North Melbourne players look dejected after their loss to Brisbane in the NAB AFLW Grand Final against Brisbane at Ikon Park, on December 3, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

NORTH Melbourne will take solace from its winning opponents that an AFLW premiership is not too far away.

In their first NAB AFLW Grand Final, the Kangaroos had the crowd behind them at Ikon Park as they led by seven points at three-quarter time.

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But Brisbane powered home with a stunning four-goals-to-none final term to claim its second premiership.

It comes after the Lions were left shattered after last year's defeat to Melbourne in the decider.

The season before that, the Demons were beaten by Adelaide in that Grand Final.


North Melbourne coach Darren Crocker believed his vanquished group could learn from the experiences of Brisbane and Melbourne.

"Sometimes your first attempt at it (a Grand Final), it doesn't come to fruition," he said.

"I said to the players, you can actually use that as a bit of a steely resolve and bottle that in you, take it forward with us.

"We've learned so much about ourselves along this journey.

"We couldn't sustain it for the whole game, but we're still building and we've still got improvement in us.

"They've now given themselves a lot of evidence around what they're capable of, and that's really important when you're on a journey like we are."


North was rocked in the opening minutes when key midfielder Jenna Bruton injured her right Achilles tendon and took no further part in the game. The injury could keep Bruton sidelined for up to 12 months.

"Someone like Jenna Bruton is pretty hard to replace," Crocker said.

"I'm not using that as an excuse, but she's a, very, very good player."


It was North's first appearance in a Grand Final - men or women - since 1999 and the Kangaroos were cheered from the field into the rooms.

"Its so good to make a Grand Final for our North Melbourne people," Crocker said.

"We've obviously been starved of some success in the men's program.

"The women's program have been thereabouts in the last few years. 

"The support just continues to grow throughout our women's program so it was great to see all the North supporters come out in full force today to support us.

"Unfortunately, we couldn't bring the ultimate smile and enjoyment to their faces. But I know the girls will bounce back and be stronger and better for it."