Kangas hop into top eight after ending Dogs' unbeaten run

NORTH Melbourne has ended the Western Bulldogs' unbeaten run by 15 points in front of a capacity crowd at Punt Road Oval on Friday. 

The Roos kicked off a full Friday of AFLW with a 6.7 (43) to 4.4 (28) victory, jumping into the top eight in process. 

Jasmine Garner starred once again for the Roos. Although she spent most of her time in the midfield, she continued to work her way up and down the corridor, either intercepting the Dogs' kicks into the centre or becoming the conduit for her own side's attacking transition thanks to her strength in the air and clean skills.

BULLDOGS v KANGAROOS Full match coverage and stats

Garner finished the game with 26 disposals, seven marks, eight clearances and 537 metres gained. 

AFLW S7 Highlights: Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne

05:21 Sep 23. 2022. 2:45 PM

The Bulldogs and Kangaroos clash in round five of the 2022 NAB AFL Women's Competition

North Melbourne was able to limit the Bulldogs' contested marking game, holding them to just five - half their average this season - while taking six themselves.

The Dogs had their moments - their ability to escape danger by hand was superb, with supporting runners always coming from behind. They used the ball well around the ground, methodically picking out targets, but poor decision-making going inside 50 allowed Sarah Wright to sit back and intercept.

On the flipside, they struggled to cleanly take the ball or hit targets because of the pressure the Roos were applying. 

Big Dog's fall sees Wall waltz towards goal

00:49 Sep 23. 2022. 1:28 PM

Eleanor Brown gets pushed out of the contest before Vikki Wall charges through for a major

Alice Edmonds' star continues to rise with another strong performance both in the ruck, marking around the ground and applying pressure, including back-to-back smothers in the first quarter to set the standard.

Meanwhile, former No.2 draft pick Jess Fitzgerald used her power to break away from contests and gain ground, registering 306 metres gained from her 15 disposals for the Dogs.

The game broke open in the third quarter after a contested first half, as both sides found run and space to slingshot into attack, exemplified by a Bulldogs run down the wing ending in Rylie Wilcox's third goal for the season. 

Bulldogs work it perfectly before Wilcox makes sure of it

00:54 Sep 23. 2022. 1:56 PM

Rylie Wilcox levels the scores following a brilliant team run by the Bulldogs

Jenna Bruton's running capacity and ability to find space outside the contest to clear the ball was vital, and she ended the game with 20 disposals and five clearances. 

A late surge from the Bulldogs was quelled by a free kick reversal when Kirsty Lamb put down Emma Kearney with a strong bump off the ball deep into the final quarter.  

All that pressure 
North Melbourne's pressure had the Bulldogs off guard right from the opening bounce. The way the Kangaroos mobbed the ball carrier from contest to contest had their opponents panicked and fumbling. Not only did that pressure lead to multiple holding-the-ball free kicks, but it also worried the Dogs' typically calm and collected backline into errors they usually would not make. Dropped marks, off target kicks, which turned into perceived pressure, played directly into the Roos' hands for much of the first half. 

It's a lockout! 
At half-time, news filtered around the ground that Punt Road Oval had reached capacity and gates were shut. As a helicopter flew persistently overhead and trains rattled past Richmond station, fans could be seen hanging off the outer fence peering in on the game. Public holiday footy goes alright. 

Say what?
"We thought it was far closer to the four-quarter performance that we've been searching for. We've just had moments in games that have let us down in the first four rounds. For large parts of that game we were really challenged - they (Bulldogs) weren't 4-0 for no reason. We had the game looking the way we'd like it to." - North Melbourne coach Darren Crocker

"I didn't expect to go through the season undefeated. Every win you have, you're closer to your first loss. (We had) a lot of really good learnings out of today. Losing will set us up really well for the last five (games)." - Western Bulldogs coach Nathan Burke

Newton's sizzling handball sets up cool Cranston

00:49 Sep 23. 2022. 1:26 PM

Richelle Cranston calmly slots a great goal on the burst after a perfect handball from Gabby Newton

What's next? 
The Bulldogs will host a rampaging Geelong outfit on Saturday afternoon in Ballarat for their first home game at Mars Stadium for the season. Meanwhile, the Kangaroos will host former head coach Scott Gowans and his Swans at Arden Street to close the round on Sunday. 

WESTERN BULLDOGS             2.1     2.1     3.4     4.4     (28)  
NORTH MELBOURNE             1.2     2.4     4.4     6.7     (43)  

GOALS  
Western Bulldogs: Wilcox 2, Moody, Cranston 
North Melbourne: Eddey, Wall, Abbatangelo, E.King, Craven, Randall 

BEST   
Western Bulldogs: Edmonds, Berry, Georgostathis, Blackburn 
North Melbourne: Garner, Bresnehan, Wright, Bruton 

INJURIES   
Western Bulldogs: Nil 
North Melbourne: Nil 

Reports: Nil  

Crowd: TBC at the Swinburne Centre