Reigning premiers Adelaide may start favourites in Saturday’s semi final against Collingwood, but they’ll have to find a way to win without inspirational skipper Chelsea Randall.
Randall was ruled out of the do-or-die clash at Unley Oval on Thursday, after new vision emerged of her head knock suffered late in the qualifying loss to Melbourne.
Despite passing the SCAT concussion test, Randall was declared unavailable for the big home final.
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Two-time premiership defender Marijana Rajcic returns for the Crows instead, alongside Lisa Whiteley and Brooke Tonon.
The Crows will take on a Collingwood side brimming with confidence after teen Eliza James’ elimination final heroics.
The young Magpie booted a record four goals in that win over the Western Bulldogs – becoming the first player in AFLW history to achieve the feat in finals.
Crows banking on big game experience | 01:34
James is part of a new-look Collingwood forward line that includes Commonwealth Games gold medallist Ash Brazill.
Brazill said she was shocked to learn of her move into attack, after playing in the Pies backline in recent years.
But after missing the start of season seven due to her late start to training playing netball for Australia, Brazill said she’s focused on her new role.
“When Steve told me I had to play forward, I almost died, because everyone knows I can’t kick goals. I can get the ball, I just can’t do anything with it,” she said this week to Collingwood media.
“It’s been great. I’ve been playing netball for so long and playing in the same positions (wing defence and centre), so to come back to a sport I love and being handed a completely different role, the learning of a new position has got me so excited.
Pies survive Dogs attack in finals win | 02:16
“It’s even got me thinking I’m not ready to give this sport up. I want to keep going and learn to be the best in my position.”
Brazill said while she was disappointed to miss the season start, she was adamant it was the right call for the club.
“My body appreciated it. I think the kid in my head was pretty gutted I wasn’t playing round one, but I’m standing here (now) in the finals series and my body feels great,” she said.
“I had to change the way I lifted weights, change the way I ran, change the netball body into a football body.
“It happened a bit quicker than I thought it would, so happy about that. But now I know there are more serious players around, I can’t just come back and expect to play.”
Tigers stand by home final decision | 01:15
The second semi final between Adelaide and Collingwood starts at 3.10pm local time.
Follow the live blog below