A slick Adelaide Crows unit has sent North Melbourne packing for season 2016 with a dominant second half blitz at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night. Livewire Crows forward Eddie Betts stole the show kicking six goals to snuff out any chance of a North Melbourne challenge, a result in keeping with two teams at the opposite end of the form line. The Kangaroos had won just two games in their last eleven contests and despite staying in touch early, were not up to the class of a determined Adelaide unit who ran out 62 point winners in front of a rabid home crowd.
The result was a bitter blow for the Kangaroos who experienced a horror second half of the season, and bowed out on a night that marked the final game for veteran players Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Michael Firrito and Nick Dal Santo. While there is talk that Harvey and Dal Santo may receive a lifeline from other clubs to continue their careers, none of the four will be seen in the blue and white strip of the Kangaroos after being told their services were no longer required.
The Kangaroos were in the game up until the main break where they trailed by just 12 points, but an eight goal third quarter blitz from the home team effectively finished the game as a contest, with Matt Crouch and Rory Sloane proving the catalyst for Adelaide with a four goal cameo from forward Tom Lynch. At the other end of the ground key forward Ben Brown was well held by Adelaide’s Daniel Talia, leaving the Kangaroos to rely on emerging forward Majak Daw (four goals) and small forward Lindsay Thomas (three goals) to fly the flag.
Adelaide had winners all over the ground, and while crowd favorite Betts was undoubtedly the star of the show, returning defender Brodie Smith was outstanding for the Crows with two goals of his own to go with his 29 possessions. The ruck battle was tight all night with both Adelaide’s Sam Jacobs and North Melbourne’s Todd Goldstein breaking even in the ball-ups but Goldstein took the honours with some excellent work around the ground.
The Crows looked by far the better side in the second half as they rediscovered their running game that had deserted them in their round 23 contest against the West Coast Eagles. The Kangaroos could simply not keep up with the Adelaide pace, Brodie Smith starting numerous attacks out of defense as he was inexplicably allowed to roam free by Kangaroos coach Brad Scott. The Kangaroos battled to the end but realistically never looked like taking the points as their season came to a disappointing conclusion after such a promising start.
Next up, the Crows will travel to Sydney to take on a wounded Swans outfit missing ruck/forward Kurt Tippett (broken jaw) and AFL rising star Callum Mills (hamstring) on Saturday night. Adelaide will feel confident it can match the Swans in what should be a great game of footy. North Melbourne, eliminated from the finals, will look to rebuild an ageing list over what should be a busy summer for the Kangaroos football department.
Scoreboard: Adelaide 4.6 6.10 14.11 21.15 (141) North Melbourne 2.4 5.4 8.5 12.7 (79) Best Players: Adelaide: Betts, Lynch, M.Crouch, Smith, Lyons, Thompson North Melbourne: Ziebell, Higgins, Daw
Article last changed on Friday, September 16, 2016 - 10:59 PM EDT