Koenen’s colossal performance helps Brisbane take title

SUNDAY’s AFLW Grand Final was tight and tense, and had no clear winner until the final term.

Ultimately it was Brisbane that emerged victorious, and it was thanks in large part to the exploits of its skipper Bre Koenen.

Playing in both defence and in the midfield, her tireless work first helped keep Brisbane in the game, and later helped them win it.

Her exploits on the day won her the Best On Ground medal, and it was not hard to see why she was a unanimous choice by the judges.

After initially starting on star Roo Jenna Bruton, she returned to her more natural defence role.

As North Melbourne kept pushing and pushing early, putting the Brisbane defence under enormous pressure, Koenen’s intercept marking ensured that North often could not make the most of their inside 50 dominance.

Her positioning is one of the strongest aspects of Koenen’s game, and that was evident again on Sunday. She was always in the right place in the right time and was able to judge the flight of the ball really well, whether she was running back with the flight of the ball or not. She took five marks in the first half, and they were all off opposition kicks.

This was able to become an extra boost for the Lion when she became the spare behind the ball when one of the North forwards would push up to the contest. They would then bomb the ball forward, straight to Koenen.

This work then allowed Koenen to generate a lot of metres gained for her team. She finished the match with 336m gained, which was the third highest overall for the match and second highest for her side behind Orla O’Dwyer.

She also provided plenty of tackling pressure across the match. She finished the match with a whopping 10 tackles, which was fourth highest overall for the game and her side, only behind Courtney Hodder, Isabel Dawes and Ally Anderson.

In the second half Koenen moved into the middle, and just like in Round 4 it was to play on Jasmine Garner, who she again kept quiet.

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