Richmond have outclassed a plucky GWS at Giants Stadium, with a first-quarter onslaught setting up an eight-point AFLW win.
The visitors sealed a 7.4 (46) to 6.2 (38) win despite the best efforts of GWS veteran Cora Staunton, who kicked three brilliant final-quarter goals as her side ultimately fell short.
The Tigers were totally dominant in the opening term, moving the ball with ease, tackling fiercely and piling on five unanswered goals to record their best-ever first-quarter score.
The Giants could do little to halt the Tigers, with Courtney Wakefield and Maddie Shevlin kicking classy goals from opposite forward pockets and captain Katie Brennan extending her run of scoring at least one goal per game to 15 consecutive matches.
With Meagan Kiely making the most of a free kick in front of goal and Tessa Lavey bouncing through a long-range goal on the quarter-time siren, the game looked all but over at the first break.
But the Giants fought back gallantly and were able to stem the flow in the second quarter, putting the Tigers under pressure with repeat inside 50 entries before Emily Pease broke through for GWS’s first goal.
Defender Brid Stack followed up with a goal of her own, sneaking forward and roving a pack beautifully to keep the Giants in touch.
GWS may have made more of their second-quarter momentum were it not for Richmond defender Rebecca Miller – who cut off a number of forward thrusts with strong intercept marks and timely spoils – and Monique Conti, who finished with 26 disposals in a dominant midfield display.
Richmond stretched the margin beyond 30 points in the third term, courtesy of goals to Christina Bernardi and Katie Brennan, as both teams fought desperately to claim a rare 2022 win.
Four final-quarter Giants goals – three from Staunton and one from Rebecca Privitelli – made sure the Tigers were forced to fight until the final siren.
“We know the Giants love to play a contest game. They didn’t quite bring it last week against Carlton, so we knew they’d come back firing,” Richmond midfielder Sarah Hosking told Fox Footy at half time.
“That was our aim: match them at the contest, keep fighting for the outside and just make sure we bring the pressure.
The Giants are almost certain to be without star Alyce Parker for their final match of the season, with the gun midfielder suffering a concussion in a head-clash with the Tigers’ Sarah Hosking.