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Eddie Betts lights it up as Crows crush undermanned Eagles

Harry Thring  February 21, 2016 4:17 PM

Highlights: Crows v Eagles Adelaide and West Coast clash in the NAB Challenge
AFL 2016 NAB Challenge - Adelaide v West Coast

Eddie Betts flies for a mark

ADELAIDE star Eddie Betts has dominated Sunday's NAB Challenge clash against West Coast, booting six goals (including a supergoal) in a special performance – even by his standards.

Combined with his four goal assists, Betts had a hand in 10 major scores as the Crows destroyed an undermanned Eagles outfit at Unley Oval by 100 points 2.20.10 (148) to 0.7.6 (48).

Click here for full match coverage and stats

Crows coach Don Pyke was obviously pleased by the result but understood it was against a second-string Eagles side.

"I don't know if we'd put 'big ticks' next to too much, I think we've shown some improvement … obviously West Coast were in a position where they didn't bring over their strongest side," Pyke said.

"It's pleasing form the players' viewpoint that they can recognise times when we move the ball really well, we're able to chain it from the back half efficiently and connect forward.

"Equally at times when we were able to slow West Coast down and force them to kick to a contest."

Crows draftee Wayne Milera also strengthened comparisons made of him to Andrew McLeod, oozing class in his competitive debut.

Milera's poise and skill – reminiscent of the Crows legend – were on full display as he took over in the second term with nine possessions.

The No.11 pick at last year's NAB AFL Draft ran hard, made great decisions and hit targets, finishing with 12 possessions and two goal assists.

Tom Lynch was superb (23 disposals, two goals, five assists), Rory Atkins was impressive (14 possessions, one super goal, one goal) as was recruit Dean Gore (13 disposals, two goals).

Skills were scrappy early as both sides familiarised themselves with the pace of competitive football and while the Eagles generated the bulk of early scoring opportunities the Crows quickly took control.

Matt Crouch was an inside force (24 disposals, seven clearances) and with Betts and Milera combining on several occasions the game was over by half-time. 

Eagles ruckman Jon Giles (21 hit-outs) battled well for his new club and draftee Luke Partington was serviceable at times, but the experienced Adelaide line-up was just too good and found far too much space (228 uncontested possessions to 89).

Stand-in West Coast coach Justin Longmuir said the lopsided uncontested count was brought on by Adelaide's quick movement combining with his side's fatigue.

"We started the game really well, our pressure was up … as soon as our young players got tired, that's when our pressure dropped off, our hunt around the footy dropped off," Longmuir said.

"Their ball movement really exposed us and they got good supply into a really talented forward line.

"We came in wanting to give them (young players) opportunity and that's what they got."

Adelaide: The Crows moved the ball quickly and with impressive execution on Sunday, leading to a massive and lopsided uncontested possession count. The club's new players generally performed well and the forward line showed just how effective it could be when operating at full steam.

West Coast: Given the inexperience of Sunday's line-up, the real West Coast won't be on display until the second and third NAB Challenge games. Sunday was simply an opportunity for the club's developing players to test themselves against a hardened AFL side. 

Adelaide: Wayne Milera was sensational and showed tremendous composure for a player who's yet to debut. His balance and skill is exciting. Dean Gore was busy through the midfield and finished with two nice goals and Paul Seedsman looked good when in possession.

West Coast: Jon Giles was his side's best and fought hard in the ruck in his first game for the club, while Lewis Jetta was quiet. Draftee Luke Partington held his own at times but then tired as did the bulk of his teammates. Matthew Allen kicked two goals and rookie Jordan Snadden slotted one.

Adelaide will likely send a much younger side to Mt Barker next week to take on Fremantle in its second NAB Challenge clash. In contrast, the Eagles will likely welcome back a stream of experienced players for their game against Gold Coast in Joondalup.

ADELAIDE         0.4.2   2.8.7   2.14.8   2.20.10  (148)                  
WEST COAST     0.3.1   0.3.1   0.4.2     0.7.6      (48)           

Adelaide: Betts, Atkins
West Coast: Nil 

Adelaide: Betts 5, Walker 3, Lynch, Jenkins, Gore 2, Atkins, Dear, Jacobs, Ellis-Yolmen, McGovern, Brown
West Coast: Karpany, Allen 2, Hill, Bennell, Snadden 

Adelaide: Betts, Lynch, Crouch, Laird, Thompson, Milera
West Coast: Giles, Hutchings, Adamson, Hill 

Adelaide: Nil
West Coast: Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Stephens, Edwards, McInerney, Ryan 

Official crowd: 8,000 (approx.) at Unley Oval