VICTORIA has put on an exhibition at Etihad Stadium, thumping the Allies by 97 points in the inaugural NAB AFL Women's State of Origin clash.
The Vics were hungry from the outset, and a six-goal second term set up the massive 0.17.11 (113) to 0.2.4 (16) win.
Daisy Pearce led from the front for the victors with a remarkable 37-possession game, easily the most on the ground.
Victoria's mobile forward line worried the Allies defence all night. With the A-grade midfield reading the taps of Allies ruck Emma King to perfection, the Vics had first use of the ball and continually got the ball as deep as possible.
The Allies had stacked their forward line with talls – Tayla Harris, who was hampered with a proppy left knee, Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Katie Brennan – but struggled to deliver the ball effectively to give them a chance.
Victoria's sheer number of midfielders meant Ellie Blackburn (24 disposals, three goals) and Jaimee Lambert (17 and one) played forward to great effect.
Mo Hope may have been the highlight of last year's exhibition match, but fellow Collingwood forward Jasmine Garner stole the show on this occasion with five goals.
It was a dirty night for the Allies, who lost Emma Zielke (ribs), Chelsea Randall (corked quad) and Kirby Bentley (knee) to injury.
Emily Bates battled hard in the middle for the Allies, while King, Brennan and Ebony Antonio were in the best.
The Vics had stars all over the park, but Pearce, Brianna Davey and Garner were particular standouts.
Daisy's field day
The Victorian (and Melbourne and Darebin) captain Daisy Pearce was intent on leading from the front on Saturday night. The consummate professional, Pearce was creative with her disposal and set the tone with her attack on the ball. She also set a record, of sorts. The previous disposal record in AFLW was Emma Kearney's 30 against the Brisbane Lions earlier this year, while Pearce finished with 37 touches. The one sticking point is Kearney's was set in a heat-affected match with 15-minute quarters, while the Origin clash was played with 20-minute terms.
One to watch
It can only be Jasmine Garner. The Collingwood forward is touted as being one of the best marks in the game, but it was her goal-kicking prowess that set her apart. The 23-year-old, who has been in red-hot form in the VFLW, finished with five goals. Her mobility was particularly noticeable, with repeat efforts and leads to the right spots. Garner looks to have improved her fitness since the AFLW season, and is one to watch next year.
Jasmine Garner (left) and Ellie Blackburn slotted eight goals between them. Picture: AFL Photos
Blink and you missed it
Collingwood's Sarah D'Arcy had an excellent night for the Vics, working well with her fellow forwards and swapping between full-forward and higher up the ground. She was clean with the ball and set up teammates well. Her shining moment came in the second quarter, when she timed her run to the goal-square perfectly, tapped the ball to herself and kicked a banana goal from an acute angle.
It was a horror five minutes in the third quarter for the Allies, with Brisbane Lions captain Emma Zielke and Adelaide co-captain Chelsea Randall leaving the ground in considerable pain. Zielke copped a knee in the ribs from teammate Bianca Jakobsson in a marking contest and left the ground clutching her chest. She was taken to hospital with suspected fractured ribs. Zielke was followed down the race just a few minutes later by Randall, who suffered a severe corkie to her quad in the process of a spectacular spoil. A particularly tough player, she was carried from the ground by trainers.
The Victorian team celebrates its thumping 97-point win. Picture: AFL Photos
Fremantle's Kirby Bentley, who has a history of knee injuries, left the ground in the dying seconds of the third term after a fairly innocuous collision. She struggled to walk unassisted, and followed her teammates down the race, before emerging late in the fourth on crutches and a heavily iced right knee. Bentley will need scans to determine the extent of the injury.
VICTORIA 0.2.2 0.8.5 0.11.7 0.17.11 (113)
ALLIES 0.1.1 0.2.2 0.2.2 0.2.4 (16)
Victoria: Garner 5, Blackburn 3, Ashmore 2, Eva, Lambert, Paxman, Kearney, Pearce, D'Arcy, Hope
Allies: Harris, Wuetschner
Victoria: Pearce, Paxman, Donnellan, Garner, Eva, Kearney, Blackburn
Allies: King, Bates, Antonio, Brennan, Marinoff
Victoria: Lambert (hip)
Allies: Harris (knee), Zielke (ribs), Randall (thigh), Bentley (knee)
Umpires: Tom Bryce (SA) Ben Cheever (Vic) Martin Rodger (Vic)
Crowd: 10,000 (approx) at Etihad Stadium