Kangaroos enjoy AFLW semi scoring spree

Jasmine Garner celebrates a goal for the Kangaroos in the AFLW semi-final against Richmond.

Jasmine Garner celebrates a goal for the Kangaroos in the AFLW semi-final against Richmond. Photo: AAP

North Melbourne have kicked their highest score of the AFLW season, with Jasmine Garner firing in their 36-point semi-final win over Richmond.

A fortnight after the Tigers drew with North to snatch the double chance from them, the Kangaroos fired back for a convincing 11.8 (74) to 6.2 (38) win and set up next week’s preliminary final against Melbourne.

Richmond forward and farmer Courtney Wakefield, who has made enormous sacrifices to play in the AFLW, was chaired from the field on Saturday at Punt Rd after what was clearly her last game.

A fortnight ago, a huge key to Richmond’s draw was the hard tag that Meg Macdonald put on Garner.

But the North star was supreme in the re-match, racking up 22 possessions, seven tackles and seven clearances, as well as kicking two goals, in a best-afield performance.

Only 2439 fans attended the game, despite a rare mild spring day for sodden Melbourne.

The Tigers generated plenty of debate through the week by exercising their right to play the semi at home, despite low crowd-capacity.

North have been notorious for their inaccuracy through the season, but a week after kicking just two goals in the elimination final win over Geelong they went on a scoring spree.

The signs were ominous early for Richmond – after Katelyn Cox kicked her first AFLW goal to put them on the board, the Kangaroos put through the next three.

Macdonald started on Garner, as expected, but the North ace quickly broke the tag.

The Tigers rallied with the last two goals of the term to trail by only two points at the first change.

North broke the game open again in the second term with five goals to one.

Macdonald needed strapping on her left knee at quarter-time and Garner ran her ragged, going forward and kicking her two goals in the second term.

Richmond shifted Sarah Hosking onto Garner at the start of the second half, conceding the tag that worked so well in round 10 was no longer viable in the semi.

Hosking set the tone at the start of the third term for Richmond with a couple of crunching tackles, plus a fierce bump on Mia King which sent the Kangaroos player to the bench with sore ribs and is sure to bring video scrutiny.

Tigers captain Katie Brennan kicked the first goal of the third term and when fellow star Mon Conti kicked another, they had a sniff.

But North responded, and when Isabella Eddy kicked her second late in the quarter, they had a healthy five-goal lead.

Brennan thought she had given Richmond the perfect start to the last term with a snapped goal, but it was ruled touched.

Teammate Emilia Yassir then had a shot for her third goal and missed.

Perhaps inevitably, the ball ended up at the other end and Alice O’Loughlin kicked the sealing goal.


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