AFLW Preliminary Final – Adelaide v Geelong: Finding appropriate words

It’s shaping up as another long season of junior footy. As the Under 11s shake off the cobwebs of a seemingly Fortnite filled summer (parents comment that their sons likely have elite thumbs), they get absolutely walloped in comprehensively lose a Sunday morning trial game at an eastern suburbs club.


With the news that our thoroughly third division team has been placed in the second division, we’d better get used to the procession of goals that is happening before us. To give the boys their due, they manage to slow the opposition down as the game progresses and even almost score in the last quarter.


But what is a good non-violent description the process of a comprehensive defeat? Flogging, whipping, spanking, thumping – all full of violence. In these times they’re best avoided but they immediately spring to mind. Let alone, the more martial of analogies.


The lad comes off the ground in the last quarter with a head knock after an opponent barrels into him front-on in a marking contest (the umpire sees fit to call play on as the lad stays down and gets trampled for his trouble). It is a physical and at times violent game, there is no getting around that.


After passing the concussion test (the same one he failed twice last year) we hurry back home and pack the family up to catch a bus as near as practicable to Adelaide Oval. We were at Thebarton Oval for the Crows’ first AFLW game and were not going to miss their first match at Adelaide Oval, conflicting schedules and complaining children be damned.


It’s pretty amazing to think we are here at all. In the third quarter in Round 2, the Crows trailed Carlton by 17 points having kicked themselves out of the game the week before. Finals seemed a long way off. Since then they have outscored their opposition by some 228 points across five and a bit games of football with a high pressure/high skill brand of football unlike anything seen in the AFLW to date.


The previous week’s dismantling of win against Melbourne was akin to the dismemberment of a fly by a particularly snotty-nosed tweezer-laden child a very good team beating a not very good team.


For us, our bums hitting the seat on the north eastern flank just as play starts, this is our first game in the flesh in AFLW Season 3. A combination of other sports and summer weather has meant I have not been able to drag the little darlings out the door attend any other games. With each year of age their ability to resist said dragging attendance appears to increase exponentially.


Soon after the start, despite kicking into a relatively strong breeze the Crows get the first on the board through Ebony Marinoff. After kicking her first AFLW goal the week before, she clearly now has a taste for it. As well as her well-vaunted ball winning and brutal strong tackling, she must be close to the best ugly kick in the game. Her results are almost always more effective than her technique looks like they should be.


Some idiot distinguished gentleman in the crowd celebrates the goal more than she does.


Geelong almost manage to string a couple of fluent passages of play together but are stopped dead intercepted at half back time and time again. Any piece of play that doesn’t involve a clean mark leads almost inexorably to a Cat being driven into the ground run down and losing possession. Simple dominance.


Nothing changes throughout the match. Chelsea Randall and Marijana Rajcic mop up down back and give the Crows plenty of drive forward while the forward line bristles with has a sufficiency of finishing class. So much so that Stevie-Lee Thompson’s comparatively quiet game goes unnoticed with the clinical execution composed finishing of Ponter, Scheer and Considine. Not to mention the luxury of being able to play Cramey forward.


Let us pause for a moment and talk about the kicking action of Considine. It might surprise to learn she’s from Ireland given it’s barely mentioned on the TV coverage, County Clare to be precise (thoroughly appropriate for a South Australian team).


In the third quarter Considine, or ‘Swish’ as she’s known to her teammates (I hear that she sends tweets to the Coodabeens but I might have my wires crossed), is driven into the ground in the north eastern pocket and receives a free. From our seats directly behind her kick on goal, there is much speculation (ok, it was mostly me) about how she will approach this (i.e. checkside, around the body, around the body on the left?).


The result is she does that thing that you sometimes also see Cora Staunton do where she drops the ball slightly to the side and swivels the hip through the kick so it almost catches the instep. Maybe it shouldn’t work with an oval ball but in this instance it most certainly does as she dissects bisects the goals despite the blustery crosswind.


This all forms the Blitzkrieg complete play which is Adelaide’s disposal defeat of Geelong. Thoroughly enjoyable for a Crows fan but understandable if others find it less than thrilling. Hopefully it can be appreciated, as others have noted, that the Crows’ last couple of weeks have been the best women’s Aussie Rules ever played. That means little in the lead-up to a Grand Final where the opposition also appears to be dangerous very accomplished across the ground. However, this does represent an evolutionary leap in how the game will be played from this point on.


And onto the crowd. Just shy of thirteen and a half thousand makes this (most likely) the biggest women’s footy crowd in SA since 1929… and until next Sunday. Every time Phillips goes near the ball (which is often) or Randall breaks the lines, the roar around the ground escalates to a level unexpected for a stadium where a crowd of 10,000 or so can get lost.


A 67 point win, holding the Cats to the lowest ever AFLW score is a fitting end margin for such a shellacking one-sided final. The Crows are indeed deadly impressive and without the suitably maligned conference system, the Cats would not have been here in the first place. They are out of their depth, for now, and we know how much Cats like swimming in the first place.


All that’s left to do is join the multitudes for a kick on the ground… and dream, once more, of losing Grand Finals all week.


ADELAIDE   2.2   4.4   7.6   11.7  (73)
GEELONG   0.0   0.0   0.0   1.1   (7)


 Ponter 3, Scheer 2, Marinoff 2, Jones, Considine, J. Foley, Randall
Geelong: Cranston


 Marinoff, Phillips, J. Foley, Randall, Ponter, Rajcic
Geelong: McDonald, Blakeway, Garing, Teague


 Cramey (head knock)
Geelong: McMahon (concussion, replaced in selected side by Clarke), Clarke (head knock)


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Broadbent, Rebeschini, Johanson


Crowd: 13,429 at Adelaide Oval


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About Dave Brown

Upholding the honour of the colony. "Play up Norwoods!"


  1. Mark Duffett says

    The distinguished gentleman’s attire is a distinct contrast to the scarfed bloke in front of him…did you get a bit warm racing to the ground?

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I’m now expecting to hear from the AFL’s intellectual property department, even though I’ve had this nickname since Round 1 1982 of the SAAFL season. They’ll probably force me to change it to Squish.

    I’m seeing a bit of arcing up about the Crows list management for next year and how it’s unfair that they will be the only AFLW side in SA. Boo-bloody-hoo.

    But I’m also mindful of how close Carlton was in Round 2, so no chickens (salted or otherwise) are being counted here.

  3. Well pointed out,Dave down by 3 goals against the blues in round two remarkable since then and not being at the parade this season bring back capital punishment ( parade fri night ? )

  4. Great, restrained report Dave. A staggering scoreline, I suspect Sunday will be closer.

  5. Let’s hope Sunday will be closer but with the Crows still winning. As I’ve said in the past, if a bunch of blokes were told they were playing like girls it would be the ultimate insult. Not any more. Playing like girls is now a significant compliment. GO GIRLS

  6. Dave Brown says

    Thanks for the read and comment, all. Can confirm it was a beautifully warm autumn day, Mark. While there is probably an earlier age at which distinguished gentlemen should no longer get their ‘guns’ out, this particular gentleman was more appropriately attired for the conditions than the chap in front of him.

    Bad news, Swish. As you have repeatedly used your nickname at an AFL ground during AFL games, the AFL now claims intellectual property rights over your name, nickname, likeness, and associated terms/images such as “Pie/Hotdog Girl/Woman” and nostalgic recollections of the 1970s. These rights will be licenced to a Pakistani merchandise manufacturer for an appropriately commercial rate for a not for profit organisation.

    Yep, failing disaster will be at the Parade on Friday night, Rulebook. Carlton will be a challenge on Sunday.

    Thanks Mickey. It would appear both teams have improved since Round 2 so it will be an interesting contest. Carlton should present a much bigger challenge in the midfield and will hold our defence much more accountable.

    I’ll take any win, Fisho, particularly after watching Norwood lose three grand finals last year and the Crows men the year before. I do feel sad for those who hate women’s footy in principle because they have missed out on witnessing just how far it has come in two and a bit years.

  7. Daryl Schramm says

    To Dave and respondents. Well done all. Hilarious comment Browny. Looking forward to a Crows win Sunday. Maybe a rare official FA function in good olde Adelaide will occur. Not part of the redleg clan but wrapped in The Brown’s success in 3 out of 4 premier cricket grand finals last weekend. Led by one Jake Brown. Should have recognised the possibility of a “brownwash” in my footy tipping last weekend as well. DJS.

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    Hope the lad and his teammates fortunes improve Dave.

    Go Crows on Sunday, hope Carlton get absolutely walloped/spanked/thumped/dismantled.

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