Several clubs have new injury worries after the final round of the pre-season NAB Challenge, with Adelaide expecting an assessment of Brad Crouch’s foot injury today.
Crouch was the only downside for the Crows after Saturday’s solid win over Port Adelaide.
Despite the loss in the mini showdown, Port fans will be pleased with erratic forward John Butcher’s five goal showing (more match details below).
However, Port’s Aaron Young was reported for tripping Richard Douglas during the fourth quarter.
Sydney, Fremantle and Collingwood have new injury concerns after the weekend’s action.
Key Sydney players Lance Franklin (head knock) and Kieren Jack (abdomen) were both taken to hospital after suffering heavy blows in the Swans’ six-point win against GWS in Canberra, while the Magpies’ Levi Greenwood was carried from Etihad Stadium on Saturday night with an ankle injury.
Swans general manager Tom Harley said this morning both stars would be fit to play in the Swans’ campaign opener against Essendon on April 4.
The possible loss of Greenwood is clearly a concern for Buckley, but perhaps even more worrying was the lacklustre manner of his side’s 61-point capitulation to the unfancied Bulldogs.
Fremantle also has several players in doubt for round one, with Nick Suban sustaining a hamstring injury during Saturday’s win over West Coast. Alex Silvagni is also in doubt after injuring his hamstring during training ahead of the game.
Crows v Port Adelaide match report
At AAMI Stadium on Saturday, Adelaide held Port Adelaide goalless in the third quarter on their way to a 24-point win.
The Crows ran away with the game in the third period after a tight first half and survived a late Power onslaught to secure a 3.13.12 (117) to 0.13.15 (93) win.
Port showed glimpses of its silky best throughout the first half but the Crows’ midfielders were simply too good at the contests, outshining the Power in clearances and tackles.
Crows rookie Cam Ellis-Yolmen gathered 11 contested possessions and laid three tackles in a massive first quarter.
He finished with 27 touches (22 contested) and five tackles, staking his claim for a round one berth.
Adelaide coach Phil Walsh said he’d been impressed by the rookie’s performance in the midfield.
“He’s ticking a lot of boxes,” he said.
“He’d be challenging for a round one spot, you’d think.”
Classy forward Eddie Betts celebrated the birth of his son on Friday with 20 touches and two goals, while captain Taylor Walker slotted two majors and a supergoal.
The frenetic pace and intensity of the opening stanza belied the pre-season setting, with the teams exchanging leads on several occasions.
Travis Boak (33 touches), Ollie Wines (32 touches) and Robbie Gray (29 touches) were all typically prolific for the Power but the Crows’ forward pressure and contested strength kept the momentum on their side.
“I was really happy early with our pressure on the ball,” Walsh said.
“That’s the vision of how I want the team to play.”
Power coach Ken Hinkley said his side had been out-muscled and outpressured by the Crows.
“We’re just not quite at that intense level today that we need to be to handle that pressure,” he said.
By the time Rory Sloane slotted his first of two supergoals early in the third quarter, Adelaide’s lead was out to 27 points.
The Power had several chances but didn’t kick a goal in the third period as Adelaide took a 49-point lead at three-quarter time.
Port clawed back the margin in the fourth quarter but ultimately left their charge too late.
Butcher booted five majors to be best afield for the Power, capping an outstanding game with a stunning volley from an impossible angle deep in the forward pocket late in the fourth quarter.
ADELAIDE 1.2.5 1.6.8 3.11.9 3.13.12 (117)
PORT ADELAIDE 0.5.1 0.7.4 0.7.11 0.13.15 (93)
Nine pointers: Adelaide: R Sloane 2 T Walker. Port Adelaide: Nil.
Goals: Adelaide: E Betts 2 R Douglas 2 T Lynch 2 T Walker 2 D Mackay J Jenkins M Wright P Dangerfield S Jacobs. Port Adelaide: J Butcher 5 A Young 2 J Schulz 2 R Gray 2 Brad Ebert O Wines.
Best: Adelaide: R Sloane C Ellis-Yolmen T Walker R Laird R Douglas E Betts. Port Adelaide: J Butcher T Boak S Gray O Wines.
Injuries: Adelaide: B Crouch (foot). Port Adelaide: Nil.
Reports: Aaron Young (Port Adelaide), tripping
Umpires: Simon Meredith, Dean Margetts, Nicholas Foot.
Venue: AAMI Stadium.
– with AAP
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