But Adelaide came roaring home against Canberra in round two and started to show form that will put every other team in the league on notice.
Adelaide’s Mandy Fung said it was only a matter of time until that form translated into wins.
“The game against Canberra was such a thriller and turning point for us,” she said.
“It really showed that the Adelaide Dragons are only just warming up as we build our connections and strive to achieve the level of excellence that our coaches Anna and Jonathan see in us.”
Fung praised the new three-set format introduced this season as it meant that Adelaide had a reason to keep fighting even when the match was lost.
“As a team we could tuck away the disappointing first set and fight for the next two afresh,” she said.
“The last two sets were really a highlight reel for every player on the team.”
Now, Fung said they were gunning for the prized scalp of the Melbourne Flames.
“As reigning champions, they would be a huge scalp and we will definitely take advantage of their changed-up roster,” she said.
“If we can find that same fire we did towards the end of the game against Canberra and learn how to channel that intensity from the start, we will definitely shake Melbourne and every other team going forward in the season.”
Melbourne Flames stalwart Cat Phillips is all-too aware of the threat the Dragons pose but said they will be ready to stand up to the challenge.
“In terms of the Adelaide match up, we are fully aware of the strength of this team and we know we need to be at our best on Thursday night,” she said.
“(Co-coach) Anna Rogacki will provide them with insight into our playing style (having coached us last year), so it will be important for us to be flexible and adaptable in how we play across the sets.
“Josh de Bell has had a great start to the season so I’m excited to see what he can bring this week, and I’m also pumped to see more from Simar (Dhaliwal) and Shan (Trenwith), both new to the Flames and both ready to show what got them selected on this team.”
Caro: Melbourne 2-1
Matt: Melbourne 2-1
Tom: Adelaide 3-0