There was a different kind of flooding at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night – and the Crows took to it like a duck to water, beating Fremantle by 100 points.
During a television interview just before Saturday night’s match against Fremantle, Adelaide Crows coach Don Pyke said he expected some light drizzle.
Then it absolutely bucketed down, leaving people worried that the whale in the Torrens would break its moorings again.
Not a good night to pay $225 for a roof climb.
Port Adelaide supporters, warm and cosy in tracky dacks by the fire at home, were concerned about the 42,415 fans getting drenched.
The Sir Doug Nicholls Round is a great celebration of Indigenous culture. Good old footy seems to be doing more for the Indigenous cause than anything else.
Fremantle, fielding nine Indigenous players, hoped the rain would even things up. The opposite occurred.
And when you’re paying $9.50 for a plastic cup of beer, the last thing you need is your drink being watered down.
The Dockers seemed to kick against the tide in the first quarter. The Crows’ wet weather skills were sensational. At one stage they led 4-5 to 0-0.
The rain kept coming and so did the Crows’ goals; they finally won a first quarter and led by 33 points at the first change. Ben Green tweeted, “Ground is going to get even more flooded after Ross’ quarter-time spray.”
The match was made for long sleeves. Rory Atkins has worn them several times this year, but didn’t for this one, collecting a career-high 37 touches.
Some spectators were clearly looking at more than just arms.
The Crows were ruthless and didn’t let up for the whole game, winning by 100 points. If it was dry, they would have won by 200.
Sam Jacobs had 40 hit-outs. “That is pretty good going,” the Adelaide Football Club said on Facebook, “particularly when you can’t see the ball.”
Other big contributors included Fritz Brownlow favourite Rory Sloane (cream always rises to the top), the Crouch boys and Lever.
Bored with freak goals, Eddie Betts started trying to take Mark of the Year. ‘The Adjective’ booted three goals to take his tally to 31 – three behind leading goal-kicker Josh Kennedy (34), who could miss a few games with injury.
It was great to see players swapping jumpers after the game. It’s an old tradition, but the Crows’ merchandise department would have fainted when Eddie handed his over because they had advertised they were going to auction them.
Chef and mad Crow Adam Liaw provided some food for thought on Twitter.
The last word goes to a Crows’ supporter.
The Crows head to Skilled Stadium on Friday night to play Geelong. If the umpiring is fair, they should come home with a victory.
Port Adelaide took it up to Geelong at Skilled Stadium on Thursday night, but the umpires killed the visitors. We’re not saying they cheated, but the tendency for umpires to get carried away with home crowd noise must be addressed.
Many people wondered how Port would respond after its Shanghai adventure.
Port, after a nervous start, played tough footy, led by Sam Powell-Pepper, who looks like he’s been playing AFL for nine years – not nine games. The 19-year-old will always be remembered as the guy who played AFL in China before Victoria.
I’m not sure who was more biased: the Channel 7 commentators or the umps. Early in the second quarter, when it was obvious the contest would go down to the wire, Bruce McAvaney said: “Geelong look like a five-goal better side.” That prompted the first of seven pillows to be thrown at the TV in the most frustrating Thursday night for Power fans in 147 years.
Charlie Dixon should have sealed it for Port with a late set shot, but the ump called play on when the 30-second shot clock expired. Ken Hinkley showed class by suggesting the ump was right and that Dixon needed to show more awareness.
It was only the third time in 11 years that the rule had been enforced. It’s a bit like the Mankad rule in cricket: it’s not in the spirit of the game.
Even Hamish Hartlett’s brother, Adam, weighed in.
You know the umpiring is bad when the biggest Port Adelaide hater of them all, Graham Cornes, says the Power were robbed.
Another frustration was seeing Robbie Gray held all night with no free kicks.
Port went down by two points in a quality contest. Jared Polec played his best game for the club with 29 possessions, with solid support from Ollie Wines.
The Power showed they can mix it with elite teams. “An incredible game last night, be proud of the effort and endeavor, just didn’t get the result we wanted,” Port posted on Facebook.
Thursday night games are popular. There’s a bonus long weekend feel to them. Except you have to go to bloody work the next day.
The Power play on Thursday night again – against Hawthorn at Adelaide Oval. The Hawks are up and about. Only a 100 percent effort from Port will do it.
One issue the AFL must consider when scheduling Thursday night games is that they’re playing havoc with household budgets.
Can the Crows go all the way and win the premiership? Let us know in the comments, below.