A ten minute burst in the third quarter put the Adelaide Crows in a commanding position to walk away winners in their away clash with St Kilda.
The Crows punished St Kilda errors in the third to establish a 40-point lead which proved to be unassailable, Adelaide running out winners by 49 points at Etihad Stadium.
Here’s The Mongrel’s good, bad, and ugly.
A functional dysfunctional forward line
The Crows forwards only looked really dangerous for a 15-minute period. That’s all they required, as Walker, Jenkins and Betts all added goals in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
Betts and Walker finished with three apiece, and Jenkins bagged one as well, but at no stage did the Crow forward line look dominant. They’ll be scary when they’re ‘on’.
Welcoming back Tom Lynch, who eased himself into the game well, the Crow forwards did what they had to do in a short burst, and the Saint defenders couldn’t stop them.
Unsung Crow defenders
The Saints had forwards of their own capable of piling on the goals, but the defensive unit of the Crows was excellent in hardly giving them a sniff. While Rory Laird continues to receive accolades for his disposal count, the efforts of Tom Doedee, Luke Brown, David MacKay and Jake Kelly built a wall across the 50 metre defensive arc and rarely allowed clean entry to the Saint forwards.
Many expected a large hole to be left by the departure of Jake Lever, but the Crows have plugged that hole perfectly with Doedee. The way he throws himself into the contest would have to make him the front-runner for the 2018 Rising Star award at this early stage.
I don’t think anyone thought Gibbs would slot in this well in Adelaide colours. His numbers were good again, but the most impressive numbers this time around were the ten tackles. Gibbs was always seen as a bit of a pretty boy, combining with Marc Murphy at Carlton to provide a “look good and lose” midfield. His role at Adelaide sees him getting his hands dirty a bit more.
I like it.
I reckon he could get a game for the Magpies. A few people don’t think so… no names, but watching him tonight, I have no idea why you wouldn’t want to hold onto this guy.
26 touches, eight marks and a couple of goals in a contending team. Well done, Paul. Always nice to prove people wrong.
Yeah, I listened to his Nana and I wanted him to do well.
Hardly put a foot wrong for the Saints on debut, and didn’t just throw it on his boot when he got a touch. 18 disposals on debut is something great to build on. Hopefully he is part of the answer to whatever questions St Kilda will be asking of itself at this week’s crisis meeting
Highly skilled and fantastic overhead, Carlisle is an imposing defender, but standing and complaining to umpires for… look, I don’t even really know why he was complaining, while the ball is still live just metres from you, is not a good look.
Carlisle contested a mark where it appeared the Crow player used his own body to shield the drop zone. Carlisle leapt into him and the ball spilled. Carlisle then had a crack at the umpire as the play continued around him.
Jack Billings’ second half
I’m a bit of a Billings fan, and watched on with a smile as he racked up 15 first half touches.
He finished with 17 for the game.
Was he injured? Where was he hiding? As the Crows ramped it up, Billings was nowhere to be seen. He is capable of kicking goals and changing a game, but to do that, you have t be involved, and Jack Billings went completely missing tonight after half time. If anyone spots him, notify Alan Richardson – I’m sure he’d like to have a word. And if he sat on the bench, injured - I apologise.
Second consecutive terrible first half from St Kilda
Last week the Saints were pounded by the media for their part in one of the worst first halves in recent memory. Both St Kilda and North Melbourne kicked 2.10 each in an appalling display.
So, with the challenge in front of them to perform better and show their supporters that they’re better than their display last week indicated, what did the Saints produce in the first half against the Crows?
At least it’s an improvement, right?
I know the Saints are being patient with McCartin, but when you mark the ball inside the centre square, and have men streaming forward, don’t hold the ball up. Get it in and give your forwards a chance.
The Saints really missed the marking and workrate of Membrey. Almost as much as I missed Fogarty out there.
Blake Acres looked dangerous early. Had his 1.3 been 3.1 instead, we may have had a different game.
Great to see Tex Walker able to elevate and clunk a big pack mark. Might've been the best overhead mark I've seen him take.
Rowan Marshall burned a couple of teammates after grabbing the ball at fufty and bombing for goals. Those little guys are running past you for a reason, Rowan.
I really liked the well-disguised block from Lachlan Murphy on Jake Carlisle, which allowed Douglas to mark and goal.
In the second quarter it seemed as though the Saints could hit targets in any direction except when they kicked forward. Several forward kicks went astray after three or four perfect sideways kicks. Pressure…
Jack Steven got a bit of Kevin Bartlett about him when he had the kick on the boundary. Faked a look inside, stepped his man and went for home. He missed. Hungry would’ve kicked it.
Why did no one talk to Shane Savage when there was ten seconds left and he was 70 metres out? He held it… held it…. HELD IT! And another chance went begging.
Sloane was a bit quieter than usual tonight, but didn’t need to impose himself. The return of Richard Douglas was a nice running replacement for Matt Crouch. Not the same, but nice nonetheless.
Tex Walker got an absolute gift running back towards goal from Seb Ross, when Ross left the ball behind, allowing Walker the easy soccer goal.
Perfect kick from Seedsman to Josh Jenkins at the top of the square. Had just enough on it to carry to the big man for his only goal.
Loved the ruckwork by Sam Jacobs tonight. Gave his mids, and even a running forward in Betts, first use at plenty of centre bounces, despite centre clearances being tied at 12-12.
Eddie Betts' eyes lit up when he saw Jake Carlisle covering the mark on the boundary. Eddie took him on and slotted the goal with ease.