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Eddie was no sure Betts

Katrina Gill  August 7, 2017 11:59 AM

Eddie Betts Post-Match: R20 Eddie Betts speaks to AFC Media after a record-breaking 84 point Showdown win at Adelaide Oval.
AFL 2017 Round 20 - Adelaide v Port Adelaide

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 06: Eddie Betts of the Crows celebrates a goal during the 2017 AFL round 20 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Port Adelaide Power at Adelaide Oval on August 06, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Media)

I spoke to my wife Anna and said, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to play this week'

Forward Eddie Betts admits he doubted whether he would be fit to play in Sunday’s Showdown.

Betts, 30, had emergency surgery to remove his appendix in the days following Adelaide’s Round 18 win over Geelong.

The three-time Crows leading goalkicker missed the draw with Collingwood and wasn’t confident of lining up against Port Adelaide until late last week.

“I wasn’t really sure until Thursday this week,” Betts said after the game.

“The first week was very painful. I couldn’t move and every time I tossed and turned it would hurt.

“On Tuesday, I went for a little run and it hurt a bit.

“I spoke to my wife Anna and said, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to play this week. We’ll see how I go on Thursday’.

“I don’t know how the body heals, but fortunately I healed pretty quickly. I got through (training on) Thursday and did a test (Saturday).

“I wasn’t going to miss this game for the world.”

A renowned Showdown specialist, Betts showed no signs of his recent ill health on Sunday evening.

The brilliant forward kicked four goals including a right-foot dribble shot from the southern end, which has been nominated for Goal of the Year.

It was the sixth time Betts has kicked four or more goals in a Showdown – a feat no other player has achieved.

He ranks second for Showdown goals with 31 from eight matches. Only Crows captain Taylor Walker, who has kicked 36 goals from 13 games, has kicked more goals in Showdown history.

But Betts was more concerned about improving on the four behinds he also registered on Sunday night.

“I’ve got to learn to kick straight, to be honest. I missed everything in front, but can kick everything blindfolded from the boundary line!” he said with a laugh.

“I don’t know what it is (about playing well in Showdowns). I love playing here at home at Adelaide Oval especially when you’re playing against Port Adelaide because there’s a big rivalry.

“It’s always great and good to get the win as well.”

Betts nearly walked away with two Goal of the Year nominations for the round.

The dual All Australian gathered a slippery ball at the northern end – in the same pocket as his past two Goal of the Year winners – and instinctively snapped at goal on his left foot.

The shot cleared the line but a score review showed the kick had been touched off the boot by Power defender Hamish Hartlett, much to the disappointment of the dedicated crowd of 45,000.

“I tried to celebrate to persuade the umpire (it was a goal),” he said.

“I put my arms up and was like, ‘Yeah, come on …’. 

"When I kicked it ... I thought I heard it (the touch) … and I was like, bugger it!”

Adelaide’s 84-point win was the biggest-ever in Showdown history.

The Crows set up the victory with a complete domination in the midfield.

After being belted in contested ball by Collingwood (-50) last week, Adelaide responded to win the contested possession count 181 – 135 on Sunday.

The Crows also generated 50 more inside 50ms than the Power, and won the clearances by 20.

“It was frustrating watching last week. We knew we had to come out and start well tonight,” Betts said.

“We kicked nine points in the first quarter, but we knew if we just kept at it (it would change).

“We were minus 50 in contested possessions (against Collingwood) and we were nearly plus 50 this week, which is a fantastic fightback from the boys.

“We pride ourselves on contested ball and it was good that we won it tonight.”

Betts’ former Carlton teammate Sam Jacobs claimed his third Showdown Medal, joining Crows champion Mark Ricciuto and former Port Adelaide star Josh Francou as the only three-time winners.

“I just spoke to ‘Roo’ (Ricciuto) on Triple M and he told ‘Sauce’ to slow it down!” Betts said.

“I told Roo, ‘That’s all Sauce is talking about – I’m going to pass Roo!’ He wants four (Showdown Medals), big Saucesome.

“Paddy Ryder is the dominant ruckman in the AFL at the moment. We knew Sauce had a big task ahead of him.

“To come out, play the way he did and win the Showdown Medal was fantastic.”