The GIANTS’ VFL Women’s team has started with a bang, beating Williamstown by 79 points at Downer Oval on Saturday.
In cold and windy conditions, the GIANTS were dominant across the ground and led from start to finish, winning 13.15 (93) to 2.2 (14).
Boasting 10 AFLW-listed players, the GIANTS got off to a flyer with former GIANT and UNSW-ES’ Rebecca Privitelli opening the scoring inside the first two minutes with a brilliant overhead kick.
The GIANTS held a slim 14-point lead at quarter time but a five goal to nil second quarter saw the lead more than tripled at the main break.
The Seagulls kicked their second goal of the game late in the third term, but by then the game was all but over, with the GIANTS cruising to victory with a three goal to nil final term.
GIANT Tait Mackrill said Privitelli was one of the side’s best performers alongside AFLW star Alyce Parker and the East Coast Eagles’ Sarah Ford.
“Bec in the forward line was excellent as always and provided really good options for us, “ Mackrill said.
“Parker through the middle was really, really good and Sarah Ford who is new to the program I thought had an exceptional game off the wing.”
Mackrill, who featured prominently in the midfield, said it the side gelled well and had been champing at the bit to play after nearly two months of training together.
“It was pretty good for a first hit out after a long time coming,” she said.
“Quite a few girls have been train-ons in the AFLW program for the last few years and there was some new talent as well, so to train together but not play together for a while had been a little bit frustrating so to get out there and play together was really good.
“We bonded really quickly out there and it was good fun, everyone had an absolute ball.”
The 19-year-old, who played three AFLW games for the GIANTS in 2019 primarily as a forward, enjoyed her run in the midfield.
Mackrill’s contested work and clean disposal helped drive the GIANTS forward on a number of occasions.
“It was nice; a good opportunity to get in amongst it all and play a game which is a bit more my style, a bit more in and under,” she said.
“I really enjoyed it, and that’s the thing with most girls, they’re going to be put in a position they’re not used to, I just try to embrace it and make the most of my time in the midfield.”
The only downside in the win was a concussion suffered by Lael Kassem in the opening quarter.
The diminutive rover from the Inner West Magpies was attacking the ball when a teammate was pushed into Kassem by an opponent.
The VFLW GIANTS now turn their attention to Richmond, the second of their five invitational matches.
Saturday’s game will be the first time many of the GIANTS players will have played at Punt Road and they face a fierce test against the Tigers, who won their season opener against Darebin by 35 points.
“Playing at Punt Road, I don’t think you can really get much closer to the action if you tried,” Mackrill said.
“Richmond have formed a pretty strong list with their AFLW side coming into the competition next year.
“It’ll be good to play against a side that is going to shape up and have a big off-season and pre-season heading into next year’s AFLW season.”
Williamstown 1.1, 1.1, 2.2, 2.2 (14)
GIANTS 3.3, 8.9, 10.10, 13.15 (93)
Goals: Parker 3; Privitelli, Halvorsen, Schmidt, Hicks 2; Brush, Gisu 1.