Cross-coder Brazill hurt in Pies AFLW loss

Ash Brazill has been taken off on a stretcher in Collingwood's 20-point AFLW loss to Melbourne.
Ash Brazill has been taken off on a stretcher in Collingwood's 20-point AFLW loss to Melbourne.

Cross-code star Ash Brazill appears set for a lengthy stint on the sidelines after becoming the latest AFLW player to suffer a suspected serious knee injury in Collingwood's 20-point defeat to Melbourne.

The Magpies' defender and Diamonds netballer twisted her left knee and slumped to the turf in the back pocket during Friday evening's third quarter at Marvel Stadium.

Brazill was taken off on a stretcher but gave a 'thumbs-up' to the applauding crowd as she was driven around the boundary line.

"We've got our fingers crossed that things might work out OK and our thoughts are with her at the moment," Magpies coach Steve Symonds said.

"It's never easy and a lot of the girls have seen a little bit of that (serious knee injuries) over recent seasons.

"Braz is such an up-and-about character and you could tell on the players' faces at three-quarter time, I wouldn't say they were in shock, but they were disappointed for her."

Teammate Ruby Schleicher also failed to complete the match after hurting her left wrist before halftime.

The injuries exacerbated Collingwood's pain as a 7.4 (46) to 4.2 (26) defeat left them in danger of slipping out of the top-three finals places in Conference B by the end of the round.

Melbourne leapfrogged their rivals into second spot behind Fremantle as veteran midfielder Karen Paxman continued her hot run of form.

Paxman had a game-high 24 disposals and six clearances as a key contributor alongside Tyla Hanks and Libby Birch (15 possessions each).

Kate Hore, Casey Sherriff and Eden Zanker also impressed as the Demons spread the scoring load with seven individual goal kickers.

Lauren Pearce held her own in the ruck on return, with help from Zanker, opposed to Collingwood's busy Sharni Layton.

Melbourne coach Mick Stinear was happy with his side's response to a shock defeat in the previous round to expansion side St Kilda.

"We were able to realign earlier in the week and the girls stuck to the plan tonight and they got rewarded for it," Stinear said.

"The most pleasing thing was consistency of effort for four quarters."

Several thousand fans had made their way into the stadium by halftime in the first contest of a double-header with the AFL representative match.

They saw Melbourne grind out a comfortable win, extending their lead at each break.

Brazill had been due to complete a rare sporting double by backing up for the Diamonds against an All-Stars side in Netball Australia's bushfire charity match on Sunday in Sydney.

Australian Associated Press