AFL Round 11 – Adelaide v Sydney: The best performance of 2013

Patrick Dangerfield was playing his 100th game this week. His incredible play and ability has seen the 100 games just fly by. I still remember on draft night being miffed as to why we overlooked then SA U-18 captain Brad Ebert for a player I had never heard of. Ebert was highly touted, and was linked at Adelaide’s selection for a number of months. I clicked on Patrick’s highlights package on the draft tracker, and was sold straight away. His leadership, speed, brute strength, ball winning ability and his personality have made him arguably the biggest sportsman in South Australia. The team needed to lift for the occasion.

The previous five weeks had Crows fans optimistic of another finals berth, despite the loss of Taylor Walker for the season. A competitive performance against Hawthorn, easy wins against GWS and St Kilda, a huge come from behind win against North and a narrow loss to Fremantle.

Playing Sydney was going to give the Crows an idea of where they sit. Adelaide still hadn’t beaten a team inside the top 8, so a big scalp was needed.

It wasn’t even close to happening. Sydney played incredible football, completely destroying Adelaide from start to finish. Adelaide opened the match well, getting 11 of the first 12 inside 50s. Due to Sydney’s fantastic defence, and a lack of polish on Adelaide’s part, it couldn’t convert any of these opportunities. From here, the difference between the two sides couldn’t have been greater. It was men against boys, and the gulf in class showed. At half time, the Swans led by 47 points and killed the game as a contest.

In the third quarter, another complete annihilation took place. Adelaide again wasted opportunities when they had some of the play, kicking four straight behinds. Sydney then kicked 7.5 (47) to 0.1 (1) to end the third quarter. The inside 50 count for the second and third quarter was 43 to 13 in Sydney’s favour, which is hard to believe against the Crows at AAMI Stadium. Its 87-point lead at three quarter time had Adelaide staring at its greatest ever loss at home, a 97 point hiding at the hands of Hawthorn in 1994.

The margin blew out to 99 points six minutes into the final quarter, and the record books were starting to get edited. A late “surge” prevented complete embarrassment, but the damage was done. Sydney are in a different league to Adelaide.

Sydney’s pressure was immense, denying any chance for the Crows to play some clean football.  The Swans had 85 tackles for the game, and every one of them stuck. The top four tacklers for the game were all Swans players. Ryan O’Keefe had a ridiculous 15 tackles for the game. Hannebery was on world record pace up to half time, collecting 28 disposals in the first half alone, including 17 in the second quarter. Tom Mitchell played amazing for a two game player, collecting 31 disposals, 10 tackles and a goal.

Sydney’s spread from stoppages was elite. There ball use was first class. There ability to slingshot there way from defence to the forward 50 was extremely good.

Adelaide overused by hand, rushed their kicks, and continually gave the ball back to the opposition. Adelaide failed to lay tackles when required, or have their tackles broken.  Thompson is a shadow of the player we saw in 2012. Brent Reilly continues to take nice marks, but butcher the ball when under pressure. Nathan van Berlo doesn’t have a permanent role. If he wasn’t the captain, his spot in the team would be under question. Jenkins is starting to tire as the lone key forward.

In an ironic twist of fate for the Crows, Jesse White, the man who almost became a Crows player through the rejected Tippett trade, booted three goals.

It will take an almighty effort to make the finals from here for the Crows, so the development of Adelaide’s young brigade has to become a priority. Sam Kerridge, Jarryd Lyons, Brad Crouch, Luke Brown, Rory Laird have to be persisted with. Mitch Grigg is another who has talent, and should be given at least a taste of AFL in 2013. The Crows current situation presents a great chance to get games into the next generation.

Sydney 4.4 (28), 10.9 (69), 17.12 (114), 19.13 (127)

Adelaide 1.4 (10), 3.4 (22), 3.9 (27), 6.14 (50)



Sydney: Hannebery, Mitchell, O’Keefe, Jack, Malceski, McVeigh

Adelaide: Laird, Dangerfield, Douglas, Rutten.



Sydney: Morton 3, White 3, McGlynn 3, Bolton 2, Bird 2, Mitchell, Jack, Hannebery, Everitt, Parker, Goodes.

Adelaide: McKernan 2, Callinan, Lynch, Vince, Dangerfield.


Venue: AAMI Stadium

Official crowd: 38,374


Votes: Hannebery 3, Mitchell 2, O’Keefe 1.

About Henry de Cure

Crows member, avid user of twitter, Australian Wheelchair Tennis player. Studying Journalism (2nd year) at the University of South Australia.

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