How They Got Here
Coming off a disappointing end to the season last year, losing to Carlton, the Lions were keen to start the year off. A hard fought win against the Tigers in Round 1 set the Lions up for a win early on.
The Lions reeled off consecutive wins until they came up against Grand Final nemesis, the Crows, who showed exactly why they have been the most decorated team in the (brief) history in the five seasons of AFLW.
The Lions bounced back from their defeat to the Crows with a strong win against the Dockers, and a blowout victory over the Giants.
Courtney Hodder and Dakota Davidson were the architects of back to back victories over the Dockers and Kangaroos with impressive feats of athleticism and skill.
Rolling into the finals, the Lions had to find their feet again after losing to the Demons ahead of the finals.
A tough loss meant that the Lions used the week off to find themselves and some form, before hosting their first ever final against the Magpies.
A close, tight win over the Magpies last week sealed their spot in the Grand Final this week, for a third Grand Final for this young core.
Courtney Hodder, coming off a badly broken leg (and a dalliance with Rugby League), delivered on the promise of her junior career, where she was a three-time u18 All Australian.
Hodder has flashed her speed, forward pressure and bruising tackling repeatedly this season, helping the Lions crush teams inside forward 50 and convert mistakes into goals.
Belle Dawson, Round 1 AFLW Rising Star nominee delivered on the promise she showed as a highly touted junior, fitting in seamlessly into the Lions outfit.
Dawson has become a key member of the Lions midfield rotation, and a clutch clearance player when the chips are down in the middle of the ground.
Nat Grider transformed over the COVID-19 offseason from a devastating lockdown defender into a devastating intercept defender.
The 20 year old has become a leading defender for rebounding out of defensive 50 and kickstarting the Lions attack.
More AFLW News
Facing up against the Magpies, in the face of being flown down at the last minute to escape the COVID-19 lockdown, flew down and faced then-undefeated Magpies and defeated them . The win was on the back of Ally Anderson with 26 touches and Bree Koenen clamping down Chloe Molloy.
Cathy Svarc was everywhere, tagging Bri Davey, and then kicking a crucial goal late in the third term to give them a lead that they would not relinquish.
Adelaide after already facing up once.
The Lions took on the Crows in Round 4 and came up short, with Erin Phillips re-asserting her position as one of the best AFLW players, with four goals against the Lions.
The Lions will rely on their strong backline, and Bree Koenen to try and keep Phillips quiet, knowing that she’s already been a two-time best on ground on the big dance.
Grand Final Preview
2021 AFLW Grand Final Preview: The Checkside Special Episode
Cathy Svarc has built a reputation this year as a tagger, capable of running with stars of the competition. She’s taken some major scalps, including Bri Davey when the Lions first took on the Magpies, and Kangaroos superstar Jasmine Garner.
She will have a massive challenge this week, taking on one of the Crows’ gun midfielders.
Tip for Saturday
Dakota Davidson will look to have another breakout game after a dominant season as a key forward this year. She will need to kick a bag to keep the Lions in the game with Erin Phillips at the other end.