A DOMINANT display from Taylor Walker has helped Adelaide record a shock victory against Geelong at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, with the Crows withstanding a late charge from the Cats to run out 12-point winners.
Walker turned back the clock with five goals in a vintage display that included several long range bombs from outside 50, while Billy Frampton (2.2 and eight marks) and Rory Laird (27 disposals) also impressed in the 15.13 (103) to 13.13 (91) win.
CROWS v CATS Full match coverage and stats
An Adelaide outfit featuring nine players with less than 10 AFL games took it right up to last year’s Grand Finalist from the very start, with Adelaide’s relentless pressure making it hard for Geelong to find any time and space.
The Crows were especially impressive during the second term, continually surging the ball forward and kicking seven goals to three to put them 38 points up at the main break.
The scoreboard wasn’t the only thing looking bleak for the Cats at half-time, with superstar Patrick Dangerfield sure to come under MRP scrutiny for a bump on Jake Kelly that took the Adelaide runner out of the game.
A shell-shocked Cats outfit enjoyed the perfect start in the third quarter, with Mark Blicavs kicking an early goal.
Just when the Cats looked like when they were starting to gain ascendency, Walker chimed in with his fifth goal and debutant James Rowe kicked his second to seemingly quell the Geelong resistance.
However, the Cats weren’t done with yet. Four consecutive goals – including two from a previously quiet Tom Hawkins – reduced the deficit to 19 points at three-quarter time.
Geelong continued to charge in the final quarter, but Adelaide was able to hold on and win in front of an adoring Adelaide Oval crowd.
Nervous wait ahead for Danger
Patrick Dangerfield is set to come under Match Review scrutiny after an incident with Jake Kelly in the second quarter. Dangerfield went to bump Kelly after the Crows defender disposed of the ball, and a nasty head clash occurred. Kelly was left bloodied and motionless on the field and had to be stretchered off the ground. The Match Review will deliver its findings on the incident on Sunday.
First goal excitement inspires Crows
Adelaide fans would be mightily impressed with the efforts of some of their younger players on Saturday, and debutant James Rowe showed he has potential to be a fan favourite in the years to come. The mature-age SANFL recruit kicked a memorable first goal on the run and celebrated accordingly, throwing his arms in the air and immediately being swarmed by a pack of happy teammates. His youthful exuberance exemplified the relentless energy that helped the Crows overwhelm the highly fancied Cats.
Unheralded youngster quells Hawkins
With star recruit Jeremy Cameron sidelined, Adelaide knew that stopping Tom Hawkins was pivotal to keeping Geelong’s forward line contained. Enter Jordon Butts. The young defender was given the unenviable task of lining up on the reigning Coleman medallist, but he proved himself more than up to the task. Butts was able to keep Hawkins to just three disposals at half time, as the Crows ran riot in their own forward line. While Hawkins ended up kicking two goals, he was well down on his usual influence.
ADELAIDE 4.4 11.7 13.9 15.13 (103)
GEELONG 2.3 5.5 10.8 13.13 (91)
Adelaide: Walker 5, Rowe 2, Frampton 2, McHenry 2, Lynch, Murphy, McAdam, Schoenberg
Geelong: Parfitt 2, Hawkins 2, Smith 2, Stanley, Rohan, Menegola, Blicavs, Guthrie, Dahlhaus, Miers
Adelaide: Walker, Laird, Scholl, McHenry, Rowe
Geelong: Dangerfield, Guthrie, Blicavs, Smith, Parfitt
Adelaide: Brown (sore achilles), Kelly (concussion), Hinge (shoulder)
Geelong: Menegola (shoulder)
Adelaide: Mitchell Hinge (replaced Luke Brown)
Geelong: Charlie Constable (replaced Sam Menegola)
Crowd: TBC at Adelaide Oval