Conti leads Tigers past Saints in AFLW

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Monique Conti
    Australian rules footballer

Richmond sensation Monique Conti has inspired the Tigers to their first ever AFLW opening-round win, starring in a 38-point victory over St Kilda.

Dual-code athlete Conti had her first pre-season not interrupted by WNBL commitments and was on another level at Frankston's Skybus Stadium on Friday night, racking up 29 disposals, nine clearances and 17 contested possessions in the 10.1 (61) to 3.5 (23) win.

It was a dominant performance from Richmond, who kept St Kilda goalless in the second and third quarters amid a run of nine consecutive goals.

Conti was well-supported by Tessa Lavey (19 disposals) and Maddy Brancatisano while Katie Brennan and Courtney Wakefield (two goals apiece) offered a presence up front.

Richmond coach Ryan Ferguson praised Conti's development off a full pre-season.

"She wins all of our shuttles and our running, her workrate this season has gone to another level, so that has to give her confidence," Ferguson said.

"We know she can play the game and to be able to run all day, get inside and get outside, tackle but also win the ball.

"To have that backing and consistency in her training, it certainly has to help."

It was a dominant performance from Richmond, who kept St Kilda goalless in the second and third quarters amid a run of nine consecutive goals.

Conti was well-supported by Tessa Lavey (19 disposals) and Maddy Brancatisano while Katie Brennan and Courtney Wakefield (two goals apiece) offered a presence up front.

At the other end, Harriet Cordner and Sarah D'Arcy marshalled the Tigers' defence with aplomb.

In St Kilda's first game under Nick Dal Santo, Tilly Lucas-Rodd (20 disposals), Tarni White and Olivia Vesely were busy throughout.

The Tigers had seven debutants while St Kilda had three and were without Kate Shierlaw, Nicola Xenos and Molly McDonald due to the AFL's health and safety protocols.

St Kilda drew first blood when White launched a long bomb from outside 50.

Both teams traded quickfire goals but when Richmond's Christina Bernardi kicked a slick goal late in the first quarter, it proved the first of nine unanswered majors.

After trailing by a point at quarter-time, the Tigers' direct, attacking approach flipped their deficit into a nine-point lead at the main break.

"We did have confidence that if we stuck to our game, played our role, each and every one of us and and played our game and what we value, that eventually we could break it open and it did go that way," Ferguson said.

Richmond seized control after half-time and Bernardi's second goal early in the final term put the result beyond doubt, with goals to Brennan and Meagan Kiely rounding out the thumping win.

St Kilda's Jessica Matin dobbed a late consolation goal to finish off a difficult night for the Saints.

"We're clearly disappointed," Dal Santo said.

"We've had an enormous pre-season, as all teams have, getting ready for one particular game.

"A lot of emphasis and time and energy gets put into this one game and we just didn't execute. I thought the Tigers were fantastic."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting