Round 1 – Adelaide v North Melbourne: Tex Goes Bang

Cats: Momentum_Logo

Adelaide FC begin season 2015 with a new coach in Phil Walsh replacing Brenton Sanderson and a new Ceo in Andrew Fagan taking over from Stephen Trigg; both refreshing changes in my book. How in the hell you can be an AFL coach and only talk to a few certain players has me beat.

Fagan has been a breath of fresh air. Trigg had been good in some areas, poor in others and it was time for a change. The other main change is a new captain in Tex Walker taking over from Nathan Van Berlo. VB has been an elite leader like Nick Maxwell who after his unfortunate injury last year just needs to concentrate on playing who will still lead and be a vital virtual new recruit.

Taylor – aka Tex – Walker was the slightly surprising choice but he is a bubbly natural leader, hopefully he will develop in to a Wayne Carey.

The game begins at break neck speed with Walker completely taking surprise match up Joel Tippett to the cleaners (wish it had been his brother). Batman Sloane kicks the crows first followed by the Roos key recruit, Shaun Higgins. IF he can stay on the ground he is going to be very important. Tex marks and goals and Higgins replies and it’s 2 goals each. The Crows then get right on top with goals from Jenkins , Betts , Tex and Lynch . The Crows guns in Dangerfield and Sloane are more than playing their role with Jacobs and Goldstein having a great duel and both working hard as the extra midfielder for their respective clubs. Rory Laird is doing a fantastic job on key Roos play maker, Brent Harvey (so nearly a Crow instead of a Roo).

At Quarter time it is the Crows by 27 points. Will North fight back in the second quarter and kicking with the breeze?  The answer, NO. The Crows are on top over the whole ground with Cam Ellis-Yolmen continuing on from his fine pre season form and appreciating a coach that is communicating with him. Luke Brown who has a great record so far against talented Roos small forward Lindsay Thomas is continuing to keep him under control. The ultra professional All Australian Daniel Talia continues to blossom and with Henderson back, fellow All Australian Brodie Smith has been released from defence , he is the best and most powerful kick off 1 step in the competition and is cutting shreds thru the Roos defence. The Crows kick 6.6 to 1 goal in the second quarter and depart Adeliade Oval at half time to huge rapturous applause, leading by 63 points.

North Melbourne come out after half time and dominate the start of the third with Goldstein right on top and Atley, Ben Cunnington and Ziebell all contributing. Thomas kicks 2 (coinciding  with Luke Brown going off injured). Bastinac, Higgins and Petrie goal to reduce the margin to 30 points. The Crows need a steadier. Who else but Captain Tex to deliver! The Crows lift overall with Eddie Betts being a huge influence also and head in to lemon time with a comfortable 42 point margin.

The game is well and truly finished off early in the last Q with Walker proving too strong for Gibson with a clever snapped goal. An amazing piece of footy results from the next ball up with the electrifying Paddy Dangerfield getting the centre clearance and following up bursting thru the pack to goal. Is he the only player in the competition capable of doing that? The game continues on to its inevitable conclusion with the Crows running out winners by 77 points

What did we learn out of the game?

1. Having a manic defensive forward press to try and keep the ball in the Crows’ forward 50 will be the major game plan change by Walsh
2. Kyle Cheney will be a important calming influence in defence and at his third club, may well blossom in to a consistent AFL player.
3. Tom Lynch please stay fit!
4. The Roos are no where near as bad as that but after a huge dent to their confidence, will need to rebound quickly.


Adelaide:  21.14.140
North Melbourne:  9.9.63

Adelaide: Walker 6, Betts 4, Jenkins 3, Dangerfield, Sloane 2. Smith, Cameron, Lynch, Laird
North Melbourne: Higgins 4 , Thomas 2 , Petrie , Bastinac , Gibson 1

Adelaide: Walker, Dangerfield, Betts, Sloane, Talia, Douglas, Laird, Cheney, Jacobs.
North Melbourne:  Goldstein, Higgins, Cunnington, Atley


Malarkey Medal Votes: Walker 3 , Dangerfield 2 , Betts 1



  1. Rulebook imagine tex with a mullet still. The hill still favour such. He would have kicked 10

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Good write up Malcolm, great to see Tex in such good form. Would be interested to hear more of your views on Fagan v Trigg and the areas you were critical of Trigg’s work.
    Harvey could have been a Crow??
    Collingwood v Adelaide should be a cracker next week.

  3. What a game! All over North Melbourne all game apart from the 3rd quarter. Great start for Phil Walsh

  4. Lano del a Fonte says

    In point 2 of your summary you wrote Kyle Cheney will be a important, Tis should say ‘an’ important.
    Otherwise good wrap up

  5. A good piece Rulebook. I’d be interested in your thoughts on 1) Boomer almost a Crow? 2) what was Matt Wright’s role (he seemed quiet and missed some targets 3) VB’s return to footy


  7. Dave Brown says

    A good start. Happy for Tex to be a Carey like captain, as long he sticks to more conventional uses for the WC

  8. North were one way runners yesterday. Fantastic start against a side known to cause big upsets away from home. Will be intertesting to see how our forward line entries go next week against a side who will surely keep greater numbers in their D50.

  9. Matt Zurbo says

    Didn’t see game. Read this and didn’t have too. Ripper write up mate!!

  10. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks guys 1 Brent Harvey was very nearly a Crow re draft ( waiting re approval to say more than that publicly ) 2 Wright played a variety of roles which basically will be standard practice under , Walsh he probably didn’t get enough of the footy and far from a automatic selection 3 VB was good , a stabilising influence and will be imprtant the more footy he plays will help , always hard coming back from a year out .
    Trigg his part in Tippett gate is well documented , the extension of Sanderson contract and then how you are meant to be the main overseer of the whole operation
    how he was unaware of the dramas at Adelaide last year is mind boggling and incompetent , it may show 2 that the move to Adelaide oval may have taken up to much of his energy and taken his eye of the whole football picture . Support and backing of the coach was a strength and a weakness as Craig should have departed at least a year earlier as well . Several positions re employment at Adelaide are questionable as well have no doubt his heart and intentions were good but struggled to read and see the whole picture , a overall board weakness as well . The mail re Fagan has very good communication skills and not afraid to admit areas in which he is not a expert and ask for help

  11. Phil Dimitriadis says

    If every club had a Tex Walker footy would be so much more interesting. The game is screaming out for quirky key forwards with character, strength and skill. Cheers

  12. Good article Malcolm. The new Crows game plan impressed me, I am just a bit worried about the forward press as we got killed on the turnover quite a few times – the ease with which they got their goals was concerning. Thankfully North never really turned up so it didn’t hurt too bad.

  13. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I picked a good one for my first game back in Crowville since 1994.

    I was hoping to provide some unique insight later in the week but you’re a hard act to follow ‘Book. On the money once again.

  14. troy hancox says

    I didn’t see the game. Was away.
    Very surprised with the end result. All the talk ‘re kangas being a top 4 side …… Hmmmm
    It is April, was fools day recently. So lets just see what happens over the next few rounds after the dust settles.

    Watched hawthorn today, they still are an awesome outfit.
    All else are chasing second at this stage.

    Never the less, great write up.(as usual)
    a good win! Got to win early games breeds confidence.

  15. Peter Flynn says

    Is Fagan part of the boys club?

    Trigg is and still has that much needed Protection..

  16. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Phil yep , Tex is a much needed character
    Brad Yep the forward press will be exposed at times but with the lack of a 2nd tall key defender it probably would be any way and at least the crows were honest and drafted a key defender in Lever re needs not yet another mid fielder
    Thanks Swish appreciated , good 1 to come over to see look forward to your thoughts
    Troy yep Hawks definitely the side to beat how are there foot skills so far in front of every 1 else ? Mind you intensity and pressure of the Freo v Port game a mild in front of any other game so far .
    PJF no , Fagan is finally outside the boys club which was desperately needed !

  17. While Adelaide Crows had a great start to the season over NTh Melbourne who’s skill&pressure was at a level of 0.The only downside to this Adelaide team is the board there have sacked coaches in the past&replace them with new coach&have preform great for 12-24mths&then a bloke like Sanderson, Neil, premiership coach Williams all sacked, I wish Phil Walsh luck but with the board there likely to be sacked if he can’t deliver results of that board has written in his contract.

  18. Only caught caught the 3rd quarter on the radio. North sounded dominant during that patch so was surprised at how poor they were overall. Wonder as to the cause of the reoccurring poor performances in the first round under Scott. Perhaps the shinboner spirit only does its best work when under pressure. Hope they get it together as they were exciting to watch at times last year.

  19. Elliot Hewish says

    Good write up Ruley! Most of my points have been said earlier. But one thing, it frustrates me so much that Tex, and others, can miss gimme goals! He should’ve had 9! Could’ve had 10!

  20. Missed the game Book, but your summary filled in the blanks. Well played!

  21. Good write up. Teams always have a honeymoon period with new coaches will be interesting to see if it is sustained. Good test this week. Eddie Betts will surely be close to the Crows best ever recruit.

  22. Good right up Rulebook.
    Raj, re: best ever Crows recruit – D. Jarman, enough said.
    Good solid start for the mighty Redlegs on Thursday night also.

  23. Correction “write up” – ESL strikes again.

  24. Lovely Lisa says

    Let’s hope Tex doesn’t turn into a Wayne Carey off the ground!!!
    Great start, let’s maintain it.

  25. fantastic start to the season & well analysed ‘Book. Forward press is widely used and…readily scored against once teams get through it. The good thing was Crows didnt allow 6 goals in a row to become more – step up Tex!. People forget Crows scored 10 in a row – I think I will take that! Bucks was in the crowd taking notes so I’m hoping the Pies will be as prepared for an ambush as the Roos were?

  26. Agree on Cheney, will let the key defenders worry about their own man and let him be the third up most times

  27. The only problem is that now we have to rewrite the biblical story of Samson given tex got more strength without his mullet

    Imagine if the bible old and New Testament was a blog ? What would that famous Lutheran pastor rev harms do?

    Btw nice work Rulebook

  28. Good job Malcolm. I neither saw nor heard the game over here, but followed the score. Most impressive result, and it sounds like Tex could’ve kicked ten!

    I agree with you about Tom Lynch. His neck is now the Michael Clarke’s hamstrings of the AFL.

    Well done!

  29. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks folks , Rees North lost last year easily 1st game two good a side not to bounce back . Elliott goal kicking is the 1 area of the game which has not improved over time
    yep , Tex def had the chance to kick , 10 . TC aka Stormtrooper of love thanks mate .
    Raj and Bruno yes , Jarman is the crows best ever recruit ( techically , McLeod )
    but Betts is a very very good player bordering on the elite of the competition and is catching , Fud . Lovely Lisa thank you from your correspondence from , China .,
    ( tex is v pop amongst the ladies ) . DL aka photographer of the century appreciated
    a good start and good point re the Crows kicking , 10 in a row , it was impressive how the crows regained the iniative in the 3rd q . Matt , Cheney will be v important .
    Gold Plug v funny . Thanks Mickey , Lynch is v imp and underrated vital for the crows

  30. Great article book as always your footy smarts shine thru , can always learn off you
    Keep em coming

  31. Go Crows.

  32. Jeff Milton says

    Great article as always, Malcolm.
    Great to see the Crows prepared to move the ball confidently by foot towards their goal rather than handballing sideways or backwards as they so often did last year.

  33. chris castle says

    Great game by our boys. Tex was amazing as were all the boys. I love Dangerfield. He is my favorite. I hope he re signs with us. I will be devastated if he goes. I hope the boys keep up the good work and this is our year.

  34. Rulebook – as a Tigers fan living in Adelaide I didnt watch much of the Crows dismantling of the Roos.To be honest I expected it, given all the hype, the new coach and playing on a great deck here in the Fishbowl…..hopefully the same happens over at Adelaide Oval Number 3 next weekend. Is it possible that Hawthorn can get even better this year? Early days I know, but that display was pretty damn awesome.

  35. “The lid is off!” – Stump

  36. Very good win by the boys but now the crows need to do it all over again against collingwood. Great to see Tex Sloane smith and betts play good footy. Cheney was very impressive too.

  37. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thank you , KM greatly appreciated . Milts yes noticeable that game plan is more to kick the ball the ratio of kick to handball was far better and in greater sync than the recent past . Chris Dangerfield is a freak and the crows desp need to keep em .
    Jags the Hawks thru there injuries last season have developed frightening depth
    what is bewildering is the Hawks foot skills being so far in front of every one else
    ( all the left footers no coincedence ) . Pup unlike , Stump to make a massive prediction hope he is write . Scott good win , the pies is a big game will have big consequences on the rest of the year

  38. Cheryline park says

    Great win by the boys very impressive,i just hope they can finish the year like that.I have a lot of faith in our team

  39. marcus smith says

    Great start to the season.Cant get any better than that.Very informative writing piece too.

  40. Fantastic summary , Malcolm so much better than Ruccis boring dribble . Precise , accurate and extremely football smart

  41. An excellent summation of the game Malcolm, I’m glad you also noticed Cam Yolman’s efforts as well in the centre.

  42. Great work here Book! Although, I am still amazed at how you can concentrate through watching adelaide games! Would have much rathered North Melbourne give the crows a flogging!

  43. Andrew Goss says

    As usual, Malcolm, great description of the games events. I’m looked forward to sustained improvement this season.
    Keep with that press!????

  44. Great write up Malcolm. Your comments on Trigg and Sanderson are spot on. It’s great to see the Crows with a fresh start and hopefully this is the beginning of getting the Adelaide FC back to the great club that it should be, on and off the field.

  45. Great article Malcolm , anyone displaying doubts about Tex as skipper can be thrown away , only have to look at what he did for the young girl who was the mascot for the day being in tears for fear of the fireworks before the game , Tex just simply held her hand and the smile after was gold . Tex would have been nervous as hell , but puts everyone else first and a true leader .

    Don’t worry about putting boomer in , more of VB’s comeback , the former skipper who has backed Tex to the hilt and played for him , as well as Sloane and Dangerfield who held the mantle last year .in VB’ s absence .. Leadership at Adelaide better than ever ..

    Good job !

  46. Simon Farrant says

    It was a brilliant match & a great way to start the season!! Well done Crows! Now time to demolish Collingwood!! :)

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