ADELAIDE 5.3 11.6 16.7 17.13 (115)
ST KILDA 3.1 8.8 10.12 16.15 (111)
Adelaide has survived a last quarter assault from St Kilda to win by 4 points, in doing so moving the Crows to second spot on the ladder.
Adelaide led for the entire game and always looked in control. After Kurt Tippett’goal put the Crows up 25 points with 10 minutes left they looked to be home.
However the Saints suddenly came to life after what had been an uninspiring effort to kick the last four goals and almost steal the win.
The Crows were the better team on the night; their midfield dominated the contested possessions with hard nuts like Scott Thompson, Patrick Dangerfield and Rory Sloane standing out. They also looked formidable up forward as Tippett took contested marks inside the forward 50 at will.
The Saints will be disappointed that the did not perform at their best until late in the game. They had few winners around the ground but their ability to finish strong after travel and a 6 day break will hold them in good stead heading into the bye.
The first quarter could not have been worse for the Saints: Nick Riewoldt spending much of the quarter in the rooms with a sore calf seeking treatment from the medical team. Conversely,the Crows’ key forward Tippett was on fire, taking three contested marks inside 50 and kicking three goals.
Adelaide, in particular Jason Porplyzia, started the second quarter strongly kicking the first three goals. The Saints started to drag themselves back into the contest, however, answering with three of their own. Stuck in a free flowing, end to end battle, toals were traded for the remainder of the quarter as the Crows tried to break away but the Saints still remained close.
It was in the third quarter where Adelaide really set up the win. They kicked five goals to three and their midfield really began to break the game open. The Crows were winning the contested ball and then spreading well to give their forwards the best opportunity. When St Kilda subbed off Jason Blake with concussion they looked in trouble as the margin had blown out to 31 points.
The Saints did not give though, they came out hard in the last with key players like Nick Dal Santo and Stephen Milne lifting their output. Their comeback was made possible through Adelaide’s inaccuracy; the Crows kicked 1.6 and had multiple opportunities finish the game, but kept the door ajar. St Kilda fought right to the end but ultimately just ran out of time.
Adelaide’s midfield supremacy was a big factor in their win. Scott Thompson led in a best on ground performance which included 39 disposals, 20 contested and eight clearances. All night he was first to the ball and gave the Crows an advantage with his clearances.
He was joined by Patrick Dangerfield who continued his explosive start to the season with 28 possessions and eight inside 50s. Up forward it was Tippett who dominated, ending up with five goals and marked anything that came in his direction.
As for St Kilda, in a night where a few supported the majority, Dal Santo was at his usual best in the midfield, providing some opposition to the Crows with 34 disposals, 11 inside 50s and two goals.
Leigh Montagna also contributed with 29 disposals and eight tackles while Adam Schneider provided a spark up forward kicking two goals to go with his seven inside 50s.
1)Nick Dal Santo
Adelaide: Tippett 5, Porplyzia 3, Walker 2, Callinan 2, Wright 2, Mackay, Jacobs, Thompson
St Kilda: Milne 3, Schneider 2, Dal Santo 2, Montagna 2, Riewoldt 2, Siposs 2, Goddard, Steven, Armitage
Adelaide: Thompson, Tippett, Dangerfield, Jacobs, Porplyzia
St Kilda: Dal Santo, Montagna, Schneider, Hayes, Steven
St Kilda: Ahmed Saad replaced in selected side by Jarryn Geary
Adelaide: Chris Knights replaced Josh Jenkins in the third quarter
St Kilda: Jarryn Geary replaced Jason Blake in the third quarter