A stunning cameo from the AFL’s oldest rookie helped Adelaide thrash Collingwood by 77 points to secure their berth in the pre-season cup final.
Adelaide’s 29-year-old Ian Callinan produced a game-changing burst as the Crows logged a 1.20.9 (138) to 1.7.10 (61) victory in Friday night’s AAMI Stadium encounter.
With the match in the balance and Adelaide holding an eight-point, half-time buffer, Callinan was substituted into the game with instant impact.
The rookie-listed small man set up two goals and threaded a remarkable left-footer himself in a 10-minute span which floored the Magpies.
Adelaide forward Jason Porplyzia kicked four goals, and Tom Lynch and Shaun McKernan each booted three, as the Crows remained undefeated in four pre-season games under new coach Brenton Sanderson.
Their cup final opponents, and the venue, will be determined by Saturday night’s clash between West Coast and St Kilda.
Collingwood spearhead Jason Cloke kicked two goals but the Callinan-inspired Crows booted 17 goals and a super goal to the Magpies’ four majors after quarter-time.
Callinan played three premiership games last year in a season cruelled when he ripped a bicep muscle off the bone.
But he tore up the Magpies in collecting eight damaging disposals in the third quarter.
Callinan created third term goals for Sam Kerridge and Lynch before capping his influence with a remarkable goal from a tight angle to give the Crows a defining 34-point lead.
Adelaide were well served by half-back Brent Reilly and emerging midfielders Patrick Dangerfield Rory Sloane while Porplyzia was outstanding as he continued his successful comeback from shoulder reconstruction last season.
The Magpies’ senior core of Scott Pendlebury, Harry O’Brien, Steele Sidebottom, captain Nick Maxwell and Dane Swan were reliable performers without leaving a massive imprint.
Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson said his club would lobby the AFL to host next week’s cup grand final.
“That is an opportunity to play in a winning final,” he said.
“Every time the Adelaide Crows play, we play to win.”
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley refused to use the inexperience of his side as an excuse.
“Our performance was below where it wanted to be,” he said.
“This club wouldn’t have leaked 138 points in any game for a long period of time, and that is credit to Adelaide.”