|Brownlow Medal||3 Rory Sloane (ADEL)||2 Sam Jacobs (ADEL)||1 Harry Taylor (GEEL)|
Adelaide has established itself as outright favourite for the 2017 premiership with a convincing win over Geelong at the Adelaide Oval on Friday night. The Crows set up the match with a five-goal-to-one first quarter and kept Geelong at bay for the rest of the evening, extending the margin to seven goals at one stage before a last-term flurry from the Cats cut the final difference to a more respectable 21 points.
The match followed a remarkably similarly script to the two sides' meeting at Kardinia Park seven weeks earlier, with the roles reversed. In both matches the eventual winner led by 29 points at half time and then pushed out to game-high leads late in the third quarter before the final margin was reeled in to just over 20 points. Both games also saw the winner finish with 13 goals to the loser's 10.
Josh Jenkins got the Crows off to a perfect start on Friday night, snapping a goal after only 25 seconds, but Geelong dominated for a period after that without gaining full benefit. The Cats scored three behinds before Patrick Dangerfield, who had been a doubtful starter because of an ankle injury, kicked their first at the eight-minute mark to give them a three-point lead. But it wasn't long before Adelaide responded via Rory Sloane (who had been another doubtful starter after being concussed the previous week), and the Crows took control from there, with two majors to Richard Douglas and another to Hugh Greenwood seeing the home side by 22 points at quarter time.
A crumbing goal to Douglas - his third - extended Adelaide's lead to 29 four minutes into the second quarter, and the match looked to be getting away from Geelong, but two in a row from Mark Blicavs and Tom Hawkins saw the Cats back within 17 points at the nine-minute mark. The Crows hit back almost immediately though, Sloane kicking his second, and further goals from Charlie Cameron and Taylor Walker blew the margin out to 35 points after 17 minutes. The sides traded behinds from there before a very late goal to Mitch Duncan saw the Cats reduce the half-time margin to under 30 points.
The two sides went goal for goal in the first half of the third quarter, with majors from Adelaide's Luke Brown and Sloane getting responses from Cats Dan Menzel and Harry Taylor (who was thrown forward after half time after spending the first two terms in defence) respectively. But after Tom Lynch marked and goaled at the 18-minute mark, Douglas kicked his fourth to break the sequence, extending the home side's lead to 40 points. A late goal to Taylor pulled one back for Geelong but the Crows went into the final break well in command, 37 point to the good.
Neither side could find the big sticks early in the last quarter, each adding two behinds before Taylor received a free kick and goaled at the nine-minute mark. Taylor followed up with his fourth a minute later, and when he kicked his fifth at the 14-minute mark, the margin was back to 21 points and there was a hint of anxiety in the Crows' camp. But Adelaide switched to defensive mode after that, and Taylor's fifth goal was the last of the match. A shot from Zach Tuohy that would have cut the margin to 15 points missed, and the Crows held on for a solid win that gives them a game-and-a-half break at the top of the ladder.
Sloane, who many thought wouldn't play, had a brilliant match, gathering 28 touches and three goals for the winners. For Geelong, Taylor's five-goal second half gave the Cats a chance of victory, while skipper Joel Selwood (nine tackles, 26 disposals) played a typically solid four-quarter match.
Adelaide will be a strong favourite to consolidate its break at the top of the ladder when it meets Collingwood (13th, 7-10) at the MCG on Saturday, while the Cats, still second on the ladder, will be similarly favoured to account for Carlton (16th, 5-12) at Docklands on Saturday night.
Adelaide: Douglas 4; Sloane 3; Greenwood, Cameron, Jenkins, Lynch, Brown, Walker
Geelong: Taylor 5; Duncan, Hawkins, Blicavs, Dangerfield, Menzel
BEST - AFL.COM.AU
Adelaide: Sloane, Douglas, Jenkins, Talia, B Crouch, M Crouch, Greenwood, Kelly
Geelong: Taylor, Dangerfield, Henderson, Selwood, Duncan, Bews
BEST - THE AGE
Adelaide: Sloane, Greenwood, Douglas, M Crouch, B Crouch, Atkins
Geelong: Taylor, Duncan, Tuohy, Blicavs, Dangerfield, Menegola
Geelong: Stanley (corked calf), Blicavs (ankle)
UMPIRES: Hosking, Chamberlain, Ryan
TELEVISION BROADCAST: Seven Network
COMMENTATORS: Bruce McAvaney, Brian Taylor, Wayne Carey, Cameron Ling, Mark Soderstrom
Video sourced from YouTube, courtesy of the AFL.
|21||Atkins, Rory||11||5||8||19||0||1||0||5||2||0||23y 9d||49||25|
|18||Betts, Eddie||3||4||5||8||0||0||0||6||1||0||30y 237d||270||520|
|16||Brown, Luke||10||7||1||11||1||0||0||0||0||0||24y 302d||107||11|
|23||Cameron, Charlie||5||1||1||6||1||0||0||2||3||3||23y 16d||65||79|
|2||Crouch, Brad||14||3||15||29||0||0||0||7||1||1||23y 188d||54||17|
|44||Crouch, Matt||14||4||18||32||0||1||0||5||2||1||22y 91d||64||14|
|26||Douglas, Richard||11||1||9||20||4||0||0||5||0||0||30y 165d||212||144|
|20||Greenwood, Hugh||13||2||10||23||1||2||0||4||2||2||25y 137d||8||6|
|24||Jacobs, Sam||11||7||6||17||0||0||32||1||2||1||29y 102d||166||42|
|4||Jenkins, Josh||10||6||3||13||1||0||7||0||1||4||28y 163d||106||211|
|42||Keath, Alex||6||3||0||6||0||0||0||3||2||1||25y 182d||1||0|
|8||Kelly, Jake||8||7||4||12||0||0||0||2||0||0||22y 181d||26||0|
|3||Knight, Riley||5||1||4||9||0||0||0||6||1||4||22y 116d||23||18|
|29||Laird, Rory||11||6||11||22||0||0||0||1||0||1||23y 204d||93||8|
|27||Lynch, Tom||12||7||7||19||1||1||0||3||2||3||26y 309d||98||149|
|14||Mackay, David||12||1||2||14||0||1||0||2||1||2||28y 361d||177||53|
|41||McGovern, Mitch||6||3||3||9||0||2||0||3||1||1||22y 283d||30||38|
|22||Otten, Andy||7||4||4||11||0||0||0||0||1||1||28y 67d||95||35|
|9||Sloane, Rory||18||3||10||28||3||2||0||7||6||1||27y 126d||158||102|
|33||Smith, Brodie||16||7||1||17||0||0||0||3||0||1||25y 188d||137||42|
|12||Talia, Daniel||4||4||5||9||0||0||0||3||0||2||25y 292d||139||6|
|13||Walker, Taylor||7||5||5||12||1||2||0||2||2||2||27y 87d||146||345|
|24||Bews, Jed||12||6||6||18||0||0||0||1||1||0||23y 219d||42||3|
|46||Blicavs, Mark||9||4||5||14||1||0||0||10||4||1||26y 115d||106||34|
|35||Dangerfield, Patrick||8||3||17||25||1||0||0||10||5||2||27y 107d||195||220|
|22||Duncan, Mitch||13||4||11||24||1||1||0||7||2||2||26y 41d||152||114|
|29||Guthrie, Cameron||5||0||11||16||0||0||0||6||0||2||24y 336d||122||37|
|39||Guthrie, Zach||0||1||7||7||0||0||0||3||0||1||19y 21d||4||0|
|26||Hawkins, Tom||8||3||6||14||1||3||0||2||2||0||29y 0d||205||424|
|25||Henderson, Lachie||6||3||6||12||0||0||0||6||1||0||27y 219d||150||110|
|8||Kolodjashnij, Jake||7||4||8||15||0||0||0||1||2||1||21y 346d||39||0|
|13||Lonergan, Tom||3||1||13||16||0||0||0||2||1||1||33y 65d||202||55|
|27||Menegola, Sam||10||3||12||22||0||0||0||6||1||3||25y 136d||22||13|
|10||Menzel, Daniel||3||2||1||4||1||0||0||1||0||0||25y 311d||55||103|
|32||Motlop, Steven||8||2||4||12||0||0||0||1||0||1||26y 131d||129||170|
|21||Murdoch, Jordan||12||3||5||17||0||1||0||3||1||3||25y 120d||86||57|
|34||Parsons, James||2||2||4||6||0||0||0||3||0||1||20y 100d||13||11|
|14||Selwood, Joel||12||3||14||26||0||0||0||9||6||0||29y 56d||244||144|
|16||Selwood, Scott||3||2||6||9||0||0||0||10||0||3||27y 116d||146||39|
|9||Smith, Zac||4||0||10||14||0||0||15||1||2||2||27y 149d||101||46|
|1||Stanley, Rhys||4||4||6||10||0||0||22||0||1||2||26y 232d||97||69|
|44||Stewart, Tom||9||4||5||14||0||0||0||3||0||2||24y 128d||13||2|
|7||Taylor, Harry||9||3||1||10||5||0||0||2||1||2||31y 39d||221||61|
|2||Tuohy, Zach||16||6||7||23||0||1||0||2||1||1||27y 223d||137||46|