The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 13 – Adelaide v West Coast: Attack against precision

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



Adelaide versus West Coast

12.40pm, Sunday, July 1

AAMI Stadium, Adelaide



AFTER SOME EARLY MORNING SHOWERS, the skies cleared before game time, leaving AAMI Stadium awash with the loving tenderness of a soft winter’s sun. With the absence of Chris Judd, Tyson Stenglein and Ashley Hansen in the Eagles’ line-up, the bookies had Adelaide as a backable favourite ($1.80). The local fans, deprived of live AFL football for 14 long days, had a freshness in their step and new humour in their faith.


Two weeks back, at Carrara, Neil Craig changed his match plan against the Kangaroos, instructing his boys to forget about the perfect delivery and instead attack with recklessness. Why such an instruction was so long coming was a mystery, but most were glad that the shackles had been taken off. Adelaide kicked 100 points for that game, a rare event this season. Many thought the bookies were mad.


Craig put his lead ruckman Ben Hudson at full-forward for the start of the game and gave the youngster Jonathon Griffin the job on Dean Cox at the centre bounce. It was a bold stroke that lasted for 10 minutes. Griffin left the ground, Hudson went into the ruck, and Kenny McGregor went to the big sticks.


In the first quarter, both sides kicked early goals from in-the-back frees. At 11 minutes, Tyson Edwards punted an awful 50-metre floater that weaved through the air like a punctured balloon, hit the ground and bounced truly into an uncovered goal. At 12 minutes, Chad Jones marked and kicked a goal. At 14 minutes, Brett Reilly kicked a sweet running goal also from 50 metres. At 26 minutes, Shannon Hurn was the lucky player to be at the end of a post-to-post series of slick Eagles handballs. At 27 minutes, Adelaide replied with one from Nathan Bock.


It looked as if we were in for a shoot-out, but John Worsfold only needed that first quarter to work out Adelaide’s problem. Craig is attempting to graft an attack-at-all-costs game plan onto a rigidly defensive template. Attacking quickly through the corridor while maintaining the flood creates a huge hole around the centre half-forward area. You need players who can consistently run through that hole and, Andrew McLeod aside, Adelaide lack them. They also lack anyone who is capable of the big mark in the goalsquare. Brett Burton and Nick Gillare are still weeks away.


In the second quarter, and for the rest of the match, Cox dropped out of the centre quickly after the bounce and took up a position on the flank or wing. He had 21 disposals in those last three quarters, most of them standing alone. He became the important link between a clearance and an attack and, strangely, it seemed like Craig was the only person at Football Park who couldn’t see it.


West Coast played fluid, purposeful football. They didn’t follow Adelaide’s flood but held their zone, forcing Adelaide to either attack wide or attempt long bombs. Cleaning up, they ran the ball brilliantly through Daniel Kerr and Chad Fletcher, linked through Cox or Matt Rosa, and pounded it in to their tall forwards in Chad Jones, Mark Seaby, Andrew Embley or Quinten Lynch.


Two stunning ground goals from Mark LeCras put the icing on the cake. Adelaide are in a terrible mess. West Coast, meanwhile, are still in cruise control, with many quality players due to resume. After a false start, their season is just beginning.



Adelaide  4.3 6.6 8.10 10.14 (74)

West Coast  3.3 7.7 11.10 14.11 (95)



West Coast: C. Jones, LeCras, Seaby 3, Embley 2, Fletcher, Hurn, Lynch.

Adelaide: Bock, McGregor, Stevens 2, Hudson, Reilly, Torney, van Berlo.



West Coast: Cox, Kerr, Rosa, Fletcher, LeCras, C. Jones, Embley, Seaby.

Adelaide: McLeod, Torney, Rutten.



Donlon, James, Kennedy, Stevic.



Kerr (WC) 3, Cox (WC) 2, Rosa (WC) 1.



Kerr* (WC) 3, Glass (WC) 2, Cox (WC) 1.






For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac

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