By Jamie Kloeden, reporting for AFANA from Adelaide, South Australia
Adelaide got off to a flying start in Round One against the Gold Coast and finished the day with a 69 point victory to capture their first points for the 2012 season. The young Suns were on the back foot right from the start with Crows’ forwards Kurt Tippett and Taylor Walker both effective in the first quarter, setting up a seven goals eight behinds score line for a 31 point lead at the first break.
With Sam Jacobs dominating the ruck duels and Scott Thompson and captain Nathan van Berlo constantly feeding the ball into the Crows’ forward line, Gold Coast had little chance to stop the onslaught and once again relied on Gary Ablett Jr to help keep them even remotely close. Ablett Jr led from the front and was clearly the best Sun on the ground with 42 disposals including two superb long range goals, but there was no stopping the Crows outfit as they kept piling on the goals to have 11 at half time. The half time tally could have been even more as Kurt Tippett wasn’t in his best goal kicking form and while he had four goals to half time, he missed two easy shots from close range. This would have been one of the few concerns for Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson on the day.
The second quarter did provide a scary moment as Crows’ defender Ricky Henderson and Suns midfielder Michael Rischitelli had a sickening head clash that resulted in Henderson lying on the ground for some time before being stretchered off. It has since been revealed that tests indicate a minor neck injury but Henderson is okay and is even a chance to take his place in the side again for Round Two.
Second half action featured more of the same as Thompson continued to rack up the possessions. Rory Sloane joined in to become a force in the midfield and the goals kept flowing but this time not from Tippett. With Tippett spending time in the ruck, Walker took over the reins as the main target in attack and proceeded to kick five goals of his own. Another common theme was Adelaide’s inaccuracy in front of goals at times with small forward Ian Callinan having a great game but finishing with only two goals to show for it along with five behinds. They weren’t all easy chances but against the stronger teams in the competition it only takes a couple of misses to see close games slip away.
While Ablett Jr was once again at his brilliant best, many other Suns made contributions but were unable to put together four quarters of solid football. Veterans Jarred Brennan and Campbell Brown were among the best of those players while Harley Bennell showed glimpses of the exciting talent that led to him bring taken at number two in the 2010 draft.
Next week sees both sides up against opponents still looking for their first wins for the year. Adelaide faces the Western Bulldogs in its first home game for the year at AAMI Stadium while Gold Coast heads to Melbourne to take on St Kilda at Etihad Stadium.
Scoreboard Adelaide: 7.8 11.10 15.16 19.23 (137) Gold Coast: 3.1 5.3 8.6 10.8 (68) Best players Adelaide: Thompson, Sloane, Jacobs, Tippett, Walker, van Berlo Gold Coast: Ablett Jr, Bennell, Brennan, Brown
Article last changed on Sunday, May 03, 2015 - 7:17 PM EDT