ADELAIDE will not defend its premiership, after Collingwood upset the Crows by 21 points, allowing Brisbane to qualify for the Grand Final.

The Crows will be ruing their missed chances over the off-season, their inaccuracy early costing them dearly in the 8.5 (53) to 4.8 (32) loss in a thrilling affair at Olympic Park Oval.

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The second Grand Final spot came down to the final minutes of the home and away season. 

Brisbane was not sure of its berth against the Western Bulldogs until Jasmine Garner pushed the margin out to 19 points in the last three minutes with her third goal.

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The loss of co-captain Chelsea Randall after half-time with a head knock was a blow for the reigning premiers; she had recorded 14 touches (all kicks) and five marks in the first two quarters.

The forward line combination of Garner (three goals, 16 disposals and seven tackles), Christina Bernardi (two goals, 12 touches) and Moana Hope (one goal and 15 touches) was too much for Adelaide to restrain after Randall's injury.

WATCH: Garner bags a banana

Adelaide had come out of the blocks early, kicking 4.6 in the first two terms, but failed to add a goal in the second half and was scoreless in the fourth.

Erin Phillips battled hard one on leg for the Crows, her strained right quad still giving her trouble, while Ebony Marinoff and Sarah Allan held their own.

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Collingwood hit the front for the first time in the last few minutes of the third term on the back of two stunning snap goals to Melissa Kuys and Christina Bernardi against the breeze.

WATCH: Bernardi goes bang

The Crows wasted their second chance when kicking with the wind in the third quarter, managing just two points while the Magpies scored two goals. 

With president Eddie McGuire on the PA urging his team on, the Magpies rattled off the final five goals of the match to consign Adelaide to fourth place. 

Collingwood midfielder Bree White, who had five touches, retired from football after the match.

The 36-year-old was given a guard of honour from her VFLW teammates from the VU Western Spurs and chaired off by her Collingwood teammates.

The injury
Coming into the season, questions had been asked about Adelaide's over-reliance on their four star players – Erin Phillips, Chelsea Randall, Sarah Perkins and Ebony Marinoff. With Phillips still hampered by her strained quad, Randall was highly influential in getting the Crows to a 10-point lead at half-time. But a mystery head knock late in the second quarter sidelined the co-captain, and she was unable to take any further part in the match. That wasn't going to stop her trying though. When Collingwood skipped to a two-goal lead in the last, she tried to sneak onto the ground but was physically restrained by a runner, who guided her back to her seat on the bench.

The moment
With just four-and-a-half minutes left on the clock and a throw-in deep in Collingwood's forward 50, midfielder Lauren Tesoriero put her hand up as ruck nomination. Her opponent, Courtney Cramey, wasn't aware of it and blocked her out of the contest. The umpire paid a free kick for shepherding and Tesoriero calmly slotted the resulting free kick. It took the margin out to 13 points, and with the Crows looking unlikely to conjure three scoring shots in such a short space of time, it sealed the win for the Magpies.

The wash-up – Adelaide
It's a highly disappointing end to the season for the Crows, who rebounded well after their poor 0-2 start to still be in Grand Final contention in the final game of the season. Unsettled by the loss of Randall, Adelaide struggled to have any real impact in the game after half-time. Their tackle numbers and pressure around the ball dropped and they let Collingwood run away with the match. The Crows finished the season in fifth position, with three wins and a draw from their seven matches.

WATCH: McCormick's soccer skills pay off

The wash-up – Collingwood
It's the same old story for Collingwood, losing early matches only to storm home in the latter half of the season to cause some headaches for higher positioned teams. The difference this season is the Magpies seem to be playing with more purpose and confidence. Christina Bernardi and Jasmine Garner look like different players this season, the addition of Ash Brazill late in the season was important in shoring up a shaky defence and recruit Jaimee Lambert became more comfortable as the season progressed. The Magpies finished sixth with three wins from their seven matches, all coming after round three.

WATCH: Mo provides the Magpies hope

Say what?
"The same thing happened in season one. Over the off-season we'll work out how we can manufacture what we need to do early in the season to get that going early, whether it's trying to play more games against opposition rather than one hit-out." – Collingwood coach Wayne Siekman

"We weren't good enough to play in a Grand Final this year and today showed why. The two teams that are now in the Grand Final do deserve to be there, they've played the better games of footy and got themselves in those positions, so good on them." – Adelaide coach Bec Goddard

COLLINGWOOD     1.1     3.1     5.3     8.5     (53)                  
ADELAIDE                 2.5     4.6     4.8     4.8     (32)          

 Garner 3, Bernardi 2, Hope, Kuys, Tesoriero
 Wallace, Hatchard, McCormick, Thompson 

 Garner, Bernardi, Brazill, Lambert, King
 Phillips, Marinoff, Randall, Allan, Thompson 

: Nil
Adelaide: Randall (head knock) 

Reports: Nil 

Umpires: Young, Rowe, Guy

Crowd: 2,300 at Olympic Park Oval