Adelaide’s inspirational* co-captain Erin Phillips didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when the Crows scored a 45-point win against Carlton in Sunday’s AFLW grand final. So she did both.
Before a record AFLW crowd, Phillips was dominating* play before she wrecked her knee and ended up on crutches but won the premiership and another medal for best on ground in the 10.3 (63) to 2.6 (18) victory.
Proving why she’s the competition’s best player, Phillips kicked two goals and collected 18 disposals* to set up the Crows’ second flag in three AFLW seasons.
Then, changing direction to chase an opponent in the third quarter, Phillips tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee.
Despite being carried off on a motorised stretcher, Phillips won the medal for the grand final’s best player — as she did in Adelaide’s 2017 premiership.
“It’s an ACL, something I have done before in my other leg,” Phillips said. “This was supposed to be the good leg. It’s pretty emotional.”
The injury shocked the huge 53,034-strong crowd at Adelaide Oval — the largest attendance in AFLW history, and thought to be the biggest crowd at any stand-alone* women’s sporting event in Australia.
The crowd figure topped the AFLW’s previous record of 41,975 fans set at the first Australian Rules game at Perth’s new stadium last year.
The grand final was free of charge for fans, but Carlton coach and former AFL player Daniel Harford said it “might be one of the most significant moments in Australian football history”. “It’s a very special moment, I think, for the AFLW and for footy in Australia,” he said.
Phillips capped off a brilliant season on Monday by being awarded the AFLW Players’ MVP (most valuable player) award.
Phillips polled 143 votes to claim the prize ahead of Fremantle’s Kiara Bowers (107 votes) and Collingwood’s Ashleigh Brazill (85 votes).
- inspirational: someone who motivates others through their actions
- dominating: controlling
- disposals: moving the ball by hand or foot
- stand-alone: not linked to or part of anything else
- Which team won the 2019 AFLW Grand Final?
- How many points did they win by?
- Sunday’s crowd was how much higher than the previous record?
- Who was coach of the Carlton football team?
- When did Adelaide last win an AFLW premiership?
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