ADELAIDE 4.0 11.6 16.8 21.11 (137) GWS 2.2 3.5 7.9 10.12 (72)
GOALS Adelaide: Dangerfield 5, Jenkins 4, Wright 3, Petrenko 2, Douglas 2, Betts, Podsiadly, Laird, Sloane, Kerridge. GWS: Cameron 2, Kelly 2, Lamb 2, Treloar, Patton, Greene, Scully.
BEST Adelaide: Dangerfield, Thompson, Jacobs, Shaw, Talia, Jenkins, Jaensch. GWS: Coniglio, Treloar, Greene, Hoskin-Elliott, Scully, Smith. INJURIES: Adelaide: Ben Rutten (knee soreness) replaced in selected side by Sam Shaw.
GWS: Ward (concussion).
UMPIRES Pannell, Findlay, Fleer.
CROWD 44,770 at Adelaide Oval.
Adelaide continued its recovery as Greater Western Sydney's visit to the top eight ended with a 65-point mauling at Adelaide Oval on Sunday, but the fallout may be significant for the Crows.
Midfielder Richard Douglas bumped unsuspecting Giants captain Callan Ward while running off the field midway through the second term. Ward was forced out of the game with concussion.
The AFL match review panel will investigate the incident and may take a serious view given the AFL’s push to make players more accountable for such actions, especially when a player is concussed or injured.
GWS coach Leon Cameron lamented that he had 19 players with fewer than 50 games experience, with an average of about 30.
"We are a developing side, we are going to have lapses in concentration, lapses in effort . . . But to have one of your 100-game players to go down halfway into the second quarter was disappointing," Cameron said. "It is obviously controversial, the bump."
Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson refused to get drawn into commenting on the incident but suggested Douglas thought it was a fair bump behind the play as he ran to the interchange bench.
The loss of Ward highlighted GWS’s overall lack of experience playing in front of its biggest crowd ever – 44,770.
The Crows’ score was one more point than its 86-point win against St Kilda the previous week.
Sanderson was very pleased with the manner in which his midfield lifted as a showing of respect for Scott Thompson in his 250th game but reminded everyone of the obvious: "The reality is that we are still two wins and three losses and we play a very good side in the Western Bulldogs away next week."
Sanderson’s fear, and the expectation of many, that the Giants’ huge, three-pronged attack featuring two No.1 draft picks in Jonathon Patton and first-game player Tom Boyd, with Jeremy Cameron alongside, would dominate was unwarranted as they were well held for most part, even with Adelaide resting veteran Ben Rutten.
Without hardened campaigners in defender Heath Shaw and ruckman Shane Mumford, the Giants lacked leadership and the ability to win the ball from the centre bounces to give the big forwards an even chance.
The return of energy and fast ball movement that generated Adelaide’s performance coincided with Patrick Dangerfield (33 disposals) producing his best effort this season, including five goals up.
Also dominating was Thompson with 38 disposals – he was back to his ball-hungry and competitive self and, at times,very classy too, with two one-handed marks. Adding to Adelaide’s midfield dominance was rookie Matt Crouch, who had 28 disposals until three-quarter time when he was substituted to be rested.
Perhaps the defining feature of Adelaide’s performance was the use of ruckman Sam Jacobs – another who has finally regained his best form.
Like the win against St Kilda away the previous round, this was very much about Adelaide getting its structures and game plan right and bringing sadly out-of-form players like Dangerfield and Thompson right back into the mix. Add the encouraging efforts of Sam Shaw, a replacement for Rutten, who did so well running off Patton, and Josh Jenkins, who continues to show he can be another answer up forward, and there is a lot to like about the Crows.
The Giants started well but they ultimately lacked skill and leaders to stand up when Adelaide got a sniff of its first win at its new home ground. Stephen Coniglio battled well against the odds for GWS but, overall, the support around the packs was just not there.