The GIANTS went down to the efficient North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos who made better use of its opportunities a windy University of Tasmania Stadium on Saturday.
The heavily-favoured Kangaroos bounced back strongly from a narrow round one defeat to Melbourne, controlling proceedings for much of the contest to triumph 6.1 (37) to 2.7 (19).
The flag fancy was magnificently led by vice-captain Jasmine Garner (19 possessions and two first-half goals) and skipper Emma Kearney (20 possessions) who, along with Jenna Bruton (20) and Ashleigh Riddell (18), set the tone for their teammates with their purposeful approach and attacking ball use.
The GIANTS, who had their chances – they had two more scoring shots than North – were well served by their own captain Alicia Eva (a game-high 21 disposals) and fellow runner Alyce Parker (16).
With a cross-breeze prevalent in Launceston, North drew first blood early through Garner, who slotted a set shot from 40 metres after being the beneficiary of a clever pass from Riddell.
The Roos took the early ascendancy but failed to capitalise on a couple of scoring opportunities, allowing the GIANTS to level the scores by the first break following a strong contested mark by pint-sized Haneen Zreika, who took advantage of a 50-metre penalty to score from the goal line.
Garner followed up with an opportunist snap early in the second quarter, and at the other end Zreika had the chance to join her two-goal tally and put the GIANTS in front, but missed on the run from point-blank range when she could have waltzed to the goal line.
The miss proved costly as, soon after, Roos giant Emma King broke the Garner goal monopoly after winning a free kick after a ferocious tackle on Pepa Randall.
Just before half-time the GIANTS had another golden opportunity but tall Erin McKinnon sent a set snapshot wide and the Kangaroos led by nine points at the long break.
The visitors were again made to pay when North Melbourne goaled through Elisha King, increasing the margin to a game-high 16 points, but just when the Kangaroos appeared poised to pull away they gifted a goal to the GIANTS when an undisciplined Britt Gibson gave away a free kick to Britt Tully.
The Roos regained their advantage moments later when Sophie Abbatangelo nailed a superb set shot from an acute angle, and teammate Kate Gillespie-Jones put the game out of the GIANTS' reach with a major early in the final term that stretched the Kangaroos' lead to 21 points.
The only blemish for North was forward Kaitlyn Ashmore coming off second-best in a head clash in the second quarter and not playing any further part.
Kangaroos 1.0 3.0 5.1 6.1 (37)
GIANTS 1.0 1.3 1.4 2.7 (18)
Kangaroos: Garner 2, Emma King, Elisha King, Abbatangelo, Gillespie-Jones
GIANTS: Zreika, Tully
Kangaroos: Garner, Kearney, Bruton, Riddell, Randall, Gillespie-Jones
GIANTS: Eva, Parker, Steane, Hicks, Bennetts
Kangaroos: Ashmore (head knock)
Crowd: TBC at University of Tasmania Stadium