Allies 1.1 2.2 2.2 2.4.16
Victoria: Garner 5, Blackburn 3, Ashmore 2, Eva, Lambert, Paxman, Kearney, Pearce, D'Arcy, Hope
Allies: Harris, Wuetschner
Alex Docherty's Best
Victoria: Pearce, Paxman, Garner, Blackburn, Kearney, Donnellan, Davey
Allies: Bates, King, Brennan, Antonio, Jakobsson, Marinoff
More AFLW history was added to a historic first season in 2017, however it was a game that the Allies will remember for all the wrong reasons, has the Victorians handed them a football lesson with a 97-point thumping in their first-ever State of Origin match at Etihad Stadium.
The Victorians were dominant from the first-bounce, and despite a tight opening quarter, the Vics had enough of the ball to suggest they were going to be hard to match all night. Brisbane Lion Jess Wuetschner got the Allies off to a good start with the opening goal of the game, but as the likes of Daisy Pearce, Emma Kearney and Brianna Davey started getting their hands on the ball, it looked as if the Victorians were ready to exercise their dominance on the contest.
However only two goals in the opening quarter from Ellie Blackburn and Jaimee Lambert propelled the Big V to a quarter-time lead, but at only seven points the difference, there was hope that the crowd of around 10,000 that attended were treated to a thrilling contest. However, it was quickly eradicated as the Victorians blistering second quarter saw them kick six of the next seven goals.
With goals to Collingwood pair Jasmine Garner and Moana Hope, the Allies found a badly needed goal through Carlton's high-profile recruit Tayla Harris, who did come off in the first quarter with what looked like an injured knee, but she bobbed up at a very important time in the game as she kept the Allies in the contest with their second goal, but from there it was all Victoria as they did not allow the Allies any more goals for the night, with very few opportunities given to them.
Down by 39 points at half time, things went from bad to worse for the Allies as they lost three players with injuries in the span of 20 minutes, not just that, but they couldn't even register a score in the third term, as the Victorians opened up the margin to an unassailable 10-goal lead.
The first Allies player to go down was Brisbane captain Emma Zielke who copped a knee in the ribs and was shortly thereafter taken to hospital after it took her quite a while to get up off the ground and come to the bench. The next one was Adelaide co-captain Chelsea Randall who copped a knock to her thigh and had to be assisted off by the trainers, and then it was Fremantle's Kirby Bentley who, after a history of knee injuries, came off before three-quarter time with what was suspected to be another knee injury.
The injuries meant that with fewer rotations, the Vics took advantage of that and booted a further six goals in the final quarter to take the margin up to a whopping 97 points. The biggest-ever winning margin in the first AFLW season was 54 points by Melbourne in the final round of the home and away season and the biggest score in the first AFLW season was 70 points, also by Melbourne in the very same game.
On Saturday night, the Victorians not just eclipsed these two records, but they destroyed them with a dominant performance and the stats backed it up. They had 181 more disposals (385-204), 25 more inside 50s (54-29) and a staggering 58 more contested possessions (157-99) as well as winning the clearances 37-29 and the tackles 68-54.
Melbourne captain Daisy Pearce had the footy on a string as she turned in one of the best performances we've seen in the AFLW to date. Pearce was easily the Victorian's best player as she recorded 37 disposals, five marks and a goal, she was in everything from start to finish. Her Melbourne team mate Karen Paxman was also prolific in the midfield with 30 disposals, five marks and a goal and continued her stunning form from earlier in the year.
The Victorians had eight players who recorded at least 20 disposals, as opposed to the Allies' one, which highlights the dominance from the Victorian ladies. Along with Pearce and Paxman, Western Bulldogs' ball magnet Emma Kearney had 28 disposals and a goal, whilst her star team mate Ellie Blackburn had 24 disposals and three goals. Fremantle captain Kara Donnellan had 26 disposals and seven tackles, Carlton gun Brianna Davey had 23 disposals and six marks, new GWS recruit Alicia Eva had 21 disposals, eight marks and a goal and Eva's former Collingwood team mate Steph Chiocci had 20 disposals.
But another major talking point of this game came in the form of a Collingwood forward - No not Moana Hope. It came from Hope's colleague down forward Jasmine Garner who snagged five goals on the night - all of them coming after quarter time. The 19-year old made history when she became the first woman to kick a goal in the AFLW season and with this performance, she would most definitely be one to watch when the second AFLW season kicks off in 2018.
Whilst the Allies had nowhere near enough contributors as the Victorians, they still did have a few players that stood out on the night. Collingwood ruck Emma King continues to show everyone that she is the top woman in the ruck division, thrashing Alison Downie in the hitouts 40-18, whilst Emily Bates was the highest possession-winner for the Allies and the only woman in the Allies side to have 20 disposals or more.
Western Bulldog Katie Brennan also tried her heart out and with the ball not coming down forward as much as the Victorians, had to push up the ground and try to make things happen, she would finish with 18 disposals, six marks and six tackles. Fremantle's Ebony Antonio (15 disposals) and AFLW Rising Star winner Ebony Marinoff (13 disposals) also tried their best, as did Melbourne recruit Bianca Jakobsson who took seven marks and had 11 disposals as a defender.