Crows go up a gear
ADELAIDE has responded to a mounting casualty ward to find a way to 5-2 this season — and learnt a lot more about its list in the process.
Last night’s 55-point win over Carlton came without its captain and vice-captain but not without adding to its worrying injury toll with Wayne Milera sidelined after halftime.
Milera appeared to point to his hamstring after leaving the field and did not return in the second half in a blow after his breakout game last week.
It was far from Adelaide’s best footy but the Crows are now just one win behind last season’s 6-1 start and can expect Taylor Walker, Rory Sloane and Riley Knight to all return for next weekend’s Showdown with Port Adelaide.
The Blues kicked the first goal and were competitive in the second quarter when Adelaide appeared to fall asleep but the result was never in doubt.
The Blues were horrible early, kicking out of bounds on the full without pressure and fumbling the footy in the goalsquare.
But they had a real purple patch in the second term with three goals in a row to challenge the home side.
They kicked four goals to two for the quarter on the back of Ed Curnow and Patrick Cripps winning inside ball, while Zac Fisher showed dash and Kade Simpson racked up possession. Crows: McGovern, Greenwood, Douglas, Seedsman, M.Crouch, Jacobs. Blues: Curnow, Simpson, Cripps. Crows: McGovern 5, Jenkins 3, Betts 2, Greenwood 2, Douglas 2, Lynch 2, Gibbs, Mackay, Laird. Blues: McKay 2, Casboult 2, Phillips, E.Curnow, Kreuzer, Wright, Graham, Dow. Crows: Stoppages Fwd half stoppages Intercepts Fwd half intercepts 5.3 (33) 2.3 (15) 13.7 (85) 9.3 (57)
But that was the wake-up call Adelaide needed and the home side kicked two goals in two minutes to start the third term, regained control and weren’t threatened again.
Adelaide’s regulars were all solid, led by Richard Douglas, Hugh Greenwood, Rory Laird, Matt Crouch, Bryce Gibbs and Sam Jacobs, but it was the contribution of either the next wave or those who have struggled for form this season that will please supporters the most.
Mitch McGovern, who missed last year’s Grand Final, has had a slow start to this season but arrived with a bang last night.
He kicked five goals for the game and in the third quarter when the contest needed a lift Blues: Stoppages Fwd half stoppages Intercepts Fwd half intercepts 2.4 (16) 2.3 (15) 7.6 (48) 5.3 (33) Crows: Milera (hamstring). Blues: Casboult (ribs). Harris, Brown, Stevic. 47,422 at Adelaide Oval HOT: R.Douglas (Ade)132 points (83% TOG) NOT: S.Rowe (Carl) 51 points (94% TOG) he provided a trademark hanger by rising above two Carlton defenders.
With his confidence right up, minutes later he charged out of full forward and took another strong mark to suggest he’s getting back to his best.
His fellow tall forward last night in Josh Jenkins was also solid. Jenkins kicked two goals in the first quarter and relieved Jacobs in the ruck before even pushing into defence and finishing the game with 3.2 and seven marks.
Of last night’s team, Jordan Gallucci, Paul Seedsman, Cam Ellis-Yolmen and Tom Doedee played eight games between them for the entire of 2017, and Darcy Fogarty wasn’t even on the list.