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  • Goals 14
  • Behinds 15
  • Total 99

FULL
TIME

  • Goals 12
  • Behinds 15
  • Total 87
  • FORM:
8th
  • FORM:
11th

Match Report

Crows overrun at Etihad

By Mark McGowan, AFL Media Exclusive to AFL Bigpond Network March 23, 2018 10:15 PM

Highlights: R1 v Essendon

The Bombers and Crows clash in round 1

Essendon has produced a withering fourth-quarter performance to stun Adelaide by 12 points on Friday night.

The Bombers had lost four straight matches to the Crows by an average of 76 points, but kicked six of the last seven goals to snatch a 14.15 (99) to 12.15 (87) triumph at Etihad Stadium.

They trailed by 20 points at the seven-minute mark of the final term, only for a Cale Hooker mark and goal inside the contest's last four minutes to put Essendon in front.

"We shouldn't have been 20 points down, in my opinion, at three-quarter time," winning coach John Worsfold said.

"Not through the way we were playing and the effort we were putting in. But we'd coughed up way too many balls that allowed Adelaide to take that lead.

"We basically said we've just got to believe in ourselves. We said we can't play safe, we just needed to keep playing our way.

"We'd seen enough to say that we could outscore them in the last quarter."

Hooker, the unheralded James Stewart and Joe Daniher all had their moments as the Bombers proved a tall forward line can still be potent in the modern game.

Stewart kicked three majors and his handball to Josh Begley, after shaking off two opponents, set-up the sealer.

Essendon's fleet-footed brigade, led by Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, were pivotal in swinging the match violently in their side's favour and left Adelaide helpless to stop the momentum.

David Zaharakis and Dyson Heppell each had 35 disposals for Essendon, while Matt Crouch (41) and Rory Laird (40) won plenty of the ball for the reigning Grand Finalist.

Adelaide coach Don Pyke refused to make any excuses for his team's last-quarter fadeout. 

"It was a disappointing last quarter," Pyke said. 

"We came here prepared to play and win a game of footy, and we were 20 (points) up at three-quarter time and we expect to win that game and we didn't.

"I thought we lost control of the ball and lost control of field position … and, as we know in games, and late in games in particular, when fatigue is in play field position is vital and we didn't hold it and didn't retain it."

The Bombers' triumph was even more meritorious given it lost Zach Merrett to concussion before quarter-time.

Crow Richard Douglas flattened the All Australian midfielder with a heavy bump that put Douglas in the umpires' book.

It was Merrett's second concussion inside a month after copping a stray elbow from premiership Tiger Kamdyn McIntosh in the clubs' opening JLT Community Series match.

Merrett only moments earlier caught Douglas holding the ball, sparking a heated face-off between the pair at the opposite end of the ground.

Both teams fielded fresh faces and it was one who had to wait so long to become an Adelaide footballer who helped ignite the contest.

Ex-Blue Bryce Gibbs transformed a drab affair on the scoreboard into an explosion of goals with two in the first five minutes of the third quarter as the expected shoot-out finally eventuated.

These teams made scoring look easy in 2017, but it took until that third term for the dam wall to bust open as the Crows piled on seven goals to three to charge into a winning position.

The high-octane quarter shot the Crows 20 points ahead at the final change after the sides shared only nine majors in the opening half.

Gibbs was one of four debutants for Adelaide, along with impressive draftee Darcy Fogarty, Tom Doedee and Lachlan Murphy. Fogarty recorded a goal with his first kick while Murphy also hit the scoreboard.

But most interest was focused on Essendon's three-pack of recruits – Jake Stringer, Devon Smith and Adam Saad – who all had an impact on occasion.

Saad kept Eddie Betts goalless, Stringer took a huge early intercept grab and had 10 of his 16 touches in the first half and Devon Smith (23) impressed with his defensive pressure.

MEDICAL ROOM
Essendon: Zach Merrett has now suffered three concussions in recent times, which is obvious reason for concern. Coach John Worsfold was reluctant to comment too much on his young star's condition, but he must be in serious doubt for next week.

Adelaide: Oft-injured Crow Curtly Hampton could be set for another stint on the sidelines after hurting his groin on Friday night. He was unsighted at AFL level after round nine last year because of a serious ankle issue in what was then the latest in a long string of ailments. Adelaide was unsure post-match of how bad Hampton's groin issue was.

NEXT UP
The Crows face a six-day turnaround as they prepare to host first-up winners Richmond in a much-anticipated Grand Final rematch at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night. A loss would leave them in unfamiliar territory at 0-2. Essendon has a much kinder eight-day break before travelling west to take on Fremantle at Optus Stadium.

ESSENDON   4.2   5.8    8.10   14.15 (99)
ADELAIDE    3.5   4.9   11.12   12.15 (87)

GOALS
Essendon:
 Hooker 3, Stewart 3, Daniher 2, Green 2, McGrath, Bellchambers, Goddard, Begley
Adelaide: Jenkins 2, Gibbs 2, Fogarty 2, Hampton, McGovern, Murphy, Douglas, Greenwood, Ellis-Yolmen

BEST 
Essendon:
 Heppell, Zaharakis, Hurley, Goddard, D.Smith, McDonald-Tipungwuti
Adelaide: Laird, Gibbs, M.Crouch, Sloane, Doedee, Seedsman 

INJURIES 
Essendon
: Merrett (concussion)
Adelaide: Sam Gibson (hamstring tightness) replaced in selected side by Hugh Greenwood, Hampton (groin)

Reports: Richard Douglas (Adelaide) reported for rough conduct on Zach Merrett (Essendon)

Umpires: O'Gorman, Chamberlain, Pannell

Official crowd: 43,016 at Etihad Stadium

Match Stats

Disposal Leaders
  • Matt Crouch
    Matt Crouch
    41
  • Adelaide Crows
    Rory Laird
    40
  • Essendon
    David Zaharakis
    35
  • Essendon
    Dyson Heppell
    35
  • Adelaide Crows
    Bryce Gibbs
    35
Fantasy Leaders
  • Dyson Heppell
    Dyson Heppell
    145
  • Adelaide Crows
    Bryce Gibbs
    139
  • Adelaide Crows
    Rory Laird
    124
  • Adelaide Crows
    Matt Crouch
    123
  • Essendon
    David Zaharakis
    117
Scoring Leaders
  • James Stewart
    James Stewart
    3.2
  • Essendon
    Cale Hooker
    3.1
  • Essendon
    Josh Green
    2.2
  • Adelaide Crows
    Josh Jenkins
    2.2
  • Essendon
    Joe Daniher
    2.1

Match Stats

  • 391 Disposals 387
  • 75.2 Disposal Eff 76.5
  • 156 Contested Pos 142
  • 92 Marks 83
  • 19 Free Kicks 12
  • 32 Clearances 40
  • 60 Inside 50s 53
  • 40 Rebound 50s 46
  • 69 Tackles 50
  • 39 Hit-outs 37
  • 86 Interchanges 85

Breakdown

  • 4.2 (26)
    3.5 (23)
  • 5.8 (38)
    4.9 (33)
  • 8.10 (58)
    11.12 (78)
  • 14.15 (99)
    12.15 (87)

Player Stats

Essendon

Player K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
1Dyson Heppell 21 14 35 13 0 1 2 5 0 0 145
2David Zaharakis 22 13 35 4 0 0 1 4 0 0 117
3Brendon Goddard 15 14 29 6 0 0 0 3 1 1 110
4James Stewart 10 6 16 7 6 1 2 4 3 2 100
5Michael Hurley 15 13 28 7 0 3 0 1 0 0 99
6Cale Hooker 8 7 15 9 0 0 0 3 3 1 96
7Andrew McGrath 9 17 26 3 0 0 0 4 1 0 92
8Devon Smith 14 9 23 3 0 1 0 5 0 1 91
9Darcy Parish 11 8 19 0 0 1 0 7 0 2 80
10Tom Bellchambers 5 4 9 3 33 2 0 1 1 0 77
11Jake Stringer 6 10 16 2 0 1 0 7 0 1 74
12Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti 9 5 14 6 0 0 1 5 0 1 73
13Joe Daniher 9 6 15 7 0 1 2 1 2 1 72
14Kyle Langford 11 12 23 3 0 3 3 2 0 0 68
15Josh Begley 7 4 11 1 0 0 0 5 1 2 60
16Conor McKenna 8 6 14 1 0 0 0 5 0 0 59
17Josh Green 10 1 11 1 0 2 0 2 2 2 59
18Mitch Brown 8 5 13 8 0 1 1 0 0 0 56
19Michael Hartley 8 1 9 5 0 0 0 2 0 0 49
20Adam Saad 3 9 12 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 41
21Matt Dea 2 9 11 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 27
22Zach Merrett 3 4 7 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 23

Adelaide Crows

Player K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
1Bryce Gibbs 21 14 35 7 0 1 1 4 2 1 139
2Rory Laird 15 25 40 8 0 1 0 1 0 0 124
3Matt Crouch 18 23 41 6 0 0 1 2 0 0 123
4Rory Sloane 11 12 23 2 0 3 1 7 0 0 91
5Paul Seedsman 14 10 24 4 0 1 2 4 0 1 86
6Tom Doedee 7 14 21 7 0 2 0 2 0 0 80
7Sam Jacobs 5 8 13 3 33 1 1 1 0 0 75
8David Mackay 15 5 20 1 0 0 0 4 0 1 75
9Jake Kelly 11 7 18 6 0 0 1 2 0 0 70
10Cameron Ellis-Yolmen 7 10 17 5 0 0 0 1 1 0 66
11Josh Jenkins 6 5 11 5 4 0 3 3 2 2 64
12Curtly Hampton 6 3 9 4 0 0 0 3 1 0 54
13Daniel Talia 11 3 14 4 0 1 1 1 0 0 53
14Eddie Betts 7 7 14 2 0 1 0 2 0 2 52
15Hugh Greenwood 8 5 13 1 0 0 0 2 1 1 52
16Rory Atkins 8 6 14 1 0 1 0 2 0 2 50
17Darcy Fogarty 3 3 6 3 0 0 1 4 2 0 49
18Luke Brown 10 5 15 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 46
19Mitch McGovern 6 3 9 4 0 0 3 3 1 1 46
20Kyle Hartigan 4 7 11 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 38
21Richard Douglas 7 6 13 3 0 0 4 0 1 2 38
22Lachlan Murphy 4 2 6 1 0 0 0 2 1 1 34

Team Lineups

Essendon

B

  • Conor McKenna,
  • Michael Hurley,
  • Michael Hartley

HB

  • Adam Saad,
  • Mitch Brown,
  • Brendon Goddard

C

  • David Zaharakis,
  • Zach Merrett,
  • Darcy Parish

HF

  • Jake Stringer,
  • Cale Hooker,
  • Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti

F

  • Joshua Begley,
  • Joe Daniher,
  • James Stewart

Fol

  • Tom Bellchambers,
  • Dyson Heppell,
  • Devon Smith

I/C

  • Andrew McGrath,
  • Josh Green,
  • Kyle Langford,
  • Matt Dea

No Late Change

In

  • No Change

New

  • Adam Saad,
  • Jake Stringer,
  • Devon Smith

Last updated: 10:53PM Friday, March 23, 2018