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AFLW Grand Final 2023 Brisbane Lions def North Melbourne … – Fox Sports


It wasn’t meant to be Brisbane’s season. If any team was to slide in 2023, it was the Lions after losing four of their best players and enduring the pain of a third grand final loss.

When star forward Dakota Davidson went down clutching her knee and sobbed on the sidelines in the third quarter of the preliminary final, the premiership bid appeared over once again.

But it was Davidson, possibly playing through a significant injury, who turned the game in the final term as the Lions came home with an almighty surge North Melbourne to claim their second AFLW premiership.

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MATCH CENTRE: AFLW Grand Final live updates, score, stats and more

It was the Lions’ league record fifth grand final and all that experience was on show as Davidson, who had just three disposals to the final break, took a pair of clean overhead marks and coolly delivered two set shot goals to set off an emphatic four-goal final term.

Captain Bre Koenen was in the thick of everything in the 17-point win, starting at halfback and preventing what could have been a significant early deficit as the Roos and star midfielder Jasmine Garner threw the kitchen sink at the Lions.

Koenen was unflappable in defence but may have had even more influence after moving into the midfield to curtail Garner, laying four tackles in a huge final term before topping it off with the final goal, a superb finish from the forward pocket which was only the third of her career.

Brisbane had to play almost the entire final quarter without all-Australian winger Sophie Conway after she was sent for a concussion test and ruled out for 20 minutes, but it didn’t matter after Davidson’s goals re-energised her teammates and sent them home with a wet sail.

GARNER BREAKS DEADLOCK

Who else but Jasmine Garner to fire the first shot of the Grand Final? After a frantic 16 minutes where the ball zipped through the middle of the ground but neither side gave itself a clean shot at goal, the superstar midfielder drifted forward at just the right moment – and didn’t let the Lions off the hook.

A wayward exit kick from the Lions fell into the lap of Taylah Gatt at half-forward, and the teenager showed tremendous composure to spot Garner in the corridor and hit her on the chest 40 metres out.

It required a huge kick but Garner, who also booted the first ever AFLW goal at the same ground, thumped it through at half-post height to put the Roos on the board.

CAPTAIN INSPIRES LIONS

North Melbourne could have forced its way to a significant lead in the first half after smashing the Lions 22-8 in clearances, but Bre Koenen was a brick wall across halfback and repelled everything that came her way.

Along with Nat Grider (four marks, 10 intercepts), the Lions skipper controlled the airways in their defensive half with a game-high five marks to the main break, denying the Kangaroos talls any easy shot at goal.

Koenen took over the captaincy from Emma Zielke after the 2021 flag and has spoken openly about her struggles adapting to the role – the huge individual performance under pressure showed exactly why she was given the reins.

ROOS’ BRUTAL BLOW

The Kangaroos wouldn’t have made the grand final without Jenna Bruton’s stellar second half against Adelaide, but they were left without her after only three minutes when the star half-forward landed awkwardly chasing a bouncing ball and immediately called for trainers.

Bruton was unable to put any weight through her right leg and was carried off the ground, ruled out only moments later with the Roos saying she had a serious foot injury.

Post-game coach Darren Crocker said the club suspected she had suffered an Achilles injury.

KANGAROOS 1.0, 2.2, 4.3, 4.3 (27)

LIONS 0.0, 2.1, 3.2, 7.2 (44)

BOURKE’S BEST

Kangaroos: Garner, Riddell, M King, O’Loughlin, Kearney, Rennie.

Lions: Koenen, Grider, Dawes, Anderson, Hodder, O’Dwyer.

GOALS

Kangaroos: Garner 2, Shierlaw, O’Loughlin.

Lions: Davidson 2, Hampson 2, Mullins, O’Dwyer, Koenen.

INJURIES

Kangaroos: Bruton (Achilles). Lions: C Svarc (knee).

UMPIRES

Clamp, Adams, Nippress

CROWD

12,616 at Ikon Park



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Mark Evans

Hey there, I'm Mark Evans, a student at The King's University in Edmonton. I'm passionate about fitness and gaming, and I love writing about both. You can usually find me pounding away on my keyboard, crafting blog articles for various websites and news outlets. I've been interested in fitness for as long as I can remember, and I've always loved trying out new workouts and experimenting with different diets. On the gaming side of things, I'm a huge fan of all kinds of games, from action-packed shooters to immersive RPGs. When I'm not hitting the gym or diving into a new game, I love spending time with my friends and family, exploring the city, and trying out new restaurants. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and I hope you enjoy my articles as much as I enjoy writing them!

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