Adelaide Crows stars have fought back tears during a powerful pre-game tribute to late teammate Heather Anderson, who died this week at just 28 years of age.
Anderson was known for wearing a pink helmet in her playing days and there was plenty of pink on display as Crows star Anne Hatchard died her hair pink, while other players were seen sporting pink shoelaces and pink scrunchies in the ex-Crow’s honour.
However, despite the stirring pre-game scenes, Brisbane proved far too strong for Adelaide, emerging 7. 4. (46) to 3. 5. (23) winners at Metricon Stadium to book its spot in a fourth AFLW grand final.
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Adelaide was held goalless in the first half of the preliminary final clash and although it briefly threatened in the final two quarters, Brisbane’s lead proved to be insurmountable.
The tributes for Anderson continued after the match as well, with Brisbane’s Kate Lutkins sending her wishes to the deceased star’s loved ones.
“I just want to send my condolences to the Anderson family,” she said after the match.
“She was a really great chick and a really good friend of mine and to the Adelaide club and all her friends and family.”
Brisbane’s leading goalkicker Jesse Wardlaw was one of three multiple goalkickers for the Lions, with Courtney Hodder and and Dakota Davidson also kicking two goals.
Hodder was also in mourning after losing her grandfather during the week and played a ripping game in his honour.
The Crows were led by Hatchard (25 disposals) and captain Chelsea Randall (16 disposals and one goal).
With the Gabba unavailable due to the cricket season and Metricon Stadium holding a concert, next week’s grand final will be played at the Lions’ newly-built $80 million training base at Brighton Homes Arena, which holds 10,000 fans.
The Lions will face the winner of Saturday’s preliminary final between Melbourne and North Melbourne which will be played at Carlton’s Ikon Park.
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