Brisbane Lions have made a perfect response to losing last year's AFLW grand final, beating the 2017 premiers Adelaide Crows by 12 points at Norwood Oval.
Both sides had a point to prove, with the pre-season predictions not tipping Adelaide to repeat, and the Brisbane Lions were too strong in the end, winning 4.7 (31) to 3.1 (19).
The Crows had the worst possible lead-in to the match, with last year's best and fairest, Erin Phillips, ruled out of the club's opener with a quad injury.
Adelaide started strongly in warm conditions, but the Crows could not take their chances early.
The Brisbane Lions desperately wanted revenge on Adelaide for their six-point loss in last year's grand final, and they took control in the first quarter with a goal from debutant Sophie Conway and forward defensive pressure.
Lions forward Sabrina Frederick-Traub caused all sorts of problems for the Crows defence — and if her set-shot kicking had matched her ability to take overhead marks, the Lions could have kicked away.
They managed to keep the Crows scoreless in the opening quarter to lead by eight points, but the home crowd's nerves were eased in the second term as Brisbane's intensity dropped off slightly.
Former W-League and Junior Matildas player Ruth Wallace showed her foot-skills to bounce one through for Adelaide, while ex-basketballer Eloise Jones displayed good judgement of the ball in flight to run onto a ball over the back and snap a great goal as the Crows turned things around to lead by 10 points at half-time.
The third quarter was like a replay of the first, with Brisbane taking control and repeatedly threatening to score, without producing the goods.
The Lions had 13 inside 50s to just one, but Frederick-Traub missed another shot, although Western Australian native Jess Wuetschner booted two majors to give the visitors a five-point buffer going into the final quarter.
Adelaide needed a quick start, but the home side could not get the ball into attack often enough.
Midway through the final term Frederick-Traub took another mark, whirled and chipped the ball perfectly for Kaitlyn Ashmore, who marked well inside 50 and converted to boost the lead to 11 points with seven-and-a-half minutes left.
The Lions were doing most of the attacking even towards the end, and they kept control in the final stages to run out the win.
The Crows will be concerned that they failed to score a single point in the second half, while the victory is a perfect start for the Lions as they plan another run at the grand final.
Pearce, Cranston star as Demons get past the Giants
In the earlier match, the Melbourne Demons were pushed all the way by GWS before kicking a late goal to seal a 7.3 (45) to 6.3 (39) victory in a thriller at Casey Fields.
Melbourne skipper Daisy Pearce was kept quiet in the first half, but she finished the game with 19 disposals, and she took a number of key marks in defence in the latter stages to keep the Demons in the hunt.
Richelle Cranston was the star for Melbourne, booting three goals.
She kicked two and set up another in the final quarter in an impressive outing.
The Giants had finished bottom of the ladder in season one of the AFLW, but with Phoebe McWilliams (three goals) and ex-Irish gaelic footballer Cora Staunton (one goal) giving GWS options up forward, the visitors showed they would pose a tougher challenge in 2018.
The win for Melbourne was soured by a back injury to Karen Paxman, who starred in the first quarter, gathering eight possessions before being helped from the ground.