Phillips wins best afield medal in GF despite tearing ACL in third term

ADELAIDE superstar onballer Erin Phillips has won her second AFLW Grand Final best-on-ground medal, despite tearing her left ACL in the third term.

Phillips was an integral part of the Crows' comfortable victory over the Blues by 45 points at Adelaide Oval.

Going head to head with Carlton skipper Brianna Davey, Phillips amassed 18 disposals (including 15 kicks), 10 contested possessions, three marks and two goals before her day ended.

Phillips had left the field on a stretcher in tears during the third quarter to a standing ovation, with Adelaide and Carlton players alike making their way to her to wish her well.

The 33-year-old was helped onto the stage by teammates Chelsea Randall and Ebony Marinoff to receive her medal to the chants of "Erin" from an AFLW-record crowd of 53,034.

"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.

"It's an absolute dream come true ... to play in front of this crowd, it means so much."

She had set the tone early with the first two centre clearances of the match.

Phillips' poise and strength around the field set her apart, difficult to beat in the air (especially inside 50) and calm in the stoppages.

She also won the best-on-ground award in Adelaide's 2017 premiership win.

Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke was circumspect after an emotional day for the club.

"Unfortunately, it was one of those days. Clearly so proud of the group and all they've achieved through amazing hard work, but to have two players (Phillips and young forward Chloe Scheer) go down that both look like ACLs, it's pretty heartbreaking," Clarke said. 

Erin Phillips gets a hug from a young fan after the game

"Certainly, Chloe's young. And Erin, if anyone will come back from it at whatever age she is, it will be her. We want to celebrate it and not try and dwell too much on that, there will be plenty of time to get around them and make sure we support them, but a little bit mixed."

Carlton coach Daniel Harford said Phillips had been a "forceful" player for the Crows up until her injury.

"She's an icon of Australian rules football, full stop," Harford said.

"So, for that to happen, I was really sad about that, that she wasn't able to finish the game as she would have liked, as the crowd would have liked, and I'm sure as 'Doc' (Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke) and the coaching staff would have liked.

"So that was a really sad moment, but I think the way the crowd responded when she came back and won the medal, that was a lovely moment for footy, I reckon.

"She's an iconic player, she's an amazing player. I'm still not sure there's not two or three of [Phillips] out there at one time, she seems to be everywhere a lot."


Josh Vanderloo (chair)
3 Hatchard
2 Phillips
1 Randall
Liz Walsh
3 J.Foley
2 Hatchard
1 Phillips

Anne Hatchard celebrates a goal in the Grand Final

Mark Soderstrom
3 Hatchard
2 Phillips
1 J.Foley
Jo Wotton
3 Philips
2 Randall
1 Hatchard
Brett Munro
3 Phillips
2 Davey
1 Hatchard
Phillips – 3, 3, 2, 2, 1 (11)
Hatchard – 3, 3, 2, 1, 1 (10)
J. Foley – 3, 1 (4)
Randall – 2, 1 (3)
Davey – 2 (2)