Mon, Mar 20, 4:37pm by Jake Equid
The Brisbane Lions have known for more than a week now that they’ll be playing in the inaugural AFL Women’s Grand Final. Heading into the final round this past weekend, there were two things that we didn’t know, their opponent and amazingly, the venue at which the landmark game would be played.
One of those questions was answered on Sunday when the Crows stormed past the Pies to book their spot in the decider. Following Melbourne’s big win over Fremantle on Saturday, the Crows had to beat the Magpies to qualify for the big one after spending most of the season in the top two, including three weeks on top of the ladder.
Four goals to Sarah Perkins and yet another dominant performance by their co-captain Erin Phillips helped the Crows secure a vital come-from-behind win.
Then, a couple of hours later, symbolically considering how tight this season has been, the last match of the regular season ended with the scores level between Brisbane and Carlton.
The Lions looked to have the game in control, leading by 24 points in the fourth term, before four quick goals to the Blues saw the match end in a draw, 6.1 (37) to 5.7 (37).
Inaccuracy cost the Lions a seventh straight win with the club kicking seven behinds to Carlton’s one in the second half, they peppered the goal but were unable to put the game to bed.
The AFL have done a lot of things right this season when it comes to promoting the women’s game, but as of lunchtime on Monday, in the week of the game, both clubs were still in the dark as to where the game would be played.
Last week, the Gabba surface – where the Lions wanted to host the Grand Final – was ruled fit to play on by Stadiums Queensland, but another inspection on Friday had the opposite result.
With that news, the Adelaide Oval was even raised as a possible venue, which would have removed Brisbane’s ‘home’ advantage altogether.
The last event at the Gabba was Adele’s concert three weeks ago, and despite Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium hosting the same singer last weekend and playing host to the Saints-Demons AFL clash this Saturday, the Gabba surface, somehow, didn’t recover in time.
With the venue still up in the air, a final inspection of the surface at the Gabba on Monday morning found the stadium’s turf was unsuitable to host the clash and shortly after 2pm AEDT on Monday, the AFL announced that the game would be played at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.
The Grand Final will commence at 2pm on Saturday and will act as a curtain raiser for the Gold Coast Suns v Brisbane Lions AFL match that will be held at 7pm.
AFLW Grand Final (Sportsbet)
Brisbane Lions $1.77
Adelaide Crows $2.05
Big Win Little Win
Brisbane 1-39 $1.83
Adelaide 1-39 $2.10
Brisbane 40+ $23
Adelaide 40+ $31
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