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Crows blast Bulldogs

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media  July 7, 2017 10:33 PM

Josh Jenkins booted four goals in Adelaide's win over the Western Bulldogs

Josh Jenkins booted four goals in Adelaide's win over the Western Bulldogs

Adelaide's high-powered attack has roared to life as the Crows put another dent in the Western Bulldogs' premiership defence.

After leading by just three points at half-time the Crows burst into the second half with 10 unanswered goals, consigning the Bulldogs to a 59-point loss at Adelaide Oval on Friday night in front of a crowd of 41,948.

Crows forwards Josh Jenkins and skipper Taylor Walker combined for seven goals on their way to the 16.8 (104) to 5.15 (45) victory.

Along with hitting the scoreboard, Jenkins and Walker controlled the air and marked everything in sight.

The Five: Round 16 v Western Bulldogs

The Crows (11-4) return to the top of the ladder, but will be back in second spot if Greater Western Sydney defeats Hawthorn on Saturday.

"I'm really proud of the playing group tonight in a game where at half-time it was an arm wrestle, tight tussle and in difficult conditions," Crows coach Don Pyke said.

"I thought our second half tonight was very, very good led by our leaders, but more importantly, the contribution from virtually everyone was most times to a really high level, so I'm super proud of them."

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs (7-8) have now lost four of their past five games to put their aspirations of reaching the finals in serious doubt.

"We're gutted," Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said.

"Our intensity level wasn't where it needed to be.

"We're not going to give ourselves any pats on the back for a reasonable first half because what happened in the second half was unacceptable.

"It's one of the worst loses since I've been at the club."

Crows Club Champion Rory Sloane (24 possessions, 10 contested) enjoyed the freedom of not having a tagger for the first time in several weeks.

However, the Crows followed the lead set by the rest of the competition and sent Riley Knight to shut down the influence of running defender Jason Johannisen.

Last year's Norm Smith Medallist was held to just 16 possessions.

Johannisen will also leave South Australia with a headache after Walker shoved him into the behind post.

In-demand Crows defender Jake Lever (22 possessions at 90 per cent efficiency, 11 marks) added more value to his next contract with another outstanding performance.

For the Bulldogs, Toby McLean led the way with 31 possessions while Jack Macrae had 27.

The Bulldogs held a two-point lead at quarter-time after a tough opening in wet and slippery conditions, but it was the second term where they butchered their chance to win the game.

A return of two goals from 20 inside 50ms simply isn't good enough.

The Crows led by three points at half-time after Bailey Dale and Jake Stringer kicked the last two goals of the second quarter to keep the Dogs in the contest, but the Crows burst of the blocks in the third term with Walker taking a superb contested mark.

Goals to Matt Crouch (a team-high 32 disposals) and Josh Jenkins extended the Crows' advantage before Betts turned in a bit of trademark brilliance, the champion small forward maintaining his balance on the slippery surface and kicking the ball off the ground.

Soon after, Brad Crouch (24 disposals) delivered a strong tackle on Dale to force the ball loose, Walker pouncing and kicking the goal to extend the lead to 33 points.

The Crows pushed the margin out to 61 points before Luke Dahlhaus kicked the Bulldogs' first goal of the second half at the 17-minute mark of the last quarter.

Adelaide: Crows skipper Taylor Walker had a tremendous game, but left the ground late after copping a poke to the eye. "I haven't got any detail on that at the moment. I think he's seeing the doctor as we speak, so I really can't comment on it," Crows coach Don Pyke said. Small defender Luke Brown had his knee assessed in the second quarter, but returned to play out the rest of the game.

Western Bulldogs: The lone bright spot for the Bulldogs was they didn't add to their injury list.

The Crows head to Darwin to take on Melbourne at TIO Stadium next Saturday night, 7.10pm ACST. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs face Carlton at the MCG next Sunday at 3.20pm AEST.

                    2.2   5.5   12.5   16.8 (104)
WESTERN BULLDOGS   2.4   4.8   4.11   5.15 (45)

Adelaide: Jenkins 4, Walker 3, Betts 2, Knight, Sloane, Atkins, M.Crouch, B.Crouch, Douglas, Cameron
Western Bulldogs: Stringer, Redpath, Suckling, Dale, Dahlhaus

Adelaide: Walker, Jenkins, Sloane, Lever, Otten, Laird, M.Crouch
Western Bulldogs: McLean, Bontempelli, Hunter

Adelaide: Nil
Western Bulldogs: Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Chamberlain, Fleer, Meredith

Official crowd: 41,948