Main content

Crow Lever's first goal silences his teammates

Hurley signs, Stringer speaks, Hawks fly The Footy Feed team with all the latest news
I thought I'd go my whole career without kicking one
Jake Lever

JAKE Lever thought he would go his whole career without kicking a goal.

But even though the Adelaide defender has got the monkey off his back with a goal of the round nomination, he's more intent on stopping goals as part of the Crows' underrated backline.

The Crows go into Saturday night's Showdown with cross-town rivals Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval as red-hot favourites.

They are third on the ladder and have serious premiership aspirations, having won 11 of their past 12 games.

While Adelaide's high-octane attack attracts all the headlines, its defence will also play a major role in determining how deep the Crows go in September.

Impressive second-year player Lever hasn't missed a game this season to build on the 12 appearances he made in his rookie campaign.

He was the only Crows defender not to have kicked a goal in the AFL until producing a sensational dummy past not one, but two Dockers players, before slotting truly from 45m in last week's 72-point win against Fremantle.

"I still probably can't believe it,'' Lever told AFL.com.au.

''I thought I'd go my whole career without kicking one.

''There was a bit of a running joke within the club, but I'm glad it just went through.''

Lever had pushed up the ground for a stoppage inside the forward 50m when he received a pass from veteran midfielder Scott Thompson.

''I knew I was too far out if I went back for a set shot, so I went to play on and saw both of them come at me,'' Lever said.

"I saw (Hayden) Ballantyne come for me and he was coming in real quick, so I thought I might be able to get around him, and I was lucky enough that I got around (Zac) Clarke as well.

''I didn't really think about doing anything, and it just sort of happened and I was kicking for goal.''

Fellow Crows defender Kyle Hartigan broke his duck two weeks earlier against Essendon, while Kyle Cheney is still searching for his first career goal as a Crows player having kicked one each for Melbourne and Hawthorn.

The Crows have had the luxury of keeping their best defenders on the park.

All Australian contender Rory Laird (five games), Luke Brown (two) and Hartigan (one) have only missed a few matches, while Lever, Daniel Talia, Brodie Smith and Cheney are on track for uninterrupted seasons.

"That's really important,'' Lever said.

"It's really good each week to know who you're playing with and know what the players around you are going to do.

"That's been an important part of why we've had so much success so far."