In moving scenes, thousands rose to their feet to applaud Adelaide Crows star Erin Phillips who, in the third quarter of the AFLW Grand Final, was stretchered off the field with an ACL injury. The extraordinary show of respect came from the record 53,034 footy fans at the Adelaide Oval, and players from both sides in the Crows-Carlton clash.
The Crows went on to win their second premiership by a stunning 45 points.
Phillips was named Best on Ground for her incredible performance prior to her injury – 18 possessions and two goals. She was helped on stage by her teammates Chelsea Randall and Ebony Marinoff.
“This is an absolute dream come true, not just for our girls but for Carlton as well, to play in front of this crowd means so much to us and it’s amazing for women’s footy,” she said.
— AFL Women’s (@aflwomens) March 31, 2019
“It is bittersweet but I’m so proud of this group,” Phillips said of her injury. “[We’ve] had such an amazing season and to finish off like we did today was unbelievable and in front of 53,000 people in Adelaide was a dream come true.”
Phillips also confirmed she had injured her ACL, saying it was “something I’ve done before on the other leg, this was meant to be my good leg … Unfortunately that’s just sport, that’s how it is, that’s the risk you take when you play contact sport.”
She added that she’s going to do everything she can to come back next season.
Earlier in the game, Adelaide’s Chloe Scheer also appeared to seriously injure her knee. Adelaide head coach Matthew Clarke later confirmed Scheer’s injury was likely ACL-related, as reported by The Herald Sun.
On Twitter, support flooded in for the two stars with footy fans sharing their pride for the respect shown on and off field.
Standing ovation by the many thousands here at Adelaide oval for @erinphillips131 shows @aflwomens community is a very beautiful powerful thing to b apart of ❤ this is why today AFLW is the winner for me, supporting 1 another 🙂 my thoughts with Erin Phillips & Chloe Schere 💞💞
— Fearny Fearn 🖤🤍🌈🦄🦔 I ❤ AFLW & VFLW (@fearnyfearn172) March 31, 2019
What a moment that was as Phillips came off the ground. Hard to watch, but haven’t seen anything like that before. Just shows how much of a respected player she is. Wishing both her and Chloe Scheer all the very best. #AFLWGF
— Alicia Eva (@AliciaEva2) March 31, 2019
Congratulations to @CrowsAFLW on not only being the best today but for the season! So well deserved! All the best to @erinphillips131 and Chloe Scheer with their injuries. Really heartbreaking to see but the whole AFLW community is behind you! 👏🏼
— Emma Zielke (@Zilks) March 31, 2019
Can you even imagine being respected so much that you’re beating a side by 8 goals in a GF and every one of them comes over to wish you well when you’re injured? Erin Phillips is a star. Hoping for the best. 🤞🏻 #AFLWGF
— Scott (@sjl_62) March 31, 2019
Erin Phillips has won the AFLW GF best on ground despite doing her ACL in the third quarter. She is an absolute marvel.
— Rudi Edsall (@RudiEdsall) March 31, 2019
The reaction to Erin Phillips’ knee injury in the AFLW GF is something rarely witnessed … a remarkable measure of respect for arguably the sports best ever female player #AFLWGF
— Glenn Mitchell (@MitchellGlenn) March 31, 2019