In the Round 1 grand final rematch, the four points were always going to the team that could get through the iron defence of the other. This time it was Adelaide that was able to get the job done.
One of the big questions coming into the game was who the Crows were going to put in ruck to replace the inactive Rhiannon Metcalfe, against the strong Tahlia Hickie.
The job was left to Caitlin Gould, who did not disappoint. She matched Hickie in the ruck throughout the game, but it was her mark in the first quarter that led to the first goal of the game that highlighted her performance.
Brisbane was back to its best early on, dominating the clearances and ending the quarter plus seven on inside 50s. The Crows backline were able to stay composed though, and limited the impact the Lions were able to have on the scoreboard.
“To get out of that first quarter with the lead was really important for us, our defenders were very good all day but particularly early on,” Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke told media post-game.
There was devastation early on in the Brisbane camp when superstar Kate Lutkins fell awkwardly after chasing Danielle Ponter. Scans are yet to confirm the full extent of the injury, but Lutkins did not return to the field, which left a hole in the strong Brisbane backline. This was followed in the second quarter by an ankle injury to Dakota Davidson.
“Losing two key players in consecutive quarters obviously throws you into a bit of chaos,” Brisbane coach Craig Starcevich said.
“I thought our people stuck at it reasonably well, but the opposition set the game up early from the pressure perspective.”
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The teams continued to match each other on the stat sheet throughout the game, but the Crows were able to find space in the forward line and convert goals on to the scoreboard.
Whilst Brisbane was able to keep Erin Phillips quiet, Ashleigh Woodland stood up to kick four of the team’s six goals in one of her best performances in the league.
“It can be tough down there, with limited opportunities at times and while it wasn’t a high possession game, it was a really impactful performance,” Clarke said.
Although the Crows were able to come away with the points over the injured Lions, there is still room for improvement coming into next week’s game.
“Even though we were more efficient than them going inside 50, we probably didn’t use it to our forwards’ advantage as much as well as we could have,” Clarke said.
Brisbane will head back home, awaiting the results of scans on its injured duo before looking to fill their positions when it tackles Carlton next week.
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