North Melbourne remains in touch with the AFLW pace setters following a dominant 35-point win over Richmond at Punt Road Oval.
- The Kangaroos moved to provisional fifth position on the ladder following the win
- They kept the Tigers goalless until the third quarter
- Emma King impressed for the Kangaroos with two goals for the match
A week after kicking the first six goals against Geelong, the Tigers were brought back down to earth with a thud on Friday night.
The Kangaroos set up the 10.7 (67) to 5.2 (32) victory in the first half as they ran amok while holding Richmond goalless, making it apparent this was a match between a premiership contender and a side that has now won only once in 12 AFLW appearances.
The win moves the Kangaroos to provisional fifth place on the ladder ahead of the completion of round six.
The Tigers were already heavy underdogs heading into the clash, but their task was made even tougher when star midfielder Monique Conti pulled out late with a hamstring injury.
And the Tigers’ headaches might not end with Conti’s injury, as forward Courtney Wakefield is likely to come under scrutiny from the match review officer for a crude trip on Ashleigh Riddell in the first quarter.
The emphatic result made it two victories on the trot for the Kangaroos, who have tightened up the logjam at the top of the ladder, with just one win separating the top six heading into the weekend.
Save for the third quarter — when the Tigers kicked three goals and held their opponents scoreless — the Kangaroos owned the contest, convincingly winning the disposals (266-181), marks (80-33) and inside 50s (40-18).
Emma King was a dominant force on the ground for the Kangaroos, with two goals and an impressive display in the ruck, while Jasmine Garner had 22 disposals and one goal.
Riddell (25 disposals), Ellie Gavalas (19 disposals) and Daisy Bateman (two goals) were also influential.
Ellie McKenzie was Richmond’s best with 16 possessions, while Conti’s late replacement Christina Bernardi made an impact with two goals.
Despite kicking into the breeze in the first quarter, the Kangaroos blew the Tigers away to boot the opening three goals after dominating play with a staggering 46 more disposals (81-35) and 26 more marks (33-7).
The Kangaroos did not let up in the second term as the lopsided affair continued. Unlike the Tigers, the visitors made the most of the wind advantage, kicking another three majors — including two to King — to take an unassailable 39-point lead at half-time.
Only two Tigers had more than five disposals to their name heading into the second half, although the hosts were able to turn the tables in the third period to trim the margin to 21 points.
The Kangaroos reasserted themselves, however, booting four of the final six majors to cap off a commanding display.