The VFLW Kangaroos overcame Williamstown in a nail-biting classic on the weekend, defeating the Seagulls by two-points in a high-scoring, see-sawing encounter.

A strong end-to-end wind ensured the momentum shifted every quarter, however a Sarah Skinner goal against the breeze in the final term secured the result for North Melbourne.

The Kangaroos had to win the game to ensure they remained in the hunt for finals, and they have now won four of their last five contests as they've well and truly turned their back on their struggles in the first half of the campaign.

VFLW senior coach Steph Binder says she's proud of the resilience her side showed to emerge with the win.

"It was an absolute ripper contest. To hold on and get the win was unreal, especially because of the amount of passion there was in the game," Binder told North Media.

"It was a tale of the first and third quarters against the second and the fourth. We had the wind in the first and third so we were very attacking, then in the second and fourth we had to be much more defensively minded.

"There was a fair bit of heat in the battle and to our girls credit they played with a lot of pride. The girls just love each other and love playing for each other and they've got that really strong connection.

"They wanted to do everything in their power to get the win for our milestone players in 'Scotty' (Annabel Scott) and Reni (Hicks) who were playing their 50th games. There was a lot to play for."

Annabel Scott emerged from her 50th game of VFLW with a win.

Across this season the Kangaroos have developed a penchant for playing fast-moving, high energy football that utilises quick ball movement to crack open opposition defences.

However such were the conditions at Downer Oval that they quickly had to resort to a different plan, one that worked effectively due to the strong marking of those playing forward of the ball.

"From the start we spoke a lot about the wind and how that would affect our style but we still backed the girls to take the game on and try to use the width. When it became apparent that the shortness of the ground was making things a lot harder and we had to go more direct," Binder said.

"We haven't been exposed to that kind of wind before. It's really good to know that we can find ways to win in the face of adversity, especially after coming from behind in the last quarter as well, so to find that resilience was huge for us. 

"When we could we still wanted to switch the footy and open the ground up that's more along the lines of our brand but when it came to it we just had to get the job done. It was a credit to the girls to be able to get the win."

After stemming the flow of a firing Geelong forward line two weeks ago, Britt Gibson was tasked with playing a swinging role across the four quarters and was placed at whichever end the breeze was flowing too.

When up forward she provided a lethal marking target to finish with three goals. When down back her quality reading of the play and power in the contest helped prevent a number of dangerous Williamstown attacks.

"'Gibbo' was absolutely spectacular for us. When we were kicking with the wind we had her up forward and when we were against it we threw her back. Within the first quarter she was getting a bit of achilles pain but to her credit she played the game out to the best of her ability," Binder said.

"She just went and did the best thing for the team. She only played a half in the forward line but was still able to kick three goals and probably saved as many in the backline though. It's really nice to watch her do her thing."

Britt Gibson looks for a target inside the forward 50.

The trio of Liz McGrath, Lisa Loughnane and Ash Melnikas all entered the game with a point to prove against their old side, and all three played crucial roles in pulling the side over the line.

McGrath was once again amongst the best players on the field and finished with 18 disposals, 29 hitouts and nine clearances. Loughnane and Melnikas both played strong defensive roles to keep their side in the game across the contest.

"Liz was arguably the best on ground, she led our disposals and dominated in the hitouts. I always say she's the first one to get those ground balls, lay those tackles and do those one per centers," Binder said 

"Ash and Lisa down back were really strong and helped set the ball movement up from deep in defence. When Williamstown were going with the wind they had a really big job to do there and I couldn't be prouder of the girls."

North continues its campaign against the Western Bulldogs at Arden Street this Saturday before finishing their home and away campaign against Southern Saints.


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WILLIAMSTOWN           1.0     5.1     5.2     7.5     (47)
NORTH MELBOURNE     2.4     3.4     6.7     7.7     (49)


Tess Craven: 17 disposals, one goal, three tackles, two clearances
Britt Gibson: 16 disposals, three goals, six marks
Perri King: Three disposals, two tackles
Amy Smith: Four disposals, five tackles

Best of VFLW-listed

Molly Eastman: 15 disposals, five marks, three tackles
Reni Hicks: 16 disposals, six tackles, three clearances
Liz McGrath: 18 disposals, 29 hitouts, nine clearances
Annabel Scott: 18 disposals, five tackles, ten clearances
Sarah Skinner: Nine disposals, two goals


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