Brisbane has emerged as the competition’s premiership favourites, securing a healthy 22-point victory at Metricon Stadium against the Adelaide Crows.
On the back of a relatively even opening quarter, which saw Adelaide hold a slim three-point lead on the back of a classy finish by Teah Charlton, Brisbane would come out firing in the second term.
Brisbane came out with a point to prove in the second quarter and used its pace to its advantage, keeping Adelaide scoreless while piling on four straight majors. Suddenly, it was Brisbane who held a 22-point advantage into the main break, a margin that would ultimately be a bridge too far for the visiting side.
Brisbane bringing the pressure
One of the key components to the win for Brisbane was the pressure it brought from minute one, suffocating Adelaide of any free-flowing ball movement, which has been a key feature of its success throughout season seven.
Brisbane as a side recorded 62 tackles compared to Adelaide’s 40 and also had 27 more disposals, allowing it to get on top very early in the contest and continue the pressure through the remaining quarters.
This included some strong individual efforts on the tackling front, with Catherine Svarc laying 12 tackles, Ally Anderson (seven), and Emily Bates (six).
The pressure was high from the opening stages and was represented across every position, which enabled the home side to get on top. This remained well into the night, which proved to be pivotal in securing the win for Brisbane.
Lions clinical in attack
Another important part of the win for Brisbane was the efficiency in the way it used the ball, particularly from an attacking point of view. Despite winning the game by a healthy 22-point margin, Brisbane recorded just two more scoring shots than Adelaide.
Sophie Conway put together a strong performance in attack, finishing with 15 disposals, four marks, and two goals. Conway was involved in a controversial incident with Crows captain Chelsea Randall. However, she did not let it impact her performance.
With quality key forwards at both ends of the ground, it was Jesse Wardlaw who got the best of what is generally a rock-solid Adelaide backline. Wardlaw extended her lead as the AFLW’s leading goal-kicker, kicking two goals.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the ground, Adelaide failed to convert from its 34 inside 50s, recording seven behinds from its 11 goal attempts.
Brisbane will be looking to stay on top of the AFLW ladder when it travels to Skybus Stadium to take on expansion side Hawthorn next Saturday night at 7:10 pm AEDT. Meanwhile, Adelaide will return home to face the in-form Geelong Cats at Unley Oval next Friday evening from 5. 40pm AEDT.
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