North cruise to 27-point AFLW win over GWS

Rob ForsaithAAP
Ellie Gavalas has kicked two goals in North Melbourne's 27 point AFLW win over GWS.
Camera IconEllie Gavalas has kicked two goals in North Melbourne's 27 point AFLW win over GWS. Credit: AAP

North Melbourne are still searching for four-quarter perfection after clambering into the AFLW's top six with a 27-point win over GWS at Arden Street Oval.

Sunday's contest at the Kangaroos' spiritual home in Melbourne started with one of the more powerful scenes of this weekend's Pride round, when Dani Laidley tossed the coin.

The hosts proceeded to triumph 7.12 (54) to 4.3 (27), putting on a clinic in the opening three quarters while rising up to fifth on the ladder.

North led by 47 points at three-quarter time before GWS finished strongly, including a goal from debutante and Sydney Swans academy product Jess Doyle.

The Giants were never in the contest and outclassed in every facet when it mattered most, struggling to get their hands on the football in the middle then failing to control North's potent forward line.

"Sometimes it's a really big mental challenge to be controlling a game by so much ... then still be able to find a way to continue playing the way you want to," Kangaroos coach Darren Crocker said, recalling his post-win debrief with players.

"Our best holds up.

"But it's just a matter of actually being able to do it over four quarters.

"The first three quarters were terrific."

Daria Bannister and Ellie Gavalas each booted two goals, while Ash Riddell (23 disposals, five tackles and six clearances) ignited her side's on-ball dominance to headline the list of best-on-ground contenders.

"We got pushed off the ball way too easy," Giants coach Alan McConnell said.

"The game isn't always on your terms and when it's not, you got to fight better than we fight in those moments."

McConnell is unsure whether his side will host Western Bulldogs at Henson Park in round four as planned.

This weekend's Bulldogs-Carlton match was called off because of COVID-19 cases at the Bulldogs.

"I've talked to the girls about whether it's Friday, Saturday or Sunday - and who it is (playing against), who cares," McConnell said.

"We have to put up a better show than we did for three quarters today.

"That's what our club expects. It's what we should expect from each other."

Tahlia Randall snaffled a sensational pack mark in the third term but failed to convert her resultant set shot, reflecting North's goal-kicking inaccuracy that partly cost them a chance to bank a bigger percentage gain.

Jess Duffin and fellow North defenders generally did well under the pump, although the quality and quantity of GWS's forward-line entries meant that was rarely the case until the fourth quarter.

The Kangaroos led the inside-50s count 21-6 at halftime, at which point the visitors were yet to score.

The Giants' first goal didn't come until late in the third term, when Olympic gold medallist Chloe Dalton kicked truly after benefiting from a 50m penalty.

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