Contributed by: Tash Gunawardana
How bloody awesome is it to have the AFLW back and to have crowds back.
It was great to have AFLW matches ticketed for the first time ever.
The opening round of the 2021 AFLW season, did not dissapoint from the first match to the last with all teams playing exciting brands of footy.
A takeaway from round 1 is that it will take some effort to defeat the premiership favourite North Melbourne this season, they completely destroyed Geelong.
Other teams that will take it right up to North Melbourne will be the Brisbane Lions, Adelaide Crows, Fremantle and Melbourne after impressive round 1 victories.
The 2021 AFLW season looks to be the best season of AFLW yet, with so many of the teams improving and high scores already scored in the first round.
Collingwood vs Carlton:
Please find link to feature match report - http://www.worldfootynews.com/article.php/20210128203349145
Image Source: @FoxFooty
St Kilda vs Western Bulldogs:
A young St Kilda side secured their first season opener victory by nine points over a valiant Western Bulldogs at RSEA Park. Saint rising star Georgia Patrikios starred with 23 disposals, four tackles and a goal.
It was a strong showing from the Saints in the opening half at their home at RSEA Park, kicking six goals straight to the Dogs 3.5.
The Saints played an excellent quarter of football against the breeze with their efficiency and also scored a couple of goals from stoppages.
Patrikios showed her class in the first half with a goal, 11 disposals and three tackles. Fellow Saints young guns Tyanna Smith and Jayde Van Dyk also were impressive. Smith (15 disposals) contributed a goal and combined with Van Dyk (eight disposals) for 23 disposals.
The Dogs dragged themselves back within eight points thanks to the star power of Izzy Huntington who slotted through a goal on the three quarter time siren.
In the final quarter, the Dogs fought hard scoring three of the last five goals of the match reducing the margin to two points. It was a grandstand finish to an exceptional Friday night match of AFLW footy, but the Saints held on to celebrate their first win of the 2021 AFLW season
Next week, the Saints will play away against North Melbourne early Sunday afternoon at Arden Street Oval and the Dogs will host the Blues as they search for their first victory of the season on Friday night over Carlton at Victoria University Whitten Oval.
Gold Coast Suns vs Melbourne:
Melbourne have sent a message to the rest of the competition with a hard fought 21-point win over the Suns at Metricon Stadium.
The Dees kicked nine of the last 12 goals. It was a five goal second term from the Dees, as they turned a seven point deficit into a 22-point lead at the main break. It was the efficiency inside 50 from the Dees that was elite and they were far more direct and it was the difference in second.
Karen Paxman accumalted a record 13 disposals to help the Dees gain ascendancy in the second term. From the opening half, Paxman had 19 disposals (71 per cent disposal efficiency).
The Suns are one of the youngest teams in the competition, but you would not have thought from how they took it right up in intensity and pressure against a premiership fancy in Melbourne. 5.5 (35) is the highest AFLW score by the Suns.
Jamie Stanton was the standout for the Suns in the opening quarter with nine disposals and a goal.
Tegan Cunningham, Kate Hore and Krstel Petrevski kicked two goals each combining with six goals. Paxman finished the match with 25 disposals (71 per cent disposal efficiency) and four tackles.
The Dees will host the Tigers on Saturday twilight at 5:10pm at Casey Fields and the Suns will look to get back on the winners list as they travel to Victoria Park to play round 1 winners Collingwood on Saturday afternoon at 3:10pm.
West Coast Eagles vs Adelaide Crows:
A phenomenal four goal third quarter from the Crows helped to stamp their authority on the match and they never looked back winning by 38-points over the Eagles at Mineral Resources Park.
The win by the Crows shows that they will be a premiership contender in 2021 once again.
While the Eagles showed lots of improvement from last year under new coach Daniel Pratt, especially in the second term where they outscored the Crows two goals to one.
The young Eagles could not keep up the high intensity with the experience and class of the Crows proving the difference. It was all the Crows after half time with five goals to none and they were a force to be reckon with.
Erin Phillips starred with two goals, 23 disposals and five tackles. Phillips became the first player in AFLW history to score 30 goals.
For the Eagles, Irishwoman Niamh Kelly broke through with her first ever AFLW goal in the second quarter and for the Crows Irishwoman Ailish Considine nailed through a lovely goal in the final term.
Another Irishwoman who made an impact was former Dog and new Eagles recruit Aisling McCarthy finishing with 15 disposals and seven tackles.
In round 2, the Eagles will play away against the Giants on Saturday afternoon at 1:10pm at Norwood Oval and the Crows will play in the final match of the round in possibly the match of the round over the Dockers on Sunday twilight at 5:10pm at Norwood Oval.
Geelong vs North Melbourne:
North Melbourne signalled to the rest of the competition that they are the team to beat with a dominant 62-point win over a struggling Geelong at GMHBA stadium.
North scored a whopping 11 goals, one goal short of their highest ever AFLW score in round 6 against Richmond at Ikon Park.
Emma King and Ellie Gavalas were the standouts for North. King had a day out in the ruck and also kicked three opening quarter goals. Gavalas accumulated 19 disposals to go along with her three goals.
In the opening quarter it was the King show with the North ruckwoman on fire with three goals to go along with nine hitouts and eight disposals. North led by 18-points at quarter time.
North continued their dominance into the second term with unrelenting pressure and Geelong could not match it with them. With five minutes left in the second, Gavalas snapped well around the body to nail through North's fourth goal and the goal was Gavalas' second AFLW career goal.
Daria Bannister applied great body work and pressure inside forward 50 for North and she set up debutant Bella Eddey to score her first AFLW career goal to top of a highly dominant opening half of a phenomenal brand of footy from North. North held a 32-point advantage at the main break and kept Geelong scoreless.
North kept up their high pressure and intensity well into the second half, as they came out with three majors via Jasmine Garner, Gavalas and Bannister. Bannister made her impact felt with her elite forward work and pressure.
North once again kept Geelong scoreless and led by 52-points at three quarter time.
Geelong tried to kick their first goal, but registered three behinds and Kaity Ashmore counter punched with a goal.
Geelong finally secured their first goal on the board via Aasta O'Connor late in the final quarter thanks to the cheers of the home crowd. North ran out dominant 62-point victors and are sure to be a premiership contender once again in 2021.
Next week, North will host St Kilda at Arden Street Oval on Sunday afternoon at 1:10pm and Geelong will hope to get their first win of the season when they travel to Brisbane to play against Brisbane Lions on Sunday afternoon at 3:10pm at Hickey Park.
Richmond vs Brisbane Lions:
A strong showing from Brisbane in the tough windy weather as they thumped the Tigers by 29-points over Richmond at the Swinburne Centre.
Throughout the match, the Tigers showed some improvement, but it was the class and maturity from the Lions with the ball and through the midfield that steered them to the 1.6(12) to 5.11(41).
It was a blistering day at the Swinburne Centre with goals hard to come by with the first goal coming to the Brunton Avenue end until the final quarter via Dakota Davidson.
Lions Cathy Svarc kept Tiger best and fairest Monique Conti to no possessions in the opening term and to only three at the main break with Svarc contibuting nine of her own disposals.
For the Tigers full-back Harriet Cordner was the standout with 12 disposals and seven marks on her debut match for the Tigers after she was recruited from Melbourne.
The Lions' Greta Bodey was the only dual goal scorer with two goals from her 10 disposals and three tackles.
Next round, the Lions will host the Cats on Sunday afternoon at 3:10pm at Hickey Park and the Tigers will play away at Casey Fields against the Dees on Saturday twilight at 5:10pm.
Fremantle vs GWS Giants:
Fremantle has started the 2021 AFLW season with a convincing 30-point victory over a courageous GWS Giants on a Sunday afternoon at Fremantle Oval.
The final match of the opening round began with a beautiful tribute to inaugural AFLW Giant Jacinda Barclay, who passed away last year.
Also, the match was played in the final hours before a five-day lockdown begins in Western Australia due to Covid-19 precautions.
The Giants gave it their all, taking it right up to the Dockers as they were only down by five points at the main break.
Unfortunately, the Giants could not keep up with the Dockers in the second half with them six of the last nine goals of the match and the Dockers eventually won by 30-points.
The Dockers Gemma Houghton kicked three goals.
Silky and clever forward Sabreena Duffy made her impact felt with the limited chances she had inside 50 with her speed and three goals.
Hard nut veteran midfielder Kiara Bowers was exceptional with 21 disposals and nine tackles) and Jasmine Stewart also was huge for the Dockers with 15 disposals and four clearances to help give the Dockers midfield first use. The Dockers defense was solid as well restricting the Giants to only two goals in the opening three quarters.
For the Giants, young gun Alyce Parker was the shining light with 29 disposals and seven clearances. But, for most of the match, the Giants could not match it with the Dockers class and depth especially in the tackle count with the Dockers ahead 62 to 39.
In round 2, the Dockers and Crows will play in a blockbuster match in the final match of the round on Sunday from 5:10pm at Norwood Oval and the Giants will host fellow winless side the Eagles on Saturday afternoon from 1:10pm at Norwood Oval.
World Footy News