North Melbourne put up its second-highest halftime score on the way to defeating a Monique Conti-less Richmond.
The Roos owned the ball in the first half and looked like putting the Tigers to the sword, but a third-quarter fightback led by 18-year-old Ellie McKenzie made sure her side wasn’t embarrassed.
After notching their first win in AFLW history last week, the Richmond mood was dampened pre-game when their best player was ruled out with hamstring soreness.
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North was able to capitalise and controlled the first half while Richmond found their feet, recording 145 disposals to Richmond’s 76.
The Tigers battled their way back into the game on the back of McKenzie and Tayla Stahl in the third term and ended up winning the second half.
Emma King flies for a mark against the Tigers. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Despite the game being a sellout, a crowd of just 803 filed into Punt Road Oval.
With 50 per cent of Marvel Stadium allowed to watch the Collingwood v Richmond pre-season game, it shaped as the perfect opportunity to get more eyes on the growing AFLW competition with a curtain raiser.
Whether they played this game, or the Collingwood v Western Bulldogs blockbuster before the AFL game, it would’ve made it much easier for fans to access, and a much larger number at that.
KING IN COMMAND
When Emma King gets going she’s arguably the hardest player in AFLW to stop.
Unfortunately for Richmond they were faced with that prospect and couldn’t find an answer for the 26-year-old’s utter dominance.
King gave North Melbourne first use out of the middle, getting her hand to the ball first and feeding her star-studded midfield with 21 hit outs.
And when she went forward her height and marking proved too much for an undersized Richmond defence.
Staggeringly, King hadn’t kicked a goal since the Roos’ first quarter of the season, when she slotted three against the Cats, but took her season tally to five.
Tayla Stahl celebrates a goal for the Tigers. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
TIGER CUB LEADS FIGHT
No one felt the brunt of the loss of Conti pregame more than Ellie McKenzie.
The 18-year-old No.1 draft pick was thrust into the lead role in Richmond’s midfield before her time, but she more than answered the challenge.
She fought a lone battle in the first half as North Melbourne’s vaunted midfield took charge of the game.
But her effort in the third term ensured Richmond finished the game with plenty to smile about.
RICHMOND 0.1 0.2 3.2 5.2 (32)
NORTH MELBOURNE 3.2 6.5 6.5 10.7 (67)
Richmond: Bernardi 2, Stahl, Wakefield, Brennan
North Melbourne: King 2, Bateman 2, Garner, Abbatangelo, Eddey, Hammond, Bannister, Kearney
Richmond: McKenzie, Cordner, Brennan, Bernardi
North Melbourne: Riddell, Garner, Ashmore, King, Bateman
Originally published asRoos’ King in command over depleted Tigers
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