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Crows claim first win

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media & staff writers  March 5, 2017 4:50 PM

Harry Dear in action during Adelaide's JLT Community Series win over the Cats

Harry Dear in action during Adelaide's JLT Community Series win over the Cats

A youthful Adelaide outfit has registered the Club’s first win of the year with a six-point JLT Community Series victory over Geelong at Richmond Oval on Sunday.

Wingman Rory Atkins was terrific for the Crows and showed great leadership for his more inexperienced teammates.

Atkins booted three goals, including a 60m supergoal, as the hosts hung on to survive a late fightback from the Cats, 1.9.7 (70) to 1.7.13 (64).

The Crows were without star forwards Eddie Betts and Josh Jenkins (rested) joining All Australian midfielder Rory Sloane among 13 players on the sidelines.

Captain Taylor Walker also played limited minutes as part of his Round One preparations, but still managed to boot two goals from 14 possessions and four marks.

Matt Crouch was prolific with a game-high 28 possessions, while Curtly Hampton again looked good in a midfield role.

"It was pleasing to get a result, not that it's all about the result," Crows coach Don Pyke.

"I thought the guys worked pretty hard all day and there were some good signs."

Fringe Geelong midfielder George Horlin-Smith pressed his claims for a Round One berth with an impressive performance in midfield.

With Brownlow Medallist Patrick Dangerfield playing mostly in the forward line before having an early shower at half-time, Horlin-Smith collected 23 possessions and was busy around the stoppages.

The 24-year-old played only one game last year for the Cats and didn't feature in the side's opening pre-season game against Hawthorn two weeks ago.

Cats recruit Zach Tuohy (27 possessions) was impressive again across half-back with his ability to read the play and clean disposal.

Utility Lachie Henderson found plenty of the ball as the loose player in defence with 14 of his 23 touches in the first quarter.

The Cats dominated general play in the first half, collecting 227 possessions to 142 and having eight more scoring shots than the Crows, but only had an eight-point lead at the main break.

The Crows returned from the sheds with improved intensity, booting 5.7 to a solitary behind in the third quarter to take a 28-point lead into the final change.

But the Cats stormed home with the wind, kicking three unanswered goals and keeping the Crows scoreless to set up a thrilling finish.

"We looked to implement a few things and worked pretty well in the first half," Cats assistant coach James Rahilly said. 

"Our third quarter was pretty disappointing, but we got a bit out of it.

"We put players in different positions and tried a few things around the ball."

Cat Lincoln McCarthy injured his shoulder in the first half and the club will wait to see how he pulls up before deciding whether he is available for next Sunday's game with Essendon.

Crows midfielder Dean Gore will be monitored during the week after sustaining a concussion in the last quarter after copping a heavy hit from Nakia Cockatoo.

Geelong: Key defender Harry Taylor continues to improve in his new role as a swingman. Taylor spent plenty of time in the forward line, using his size and strength to make a contest and bring the ball to ground. The Cats also experimented with champion onballer Patrick Dangerfield spending more time in attack. The former Crow was lively every time he got near the footy inside the forward 50 before he was given an early shower at half-time.

Adelaide: Rory Atkins is on the verge of taking his game to another level and becoming a high-end midfielder. Atkins was terrific on the wing, having 20 touches and utilising his damaging left foot to full effect with three goals, including one from 60m. Matt Crouch will again be a ball magnet in the middle of the ground, and Curtly Hampton's Round One credentials are growing with every game. Has great pace and is getting smarter as a midfielder.

Geelong: Zach Tuohy showed again why he's in the running to be the recruit of the year. The former Carlton playmaker was terrific for the Cats across half-back. First-year player Brandon Parfitt had some great touches in attack and George Horlin-Smith, who played just one game last year, pressed his claims for round one. Rookie-listed midfielder Zach Guthrie had another strong game with 18 possessions and seven marks. Former North Melbourne forward Aaron Black was quiet with seven touches and didn't hit the scoreboard. 

Adelaide: Jordan Gallucci, Adelaide's first pick at the 2016 NAB AFL Draft, had some nice touches when the game was up for grabs in the last quarter. Had just the nine possessions, but showed poise in his first game for the Crows. Former US college basketball star Hugh Greenwood had just six touches playing on a half-forward flank.

The Cats round out their pre-season campaign in regional Victoria when they face Essendon at Queen Elizabeth Oval in Bendigo next Sunday at 4.10pm AEDT. Meanwhile the Crows remain in suburban Adelaide for their final game of the JLT Community Series. They have a six-day break before playing the Brisbane Lions at Hickinbotham Oval in Noarlunga next Saturday at 3.40pm ACDT.

ADELAIDE   1.1.0   1.4.0   1.9.7   1.9.7 (70)
GEELONG   0.2.3   1.4.8   1.4.9   1.7.13 (64)

D Menzel

Walker 2, Atkins 2, Cameron 2, Smith, T Menzel, Dear
D Menzel, Stanley, Parfitt, Tuohy, Cockatoo, Lang, Horlin-Smith

Atkins, M Crouch, Hampton, Hartigan, Laird, Walker
Tuohy, Henderson, Horlin-Smith, Lang, Guthrie, Menegola

Dean Gore (head knock) in the fourth quarter after a collision with Nakia Cockatoo
Lincoln McCarthy (shoulder) in the second quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Haussen, Kamolins, Fleer, Mitchell

Official crowd: 3,800