Saint down with knee injury in AFLW loss

Shayne Hope
Ellie Blackburn led the midfield superbly for the Bulldogs

AFLW's lingering knee injury curse didn't spare St Kilda on their competition debut as Nadia von Bertouch fell victim during Sunday's loss to the Western Bulldogs.

One of 11 Saints first-gamers, von Bertouch went down during the second half of the 25-point defeat, played in front of a capacity crowd of about 8000 at Moorabbin.

St Kilda coach Peta Searle confirmed the 24-year-old utility would be sent for scans on a possible torn anterior cruciate ligament on Sunday night.

"Hopefully for Nadia it's OK," Searle said.

"We've got no indication, none at all, but who knows, possibly an ACL.

"It was when they came across in a contest out on the wing.

"It would be a bit of a shame because Nadia's worked hard on her body to get right to play, so I wish her all the best and I'm sure she'll be back."

The Bulldogs piled on three consecutive goals inside the opening 10 minutes of the match to set up their 6.3 (39) to 2.2 (14) win but lost ruck Celine Moody to an ankle injury before quarter-time.

They then held their collective breath as luckless young star Isabel Huntington was helped from the field by trainers during the last quarter after a head knock.

Huntington played just three games last year as she battled knee complaints and has managed just five games since drafted with pick No.1 in 2017.

Both Huntington and Moody were later cleared of major damage but are in some doubt for next Friday night's meeting with fellow round-one winners Melbourne at Whitten Oval.

The injuries put a bit of a dampener on an otherwise impressive performance by the Dogs.

Kim Rennie was called up to take on Moody's ruck duties and serviced a midfield superbly led by star on-baller Ellie Blackburn.

New recruit Danielle Marshall became the first American player to grace the AFLW arena and celebrated in fine style, registering a goal with her first kick.

No.1 draft pick Gabby Newton impressed, while Hannah Scott and Kirsty Lamb used their experience to their advantage.

Bonnie Toogood was the game's only multiple goal kicker.

Saints legend Nathan Burke, in his first year as coach of the Bulldogs women, was pleased.

"To the girls' credit they were outstanding in that first quarter, so it shows that they came with the right mindset to play the game the way we wanted to," he said.