Inexplicably it appears the powers that be at the Sydney Swans have agreed to play a newer “digital” version of the club theme song as they enter the field. Missing is the legendary Ted Albert Fable Singers version with it’s brilliant banjo component that made the song all the more enjoyable after a famous Sydney victory. On-field on Friday night, two midfield “banjos” weren’t strumming loudly either. Luke Parker and Josh Kennedy had forgettable games against a desperate and inspired Adelaide Crows who ran out impressive 10 point winners.
During the lead up to this game, many questions and criticisms were leveled at the Crows particularly at skipper Taylor Walker. “Tex” Walker’s commitment and application was severely scrutinized. After a poor 2017 AFL grand final effort and last week’s shock loss against Collingwood, the Adelaide skipper hasn’t had the best start to his year. Walker had an interrupted pre-season via a foot injury.On Friday, Tex was back to his inspirational best, kicking four key goals. He was taking strong marks, kicking long accurate goals and helping to successfully defend in the dying minutes. Walker had plenty of mates who chipped for the Crows. Unlike the experienced Walker, some of Adelaide’s best were from the younger brigade. Defender Tom Doedee (25 disposals), Hugh Greenwood (11 tackles) and Jake Kelly (20 disposals) helped their side to victory with solid efforts in the defensive area for the Crows.
For Sydney, the lack of midfield drive from Luke Parker and Josh Kennedy had a significant impact on the Swans ability to get the ball and supply their forwards. It was an uncharacteristic performance from both players. Parker did cop a solid bump in the early minutes and it may have put him off his game, but for Kennedy it was hard to fathom his effort. Maybe he just had a bad night. Swans coach John Longmire expressed his disappointment post-game about the lack of 5o metre entries early in the game. This could be attributed to the poor form shown by Parker and Kennedy. Adelaide successfully nullified Lance Franklin. They covered him with 2 to 3 players at times and it was a successful defensive ploy keeping the star forward to only 1 goal. Up forward for Adelaide, Rory Atkins was superb. He booted 3 important goals, Josh Jenkins also contributed with 3 goals.
In the final quarter, Sydney tried to get back into the game, but Adelaide’s commitment in the contest and their ability to successfully nullify the Swans normally potent forward line, was the difference in the result. There were wild scenes inside the Crows sheds after the match. Taylor Walker led a rousing version of the club song. It symbolized that the Adelaide Crows are back and are capable of playing tough, committed football. One senses this team is going places and may well account for last year’s grand final disappointment. The victory was all the more impressive considering it was without gun forward Eddie Betts and Rory Sloane. Sydney Swans would be very concerned at the loss. That’s the second home loss this season. They looked to have no answers to the Crows pressure and looked pretty one dimensional up forward by relying too much on Franklin who was well held.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Swans (10th on the AFL Ladder with 3 wins and 2 losses), they travel to Geelong to play this Saturday afternoon and without Lance Franklin who has a foot injury. Dan Hannebery and Dean Towers will also miss the Cats game due to injury. The win away makes it all the more sweeter for Adelaide who return home to play 4 home games in a row. The Crows (8th on the AFL Ladder with 3 wins and 2 losses) play the in-form Gold Coast Suns in what should be an entertaining game at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.
SYDNEY 3.3 6.6 8.9 10.15 (75)
ADELAIDE 4.9 8.10 9.12 12.13 (85)
Sydney: Rohan 2, Jones, Towers, Florent, Franklin, Heeney, Jack, Cunningham, Hewett
Adelaide: Walker 4, Atkins 3, Jenkins 3, Seedsman, Gallucci
Sydney: Lloyd, Rampe, Rohan
Adelaide: Walker, Doedee, Atkins
Adelaide: Hartigan (hamstring)
Umpires: Chris Donlon, Leigh Haussen, Simon Meredith
Official crowd: 38,017 at the Sydney Cricket Ground