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Indigenous stars sweep honours at AFLW night of nights

Jarred Cross -

Crows forward Danielle Ponter and Lions ace Dakota Davidson have received maiden All Australian selections after at the AFLW W Awards on Monday night after stellar 2023 seasons.

Tigers champion Monique Conti dominated the best-and-fairest count to claim the competition's highest individual honour in a near-perfect return in the umpires tally on the night.

Ponter was recognised with her first All Australian at forward pocket for her 16 goal home-and-away season, where she was a key cog in another premiership-fancy campaign from Adelaide.

The 23-year-old fell agonisingly close to leading her side to yet another AFLW grand final with three goals in the Crows one-point loss to North Melbourne at the weekend.

Ponter hit the scoreboard with majors in all games after round one - her best, a 70-odd metre roost from the centre circle in round two, falling just short of goal of the year to Caitlin Greise for her inch-perfect effort from the outside of the boot.

Danielle Ponter scored in all but match in 2023. (Image: Adelaide Crows AFLW)

Lions tall target Dakota Davidson slotted into full forward with her own maiden selection in the side.

The 24-year-old led from the front in yet-another successful tilt at the cup from Brisbane, kicking just shy of two goals a game on average, and ranking in the top five of the competition for scoring and marks.

On Monday, the Lions said Davidson is a "chance" to play in Sunday's grand final against the Kangaroos following scans after injuring her knee in Brisbane's narrow preliminary final win over Geelong.

The Lions will sweat on the availability of their star goalkicker as her fitness is assessed through the week.

Teammate Ally Anderson backed-up her AFLW best-and-fairest AFLW season seven with her second All Australian nod at interchange in the 22-player team.

Brisbane already take some silverware out of grand final week after Courntey Hodder's Indigenous Round screamer running back with the flight of the ball was named mark of the year.

Incredibly, the grab missed out on mark of the week, but was later shortlisted for the award by judges.

Hodder said "she had no idea what was happening at the time" of the brave pluck.

"I thought, 'you know, open forward line, easy goal here' and then I'm on the floor and the ball is in my hands.

She joked Davidson, who felt the brunt of the impact, "had to have some good ninja skills to avoid the concussion" in the contest.

The Lions look to make amends to falling short of their second premiership in last year's decider against Melbourne this weekend.

Hodder said she and her team are "pumped..and can't wait" for the match despite having to travel from their home deck to face an inspired Kangaroos.

"We're just grateful to be in the grand final, whether it's home or away…just to be there and give it our best…I think that's what I'm looking forward to," she said.

The Lions meet North at Melbourne's IKON Park on Sunday, December 3.

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