The stormy conditions at Drummoyne Oval were not enough to halt a determined Carlton outfit, claiming a big win by 21 points away from home against GWS.
The match was stopped for over half an hour at the quarter time break to allow a lightning storm to pass over, and Carlton would come out energised after the break to take complete control of the contest.
Carlton’s forward pressure and effective rebounding was telling as Brianna Davey repelled attack after attack, but disaster struck late in the contest as she was stretchered off the field.
Despite claiming the four points, the Blues are left to further count the costs as Tayla Harris looked to suffer a potentially serious shoulder injury seconds before the final siren.
The sun was shining until shortly before the first bounce, when the rain started to belt down and thunder threatened to cause complications.
But before lightning could strike, the Giants did.
Phoebe McWilliams looked to carry her excellent performance last week over to round two, earning a holding the ball decision against Breann Moody and converting expertly on a tight angle in the wet.
Though the early midfield dominance was with the Giants, the Blues wrestled control and peppered the GWS defence, but were unable to find the middle of the big sticks.
Darcy Vescio, Tayla Harris and Lauren Brazzale all went close from long range attempts, but the defence of Tanya Hetherington and Renee Tomkins made sure nothing would carry over the goal line.
As lightning passed over Drummoyne Oval, the players were called into the sheds at the quarter time break as the 4,952 supporters at the ground were left to brave the storm.
More than half an hour later, play resumed in somewhat comical perfect conditions.
The return to play would reap no positives for the Giants in the second quarter as Carlton continued pressing forward.
Giants clearance winner Britt Tully was assisted off the ground with an injured shoulder, and three missed opportunities later, Carlton led on the scoreboard.
The value of a goal in the conditions showed when defender Nicola Stevens crumbed expertly at the fall of the ball, snapping around the corner on her left to give Carlton a seven-point lead heading into the major break.
Though the work up forward was being done by the likes of Brazzale, Jess Hosking and Sophie Li, it was Brianna Davey’s long boot in the wet conditions that made the difference in the second term, able to clear multiple lines with one disposal and send the Blues into attack from deep in defence.
She led all comers in the first half with 11 disposals, ahead of the Giants’ Alicia Eva (10) and Jess Dal Pos (9), who was lively after a quiet game in round one.
The Giants had the ascendancy early in the second half, but again it would be the half-back transition of the Blues that made the difference.
With the GWS defence caught out, Katie Loynes was allowed a free run onto the ball when her opponent left her to go to the contest, and Loynes snapped truly to give the Blues a 13-point lead that seemed almost insurmountable in the wet conditions.
The story of the game for GWS was told when Renee Forth had a chance to score on the run, but she found herself in two minds.
Forth earned an opportunity from a set shot in a similar position shortly after, but the miss was telling.
To make matters worse for themselves, Nicola Barr gifted a cheapy to Darcy Vescio, her first goal of the season, for the Blues to blow the margin out to three straight kicks.
Giants captain Amanda Farrugia worked to the fall of the contest to have a set shot on the three-quarter time siren, but sprayed her attempt at a crucial moment.
It looked like we could be in for a good finish when Forth appeared to have found the middle of the sticks from a tight angle, but the umpires conferred and adjudicated that the ball had hit the post on the way through.
Just as everything looked to be going perfectly for the Blues, disaster struck as Davey was crunched in a tackle and agony was immediately painted across her face.
Davey was stretchered off the field the field with what looks like a possible break in her lower left leg.
Shortly before the siren, Tayla Harris looked to have suffered a shoulder dislocation in a solid tackle that could further derail Carlton’s season.
The renewed midfield effort of the Blues will be pleasing to the coaching staff as Jess and Sarah Hosking impacted the contest, the latter setting a new AFLW individual tackles record with 16, while Shae Audley did the hard work in close.
The Giants were simply outworked by the opposition as Britt Tully was taken from the ground early on, and it was too much for the likes of Courtney Gum and Alicia Eva to overcome.
GWS: 1.0, 1.0, 1.2, 1.3 (9)
Carlton: 0.4, 1.7, 3.7, 3.12 (30)
GWS: Phoebe McWilliams
Carlton: Nicola Stevens, Katie Loynes, Darcy Vescio
GWS: Alicia Eva (17), Amanda Farrugia (16), Courtney Gum (16)
Carlton: Brianna Davey (16), Shae Audley (14), Jess Hosking (14)