The Adelaide Crows have scored a convincing, if highly unattractive, victory over a floundering Sydney Swans. The Swans could count themselves unlucky, hitting the woodwork six times during the night, but they were still well and truly outplayed by a scrappy but determined Crows outfit which was simply too good in defence. Porplyzia, Knights, Bassett and Rutten starred for the Crows, while for the home side, Ryan O’Keefe put in a best on ground performance picking up 35 disposals and 8 marks, Martin Mattner was almost as good playing primarily through the middle, and Ted Richards was fantastic in defence.
The first quarter gave a hint of what was to come, with both sides finding it difficult to score. Darren Jolly kicked the opening goal, a habit he seems to be developing, before both sides traded several behinds in a spate of inaccuracy. Eventually, the Crows clicked into gear, scoring three goals in three minutes. The Swans replied with a steadier courtesy of a snap from Luke Ablett. The Swans went in at 3/4 time 2.3.15 to the Crows’ 3.6.24.
The second quarter was really much the same as the first. The Crows drew first blood through Porplyzia, kicking his first goal of five that night, before Goodwin booted his second, extending the Crows lead to 20 points. Some good teamwork in the forward pocket resulted in a goal to Craig Bird for the Swans, before the rookie O’Dwyer took a good mark and won a bizarre 50 metre penalty. McLeod seemed not to hear the whistle as the mark was paid, and continued to corral O’Dwyer as the Swans player moved back to take his kick. The 50 metre penalty took O’Dwyer to point-blank range, ensuring he kicked his first goal in league footy. This minor rally by the Swans was undone, however, as the Crows once again piled on three goals in quick time late in the quarter, through David Mackay and another two to Porplyzia, making that three in the quarter for the Crows star. Inaccuracy cost the Swans this quarter, booting 2 goals 5, compared to the Crows’ 5 goals 1. As a result, the Crows enjoyed a healthy 23 point advantage going into quarter time, leading the Swans 4.8.32 to 8.7.55.
After what was a low scoring, at times frustrating, but for the most part enjoyable first half, the third quarter would have brought tears to the eyes of many a footy fan. It was a quarter riddled with mistakes, often under little or no pressure. In what was possibly the worst quarter of football this season to date, and possibly stretching quite a bit further than that, like a gay brothel, all that was to be had were behinds. Neither team kicked a goal, the Swans kicking four behinds to Adelaide’s three.
The last quarter began with the game delicately poised, the Crows looking to protect their 22 point lead against a side renowned for staging comebacks. However, no comeback came. After again failing to make use of the run of play due to inaccuracy, the Swans were made to pay by the Crows, who through some quick ball movement slotted the first goal of the term, courtesy of Brad Symes. While continuing to win the midfield battle, the Swans simply couldn’t conjure up a goal, due in part to the Crows’ superb defensive effort and the Swans’ own inaccuracy. At times it seemed as though there was a leather magnet in the posts, the ball was hitting the woodwork with such regularity. Again, the Crows made the most of their opportunities up forward, Porplyzia kicking his fourth for the night about half way through the quarter, extending the lead to 31, before Hall kicked his first goal of what was a horror night for him, a consolation one in the 20th minute. Porplyzia capped off a stellar night with a fifth with just two minutes to go, running into an open goal, before Ben Mathews, who also had a night to forget, kicked a final consolation goal on the siren from 50 metres out on a sharp angle, reducing the end margin to 24 points.
Sydney Swans: Darren Jolly, Luke Ablett, Craig Bird, Matt O’Dwyer, Barry Hall, Ben Mathews
Adelaide Crows: Jason Porplyzia 5, Simon Goodwin 2, Bryce Campbell, Nick Gill, David Mackay, Brad Symes
Sydney Swans: Ryan O’Keefe, Martin Mattner, Ted Richards, Darren Jolly, Jarred Moore, Jarrad McVeigh
Adelaide Crows: Jason Porplyzia, Chris Knights, Ben Rutten, Nathan Bassett, Simon Goodwin, Tyson Edwards
Sydney Swans: Henry Playfair (hamstring), Adam Goodes (groin)
Adelaide Crows: Nathan Van Berlo (concussion)
Crowd: 26, 260