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On this day: Modra sinks Blues

David Burtenshaw & Max Phillips  March 27, 2015 10:18 AM

Tony Modra monstered Carlton with 13 goals in the opening game of the 1994 season

Tony Modra monstered Carlton with 13 goals in the opening game of the 1994 season

I was pretty happy, I felt I made a team contribution.

Tony Modra’s reputation as one of the most lethal full-forwards of the game reached new heights on this day in 1994.

His sudden elevation to superstar status began in the opening round of the previous season, where he booted ten goals against Richmond after being a late inclusion into the Crows side for the clash with the Tigers.

He kicked 129 goals in his first full AFL season and finished runner up in the Coleman Medal race - only three years after he had been playing country football for Riverland club Renmark - to become the biggest name in South Australian sport.

‘Modra Mania’ had officially taken Adelaide by storm.

But the laid-back spearhead was on the brink of walking away from the AFL on the eve of the 1994 season due to the pressures of his newfound fame.

He avoided a pre-season Club family day, was on and off the training track due to injury concerns, and was called into several crisis meetings with Crows officials to discuss his future. The story of how close he came to quitting was front-page news just two days before Adelaide’s Round One opener against the Blues.

Once the ball was bounced however, Modra did what he did best, and single-handedly steered the Crows to a big victory to kick off the new season. He kicked 13.3, took 13 marks, had 18 kicks and four handballs as Adelaide recorded a dominant 66-point win.

Incredibly, it was Modra’s second 13-goal feat after he booted the ‘lucky’ number in Round 16 of the previous season.

He went through three Blues opponents for the night, beginning with champion full back Stephen Silvagni. Fellow defenders Mil Hanna and Michael Sexton were others who failed to silence the high-flying forward. Crows premiership player Troy Bond also made his AFL debut wearing the Navy Blue and booted three goals for the opposition.

But it was Modra who was again front-page news the following morning.

“I was pretty happy, I felt I made a team contribution,” the typically modest Modra said in his post-match interview.

Modra’s legacy remains an important part of Crows history.

He is a five-time leading goalkicker and heads the Club’s overall goal tally with 440 majors. He is also Adelaide’s only Coleman Medallist after winning the award in 1997.


March 27, 1994 – Round One

ADELAIDE   5.4   12.12   16.14   22.18 (150)
CARLTON     4.2   4.2   7.5      13.6   (84)

GOALS: Modra 13, Hall 3, Smart 2, McDermott 2, McGuinness, Weidemann

BEST: Modra, Bickley, Anderson, Rehn, Lee, Jameson

ATTENDANCE: 44,953 at Football Park