AFLW premiers Bulldogs overcome Cats

Deanna Berry of the Bulldogs celebrates a goal during the 2019 NAB AFLW Round 02 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Geelong Cats. Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images

Reigning AFLW premiers Western Bulldogs have flexed their muscles, downing newcomers Geelong by 18 points at Whitten Stadium.

After unfurling their 2018 premiership flag, the Dogs snatched the lead early in Saturday night's second term and didn't look back on the way to a 5.4 (34) to 2.4 (16) victory.

Co-captain Ellie Blackburn was sensational with 19 disposals, nine tackles and a goal, while Kirsty Lamb's inside-midfield prowess ensured the Bulldogs dominated the clearances.

An inaccurate Geelong were handed a reality check in front of a crowd of 8612 after defeating Collingwood in their first AFLW game last week.

Star recruit Phoebe McWilliams made an ideal start in her Cats debut, slotting a cool set shot from 30m out for the first goal of the match.

But the former GWS key forward, who missed last week with hamstring issue, missed two gettable third-quarter chances to finish with 1.2.

The Bulldogs were slow out of the gates and trailed at quarter-time before Deanna Berry opened the second term with a goal of the season contender.

Seizing on a Geelong turnover, Berry burst away from her opponent at speed and ran 30 metres before kicking into an open goal.

It opened the floodgates for the Bulldogs, who quickly extended their lead through Bonnie Toogood's classy roving finish and Blackburn's thumping set shot from 45m out.

Little was meanwhile going right for the Cats, who were fighting a strong breeze.

Aasta O'Connor copped grief from her former teammates after lining up for goal on the stroke of half-time and dropping the ball on her approach.

O'Connor limped to the sidelines with a corked leg in the third quarter and played no further part in the game.

Debutant Georgia Clarke's stellar goal on the run gave the Cats some much-needed momentum but the class of the Dogs' midfield rose to the top during a tense goalless final quarter.

Star forward Katie Brennan (0.1) was kept quiet but still managed 10 disposals and five marks.