A THIRD-TERM masterclass from Melbourne has seen the reigning premier sail away to a 42-point win over Collingwood at Ikon Park to open the 2023 NAB AFLW season.

The Demons had started the night unfurling the premiership flag with retired skipper Daisy Pearce watching on, but it was the Pies who got the first proper break, leading by 14 points halfway through the second quarter before the Dees made their charge.


The Dees had the best defence in the competition last year, but the Pies were able to catch them with a shaky structure on a few occasions in the first quarter, creating plenty of space for Tarni Brown, who took an excellent mark with the flight and ran on to convert.

Eden Zanker cut the margin to just one point in the opening minute of the second half with a high floating snap over her head, and she kicked 2.3 for the night.

Zanker's first was quickly followed by arguably the best passage of play for the night, the Dees' sharp overlap run coming to the fore for Shelley Heath's first to take back the lead.

After shaking off some rust, Melbourne's stingy defence held Collingwood to just three behinds for the second half.


Up next
Melbourne has its first road trip for the season, travelling to Canberra to face Greater Western Sydney. Round two will see Collingwood host its first game for 2023, coming against Fremantle at Victoria Park.

MELBOURNE          1.4     2.7     7.11    10.13  (73)
COLLINGWOOD     2.0     4.3     4.4     4.7      (31)

Melbourne: Bannan 3, Heath 2, Zanker 2, Campbell, Hore, Harris
Collingwood: Cann, Brown, Morris-Dalton, Davey

Melbourne: Hanks, Mithen, Bannan, Purcell, Zanker, Heath, Hore
Collingwood: Davey, Bonnici, Rowe, Cann, Morris-Dalton, Brazill

Melbourne: Nil
Collingwood: James (foot), Brazill (nose)

Crowd: 8,412 at Ikon Park