Bolstered by the return of prolific goal kicker Dakota Davidson, Brisbane has overcome a rare slow start to defeat a gallant Hawthorn by 27 points in the AFLW.
With the Hawks threatening to pull off an upset win with a seven-point lead at half-time, the Lions strung together six unanswered goals to win 8.11 (59) to 5.2 (32) at Frankston Oval on Sunday.
“[It’s a] good old-fashioned kick up the backside actually, to get yourself going, get yourself competing. Sometimes that’s required,” Brisbane coach Craig Starcevich said, adding the win had lifted spirits at the club following Saturday’s AFL grand final loss to Collingwood.
“The mood coming into the game was pretty good despite the events of yesterday, but it probably took us a while to get going.
“The girls are heavily invested in what the boys do. It’s hard not to be invested in your footy club and follow all the ups and downs of the lads … and not be affected by that.”
Ally Anderson (30 disposals, eight clearances, eight tackles) was brilliant as she fought off former Brisbane teammate Emily Bates (17, five, 14) in the midfield.
Bates said playing against her old team “didn’t really change much for me” but added she was “glad that’s over.”
“Doesn’t matter the opposition, I was going to tackle that hard anyway but, yeah, there probably was a bit more meaning in those tackles,” she said.
Greta Bodey, also a former Brisbane player, kickstarted the game in terrific fashion a minute into the opening term with a well-taken left-footed goal under pressure from just outside the goal square.
Returning from a one-match suspension for rough conduct, Davidson replied instantly for Brisbane after a free kick from a push in the back.
Held back by inaccurate kicking, the Lions finished the first term with a three-point lead.
Unable to shake off the yips, Brisbane were made to pay in the second quarter through two goals from Hawks speedster Bridie Hipwell and another to Kaitlyn Ashmore.
But clever ball movement by Lions captain Bre Koenen and Cathy Svarc to control the corridor helped Brisbane regain the lead by seven points at third-quarter time.
Unanswered goals across the second half by Isabel Dawes (two goals), Davidson (three), Taylor Smith (one) and Ellie Hampson (one) secured the win for the Lions.
“We don’t want to be a team that is happy with a loss — we certainly aren’t,” Hawthorn coach Bec Goddard said.
“But it was a really good first half against a team that’s been in the competition for seven seasons. We’re really proud.”
Brisbane (4-1) return home to host 11th-placed Collingwood next round while Hawthorn (1-4) look to snuff out St Kilda’s two-game winning streak.
Roos keep GWS goalless as Garner stars
Jasmine Garner put on another masterclass as North Melbourne handed GWS their fifth consecutive loss of the AFLW season with a 30-point win in blustery conditions.
Garner and Ash Riddell starred as the Kangaroos snatched their fourth consecutive win against the Giants with a 4.8. (32) to 0.2 (2) victory at Arden Street on Sunday.
“For the most part, we didn’t feel overly threatened,” Kangaroos coach Darren Crocker said.
“Would we like to score more? You know what? In a hard-fought, quite a scrappy, messy affair, you take that.”
Touted as the best player in the season so far, Garner again proved damaging with a goal, 24 disposals and six clearances alongside Riddell (31 disposals, 12 clearances).
The ever-prolific Alyce Parker (34 disposals, five clearances, eight tackles) was the shining light for the winless Giants.
It was far from an easy afternoon for North Melbourne as Chloe Dalton (seven intercept possessions) and Tarni Evans (six) dominated in defence for the visitors in a goalless opening term.
Garner finally hit the scoreboard with a major to open the second term, playing on to advantage instead of taking a free kick to catch out the Giants.
Kate Shierlaw took an outstanding mark just in front of goal to add another major for the Kangaroos before half-time.
North Melbourne’s other goals came from Bella Eddey and Lulu Pullar in the final term.
“We’re in this position because we struggle to execute and play four quarters, so here we are,” Giants coach Cam Bernasconi said.
“When you’re 0-5, the players are pretty flat. No-one is enjoying this.
“It does test your character but you’ve got to stand up when you’re getting challenged.
“We’ve got to turn around pretty quickly. It’s a quick season so you can’t dwell on the negatives too long.”
The Kangaroos (4-1) take on Fremantle in Perth next round while GWS will look to claim their opening win of the season against fellow strugglers West Coast.
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Source: AFL NEWS ABC