Round 1 – Adelaide v GWS: On Top in March

Adelaide 22-15-147 d GWS 14-7-91


Goal Kickers:
Adelaide: Betts 4, Jenkins,Atkins 3, McGovern,C Cameron,Douglas,Knight 2,MacKay,Menzel,B.Smith 1
GWS:Cameron 4,D.Smith 3,Scully 2,Greene,Lobb,Kennedy,Lobb,Patton
Adelaide- Laird,Atkins,Douglas,C Cameron,MacKay,Betts,Jacobs,Talia,Otten,Jenkins
GWS- Kelly,Shiel,Williams,J Cameron


Malarkey Medal Votes 3.Laird(Ad) 2.Atkins (Ad) 1.Douglas(Ad)


Crowd 43,993 at The Adelaide Oval



Round 1 arrives and I admit I am seething over the AFL stupidity re rule changes.
I detest the banning of the 3rd man up, if only the AFL had the common sense to have a ruck coach re umpiring, as some one who played the majority of his footy as a ruckman, and yes I am a maggot, I find this an easy part to umpire yet the pure guess work and incompetence re umpiring at AFL level has brought this stupid rule change in. The previous day though the Crows ladies have won a fantastic flag (who says you can’t go top in March! thanks Aaron K),
and that has given me enthusiasm and passion again for footy. While the skills of the girls games have been average at times no one can question the commitment and wouldn’t we all love our sides to have a crack like the girls! The other positive is watching the girls pure passion and love of the game. Erin Phillips, what a gun! Remarkable person. Erin has been the media identity of the game and been just as good in that role as being the dominant player on the ground and another AFL flag. We pull clear of Port! (that should provoke a response!)


Congrats to Bec Goddard and the club on a incredible achievement!
Its a bloody hot Sunday and the Crows have been handed a match up with Premiership favorite GWS. I have tipped GWS by 63 points (note the margin. I was out in the end, yep the magic number 119). Tex Walker is a late withdrawal. I admit I was frustrated with that garbage, the mail was around on Thursday that he wasn’t playing.
I am stuffed if I can see any advantage in cat and mouse games!


The game begins and it’s intense, and quick, both teams are making errors and look a bit rusty. Both look dangerous and a chance to score on the turnover. Tom Scully and Toby Greene are proving a handful for the Crows while Jeremy Cameron is providing a target.
The mercurial Eddy Betts, while dangerous, his radar is off line
(to think the Crows got Eddy Betts while Carlton effectively got Dale Thomas, a bad decision recruiting can have devastating consequences). At quarter time GWS are up by 14 pts. When Cameron kicks the 1st goal of the 2nd quarter the Giants threaten to run away with it, but then the Crows midfield gets on top. This is heartening in so many ways as it is not being led by the usual gun Rory Sloane, who understandably is underdone after suffering a fractured eye socket pre season and not playing any pre season games.


Rory Atkins has been excellent with his elite left leg a weapon, Richard Douglas, with the Crows injuries, has moved back in to the midfield and is contributing. A goal to Jenkins and the Crows, after dominating inside 50s but blowing some easy set shots have finally hit the front. The big fella delivers a long bomb after the half time siren and the Crows are up by 8 pts and with all the momentum. Rory Laird, the unluckiest player in the game re missing the 2016 All Australian side is again dominating his run and carry, such an asset coming out of defense.


The Crows explode out of the blocks in the 3rd quarter and after Troy Menzel, in his debut for the Club, kicking a nice goal are 4 up. GWS respond with 2 goals to Devon Smith (is his nick name fritz?) but then Mitch McGovern kicks a ripper. The footy spun that much it reminded me of the dodgy Indian decks, further goals to Cameron and Douglas effectively ends the match as a contest.


The Crows run away with the game and luckily the game is over when as a result of yet another IDIOTIC rule interpretation, Daniel Talia is penalised as he is outside the square when he punches the footy through for a point despite having a GWS player right up his clacker. The lack of common sense and footy nous re instructions and rules bought in is a disgrace let alone a hell of a lot of the umpires have a huge dose of Kath and Kim, “look at me look at me” in their personality. As an umpire we should be looking up to the elite level, instead the attitude of some of the umpires and instructions given to them are putrid.


For the Crows there has been a host of good players apart from those already mentioned, the often maligned David MacKay has been very important having 15 score involvements with 91 per cent disposal efficiency. The returning Andy Otten, after a 2 year absence, was composed in defence, while the very important Riley Knight, who had a poor run with injury in 2016 has been his usual Mr Smooth really for the Crows. It was close to the old school line, all played well!


For GWS better players are far harder to find.
Josh Kelly has run hard and along with Dylan Shiel been involved in the contest. Zac Williams was ok in defence while Jeremy Cameron was always looking potent and kicked 4 goals but too much was well and truly left to too few.
What a great week end to be a Crows supporter!!!
(pity about The Redbacks. Sigh….)


  1. I couldn’t say it any better than that Malcolm great read again i so wish the afl leave the game alone stupid rules

  2. Good review. I think the key to MacKay is to try and consistently do this week in week out. I hope it is not like other sessions. He normally starts well then fatigue sets in during the year and he goes back to old ways (Hopefully I am wrong). Otherwise great team effort. Knight is silk and it proves how much he was missed last year. Phil Davis although he went to Betts when he fell going for that mark it just proves that maybe that it is not always about the money ( my view). Let’s hope Tex, Lever returns soon and this is just a good start to a great season. G #weflyasone

  3. Mark Huddleston says

    The third man up rule still needs adjusting. In another game (might have been Nth Melb V West Coast) a boundary throw in was well short of the mark, and another player grabbed the ball and took off, but was penalised because he wasn’t one of the rucks. Surely the boundary umpire should be instructed to re-throw in the ball in these circumstances.

  4. awesome read, the thing i love most of all about the mighty crows is we play as team

  5. Good first up article Book.

    I wonder what would Neil Kerley say about the third man up rule? Contesting rucks is a key part of every teams strategy and now its just been programmed out. No innovation or creativity required.
    Crows looked slick and way superior in terms of cohesion, delivery and drive than teams such as the swans. What to do with Tippett? If Swans had kept Mummie and not bought tippet they would have won last years grand final. There you are. Hehe.

  6. good read Malcolm….Hartigan still remains a problem. 2 out of his first 3 kicks result in goals for GWS. There was a lot of negative comments said about our midfield for the upcoming season, but i think we have actually improved that department , now we have a lot of speed in there which we have lacked for years and it certainly showed against one of the best midfields in the comp….I am seeing a lot of likeness in this crow team to the way the bulldogs played last yr..we are a running machine who harass the opposition into turnovers, better not get to far ahead of myself its only round 1,lol

  7. steve bland says

    Somethings not quite right at GWS.
    Did you notice that everytime they kicked a goal there was no celebration. No-one getting around the goal kicker. No enthusiasm.
    They don’t seem like a tight team to me. More like a team of individuals concerned about their own pay deals. The Crows on the other hand are complete team players, showed enthusiam and were genuinely happy when the fringe players stood up and did something specal or kicked a goal.
    A champion team will beat a team of champions any day.

  8. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Sophie and yes I am furious re rule changes,George while I agree re Dmac consistency he cops a pasting from a lot of Crows supporters and his run and carry is important.Phil Davis is a quality individual and who of us wouldn’t knock back a extra million to change employer.Knight is a vital player and yep only round 1.Mark I detest it as above and the banning of the 3rd man up is idiocy and yes it did happen in the Hawthorn game and yet again while it is stupid appalling that the Hawks didn’t no the rule that they had to nominate who was contesting the throw in.Dennis it was certainly a team effort.Nank hopefully,Kerls would have belted the idiot responsible for suggesting to ban the 3rd man up
    Crows were slick and totally agree re Mummy recruiting,Tippett may well have cost the Swans 2 flags already.Dave Hartigan disposal is a concern but his pace as a key defender is very important also lets remember he didn’t go awol like a lot did in our final against the swans agree re speed can’t have
    both Crouches and S Thompson in the midfield and we ran GWS off there legs spot on.Blandy interesting observation and on reading your comment I thought about it and reckon that is a more than fair anarlogy
    out of yesterday I will watch that closely over the next few weeks thanks folks

  9. John Butler says

    Always love your passion Rulebook.

    Thanks for reminding about the Betts/Thomas debacle. Another glorious legacy of the Malthouse years.

    Crows will be strong this year. Expect the Giants to greatly improve on this effort.

  10. Crows ability to cover the ground was impressive. They have a very even midfield. As usual the big test for them will be on the road. They should make the 8 on the back of home games, so will be a dangerous proposition later in the year.

  11. Willow Wilson says

    Good to be back in footy season and enjoying your review Book. After quarter time the Crows midfield were excellent even though Mumford had the better of Jacobs most of the day. I liked your observations on Atkins, M Crouch did some hard stuff in and under, but I also really enjoyed the games of Hampton and Milera, some extra pace and running power. Hartigan would have been close to most improved at the Crows last year, I think he is really valuable as the second big defender and was important when they had Patton (did very little), Lobb, and Cameron. I’ll take the occasional error by foot as I think his strength and courage more than compensate for the errors. Good to see Otten back, look composed after such a long stretch out of the team, will be interesting to see if Cheney can get back into the side and if Lever comes back, who goes out? Will also be interesting once Seedsman and Thompson are right for selection.

  12. Jeff Milton says

    Only round one but a very strong start. GWS is full of star players and at quarter time I thought they were just going to be too good for the Crows. However, the Crows players really did live up to the club slogan of we fly as one, as every player contributed and as a team they over ran the GWS.
    Richard Douglas was a class above any of the games he played last year, which is a great sign for the coming year. D Mac had a good game. These 2 very experienced players surrounded by some very quick young players really made the Crows midfield look a step up from last year. A little less pressure on Rory to have to constantly carry the midfield.

  13. Still seething over that Talia decision.

    Possbily the stupidest new rule yet.

  14. chris james says

    I agree with Blandy, no heart. The Giants will worry many teams with their speed but lack of determination cost them. How was Sloane not everyone’s bp ? His endeavour was inspirational and he prevented GWS getting it out. What a pleasure to watch a game without opposition fans. The ptooey by the green #12 inspired the boos which inspired the Crows, legend (even if he may possibly have been right).

  15. Great read Malcom.
    Ottens will improve and with Tex back no team will be looking forward to playing them.
    Except the Bombers.

  16. Dave Brown says

    Was blown away by the Crows after half time. All that overlap run and fluency of movement. Douglas looked like a new man getting on the end of those chains releasing him into space. And Milera coming off half back looked the goods. Very impressive debuts (for us) by Hampton & Menzel. Both copped unnecessary grief from fans last year when they both came to the club injured / unfit – it was always going to take them 12 months to get up to scratch. As for the rushed behind interpretation, for me that is very much the problem – the interpretation. All the laws say is that it is against the rules to deliberately rush a behind and the benefit of the doubt should be given to the defender. So the question is not so much why was that paid as why are many, many others not?

  17. kath presdee says

    Well played by the Crows – beat us all over the park.

    My question to those on the ground was how affected would GWS have been by being a player down for the second half given the weather conditions? I doubt the result would have changed – Adelaide clearly the better team – but my question is how it affected the margin. It’s a genuine question as we had 21 men for the second half in a game where they had the heat policy in place.

    And well done to Curtly – glad to see him fit and playing seniors. Long may you tear out your hair at his inimitable ways to bring the ball out of half back and then completely stuff it up.

  18. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Bewdy ‘Book. Of course, I picked the Monaros, but they played more like Lightburn Zetas.

    Looks like we bat pretty deep this year. Charlie looked even quicker than previous years (pity about his set shots), we had a number of players able to tuck the ball under the arm and break clear, will be pretty hard to defend against that quick ball movement.

    Not sure whether the Hawks’ effort was good or bad news for us, given this week’s MCG fixture. Can’t wait to see Hodge get sat on his Khyber once again.

  19. James Peter says

    So true Malcom and good to see Aaron k get a mention!! And thought menzel had a good game and McKay did some good things! Ratkins was on fire ? yesterday reily knight proved to be a good replacement for tex kicking a couple of goals!! And rory Larid well where do I start such a little superstar he is 40+ touches was really impressed

  20. Jill Tathra says

    What I couldn`t work out about Daniel Talia`s free was that if he hit the ball to the sidelines and it went out it would also have been a free this time for deliberately out of bounds. He really had no choice as I saw it.

    Another good read mate but please Crows don`t start of so slow next time and PLEASE have goal kicking included in the training.

  21. Lou
    Why would the bombers wanna face the crows are u a delusional bomber who thinks they are premiership material because they aren’t

  22. Great weekend to be a Crows supporter. Great article Rulebook.

  23. Nice job Book. Great game to watch although the umpiring/ rule changes continue to baffle. I’ve no doubt there’s a sub-committee tucked away looking at changing from an oblong to a round ball to do away with the unpredictable bounce. Lots of positives for us. Who makes way for Tex?

  24. Malcolm Ashwoood says

    JB sorry for the reminder re Thomas.Dips yes away games are the Crows Achilles heel.Willow Hartigan pace is important and let’s not forget a def case for most improved in 2016.Selection will be very interesting this week.Milts agree I reckon it was Douglas best game for a long while and Dmac is crucial re run and carry consistency is his problem.Rodes it is a ridiculous rule but how bout players actually knowing the bloody rules it is a area of the game where all clubs are negligent at.Jamesey it is a interesting observation by Blandy and re Sloane he has set a pretty high standard so has a bit to live up to.Lou good stuff and Ross it was v much tongue in cheek and I was with Lou at the time.Dave agree promising debuts and re Talia no the rule is he was outside the goal square so it’s a free kick ( again stupidity by the Afl ) Kath yes the loss of a player def helped the Crows I take it your not a Hampton fan ?
    Swish yes as I have said above I thought the monaros would win easily and our pace and ball movement was v good yesterday.big game this week.James glad you enjoyed Aaron’s mention,Knight is a v v good player and the Crows have some depth,Laird is a gun his only questionable aspect is defensively he was poor against the Hawks last season I am sure he will be keen to atone this week.Jill as I have said above as stupid a interpretation as ever invented ( geez there are a few to pick from ) agree re the goal kicking in particular and Ross as I have said tongue in cheek by Lou thanks folks

  25. Great weekend for every supporter of the Crows, Women win the Premiership and the men at the top of the table. Great game by the men against ‘premiership favourites’ in GWS, very surprised with such a massive win, I was expecting a very close game. Great article

  26. Barb Jamieson says

    Couldn’t agree more Malcolm about both third man up AND the Talia decision , yes , the rule was correctly umpired , but ludicrous that it’s a rule of the game . It’s only passion for the game itself and the Club that keeps me going back to the grounds each year .as Year by year , we see the game unevolve by people who don’t know what the spectators want to watch
    A shaky start to the game , I was pretty nervous at quarter time , but once the boys got it together , they looked like a well oiled machine . Like you , I think McKay gets little recognition for what he does , albeit , he may not be a star, but no team is full of stars and he does deserve his spot And for me , while Andy Ottens was not the star of the show ,he has done an amazing job earning a place back in the side after two years out of the game .
    Charlie Cameron is still a bit rough around the edges , but there is so much to like about his game and he is going to play a big part in our march to finals while Millera continues to impress and excite me with his speed and composure
    There’s not much more I can say about Rory Laurd , I think it’s all been said , he’s a gun .
    Interesting that GWS considered their back line was their biggest weakness last season and worked on it the off srason , and yet we managed to kick over 100 point against them , so maybe back to the drawing board for them on that
    Overall , we seem to have a good balance of seasoned players and youth, and they have appeared to jell into a unit that all clearly know what Don Pyke is asking for , and are focused on delivering
    Agree with your comments about the ladies , they will only get better with time , and hopefully Erin will be there next year. She’s got so much to offer towards building the team into a well polished side . Great to be the history makers of the women’s league

  27. Good read Rulebook. Certainly didn’t pick the margin. Can we have a year where all crows supporters stay to the final siren?

  28. Cameron Glenn says

    A really impressive win at Adelaide Oval by the Crows in what has been IMO the best round of the AFL in a long time. A huge second half with missing players to win by 56 points against premiership favs is massive. Will be a huge game against the Hawks, one the Crows should be able to win before returning to Adelaide Oval to play Showdown 42 against an improved Port Adelaide side that will make for one amazing contest.

    Fantastic for the Crows in the AFLW to be premiers! Fantastic! Also glad to see Adelaide United win away from home to get off the bottom of the ladder and hopefully stay that way!

  29. Dan Hansen says

    I didn’t watch the game, but I did see the women’s final. Watching it turned back the clock to 1980.

    In that year Greg Phillips dominated the season, was named in the All-Australian team and was best on ground when he smashed the opposition in the Grand Final.

    How good is your memory, Book?

  30. I don’t watch Adelaide games but like the Indian test team, the Crows are always hard to beat on their home deck.. GWS have been flag faves but might still be on a learning curve. They will win in Sydney most of the time, but can get overawed in front of bigger parochial crowds. They rely on individual brilliance rather than teamwork, and that will certainly get you places – but not all the way to the premiership. I agree with Dan Hansen, 1980 was a great year – Richmond were VFL premiers!

  31. Nice summary Rulebook. I agree with you that McKay & Douglas played crucial roles in the match and hopefully they will continue to make significant contributions all year. I reckon you were being a bit generous squeezing Jenkins into your BP’s when I thought it was obvious that McGovern played the better match and trobled the defenders more.
    Let’s hope the heat hasn’t taken too much out of the tank for the players so they can be ready to face the Hawks with only a 6 day break. At one stage in the last quarter I think it was, Milera was barely able to walk after a long run in that heat so the lactic acid build up in the players could be a factor.

  32. Martin Rumsby says

    Although he wasn’t in the best players, I thought Rory Sloane got better as the match progressed. A big ask to have him play without any trial match preparation. As the old saying goes, he will be better for the run.

  33. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Paul.Mickey agree re the round ball part and v interesting selection this week.thanks,Campbell.
    Barb ludicrously incompetent re rule changes and interpretations lots of positive signs and rapt for
    Andy Otten and rapt for the girls to win the inaugural flag.Raf great win must admit I have nothing against any one leaving early when a game is all over find it bemusing when it’s a cliffhanger.Cameron love your passion for sport in general.Danny Erin was only a fraction more dominating than Greg in the 1980 gf that says enough but geez how good does Greg Phillips look in Crows colours ! Jags I was stunned re GWS and the team aspect may well have something to it and well played to manage to get a tigers flag in to your comment not easy to do.Big Jim fair point and I should have included,McGovern in the bps and in this day and age re sport science they should recover ok but it was stifling hope they are not flat this week.Martin yep Sloane did get better as the game went on which was a credit to him and the conditioning staff thanks folks

  34. Nice work Rulebook!

  35. Charlie Brown says

    I didn’t see the match Malcolm. Thank you for the entertaining analysis. What role did Hampton play and how did he go against his old team?

  36. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Tim,Charlie these days as we no they switch around so much it’s hard to keep track of he played a fair bit of the game in defence a bit on ball late he was serviceable with out doing a huge amount thank you

  37. Rick Neagle says

    Sharp sharo sharp.

  38. Was a great start to the season for the Crows. Was great to watch the game at Cages in Shanghai

  39. Love it Book! the young crows look fast and damaging!

  40. Love the passion Book – astute as usual!

  41. Good choice of top 3 players same as my choice. Things that i noticed being different from sitting behind southern goals : running in numbers, more crative handball, running harder than gws from 20 min mark of every qurter which was surprising, the pace and agility of forward line missing Tex made them more unpredictable

  42. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks number 48 sharp like your good self.Thanks Stuart love to hear of the places around the world watching the game how many do you reckon we’re watching at Cages ? Thanks Holsty just like the bastards ? Thanks Stormtrooper of love.Thanks Pole interesting observation and that’s a good point re the 20 min mark of quarters re Tex let’s not forget in general how potent our attack was last year reckon don’t reckon it was our predictably was our problem more so ball movement and errors ( midfield depth as well ) I thought it was more the addition of the extra pace which really helped surely,Scott Thompson only ways re wet weather ( glad you liked the bps I liked the game of the full back in the 90 gf )

  43. Luke Reynolds says

    Excellent write up Malcolm. Very good weekend for the Crows.
    While your Redbacks have their work cut out for them in the Shield Final, C.Sayers once again outstanding. Has to play at The Gabba in the 1st Ashes Test.

  44. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Luke re The Redbacks it has just made me more pissed off re our dumb batting in last years final and
    Chadd Sayers just sheer quality as a bowler and person to have been told he was making his test debut in Adelaide and then they changed there minds I will always be disappointed with hey we’re talking about the baggy green not pommers yes the Crows were magnificent both teams ! ( big game for the pies tonight )

  45. The did look ominous, Rulebook

  46. Caz Phillips says

    Well what can I say ! I’ll be honest I wasn’t confident of winning against the Giants ,I thought their run and carry would be the difference. How wrong was I ,the Crows took awhile to warm up and then things clicked into gear .Our run and handball was brilliant and our leg speed was impressive and great to watch .
    We created many opportunities and if anything let us down it was our inaccuracy at set shots to goal but on the run was much better Rory Atkins showed the way and others followed .
    It was so good to see Andy Otten do well and Douglas was back to his old form of the gold jacket days ,Atkins ,Cameron ,Hampton were all used in different positions and it worked well .Eddie Betts started a little off his game but still managed to do some miraculousl things .
    Overall the Crows look good over three quarters and the Giants weren’t as hungry or good as I thought they’d be ,we ran out winnners by a huge margin and take momentum into this week against the Hawks .
    Great to see 11 goal scorers in this game seeing we didn’t have Tex ,but skip is back this week ,bring it on ,keep up the good work Malcolm love reading your columns

  47. Nice mate, I didn’t see it, but nice result with no Tex and underdone midfield v pre season flag faves. The umpires seemed in the spot light. From a fellow (ex!) maggot, we all know an umpire has been great when at game’s end, they haven’t even been noticed. Let’s hope they adapt & interpret the new changes sooner rather than later.

  48. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Litza the Crows have started well with now a huge showdown coming up we wait re today how the map lottery will pan out.Caz a couple of additions and change of positions has completely changed us re pace
    very good so far( Riley Knight back is vital as well we now await today’s resultsJamesey ironic how the maggots managed to get all the attention round 2 geez these new interpretations are a farce thanks guys

  49. Debbie blades says

    Great read and great start to the season. Keep it going crows

  50. G’day Malcolm I enjoyed the article and had an interesting thought about the Talia decision (yeah I know it’s up to round 4 now but beat with me. )

    I wonder if Talia had done an “accidental” falcon in the same circumstances, (a la Bruce Doull when spoiling front on and not taking the player’s arms), what would the decision from the umpire have been?

    Cheers, Steve.

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