Crows Women’s Senior Coach Bec Goddard has dared her team to be great after securing a spot in the inaugural AFLW Grand Final.
Adelaide earned a rematch with Brisbane by defeating Collingwood at Olympic Park on Sunday.
Goddard urged her Crows not to be content with making it to Saturday’s AFL Women's decider.
“We talked today (and said) that we’re not happy with mediocrity. We’re not just going to nibble around the edges of mediocrity. We’d rather choke on trying to be great,” Goddard said.
“There are elements of it (the week) to be enjoyed, but we’re not just satisfied with getting there.
“We want to take it all out.”
After Melbourne’s big win over Fremantle on Saturday, the Crows needed to beat the Pies to reclaim second spot on the ladder and join the top-of-the table Lions in the Grand Final.
The Crows started strongly to take a 13-point lead at half time, but Collingwood fought back in the third quarter. The Pies held the visitors scoreless for the term and were in front by seven points at the final change.
Two quick goals to influential forward Sarah Perkins got the Crows back in the contest, and another two to bonafide star Erin Phillips all but guaranteed Adelaide would progress.
A fifth last-quarter goal to speedster Jess Sedunary saw the Crows equal the highest-ever AFLW score (70 points) – a feat the Dees achieved in their percentage-boosting victory over the Dockers.
The Pies managed only one behind for the term as the Crows ran out 24-point winners.
Goddard was pleased with her team’s ability to respond to pressure.
“That’s been one of our biggest strengths, our belief,” she said.
“It’s not belief that we’re going to win the game, but belief about wanting to be the best, wanting to be elite and perform in an AFL competition.”
Perkins enhanced her reputation as a big-game performer on Sunday.
The Crows cult hero kicked four goals and assisted in two scores with her 15 possessions, which included 13 contested. She also took a round-high four contested marks as the dominant key forward on the ground.
“She’s amazing. One thing I love about ‘Perko’ is that she’ll turn in a stinker the week before, I think two disposals she had (against Melbourne), and then look at her today,” Goddard said.
“She had 15 in the end and took some amazing marks. The great thing … is that it’s not actually about her statistics. It’s about what she does for the other forwards (and) what she does for the midfield.
“It’s her positivity and football IQ. Whether she’s kicking goals or not (herself), someone in the forward line is (kicking goals) as a direct result of her work.”
Only three points separated the Crows and Lions when they met at Norwood Oval in Round Five, with Brisbane taking the honours in one of the games of the season.
The home team led for much of the match, but the Lions were more efficient when it mattered.
“We hoped after that narrow Brisbane loss that we’d get a chance to meet them again, and we’ve done enough to do that,” Goddard said.
“We’re straight back on the job now. We always enjoy the moment, but we’re very humble. We don’t have any massive egos in this group.”
The Crows will be hoping defensive general Courtney Cramey will be available for Saturday’s game.
Cramey was concussed in a clash of heads in the first half against Collingwood and took no further part in the match. Goddard said Cramey’s heath would take priority over the Grand Final.
“I’ve just spoken to the doctor and she’ll go through all the tests that are required for concussion this week,” Goddard said.
“(When we were going) in for the team meeting, ‘CJ’ was already in the ice bath that’s how professional Courtney is and how desperate she’ll be to play.
“I know Courtney will do everything possible, but if she’s not right and the testing says that she’s not, she won’t play.”
The Crows and Lions were rank outsiders to win the AFLW flag prior to the start of the season.
The AFL will make a decision on where the Grand Final will be played on Monday.
Goddard said the Club was proud to reach the final two, and to have been part of history.
“It’s been an amazing journey. There are areas for improvement everywhere, but I think the competition has been a massive success and we’ve really enjoyed being a part of it,” she said.
“I know that Adelaide people will be absolutely mad about us getting in (to the Grand Final).
“The support we’ve had in Adelaide and Darwin has been unbelievable.”