21/04/2024

Sam Berry (Photo: Adelaide Football Club)

Adelaide’s midfield and forwardline dominated during the 67-point win at Hisense Stadium over West Coast, however it was a sign of what’s to come for both side’s young lists.

Although the game panned out the way most expected, with Adelaide’s usual suspects doing the damage, it was a combined effort from the veterans with the youth from the Eagles on show.

Notable absences from each side included the Eagles’ co captain Oscar Allen (knee, was rested) and Reuben Ginbey (concussion) and Adelaide’s backmen in Mark Keane (concussion), Nick Murray (ACL), former captain Rory Sloane (eye injury).

Crows midfield was on top

Winning comprehensively, it was Adelaide’s midfield mix that was telling, the usual mix, which included captain Jordan Dawson, Matt Crouch and Rory Laird, was topped up with appearances by Izak Rankine and Sam Berry.

Laird was solid with 26 disposals and seven clearances, while Dawson played reduced minutes for 28 disposals, four clearances and 628 metres gained.

Often critiqued for his disposal efficiency, Crouch had 100 per cent efficiency for his 23 disposals on Saturday.

Rankine and Berry both had significant impacts on the game. Rankine amassed a game high four goals and 18 disposals in one half, while Berry notched up 22 disposals, seven tackles and two goals.

Berry was impressive considering his form last season had him in and out of the AFL side, managing only four games. He could be a big riser in the Crows’ midfield stocks, while also featuring on the wing during the hit-out.

Adelaide’s forwardline fires

Adelaide’s forwardline was as exciting as ever, with Josh Rachele kicking three goals, as well as contributions coming from Taylor Walker and Lachlan Murphy (two goals) as well as one goal from each of Ben Keays, Lachlan Sholl and Luke Pedlar.

Is ROB back in a big way?

A few seasons ago, Adelaide’s first choice ruck-man Reilly O’Brien was in the form of his career which culminated in a Malcolm Blight Medal. On Saturday, he was immense during the clash at Hisense Stadium, a performance that albeit against in-experienced rucks, will give him confidence for the year ahead.

He finished with 34 hit-outs, however it was his follow up efforts around the ground, which included six marks, eight clearance and 22 disposals, that impressed.

Defensive mix stands up

With first choice defenders Keane and Murray unavailable due to injury, it was Jordon Butts, Max Michalanney, Josh Worrell and Wayne Milera Jnr. that were the key pillars down back.

Worrell continues to grow at the level amassing 22 disposals, two tackles and four marks, while Milera also chipped in with 20 possessions, five marks and a clearance.

Forgotten Crow Sholl reminded fans of his ability, notching up 23 disposals and nine marks.

Former prized draft pick goes down

The only negative in a very dominant display from Adelaide was the injury to Riley Thilthorpe.

With two weeks until their first game against the Gold Coast Suns, they will be hoping that scans come back all clear for the 21-year-old who suffered a knee injury in the final quarter.

More AFL News

Butters injured, Young stars as Port and Freo have final pre-season hitout

Blues looking ahead to Opening Round after pre-season defeat

‘He fits everywhere’: Crows confident in young gun’s all-round ability

Tim Kelly is still the number one man

Tim Kelly proved that he will still be the number one prime mover at West Coast after a strong showing against Fremantle last week.

He had 26 disposals, four marks, seven tackles, seven clearances and 660 metres gained in his three and a bit quarters against the Crows.

He worked well with Elliot Yeo, who had nine tackles and 16 disposals himself.

Two returning Eagles veterans showed promising signs

At either end West Coast had Jack Darling and Jeremy McGovern impress on their respective returns after injury-riddled seasons.

In the second quarter Darling popped up for two goals in two minutes, along with eight disposals, three marks and three tackles.

McGovern was a rock in defence alongside Tom Barrass, he displayed his usual aerial dominance (four marks) and sat out the last quarter as part of a pre-determined plan.

Harley Reid has his first proper outing

Being held well last week in their match-up against Fremantle, 2023’s number one draft pick Harley Reid imposed himself on the contest for the entire afternoon.

The Crows were doing their best to get physical with Reid, however he thrived. He was used as at half back in the first half with a switch to the midfield in the second half as some Eagles were rotated out.

He notched up 20 disposals, four marks, three tackles and five clearances.

Green shoots are growing at the Eagles

Despite a lot being said about how much Adelaide dominated, the game was more about improvement and showing signs of development from a West Coast perspective.

One young Eagle that continues to impress at AFL level is defender/midfielder Brady Hough, he had 20 disposals, six marks and two tackles in the contest.

Midfielders Campbell Chesser (12 disposals) and Luke Edwards (17 disposals, six marks) and small forwards Loch Rawlinson (seven disposals, two marks and three tackles) and Noah Long (11 disposals and three tackles) showed good signs against Adelaide.

They started off slow but worked their way into the contest, especially after the three-quarter time changes which saw a bulk of experienced Eagles rested.

About Author