Matt Crouch celebrates a goal during the match between Adelaide and Gold Coast at Adelaide Oval in round 21, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

ADELAIDE downed Gold Coast by 28 points on Saturday afternoon to keep its finals flame flickering with three rounds left in the season.

The Crows were dominant early before the Suns rallied in the second half, but the home side pulled away in the final quarter to record the 13.11 (89) to 9.7 (61) victory at Adelaide Oval.

CROWS v SUNS Full match coverage and stats

The win leaves the Crows two premiership points shy of eighth-placed Carlton, who play on Sunday.


The Adelaide Oval hasn't been a happy hunting ground for the Suns - in their 11 matches at the venue, they are yet to register a win.  

To make matters worse for Gold Coast, defender Wil Powell suffered another serious injury, stretchered off after his left leg buckled in a marking contest.


In June last year against the Crows, Powell's right ankle was dislocated and fractured when trapped in a tackle. 

Adelaide led by 35 points early in the second quarter before the Suns scored six of the next eight goals to draw the margin back within two kicks.

Gold Coast was just 10 points down midway through the final quarter before the Crows steadied for a 10th win of the season.

Adelaide's Shane McAdam and Darcy Fogarty kicked three goals each and Taylor Walker booted two, while Matt Crouch continued his revival with 31 disposals and a goal.


Crows defender Mitch Hinge (31 touches), Brodie Smith (26) and Rory Laird (25) were other chief possession winners while half-back Wayne Milera (19) was also prominent.

Gold Coast's Ben King, Levi Casboult and Jack Lukosius booted two majors apiece and Rory Atkins collected 25 disposals against his former club.


The Suns' Rising Star nominee Mac Andrew was eye-catching with 15 disposals and eight marks while Sam Flanders was the visitor's top ball-getter with 27 disposals.

Adelaide's in-form Walker kicked one goal and set up another as the home side booted 5.2 to 0.3 in the opening term.

The Crows increased their lead to 35 points early in the second quarter, with the Suns' first goal not coming until the halfway through the second term when Brandon Ellis snapped accurately.


Each team scored three majors in the quarter and the Crows were 28 points up at half-time.

Gold Coast's Matt Rowell kicked the opening goal of the third quarter, teammate Darcy Macpherson scored the next and when Lukosius kicked another, the Suns were just 13 points down.


The Crows then kicked four consecutive behinds, and scored 0.7 for the term.

In a final stanza marred by Powell's injury, the Suns snuck within 10 points some 13 minutes in before Adelaide rallied with four of the last five goals.

You snooze, you lose
The Suns were caught napping in the opening term, with Adelaide booting five goals to nothing in a sharp start from the Crows. It took until the 10-minute mark of the second term for the Suns to register their first major, but the game was all but over by then with Adelaide already out to a solid lead. The slow start ultimately hurt the Suns, with the Crows' head start turning out to be the difference at the final siren. 


Brilliant debut for Borlase
The Crows may have found a gem in defender James Borlase who had a debut to remember against the Suns. The 21-year-old collected 18 touches (seven contested), eight intercept possessions, nine marks and four tackles in his first game after being drafted by the Crows as a Category B rookie in 2020. His father, Darryl, played 246 games and won four premierships with Port Adelaide in the SANFL, while his mother, Jenny, represented Australia in international netball. While Port fans might feel miffed that they missed out on the 192cm talent, Borlase was eligible to be drafted by the Crows via the club's Next Generation Academy after playing his SANFL footy with Sturt.

James Borlase leads the team off after Adelaide's win over Gold Coast in his first game in round 21, 2023 at Adelaide Oval. Picture: AFL Photos

Sun sets on Gold Coast's finals hopes
The loss has all but drawn a line through the Suns' hopes of reaching a maiden finals series this season. Yes, it's still mathematically possible for them to make the eight, but it would take a near-miracle from here. The Suns are in 14th spot and are one-and-a-half games and significant percentage adrift from the eight - and could be even further out by the end of the round. Season 2023 has been a positive step forward in many ways for the Suns, but that elusive finals appearance is going to have to wait at least one more year.


ADELAIDE         5.2    8.4    8.11   13.11 (89)
GOLD COAST     0.3    3.6    6.6     9.7 (61)

Adelaide: Fogarty 3, McAdam 3, Walker 2, Crouch, Dawson, Keays, Murphy, Soligo
Gold Coast: Casboult 2, King 2, Lukosius 2, Ellis, Macpherson, Rowell

Adelaide: Hinge, Laird, Crouch, Fogarty, Dawson, McAdam
Gold Coast: Witts, Ainsworth, Powell, Farrar, Flanders, Andrew

Adelaide: Jones (foot)
Gold Coast: Powell (leg)

Adelaide: Rory Sloane (replaced Chayce Jones in the third quarter)
Gold Coast: James Tsitas (replaced Elijah Hollands in the third quarter)

Crowd: 35,777 at Adelaide Oval