1. Stengle is ready to make the forward pocket his own

After Eddie Betts was traded to Carlton in the off-season, Tyson Stengle took on the No.18 guernsey from his cousin.

It was clear from Saturday’s performance that Stengle is not only ready to fill Betts’ guernsey, but also his boots in Adelaide’s attack. 

The 21-year-old was the leading goalkicker on the ground with five majors, but it was the manner in which he kicked them that stood out. 

Stengle’s first was straight from the small forward textbook, crumbing off a pack and running into an easy open goal.

His second was more mercurial, with the former Tiger breaking two tackles and sidestepping another opposition player before snapping truly on his right foot. 

But it was his final goal which stood out the most. 

Deep in the right forward pocket, Stengle found himself in space. Rather than running toward the goals, he increased the angle and degree of difficulty, before coolly slotting a drop punt with apparent ease.

Stengle is yet to run onto Adelaide Oval for the Crows at AFL level, but on current form, he is putting his name up in lights for a Round One berth.

Tyson Stengle kicking a goal from the boundary line at West Lakes. Photo: AFC Media

2. Matthew Nicks has selection dilemmas ahead of him 

Adelaide’s senior coach and his match committee will have some extremely difficult calls to make before the season opener on March 21. 

Up forward, Elliott Himmelberg booted four goals, leading well and looking composed with his set shots, while Billy Frampton’s effort and work rate were impressive in a losing side.

Tom Lynch and Shane McAdam both hit the scoreboard with three goals apiece and Lachlan Murphy’s forward pressure was a highlight.

With the likes of Taylor Walker and Darcy Fogarty also in the mix, picking a forward line will be no easy feat. 

In the midfield, the likes of Patrick Wilson and rookie Ben Keays stood up to ensure there will be huge pressure for spots when Round One rolls around.

The Crouch brothers both accumulated plenty of the football, Paul Seedsman added polish on the outside and Myles Poholke again showed he can kick goals as a midfielder with two majors.

3. Midfield explosiveness is something to get excited about

Along with the previously mentioned, Adelaide’s midfield could be bolstered by bursts of speed from Chayce Jones and Brodie Smith.

Jones spent much of the game in the engine room, and his explosiveness out of the stoppages and precision ball use was a sight to behold.

The 20-year-old created Taylor Walker's first goal of the game with a centre bounce clearance and long kick forward to advantage. Later, Jones lowered the eyes and hit a quick-leading Shane McAdam on the chest. 

And his final burst out of a stoppage would’ve made any highlight reels: taking the Sherrin, running his full distance before unloading from 50 and slotting the goal.

Chayce Jones on the burst prior to hitting a target inside forward 50. Photo: AFC Media

4. Team-first mantra shining through

When Matthew Nicks was appointed as senior coach, he said he would emphasise a “team-first” culture at the Club. 

One passage of play late in the game emphasised that the message isn’t just being heard, it’s being put into action.

Brodie Smith gained possession on a wing, running towards goal… he held onto the footy in order to draw a man, freeing up Paul Seedsman on the outside. 

Smith handballed to Seedsman, who then ran into space as a result of a Luke Brown shepherd. The wingman streamed forward and kicked to the top of the goalsquare towards Taylor Walker.

Instead of flying for the mark, Walker intelligently put his body in the way of a defender to allow Shane McAdam to take a chest mark and go back and convert the set shot from 20 metres out.  

In less than 30 seconds of play, an easy goal was created by the willingness of players to put the team first.

Luke Brown shepherds to create space for teammate Brodie Smith. Photo: AFC Media

5. It’s clear why Rory Sloane was a unanimous choice as captain

Little things are often overlooked, but these acts can often make the biggest difference.

Captain Rory Sloane consistently does the one-percenters, evidenced in the past by him driving the “cleaning of the sheds” after games.

At the conclusion of Saturday morning’s hit out, Sloane led the entire playing group back onto the playing field to personally thank the umpires who came to West Lakes to officiate. 

He then implored his teammates to pick up any plastic bottles left on the sidelines as the Crows players left the track.

With behaviours like this, there is no doubt the Club is in good hands with Sloane at the helm.