Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke says hot favouritism will mean nothing in next Sunday’s AFLW grand final against Carlton.
The Crows kept Geelong to the lowest-ever AFLW score in a 66-point preliminary final drubbing on Sunday at Adelaide Oval.
Clarke’s outfit was merciless, winning 11.7 (73) to 1.1 (7), with Geelong not scoring until the 13th minute of the final quarter.
The Crows secure home ground advantage for next Sunday’s premiership decider against Carlton, who thrashed Fremantle by six goals in Saturday’s preliminary final.
And Adelaide will carry expectation of capturing their second flag in the third AFLW season – but coach Clarke remains wary.
“It’s a big game and any time it’s a big game, your preparation is critical,” Clarke said.
“But the reality is, whatever we do in this last week will be of minor consequence.
“Ultimately, the money is in the bank, they (his players) have done the work.
“So it’s really just about physically getting themselves ready and obviously being thorough in our preparation around what Carlton may bring.
“But I feel really confident in the work we have done thus far.”
The grand finalists have met once this season, in round two, when Adelaide over-ran Carlton to win by 13 points in Melbourne.
“They had us in a bit of strife in the third quarter, they went out by about three goals, and then we responded really well and came over the top,” Clarke said.
“Carlton have improved pretty steadily through the competition … and hopefully we have done the same.
“We have certainly played a little bit better as the season wore on.”
The Blues on Saturday sealed their first shot at an AFLW premiership with a comprehensive 9.10 (64) to 4.4 (28) triumph against Fremantle.
Carlton’s star forward Tayla Harris shrugged off controversy about social media trolling, kicking a goal and being among the Blues’ best players.
“In my head, footy came first and there was no point where I felt overwhelmed,” Harris said.
“The support I received was incredible.”