A straight-shooting Richmond outfit has blitzed St Kilda by 38 points in the opening game of the AFLW season at RSEA Park behind a huge performance from Monique Conti.
Conti racked up 29 disposals, nine clearances and seven tackles to help lead the Tigers to a convincing victory, 10.1 (61) to 3.5 (23).
The Tigers looked good all night with crisp, direct ball movement. It led to some big performances up forward as Courtney Wakefield, Katie Brennan, Chirstina Bernadi and Meagan Kiely all booted two goals each in a commanding display.
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At the other end of the ground, Richmond’s defence was rock solid including recruit Jess Hosking, who overcame a slow start to rebound effectively out of the backline.
For St Kilda, Tillu Lucas-Rodd battled hard all contest with a team-high 20 disposals, while Tarni White had 14 disposals and 11 tackles in addition to a highlight goal.
But the Saints felt the absence of stars Georgia Patrikios and Tyanna Smith in new coach Nick Dal Santo’s first game at the helm.
It was a hot contest early, as expected in the first of the season and in slippery conditions following storms and showers throughout the day in Victoria.
White hit the scoreboard first for St Kilda with a highlight long-range bomb from outside 50m, while both teams ended a tightly contested opening quarter with two goals apiece.
The Tigers then put their foot on the pedal in the second term to gained momentum, booting two more goals while holding the Saints to none to lead 4.0 (24) to (15) at the main break.
Conti starred in the first half with a game-high 13 disposals to light up social media.
The Tigers kicked away in the second half, piling on another six goals while holding the Saints to just one.
“We‘ve started off well so hopefully we can consistently play like this and keep lifting our standards,” Conti told Channel 7 post-match.