COLLINGWOOD has comfortably overcome Greater Western Sydney, running out 36-point winners on Sunday morning at Olympic Park Oval.
The Giants came to the match full of confidence after registering their maiden win of the season last week, but failed to score in the first quarter in the 7.13 (55) to 3.1 (19) loss in the NAB AFL Women's competition.
Collingwood's ball movement and control set them above the Giants, who often struggled to move the ball into their half of the ground. They had just one inside-50 for the first quarter, and finished with only 13 for the match.
The Magpies were inefficient early and the scoreboard did not reflect their dominance across the field. But they landed a telling blow just before half-time, when Moana Hope marked the ball on Collingwood's half-forward flank.
While GWS defender Claire Lawton disputed with the umpire whether the ball had been touched, Hope took off and had two bounces before setting the ball inside 50. Jasmine Garner finished Hope's good work off in the goal-square, kicking the Magpies' third goal.
Brittany Bonnici (18 disposals) was a powerhouse for the Magpies in the midfield, and forwards Sarah D'Arcy, Jess Cameron and Jasmine Garner worked well together, spreading the Giants' defence and setting up goals for each other.
For the Giants, forward Phoebe McWilliams (two goals) battled well with limited delivery, while Nicola Barr and Jess Dal Pos (13 disposals) were solid off half-back.
Collingwood peppered the goals in the third quarter, but added only one goal and seven behinds. Two quick goals at the start of the fourth sealed the match for the Magpies.
After six rounds of AFLW, the two best rucks in the competition have emerged. Collingwood's Emma King has been widely regarded as the premier ruck around the country, and was signed as a marquee player before the season started. The Giants' 18-year-old Erin McKinnon has developed as a star on the rise, and the two met in Sunday morning's match for the first time. While the final hit-out count was fairly even (24-20 King's way), King won the battle around the ground with 12 disposals.
Point of difference
Collingwood won the inside-50 count 38-13, and it reflected the difference between the two teams. Even when the Giants' got the ball inside their forward 50, the delivery was often poor, and their forwards struggled as a consequence. The final margin of 36 points could have been much more but for inaccurate kicking for goal.
Brittany Bonnici lines up in the midfield for the Magpies, and the helmeted 19-year-old was a standout in the win. She finished with 18 disposals and five tackles, and coach Wayne Siekman said the former under-18 Vic Metro captain led from the front in the win. It was Bonnici's best match for the season, and she will be a player to watch in the future.
Got the job done
Giants' priority player Jess Dal Pos has consistently been in her team's best this season, and she maintained her form on Sunday. Dal Pos has moved up from Victoria to represent the Giants, and her class, experience and quick hands have stood out in a young team. She worked hard in the midfield and across half-back to finish with 13 disposals, four marks and two tackles.
Amelia Barden breaks away for Collingwood. Picture: AFL Photos
"First couple of weeks there was a lot of hype and pressure, and no doubt we felt that. To get back here and put in an effort like that, it's been coming for a while, and it reflects how we trained in pre-season." - Collingwood coach Wayne Siekman
"To be honest, I don't think we were in it for much of the game at all. I thought Collingwood started really well and we were second to the footy for most of the game." - GWS coach Tim Schmidt
Collingwood take on Adelaide at Olympic Park Oval, in a match that could shape the make-up of the grand final. GWS will finish their season against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
COLLINGWOOD 2.3 3.4 4.11 7.13 (55)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 0.0 1.1 2.1 3.1 (19)
Collingwood: Hope 2, Cameron, Edwards, Garner, Casey, Bernardi
Greater Western Sydney: McWilliams 2, Beeson
Collingwood: Garner, Eva, Bonnici, King, Cameron
Greater Western Sydney: Barr, Dal Pos, McWilliams, Swanson
Collingwood: Morgan (ankle)
Greater Western Sydney: McKinnon (head knock)
Estimated crowd: 2700
Umpires: Burns, Guy, Bryce