AFL Round 5: Adelaide v GWS- Jesus Was Way Cool, but Dangerfield is Risen


12.40pm, Easter Sunday, 20 April

Adelaide Oval

Like everything else, public holidays are allocated cautiously in Singapore. Confucian, Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic celebrations of the island’s polytheism. To an Australian it is puzzling that Easter is only given Good Friday. What beyond the resurrection? No Monday holiday! It is like Bruce McAvaney saying

So it is half time here in the Grand Final. It is all set up for a riveting finish. Will there be a comeback? Goodbye from the MCG. Stay watching for Are You Being Served?

Watching the game in our River Valley home as the equatorial skies open, I become nostalgic. Has any built environment spread more psychological benefit than Adelaide Oval? The rustic scoreboard is a temple, and the happiness, contagious.

I love that 50,000 can be there, and when the ball travels into the ground’s northern half we see the Moreton Bay Figs, evergreen and embracing, surreptitiously poisoning the otherwise chain-smoking opposition fans with fresh oxygen. A goal kicked to this end provides among the most fetching views at a sporting venue.

Despite the arresting re-development, it remains a cricket ground. Just. TS Eliot declared, “April is the cruellest month,” but autumn is Adelaide’s exquisitely liveable season, measured out with sunny and still afternoons.

GWS have a Curtly (Hampton) and a Devon (Smith) in their team giving it a Port-of-Spain quality, and the Giants dominate play early. They don’t kick sufficient goals though. A murder of Crows may be the collective noun, but such is the home side’s initial impotence that a suicide of Crows seems apposite.

Dangerfield’s season has been erratic, and scattered with anomalous decision-making and sometimes poorly applied aggression, but today, he is astonishing. His centre clearances generate many goals. Once a concern, his kicking on the run displays brutal penetration and sniper accuracy.

He is the complete modern footballer. He is also an old-fashioned footballer, and would belong in an ancient black and white photo taken on a muddy suburban ground like Alberton or Victoria Park. He can be ferociously brave. Occasionally he is poetic and elegant. Dangerfield will collect a Brownlow.

Becoming the eighth Crow to reach 250 games, Scott Thompson accumulates nearly forty inventive possessions. He even plucks multiple one-handed marks, and this artistry conjures the darts commentator Sid Waddell:

Taylor is so hot he could hit the bullseye standing one-legged in a hammock.

After the final change Podsiadly slots a check-side major, and for the third consecutive quarter the Crows get one within the opening minute to establish an attacking tone. While he does not kick many goals, he adds appreciably to the forward structure, along with Eddie Betts, through creativity, pressure and contest.

Petrenko is effervescent, and Sam Jacobs rucks like the big, cheerful country boy he is; deceivingly simple and occasionally unwieldy, but with critical effect. Then Betts soars for a screamer, unsuccessfully, but contractually obliging Fox Footy caller Anthony Hudson to hyperventilate. They then cross down to special comments monolith Barry Hall, who sounds like Barry White but without the intimate diction.

Of his intimidating size, Amity Island’s Quint would have said, “This shark, swallow you whole,” and indeed, Crow Josh Jenkins is a monster fish. Able to roost it from outside fifty, he uses his battleship physique with military clout, and collects four goals.

A highlight of Adelaide’s performance is its imaginative use of the footy on the elongated ground. Podsiadly sets up a Rory Laird goal, courtesy of a smart handball into space. However, the forward line cannot house Lynch, Jenkins, Podsiadly and Taylor Walker. Who will make way?

In a passage more agricultural Yorkshire than Homebush, Lamb kicks to Plowman across the field. It comes then to Cameron whose kick drifts right of goal. This is emblematic of the Giants as their best is exciting, but inconsistency is their anchor. Treloar’s final term goal is a sizzling and accomplished individual effort.

Key GWS forward Jonathan Patton tries to be a general, but too many orange troops have deserted. However, after the main break the Crows kick ten, while GWS get seven. This is positive for the visitors, and probably of minor unease for Adelaide. Against Geelong or Hawthorn, the Giants would have been mauled, without respite.

It does not have the seismic impact of the Crows’ historic win at Football Park in March 1991, when, in a striking announcement, they conquered Hawthorn by 86 points. But it is their first home victory of the new Adelaide oval era.

It is a beginning and a return, and Easter Sunday belonged to Patrick Dangerfield.


ADELAIDE     4.0   11.6   16.8   21.11   (137)

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY  2.2   3.5   7.9   10.12   (72)    

 Dangerfield 5, Jenkins 4, Wright 3, Petrenko, Douglas 2, Kerridge, Sloane, Betts, Podsiadly, Laird
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron, Lamb, Kelly 2, Scully, Greene, Treloar, Patton 

Dangerfield, Thompson, Jacobs, Crouch, Jaensch, Hartigan
Greater Western Sydney: Treloar, Greene, Coniglio, Haynes, Kelly, Treloar 

Greater Western Sydney: Ward (concussion)

 Matt Crouch replaced by Tom Lynch at three-quarter time
Greater Western Sydney: Callan Ward replaced by Adam Tomlinson at half-time

Greater Western Sydney: Nil

Umpires: Fleer, Pannell, Findlay

Official crowd: 44,770 at Adelaide Oval

Our votes: Dangerfield  3, Thompson  2, Jacobs   1





About Mickey Randall

The Sportswriter, Revolver, Lebowski. Met the girl when we were thirteen. Married her last year.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    The crowd seemed pretty quiet early in the first quarter, maybe it was the 12:40 start time.

    Devon would have been called Fritz Smith if he had been born in Adelaide.

    Got a feeling that the Crows will be flat track bullies this year.

    Can’t see room for J-Pod once Tex is back, and Eddie’s stats were down for the second week in a row.

    I preferred King Missile’s other song – you know the one.

  2. Swish- Thanks for that. Agree that we will find out more about the Crows when they play away against quality sides. I also suspect J-Pod will be the casualty if all tall forwards become available. King Missile is a wierd way to pass an hour, but every now and again…

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    A entertaining summary, Mickey yes a lot more questions to be answered about the crows yet geez , Jenkins is quick for a big bloke and Dangerfield when he plays like that it is a hard choice between him and Ablett re number 1 in the game
    Love the port of Spain line thanks Mickey

  4. Where were the celebrations recognising the 40th Anniversary of Adelaide’s singing nun Sister Janet Mead and her single initially a b side, “The Lord’s Prayer” a world wide hit that sold over a million copies in the U.S?
    When the AFL scheduler’s were deciding the draw, why didn’t they consider a night game instead of a brunch game? Or were they thinking Adelaide being the city of churches, supporters could attend the church of their denomination then stroll down to the oval. The Anglicans are just across the road and I had a sneaking suspicion that some converted to that faith for the convenience.
    Match wise when Toby Greene elected to handball to Curtly Hampton from a standing start instead of kicking up the line, all confidence dissipated and the Giants shrank.

  5. Thanks Malcolm. A win is to be welcomed, but we’ll find out more when we play Collingwood. Much to admire about Jenkins and like so many of his young team-mates 2014 is the season for him to deliver consistently. I reckon this could be the year Dangerfield becomes the best player in the country. Cheers.

  6. Damian- thanks. That Grammy-nominated and Billboard-hit singer Sister Janet Mead is from Adelaide always amuses me. Has a film of her story been made?
    The AFL draw always treats both SA teams poorly. How many Sunday games in nothing time slots? And how often is the brand new Adelaide oval featuring in prime time, as promised?
    Rest assured, The Giants are improving. Probably not finals bound this year, but within a couple seasons.

  7. Luke Reynolds says

    Entertaining as always Mickey. Really keen to make my first trip to the Adelaide Oval, looking likely for the cricket world cup next year. Dangerfield is a superstar already, absolutely love watching him play.

  8. Thanks Luke. When we were home at Christmas I had a look around the re-development. It seems impressive. Everyone I have spoken with says it is fantastic, and I look forward to my first footy and cricket experiences there. The Adelaide and Collingwood match on a Thursday night in mid-May will be in front of 50,000+. It will certainly inform the Crows as to where they really are. Nearly every season various punters predict a Magpie slide, and every year they are wrong!

  9. E.regnans says

    G’day Mickey, terrific read.
    Adelaide Oval, Amity island, agricultural Yorkshire, port-of-Spain…
    Feeling well travelled. Well played.

  10. Thanks David. I sense you’re like me in that you believe that a footy report should take the readers to many places, possibly even including the venue at which the game was played!

  11. Ben Footner says

    I was at the game on Sunday Mickey and you’ve captured the feeling very well from afar. Adelaide was solid without being spectacular, and despite the final scoreline there were still many moments where you thought ‘gee, a better team would have made us pay dearly there’.

    That said they did what they needed to do and it’s hard not to be happy with a 10 goal win! Young Matt Crouch looks a beauty too – having both of the brothers line up in the same team is a mouth watering prospect.

  12. Thanks Ben. Given the Giants’ improvement I would have taken about a ten goal win prior to the bounce, so I agree that’s a reasonable result. Especially after the first fifteen minutes unfolded! Both Crouch boys look most accomplished and seem to have terrific ball use, especially by foot. Having both rotating through the midfield and spending time up forward; can’t wait!

  13. kath presdee says

    Damian – when Toby Greene kicks in play, GWS supporters hold their breath – he’s more efficient with his hands than his feet.

    Mickey – Given the Giants’ record against Adelaide, I’m not as disappointed with a 10 goal win as I would otherwise have been, particularly after that second quarter. I was very please with Dangerfield’s effort from a Fantasy Football perspective, just wish it wasn’t against my team!

  14. Kath- GWS will clearly be a better side with Mumford, Shaw and Ward too. I reckon I’d have some coin on you playing finals in 2016. Dangerfield, on song as he was Sunday, is among the most exciting players to watch. He is worth the price of admission. I’m just nervous about how much longer he’ll remain a Crow. Good luck for the rest of the season!

  15. Dave Brown says

    Thanks Mickey, very much a game the Crows had to win and they did just that. Leaves the options relatively open for where they may end up at season’s end

  16. Agreed Dave. The old idea of winning most of the home fixtures and trying to jag a few victories on the road, in order to make the finals is still true today. For that reason, the Saints game was good for us. A win away Sunday would also be invaluable. As is often the case, it could be pretty tight on the ladder from 4th to about 13th.

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