Finals Week 1 Saturday 5 November

Metricon Stadium
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    Queens of the jungle: Lions surge into prelim after sinking Tigers

    BRISBANE has earned a home preliminary final after getting one back on Richmond in a hot qualifying final on Saturday afternoon. 

    The minor premiers claimed a 17-point victory over the upstart Tigers, 5.9 (39) to 3.4 (22), at Metricon Stadium. 

    Richmond, which had not lost since the first week of September, hit the contest with a ferocious intent to quell any outside ball movement from the minor premiers, creating a highly contested opening quarter. Libby Graham and Maddie Shevlin starred in defence early, refusing the Lions any clean or thoughtful movement into attack. 

    LIONS v TIGERS Full match coverage and stats

    Brisbane pulled away in the second quarter, sparked by an impressive Cathy Svarc effort out of the middle leading to her - and Brisbane's - first of the term. The Lions were able to wrestle back control by increasing the pressure around the ball, maintaining some territory and turning up the heat inside 50. 

    AFLW S7 Highlights: Brisbane v Richmond

    05:16 Nov 5. 2022. 6:06 PM

    The Lions and Tigers clash in the qualifying finals of the 2022 NAB AFL Women's Competition

    The Tigers often found themselves trapped on one wing, unable to use the width of the ground to their advantage and inviting Brisbane's intercept markers and well-drilled defence to win the ball back. Meanwhile, the home side engaged its wingers, using the run and carry of Jade Ellenger, Orla O'Dwyer and Sophie Conway to break past the Tigers' stingy defence. 

    Despite working hard all day, Richmond conceded its highest score - Brisbane's third-lowest score - of the season, as the Lions kicked their way to a home preliminary final in a fortnight. 

    Bates brings brilliant best in dominant performance

    01:24 Nov 5. 2022. 6:00 PM

    Emily Bates rises to the finals pressure with a superb game for Brisbane

    Jesse Wardlaw and Dakota Davidson presented with strength up forward, proving tough to beat in the air, combining for five contested marks and two goals. And when it wasn't Wardlaw or Davidson causing headaches, Taylor Smith bobbed up as a target. 

    At the other end of the ground, Courtney Wakefield was held without a mark until the final term, only able to really get involved by pushing high up the field. Katie Brennan, however, showed exactly what she is made of in her first ever final, kicking all three of Richmond's goals despite limited supply. 

    Brennan bends it back brilliantly

    00:51 Nov 5. 2022. 4:24 PM

    Katie Brennan sums it up perfectly to level the scores in the first quarter

    Dynamic duo Emily Bates and Ally Anderson did plenty through the middle of the field, each winning 21 disposals and claiming 13 clearances. 

    Richmond, while falling in its first ever final, will take heart from a strong final quarter whereby captain Brennan kicked two goals and the side showed off far smarter ball movement. 

    A little Svarc 
    After a tight opening quarter that suggested it would be a mirror image of the tussle the two sides played back in round five, Cathy Svarc had other ideas. The midfielder hit the second quarter with a bang, using her power and strength to clear the ball quickly and, after repeated involvements in the play, ultimately kicked the opening goal of the quarter after being awarded a 50m penalty. Svarc had 215 metres gained from nine disposals at half-time and was key in shifting the momentum back the home side's way. 

    Cathy Svarc gets her kick away during the qualifying final between Brisbane and Richmond at Metricon Stadium on November 5, 2022. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

    A key recruit 
    During the off-season, Richmond headhunted Libby Graham from Greater Western Sydney to help bolster its backline, and it has paid dividends. Graham read the ball beautifully, setting the tone for Richmond down back early and largely shutting the dangerous Greta Bodey out of the first half. Graham finished the game with eight disposals, two marks and two tackles, proving just why the Tigers brought her in. 

    Say what? 
    "We absorbed a bit of pressure from the opposition, they were terrific in terms of their pressure numbers early in the game and we knew if we could match it, they dropped away as the day went along and we were able to get on top there and start to take a bit of advantage. That's always, for me, a bit of a measure of work and attitude and all that sort of stuff. But Richmond were terrific early in the game with their pressure so we just had to match that and stay in it and get scoring." - Brisbane coach Craig Starcevich

    "They understand where we're at, we've got the double chance and that we can use what happened today in practice next week. They're still hurting because, Brisbane are so good we knew we had to be at our absolute best and we don't think that we did bring that, obviously that's a lot to do with Brisbane because they take things away from you, but we know we can do better." - Richmond coach Ryan Ferguson

    What's next? 
    Brisbane will have the week off, resting up to play the winner of Adelaide's match against either Collingwood or the Western Bulldogs in a preliminary final, while Richmond will front up next week against either Geelong or North Melbourne to keep its finals hopes alive. 

    BRISBANE                    1.3     4.6     5.8     5.9     (39)  
    RICHMOND                 1.1     1.2     1.3     3.4     (22)  

    GOALS  
    Brisbane: Wardlaw, C.Svarc, Conway, Davidson, Smith 
    Richmond: Brennan 3 

    BEST   
    Brisbane: Ellenger, C.Svarc, Wardlaw, Anderson, Bates 
    Richmond: Graham, Brennan, Conti, McKenzie 

    INJURIES   
    Brisbane: Nil 
    Richmond: Lynch (right foot) 

    Reports: Nil  

    Crowd: 2,392 at Metricon Stadium 

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    Match stats will activate once the match has kicked off

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