Melbourne head coach Mick Stinear has lauded the influence of his inspirational skipper Daisy Pearce, claiming that the veteran's "will to win" was crucial in seeing the Demons through to their second grand final appearance of the calendar year.
Having held off Darren Crocker's huddle of resurgent Roos at Ikon Park on Saturday afternoon, Stinear's legion earned their pass to face Brisbane next Sunday in the season seven AFLW Grand Final in Springfield.
The decider comes just over seven months after Melbourne trekked to the City of Churches to face Adelaide in last season's decider, eventually flying home heavyhearted and sans the cup.
While subject to the ebbs and flows that come standard during 'do-or-die' finals, Melbourne led at every change, with Pearce slotting the sealer and sending diehard Dees everywhere into ecstasy.
Speaking after his side flexed their muscles, slotting 2.2 to no score in the final term of the 17-point win, Stinear heaped praise on his offsider, stressing Pearce's role up forward reaped rewards on multiple levels.
“(She's) such a special player and a will to win,” Stinear told News Corp.
“She was willing the troops on the whole game and she's such an inspiration.”
Now 33, Pearce contended in March that she had been toying with the notion of retirement, but without a premiership to her name since the competition's inauguration, the veteran's motivation is clear.
Although stating that she could "walk away still really fulfilled" if a flag never fell her way, next Sunday's Sunshine State decider will afford the Redlegs' heart and soul a chance to put any lingering doubt to rest.
Pearce and the Demons' chances should be bolstered following the early prognosis of Tayla Harris' left shoulder injury.
After spending the latter stages of the opening term on the bench with cradling the joint, the former Lion and Blue spent the remainder of the win alongside Pearce deep within the forward 50.
Despite clearly being hampered by the ailment that had initially flared in both 2017 and 2018, Harris fought valiantly to help her side across the line.
Harris' fighting credentials are plain to see, with the 25-year-old's history of going toe-to-toe with foes on the field, in the boxing ring and online.
Stinear claimed that these same pugilistic qualities would see his star forward rise from the canvas and take her place in what will be her fourth grand final for her third club in six years.
“(She was in) a bit of discomfort during the game we took her out of the ruck and tried to use her as a weapon forward,” Stinear said.
“She's OK, certainly a bit of discomfort during the game but I can't see her missing next week, she's tough.”
Pearce, Harris and company will use the week to recover and fine-tune before doing battle in Queensland on Sunday.
The opening bounce of the S7 AFLW Grand Final is scheduled for 2:40pm (AEDT).