The Brisbane Lions have dominated in an AFLW grand final rematch against Adelaide.The late scratching of reigning AFLW best and fairest Erin Phillips has proved costly for the Adelaide Crows in a much-anticipated grand-final rematch.
The Lions looked dominant on Saturday night against the defending premiers, sealing a 4.7 (31)-3.1 (19) win before a crowd of 11,120 at Norwood Oval in Adelaide.
The Crows ruled Phillips out an hour before the first bounce after she strained her quad on Friday night at training.
After the match, coach Bec Goddard conceded Phillips was a very important player but said her withdrawal was an opportunity for other players.
“One on one across the ground, I reckon we had one winner tonight and that was Chelsea Randall,” she told reporters.
“So there’s a lot of work for the other girls to sort of lift up.”
After a goalless first quarter, Randall starred in the second, converting a 50m penalty to put the Crows 10 points ahead at halftime.
Brisbane coach Craig Starcevich called the penalty dodgy and said the club would be flagging it on Monday morning in an umpiring review.
He said the decision and conservative kicking on the Lions’ part had put the side down at halftime.
“At that point, I thought we were right in the game but the scoreboard didn’t reflect it at that point.”
Brisbane forward Jess Wuetschner booted two goals in the third quarter to put the visitors in front, and their lead grew to 12 by the final siren.
Forward Sabrina Frederick-Taub took 10 marks in a performance described by Starcevich as enormous.
“Put the ball in her area and she looked like marking everything,” he said.
Kate Lutkins, Emma Zielke and Alexandra Anderson also impressed.
In a promising sign for the Crows, debutantes Eloise Jones and Ruth Wallace kicked two of their three goals.
Adelaide will travel to Melbourne next week to take on the Demons, while Brisbane will play their first home game against the Western Bulldogs.