ADELAIDE has put itself in pole position for a home AFLW preliminary final with an emphatic 32-point win against Greater Western Sydney at Unley Oval on Sunday.
The game was in the balance at three-quarter time before the Crows booted four goals in the last term to seal their fifth straight victory.
Erin Phillips and Ebony Marinoff had 24 disposals each and Stevie-Lee Thompson kicked three majors as the Crows cruised home 9.5 (59) to 4.3 (27).
The Crows are now on top of Conference A ahead of North Melbourne and Fremantle on percentage.
RACE FOR FINALS Where is your team placed?
With the Kangaroos and Dockers squaring off next week, the Crows will need to beat Melbourne at Casey Fields next Sunday to remain in top spot and host the second-placed team in Conference B in the first week of the finals.
The loss leaves the Giants (1-5) in fourth place in Conference B and rules them out of finals contention.
Point of difference
The Crows proved they are the best fourth-quarter team in the competition, using their superior fitness to overrun their rivals. The Crows booted four unanswered goals in the last term, taking their tally to 19 last-term goals in their past five games.
The ruck battle between Crow Jess Foley and Greater Western Sydney's Erin McKinnon was always going to play a crucial role in the result. Foley more than held her own in the hitouts, while also picking up 15 disposals around the ground.
Work in progress
It's been a tough season for the Giants under coach Alan McConnell, winning just one of their six games so far. They went toe-to-toe with the Crows for three quarters, but a lack of numbers – losing Nicola Barr (hamstring), Jacinda Barclay (collarbone) and Alyce Parker (whiplash) – hurt their chances down the stretch.
One to watch
Adelaide's first-year forward Chloe Scheer is a pure footballer with a knack of getting herself in the right positions. One of the NAB AFLW Rising Star nominees in round five, Scheer stood out again, kicking a goal and setting up another with a clever snap from the pocket.
"Over the last month our last quarters have been strong, so I feel they should have confidence in that. Clearly, it was a great contest and it just wasn't going to happen, so we acknowledge GWS brought a level of intent and energy that was going to be a challenge, but fortunately we were able to match them in that space." – Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke
"I thought the Crows had the better of the moments in the first three quarters. We probably got a little bit lucky, we didn't generate enough Inside 50s, but in the end, the weight of numbers and the lack of rotations eventually catches up with you." - Greater Western Sydney coach Alan McConnell
The Crows will have their finals destiny in their own hands when they take on Melbourne at Casey Fields next Saturday, 4.45pm (AEDT). Meanwhile, the Giants will hope to finish the season on a high when they host Geelong at UNSW Canberra Oval on Friday night at 7.15 pm (AEDT).
ADELAIDE 3.0 5.3 5.4 9.5 (59)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 2.1 4.2 4.2 4.3 (27)
Adelaide: Thompson 3, Ponter 2, Hatchard, Scheer, Phillips, Jones
Greater Western Sydney: Hicks, Bernardi, Staunton, Bonner
Adelaide: Marinoff, Phillips, Foley, Thompson, Scheer, Randall
Greater Western Sydney: Eva, Parker, Brush, Staunton
Greater Western Sydney: Barclay (collarbone), Barr (hamstring), Parker (whiplash)
Umpires: Broadbent, Lewis, Simmonds
Official crowd: 7725 at Unley Oval