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Saints too hot for Crows in NAB Cup

Highlights: Adelaide v St Kilda The Crows and theSaints clash in the first round of the 2013 NAB Cup
Jack Steven of the Saints chased by Richard Douglas of the Crows during the 2013 NAB Cup round 01, week 01 match between the St Kilda Saints and the Adelaide Crows at AAMI Stadium, Adelaide. (Photo: AFL Media)
St Kilda's Jack Steven runs away from Adelaide's Richards Douglas in the NAB Cup first round
A SEVERELY depleted Adelaide side has proved no challenge for St Kilda, the Saints opening their 2013 account with an easy 26-point first-up win at AAMI Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

While the Saints rested captain Nick Riewoldt and star midfielder Lenny Hayes for the match, the Crows were without 10 of their best players, including midfielders Scott Thompson and Patrick Dangerfield and forwards Taylor Walker and Jason Porplyzia.

The absences proved costly for the home side, with St Kilda appearing far more dangerous kicking to a mosquito-fleet forward line that led the visitors to 3.6.24 to 8.2.50 victory.

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Terry Milera slotted the game's first goal, former Swan Trent Dennis-Lane added a second, Ahmed Saad snapped truly and when Beau Maister goaled late in the first half the Saints had skipped out to a 21-point lead over the goalless Crows.

Saint James Gwilt was busy in defence, but Adelaide's skills let the side down in the first half, with Ian Callinan and Graham Johncock both missing gettable set shots.

Power switched on early for Hinkley

Young defender Luke Brown was doing his best to rebound St Kilda's attacks and David Mackay and Matthew Wright were getting their hands on the ball, but Adelaide didn't have the answer for St Kilda's clever small forwards.

After Maister and Dennis-Lane made it two goals each shortly after half-time, Milne hit the scoreboard and then handballed to Milera who ensured the Saints had three multiple goal scorers.

Injury sours Crows win

Superstar midfielder Nick Dal Santo predictably made the most of his 11 touches, as did Farren Ray (12 disposals), while Arryn Siposs, playing in defence, also impressed with eight disposals and four marks.

Johncock presented well and made up for his earlier miss by finishing with three majors and the much-hyped youngster Brad Crouch managed seven touches, but it wasn't enough, with the Crows soundly beaten.

Fantasy snapshot
Saints Farren Ray and James Gwilt led the way, scoring 52 and 48 points respectively. Of the new faces, highly touted Crow Brad Crouch won some good possessions and finished with 17 points, while rookie Rory Laird scored 26. For St Kilda, draftee Nathan Wright and mature-age recruit Tom Lee, both on the watch lists of many AFL Fantasy coaches, had quiet starts to their careers in red, white and black, each scoring -4.

ADELAIDE      0.0.4   0.3.6 (24)                  
ST KILDA        0.4.1   0.8.2  (50)    

St Kilda: Nil

Johncock 3
St Kilda: Maister 2, Dennis-Lane 2, Milera 2, Saad, Milne

Wright, Riley, Smith, Johncock, Mackay, Tambling
ST KILDA: Gwilt, Dal Santo, Ray, Siposs, Milera, Steven

St Kilda: Nil
Reports: Nil
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs