This weekend, we see sporting history made.
As the Brisbane Lions and the Adelaide Crows set about their preparation, trying to make it ‘just like any other game’ – it really is anything but.
Both sides have earned the right to play in the big dance, in particular the Lions who went undefeated in the inaugural season on the AFLW. Will the pressure of having never tasted defeat play on their minds?
Another factor to consider is the venue change, with the AFLW announcing on Monday that the preferred venue, the Gabba in Brisbane, was unfit to host the game – forcing a change down the highway to Gold Coast’s Metricon stadium.
Although the ‘away from home’ theory doesn’t really apply to an undefeated side like Brisbane, the slight annoyance and constant reference to it by surrounding parties to the side may force a mental dislike to the situation.
The Crows are clearly the underdogs, but have the power and skill to take on the favoured Lions, with the latter claiming victory by just 3 points the last time they met.
The Crows had their chances to seal victory in that game, played in Norwood (South Australia), with star player and basketball convert Erin Phillips dominating proceedings. Phillips had the opportunity to kick the winner, but was unable to nail the goal.
Who are the key players to watch for in this contest?
So, who will step up to the occasion?
So often in sports we see unexpected results, 2016 was a year full of it, so why can’t the Crows knock off the Lions?
This game will be spoken about, written about and remembered for eternity – such is the nature of it being the very first grand final in the sports history.
Essendon will always be the inaugural VFL/AFL Premier, despite any stretch of good or bad years – nobody can take that from them.
The first AFLW Premier will be forever etched into the story of the game.
With the game itself creating history, so too is the reward on offer for the winners. The AFL has decided to break the tradition that lives in the mens game of awarding a Premiership medallion, by moving toward a more US-style Champions Ring.
This concept, along with the actual game being played at the local venue of the best team (in theory), are some of the reasons this game has the nation talking.
The competition has captured the hears and minds of the country – even attracting the intrigue of other international sporting prodigies such as basketballer/model Montana Farrah-Seaton – and continues to raise the bar higher than ever though possible in season 1.
This game, which kicks off at 1pm (AEST), will only open the eyes to millions more viewers due to the hype surrounding it. It could single-handedly result in an even larger surge in participation numbers across Australia and the world.
We will be watching.
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