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Magpies' smiling assassin shining in AFLW

Collingwood's Brittany Bonnici was outstanding on Saturday in her run-with role against AFLW star Emma Kearney, despite a 22-point defeat to North Melbourne.

Magpies' smiling assassin shining in AFLW

Collingwood's Brittany Bonnici was outstanding on Saturday in her run-with role against AFLW star Emma Kearney, despite a 22-point defeat to North Melbourne.

BRITTANY BONNICI of the Magpies runs with the ball during the AFL Women's match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Olympic Park in Melbourne, Australia.
BRITTANY BONNICI of the Magpies runs with the ball during the AFL Women's match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Olympic Park in Melbourne, Australia. Picture:Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Being called the smiling assassin sits well with Collingwood tagger Brittany Bonnici.

While the helmeted onballer has the utmost respect for AFLW stars such as Emma Kearney, she badly wants to beat them.


Bonnici was outstanding in the loss to North Melbourne on Saturday and is proving a ray of light in the Magpies' winless season.

She restricted Kearney, the reigning AFLW best and fairest winner, to 15 possessions while racking up 21 herself and laying 10 tackles.

Taggers often do not have the best reputation, but the cheerful Magpie midfielder is proving a revelation in the role.

Asked what she thinks of the smiling assassin tag, Bonnici said "I'd like to be, yeah."

"There's no shying away from how good a footballer Kearney is and that's part of the exciting role that I have.

"I really like to take on board a challenge.

"When the footy's there, it's me v Kearney and she's taking me to the ball.

"I don't want to be beaten and it's as simple as that."

Bonnici had not been a tagger until last season, when in successive weeks she ran with Melbourne star Daisy Pearce and Kearney, then at the Western Bulldogs.

When Bonnici was asked how long she had to prepare for Saturday's role on Kearney, coach Wayne Siekman interrupted and joked: "12 months ago".

"She's such a strong-minded individual," Siekman said.

Bonnici had mixed emotions after the loss, well aware that she had played well on Kearney.

"I'm not going to deny the fact that I'm pretty proud of my efforts (against North)," she said.

Before the AFLW started, Bonnici had to take time off from football because of concussion problems and that is why she now wears a helmet.

"Back then, nobody really managed it - we didn't have the resources like we have now," she said.

"In that time (her time off) AFLW was announced and ... my mindset just straight away flipped.

"I knew what I wanted to get ...and if that meant wearing a helmet, then so be it.

"It's a bit of a trademark, but it's also a good opportunity for me to get to take a stand on concussion and make sure people are taking it seriously, which I think the AFL are."

AAP


AAP




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