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betts-whitfield-200x320.jpg

Lachie Whitfield and Eddie Betts fight for the ball during the practice match between the Giants and the Crows. Picture: Getty Images

It was stinking hot, really humid, and the boys were able to knuckle down

A CONCERNING injury toll marred Adelaide's eight-point victory over Greater Western Sydney as both sides wrapped up their practice match schedules in Blacktown.

Tom Lynch, the Crows' leading goalkicker last year, suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder two weeks before they start their season against the Cats in Geelong.

Andy Otten jarred a knee, Sam Shaw suffered hamstring tightness and Richard Douglas had a groin problem, leaving Adelaide with one fresh man on the bench after halftime.

The final two quarters were then reduced to attempts to limit the carnage, with GWS spearhead Jeremy Cameron also seen with ice on his ankle at halftime, although coach Leon Cameron said he should be fine for round one.

The Giants had most of the running in the first term, but five goals to nil in the second quarter set-up Adelaide's 12.10 (82) to 11.8 (74) triumph that completed an unbeaten pre-season.

Afterwards, Crows coach Brenton Sanderson said Lynch was the only certainty to face a decent stint on the sidelines, saying he "looks like he'll definitely be out for a while".

Rather than lament the injury toll, however, Sanderson was thrilled with his side's form and commitment to the cause.

"I'm not sure of the severity of the injuries at the moment, for me though I'm really proud of our efforts to only play with one on the bench for a lot of the game," he said.

"It was stinking hot, really humid, and the boys were able to knuckle down and really run the game out.

"Fantastic preparation for us and we saw a lot of guys in great form going into round one."

Brodie Martin kicked three goals for the Crows, while Patrick Dangerfield, Scott Thompson and Matthew Jaensch were all in excellent touch.

No.2 draft pick Josh Kelly pushed his claims for a round one berth against the Sydney Swans with a polished display for GWS, supported by Callan Ward and Lachie Whitfield, while Will Hoskin-Elliott kicked two second-half goals.

Tom Boyd also made his senior debut, playing mainly in the ruck before slotting a beautiful goal in the final term, and Cameron admits he has plenty of headaches before picking his side to face the Swans on Saturday week.

"In terms of our two first-year players, it was good to see Tom get some good game time and find out what AFL football is about, even though it was a practice match," Cameron said.

"And Josh just continues on and finds the ball really well and makes really good decisions.

"(Kelly's) last two weeks have been really good … and as I said to the boys yesterday, 29 players don't go into 22 and it's going to be a tough time picking a side for next week."

GWS recruits Shane Mumford and Josh Hunt were rested, along with Adam Treloar, but there was still some outstanding talent on display.

The Giants had no less than four No.1 draft picks in their line-up – Tom Scully, Jonathon Patton, Whitfield and Tom Boyd, who made his senior debut and spent most of his game time in the ruck.

Adelaide also gave some more playing time to its newcomers James Podsiadly (two goals) and Eddie Betts (one), who both had their moments up front.

Dangerfield kicked the game's opening goal after three minutes, before GWS responded with four straight to take an early 17-point lead.

The Crows were then guilty of some missed opportunities until Patton's contested mark and set shot gave the Giants a nine-point edge at quarter-time.

Adelaide then put its foot down to hold sway for most of the ensuing three quarters, but there were good signs for both teams ahead of the new season, injuries aside.

ADELAIDE                                    3.5      8.8   11.10  12.10    (82)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY   5.2      5.5   7.7    11.8   (74)

GOALS
Adelaide:
Martin 3, Podsiadly 2, Dangerfield 2, Douglas, McKernan, Lyons, Jacobs, Betts
Greater Western Sydney:
Hoskin-Elliott 2, Whitfield, Addison, Ward, Kelly, Patton, Boyd, Shiel, Coniglio, Lamb

BEST
Adelaide:
Dangerfield, Jaensch, Thompson, Martin, Jacobs, Mackay
Greater Western Sydney:
Kelly, Ward, Whitfield, Haynes, Patton, Palmer

INJURIES
Adelaide:
Lynch (shoulder), Otten (knee), Shaw (hamstring), Douglas (groin)
Greater Western Sydney:
Cameron (ankle)  

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Chamberlain, Armstrong, Hayes, Burgess

Twitter: @AFL_JD