Jamie Kloeden reporting for AFANA from Adelaide, South Australia
New coach Brenton Sanderson has enjoyed a dream start at the helm of the Adelaide Crows, leading his side to an unbeaten preseason culminating in the NAB Cup title. A near full strength Crows line up took on the West Coast Eagles in the Final and was able to put together a four quarter effort en route to a 34 point win in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.
After a week full of off-field controversy, midfielder Bernie Vince responded in the best way possible, taking home the Michael Tuck Medal as best afield after collecting 29 silky smooth disposals, including the opening goal of the evening. There were also good signs up forward with Taylor Walker slotting home three goals and his nine point super goal was the result of the play of the night. Walker was able to take on two West Coast defenders, steal possession of the ball and turn around to kick the goal.
Scott Thompson, Patrick Dangerfield and Brent Reilly also played major roles for the Crows and were the players able to stem the flow when the Eagles made a strong charge early in the final quarter. Even after losing forward livewire Mark Nicoski late in the first quarter, the Eagles found another avenue to the goals through Josh Hill. Unfortunately his goal-kicking radar was off on the night and a number of easy chances went begging. In the final quarter in particular Hill kicked three behinds that, at the time, would have made the game still very winnable for the West Coast outfit.
In the preseason competition every year, coaches say the main focus is getting the team ready for Round 1 and that winning NAB Cup games is a nice bonus. However with both West Coast and Adelaide fielding very competitive teams, the game was played at a very high standard. Both teams are now primed and ready for their Round 1 clashes with the Eagles taking on the Western Bulldogs at home and Adelaide travelling up to the Gold Coast to battle the Gary Ablett and the Suns.
Scoreboard Adelaide 0.2.2 1.3.6 2.6.13 2.10.17 (95) West Coast 2.0.2 2.1.6 2.4.7 2.5.13 (61) Best players Adelaide: Vince, Thompson, Walker, Dangerfield, Reilly West Coast: Priddis, S Selwood, Butler, Waters, Hill Michael Tuck Medallist: Bernie Vince
Article last changed on Friday, March 23, 2012 - 8:36 PM EDT