Main content

Match report: Crows ride the rollercoaster

Highlights: Melbourne v Adelaide The Demons and Crows clash in round 15
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 03: Dom Tyson of the Demons is tackled by Jarryd Lyons of the Crows during the 2016 AFL Round 15 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Adelaide Crows at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 3, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Dom Tyson is tackled by Jarryd Lyons at the MCG

ADELAIDE has joined the logjam of teams on 10 wins with a gritty 22-point victory over Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday afternoon.

On the one-year anniversary of former coach Phil Walsh's tragic death, the Crows withstood everything Melbourne threw at them to clinch their sixth victory on the trot and keep pace with the AFL's top-four teams.

The Crows snuffed out Melbourne's momentum, controlling the contest late in the game to win 18.12. (120) to 15.8 (98) and move to fifth on the ladder.

Full match coverage and stats

Gutsy onballer Rory Sloane led from the front for the Crows, gathering 23 disposals and laying 13 tackles, while skipper Taylor Walker was a constant presence up forward with three goals from 18 possessions.

Early in the contest, it appeared as if Adelaide's fast-paced style would be too much for Melbourne to handle as the Crows opened up a 17-point lead at quarter-time.

The Crouch brothers, Matt and Brad, were central to the Crows' early dominance setting the tone with their attack on the ball.

Five talking points: Melbourne v Adelaide

Brad, who has battled frequent injury issues in his young career, finished with a team-high 26 touches, seven clearances and eight tackles in his best game in a long while, and Matt had 21 possessions and seven tackles.

Rory Laird (25 disposals and 10 marks) was also excellent in defence, consistently helping out his fellow backmen in aerial contests.

Win would have made Phil Walsh proud: Tex

But the Demons adjusted after quarter-time and turned the game on its head, booting eight goals in the second term to wrench the back the lead at half-time.

Speedy forward Jeff Garlett, who had spent two games back in the VFL after being dropped, was vital to the Demons' resurgence and had nailed three goals before half-time, eventually kicking four for the match.

Youngster Jayden Hunt's boldness to take the game on at every opportunity was rewarded with the best match of his 11-game career, which included an outstanding passage of play that led to his first AFL goal in the second term.

Jack Watts looked dangerous every time he went near the footy and flourished up forward, collecting 23 disposals, hauling in eight marks and booting three goals.

Demons skipper Nathan Jones was typically industrious through the midfield with 33 disposals, but it was the Crows' midfield that won out in the end.

"The better teams do it for longer and we can't quite get to that level right at the moment, over 120 minutes," Roos said.

"As you can see we can play some really good footy and put pressure on teams and we have the ability to rise at different times in the game."

The Crows hit back strongly to start the third term, slamming through four goals in five minutes.

From there, despite Melbourne's best efforts to fight back, the Crows controlled the game.

Coach Don Pyke said his team found a way to win a tight tussle.

"It was a pretty tough day to be honest, it was a bit of the case of the good, the bad and the ugly for a while there, but to our guys' credit they found a way in the end which was what we came to do which was a good result," Pyke said.

Melbourne: The Demons escaped with a clean bill of health, but will monitor players closely in preparation for their six-day break and a trip to Darwin.

Adelaide: Adelaide also escaped without any injuries, although young defender Jake Lever left the ground twice to receive treatment on his knee and shoulder in separate incidents. He returned to play out the game.

Adelaide returns to the MCG next Sunday to face Carlton as the in-form Crows chase their seventh-straight victory. The Demons will travel to the Northern Territory for the second time this season, this time for a duel with Fremantle in Darwin.

MELBOURNE   2.3   10.4   14.5    15.8 (98)
ADELAIDE       5.2   8.5    15.8   18.12 (120)

Garlett 4, Hogan 3, Watts 3, Kennedy, Hunt, Kent, Jones, Harmes
Adelaide: Walker 3, Douglas 3, Betts 3, Jenkins 2, Cameron 2, McGovern 2, Lynch, Atkins, Lyons

Watts, Hunt, Jones, Hogan, Garlett, Jetta
Adelaide: Laird, Walker, M.Crouch, B.Crouch, Cameron, Douglas

Adelaide:  Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Chamberlain, Hay, Meredith, Harris

Official crowd: 29,133 at the MCG