Though they had nothing to play for, the Magpies threw everything at the Crows. (AAP: Hamish Blair)
Adelaide’s dream of back to back AFLW premierships has been ended by Collingwood, with the Pies claiming a 53-32 win to ensure next Saturday’s grand final is contested by Brisbane and the Western Bulldogs.
Though Collingwood technically had nothing to play for, the Pies punished Adelaide for its errors and ran away with the win in a one-sided final term.
The loss will sting the Crows, who would have gone into the match confident of sealing another grand final berth, and coach Bec Goddard was blunt in her assessment of the performance.
“It was pretty sad, especially when you’re 10 points up at half-time and then you throw away a lead like that,” Goddard said.
“I think you can wear it when you’ve got four quarters of effort, but there were times in the game today when we didn’t have the level of effort required across the field, and Collingwood really capitalised.”
Despite her disappointment on the day, Goddard was philosophical about the Crows’ season and admitted her team did not deserve a spot in the decider.
AFLW tweet: Garner knocks it through and the Pies have surely done enough! #AFLWPiesCrows
“You can’t afford to lose more than two games, it was just like Melbourne last night. We’ve only lost three games for the season, and I’m still really proud of the effort the girls had.
“We had a great season. Backing up a premiership we had a lot of changes to the list, and we were also carrying a lot of injuries.
“We sort of got to where we were because we are a great group of people, and I can’t fault that.
“We just didn’t deserve to be in the grand final this year, and the two sides that are in there I’m sure will have a cracking contest next week.”
Chelsea Randall did not play the second half after suffering a concussion. (AAP: Hamish Blair)
The result may well have been different had Chelsea Randall, arguably the most influential player on the ground in the first half, had not been ruled out of the game with a concussion at half-time.
Randall made efforts to get back onto the field despite failing the test, but Goddard agreed the doctors made the correct decision to keep her off.
“As we all know, when a player has concussion they can’t go back on the ground for their own welfare,” she said.
“We’ve got to save them from themselves sometimes.
“While Chelsea desperately wanted to go back out there, it was just something that we couldn’t have, she was quite obviously concussed.”