Cats dominate Bulldogs in opening-round AFLW triumph

Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS

Moving on from a heartbreaking two-point finals-series loss to North Melbourne in season seven, Geelong have begun the new campaign in style with a 48-point win over injury-ridden Western Bulldogs.

The Cats dominated the Bulldogs on Saturday, running out 10.5 (65) to 2.5 (17) victors at GMHBA Stadium in front of 4404 fans.

Georgie Prespakis (34 disposals, 10 clearances, 12 tackles) and Amy McDonald (28, nine, 12) were crucial in the midfield, helping the Cats to 35 inside-50s to the Bulldogs' 27.

Former Melbourne player Jacqueline Parry kicked the opening two majors for Geelong, with Gaelic football convert Aishling Moloney scoring a goal on her AFLW debut.

Club debutant Kate Surman also grabbed two majors, with McDonald, Nina Morrison, Chloe Scheer and Darcy Moloney booting one each.

Parry said the Cats' goal was to reach finals again after their disappointing end to last season.

"We want to take that momentum and hopefully do better this year," she told AAP.

"We're all pretty hungry to see what we can achieve as a group because we have a lot of belief.

"We knew that we put up a really good fight in that final and we were disappointed to fall short.

"And we knew that we had a big off-season coming up. We were able to build on growth last year, and we worked really well - my first few goals were just a reward for the team's hard work."

The Bulldogs went goalless in the first half, unable to answer five majors from the Cats despite an immense effort by All-Australian ruck Alice Edmonds (32 hitouts).

Skipper Ellie Blackburn (27 disposals, five clearances) and Kirsty Lamb (14 disposals, two clearances) were prolific for the Bulldogs but unable to quell the midfield threat posed by the surging Prespakis and McDonald.

The Bulldogs' midfield faced a further setback in the second quarter with Dominique Carruthers (eight disposals) subbed off injured.

Defender Elle Bennetts is another worry for the Bulldogs, having spent considerable time on the ground with suspected anterior cruciate ligament damage after a mid-air clash with Parry.

The Geelong clash was Bennetts' 50-game milestone.

Sarah Hartwig kicked the Bulldogs' only goals, putting her side on the board in the last five minutes of the third quarter before being subbed off in the final period with a potential corked thigh.

Geelong's 65 points on Saturday is the highest they have recorded in five meetings with the Bulldogs, surpassing their previous best of 37 from last season.