Charlotte Mullins celebrates a goal for Brisbane against Sydney in R3, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

COURTNEY Hodder lit up Brighton Homes Arena on Sunday night as Brisbane won on its new ground for the first time with a 55-point rout of Sydney.

Hodder finished with three goals from 10 disposals, including a Goal of the Year contender during the second quarter, where she perfectly executed a right foot checkside from close to the boundary.

Brisbane kicked four unanswered goals in the first quarter and despite a spirited Swans fightback after half-time were never troubled in winning 14.3 (87) to 4.8 (32).

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It was the first victory at their Springfield headquarters after falling to Melbourne in last season's Grand Final and Richmond in the opening round.

Although challenged by the Swans for large patches of the match, the Lions were simply too efficient inside their forward 50, with Sophie Conway kicking three goals and Dakota Davidson, Orla O'Dwyer and Charlotte Mullins two apiece.

SWANS v LIONS Full match coverage and stats

But it was Hodder who stole the show.

After she kicked a clever right foot snap in the first term, the electric small forward pulled out her checkside party trick in the second before streaming into her third moments later following two bounces and running her full measure.

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Brisbane led by 25 at the first change and 37 at both half and three quarter-time.

Ally Anderson (27 disposals) was again important in the middle of the ground, as was tenacious Belle Dawes (20, seven clearances and 11 tackles).

Sydney's Laura Gardiner was absolutely magnificent in defeat, racking up 41 disposals to just miss the AFLW record.

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The Swans lost former No.1 draft pick Mon Ham for the second half after she left the field with the recurrence of a foot injury having missed the opening two games of the season due to the same issue, but the club said later it was a precautionary move.

Coach Scott Gowans would be pleased with his team's ability to stick to the task against the dead-eye Lions, with ruck Ally Morphett (17 disposals, one goal and 38 hit-outs) also tremendous.

Watch out, ump!
Amongst Hodder's second quarter chaos came a moment of mirth (perhaps not for the person involved). The Lions dynamo took two bounces and was streaming towards her third goal when she unloaded from close range on her right boot. Although it clearly wasn't her intention, the close-range shot hit the goal umpire smack bang on the shoulder. The lady that wore the Sherrin was not perturbed for a second though, smiling and signalling all clear for a goal.

00:42

Oh so close for Gardiner
Laura Gardiner could not have done any more for the Swans. The workaholic midfielder just racked up getting the ball all evening, with her 41 disposals just one off the competition record held by North Melbourne star Ash Riddell. Gardiner had 12 touches in the first quarter, six in the second, nine in the third and 14 in the fourth. She gained a whopping 634m, executed nine tackles and had five clearances in a wonderful display. 

Laura Gardiner in action during round three, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

A new Lion to watch
The Lions look to have unearthed another clever half-forward in Charlotte Mullins. The off-season departure of Greta Bodey to Hawthorn opened the door for another forward, and after spending last season on the list without playing as she completed high school, Mullins has made every post a winner in her three games to date. She kicked the first goal against the Swans, finishing with 15 disposals and two goals but it's the nuance to her game that's most eye-catching, with her instinctive shepherd to pave the way for a Sophie Conway goal particularly clever.

Up next
The Lions will face one of the toughest tests in the competition next Sunday when they travel to Launceston to face unbeaten North Melbourne at 1.05pm, while the Swans host winless West Coast at Henson Park at the same time.

ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS

BRISBANE     4.1       8.2       11.2     14.3 (87)
SYDNEY         0.0       2.1       4.7       4.8 (32) 

GOALS
Brisbane: Hodder 3, Conway 3, Mullins 2, Davidson 2, O'Dwyer 2, Postlethwaite, Svarc
Sydney: Privitelli 2, Morphett, Ham, 

BEST 
Brisbane: Conway, Anderson, Dawes, Hodder, Svarc, Grider
Sydney: Gardiner, Morphett, Privitelli, Hurley 

INJURIES 
Brisbane: Nil
Sydney: Ham (foot)

Reports: Nil 

Crowd: 2,582 at Brighton Homes Arena