Richmond coach Ryan Ferguson admits his side were “taught a lesson” by North Melbourne in their one-sided AFLW clash at Punt Road Oval.
The Kangaroos kept themselves in touch with the competition’s pace-setters by thumping Richmond by 35 points on Friday.
A week after kicking the first six goals against Geelong, Richmond were brought back down to earth with a thud, conceding the first six to the Kangaroos.
“They jumped us,” Ferguson said.
“If you’re just a fraction off against the really good teams … that was probably the first time we saw with our group I felt like our energy was low, and on the flip side they (North) were brilliant.
“Their competitiveness, game intent and mental sharpness was elite.”
North Melbourne set up the 10.7 (67) to 5.2 (32) victory in the first half as they ran amok while holding Richmond goalless, making it apparent this was a game between a premiership contender and a side that has now won only once in 12 games.
“Our first half was the most complete football we’ve played so far,” Roos coach Darren Crocker said.
“Everything just came together. All the different concepts and things we’ve actually been working on and that we went into the game with, they came together really well.”
Richmond were already heavy underdogs heading into the clash, and their task was made even tougher when star midfielder Monique Conti pulled out late with a hamstring injury.
And the Tigers’ headaches might not end there, with forward Courtney Wakefield likely to come under scrutiny from the match review officer for a crude trip on Ashleigh Riddell in the first quarter.
The emphatic result made it two wins on the trot for North who have tightened up the logjam at the top of the ladder, with just one game separating the top six heading into the weekend.
Save for the third quarter, when Richmond kicked three goals and held North scoreless, the Kangaroos owned the contest.
Emma Majesty was the dominant force on the ground in the first half, with an impressive display in the ruck which included two goals, while Jasmine Garner had 22 touches and one goal.
Ellie McKenzie was Richmond’s best with 16 possessions, while Conti’s late replacement Christina Bernardi made an impact with two goals.
Despite kicking into the breeze in the first quarter, North blew Richmond away to boot the opening three goals after dominating play with a staggering 46 more disposals (81-35) and 26 more marks (33-7).
North did not let up in the second term, kicking another three majors, including a pair to Majesty, to take an unassailable 39-point lead at halftime.
Only two Tigers had more than five disposals heading into the second half, and while the hosts were able to trim the margin to 21 points in the third period, the Kangaroos reasserted themselves, booting four of the final six majors to cap off a commanding display.