North Melbourne's fresh faces shone in their opening round of the 2024 season, helping their side claim a 10.5 (65) to 6.7 (43) win over the Bulldogs.

It was a see-sawing affair at Whitten Oval, but the Roos held strong to topple an inexperienced Bulldogs side, beating them by 22 points to kickstart their VFLW campaign.

"It was really impressive to see the work that we did in preseason pay off," VFLW head coach Brett Gourley told NMFC Media. 


The Dogs piled on the pressure early in the first quarter with repeated entries into the forward 50 to lead the count 10-2 early on. The home side had control over general play in the early parts of the quarter but it was Kangas debutant Matilda Zander who kicked the first goal of the game, assisted by Felicity Theodore and Audrey Rhodes.

BULLDOGS v KANGAROOS Full match coverage and stats

During an afternoon where the state of the game ebbed and flowed for both sides, North Melbourne managed to record a game-high 28-point lead after the first change, however the advantage was taken back to four points heading into the half-time break.

The Kangaroos bursted out of the gate kicking the two of the first three goals of the third quarter, skipping out to a 17-point lead. 

"For us it wasn’t about changing anything, we felt like we played some really good footy, but to their (the Dogs) credit we were challenged three or four times," he said.

"A sign of a really good team is when you’re challenged you continue to bounce back and fight forward."

The surge was led by new small forward Tahlia Meier who finished the game with an impressive two goals and 16 disposals in her North Melbourne debut, after playing for the Bulldogs last season. 

Following up her best and fairest winning campaign, Rhodes was strong in midfield collecting 14 disposals, to go with six tackles and one goal, while fellow onballer Maddie Di Cosmo finished with 18 disposals, 13 tackles and seven clearances.

Dojiok dominates in Roo debut

Recruit Nyakoat Dojiok had a stellar North Melbourne debut. She finished the game off with one goal, 12 disposals and four tackles producing energy all over the field.

"She’s really important for us, she can do some miraculous things up forward which I'm sure most people witnessed today,” Gourley said. 

"She can kick the ball a long way and she can take some great marks, but some of her pressure, spoils and smothers were what I thought were best about her game today."

WESTERN BULLDOGS     0.4    4.4    5.4    6.7  (43)     
NORTH MELBOURNE      3.2    5.2    9.5    10.5  (65)     

Western Bulldogs: Saulitis 2, McLeod, Klingbeil, Bishop
North Melbourne:
Paterno 2, Meier 2, Dojiok, Ling, Rhodes, Zander, Guy, Sheridan

North Melbourne: Guy, Meier, Di Cosmo, Dojiok, Hales, Ling


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