All-Australian ahead Caitlin Greiser has lifted St Kilda to an exhilarating nine-point, opening-round AFLW victory over the Western Bulldogs.
One of many breakout stars of final season, Greiser picked up the place she left off in 2020 by kicking three objectives at RSEA Park on Friday night time.
The Bulldogs defence had no match for the highly effective 21-year-old because the Saints kicked the best rating of their quick historical past – 8.3 (51) to six.6 (42) – to safe the nail-biting victory.
The Saints had been comprehensively crushed within the corresponding match final 12 months, however held off the fast-finishing guests this time round.
The Bulldogs narrowed the margin to only two factors late within the remaining quarter, however Darcy Guttridge’s second objective with lower than two minutes remaining sealed the outcome.
After rain fell in Melbourne all day, the sold-out conflict was anticipated to be a scrap, however circumstances eased and St Kilda’s velocity stood out.
Each groups got here out attacking within the first-quarter, producing a high-standard of soccer with three objectives every.
However the Saints’ three-goals to none second quarter set them on the best way to beginning their marketing campaign on the most effective observe after registering simply two victories in 2020.
The Bulldogs had been wasteful when going ahead, dominating the inside-50 rely with St Kilda utilizing their alternatives higher.
Defender Tarni White additionally thwarted quite a few Bulldogs entries with an impressive show.
Greiser was effectively supported within the front-half by Tyanna Smith, first-gamer Jacqui Vogt and the fashionable Georgia Patrikios, who kicked a objective throughout an irrepressible recreation within the midfield.
All-Australian defender Isabel Huntington was thrown ahead with success, kicking two important objectives for the Bulldogs close to the quarter and three-quarter-time sirens.
It was an evening of combined feelings for Bulldogs coach Nathan Burke, who watched daughter Alice make her AFLW debut for St Kilda.
Burke is a Saints legend, captaining the membership in a embellished 323-game profession from 1987 to 2003, and he embraced Alice after the match.