Mon, Feb 6, 11:27am by Head Editor
It was a landmark weekend for not only the AFL but women’s sport in general with the AFLW’s opening round launching the competition in style.
Friday night was truly a spectacle that had to be seen to be believed with the league forced to lock the gates at Carlton’s Ikon Park with the 24,500-capacity venue full to the brim.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan was filmed outside the ground, apologising to the fans who turned up but were unable to gain entry.
The public’s interest didn’t end there with punters turning up in big numbers to the rest of the games in round one and bookmaker Sportsbet also reporting that more bets were placed on the Blues v Pies clash than all the NBL games on the same weekend and two of the five A-League games.
Two other round one fixtures, the Bulldogs v Dockers and Melbourne v Brisbane matches, also received more support from punters than both the Phoenix v Wanderers and Glory v Jets A-League matches.
There were some huge changes to the premiership market as well.
The girls from the West handled the blustery conditions better than their fellow Premiership contender and ran out 32 point winners in front of a capacity crowd of more than 10,000.
Emma Kearney, who also plays WBBL for the Melbourne Stars, racked up 21 disposals to help lead her side to the first-up win.
Carlton were also dominant in their win over the Pies, winning 7.4 (46) to 1.5 (11). Darcy Vescio booted four of the Blues’ seven goals and took a number of high-flying grabs in a best-on-ground performance.
The win saw the Navy Blues move into $3.25 and second favouritism for the inaugural women’s flag.
Sportsbet’s Christian Jantzen said “fans voted with their feet in favour of the AFL Women’s competition and punters have done the same over the course of the opening round.”
AFLW Premiers 2017 (Sportsbet)
Western Bulldogs $2.75
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