ADELAIDE 5.2 8.3 11.6 15.9 (99)
SYDNEY 1.2 7.6 12.7 14.10 (94)
The Adelaide Crows have inflicted a five-point defeat on the previously unbeaten Sydney Swans at the SCG.
The Crows, who have won their previous four games at the SCG and only lost two of the past 14 clashes between the teams, inflicted Sydney’s first loss of the season in a hard-fought, finals-intensity thriller.
To add to their misery, the Swans also lost Adam Goodes to an as of yet undiagnosed upper-leg injury in the last quarter.
Adelaide took a healthy 24-point lead into quarter-time thanks to some particularly efficient ball use, with their ten inside 50s netting them 5.2. Conversely, Sydney could only manage 1.2 from 18 forward entries.
Ian Callinan was dangerous at ground level up forward as the Crows pressured the Swans all over the park and were more desperate for the footy, leading the hard ball gets 43 to 20 at one point and punishing Sydney’s turnovers.
Taylor Walker was making sure Ted Richards’ night wasn’t a ‘party at the back’, kicking two goals in the second term as the Crows lead by 28 at one stage, with Rory Sloane prominent.
The Swans rallied and reduced the margin to three points at half-time, with Goodes proving almost unstoppable one-out in the forward line, he and Kieran Jack kicking two-goals apiece.
The ferocity of the contest was shown by the almost 100 tackles laid in the first half, with the Swans recording nearly double the tally of their visitors (60 to 33).
The Swans kicked five goals to three in the third term to take a seven-point lead into the last quarter. Lewis Jetta was utilizing his blinding speed, but also showing some sublime long-passing skills, setting up two goals from sizzling long passes to leading forwards.
Jared Petrenko came into his own for the Crows in the second half, displaying some astute bodywork, nudging both Rhys Shaw and Daniel Hannebery under the ball for a couple of clever marks and goals.
An injury to Goodes, who was subbed off early in the last in what appeared to be an upper-quad/hip flexor complaint, caused a reshuffle in the Sydney forward line.
The Crows were having no trouble whatsoever up front, kicking the first four goals of the last term, with ruckman Shaun McKernan – who with Sam Jacobs, dominated the hit-outs – chipping in for a major score.
In what at the time looked to be a match-sealing moment, the Swans broke fast from the backline and linked up to Jetta who placed a pass to the advantage of Ryan O’Keefe one out.
A moment’s hesitation under the ball allowed Crows defender Brett Reilly to spoil, regather the loose ball and send the footy upfield for what was Petrenko’s third goal two kicks later and an 18-point lead.
A late rally by the Swans, including a long running goal by Jetta and a clamped pack mark and goal to O’Keefe, saw the game go down to the wire.
A Jetta snap with two minutes left bounced agonisingly wide but the Crows held on to win impressively by five at the final siren.
Adelaide: T Walker 5, I Callinan, J Petrenko 3, M Jaensch 2, K Tippett S McKernan.
Sydney: A Goodes 5, R O’Keefe 3, K Jack 2, L Jetta 2, J Bolton J Kennedy.
Adelaide: Rory Sloane, Taylor Walker, Scott Thompson, Jared Petrenko
Sydney: Lewis Jetta, Josh Kennedy, Adam Goodes, Jude Bolton
Umpires: Simon Meredith, Shane McInerney, Heath Ryan.
Official Crowd: 23,969
3 – Rory Sloane (Ade)
2 – Lewis Jetta (Syd)
1 – Taylor Walker (Ade)