The West Coast Eagles displayed incredible work rate and drive across four quarters against Adelaide but fell by 26 points in scorching conditions at Mineral Resources Park on Saturday.
The Eagles provided a test for the season six premiers with a 'nothing to lose' attitude, but it was not enough against the experience and class of the Crows, who made a game-breaking move in the second quarter with five straight goals.
West Coast fought hard to bring the margin back to 14 points early in the fourth quarter, but the Crows again lifted when needed and kicked away with the last two goals to make sure there were no untimely hiccups.
They did so without several key players, having rested captain Chelsea Randall and three-time club champion Anne Hatchard among six strategic omissions in the final-round clash, which proved wise in 37-degree heat.
Midfielder Ebony Marinoff was the star with 23 disposals and seven clearances, enjoying an entertaining battle with young Eagles star Ella Roberts, who also impressed with 27 and six inside 50s during a full game in the midfield.
Danielle Ponter's time in the midfield was crucial for the Crows through the second quarter, while the team benefited from having nine separate goalkickers in an even team performance built on hard running and smart ball use after a scratchy start.
The Eagles matched the Crows through an entertaining first quarter, using their pressure to force turnovers and getting on top outside the contest through hard offensive running and much improved ball use.
They took a one-point lead early in the second quarter when milestone Eagle Kellie Gibson snapped a brilliant running goal, but that was the last time they would have the edge over the premiership contending Crows.
Through their dominance in the midfield, the Crows went on a five-goal run that split the game open, with Ponter delivering a highlight when she won a centre clearance, burst forward with two bounces and then converted on the run after a quick give-and-go.
When crafty small forward Rachelle Martin fed Teah Charlton for the visitors' fifth goal from seven forward entries in the quarter, they took a game-high 29-point lead.
The Eagles' ability to fight back into the game was impressive and showed they have taken plenty out of their final fortnight under Rohan McHugh, with captain Emma Swanson (28 and four clearances) as well as Belinda Smith, Bella Lewis and Gibson (two goals) impressive.
WEST COAST 2.2 4.3 5.5 6.9 (45)
ADELAIDE 2.2 8.2 9.4 11.5 (71)
West Coast: Gibson 2, McCarthy, Lewis, Davison, Bushby
Adelaide: Newman 2, Gould 2, Varnhagen, Ponter, Martin, Marinoff, Kustermann, Charlton, Bonner
West Coast: Swanson, Roberts, Gibson, Hooker, Smith, Lewis
Adelaide: Marinoff, Newman, Ponter, McKinnon, Martin, Charlton
West Coast: Schmidt (corked quad)
Crowd: TBC at Mineral Resources Park