Finals Week 1 – Adelaide v GWS: Hey Crows supporters, rain dances are compulsory!


ADELAIDE                                  3.4 8.7 12.8 12.12 (84)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 1.4 1.5 5.7 6.12 (48)

Adelaide: Betts 3, Douglas 2, Smith, Seedsman, McGovern, Walker, Jenkins, Lynch, B. Crouch
Greater Western Sydney: Coniglio 2, Himmelberg, Ward, Greene, de Boer

Adelaide: M.Crouch, B.Crouch, Betts, Lynch,  Jacobs, Brown, Greenwood, Douglas, MacKay, Kelly, Talia, Hartigan
Greater Western Sydney: Coniglio, Kelly, Scully, de Boer, Ward

Adelaide: Smith (knee)
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron (hamstring)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Dalgleish, Rosebury, Ryan

Official crowd: 52,805 at Adelaide Oval


The Adelaide FC has progressed thru to the Preliminary final with a resounding 36 point victory, which resulted from the manic pressure put on Greater Western Sydney and the Crows’ far better and more efficient ball use.

My thoughts:

1) I was WRONG (Graham Cornes, the phrase is not banned). I thought the Giants guns would be to good for a Crows midfield missing its spiritual leader and hard nut, Rory Sloane but no, I committed the cardinal sin forgetting finals are won by the bottom six such as the much maligned David MacKay (don’t worry there will be Crows supporters calling for him to be dropped after all he didn’t have 50 touches or kick 15 goals ), geez he is a vital player. Kyle Hartigan, who took Jeremy Cameron to the cleaners before he did his hammy and more than held his own all night. Charlie Cameron, where his chasing harassing and tackling were important. Son of cement head Ned Kelly, Jake was composed calm and influential down back (hey Craig long time Redlegs followers will always appreciate the bevy of talent you and the mattress, Matty Primus in particular brought along to the club and Sam’s disco –  ahh great memories). Luke Brown beating the karate kid, Toby Greene, Riley Knight who’s toughness and manic attack of ball and opponent is made for September. Yes it really was a case of the team of Champions beating plenty of individual champions.

2) The Crows pressure and harassment of GWS was incredible. It resulted in GWS over-using the footy with way too many handballs and thru the Crows manic pressure in the forward line, which  forced GWS to clear their defensive area with hacked clearing kicks. The Crows effective set ups re entering the 50 and scores resulting. That was really the story of the 2nd quarter in particular and resulted in the Crows leading by a whopping 44 (Tom Warhurst) points at half time.

3) While I admit I was carried away by the GWS potential, I did look at their side before the game and in Shane Mumford, Jon Patton, Rory Lobb, Jeremy Cameron and Harrison Himmelberg had they fallen for the 3 card trick and gone in way way too tall for a night game, when the ball was always going to be on the ground, even more so when it rained? The answer was a resounding YES

4) Sir Edward Betts was the game breaker kicking 3 goals and having a hand in several others. His sure ball handling and defensive pressure were as always elite. Arguably the greatest small forward of all time put another dagger in the claim he fails in big games. What absolute crap, he LOVES the big occasion with his team first and unselfish sharing of the footy putting him clearly ahead of other small forward pocket specialists of all time (there you are Luke and other Pies tragics I separated Eddie from Peter Daicos)

5) GWS thru the incredible, yes ridiculous recruiting concessions, have a number of amazing individual players in Josh Kelly, Stephen Coniglio , Toby Greene, Tom Scully etc, but in reality are they all the best 15 year old players thrown together that only run one way and don’t get down and dirty together with selfish individual tendencies and lack role players they need a few Paul Puopolo types (wonder if If went up the trade table offer from GWS after last night)? Those of us who are blown away with the POTENTIAL in this side were again reminded that is a dirty word.

6) After half time GWS kicked the 1st three goals of the 3rd quarter, ohh no,  had the ghost of Graham Cornes from ’93 entered the Crows coaching box ? No need to worry, the rejuvenated Richard Douglas entered the fray with 2 goals and put the fire extinguisher on the brief GWS fight back. Douglas on ball has had a super and consistent year –  another one of the unheralded players had well and truly delivered.

7) The Crouch brothers have well and truly arrived, with Matt having a break out All-Australian year with his sure hands and unique ball finding ability, his disposal by foot seemingly improving by the day, combined with his vision, awareness and hand ball skills. Brad’s body is now letting him deliver on his potential, his burst away from packs was excellent and combined again with improving foot skills are causing huge problems for the opposition. Hats off to the recruiting staff who managed the coup to get these two together at the Adelaide FC (let’s not forget Luke Brown and Brad Crouch were secured from GWS clutches). The Crouch brothers are going to torment the opposition for a long time –  let’s desperately hope it is wearing the beautiful Crows jumper.

8) Jake Lever shoved it up people saying don’t pick him because he hasn’t committed for
2018. What absolute STUPIDITY. No, you ALWAYS pick your best available 22. Hey, it was bad enough coming from supporters but the complete and utter garbage written by Graham Cornes in the Advertiser was extraordinary with no thought what so ever for the inevitable CONSEQUENCES of possible action from the AFL Players association, let alone alienating the Crows current playing list. Hey if a hack like me can bother to do some RESEARCH and check with authorities of what the outcome COULD be, there is no excuse for anyone not to do the same. In reality it was a bizarre and poor article to say the least.

9)’The team defence led by the best negating backman in the business in Daniel Talia was a delight to behold while Matt De Boer stifled Rory Laird’s dash and rebound to some degree he was still influential while Hartigan, D Mac , Brown , Kelly and Paul Seedsman (when forced to go back due to the injury suffered by Brodie Smith) were all solid contributors.

10) GWS  – geez it is hard to find any thing positive. Brett Deledio took his finals record to no early wickets at none for four with Nick Duigan sending his best wishes, while Callum Ward, Stephen Coniglio, Josh Kelly, Tom Scully and Matt De Boer had their moments. This game has caused far more questions than answers at the Monaros.

11) When Sam Jacobs went to the bench in the last minute of the game to be embraced by Brodie Smith it was a poignant moment in so many ways. While Smithers was understandably shattered by doing his ACL and to be missing not only the remainder of this season but next, he saw the whole picture and realised that there are things way way more important than footy. The display of character by Sam Jacobs during the last week has been extraordinary –  everyone’s hugs and best wishes to Sam re the funeral of his brother Aaron today and moving forward (sporting clubs truly bind together in tragedy at any level and help!)

12) With the Crows record in the rain, there will be compulsory rain dances to be held on the day of the game for all Crows remaining finals matches. These will be conducted by the maestro Don Pyke and non-attendance is hereby a criminal offence and will result in gaol time!

Footnote: Much has been said in the footy world about the Dees getting ahead of themselves and faltering at the last moment. Hey the true reason for their collapse has come thru, yep you guessed it, due to the assistant coaching of the one and only Troy Chaplin (thought I had forgotten, didn’t you ! )

So the Crows progress to a home Preliminary final while GWS will take on either Port or West Coast for the right to progress further in 2018

Go the team for all South Australians. Go the Crows!


Read more coverage of the Adelaide v GWS game here.


  1. RB – turned this turgid affair off at half time. Shocking viewing. But Crows were very strong over the ball.

    GWS could be the greatest collection of over rated, arrogant, entitled, soft millionaires ever assembled.

  2. Earl O'Neill says

    The match turned out much as I’d feared it would. I wasn’t sure that Lobb and Patton should be in the same team, let alone Himmelburg. Slack effort from too many.

  3. Dennis Floyd says

    Agree with everything bar Lever, B Crouch and R Knight were the reason we were so good last night, Knights attack on ball and player was outstanding and he was almost best on ground for me loved his game, the crouch boys??? wow just wow they are elite and to think that they are really only just getting started, look out the rest of the football world when they have 100 games plus up their sleeve as they will be unstoppable..
    great read

  4. hi Malcom…good comments mate. First leg over now for the real test which will probably be Sydney. We can do it but i would expect harder opposition in the contest…Hoping Hampton has a big game in the trial today , could be the smoky to replace Smithy…

  5. “”Brad’s body is now letting him deliver on his potential, his burst away from packs was excellent and combined again with improving foot skills are causing huge problems for the opposition.”” About time you admitted you were wrong mate! :-)

    Do you actually read/listen/pay attention to anything from a human with the surname Cornes??

    No mention of the connector? He was very influential.

    Heath Shaw’s decline towards Father Time is rapid.

    Any criticism of the trench warfare in the first 1.5 quarters, and the even 2nd half, comes from people who don’t know & really understand footy. It was brilliant from the Crows… intensity, pressure acts at their best.

    Riley Knight’s effort to cover Sloane’s absence was immence.

    Severe criticism of GWS is unwarranted. They lost 1 quarter to the best team in the comp away. They are still a force in 2017, not done with yet. Be nice if they can embarrass Port next Fri night!


  6. GWS? Outstanding list but prone to headlight glare.

    The Pride of South Australia? Warranted premiership favouritism.

    Don Pyke? Coach for life at West Lakes.

    The Hon. Edward A. Betts? Sublime.

    And while The Charodnnays move on to clear Premiership Favouritism, and all attention is focussed on their progress through September, the question of who’s got the pub over there in Adelaide now can wait till October.

  7. The Crouch brothers were outstanding, Rulebook… and to think you’ve got Sloane to come back in for the Preliminary.

  8. Jeff Milton says

    Perfect example of a committed champion team beating a team of would be champions. All that ground ball training that Phil Walsh use d to talk about is something this side is now so good at, and it really shows in the wet. Combine this with the fact, that unlike other teams, most weeks the Crows have 22 contributors and the Crows are very hard to stop. This probably didn’t happen in the games that were lost. The Crows last 6 picked each week are so much better than most other team’s bottom 6. What a tribute to the Crow’s coaching and development of young players. Just need to stop the other 17 vultures from picking off too much of it.
    Still all for nothing, if they cant win a Prelim Final. If they bring last night’s approach surely this time.

  9. Great to see the Crows get the home preliminary final, and we definitely do need to rain dance! Crows look fantastic in the rain. Matt Crouch has been so consistent for us this year, really stepped up again last night

  10. Outstanding effort Rulebook – you have gone far and wide! Crouches – outstanding!! Matt is looking more and more like Sam Mitchell everyday – pure class. Brad is now truly elite and with a full year All Australian will beckon ! Knight – that hardness is so important to Adelaide – as he improves his ball use he is going to be very good. GWS were consistent with what I have seen- their movement from the back is not good enough and Adelaide’s continued pressure acts is a huge positive. GWS have some huge egos who need some hard nosed coaching re team and focus on process – my thinking is changes in coaching staff will definitely need to occur – in the meantime there will be more tears as last night they were too big and very very ordinary! Adelaide will keep getting better – Jacobs just epitomises the quality in this group – what integrity he has! Brodie Smith will have had that very distressing injury put into context a little by Sam’s situation. The commitment to run – to create space through fat and skinny – to immediately apply pressure – to spot kick to avoid contest – This team with no top 10 draft picks is evolving into a very special unit – E Betts clearly in the top 3 free agency results for any club in the AFL. I was interested in your comments re Chaplin – I have a friend in the Adelaide media who advised me that Chaplin was very keen to tip mud on Port as soon as was offloaded – I am not sure I would want that sort of weakness in any AFL coaching group.

  11. The Crows were impressive across the field last night whilst their opponents almost look set to go out in straight sets. I’m optimistic of an improved Crows performance in a fortnight’s time, given Taylor Walker struggled to stick a mark all night, Jenkins and McGovern didn’t have a huge impact and Sloane will be back in the side for the Preliminary Final.

    I am of the view that the loser of tonight’s game will end up being our opponent for the Prelim. I suspect Sydney’s grand run will end in the Semi Final.

  12. Nice work, RB. Gee you left the Troy Chaplin reference till late!

    I thought Hartigan was superb last night. Played his role to perfection, and didn’t try to do what he can’t. It was hard to tell how wet it was from the sofa in Melbourne, but when I saw Matt Crouch fumble one I knew it was torrential. I would have had the Crouch boys, Douglas, Knight and Lynch as my top 5 on the night.

    Eddie must have one of the fastest footy brains ever. To loop around the back at the Scoreboard end to prevent the first handball, double back when Wilson broke the other way, but still have the presence of mind to tackle Lobbe when the umpire was up to the “P” of “Play On” was amazing. Speaking of the umps, I thought they had a very good game last night.

    I really liked Tex’s game, even though possessions were low. He flew for mark after mark, often outnumbered, and always brought it to ground to give the smalls a chance.

    It got a bit dusty in my place when Brodie and Sauce were consoling each other at the end.

  13. Amazing how they have gone from “soft” to possibly the hardest and most feared competitors in the comp within a season.Goes to show the old adage, a champion team beats a team of champions. They are all happy to work for each other and do the simple things.Seen a lot of people saying “gws had a bad night”… That is just a result of crows manic pressure and I’ll.say it again,Douglas is a crucial piece of their premiership puzzle

  14. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    All played well (including you R Book) 100% spot on about how well the bottom of our list was. Shit news about Smithers, but geez he showed some steel at the end with Sauce.

    Plenty of GWS went missing last night, perhaps Gubby Allen was helping them out.

  15. Yeah, good stuff, but I’d beware the wounded Giant. Teams do win premierships from this position but I was baffled by their tactics last night. Regardless of what happens from here, I reckon there’s a few mid-season Crows fans that owe an apology to Pyke (IF they make the GF I intend to retweet all of the #pykeout tweets on twitter following the first Melbourne and Geelong games). Knew the Crows were on last night when David Mackay was knocking blokes over.

  16. Peter Crossing says

    Crows more organised, more cohesive and efficient than GWS.
    GWS too top-heavy up forward in the conditions and Cameron not match hardened. Plus, a number seemed overawed and all of a sudden Shaw and Mumford now appear on their career down curve. Crows were really good. GWS, who had not played well, got themselves back into the game in the third quarter and then messed up two kick-outs that the Crows capitalised on. I find the words “over rated, arrogant, entitled, soft millionaires” and “selfish individual tendencies” somewhat over the top. Good recent article by Mark O’Sullivan on this site (who also mentions Courtney Walsh’s opinion piece in the Australian) show that the GWS players are doing the hard yards as much as those in any other club. Finals footy is “another ball game altogether”!

  17. RB – your first paragraph of “manic” pressure and superior ball use summed it up perfectly. That’s how it was won, spot on. When they do both above to their full ability for 4 quarters, there is no team currently who can get close to beating the Crows – including Sydney. When we drop off these 2 necessities even 5%, we come back to the field. The challenge they have is to do this intensity and ball use twice more this year and no team can take the flag off them.

  18. Conclusive write up there RB. Still don’t know why Crows fans walk out early regardless of the score. Really bugs me. Stay til the end Crows fans!!!

  19. Awesome RB.
    My comment to a Crows supporter yesterday is still ringing in my ears, “we won’t win it without Sloane”.
    I agree in relation to D-MAC, he has been my whipping boy for a long time, Pyke has found another level in his game.
    Love Knight’s hardness in the contest.
    Smithers, what an unfortunate injury at this time of year especially. Hope his recovery is 100%.
    Jacobs – Star.
    After all, it’s only a game.
    Prelim here we come.

  20. Betts banana kick out of the ball up was extraordinary…but Daics still has him covered (don’t forget Daics spent the best part of a decade in the midfield).

    Mark my words, Crows will be Premiers. I saw them up close, make up a 50 point deficit in just 35 minutes. Walked away thinking gosh, they are a great side.

  21. Well done boys :P

  22. Danny Goddard says

    You well and truly covered everything really well……the crouch boys are anazing they are in tip top form and will carve up who ever we meet come prelim time they beat a great midfield last night with help from douglas and greenwood they look formidable ……smithers going down is a huge loss as he is elite….It is so true a champion team will always beat a team of champions. GO YOU CROWS !!!!!

  23. Melina Mueller says

    Such a mixed bag of emotions in this game .. Disappointment that Rory#1 wasn’t out there (although it was definitely the best decision to let him heal properly, no matter how much he may have wanted to play). Excitement after a week off, preceded by two games that were nowhere near our best. Devastation when Smithers took that fall. Pure joy in watching the bros Crouch absolutely on fire. Trepidation that our Lever might go elsewhere – we need to get a medal round that boy’s neck first!! Astonishment as Sir Eddie did again, what Sir Eddie does best. Frustration at a couple of easy misses, from some who normally do better. Pride in knowing the win was gonna be ours. Jubilance and celebration ….. And then sheer heartbreak, witnessing Sauce on the bench in tears, with an already emotional Smithers shoving his own pain aside to comfort him .. And finishing off with massive anticipation for the upcoming prelim, with Rory back on the field .. What a rollercoaster!!!!!

  24. resilience and match day maturity are the two big differences for me – both individually and as a team. will be nice to sit back next weekend and watch others go through the finals wringer.
    great write up Book.

  25. Jill Tathra says

    My condolences to Sam Jacobs and family. Very gutsy game mate.

    A bit scrambly I thought but pleased with the result. I was afraid we may not do so well as we did, I get so scared at the best of times but finals oh my.

    Another great report mate.

  26. Some excellent points you have made here, Rulebook.
    I agree – the Giants were far too tall (and Mumford has really gone off the boil recently).
    Any talk of not playing someone who is unsigned is absolute bollocks. I’m sure glad I don’t see the Advertiser.
    And I must say that I did not think the loss of Sloane would make much difference in the scheme of things – and I was right.

  27. Malcolm Ashwood says
  28. Great report Rulebook. Many positives not least the least being that Tex, JJ and Mitch didn’t have especially big evenings and yet we summonsed sufficient goals. Our attack on the ball and defensive pressure were terrific.

    The word is that we’ll host our final Friday fortnight.

  29. Great game from a champion team. Like the old cliche says. A champion team will beat a team of champions.
    This club has been through the wringer for more than 12 years. Whilst there are still serious issues in how the club engages with supporters one is certain. The football department has performed alchemy in consistently turning dogshit into strawberry jam. There have been many times the Adelaide Football Club could have put the cue in the rack and give up.
    When looking at this team never underestimate the Walsh factor, these boys are hungry to honour a man who made a massive impact in a very short time.
    Don Pyke has to be applauded by embracing the the walsh factor and whilst not over stating it it’s an ever present motivation to grab opportunity when it presents because who knows what the future holds.
    As for GWS……… no heart, no culture pretty much a nothing club. It’s proof you can pour $100s of millions of dollars into western Sydney but you can’t buy culture. You have to earn it. Over paid over entitled boys who’ve never heard the word no are not going to build culture or win flags.

  30. Bryan Haines says

    Some excellent points book. Adelaides defence was outstanding. Both one on one and their positioning to stop the giants run. I have been a bit of a Mackay critic in the past, mainly because he would miss goals, burn the ball and get pushed aside by bigger opponents. But he has improved out of sight, mainly in the last half of the year. Much stronger in the contest and skills have improved. Great credit to him, and the coaches. And that leads to your bottom 5 point. It’s true to a point but I think more about the bottom midfielders. You need midfield depth. Richard Douglas is the Crows barometer, when he plays well we win. As Pykey says, it’s all about even contribution. All played well ?

  31. Great article that got even better with the obligatory TC reference.

  32. Sharon Coad says

    Losing Smithers in 1st qrt, Seeds and Mackay step up. The big men of the forward line only kicking 4 goals between them, but still having an influence in bringing other players into the game. Crouch brothers were immense, Eddie being Eddie
    The back 6 played team defence. Charlie’s run and pressure. No Sloane no Crows, sorry but they are playing as a TEAM. Sloane coming back in, more pressure from the mid 6. Sauce Jacobs = HUGE EFFORT.Only one stroke of the masterpiece has touched the canvas, the painting is yet to be finished.

  33. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Dips GWS just don’t work anywhere near hard enough when they haven’t got the footy.. Earl bizarre selection for a night game way way to tall and agree really poor re effort.Dennis what do you disagree re Lever ?
    Surely I have explained it enough why he MUST play.Riley Knight is made for September and re both Crouches,Matt bordering on elite and Brad getting there.Dave agree and yep Hampton is the smoky just probably not enough game time.Jamesy have never said,Brad Crouch couldn’t play I just never went over the top like a lot of Crows supporters his body is now finally letting him show every one his true colours and yes poor by me not to acknowledge the connector spot on re Heath Shaw my disappointment with GWS is the lack of hard running the other way and no where near as manic at the opposition hey they have miles more natural talent than most sides but as we all no natural talent only takes you so far.Love it Wrap gold re every line and the Tigers are in a prelim final just incredible.Litza the Crouch brothers stood up big time and yes while,Sloane is a big in Smith is just as big a out.Milts couldn’t agree more re ground ball training in general and yep re Crows wins it has been a case of all played well most times well and truly..Campbell rain dance should be a compulsory school subject for the next three weeks.Bill for mine,Matt Crouch is far more,Garry McIntosh than Sam Mitchell both getting there re elite not there yet.Bill totally agree re GWS change of coaching direction is needed no where near as good in game plan or execution as they should be.Sauce situation puts every thing else in context and I can assure you regular readers of my articles no I am not a Chaplin fan is putting it mildly a large part is the very reason you mention.Paul yep while the Crows were v.impressive certainly plenty of room for improvement and while at this early stage I reckon we will be playing,Sydney who knows in this the season of upsets.thanks folks

  34. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Steve L got to keep the audience guessing re Chaplin, Hartigan may well have been his most composed game spot on did what he had to.Eddie yes while his skills are incredible his footy brain is like a calculator also.Tex was good detest him missing goals tho thru not kicking thru the bloody thing ,likewise I was a fountain when they showed,Sauce and Smithers together ( plenty of character by B Smith also and whilr I am at brilliant by
    Davis and Mumford in particular as well reminding every one they had just lost a game not a life ) Ben agree with every word !Swish love the Gubby line just superb.Dave yep way to much talent at the giants to declare that they are done while I was never that critical,towards,Pyke I was worried during those losses had we got a super stubborn,Neil Craig copy but no thank goodness there have been changes with using,Riley Knight in a tagging role has been a vital and needed change ,Dmac has been good physically in general in 2017.Peter totally agree re Mumford and Shaw well surely it’s each team to make full use of the ability of n it’s list and GWS are clearly not doing that at this stage.Mark watching tonight’s game I am more convinced than ever that what you are saying is 100 per cent correct perform at our best and a flag is attainable.Raf I admit I find it weird that people will leave when the game is in the balance not otherwise.Chris no doubt that Pyke has been very good for Dmac re getting the best out of him and yep it’s only a game.thanks folks

  35. Corker, Rulebook! Agree on the bottom six. Fair effort to stay up all night with this. Respectfully disagree on Eddy. I think he is a champion, and worship him, but there is no such thing as best of all time. You simply cannot compare different generations. He is, in my opinion, head-and-shoulders the best of this one, though. And more the power to him, seems just as much a champion bloke! Nice one Malthouse!!

  36. Malcolm Ashwood says

    DBalassone yep that’s what I was referring to re how much time,Daics spent in the midfield both him and Betts champions and obviously I hope you are correct.thanks,Tania.Danny the team aspect was the key and yes Smithers is a huge loss..Melina brilliant you covered the emotional roller coaster v well..dl good point at least at this stage there seems to be a significant amount of learning from last year we await at what unfolds.
    Thanks Jill Sauce showed a lot of character hope every one continues to rally around him and yes it’s a nerve wracking time of year.Smokie bizarre selection especially when it’s small forwards which can cause problems to the Crows GWS really played in to there opposition strengths and yes complete and utter stupidity re not picking for your best possible side and as I said no thought what so ever of the myriad of all the consequences glad I was wrong re Sloane.Mickey thank you yes plenty of room for improvement and a friday night prelim awaits.Adrian no doubt the Adelaide fc ability to overcome obstacles of so many different things has been extraordinary and while we caused the Tippett saga the penalty was a disgrace and way over the top re Walsh factor yes he will always be remembered and had a huge impact in a short time sporting clubs are resilient and move on quickly as they must.GWS personally I agree for mine they have been a disappointment with the obscene drafting concessions they have received and they should be obliterating the competition we will see how they respond next week.Brian agree re Dmac and while it is disappointing that it has taken so long re the harder edge full credit to him and re the coaching that it has has happened but he has always been way better than a lot of supporters have given him credit for a lot of the attacks he receives on social media re disgraceful is putting it mildly I am glad for his own well being he doesn’t engage in social media what so ever.Good point re Douglas and midfield depth it is also where,Greenwood has been crucial full credit to the recruiting and development staff.Sharon love it I can feel the excitement in your words and we all hope so.thanks Stormtrooper of love.Old Dog in reality you are entirely correct but geez we have some fun and bar room debate comparing eras and the decision by Malthouse to recruit a banged up Dale Thomas and let Betts go can also be debated re the most insane and diabolically allowing personal favourite to get in the way of clear football thinking decision in the history of the game thanks every one !

  37. Lachlan Waterman says

    Solid piece “Book.” Jacobs performance was all the more meritorious for being able to shut out the Demons from his mind. Tears of relief showed what an emotional rollercoaster these guys have been riding for nearly 3 years now. The Walsh legacy lingers in a timely reminder in the back of the player’s minds.
    Sloane to come back in and anything less than a GF birth the season has been a failure.

  38. Great write up Rulebook.
    Loved the way the game played out but get so frustrated when seeing Tex do the hard work and take a mark well within distance of the goals then simply do a half kick at the ball rather than kick right through it like he would if past the 50 metre mark. When will he learn to give all his kicks at goal everything no matter how close to the goal he is!
    Good observations on Mackay as well, he’s become crucial to our run and success while his hardness at the ball has gone through the roof compared with previous years. Lastly, my old favourite, Douglas. As you noted, he was instrumental in turning the game back in our favour with those 2 goals of his after GWS managed a bit of a run in the early stages of the 3rd quarter.
    Great effort CROWS. If we simply continue the pressure and absolute team play at all costs, playing on the big day beckons.

  39. Excellent summary Book. Thought Greenwood with his basketball skills was useful – Crouch boys outstanding – basically had control of the game all night bar a few short sleepy times. Wish Tex would kick the easy goals – really frustrating when he misses the close shots and drills them from 60. Looking forward to the prelim – Sydney or Geelong by the looks – both beatable if we apply the same pressure and some rain to boot.

  40. YES, I must back up Droop’s comments. I guess we are being precious when we enjoy a 6 goal win, but that last quarter was a scrappy, sub-standard affair with just a handful of Crows’ shots on goal, NONE of which earned full points. Memo: Tex! Kick THROUGH the ball confidently, don’t bloody poke at it! Wouldn’t want to kick like that in the GF with scores level, ha ha… BUT on to the good stuff! Crouch men are great, Jacobs brave and impressive, the defence manic, Knight, Douglas, & Eddie all played their part vs a surprisingly poor GWS. Brodie Smith…. Aaaaagh!!! Yes, i know it’s football, but… SHIT. Ok, got that off my chest, let’s see us rest up & gather ourselves for our first Prelim since 2012. Sloaney will surely be back, and we need to be at our BEST, whether it be Sydney or the Cats, THIS must be our year!!!

  41. Yes Ashy,we play really well when it has rained or has been wet,we’ll keep the rain dances going!!

  42. Mark Duffett says

    As expected, Adelaide’s premiership favouritism lasted only 24 hours. It’s quite pleasing to see the Tiger army giving up all pretence at keeping a lid on it. From all the carry-on in the south-eastern corner of the country, you’d think they’d just won the flag. Let them go on thinking that way as long as they like. I’ve seen nothing yet to change my view that Sydney are the biggest threat.

  43. Martin Rumsby says

    Thanks for your report Malcolm. Didn’t see or hear the game being overseas and without wifi at the time, so it was enlightening to read your analysis. Getting through the Prelim Final may well be the biggest challenge ahead of the Crows.

  44. Willow Wilson says

    Nice work Book, particularly agree with your Lever comments. Footy fans (and some journalists) need to acknowledge that in this age of professionalism and big money contracts times have changed. Can you blame a bloke in his early 20s for wanting to go back to his home state and earn a couple hundred grand a year more? Watching him warm up before the game you could see his intensity and watching him play you couldn’t argue that his commitment has changed to the team.

    Really liked Knight, Crouch brothers, Luke Brown, Greenwood, Douglas. Intensity and team defence were highlights on a night where the forwards contested well but didn’t dominate. Back six really solid and looks likely that Seedsman will hold is spot. Not a bad replacement for Smith on a back flank.

  45. Great game to be at – It would have been very odd for the Crows to drop that one, so was always a bit confident. I think if the Crows don’t choke from here the flag is there’s for the taking.

  46. “Book, Crows were very good. But tougher tests await.

    GWS picked the wrong team. With all the injuries they had this season, I don’t think they’ve worked out what their best team is. I’m talking balance, not talent. Will be interesting to see if they learn for next week.


  47. YES, everyone on this Forum has actually had something useful to say – that’s not something that can be said about a lot of sports forums. My thoughts in no particular order:
    1. Changes for the match in 2 weeks time, probably vs Swans: Smith, sadly, out – Sloane in. Simple as that. No need to fart around with an underdone Curtly Hampton or anyone else for that matter. Alex Keath excellent late in the minor round, so he would have to be considered unlucky. He has a big future with the Crows & WILL be needed in 2018.
    2. The game itself…. was OVER by half time, the result cemented in place by the best Crows 2nd quarter for quite a few years. It meant that the 2nd half was always going to be a grind defensively & for most of the final term the ball was camped in the GWS forward 50, but a 36 point win, we will take any time.
    3. Crouch brothers…. 2 ball magnets who can take us to a Premiership. Throw in a recovered Rory S., a rejuvenated Richard Douglas & other players pinch-hitting in the centre & our midfield will stand up to the sternest of tests.
    4. Serviceable games by a few of the forwards (Tex, JJ, Mitch McG.) meant that we did not exactly dominate inside our forward 50, but a brilliant cameo by Eddie & a vintage Tom Lynch performance ensured that we got fair value for our forward thrusts & ensured victory. Tex will want to practise those set shots in the next fortnight…..
    5. When you go deep into the finals & are playing in Prelim Final week, the difference between victory & defeat can often be decided by those so-called “bottom” 4 or 5 players. We KNOW that Sloane, the Crouches, Eddie, Talia, Lever, Laird etc will be influential. But victory can be assured by the performances of a Riley Knight, Kyle Hartigan, Rory Atkins or a Hugh Greenwood who can LIFT for the big stage.
    6. The other factor is inside the coaches’ box. I thought Pyke out-coached Leon Cameron the other night, especially in the light of the top-heavy GWS forward line; maybe they lost that game partly at selection. The next challenge for Don is to find a way to get past the recently unbeatable Sydney midfield, as I confidently predict the tiresome Dangerwood club to bow out this coming weekend.
    7. Go Crows. Get through the next fortnight, keep those feet on the ground, & do yourselves proud.

  48. I am always gobsmacked by supporters, regardless of the team that they follow, who get over emotional about players switching clubs. The players have every right to change their workplace for better conditions. You would be a fool to admit that YOU wouldn’t entertain the same notion within your own workplace. Lest we forget that players are traded, sold and dumped if they are past their use by date. And its the supporters who become overly hasty in shouting down their own players whom they are supposed to support. Where is the loyalty there?

    Crows looked good Thursday night. Pyke has them centred and focused, and not cocky. Looking forward to see how far they can go.

  49. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Lachy incredibly emotional and prelim is a 50 50 game.Big Jim Tex kicking for goal ahh ! Kick thru the bloody thing.D Mac and Dougy v v good.Droop Greenwood is one of the major success stories not just re Crows but across the comp in general and yes hope its wet.Tony not worried at all about the last q game over and players are in self preservation mode both,Crouch’s v v good and as I have admitted above poor form on my behalf to forget to mention the Connector.Pagey keep doing those rain dances.Mark I am eating humble pie re Richmond just stunned were they are with that side and list so let them go and have thought for a number of weeks that the Swans are the team to beat.thanks,Martin appreciated and have fun.Willow agree 1 million per cent just insane re the Lever garbage,Knight and Luke Brown unheralded both v capable footballers.Timmy long way to go and Swans more than capable of beating us especially.JB spot on agree totally yes while it was a poorly selected side re height injuries have robbed them of working out and balance there side properly. thank you

  50. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Tony basically agree with every thing you have written the evenness of the side is vital and yes we need every one to step up agree re the one obvious change( Smith is a massive loss) Neags to say I agree with you is a massive understatement ( privledge to help you out re the Slowdown) and a huge prelim final awaits thank you every one

  51. Cameron Glenn says

    An impressive win by the Crows in a strong performance. Only issue with the win is the extra week off but will wait and see what happens next week. A shame about Brodie Smith though.

  52. Thanks for your articles RB, It was a sensational performance from the Men in Red, Gold and Blue. So much to love, ill be the first to say ive been on DMac’s back for the last few years, not so much to drop him but to start playing to a level we have all been waiting for. Instead of DMac breaking out to become the next star he has since become in the cemented group i call ‘The Reliables’ This group led by a true backman in Luke Brown, who has minimal faults but also minimal recognition for his consistent and relentless efforts to shut his direct opponent week in week out. DMac’s role is that of a fast paced in your face pressure footballer, his acts of pressure force unwanted turnovers week in week out. He has also shown if let loose can really become the momentum builder in short damaging bursts of brilliance, will dominate through his maturity. VC of The Reliables goes to Rory Laird (The Vacuum) need i say anything, this little pocket rocket has saved our arse in countless opposition attacks. Rory Atkins plays his consistent part amongst this under rated mob of true champions who dont care for front page glory just the success of their team and team mates.
    Speaking of under ‘rated’ or under the ‘radar’ type players, there is one that has been so important to our young upcoming midfield, since the departure of our club champion of many years who ill forever thank and respect for the time he gave us during our rebuild from certain catastrophes and obstacles our great club has faced in the recent past. Richard ‘Dickie Craig’ Douglas is my key midfielder since Patty D’s decision to head back home to the Cattery. This man has flown under the radar and has dug deep in every stoppage, contest or forward attack. He may not be a 30+ disposal getter each week but his ability to hit the 20 to 25 each week is sensational. Last week his 20 disposals included 10 contested, 5 tackles, 7 clearances, 3 inside 50’s and 2 straight goals to boot.. Dead set workhorse who can now add polish to his sometimes shaky foot skills. Legend and would love to see him in the golden jacket which will be hard to take from a numerous amount of talented players. Rory Sloane an obvious champion God I Love That Guy!!
    But how can you choose one man when you have Ya Rory’s (all of em), ya Crouch Brothers, ya Big Sausies, ya Eddie’s, ya Riley Knights, ya Lynchies, Charlies, Walkers, Smiths, Levers, McLovins, DT’s, Greenwoods not to mention a shite load of talent knocking at the door.. We truly are a team of champions never having to rely on an individual’s performance. We are only as good as the blokes we stand with…. Don Pyke no matter what happens from here your our CLUBS CHAMPION, i personally believe no one can ever replace our beloved Phil Walsh and his unfinished business with our boys, but i can not think of a better man to adopt our club and coach us to a Premiership in 2017 and then some.
    Wishing the boys all the success this finals series. I along with all the #19thMenandWomen will be flying with you every step of the way…. Carn the Mighty Crows

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