Phillips to go under the knife after AFLW GF loss
The Brisbane Lions have won the AFL W Grand Final, beating the Adelaide Crows by 18 points. On Monday it emerged that Crows champion Erin Phillips needs surgery this week on her left knee.
Despite being fancied favourites, the Lions galvanised themselves, with a unified performance.
It was third time lucky for the Lions, who had lost their two previous grand finals in 2017 and 2018.
The Crows were the more dominant side on the day, especially in the first half, including registering 20 more inside 50s. Whilst the Lions didn’t generate as many entries, they were able to hit the scoreboard when entered the forward 50.
Lions coach Craig Starcevich described the victory as “complete.”
The Premiers will go into their defence next season without skipper Emma Zielke, who retired at the conclusion of Saturday’s game.
In an interview with AFL.com.au, Zielke - who turns 33 today - revealed that she knew her time was up before last week’s preliminary final against Collingwood.
“I said, ‘If we win, I’m out’.
“It was a fairytale ending. The decision was made for me.”
“It was getting too much for the old body.”
Zielke’s retirement comes as the Crows advised on Monday that champion Erin Phillips will undergo knee surgery.
Phillips had an interrupted preparation for the match and didn’t have the impact she and her side would have hoped for in the Grand Final, only amassing eight disposals and managing to score just one behind.
At 35 years of age, Phillips could be on the home straight of her career but may wish to chase an unprecedented third premiership with the Crows.
Phillips has a storied and long professional career.
After close to a decade long career in the WNBA, representing Australia at the Olympics, Phillips returned home in 2016, joining the Crows AFLW side. Coach Matthew Clarke told the pre-match press conference that Phillips' restricted preparations for the grand final were due in part to many years running on hard basketball courts.
On the day the Crows revealed Phillips will undergo surgery on her left knee later this week, it was apparent the club had known Phillips was battling more than leg-weariness. Crows Head of Women’s Football Phil Harper said the knee surgery had been planned for some time.
“Erin has been playing in some discomfort in her knee over the last five weeks.
“As the recovery for this surgery is four to six weeks, Erin opted to wait until after finals and played out the season with support from our medical team.
“Arthroscopic Surgery is scheduled for this Friday."
FlowNews24's AFLW correspondent Karl Carrington predicted on the eve of the grand final that the Lions would win: