Live: Third time lucky for AFLW champions Lions, with grand final victory over Crows

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The Brisbane Lions have won their first AFLW title, defeating the Adelaide Crows 6.2 (38)-3.2 (20) in today’s grand final.

After taking a 22-point lead into the final break, the Lions held off frenzied pressure from the Crows in the fourth term before claiming their first title from three appearances in the decider.

Playing in front of a home crowd at Adelaide Oval, the Crows were forced to chase the game for much of the afternoon as the Lions atoned for their defeat to the Crows in the competition’s inaugural decider in 2017.

For the Crows, it was their first grand final defeat, after claiming premierships in 2017 and 2019.


Meanwhile the Lions broke their hoodoo in the decider, after going home empty handed in 2017 and 2018.

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Key EventPinned

Brisbane Lions crowned AFLW premiers after beating Adelaide Crows 6.2 (38) to 3.2 (20)

The Lions just moments after the full-time siren (AAP: Matt Turner)

Congratulations Brisbane, its first AFLW flag!

What a performance from the Lions, as they embrace on the field and accept the congratulations from their Crows opponents.

They went down in the 2017 decider and then again in 2018, but today is the Lions’ day.

Some relieved looks on the faces of the Lions players following their deserved victory. The defensive effort, especially in the final quarter, was amazing.

Well done to the Crows on a great season. The Lions were the better side today but the Crows should be proud of their 2021 campaign.

By Luke Pentony

And that’s a wrap!

What a moment for the Brisbane Lions, as they claim their first AFLW premiership.

Several players were there from the start back in the inaugural 2017 season, while those who have joined the club since have embraced the Lions’ spirit.

Celebrations will continue for some time and what a feeling it will be for the Lions when they return to Brisbane to thank their loyal supporters.

It wasn’t the Crows’ day, but they were mighty in defeat and you just know they will be a flag contender in the years to come.

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Thanks for your company this afternoon and I hope you enjoyed what was an outstanding 2021 AFLW season.

Bye for now!

By Luke Pentony

The Moment

The Lions with the premiership cup (Channel Seven)

By Luke Pentony

Lions captain Emma Zielke speaks 

Some great words from Lions skipper Emma Zielke at the post-match presentation ceremony.

I want to thank Craig and all the coaches, all the time you put into us is fantastic and you are so committed and dedicated, this is why we are here today.

I want to give a quick shout out to all of our family and supporters … to fly here, absolutely amazing, we love you so much.

And lastly, to the girl standing there today, all 32 of you, I love you guys so much. I can’t believe we have done this today and I hope we are back here again many more years to come. I love you guys, thank you.

By Luke Pentony

Great Scenes

Jesse Wardlaw accepts her premiership medal from a young fan (Channel Seven)

By Luke Pentony

What a win …

The Lions celebrate their premiership triumph (AAP: Matt Turner)

By Luke Pentony

Key Event

Lions star Kate Ludkins wins player of the grand final

Kate Ludkins awarded the player of the match award, a deserved recognition for her outstanding performance down back for the Lions.

Here’s what she had to say:

Craig, the Lions, you guys are amazing, I love you. This is the award for the whole team and we finally did it after five years.

Lastly, I would just like to give a shout out to the Brisbane fans who flew over from all over the country. You guys are unreal, I love you.

By Luke Pentony

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Injured Crows captain Angela Foley on stage, gracious in defeat.

To Brisbane, Emma (Zielke) and Craig (Starcevich), congratulations you are too good today. Enjoy it, it’s going to be a big party. All the best.

By Luke Pentony

Enjoy the victory, Lions fans!

By Luke Pentony

‘Such an honour’

Courtesy of Channel Seven, here’s some thoughts from freshly minted AFLW premiership winner Lauren Arnell.

It’s such an honour to play footy with these girls … I think the Crows have been awesome, we knew it would be tough coming to Adelaide Oval. They got the jump on us early.

But my head space all week has been milder than what most would expect. I thought whatever result comes, I’ve been so privileged to be part of this group.

I probably didn’t allow the thought of winning to enter my mind, this will take a while to sink in. I am so proud of our group. 

By Luke Pentony

Lions celebrate

The Lions enjoy their stunning grand final victory (Channel Seven)

By Luke Pentony

Lions 6.2 (38) to Crows 3.2 (20)

1′: Another minor score to the Lions.

By Luke Pentony

Lions 6.1 (37) to Crows 3.2 (20)

3′: A behind to Jess Wuetschner adds to the Lions’ total and importantly for them eats up clock.

By Luke Pentony

Lions 6.0 (36) to Crows 3.2 (20)

4′: The Lions gain a rare entry into the Crows’ defensive 50 — can they make the most of this opportunity?

Jesse Wardlaw gets a free kick and aims for goal but her effort doesn’t have the distance.

By Luke Pentony

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Lions 6.0 (36) to Crows 3.2 (20)

6′: A free kick to the Lions well inside their territory gives them some relief, as the Crows continue to pour on the pressure.

Fatigue becoming a factor for the Lions but they are still holding on.

By Luke Pentony

Lions 6.0 (36) to Crows 3.2 (20)

9′: Every time the Lions clear from their 50, the Crows have players in numbers ready to take back possession.

The crowd is really getting behind the Crows now, as we go deeper into the final term.

By Luke Pentony

Lions 6.0 (36) to Crows 3.2 (20)

12′: The Crows have a few attacking chances inside the Lions’ 50 but their opponents prevent the home side from adding to their total with some desperate defence. 

By Luke Pentony

Lions 6.0 (36) to Crows 3.2 (20)


14′: Orla O’Dwyer gives away a 50 inside the Lions’ defensive 50, allowing Eloise Jones the easiest of attempts from the set shot right in front of the posts.

The Crows are back in the grand final in a big way, trailing by 16 points!

By Luke Pentony


Here we go…

By Luke Pentony

Key Event

The Lions hold a commanding 22-point lead as the teams head into the final change

The Lions can almost taste premiership success, with only a quarter remaining in the grand final.

They have fallen short twice before, in 2017 and 2018, but all signs at this stage point to this afternoon being the day they reign supreme in the AFLW.

A lot for Matthew Clarke’s team to mull over at three-quarter time.

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