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Crows eyeing off top-four spot after getting home over Tigers

Highlights: Adelaide v Richmond The Crows and Tigers clash in round 13

BREAKING point was always on the horizon for Richmond.

It was on the horizon when the names of All Australian duo Trent Cotchin and Shane Edwards were etched onto an already extensive and star-studded injury list on Wednesday.

It was on the horizon when ruckman Ivan Soldo was added on Thursday morning.

CROWS DOWN TOUGH TIGERS Full match details and stats

It was even on the horizon when the Tigers took a surprise 11-point lead into half-time of their clash with the Crows at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

While they had started bravely, the prospect of being overrun loomed large.

Indeed, that proved the case, as Adelaide marched home to record a 33-point victory that momentarily moved the hosts into the top four on the AFL ladder.

The Tigers were valiant. They answered every challenge from the Crows, with a depleted side refusing to lie down despite a series of setbacks through the week and on the night.

The Crows themselves weren't without adversity. Lachie Murphy missed the majority of the match, having his three front teeth loosened in an early collision, Daniel Talia sat out a large portion of the second half battling a quad complaint and Jake Kelly finished the match on the bench with calf tightness.

Josh Jenkins also finished the match in worrying circumstances, clutching his knee following an awkward hyperextension in the dying seconds.

But they still had too much firepower where it counted against an undermanned opponent.

With Alex Rance and David Astbury sidelined, Jenkins and Taylor Walker feasted.

Jenkins kicked four goals from 17 disposals and seven marks, while Walker slotted three goals to complement 18 disposals and eight marks, five of which were claimed inside 50.

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Siblings Brad and Matt Crouch also finished with 43 and 35 disposals respectively, while they combined for 18 clearances in a dominant midfield display.

Co-captain Rory Sloane was his normally imposing self, racking up 28 disposals, nine clearances and kicking two majors in an influential performance out of the centre.

Richmond was personified by its temporary captain Dustin Martin, who led from the front all night to finish with 32 disposals and nine marks, as well as kicking two goals.

However, despite his efforts, the Tigers had too few able to provide the stand-in skipper with support, as the side's seemingly endless injury list continued to take its toll.

It was a match of stops and starts throughout a seesawing first half.

In the absence of both Toby Nankervis and Ivan Soldo, it was youngster Noah Balta who started as Richmond's first-choice ruck, with late inclusion Mabior Chol beginning the contest forward and kicking his first ever AFL goal in the game's opening seconds.

TOP TIGERS TO RETURN Up to six senior players ready to resume after Richmond's bye

It came amid a sharp first few minutes for the depleted Tigers, who kicked three consecutive goals to start the game on their way to a handy 13-point lead at quarter-time.

Then came the first counter-attack.

Jenkins' goal on the stroke of the first break momentarily swung the momentum of the contest, leading to Adelaide piling on nine of the next 10 scoring shots.

Only some wayward kicking – and some solid rear-guard action from Richmond – ensured the visitors' narrow buffer remained intact late in the second term.

Then came the next counter-attack.

With Adelaide controlling the territorial battle, successive Richmond goals from Dan Butler and Daniel Rioli stopped the bleeding and extended a crucial Tigers lead at the main break.

It became a question of which side would take their chance to break the game open. The more the second half unfolded, the more it looked as though it would be the Crows.

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Five unanswered goals certainly helped their cause.

Jenkins and Walker began monstering an undersized Richmond backline that struggled to contain the hosts' repeat entries and centre clearance dominance.

Martin, sensing a moment to stamp his own unique form of leadership on the contest, intercepted and converted on the run to finally end the relentless flood of Adelaide scores.

It helped to ensure the match remained alive heading into an unpredictable final term.

But while Josh Caddy's goal reduced the deficit to just four points early, Adelaide steadied.

Sloane and Jenkins each took strong contested grabs within minutes of each other, before converting calmly on the scoreboard to seal the fate of their plucky opponents.

Another classic from Eddie Betts on the boundary was the cherry on top for the Crows. 

MEDICAL ROOM
Adelaide: Lachie Murphy was ruled out for the game midway through the first quarter, having three teeth loosened after copping a knock to the head from his captain Taylor Walker. Daniel Talia missed the majority of the second half due to a quad complaint. Josh Jenkins hurt his knee in the dying stages of the game and was taken from the field on a stretcher. Jake Kelly finished the game on the bench with calf tightness.

Richmond: Having sustained a number of injury issues in the lead-up to Thursday night's match, the Tigers got through the game itself relatively unscathed. 

NEXT UP
After enduring short breaks heading into Thursday night's fixture, both Adelaide and Richmond will enjoy a bye in round 14.

ADELAIDE       1.1    3.7   10.10   15.11 (101)
RICHMOND    3.2    5.6     8.9       9.14 (68) 

GOALS
Adelaide: Jenkins 4, Walker 3, Sloane 2, Betts 2, Greenwood, Seedsman, Smith, Atkins
Richmond: Rioli 2, Lynch 2, Martin 2, Butler, Chol, Caddy 

BEST
Adelaide: B.Crouch, Sloane, M.Crouch, Walker, Laird, O'Brien, Jenkins
Richmond: Martin, Prestia, Lynch, Stack, Vlastuin, Houli 

INJURIES
Adelaide: Murphy (mouth), Talia (quad), Jenkins (knee), Kelly (calf)
Richmond: Soldo (illness) replaced in selected side by Chol 

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Nicholls, Williamson, Findlay, Haussen

Official crowd: 40,837 at the Adelaide Oval