THE BRISBANE Lions were brave, but coach Craig Starcevich admitted winning Saturday's NAB AFL Women's Grand Final against Adelaide would have been a "steal".
The Lions fell agonisingly short of completing an undefeated season, getting within a goal of the Crows despite chasing for most of the game.
So often this season the Lions have fallen on the right side of the ledger, winning five of their games by 12 points or less, but it wasn't to be at Metricon Stadium.
Adelaide dominated most of the key statistics, including disposals (224-201), clearances (29-11) and inside 50s (43-27), but couldn't shake the stubborn Lions.
"We didn't ever think they were without a chance, because that's been their trademark and the way they've done things," Starcevich said.
"We were under the pump pretty much the whole day.
"In all honesty, it would have been an absolute steal if we had have levelled up."
But the Lions had their chances right until the final siren.
Starcevich said the difference came down to Adelaide's key players – led by co-captains Erin Phillips and Chelsea Randall – playing at their absolute best, while his stars didn't quite.
Teenage forward Tayla Harris had a tough day against Randall, but still kicked a crucial final-quarter goal to give her team a chance.
"I thought their (Adelaide) intensity was really really good all day, right from the start, I think they sniffed the fact we were maybe a fraction off," Starcevich said.
"It's been an incredible run.
"When the dust settles, I think they'll be proud of their achievements."