The 2019 AFLW season began with a bang, as teams looked to prove themselves in the opening round. We look at the five biggest takeaways from a stellar weekend of women's footy.
Draftees take centre stage
This year’s crop of draftees looks like one of the most impressive we’ve seen, with three in particular having days out for their respective teams.
On Saturday night, it was number one draft pick Nina Morrison who led the Cats to victory at GMHBA Stadium.
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Morrison was the highest disposal-getter on the ground with 22, and kicked what ended up being the winning point.
For Carlton, Madison Prespakis was the shining light in a horror start to the Blues’ 2019 campaign.
The former Calder Cannons captain racked up 13 disposals and led the way in tackles, laying five of them.
Alyce Parker looked more than comfortable in the Giants’ midfield, gathering an equal team-high 18 disposals in the two-point loss.
The Geelong community is good for women’s football
The whole Geelong community united at GMHBA Stadium to see their AFLW team run on the field for the first time.
The crowd of 18,429 was filled with young girls and families who were on the edge of their seat for the entire game.
It’s clear that the Geelong community is invested in the AFLW, which leaves the football team in good hands.
Injury-ridden stars get back on the park
It was a great weekend for Fremantle’s Kiara Bowers and Brisbane’s Sam Virgo.
After sustaining an ACL injury in 2016 and spending 30 months out of the game, Bowers took the field for the first time in her AFLW career on Sunday.
She kicked a crucial goal for the Dockers, gathered 13 disposals and laid 12 tackles.
Meanwhile, Sam Virgo made her return for the Lions after a year out of the game with an ACL injury.
She gathered 12 disposals and laid five tackles in Brisbane’s thrilling win over the Giants.
Close contests makes it hardest year yet to split teams
Four out of five games this weekend were decided by a margin of less than three points.
The two premiers of the competition in the Bulldogs and Crows could only be split by a point, indicating the closeness of the competition.
Two other premiership contenders in Brisbane and GWS played out a game decided by two points.
This was one of two games decided by two points in the opening round.
Expansion teams live up to the hype
North Melbourne secured the biggest win of the weekend, thumping Carlton by 36 points in its first AFLW game.
The Kangaroos opened up the game in the second term with three goals to none, sitting on top of the Conference A ladder at the end of Round 1.
Geelong was also able to get a win in front of its home crowd, but only just.
The Cats didn’t score a goal for three quarters but managed to resist a Collingwood fightback to claim a one-point win.
Geelong currently sits second on the Conference B ladder.
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