Danielle Ponter during Adelaide's match against Gold Coast in R5, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

ADELAIDE has celebrated Danielle Ponter's 50th game in style, beating Gold Coast at Unley Oval to remain undefeated after five rounds.

Both sides were tireless but it was the Crows who dominated from start to finish, winning by 32 points in the 7.5 (47) to 2.3 (15) win to remain undefeated both at Unley Oval and for the season so far.

A high-pressure start to the game meant the first goal was not scored until 10 minutes in, when Caitlin Gould got on the end of a Ponter handball and kicked truly from short range.

CROWS v SUNS Full match coverage and stats

The Suns' first shot on goal did not come until late in the first quarter, but their first score was a rushed behind.

The Crows' defence was resolute from the start. Zoe Prowse snagged intercept mark after intercept mark while quiet achiever Teah Charlton showed composure and stamped her authority on the game with five tackles by quarter time.

Shining Sun Jacqueline Dupuy was as defensive as she was attacking, covering the ground well and notching two out of her team's only three scores for the first half: a point and a goal.


Even when the Crows let the Suns' most dangerous player, Charlie Rowbottom, sneak into the forward 50 by herself and take a mark, the visitors could not finish the job; her shot on goal fell short, summing up the Suns' day.

Madison Newman ran red-hot for the Crows, picking up a swag of uncontested marks and possessions in her side's defensive half every time the Suns even thought about entering their attacking 50m.

In her 50th game, Ponter did what she does best, with a running snap going straight through the big sticks in the second quarter, much to the delight of the 3,303 crowd.


Eloise Jones took some huge marks including a stunning one-hander at the tail end of a coast-to-coast play, but her kick for goal was marked just before the line.

Anne Hatchard ran hard in the middle and up forward, laying important tackles and snagging possession after possession while her offsider Ebony Marinoff was silenced by young gun Sun Lucy Single.

The Suns had to lift heading into the second half with a 28-point deficit, but the Crows seemed to have all the answers, particularly in its young yet capable backline.

Jones took another huge grab and goaled but from there the ball ping-ponged from one 50m arc to the other, with no team able to kick a major for the rest of the quarter.

Claudia Whitfort was important at stoppages, laying tackles and booting clearances to will her team forward, but the Suns as a whole was beaten in one-on-one contests.

Gold Coast started the last quarter ferociously with the first goal from a centre clearance for the game through Dupuy, who scored 46 seconds in.


But from there the Crows took control and Ponter was able to make the most of a build up inside 50 to kick her second major of the day.

Drennan worked hard all day and a highlight of her match was a chase-down tackle on Yvonne Bonner, who was running through the corridor towards an open forward 50m.


The hero
In what was a tough day for the Suns, young Lucy Single was a shining light. There aren’t many jobs bigger than a tagging role on Ebony Marinoff, but she excelled in this. Marinoff still collected 18 disposals but her usual influence on the game was kept to a minimum. Single finished with 11 tackles.

The ladder
After five rounds, Adelaide and Melbourne are the only undefeated teams, setting up a delicious round six clash. The Demons have their tails up after a 49-point win over Geelong, while the Crows could have major returns to their side in Stevie-Lee Thompson and Najwa Allen. Casey Fields is the place to be on Saturday afternoon.

Say what?
"We're really hopeful that Sarah (Allan) will get back, and we're confident that she will, but it's going to still be a little while yet. All of these games are just great experience for that young (defensive) group, to be able to manage through that." - Matthew Clarke, Adelaide coach

"I thought she (Lucy Single) was nothing short of outstanding, to be honest. (Ebony) Marinoff, one of the best players in the competition, one of the best midfielders in the competition, coming off 40 possessions - to hold her to 18 (disposals), to five clearances, and when she had the ball she was under pressure a fair bit, too. I was just rapt with Lucy's game and I wish she could've tagged both (Anne) Hatchard and Marinoff." - Cameron Joyce, Gold Coast coach

Up next
Adelaide faces Melbourne in a top-of-the-table clash at Casey Fields on Saturday at 3.05pm, while Gold Coast travels to Ikon Park to take on Richmond on Sunday at 3.05pm.

ADELAIDE    3.0 5.0 6.4 7.5 (47)
GOLD COAST    0.1 1.2 1.2 2.3 (15)

Adelaide: Ponter 2, Jones 2, Gould 2, Martin
Gold Coast: Dupuy 2

Adelaide: Jones, Newman, Hatchard, Charlton, Prowse 
Gold Coast: Rowbottom, Dupuy, Whitfort, Drennan, Single

Adelaide: Nil
Gold Coast: Nil

Reports: Nil

Crowd: 3,303 at Unley Oval