Adelaide has continued its stunning early season form, dispatching the Gold Coast Suns by 69 points in an impressive display at Metricon Stadium.
The Crows had the match decided by as early as half-time, the Suns were too inexperienced to match up against this year’s NAB Cup champions and form side of the competition.
Extroverted forward Taylor Walker booted five goals in a performance that left Adelaide supporters rejoicing that the young tyro remains a Crow after rumours of a move to GWS were floated in the off-season.
It was the Crows’ forward-line that was firing on all cylinders all afternoon, swingman Kurt Tippett kicking four goals all in the first-half alongside eight other individual goal kickers.
Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson continued his 100 per cent success rate in his new role, belying any critics who believed that pre-season form couldn’t be converted into the regular fixtures.
“The world was looking at how we would respond to the NAB Cup success and (the performance) probably couldn’t have been better from my point of view,” Sanderson said in the post-match press conference.
Ball magnet Scott Thompson was again the catalyst for the visiting side, inflicting the same nightmares on the Suns that he did the last time the two teams squared off.
While Thompson didn’t reach the lofty heights of his record-breaking 51 disposal game in 2011, his 39 touches were just as influential as he led from the front in a dominating effort.
Not content to let Thompson steal the show in the centre of the ground, Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett proved he’s still got it, amassing 42 possessions and two goals.
However, it was only the old hands of Jared Brennan (27 disposals) and Michael Rischitelli (26 disposals) that could offer any support for Ablett as the Suns were well and truly outclassed by a team on a mission.
A cloud hung over Ben Rutten’s return to footy after he took no part in the NAB Cup due to a foot injury, but he went through the game unscathed and performed admirably down back for the Crows.
Teammate Ricky Henderson wasn’t so fortunate, his day ending before half-time due to heavy knock causing concussion.
The Crows can take plenty of positives from their Round 1 outing, and while the young Suns were beaten comprehensively on the day, there is no need for Guy McKenna to panic.
3. Scott Thompson
2. Gary Ablett
1. Taylor Walker
ADELAIDE 7.8 11.10 15.16 19.23 (137)
GOLD COAST 3.1 5.3 8.6 10.8 (68)
Adelaide: Walker 5, Tippett 4, van Berlo 2, Callinan 2, Dangerfield 2, Sloane, Douglas, Porplyzia, Lynch
Gold Coast: Ablett 2, Brown 2, Bennell 2, Smith, Swallow, Prestia, Caddy
Adelaide: Thompson, Sloane, Tippett, van Berlo, Walker, Jacobs
Gold Coast: Ablett, Harbrow, Bennell, Brennan, Brown, Iles
Adelaide: Henderson (concussion)
Gold Coast: Tape (mouth)
Umpires: Pannell, Wenn, Ryan
Official crowd: 12,790 at Metricon Stadium