PURE ELATION: Brisbane Lion Dakota Davidson celebrates her first ever AFLW goal against the Geelong Cats in extraordinary style. Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images
PURE ELATION: Brisbane Lion Dakota Davidson celebrates her first ever AFLW goal against the Geelong Cats in extraordinary style. Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Rookie explodes: Ipswich product’s magic AFLW moment

“I’ve never felt anything like it,” Ipswich born and bred Brisbane Lion Dakota Davidson said reflecting after banging home her first ever AFLW goal on Sunday.

Deep in the third term Davidson faked a kick before sidestepping a would-be tackler and snapping truly to drive the Sherrin through the sticks and inspire her teammates, providing them the impetus to close out the club’s first win at Geelong’s home ground since the men knocked off the Cats on their way to the 2003 flag.

While the vital play in just her second professional outing will be remembered as one of the goals of the year, it is the raucous celebration which followed that will not be forgotten in a hurry. The look of unmitigated joy on the rookie’s face said it all as she thrust her hands skyward and raced upfield with her teammates in pursuit to spark an outpouring of unbridled passion.

“The feeling just rushed through my body,” Davidson said.

“I don’t know, I just exploded. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do to celebrate. I was a bit lost. The feeling was phenomenal and I enjoyed the celebration.”

The 21-year-old said the magical moment in her fledgling career meant even more to her given it boosted the Lions when they needed it most.

She said the timely contribution filled her with belief all the sacrifices and excruciating training sessions undertaken during a gruelling pre-season had paid dividends.

“When you’re in training and you were about to give up but you kept going,” Davidson said.

“That is what you worked for. That moment is what I’ve worked for. Talk about living life to the fullest. I’ll never get that moment again and I’m so grateful to get that experience.”

The Lions trailed 19-8 at halftime but Davidson never felt like they were going to taste their first defeat of the campaign and return to the River City empty-handed.

Determined to earn the respect of rivals after being tagged pre-season easy beats, halftime offered the pride a chance to regroup and rectify a lack of intensity and errant kicking which had stifled them.

“We didn’t have our heads down and we weren’t kicking straight,” Davidson said.

“We got in the sheds and relaxed and rekindled. We said ‘we have come all this way as a unit and put in all that hard work – this isn’t who we are.’ We want to show the competition we’re not here to mess around. We went out all guns blazing and showed everyone. I loved it.”

Brisbane turned it around in the second half by involving their tall forwards and devoting greater numbers to crumb around contests. Their accuracy too improved as they registered five unanswered goals to blow Geelong off the GMHBA Stadium ground.

After slaying defending premiers Adelaide in round one the kings of the jungle are perched a win clear on top of Conference A on eight points.

Having started off the radar. opponents must now be awake to the threat the team spearheaded by the dangerous Jesse Tawhiao-Wardlaw poses. Wardlaw was instrumental up front against the Cats, bagging three goals and forming a neat combination with imposing centre-half forward Davidson.

“Wardlaw is a machine isn’t she,” Davidson said.

“She has a great set of hands. Those big marks get the crowd going.

“She doesn’t get fazed. She knows her weapons and uses them to advantage.”

Ominously for oppositions the attacking duo are certain to get better as their understanding of each other’s games and the standards required at AFLW level grows.

“We have created a nice little bond,” Davidson said.

“I have complete trust in her. I’ve seen her train, grow and play and she is an amazing athlete. She is a great character to have around. She is very humble and she never lets you down. I love playing beside her and the set-up we have in the forward line. I’m looking forward to playing with her and bettering our careers.”

Used to playing for University in front of 100 supporters, the former Ipswich Cat said she was not only adapting to the speed and intensity of AFLW but also to travelling and appearing before thousands of cheering fans.

She said though there were only a handful of Lions’ backers in Melbourne she could feel them urging her on when the game was on the line.

“It has been a fantastic couple of weeks,” she said.

“It was a phenomenal day and a phenomenal win.”

AFLW Rd 2 - Geelong Cats v Brisbane Lions
AFLW Rd 2 - Geelong Cats v Brisbane Lions

Ipswich’s Brisbane Lion Dakota Davidson acknowledges supporters.

Picture: Dylan Burns/Getty Images.

Ipswich’s Brisbane Lion Dakota Davidson acknowledges supporters.

Picture: Dylan Burns/Getty Images.