Carlton's scoring options sink St Kilda

Bruce Matthews
Carlton have cruised to a 21-point AFLW win over St Kilda at Ikon Park in Melbourne

Carlton's superior options up forward set up a comfortable 21-points win against a dogged St Kilda at Ikon Park on Saturday night.

The Blues had several contributors on the scoresheet in the 8.2 (50) to 4.5 (29) victory that extends last season's runners-up to a healthy 4-1 in the AFLW competition.

While the midfield battles were generally halved, with Maddy Prespakis busy for the Blues and Georgia Patrikios equally tireless for the Saints, it was that variety inside the forward 50 by the home team that applied the scoreboard pressure after a high-scoring opening quarter.

Carlton coach Daniel Harford vowed to continue with a flexible and varied forward line for the rest of the AFLW season to try to confuse opposition defences.

"It (versatility) is really important because it becomes tough to defend and match up against. We were able to go a bit taller tonight, a bit smaller, throw a bit of speed in there," Harford said.

"Most defensive units are pretty stable through the league, but if you keep throwing different things at them, it becomes a bit more of a 'hang on, how do we deal with this?'.

"So if we get on the front foot in that regard, you may be able to sneak one or two goals. And we know one or two goals is a big difference in this competition."

Both teams possessed dangerous targets deep in their forward 50 zones. Carlton had the strong-marking Tayla Harris lurking at every forward entry and St Kilda players instinctively sought out Caitlin Greiser, one of the longest kicks in the competition.

But the Saints were far too reliant on Greiser. Fellow tall forward Kate Shierlaw strived to mount a last-term fightback but the Saints paid a price for butchering scoring chances in the opening minutes.

"We were down four goals and had the first four shots (in the last term) and they were all gettable. We should've won the game," St Kilda coach Peta Searle said.

"It's the little things that don't go our way that hurt us because our brand of footy is good enough to win games."

Carlton blew open the contest in the third quarter with unanswered goals from Brooke Walker, Lucy McEvoy and Nicola Stevens.

Not surprisingly, Stevens was on the end of a long, high ball from Harris after the key forward pulled down another towering mark.

That flurry of Blues goals virtually sealed the win as weary players headed to their three-quarter time huddles.