Young Crow Riley Thilthorpe was the hero of Adelaide’s incredible come-from-behind victory against the Saints on Saturday night.
And senior Coach Matthew Nicks said the rising forward deserved plenty of praise, but so did the side’s never-give-up attitude.
Nicks said the most pleasing aspect of Adelaide’s 9.12 (66) to 8.12 (60) win in Cairns was the players fighting until the final siren.
The Crows were 30 points behind at the main break before clawing their way back and then the miraculous over-the-head goal from Thilthorpe put the side a goal up with a minute remaining.
“This young group that doesn't give up, there’s no white flag,” Nicks said.
“We weren’t bringing the fight (early), credit to the Saints, they dominated that part of the game.
“When we sat down at half-time, we thought we grabbed a tiny bit of momentum back late in the second quarter.
“We had faith that they are a really young, developing group of players and they’ll give right to the end and they did that.”
Nicks said Thilthorpe, who was selected in the 2020 AFL National Draft with Pick No. 2, was a special player and would continue to improve.
“Riley was in everything,” Nicks said.
“He was fighting … we knew at some stage he’d get an opportunity.
“To knock it over his head and bounce it through from where he did, it was a great result.
“He’s got great football intelligence when it comes to his preparation, he’s one of the best, he’s always trying to get better.
“The part we love about Riley is he knows he’s got so much more improvement in him and that’s even more exciting.”