A FIRST-QUARTER onslaught has kept Narrm's unbeaten streak alive, with the Demons defeating a plucky St Kilda outfit by 26 points at RSEA Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Demons, rebranded as Narrm for the AFLW's Indigenous Round, kicked all their goals in the opening quarter of the 6.10 (46) to 3.2 (20) contest.
After the initial barrage, the Saints held firm in their first game against a non-expansion side this season.
The win leaves the Demons with a 3-0 record, while the Saints are 2-1.
Narrm's Olivia Purcell had a game-high 27 disposals, equalling her career best, while Eden Zanker kicked two goals for the Demons.
Tall forward Kate Shierlaw shone for the Saints with two goals.
SAINTS v DEMONS Full match coverage and stats
The Demons ran rampant in the first term, kicking 6.1 with the wind with the Saints unable to hit the scoreboard until Shierlaw converted a free kick late in the second quarter.
Narrm opened the third term with seven inside 50s to none, but could not capitalise before an excellent tackle from St Kilda's Caitlin Greiser set up Jessica Matin for the only goal of the third term.
When Shierlaw kicked her second goal early in the last quarter, St Kilda only trailed by 24 points.
But the Saints couldn't break through again, leaving the Demons with enough of a buffer to see out the game.
Positive signs for the Saints
While the Demons had eked out wins against reigning premier Adelaide and fellow flag fancy North Melbourne in recent weeks, the Saints had posted huge wins against expansion clubs Sydney and Hawthorn - two clubs that are yet to record a win. Facing the Demons - who made last season's Grand Final - was a much more daunting prospect for St Kilda, and the first quarter exemplified that fact. But the Saints, as they perhaps would have in previous years, didn't go back into their shells. They found a way to dial up the pressure and wrestle control back away from Narrm. Keeping the Demons and its multi-faceted forward line goalless is no mean feat, but the Saints managed to do just that for three quarters, a sign that they're perhaps closer to the top of handful of team than the bottom.
"What I’ve seen previous to today is that we are really capable, but today we were a little bit off against a good team. I though overall we were always half a metre or a metre away, and when you give the Dees that amount of space, they can cut you up pretty quickly." – St Kilda coach Nick Dal Santo
"We’re happy because we see it as progress. Against North, we were a bit up and down with our contest work, today we wanted to base everything around the way we competed, obviously our ability to win the ball and hunt the opposition when they had it. So we felt we were more predictable in that space, but there’s some work to be done." – Narrm coach Mick Stinear
The Saints head up to Mackay to take on Gold Coast at Great Barrier Reef Arena on Saturday, while the Dees will host the undefeated Brisbane at Casey Fields on Sunday in what is likely to be the match of the round.
ST KILDA 0.0 1.1 2.1 3.2 (20)
NARRM 6.1 6.3 6.7 6.10 (46)
St Kilda: Shierlaw 2, Matin
Narrm: Zanker 2, Bannan, Fitzsimon, Hore, Paxman
St Kilda: Jakobsson, Patrikios, Vesely, McKinnon
Narrm: Purcell, West, Hanks, Mithen
St Kilda: Nil
For the duration of AFLW Indigenous Round, the Demons will be rebranded as the Narrm Football Club. Narrm is the Aboriginal name for Melbourne which comes from the Woi Wurrung language, spoken by the traditional owners of the city and its surrounds.