Star Lion Dakota Davidson has revealed she dodged every bullet imaginable and there was ‘not one scratch’ on her knee following her scare in last week’s Preliminary Final.
Davidson was cast as the lead in this year’s traditional Grand Final week race against time to be fit for this years AFLW decider, after going down with what looked to be a serious knee injury in last week’s nailbiter against Geelong.
Cameras showed Davidson in tears on the bench, casting a doubt as to whether she would feature in the decider against North Melbourne.
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But she shrugged off any fitness concerns to train fully during the week, and endure a quiet opening half to kick crucial back-to-back goals in the final quarter as the Lions ran over the top of the Kangaroos and clinched their second AFLW premiership.
Speaking post game, Davidson said that this time a week ago she wasn’t even sure in her own mind that she would be able to take the field as she waited for the scans on her knee to come back, but conceded that others would have to “suspend me or keep me down” and she was “never missing this game for the world.”
“On Sunday I didn’t (think this was possible) while we were waiting for the scans,” Davidson said.
“As soon as the scans came back clear I said to myself, I’ve got to do everything in my power to make sure that I’m ready for Sunday.
“I’d do everything in my power to play this game.”
The 24-year-old explained her own, and her doctor’s, shock when the scans came back clear without a single scratch.
While the Lions medical staff reacted as if she had a knee injury that she was going to take into the game, Davidson said there was nothing out of the ordinary outside the general rehab, “icing and elevation” that went into her preparation for the game.
“The doctor said 99% of people would have easily torn anything, but something is up with your knees,” she said.
“Someone is looking over you. It was a phenomenal 24 hours to say the least.”
Davidson had endured a tough opening three quarters on the field as the Lions were constantly playing catch up with the North Melbourne in a tight affair to three quarter time.
After only registering three disposals and two tackles through the opening three quarters, Davidson broke the game open at the start of the fourth quarter, taking two strong marks in forward 50 and converting back to back goals to put the Lions back in front for just the second time in the game.
The all-Australian revealed the conversations she had with coach Craig Starcevich at both half time and at three-quarter-time that sparked her into action.
“At half time, Craig looked me in the eyes and said Daks, games are about moments and I’m sure you’re going to get your moment soon. I took the mark and I said to myself, here you go Daks, this is your moment,” she said.
“I took it and Bob’s your uncle, here I am.”