Josh Rachele celebrates a goal during Adelaide's clash against Fremantle in round four, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

CAPTAIN Jordan Dawson's inspired display has propelled Adelaide to a 39-point win over Fremantle as the Dockers' lurch into early-season strife continues.

Dawson collected 28 disposals and kicked a goal in the Crows' 17.9 (111) to 10.12 (72) triumph at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

CROWS v DOCKERS Full match coverage and stats

The victory squares Adelaide's win-loss ledger after four rounds but Fremantle, a finalist last season, is in the mire with one win and three losses.

Adelaide's Taylor Walker kicked four goals and teammates Izak Rankine and Josh Rachele slotted three each.

Dawson was superb in a roaming role in midfield and defence, winning five clearances, laying six tackles and having five inside 50s and five rebound 50s.


Triple club champion Rory Laird also gathered 28 possessions and Brodie Smith (24 touches) offered great dash from half-back.

Adelaide's Jake Soligo (21, two goals), Chayce Jones (21 touches) and Rory Sloane (23 possessions) also helped overwhelm a lacklustre Fremantle.

Dockers Caleb Serong (28 touches) and Angus Brayshaw (31) were outstanding while Lachie Schultz, Bailey Banfield and Matt Taberner kicked two goals apiece.

Adelaide, with ex-captain Walker kicking two early goals, set the tone early by skipping to a 17-point lead at quarter-time, 6.1 to 3.2.


The Crows converted half of their dozen entries into their attacking 50 zone into goals.

Adelaide's dominance continued in the second quarter with skipper Dawson the architect – his match-high 17 disposals until half-time featured four clearances and three inside 50s.

The Crows kicked four goals to one in the second term to create a commanding six-goal half-time advantage.

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Fremantle lifted its collective workrate in the third quarter but couldn't make much of a dent in Adelaide's lead.

Freo's Schultz kicked the visitors' two goals for the term, punctuated by an accurate 50m bomb from Adelaide's influential Dawson.


The skipper's strike was the home side's sole major in the term as the Crows took a 32-point lead into three-quarter time.

Adelaide then iced the victory with another six goals to four in the final term to bank consecutive wins.

Skipper sets the tone
Getting more midfield time, Dawson was influential for the Crows, particularly early, and then drilled his side's only goal in the third quarter. If there were questions over whether he deserved his Showdown Medal last week, there was no doubt he was best on ground on Saturday.


Crows' rising star having an impact
With all the focus on the likes of Will Ashcroft and Harry Sheezel to begin 2023, young Crow Max Michalanney has quietly made an impressive start to his AFL career. The son of Jim was taken with pick No.17 in last year's draft and has had an impact to start the year. Michalanney was particularly bright early on Saturday and finished with 16 disposals and a game-high 10 intercept possessions.


ADELAIDE            6.1     10.4     11.8      17.9 (111)
FREMANTLE         3.2      4.4       6.6      10.12 (72)

Adelaide: Walker 4, Rankine 3, Rachele 3, Soligo 2, Gollant 2, Thilthorpe, Milera, Dawson
Taberner 2, Schultz 2, Banfield 2, Jackson, Hughes, Henry, Amiss

Adelaide: Dawson, Rachele, Walker, Rankine, Michalanney, McHenry
Serong, Brayshaw, Ryan, Darcy

Adelaide: Nil

Adelaide: Harry Schoenberg (replaced Jordon Butts at three-quarter time)
Matthew Johnson (replaced Nathan O'Driscoll in third quarter)

Crowd: TBC at Adelaide Oval