AFLW Grand Final – Adelaide v Brisbane: The good, the bad and the verdict?


In the interest of sport and the fact that I had been championing the cause of women’s football since its inception five years ago, I felt it was time to go witness the game at the peak of the season. As is my usual routine when travelling from my home in Mildura, I stopped at Waikerie for breakfast at The View Café, a superb spot for coffee and viewing the meandering of the Murray River. The Adelaide Advertiser has also been part of the routine.


By the time I had read half a dozen pages I had made up my mind to barrack for Brisbane. No wonder so many teams from Adelaide, in a variety of guises, fall at the final hurdle. A stranger would have thought just who were the Adelaide side playing. Talk about bias, they make Peta Credlin look like an angel.


Obviously the players from Adelaide have read the paper and thought there is no way we can lose this game. The Addie takes bias to the next level and perhaps the Crows and the Power should ban any articles in the future. Even the editorial was champing on the bit.


If ever visiting teams needed more motivation to win, The Adelaide Advertiser provides them with the fuel. On entering the ground I went looking for the Football Record to update the players names and numbers. No Records!  Thank heavens I had cut out the teams from the AFL website.


There was a good crowd making their way to the ground with the Lions insignificant in numbers, but I think anyone who was not a Crows supporter would be cheering for the visitors.


Jarrod Schofield, assistant coach for the Power, on the radio was asked the question “Would you be barracking for the Crows”? In typical Scott Morrison style, he spoke but said nothing.


I think I expected a bigger fanfare for the start of the Grand Final, but to my eye it was very low key. The biggest shock was when the Lions entered the arena. Who was the genius who oversaw their away strip? Now I am getting on in years but there was no way I could recognise the numbers on their backs. My mini-survey of people in the box said I was correct and it was a serious oversight by the AFLW.


It is fine to laud all the good things that are happening with women’s football, but spare a thought for the people who will make or break it – the spectators and supporters. No Records, indistinguishable numbers have been a part of the game for years. Please get it right in the future.


I haven’t mentioned until now the 12 umpires officiating in the game. How many do you think were women? NONE! That’s right, none! Surely there must be female officials capable of handling the Grand Final.


Right from the start Brisbane had come to play and they attacked the ball and the opposition with ferocity that sensed victory.


I have watched the former rugby and soccer player Courtney Hodder when she appeared at the start of the season as a likely champion and she did not let me down. Her reading of the pack for the first goal of the match came two minutes into the game. Like others of her background, she knew exactly where the goals are – uncanny.


Brisbane controlled the game and it looked like the locals were the ones with stage fright. Too much reading of the paper? Against the trend of play, Steve-Lee Thompson took things into her own hands and broke a tackle to kick a great running goal for her team which brought the crowd into the game.


Because the ability is still not there to open the game up, the game was scrambly, and a goal apiece at quarter time was not an unusual score line.


Brisbane looked the far better side, but both sides had backlines that were hard to penetrate. Opportunities were there but the respective defences were letting nothing in. Danielle Ponter broke the run with a fine mark and goal to give Adelaide the lead and their supporters some hope.


This was denied when the irrepressible Hodder kicked a miraculous goal off the ground. Sam Kerr at her best! Her exuberance certainly lifted her side. Surely this was goal of the year in any code of Australian Rules?


The “Lightning Rod”  Jess Wuetschner kicked one for the visitors soon after and it was the first time in the game that a team had scored two in a row and it was indicative of the Lions dominance.


The Lionesses only led by five points at the long-break but they had been the far better team throughout the first half.  Their back-half, led by Kate Lutkins and Breanna Koenen, had been superb throughout while on-ballers Bates and Anderson dominated around the centre.


If Brisbane had looked the better side for the first half they consolidated that in the third term when they kept a dispirited Adelaide goalless while adding three of their own. Wuetschner’s second was one that rolled through from 25 metres with no Crows in sight. While veteran Lauren (ABC) Arnell’s toe-poke on the siren of three quarter-time was the sealer if ever there was one.


Jones gave Adelaide some heart early in the final term but the damage had been done and a tough, tenacious and totally disciplined Brisbane team triumphantly took the Grand Final in style.


As a spectacle the game was typical of any Grand Final. A lot of anxiety from the players, nervous moments, close encounters. Not a free flowing game as would have been expected for the Adelaide Oval, but this is the evolving game of women’s football and it will only get better as the years go by.



Brisbane Lions     1 .0       3.0        6.0      6.2.38

Adelaide Crows      1.0        2.1        2.2       3.2.20



Brisbane: K.Lutkins, B.Koenen, A.Anderson, E.Bates

Adelaide: S.Thompson, A.Hatchaard, M.Rajcic



Brisbane: C.Hodder, J.Wuetschner 2, L.Arnell, E.Bates

Adelaide: S.Thompson, D.Ponter, E.Jones







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About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.


  1. Matt Harvey says

    What a superb piece from this football legend!
    I was going for the Crows for family reasons but it was a great performance by Brisbane, beautifully described.

  2. Shane Reid says

    Thanks Bob. I didn’t think the Lions jumpers looked too flash on the TV either. The quality just improves each year in the AFLW, I really enjoyed the season and the game.

  3. Daryl Schramm says

    It was an upset I didn’t enjoy Bob. Brisbane too good. I had my internet on for the player numbers but I had to look at the pen pics of the Brisbane players to see if there was a match to what I could see on the field. Their standard away uniform with the maroon numbers on white would have been much better.

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