Main content
6.-AFC-Header-Branding-Bar-[1600-x-160].png

Talking Points: Round 18

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 21: Hugh Greenwood of the Crows celebrates with Eddie Betts after kicking a goal during the round 18 AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the Adelaide Crows at The Gabba on July 21, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images/AFL Media)
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 21: Hugh Greenwood of the Crows celebrates with Eddie Betts after kicking a goal during the round 18 AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the Adelaide Crows at The Gabba on July 21, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images/AFL Media)

1. Crows keep finals hopes alive
It wasn't easy but Adelaide’s five-point win keeps their finals hopes alive for another week. The lead changed several times in the first half but a strong third quarter and four-goal performance from Hugh Greenwood set the platform for the win. Rory Laird was arguably best on ground, with Matt Crouch (40 disposals) and Wayne Milera (22 disposals, 7 marks) strong contributors to the victory. The Crows had only two men on the bench for the last quarter but were able to hang on for a win that sees them just two points outside the top eight.

2. Goals galore for Greenwood
The Gabba has been a happy hunting ground for Hugh Greenwood. The Crow scored three goals there on his debut in Round 9 last year and stepped up in the absence of skipper Taylor Walker to score a career-best four-goal haul. His run of three straight goals from late in the first quarter to early in the second were vital for Adelaide, as they came between runs of three consecutive goals to Brisbane. Rounding out his goals were 12 score involvements and 14 contested possessions.

 

3. Was McGovern too underdone?
The inclusion of Mitch McGovern raised eyebrows after the Crow spent 10 weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury and was named without playing a SANFL game for some match fitness. It looked to have backfired in the first half, with McGovern unsighted and registering nothing on the stats sheet save for a solitary tackle. He enjoyed a better second half, but was wasteful with two set shot misses in the third quarter when the Crows were pushing. Luckily for Adelaide it had enough winners around the ground to cover for the underdone McGovern.

READ: Crows hold on for a gutsy win

4. Welcome to speccy central 
There were some great grabs throughout the match but two screamers just 15 seconds apart in the first quarter turned the Gabba into hanger city. The first was claimed by Josh Walker, brilliantly surfing Mitch McGovern to take hold of a hurried kicked out of Adelaide's defence. He handballed to Daniel Rich who sent it to the top of the square. That's where Cameron Rayner leaped above Daniel Talia and Tom Doedee for a classic pack mark.  Eddie Betts didn’t want to miss out on the action and chimed in with big grab of his own late in the third quarter.

5. Flat Lions still hang around
It says much of the Lions’ improvement of late that despite being down on form from recent weeks, they managed to finish just five-points short of a team pushing for finals. The game was played at breakneck speed and while the Lions kept pace early, they only managed a solitary goal in the third quarter while the Crows pressed ahead. Despite being unhappy with the loss, coach Chris Fagan said he was pleased they were able to challenge and win the last quarter.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs