The Western Bulldogs have start their AFLW season with a strong win over Fremantle at Whitten Oval.Katie Brennan and Ellie Blackburn starred as the Western Bulldogs put their AFLW premiership credentials on display in a 26-point win over Fremantle at Whitten Oval.
The Bulldogs shot to the top of the ladder after skipper Brennan booted three first-half goals in a 7.7 (49) to 3.5 (23) win in front of 8500 fans on Sunday.
Blackburn had 23 possessions and a third-quarter goal in a pivotal performance.
The Dogs powered out of the gates to lead by 34 points at halftime, with the hapless visitors unable to register a single point in the opening two quarters.
Brennan, restricted to just two games last season by ankle and quad injuries, kicked the opening two goals of the game, with her second a brilliant effort from a set shot on the boundary.
“They were really bringing numbers back in front of her but she presents really well,” coach Paul Groves said of Brennan.
“She keeps leading and she’s strong … she’s just a class human being on and off the field.
“Her two goals into the breeze were phenomenal.
“I was really pleased for her to be able to get some confidence back.”
In a stunning turnaround, the Dockers – with the aid of the stiff breeze – piled on three goals in the third term, while the Bulldogs went goalless.
Amy Lavell sparked the Fremantle fightback with two goals inside a minute to start the second half.
That was all the fight the Dockers could muster, however, with Bonnie Toogood and Aasta O’Connor securing the points with the only two goals of the term.
“It was really disappointing with that slow start,” Dockers coach Michelle Cowan said.
“But the girls never dropped their heads at any stage, which is fantastic.
“(The first half) just came down to being accountable, so we had a bit of a discussion about that at halftime.
“I think that third quarter is a better indication of what this group is capable of.”
Kara Donnellan and Dana Hooker were the leading possession winners for Fremantle with 12 touches each.
In one of the few lowlights for the Dogs, youngster Daria Bannister was stretchered from the field with a knee injury that will be assessed on Monday.
The Bulldogs will travel to the South Pine Sports Complex to take on Brisbane next Sunday, while the Dockers will play their first game at the new Perth Stadium against Collingwood on Saturday.