Cats, Roos start AFLW journeys with wins

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Expansion teams Geelong and North Melbourne enjoyed historic wins and the promised free-flowing play was in evidence more often as the third AFLW season kicked off in fine style. The Cats got the ball rolling on Saturday night, No.1 draft pick Nina Morrison starring with 22 possessions in a 3.6 (24) to 3.5 (23) win over Collingwood in their AFLW debut in front of 18,429 fans at GMHBA Stadium. The Kangaroos started their AFLW journey with a comprehensive 7.10 (52) to 2.4 (16) victory on Sunday at North Hobart Oval. While the play was often more end-to-end across the country, the league’s rule tweaks designed to boost scoring achieved mixed results. Wasteful Adelaide could manage just one goal at Norwood Oval on Saturday night and the Western Bulldogs made them pay in a 2.6 (18) to 1.11 (17) thriller. At the other end of the spectrum, Fremantle prevailed in a shoot-out against Melbourne at Casey Fields. The Dockers kicked the last three goals of a see-sawing contest to run out 9.5 (59) to 8.7 (55) winners in a match that was just two points shy of the AFLW record total of 116. “It was free flowing, there was a lot of good one-on-one contests and the forwards probably at both ends got on top at different stages,” Fremantle coach Trent Cooper said post-match. “I’m not sure it was enjoyable to coach like that when the fluctuations are so vivid, but it’s a good brand of football and that’s what we want to do this year and hopefully we kick more than the opposition.” Average points per match in round one were up from 60.5 last year to 64. Continuing the run of thrillers, Brisbane came from behind to score a 4.5 (29) to 4.3 (27) win over GWS in the late game at Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex on Sunday. Australian Associated Press

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