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Crow Call with Tom Staggard

Crow Call: Gold Coast v Adelaide

After a week of heavy scrutiny, the good guys from West Lakes took their frustrations out on a hapless Gold Coast to walk away 95-point winners at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.

Roommates Tyson Stengle and Eddie Betts starred for Adelaide.
PHOTO: Adelaide Football Club

Well, well, well.

There isn’t much to say about what the Crows did to the Suns up on the Gold Coast.

From early in the first quarter, it was obvious that Don Pyke’s men were primed for a big, big win and that’s exactly what they did.

While the win doesn’t say much for the Crows’ premiership credentials, or give you an insight of where they stack up with the good teams in the AFL, it did come at a great time.

The forward line has been completely inept in losses to Geelong and Port Adelaide, so it was fantastic to see Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins, Tex Walker and new boy Tyson Stengle get amongst the goals.

What the win did show is that the AFL need to seriously think about what is going on at the Gold Coast.

12 consecutive losses and two absolute 90+ defeats in back-to-back weeks really does reignite the debate of whether football has a place on the Gold Coast.

Also, what in the world is the AFL thinking putting Gold Coast on in prime time on a Saturday night.

This game screamed a Saturday/Sunday twilight match up and the game delivered equally with those expectations.

I slowly started to tune out in the third quarter when the Crows were 70-points to the good, with Gold Coast mounting a mini-comeback.

And by comeback, I really mean five minutes of real effort which the Gold Coast should be bringing for four quarters of footy – but that’s another issue.

The performance by the Gold Coast was so bleak, I turned to a friend and genuinely asked whether they thought the Adelaide SANFL team could beat them.

The answer was a resounding yes.

The good

The forward line fires

Eddie Betts kicked six majors as the Crows ran out 95-point winners.
PHOTO: Adelaide Football Club

I’d touched on it previously but to see Eddie Betts slot a lazy dozen was a welcome return to form, even if it was against a C-grade side.

Josh Jenkins looked under done against Port Adelaide in Showdown 47, but he was back to his best taking marks above his head and on the move to finish with four.

Lachlan Murphy continued his great season with a couple of goals and some fantastic forward half pressure.

Murphy would have to be one of the Crows’ most improved players and has really cemented himself as the second fiddle small forward to Eddie Betts.

Also, who knew he could dob them from 50?

Tyson Stengle

Tyson Stengle kicked three goals in his first game for the Crows.
PHOTO: Adelaide Football Club

I didn’t want to touch on Stengle in the above because I think he deserved his own special mention.

There was a fair bit of hype building in Adelaide over the former Richmond man’s debut and boy did he impress.

Three snags in his first game for the club and he looked pretty lively around the contest, always finding that little bit of space.

He doesn’t look like he’ll be much of an accumulator in terms of touches but if he can continue to look dangerous and get on the scoresheet he’ll be a big addition to the Adelaide forward line.

No injuries

Taylor Walker gives the thumbs up after Adelaide demolished Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.
PHOTO: Adelaide Football Club

There would be nothing worse than to see someone go down in a game like this.

Adelaide got through the game with a comfortable win and a clean bill of health which is extremely important.

The percentage boost

Adelaide's percentage surged to 112.8% following the big win.
Adelaide’s percentage surged to 112.8% following the big win. PHOTO: AFL

I’m firmly keeping a lid on things and I do think the Crows have a long way to go.

However, with that being said to jump up from 105% to around 112% in a single week is extremely important, especially given how close the competition is for the final eight spots.

Results over the weekend seem to have weeded out some teams and Adelaide, with its favourable fixture, should be able to lock up a spot comfortably – especially with the extra percentage.

A win against Essendon at Adelaide Oval next week will make finals ours to lose.

It’s already a must-win game for both clubs.

The bad

Gold Coast Suns

Gold Coast's Pearce Hanley handballs the ball during his side's heavy defeat.
PHOTO: Gold Coast Suns

I didn’t want to labour this point too much but if you didn’t watch the game, it truly was one of the most insipid performances I have seen all year.

There was no fight, no urgency, no pressure, nothing.

Adelaide barely got out of first gear in the first quarter and still shipped six goals past a hapless Gold Coast defence.

This side has shown minimal improvement under inaugural coach Guy McKenna, Rodney Eade and now Stuart Dew.

I don’t think it’s necessarily Dew’s fault but with the club’s inability to hold onto key players and its consistent heavy defeats, they have become irrelevant in AFL circles.

The case for a priority pick

One could argue that Gold Coast’s case for a priority pick is stronger after this performance than it was earlier in the week.

A decision which could see Carlton’s first round selection, owned by Adelaide, slide down the draft board to third overall would not please Crows fans.

Gold Coast have had many AFL handouts and have picked inside the top 10 on nine occasions in the past five seasons – this doesn’t include their trade of 2017’s #2 pick for Fremantle’s Lachie Weller.

How many times can they keep picking in the top 10 and still have nothing to show for it?

But at the same time, how many times can this club put on performances like this and the AFL standby and do nothing to help out.

Gold Coast is the AFL’s #1 problem as it heads towards the pointy end of the 2019 season.

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Tom grew up in Adelaide’s northern suburbs and is our resident North American sports expert. Tom has experience as a working journalist and has a keen interest in basketball, ice hockey and American football, as well as cricket, soccer and football. He spent his junior cricket career at East Torrens District and has played for a number of football clubs across Adelaide’s north.