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AFLW game analysis: Round 2

AFLW Highlights | Carlton v GWS The Blues and Giants clash in the Round 2 of AFLW action.

Carlton maintained its unbeaten start to the inaugural NAB AFL Women’s League with a gritty 13-point victory over Greater Western Sydney at Ikon Park on Saturday.

The official crowd of 7,884 filled the stands of Ikon Park in perfect conditions where GWS challenged Carlton early, before the Blues made a stirring comeback to emerge victorious, 7.5.47 to 5.4.34.

Carlton marquee players Bri Davey and Darcy Vescio combined for 27 disposals, seven marks and two goals, while Shae Audley (12 disposals, five tackles, one goal) and Nat Exon (nine disposals, five tackles) added inside grunt and breakaway speed at the contest.

With vice-captain Madeline Keryk sidelined due to soreness, Audley filled the void in midfield with aplomb. The 28-year-old school teacher recorded a game-high four clearances and equal game-high five tackles, with a crucial third-quarter goal to boot.

Audley celebrates her third-quarter goal. (Photo: AFL Media)

Audley had her assistants too, with midfielder Katie Loynes also having five tackles and a game-high three score assists. 

Davey’s 20 disposals were six higher than the next best in Danielle Hardiman (14 disposals), highlighting her dominance for the second successive week.

The Blues' No.1 also had a game-high 14 clearances and nine intercepts in a best-on-ground performance from defence.

Despite having two more inside 50s than the Blues, the Giants struggled to hit the scoreboard when it mattered, only for the home side to kick five of the last six majors of the match.

The Blues bettered the Giants in the second half after a slow start, with Gabriella Pound, Loynes, Exon, Alison Downie and Audley combining for 25 tackles to outwork the Giants.

AFLW coach Damien Keeping would’ve been very pleased with his side’s kicking efficiency of 61 per cent to the Giants’ 52 per cent - the second successive week the Blues have been on top in that area.

The Blues also led the Giants in disposals (193-154), matched them in clearances (24 apiece) and still managed to win despite losing the tackle count (56-62).

The undefeated Blues hit the road for their first interstate trip in Round 3, with a top-of-the-table clash against league leader Adelaide at Thebarton Oval on Sunday.