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AFLW Stocks Rising: Brilliant Bre shines, Dakota's massive fourth term

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How Dakota Davidson got up for the AFLW Grand Final (1:44)

The ESPN Footy Podcast discusses how Dakota Davidson got up for the AFLW Grand Final after suffering a knee injury the week prior. (1:44)

In the 2023 AFLW Grand Final, Bre Koenen had the ultimate skipper's game, and Dakota Davidson nailed the clutch moments to help deliver the Lions a premiership. Here's whose stocks are up after an epic season decider.

Our footy experts cast their eye over the weekend's action to find out whose stocks are up in the AFLW.


Lions' skipper steps up in BOG performance

Now that is what you call a true captain's performance! Brisbane skipper Breanna Koenen could not have done anything else to help inspire her team to a stunning Grand Final win, doing it all and leading from the front both in defence and through the midfield.

The 28-year-old served as a brick wall as the Roos were penetrating the forward line in the first half, freeing herself as a spare in the backline and taking five marks to half time. Her influence at that stage was obvious, but she moved to the centre of the ground to try and quell the influence of AFLW MVP and North gun Jasmine Garner, who was an imposing figure for the entire contest.

Koenen finished with nine intercepts (only defensive counterpart Nat Grider had more with 16) from 19 disposals, seven marks, and 11 tackles, and capped off her afternoon with a richly-deserved, game-sealing goal in the final stages.

Davidson nails her chances to propel Brisbane's comeback

What a week for Dakota Davidson, who would have experienced the whole gamut of emotions in a massive week. From going down with what could have been a serious knee injury in the prelim, to being cleared by scans and named in the team, it would have been an exhausting week before she even stepped onto Ikon Park for the decider. But the push to be fit paid off personally and for the Lions.

With her side down seven points at three-quarter time, and with just three disposals to her name, Davidson needed to be the spark, and spark she did; two contested marks, two goals in the space of eight minutes to put the Lions up in the final term. It just goes to show some stars don't need to have a great afternoon, but just need to have a couple of great moments. After she stepped up, the Lions looked refreshed, and following majors to Ellie Hampson and skipper Bre Koenen, the Lions were home.

Jasmine Garner stars for North... again!

She was the hot favourite to take out the league's Best and Fairest award earlier in Grand Final week and fell just short, but showed why the footy community rates her so highly - she was one of North's best on the day, and was just about the most influential player on the ground through half time.

She kicked the first goal of the match, and indeed North's first two majors, picking up 24 disposals and seven tackles to go with her two goals and 452 metres gained. While quelled by Lions skipper Bre Koenen in the second half, Garner certainly helped give her side the best chance at a first AFLW permiership.