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Crows cool on choking in AFLW decider

Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke says the Crows haven't drawn on their 2021 AFLW grand final heartbreak before taking on Melbourne in the 2022 decider.

Less than 12 months after slumping to grand final heartbreak on home turf, Adelaide are adamant that pain isn't a key motivator as they prepare to battle for a record AFLW third premiership.

Adelaide were left stunned when Brisbane beat them to secure the 2021 flag, but have rebounded to again secure a minor premiership and a shot at history in the grand final against Melbourne.

Coach Matthew Clarke insists last season's result won't be front of mind at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday, telling reporters on Friday:

"Nope (we don't use it as motivation). Not at all, believe it or not.
"Because that was then and this is now. The reality is you can't go back. 
"It'd be lovely to go back and say 'we should have done that, we should have done that' but you can't do it, it's done. 
"This is a new opportunity, a new group, different opponent, so it's irrelevant, really."

Adelaide beat Melbourne by 14 points on January 29, with Anne Hatchard and Ebony Marinoff dominant.

Hatchard and Marinoff since finished second and third respectively in the league best and fairest and will be crucial on Saturday, along with two-time grand final best on ground Erin Phillips.

Just as with the Crows' 12 point win over Brisbane in 2021 six weeks before the grand final, Clarke wasn't reading much into the side's win over the Demons:

"The team was quite different and the venue was different, so that maybe makes it slightly less relevant again and it was quite a long time ago.
"But what we did that day well, we played the way we wanted to play in terms of bringing a lot of pressure, we were able to hold the ball in our end for good chunks of the game."

Clarke said young ruck Montana McKinnon, 20, had been "amazing" amid the heartbreak of missing the grand final through suspension.

The Crows will have to be prepared for Melbourne's multi-pronged attack.

Recruit Tayla Harris has looked rejuvenated at her third club and has been well-supported by Alyssa Bannan, Daisy Pearce and Kate Hore up front for the Demons.

"We've both gone 10-1 throughout the year and they've got a great spread of talent across the park so in the end, we're mindful of all of their threats.
"But it's pretty much just put our best team out there, play the way we think we play best and then the result will be what it will be.
"We're confident and we're realistic that they've got some genuine talents and threats. 
"It'll be a cracking game."

Jessica Mauboy will entertain fans at half-time of the grand final at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, with ticket prices frozen at $10 and free for AFLW club members and children under 17 years of age.

The Best on Ground medal for the single best player on the field in Saturday's decider will be determined by a panel comprising AFL chair Laura Kane, journalists Lauren Wood, Bec Goddard (Channel 7) and Jessica Webster, and's Gemma Bastiani.

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