The Kangaroos have overcome a fierce early challenge from Geelong, beating the Cats by nine points to maintain their lead at the top of the AFLW ladder.
Going into the game, the Kangaroos were on top of the ladder with two wins and a percentage of 554.5.
AFLW round three
Geelong 3.4 (22) def by Kangaroos 4.7 (31) at Kardinia Park, Geelong
Geelong: Bowen 2, Prespakis
Kangaroos: Eddey 2, Randall, Garner
The unbeaten Cats were in fourth spot with a percentage of 229.3.
Geelong had never beaten the Kangaroos in five previous meetings. The home side came out delivering fierce pressure on the Kangaroos.
With the likes of Nina Morrison and Mikayla Bowen chasing down the visitors, their opponents were finding it difficult to get the ball clear.
Geelong hit the scoreboard first, through a couple of holding-the-ball calls inside 50. Bowen was the recipient on both occasions, and she kicked a brace to put the Cats clear early.
The Kangaroos’ Alice O’Loughlin hit the post with a snap, but it was Geelong by 12 points at quarter time, as the visitors failed to kick a major.
Mikayla Bowen’s brace of goals gave Geelong an early lead, but it wasn’t enough for the Cats against the Kangaroos at Kardinia Park. (Getty Images: AFL Photos/Josh Chadwick)
The second term was challenging for the attackers, as the Kangaroos lifted their defensive pressure. Emma King took a mark inside 50, but missed the shot.
The Cats were holding their own, however, and after they kicked a behind midway through the quarter, they forced a turnover from the kickout and Morrison fed the ball inside to Maddie Prespakis who ran in and slotted the goal from 30m out to extend the lead.
The Kangaroos had some repeat inside 50s, but they couldn’t take advantage, with Jasmine Garner missing one opportunity and Prespakis cutting off another.
The Cats led by 17 points at the main break, with the Kangaroos failing to score a goal in the first half for only the second time in the team’s AFLW history.
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After half-time, the Kangaroos brought the forward pressure again, with Ellie Gavalas awarded a free from 25m out – but she missed another chance for the visitors.
They finally scored with under 13 minutes left in the third term, with Bella Eddey dribbling the ball home. The Kangaroos were on the charge, and 90 seconds later they were nearly in again, but Eddey missed to the left.
The visitors reduced the margin to three points halfway through the term, as Tahlia Randall converted a free kick from close range.
By the time the siren went for three quarter time, the Kangaroos had kicked three unanswered goals and there were still three points in it.
Things got worse for the home side when Eddey kicked her second of the game — and the fourth in a row for the Kangaroos — to push the lead out to 10 points early in the final quarter.
The Cats could not find their way to goal and put their opponents under pressure.
Garner finished with 32 disposals, 12 clearances, 11 tackles and a goal in a top performance for the Kangaroos.
Source: AFL NEWS ABC