NORTH Melbourne has wasted little time re-establishing itself as a NAB AFL Women's powerhouse, putting Geelong to the sword at GMHBA Stadium on Sunday.
Led by three opening quarter goals from ruck Emma King, the Roos put the game to bed in the early stages before toying with the Cats to win 11.5 (71) to 1.3 (9).
CATS v ROOS Full match coverage and stats
One of last year's dominant sides with a 5-1 record, the Roos had too much size around clearances and polish on the outside, registering their biggest ever AFLW win.
The Cats had to wait until the three-minute mark of the last quarter to hit the scoreboard, before ruck Aasta O'Connor kicked their sole major in the final two minutes of the afternoon.
The undersized Geelong defence had little answer for King's dominance in the first quarter, as she pushed forward and kicked two goals from contested marks before a classy snap later in the term.
Usual Roos suspects Emma Kearney (22 disposals), Ash Riddell (20) and Jemma Bruton (19) continued the run before small forward Ellie Gavalas chimed in with three goals.
Incredibly, the Cats registered just two fewer inside 50s (25-27) than their powerful opponents – something they weren't able to do last year – but were unable to find targets in front of goal.
A case of déjà vu
The last time the Roos visited GMHBA Stadium they booted eight unanswered goals to finish the match against the Cats. And on Sunday, they managed the same to start the contest. The Roos overawed their younger opponents with pressure all across the ground to show why they'll again be in AFLW premiership calculations.
Did you see that?
Roos debutant Isabella Eddey will forever remember teammate Daria Bannister's work for her maiden AFLW goal. Tracking a long ball into the Roos' forward 50 in the second term, Bannister brushed aside Cat Maddy Keryk, collecting and pumping the ball to the edge of the goalsquare. Cats skipper Meg McDonald was the first to collect before Bannister dumped her in a tackle, Eddey swopping on a loose ball to put the game beyond doubt.
Emma King's opening term stat-line read: Eight disposals, nine hit-outs and three goals. The 187cm ex-Pie could've walked away with the three votes there and then, doing the damage at the centre bounce before pushing into attack to expose Millie Brown, Meg McDonald and Maddy McMahon. King spent more time forward after the main break as Vivien Saad showed her upside around stoppages.
"I think we'll be digesting it for a little while. We weren't clean enough with our first possession and it meant there was a lot of pressure on us when we got the football." – Geelong coach Paul Hood
"I said to the girls during the week, 'I was feeling a little bit of hope and this was our first real opportunity to give me some evidence that we could be a good team' because everyone had been telling me we should be." – first-year North Melbourne coach Darren Crocker
The Cats travel north to face Brisbane at Hickey Park on Sunday at 2.10pm AEST. The Roos are back on their home turf at Arden Street, hosting St Kilda at 1.10pm AEDT on Sunday in what shapes as the match of the round.
GEELONG 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.3 (9)
NORTH MELBOURNE 3.0 5.2 8.4 11.5 (71)
North Melbourne: E.King 3, Gavalas 3, Garner 2, Eddey, Abbatangelo, Ashmore
Geelong: A.McDonald, Purcell, M.Brown, M.McDonald
North Melbourne: E.King, Garner, Gavalas, Bruton, Riddell, Kearney, Ashmore
North Melbourne: Nil
Crowd: 3701 at GMHBA Stadium
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