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Crows lock top spot

Steve Larkin, AAP  April 30, 2017 7:46 PM

Taylor Walker kicked five goals in Adelaide's 76-point win over Richmond on Sunday

Taylor Walker kicked five goals in Adelaide's 76-point win over Richmond on Sunday

Adelaide has cemented its place at the top of the AFL ladder as the competition's only undefeated team following a 76-point belting of Richmond on Sunday.

The Crows won 21.14 (140) to 10.6 (64) at Adelaide Oval, ruthlessly dishing out the Tigers' first loss of the season.

Coupled with Collingwood's upset win against Geelong, the Crows are now perched alone at the top.

Adelaide captain Taylor Walker booted five goals and his deputy Rory Sloane (three goals, 33 touches) was superb as Richmond folded after a promising start.

The Tigers, with captain Trent Cotchin influential, led 6.3 to 5.0 at quarter-time after a fast-paced opening.

But Adelaide's feted attack then clicked into gear, kicking 13 of the next 14 goals.

The Five: Round Six v Richmond

The Crows' onslaught started in a powerful second quarter which returned 6.6 to Richmond's solitary goal - Walker slotting three for the half.

With their midfield gaining ascendancy, Adelaide took a 27-point lead into the long break before rapidly killing off the Tigers in the third term.

The Crows, delighting their parochial 51,069-strong crowd, piled on seven goals to none in a devastating half-hour.

Adelaide's Sloane, Matt Crouch (38 disposals), Brad Crouch (25 possessions) and Rory Atkins (23 touches) were prolific ball-winners in a dominant on-ball brigade.

And Crows defenders Rory Laird (34 disposals), Jake Lever and Brodie Smith controlled Richmond's attack, which was starved of chances after quarter-time.

Coach Don Pyke could only marvel at his team's attacking fluency.

"To play that way after quarter-time, yeah, it's exciting," he said.

"I sit back in the box at times and some of the ball movement we were able to execute, it's a real credit to players and I'm sure our fans are loving watching it."

The Tigers mustered just one scoring shot - Jack Riewoldt's second goal - from quarter-time until Kane Lambert kicked a goal late in the third term.

Lambert battled gamely and gathered 24 disposals while skipper Cotchin (26 disposals) was overwhelmed in the midfield.

Teammate Dustin Martin's 24-possessions lacked his usual impact and Richmond's defence - which entered the game having conceded the least points in the league - leaked heavily against the Crows' attacking might.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick labelled Adelaide "without a doubt" the league's measuring stick.

"They are top of the ladder for a reason," Hardwick said.

"There's no doubt their work rate, contest to contest, taught our blokes a lesson."

Adelaide has kicked more than 100 points in each of their six consecutive wins as they prolong the club's best-ever start to a season.

Adelaide: The Crows emerged unscathed from their dominant win.
Richmond: Reece Conca picked up an ankle injury in the first quarter and left the ground, but he was able to return to the game.

The Crows head to Tasmania to face North Melbourne in Hobart at Blundstone Arena next Saturday. The Tigers face another stern test against the reigning premiers, the Western Bulldogs, at Etihad Stadium that evening.



ADELAIDE    5.0   11.6   18.11   21.14 (140)
RICHMOND   6.3   7.3    8.3     10.4 (64)

Adelaide: Walker 5, Lynch 3, Sloane 3, Cameron 2, Jenkins, Betts, Douglas, Jacobs, Smith, M Crouch, Otten, Milera
Richmond: Rioli 2, Riewoldt 2, Markov 2, Butler, Martin, Lambert, Houli

Adelaide: Sloane, M Crouch, Jacobs, Lynch, Walker, Laird
Richmond: Cotchin, Martin, Lambert, Nankervis

Adelaide: Nil
Richmond: Nil 

Reports: Nil 

Umpires: Rosebury, Stephens, Hosking

Official crowd: 51,069 at Adelaide Oval