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Garner stars as slow-starting Roos beat Geelong in AFLW


Jasmine Garner has produced a standout display as North Melbourne overcame a rare poor start to post a nine-point AFLW win over Geelong at GMHBA Stadium.

The Kangaroos were held goalless in the first half for just the second time in their history, but they stormed home with four unanswered goals after the main break to post a 4.7 (31) to 3.4 (22) win on Friday.

Garner was influential in the win, tallying 32 disposals, 12 clearances, 11 tackles, 600 metres gained and a 50m goal on the run.

North ruck Emma King was a rock with seven marks to go with 25 hitouts, while forward Bella Eddey kicked two vital goals.

Kangaroos defender Jasmine Ferguson played an excellent shutdown role on star Geelong forward Chloe Scheer, who managed just 0.1 from three disposals.

It came a week after Scheer booted five goals in a thumping win over Sydney.

Georgie Prespakis (27 disposals, one goal) battled hard for the Cats, but North Melbourne controlled the midfield battle after halftime to secure their third straight win to start the season.

The Cats, who are now 0-6 in head-to-head battles against the Kangaroos, are 2-1 for the season.

Geelong's Julia Crockett-Grills could be in trouble for a dump tackle on Mia King.

King was assessed on the sidelines for concussion, but was cleared to return.

It was the Mikayla Bowen show in the opening quarter as the Geelong speedster nailed two goals from holding-the-ball free kicks.

A running goal from Geelong star Prespakis proved to be the only major of the second quarter, with the Cats heading to the long break with a 17-point lead.

The Kangaroos won the inside 50m count 20-17 in the opening half, but only had three behinds to show for it.

It marked just the second time North Melbourne had been held goalless in a first half - the other one being against Collingwood in round four, 2021, when they only scored 0.8 (8) for the match.

The Kangaroos finally found their groove in the third term, scoring three goals to surge to a three-point lead.

Eddey's close-range goal early in the fourth quarter proved to be the final dagger as the Kangaroos closed out victory.

North Melbourne coach Darren Crocker was thrilled to get the win, especially considering forward Kate Shierlaw was a late withdrawal with hamstring tightness.

"She was so close to playing," Crocker said.

"She just had a little bit of general soreness throughout the week.

"She did the warm-up before the game, but we thought it was better to take the conservative approach."

Geelong defender Claudia Gunjaca, who stood tall with 19 disposals and seven marks, was proud of her team's efforts.

"North Melbourne are a great side, and props to them, they've been doing really well this year," she said.

"But we're contenders as well, and we'll show our fight for the rest of the season to show that we're definitely up there too."