A RAMPANT St Kilda has spoiled Hawthorn's AFLW housewarming party, thumping the Hawks by 53 points as both teams saw players suffer with knee injuries.
The Hawks were playing their first home game at Box Hill City Oval but were rattled at the opening bounce when ruck Tamara Luke went down clutching her right knee and had to be helped off the ground.
The Saints set the win up with a four-goal first term and kept the Hawks goalless in three quarters in a 9.9 (63) to 1.4 (10) victory, though it was soured by Jayde Van Dyk's second-quarter knee injury.
Hawthorn's Louise Stephenson was also injured when she got her left ankle caught underneath herself in a first-quarter tackle.
Though she returned in the second quarter, the key defender was pulled from the game at halftime.
Sunday's victory marked the first time the Saints had started a season 2-0, while the Hawks sit 0-2.
Caitlin Greiser (three goals), Kate Shierlaw (two) and Jessica Matin (two) hit the scoreboard while rebounding defender Bianca Jakobsson (21 disposals, eight intercepts) was dominant.
Midfielders Tarni White (18 disposals), Olivia Vesely (17 touches) and Georgia Patrikios (16 touches) benefited from Erin McKinnon's ruck dominance in Luke's absence.
Hawthorn skipper Tilly Lucas-Rodd (20 disposals, 14 tackles) was excellent, supported by Tamara Smith, Aileen Gilroy, Kaitlyn Ashmore and No.2 draft pick Jasmine Fleming.
HAWKS v SAINTS Full match coverage and stats
Shierlaw got St Kilda's day off to the perfect start from a set shot.
Two clever snaps from Matin and Greiser's first of the day kicked the Saints out to an imposing 27-point lead at quarter-time.
Van Dyk's day ended in the second quarter when her left leg buckled as her kick was smothered by Dominique Carbone, a play which started the counterattack that led to Gilroy snapping the Hawks' only goal.
The Saints restored their 27-point lead whenNat Exon put the ball out in space for Greiser, who gathered it in the pocket and brilliantly dribbled home her second goal.
Hawthorn huffed and puffed early in the third but couldn't hit the scoreboard.
Nicola Stevens' outside-of-the-boot snap and Shierlaw's second helped the Saints nudge their lead out to 39 at the final change.
St Kilda put the foot down, with majors to Greiser and Hannah Stuart adding extra padding to the final margin.
Injury carnage for both sides
Both St Kilda and Hawthorn will be sweating on scan results after three players went down with assorted injuries during the game. Hawks Tamara Luke and Louise Stephenson were injured in the opening minutes, with Luke going down clutching her knee mere moments after the opening bounce, and Stephenson just minutes later with an ankle. Saint Jayde Van Dyk hurt her knee when she attempted a kick but collided with the player on the mark.
Former Saints face old side
Tilly Lucas-Rodd was a bright spark in an otherwise dour season six for St Kilda, and made waves in the AFLW world when she left the Saints to join expansion team Hawthorn ahead of season seven. She faced her old side on Sunday afternoon, alongside fellow Saint-turned-Hawk Kate McCarthy. Lucas-Rodd was the Hawks' best with 20 disposals and a mammoth 14 tackles, while McCarthy was quiet with four touches and two tackles. Hawthorn co-captain Tamara Luke, who played six games with the Saints before being delisted at the end of the 2021 season, injured her knee in the opening minute of the match.
St Kilda plays its first home game of the season next Sunday against a red-hot Melbourne, while Hawthorn takes on Richmond at the Swinburne Centre on Sunday.
HAWTHORN 0.0 1.2 1.2 1.4 (10)
ST KILDA 4.3 5.5 7.7 9.9 (63)
St Kilda: Greiser 3, Matin 2, Shierlaw 2, Steven, Stuart
Hawthorn: Lucas-Rodd, Gilroy, Ashmore, Smith, Fleming
St Kilda: White, Jakobsson, Patrikios, Fitzpatrick, Vesely
Hawthorn: Luke (knee), Stephenson (ankle)
St Kilda: Van Dyk (knee)