Feast for Crows Adelaide sprint into September with an Eagle domination
REBORN Adelaide yesterday produced their best Road Runner impersonation to put flag contender West Coast to the sword and send a powerful message to their rivals that they are not in the finals just to make up the numbers.
The white-hot Crows – eight weeks after tragically losing coach Phil Walsh and having their season being in danger of collapse – will go into September as one of the form teams and a side no club will want to meet after ripping the shell-shocked Eagles to shreds, winning by 57 points.
They proved what a dangerous finals wildcard they could be by incredibly blowing the second-placed Eagles away in 30 exhilarating minutes at Adelaide Oval.
Using the “speed kills’’ theory, Adelaide put the afterburners on to kick 8.3 to 0.1 in one of their greatest openingquarter blitzes to keep their hopes of a home elimination final alive and send a shiver through the spines of their finals rivals.
The Crows’ spectacular performance – and sixth win from their past seven games – came just two months after the players trudged from Domain Stadium in tears after the Eagles had beaten them by 56 points in their first game following Walsh’s death.
West Coast produced a mini-fightback in the second term yesterday, kicking five consecutive goals after conceding the first nine, but in reality the match was over at quarter-time.
Small forward Charlie Cameron started the onslaught after 40 seconds when he capitalised on a dropped mark from Jeremy McGovern and a clever handball from teammate Taylor Walker to snap brilliantly with his left foot.
After 10 minutes the Crows led by five goals following two each from tall forwards Josh Jenkins and Tom Lynch.
By quarter-time, with Walker and Eddie Betts join- ing the goalfest, Adelaide had eight majors and the lead was out to 50 points.
The Crows had shell-shocked the Eagles by running them ragged, winning 116 disposals to 70 and dominating inside 50s 20-6.
While Adelaide were winning their share of clearances, their dominance came from their strong desire to play on at all costs and outside run.
Scott Camporeale’s recharged outfit led the uncontested possession count 71-32, illustrating where the game was being won and why they were able to break through the Eagles’ renowned “web’’ defence with ease.
defender Brodie Smith was back to his brilliant best after finally regaining confidence following two early-season concussions, midfield bull Patrick Dangerfield was in everything, Rory Laird and Rory Sloane found space to move into and Lynch lived up to his “connector’’ tag.
What made the Crows’ start even more meritorious was that they had been notoriously slow starters this year, having won just seven first quarters and none of their previous five.
Adelaide played with such brilliance that they were given a standing ovation.
The Crows face a burnt-out Geelong at Simonds Stadium on Saturday as they look to secure a home elimination final.