The Sydney Swans confirmed themselves as Hawthorn's greatest danger as they comfortably accounted for Adelaide at Football Park on Saturday. The Swans held the Crows to their lowest opening quarter score of 2012 and, although kicking only two goals themselves, effectively silenced the normally raucous Adelaide home crowd. While the Crows were getting as much of the ball as Sydney, their forward-50 entries were yielding little on the scoreboard as the Swan defenders intercepted time and time-again.
Taking a slender five-point advantage into the second quarter, the Swans again strangled Adelaide's forward line throughout the term but also became far more potent in their own forward half leading into the half-time break. While the Crows could again only manage a solitary goal for the quarter, Sydney piled on five of their own to take a 25-point lead into the main interval.
The third term became a defensive slog in which the two sides produced only three behinds between them in the first 20 minutes. With a four-goal buffer in hand, this would have been of little concern to Swans' coach John Longmire. The Crows' Rory Sloane finally broke the deadlock with a goal at the 22-minute mark but Mitch Morton responded with one for the Swans less than 90 seconds later, and the four-goal margin was restored. The Swans good term was soured, though, as Ben McGlynn limped off with a hamstring injury. Video footage of tears streaming down McGlynn's face as he sat silently on the bench were an indication that his season could well be over.
Still trailing by four goals at the beginning of the last term, the Crows were in need of an immediate spark. Fortunately for them, Graham Johncock was able to provide that with a running goal at the one-minute mark. As the crowd began to find voice the game tightened up but Luke Parker goaled to restore Sydney's 24-point lead at the four minute mark. The Crows' Callinan replied soon after and it appeared the Crows would not be going away without a fight.
But Sydney would not be denied. They scored the only two remaining goals of the match, via Lewis Jetta and Josh Kennedy. The final margin of 29 points and the fact that they were able to restrict the Crows to just five goals for the match was a testament to the resolve of the players and the coaching acumen of John Longmire.
Best for the Swans were Ryan O'Keefe and a rejuvenated Adam Goodes, while Scott Thompson and David Mackay were amongst Adelaide's better players.
The Crows live to fight another day, and they will face Fremantle at Football Park next Friday night, but a dismal afternoon for Brenton Sanderson's team was made worse by the fact that newly-crowned AFL Rising Star Daniel Talia broke his forearm in the final term.
For Sydney a well-deserved week off will be followed up by a home Preliminary Final on Friday week. The Swans will play the winner of the Coillingwood-West Coast semi-final in that match. The game will be played at ANZ Stadium.
Adelaide: Callinan, Johncock, Sloane, Van Berlo, Walker
Sydney: Goodes 3; Jetta, Morton 2; Kennedy, McGlynn, Parker, Reid
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Adelaide: Reilly, Thompson, Sloane, Dangerfield, Mackay, Vince
Sydney: Goodes, Kennedy, O'Keefe, Richards, Hannebery, Malceski, Shaw, Jetta
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Adelaide: Thompson, Mackay, Sloane, Doughty, Reilly
Sydney: O'Keefe, Goodes, Richards, Kennedy, Shaw, Roberts-Thomson, Jetta
Brenton Sanderson (Adel): At times we still played some good footy but we probably allowed Sydney to dominate us in too many facets of the game. We probably didn't make the most of our opportunities going forward. At times we didn't have the poise and composure to able to hit the free target. It's almost like Sydney knew where we were going to kick it. We weren't able to get any deep inside-50s to targets one-on-one so that's something we'll have to work on and improve this week.
John Longmire (Syd): We planned during the week to play that sort of strong contested style of footy, and we knew what the strengths of Adelaide were. I thought the players, to their credit, really executed well. [Adam Goodes] was outstanding. We knew it was coming with Adam and we knew that he's played some good footy even though he's had some criticism [from] outside the footy club. His start in particular really set the tone. We've had a pretty crash-and-bash month which I think's been good for us but I'm sure a few blokes will enjoy having a weekend not playing.
UMPIRES: Farmer, Stevic, Schmitt
|37||Callinan, Ian||8||2||2||10||1||0||0||2||1||0||29y 263d||24||41|
|32||Dangerfield, Patrick||11||3||10||21||0||0||0||2||4||1||22y 156d||87||93|
|11||Doughty, Michael||13||10||13||26||0||0||0||2||0||1||33y 34d||229||46|
|26||Douglas, Richard||13||4||3||16||0||0||0||2||0||1||25y 215d||112||76|
|24||Jacobs, Sam||3||1||4||7||0||0||27||3||0||1||24y 151d||58||13|
|18||Johncock, Graham||10||5||3||13||1||1||0||6||0||1||29y 323d||223||117|
|14||Mackay, David||15||5||9||24||0||2||0||0||1||0||24y 45d||84||24|
|23||Petrenko, Jared||4||0||1||5||0||1||0||2||1||0||22y 261d||57||33|
|40||Porplyzia, Jason||6||1||4||10||0||0||0||3||0||3||27y 286d||108||163|
|3||Reilly, Brent||14||9||9||23||0||0||0||1||1||0||28y 301d||179||50|
|43||Riley, Aidan||2||1||1||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||20y 270d||10||4|
|25||Rutten, Ben||10||8||7||17||0||0||0||5||1||0||29y 103d||192||8|
|34||Shaw, Sam||3||1||4||7||0||0||0||0||2||0||21y 156d||13||0|
|9||Sloane, Rory||15||5||9||24||1||0||3||4||0||0||22y 175d||55||36|
|33||Smith, Brodie||13||3||7||20||0||0||0||0||0||1||20y 238d||34||6|
|12||Talia, Daniel||3||3||3||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||20y 342d||32||1|
|5||Thompson, Scott||18||2||10||28||0||2||0||8||5||3||29y 178d||221||139|
|4||Tippett, Kurt||5||3||3||8||0||0||10||1||1||1||25y 123d||102||183|
|7||Van Berlo, Nathan||7||3||6||13||1||0||0||4||1||1||26y 94d||161||55|
|17||Vince, Bernie||14||3||9||23||0||1||0||1||1||0||26y 342d||106||66|
|13||Walker, Taylor||5||4||6||11||1||3||2||0||2||2||22y 136d||62||144|
|47||Wright, Matthew||9||3||10||19||0||0||0||3||2||1||22y 269d||39||32|
|14||Bird, Craig||7||3||10||17||0||0||0||2||0||0||23y 231d||85||36|
|24||Bolton, Jude||6||2||8||14||0||0||0||7||2||1||32y 177d||299||165|
|37||Goodes, Adam||13||7||9||22||3||0||0||3||0||0||32y 244d||317||387|
|4||Hannebery, Dan||10||3||17||27||0||0||0||4||1||4||21y 197d||75||25|
|15||Jack, Kieren||16||3||5||21||0||0||0||5||2||2||25y 72d||112||76|
|32||Jetta, Lewis||12||4||4||16||2||1||0||2||0||2||23y 127d||63||58|
|34||Johnson, Alex||7||5||4||11||0||0||0||2||0||0||20y 190d||43||1|
|12||Kennedy, Josh||13||6||22||35||1||1||0||7||0||1||24y 80d||84||49|
|9||Malceski, Nick||16||5||4||20||0||0||0||4||0||0||28y 24d||124||52|
|29||Mattner, Martin||17||6||4||21||0||0||0||2||1||0||30y 33d||213||40|
|21||McGlynn, Ben||10||4||3||13||1||1||0||2||1||1||27y 33d||104||111|
|3||McVeigh, Jarrad||7||5||15||22||0||0||0||3||0||2||27y 154d||192||139|
|10||Morton, Mitch||6||5||8||14||2||1||0||4||0||1||25y 224d||74||108|
|41||Mumford, Shane||0||0||8||8||0||0||25||6||1||1||26y 65d||76||29|
|5||O'Keefe, Ryan||26||4||11||37||0||1||1||8||6||4||31y 228d||255||247|
|26||Parker, Luke||1||0||1||2||1||0||0||1||0||0||19y 319d||30||13|
|38||Pyke, Mike||4||4||4||8||0||0||9||2||0||0||28y 168d||44||13|
|20||Reid, Sam||4||2||7||11||1||0||0||4||0||1||20y 256d||44||53|
|25||Richards, Ted||11||4||9||20||0||0||0||1||2||1||29y 241d||179||31|
|30||Roberts-Thomson, Lewis||6||2||2||8||0||0||0||1||0||1||29y 0d||168||48|
|2||Shaw, Rhyce||14||6||13||27||0||0||0||2||0||0||30y 328d||185||41|
|40||Smith, Nick||9||2||7||16||0||0||0||3||1||0||24y 88d||72||8|