In his third game for his new club, Adelaide’s prized recruit Jordan Dawson wrote his name in Showdown history with a goal after the siren to bring the Crows the win.
The Inner Sanctum spoke exclusively with Dawson before Showdown 52 about this iconic moment.
In the final moments of the now-infamous game, Adelaide Crows forward Lachlan Murphy was crunched by Port Adelaide’s Sam Mayes. Due to the high contact to Murphy’s neck, he was awarded a free kick with Dawson keen to take advantage of the situation.
Lining up from about 45 metres up against the boundary line in front of the Crows faithful, Dawson slotted truly. With this kick, the final score was 15.6 (96) to 13.14 (92).
Dawson explained the thoughts going through his head as he lined up for the kick.
“I said it to ‘Nicksy’ (Head coach, Matthew Nicks), I remember looking up and seeing his face on the big screen and he had a bit of a smirk,” Dawson told The Inner Sanctum.
“I wasn’t too nervous because it was a tough kick. If I was right in front I might have been a bit more nervous but I just wanted to get decent contact and kick it somewhere near the goals.”
What followed after the kick is just as iconic, Dawson’s teammates ran from all over the ground to flank the match-winner. After the match, Dawson was awarded the Showdown medal due to his two goals and 24 disposals.
“It’s probably number one for me (in footy),” he said.
“[For me] to get my first win, I was probably as happy as I’ve ever been and this one was maybe a combination of being really happy but kind of a relief in a sense.
“I’d come to a new club in a footy state and being able to have a game where we won and I was able to kick that goal, that sense of relief and happiness was a combination.”Embed from Getty Images
More 25 Years of Showdowns
The Showdown Rivalry
Hailing from Robe in South Australia, Dawson was accustomed to the rivalry that is a feature of Showdowns between the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide. Coming back to play for a club he supported, in his home state, Dawson knew what to expect on the big stage.
“I knew what to expect with the crowd and the energy of the stadium,” Dawson said.
“I’d never watched a Showdown live but on TV no matter where the clubs were on the ladder, it was always going to be a good game so that was to be expected.
Playing for six seasons at the Sydney Swans, Dawson likens the Showdown to the rivalry between the Sydney Swans and GWS Giants.
“The intensity (of GWS vs Sydney) is the same but there is a massive footy following here in SA so the crowd environment was different, but in terms of the game they are pretty similar.”Embed from Getty Images
Playing in an away Showdown
Showdown 51 was an Adelaide Crows home Showdown, anyone who has watched a Showdown would know that playing in an away game is another story. With Port Adelaide fans hoping to pack out the Adelaide Oval to inspire a win for retiring great Robbie Gray, Dawson is preparing for the crowd factor.
“I played Port when I was at Sydney over here and the crowd even for those games was pretty crazy,” he said.
“I’m expecting that and then some. It should be red-hot and a night game is always an awesome atmosphere so I can’t wait.”
His year so far
Last season in a breakout year for the Swans, Dawson averaged 22.3 disposals and 467.6 metres gained to finish third in their best and fairest count.
Coming to the Crows after a deal was struck between the two clubs, Dawson has flourished in the young team in Adelaide. He has played on the wing, up forward, and in defence with his running and clean disposal, a great asset.
“Since the bye, I’ve been pretty settled down back and if they’ve needed me to play wing or forward or whatever it is I’m happy to do that,” he said.
“I honestly don’t care, I just want to play decent footy and win that’s my main motivations.”
Dawson spoke about how he has found this season so far and how he sees his leadership progressing, given his step up into the leadership group mid-season.
“I’ve settled in fine, I’ve done exactly what I did throughout the start of the year and just being more involved in those conversations has been the difference,” Dawson said.
“On field, I’ve tried to bring that leadership, I think my best footy comes off me communicating and leading, so when I’m a bit down in games that’s when I know I’m a bit flat with my voice and direction.
“I’ve really enjoyed it, my leadership style I wouldn’t say is ruthless but I’m probably a little bit harsh sometimes, especially in games.
“Maybe I need to work on that a bit but I’m understanding and able to get along with most people so I use that to try to build relationships and then it’s easier to have those hard conversations in games.”
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