Brisbane AFLW coach Craig Starcevich has praised the "special" footy nous of forward Jessica Wuetschner after her decisive three-goal haul in the Lions' two-point victory over Great Western Sydney.
The Giants pushed the Lions in Sunday's first half in front of 2850 fans at the Moreton Bay Sports Complex, but Wuetschner's two goals in the third quarter swung the match for Brisbane to win 4.5 (29) to 4.3 (27).
The double gave the Lions a decisive six-point lead at three-quarter time, a margin the Giants couldn't run down despite keeping Brisbane goalless in the final quarter.
Wuetschner has been with the Lions since the first season of AFLW and has continued to improve each campaign. She was among Brisbane's best in last year's six-point grand-final loss to the Western Bulldogs.
Starcevich said Wuetschner was a very smart footballer.
"She knows where to get; knows where to present; knows how to draw 50m penalty when someone runs through her exclusion zone - all those sorts of things make her ... her footy IQ is pretty special," Starcevich said.
"We're lucky to have her and she's very good and very dangerous in the forward 50m for us."
Starcevich praised his team's ability to come back after a flat first half to overcome a side who would "be there when the whips are cracking" at the end of the season.
"We were down and out a bit at halftime and fought back to put ourselves right back in the contest in the third quarter which is really pleasing. They ran the game out really strongly," he said.
While the Lions' coach was full of praise for their improved second half, GWS counterpart Alan McConnell lamented the Giants' ability to turn a win in the clearances into something tangible on the scoreboard.
"You win clearance as convincingly as we did but only go inside 50 23 times. They're a well-coached team," McConnell said.
"It's all good and well to be tough and hard and relentless but you've got to bring smarts with it as well.
"We worked hard enough to win but we weren't quite smart enough to win so we've got some work to do."
McConnell said Irish debutant and goal scorer Yvonne Bonner would improve as she adapted to the Australian game, and praised 18-year-old draftee Alyce Parker's first game.
"She's tough, she's got a footy brain and she'll get better and better too," he said.