North Melbourne's VFLW side will be hoping its Round 8 victory over Darebin can kickstart this season's campaign. The Kangaroos put in a dominant second-half performance to overcome the Falcons by 25 points.
After heading into the main break on the wrong side of a one-point margin, North exploded in the second half and kept its opponents scoreless in the final term, with the forward pressure and ability to win the hard ball shining through with the game on the line.
The side has shown signs of quality and improvement over the campaign so far, and senior coach Steph Binder says the win is the result of the team's hard work over the season so far.
"The connection in the side was finally there today. From the end of the second quarter onwards everyone was playing for each other and it just looked good," Binder told North Media.
"Georgia Nicholas was spectacular, even when we weren't doing too well in the first quarter. As a forward she was that first line of defence and her two-way running was really strong, and when she got the ball in her hands she just lit the game up.
"Reni (Hicks) was really good through the middle, and 'Scotty' (Annabel Scott) just played the team role as she always does. We played as a team today which was really impressive.
"A great example was 'Gibbo' (Britt Gibson) setting up Mossy's (Taylor Moss') goal and (Sarah) Skinner putting a really good smother on to make sure Mossy could win the ball uncontested.
"When we got the momentum everyone became more willing to run and carry and take the game on. From there we were able to get on top."
Ella Maurer was amongst the best players on the ground against the Falcons and finished with 18 disposals, one goal and five clearances.
Maurer excelled at the coalface, with her efficiency by hand opening the ground up for her teammates. When she wasn't dominating the midfield she was a dangerous option forward of the football.
"I'd say that was Ella's breakout game," Binder said.
"The awareness she has in the contest, she just always seems to have the time and the vision to find that extra handball and get the ball into space.
"She was really dangerous for us all day with her contested play, she was just great."
After earning an AFLW call-up last season due to her ability as a ruck/forward, Lexi Hamilton made a shock move into defence against Darebin and put in a strong performance despite her inexperience in the position.
Not only excelling in the aerial battles with Darebin's key position players, Hamilton showcased her AFLW quality when using the football and ended the game with 16 disposals and four marks.
"For 'Lex' to come out and play like that in her first game in defence was unbelievable. Whenever she got the ball she just charged straight through the corridor and opened the game up for us," Binder said.
"It was really good to have her there to create that run and carry for us. She really stepped up."
The Kangaroos head into a bye off the back of the weekend's win, with the victory moving them above Carlton on the ladder.
Ahead of the team's Round 9 clash with Port Melbourne, Binder backs her side to maintain the form they found on the weekend.
"I think the girls know how good it feels now to win like that. I don't think the bye will stop our momentum," she said.
"Everyone knows how good today was and we want to keep that going forward. We've always thought our back half of the season was going to be better as we continued to come together as a group, so to start off it like this is a really positive sign.
"Our doctor has been helping the girls work on mindset and knowing when you're not feeling too great but how to switch onto your A-game and fire from there. I think we saw that shift in mindset today."
DAREBIN FALCONS 1.1 2.2 3.4 3.4 (22)
NORTH MELBOURNE 0.1 2.1 4.3 7.5 (47)
Tess Craven: 14 disposals, four marks
Britt Gibson: 6 disposals, one tackle
Lexi Hamilton: 16 disposals, four marks, one tackle, one clearance
Ella Maurer: 18 disposals, one goal, four marks, one tackle
Best of VFLW-listed
Reni Hicks: 24 disposals, four marks, one tackle, six clearances
Annabel Scott: 23 disposals, four marks, two tackles, five clearances
Jess Mourney: 20 disposals, four marks, three tackles
Sarah Skinner: 11 disposals, one goal, five tackles
Emily Paterno: 11 disposals, one goal, three tackles
Molly Eastman: 16 disposals, three tackles