If Round 1 is any guide, it could be a tough season for the AFLW expansion sides.
Four new teams burst onto the scene in 2020 and all suffered first-up defeats against established opponents.
The results will lead to further questions about the depth of talent available to the new sides this season.
But the common theme emanating from each was that it was positive to get their first games and associated pressure out of the way.
St Kilda coach Peta Searle felt her side would be much better for the run after fielding 11 debutantes in a 25-point defeat to the Bulldogs at Moorabbin.
“It’s good to get it out of the way, take a deep breath, anchor your feet and go again,” she said.
“Having said that, I have high expectations of this group.
“We’re an expansion club but who cares?
“We’re good enough to win games of footy (and) we’re expected to win games of footy, so there will be a lot to learn out of today.”
The Bulldogs kicked the opening three goals to set the tone for their 6.3 (39) to 2.2 (14) win in front of a capacity crowd of about 8000 as the Saints lost Nadia von Bertouch to a suspected serious knee injury.
Collingwood lost boom recruit Brianna Davey to a leg injury in an incident that soured their first-ever Round 1 victory, by 27 points over newcomers West Coast at Victoria Park.
GWS prevailed against Gold Coast despite only kicking one goal in a 1.3 (9) to 1.2 (8) slugfest in dismal conditions.
The two produced the lowest combined match score in AFLW and AFL/VFL history.
Brisbane mastered wet conditions to stun last year’s premiers Adelaide, kicking the opening three goals and withstanding a late fightback in their 5.4 (34) to 3.3 (21) win.
Lions star Lauren Arnell was the only multiple goal-kicker as Anne Hatchard set a new AFLW record with 34 disposals for the Crows.
Daisy Pearce’s return was cause for Melbourne to celebrate and they did it with gusto, edging out flag favourites North Melbourne 3.4 (22) to 3.2 (20) in a see-sawing contest.
Young forward Eden Zanker sparked the Demons as the Kangaroos were left counting the cost of a defeat made worse when Daria Bannister suffered an AC joint injury.
Carlton opened the season in fine style on Friday night by controlling contested possession and field position to walk all over newcomers Richmond, winning 6.12 (48) to 2.2 (14).
In the final game of the round, Fremantle goalsneak Sabreena Duffy booted four goals to lead the Dockers to a 16-point win over Geelong in Perth.