Lions overwhelm depleted Magpies in AFLW

Bruce Matthews |

Brisbane are one win away from earning a shot at back-to-back AFLW premierships after beating Collingwood in their delayed qualifying final at the Gabba.

The Lions dominated the contest and were never under scoreboard pressure to win by 50 points, 10.10 (70) to the Magpies’ 3.2 (20).

It proved to be an ideal warm-up for next weekend’s preliminary final against Melbourne at the MCG, with no apparent injuries for the finals-hardened Lions.

And the Lions will be hoping for the luck of the Irish on Saturday afternoon with dashing winger Orla O’Dwyer’s family here from Tipperary to provide support against the Demons.

O’Dwyer, a crucial performer with 18 possessions and a fine left-foot goal on the run in the second quarter, had her mother and sister in the grandstand to witness the runaway victory.

“It’s amazing to have them here at a game at the Gabba, it means so much to me,” she said.

“Hopefully, my Dad is coming out for the prelim next week. It will be great to just take it all in and show them around Australia. 

“They’re super-proud, they watch all the games and it’s amazing they have the opportunity to come this year.”

Collingwood, weakened by COVID-19 cases and injuries to key playmakers, fought hard, often too hard, as undisciplined free kicks coughed up at least four goals.

That was emphasised after Chloe Molloy scored a goal on the run early in the last quarter to provide the impetus for a late fightback. 

But the Pies then conceded a 50m penalty that gifted the Lions a steadying reply with a set shot almost from the goalline.

Brisbane proved to be worthy preliminary finals as they answered every challenge.

Collingwood kicked the first goal of the third and last quarters, but the Lions maintained composure and structure to pull away each time.

Jaimee Lambert, the last of the Pies strong midfield decimated by knee injuries to Bri Davey and Britt Bonnici, worked hard, but she was limited to 12 possessions by Lions run-with opponent Cathy Svarc who gathered 13 disposals herself.

While Brisbane missed their first three shots on the run, it was an ominous sign that the Lions’ flexible forward set-up would pose problems for Collingwood’s defenders.

Lion Courtney Hodder was always a danger with her speed and agility when the ball came into the forward 50 and it didn’t surprise that she contributed to the four goals tally in the first half to build a scoreboard buffer.

Collingwood’s intensity at the contest proved costly, especially in the first half when the game was in the balance.