Clockwise from left: Kate Hore and Eliza West, Taylah Gatt, Jasmine Garner and Isabella Eddey, Sarah Goodwin and Hannah Munyard, Charlotte Mullins and Ruby Svarc. Pictures: AFL Photos

BRISBANE will enter the AFLW finals series knowing its best football can match any remaining team.

The Lions finished fourth following the home and away season with a 7-3 win-loss record, but dig a little deeper and things look a lot more promising for Craig Starcevich's side.

It has beaten each of the top three teams – Adelaide, Melbourne and North Melbourne – in the run to the final month.

The Lions' 3-0 record against this season's heavy hitters outdoes the Crows (2-1), Demons (1-2) and Kangaroos (0-3).

Saturday night’s commanding 25-point triumph over reigning premier Melbourne, which had a top-two spot sewn up prior to the contest, ensured the double chance, which looked in jeopardy entering the final round.

It was yet another reminder how much Brisbane enjoys playing as the underdog, a tag it has thrived on since the inception of AFLW.


Only two weeks earlier the Lions clung on to defeat the Crows by three points at Brighton Homes Arena, and on Saturday will try to repeat the dose in the first qualifying final at Norwood Oval.

In round four they overcame a three-goal deficit to the Kangaroos at Blundstone Arena to claim four premiership points in one of the better wins in club history.

The next month will show which team’s football is THE best, but Brisbane has shown its mix of ball-winning midfielders, outside spread and intercepting defenders can cause the competition's best some problems.

Orla O'Dwyer in action during the AFLW R8 match between Brisbane and Adelaide at Brighton Homes Arena on October 21, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Minor premier Adelaide has also been terrific against the other top-four outfits, with the narrow loss to Brisbane coming without key defender Sarah Allan.

The Crows toppled previously unbeaten Melbourne and were able to outlast North in the penultimate round despite trailing for much of the game.

Although these match-ups mean little come this weekend and beyond, they have given us an indication of who's performed best – against the best – so far in 2023.