Days after being scolded for wearing just boxer shorts in a country pub, Bernie Vince inspired Adelaide to claim the AFL pre-season cup with a 34-point win over West Coast.
The Crows prevailed 2.10.17 (95) to 2.5.13 (61) in Saturday night’s pre-season final at AAMI Stadium, with the Eagles losing the game and also veteran Mark Nicoski to injury.
Nicoski tore a hamstring in the first quarter, while Adelaide’s Vince made amends for his headline-grabbing antics.
Vince was forced to buy 60 double passes for the pre-season play-off, and given a deferred suspension, for what Crows’ hierarchy dubbed another silly episode last Sunday.
The Crows’ playmaker was dressed only in boxer shorts in a country pub when he helped his cricket club celebrate their premiership.
After being disciplined by the Crows, Vince responded on field to gather a game-high 29 disposals in an influential display.
Adelaide key forward Taylor Walker kicked a super goal and two regulation majors while onballers Scott Thompson and Patrick Dangerfield were also prominent.
West Coast relied heavily on the tireless ball gathering of Matthew Priddis but, despite Nic Naitanui’s ruck dominance, could not find a multiple goalkicker in a final played before 27,376 spectators.
Adelaide claimed their second pre-season title after withstanding a late challenge from the Eagles, who are yet to win the cup.
After Walker kicked all his goals and set up another in a game-turning purple-patch, the Crows held a 31-point lead midway through the third quarter.
But West Coast rallied and, when newcomer Gerrick Weedon goaled within a minute of the last term, the visitors were just 12 points down.
But Vince then capped his fine performance by setting up teammate Jason Porplyzia for a goal – the first of four Adelaide majors in a 15-minute burst which sealed their victory.