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The Adelaide Crows have virtually ended West Coast’s quest for a minor premiership with a 57 point hiding at Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon.
ADELAIDE 19 12 126
WEST COAST 10 9 69
In a blistering opening quarter from the Crows, they ended the game in the first term, with an 8 goal to zip blitz.
They led by 50 points, with Josh Jenkins kicking 3 goals, as they had their largest lead at the end of the opening term in the history of the football club.
In contrast it was the second time this year that the Eagles were kept goal-less in the opening term.
It was also their lowest score in the first quarter since 2011 against St Kilda.
They responded though, in the 2nd term, as they utilised the Riverbank End which became the scoring end.
Adelaide increased the margin to 56 points, early in the term, before the Eagles kicked five straight goals to reduce the margin to just four goals at one stage.
Two goals to Jamie Cripps, and singles to Mark Hutchings, Dom Sheed, and Patrick McGinnity, kept them in the hunt.
It would be just 26 points at half time.
The Crows responded after a half time grill from their coach.
With an injury to Jeremy McGovern, who was subbed at the end of the third term, the Crows used their tall timber to kick away again.
The Crows kicked five goals in a row, with two to Walker and Jenkins, to bring the margin back out to 57 points later in the third term.
The Eagles, with their first goal at the scoreboard end, reduced the margin to 50 points at the final change.
With the game wrapped up, and both subs made, the Eagles kicked consolation goals to reduce the deficit to 35 points.
The Crows though finished the game with the last four goals and made the final margin 57 points to boost their percentage even more.
They have now won their last three games by an average of 85.33 points. Simply staggering form.
Patrick Dangerfield also did his chances of a Brownlow no harm, as he starred in the middle. Josh Jenkins would kick 6 goals.
The Crows are also in contention for a home final. If North Melbourne win next week against Richmond, then the Crows just need to beat the Cats at Geelong to secure a home final.
Based on today many teams will be hoping that doesn’t happen.
The Eagles now face St Kilda and need to win that match to book a home qualifying final in week 1.
With an AFL final spot sealed after Friday night, the Adelaide Crows will now be chasing down a home final when they face West Coast Eagles at Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 1:10pm (AEST).
After Collingwood did Adelaide a huge favour by defeating Geelong on Friday night, the Crows now have a final spot sewn up for the first time since 2012.
If results can now go their way in the final two rounds, Adelaide could finish as high as fifth and secure a home final.
It starts with two wins. One against the Eagles today, and another against the Cats next week. Not to be discounted, the Eagles also have plenty to play for, with a top two finish on the line.
One win, either this week or in Round 23, would give them a home qualifying final. A minor premiership is also available for West Coast if they win both games and Fremantle lose one of their last two.
It will be interesting to see how West Coast go into the match. The latest rumour, which may intensify after the Crows qualified for the finals, is that some of their stars might be rested. If that happens, the match swings towards the Adelaide.
At the moment though, that hasn’t happened, with the Eagles making two changes to strengthen its squad. Jeremy McGovern returns after injury and replaces Sharrod Wellingham who has an ankle injury. Tom Barrass is also in with Jackson Nelson omitted.
The Crows have made just one change from the smashing of Brisbane last week. Jake Lever comes back in after a rest and replaces Sam Shaw who has been omitted.
The last time these two teams played it was under different circumstances than today. The Crows played their first match after the tragic death of Phil Walsh, and were emotionally beaten by the Eagles.
While they played well for a quarter and a half, they fatigued quickly because of the emotion of the game, and the Eagles ran away in the second half of the contest.
This week will be different with Adelaide in far better form, and a far better state emotionally. They have won five of their last six matches, including the last three.
West Coast have also won their last two, including a 77-point win over the Bulldogs.
This match will be close. Both teams like to score and both will test each other’s defence. The battle in the midfield also promises to be a beauty with both teams among the best in the league for clearances.
After the results this weekend, this game has more importance for Adelaide than it does to the Eagles. West Coast could seal a home final with what looks to be an easier game next week against St Kilda.
Based on that I predict a home win as Adelaide tries to seal a home final of their own.
Prediction: Adelaide by 18 points.
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