Crows decide to come good
June 29, 2010By Steve Healy
Adelaide vs Melbourne...
WE beat Adelaide in round three at the MCG. But I still don’t forgive them for what they did to us in the NAB challenge match at Hamra Holmes Oval. It was a tight game in which the Dees lost in the final seconds due to a Kurt Tippett goal – he kicked five for the day.
After seeing this fixture last October I was quite surprised to see Adelaide vs Melbourne as the only game on the Sunday of the second week. That would put a bit more of a spotlight on a game that may be considered boring to most of the public.
I don’t have Foxtel, so the plan was to go to my uncle’s house to watch the game. Unfortunately, my uncle had apparently left on holidays so I was confined to listening to the game on the radio in my bedroom.
Today’s match was important, a loss meant we were 13th, a game and a half off the bottom and season 2010 all but gone, whereas a win would charge us up to 10th spot on the ladder, passing Brisbane, Port Adelaide and Essendon. Knowing Melbourne, a win at AAMI Stadium is an almost impossible feat.
Dean Bailey had highlighted in recent times about our poor starts to matches. This was no exception. The Crows used the ball swiftly, were quick while the Demons were handballing too much and turning it over. We never play well in our white guernsey. Jamar dominated the hitouts, effectively against three ruckman, Griffin, Maric and Tippett, but the clearances were won by the likes of Symes and Vince especially, who had 27 possessions between them in the opening quarter. The Crows peppered the goals, but Johncock intercepted one and put it through, it was 11 to zip before Green put us on the board with a flukey goal. Young Matthew Jaensch was showing a lot, kicking a good goal in the first quarter, and, to top it all off, Bartram over stepped the line in his kick in, the ball is tapped by Jamar straight to Tippett, who put through his first of the afternoon. Miller missed a goal after the quarter time siren with his only kick of the afternoon. We just couldn’t get the ball inside our 50. It was the Crows by 21 points at the first break.
The second quarter was much worse than the first. The Crows kept dominating, Tippett gathered and kicked a goal, but luckily for the Demons, David Mackay went with an ankle injury and was sidelined for the rest of the match. That didn’t deter the Crows though, Vince kicked one, and Jaensch kicked his second. The margin had blown out to 40 points before Bate drilled one from 50, but the Crows kicked the next two and the game seemed well over. Watts picked up a few possessions throughout the second quarter, which was a good sign. Scully, Trengove, Bruce and Grimes got the majority of the ball for Melbourne. Short term relief came when Jetta marked and kicked an easy goal on the siren, bringing the margin back to 41 points.
Disappointed with Melbourne’s efforts, I was hoping for a genuine second half effort. It sort of came. Green kicked a goal from just inside 50 in the opening minute. The Demons were content to rush behinds as they escaped an onslaught, but more goals came. A quieter-than-usual Moloney missed a snap from the pocket but then set up Bate for a goal. The margin was back to 27 before the Crows got a goal through Henderson, and then a few more misses, and then Bruce and Bate (his third) kicked goals, and the margin was back to an even four, amazingly. The three quarter time margin was only 25 points after the Crows kicked 1.9 to Melbourne’s 5.1 in the third quarter, and they still dominated the inside 50’s. Remarkably, the Dees were a slim chance. Moving Green and Grimes in to the middle of the ground had helped us in that third quarter.
Getting the first goal of the last quarter was so important, but we didn’t do so. Tippett grabbed it out of the ruck and snapped his fourth, who is clearly back in form after being criticized earlier in the season. Dunn marked a long kick from Scully on a tight angle, and drilled it, but however, the game still looked beyond our reach. After a couple of promising attacks, the Demons began to tire and the Crows kicked three in a row, two from Taylor Walker including a cracker from outside fifty. Goodwin and Johncock racked up possession after possession. Miller set up Bate for a good goal and Jaensch kicked his third just before the siren. In the final stages the talk on the coverage is whether the Dees can get the lowest inside fifty record, but that is just avoided.
I was disappointed with the game from the Demons. We needed to win. A 44-point loss doesn’t tell the entire story. Inside fifties: 60-29. Possessions: 426-353. Clearances: 50-26. Scoring shots: 37-18. However, I was impressed with Bate’s effort. He was dangerous in the forward line and managed 19 possessions, six marks and four goals, while Green played further up the ground and still managed 23 possessions and two goals. As for Adelaide, they were very good. Vince played well in his first game back. Jaensch and Sloane, two youngsters, had great games. Goodwin showed no signs of aging.
There’s always next week – against St Kilda at Etihad. But at least it’s the holidays.
Adelaide 4.6—9.10—10.19—16.21 (117)
Melbourne: 1.3—3.5—8.6—11.7 (73)
Adelaide: Tippett 4, Jaensch 3, Walker 2, Vince, Johncock, Maric, Griffin, van Berlo, Dangerfield, Henderson.
Melbourne: Bate 4, Dunn 2, Green 2, Bruce 2, Jetta.
Adelaide: Goodwin, Johncock, Jaensch, Vince, Sloane, Symes, Griffin, Doughty.
Melbourne: Bate, Green, Scully, Dunn.
Crowd: 43,585 at AAMI Stadium.
Umpires: H Ryan, Armstrong, Jeffery.
My Votes: 3. Simon Goodwin (ADEL), 2. Graham Johncock (ADEL), 1. Matthew Jaensch (ADEL)
•Brent Reilly, Scott Thompson and Jonathon Griffin of the Crows fight for the ball with Nathan Jones of the Demons. Photo The Slattery Media Group