With the 2019 AFL draft in the rearview mirror and club lists finalised for 2020, we decided – despite overwhelming popular opinion – that it’s not at all too early to start speculating about the season ahead.
The Adelaide Crows defeated the Port Adelaide Power by three points at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday afternoon.
Although the Crows had the majority of the scoring shots and more inside 50s, it felt like the Power controlled the game for almost the full length of the match.
The Crows got off to an incredible start, kicking the first three goals of the game and dominating the ball out of the middle.
However, the Power quickly hit back at their cross-town rivals, levelling the scores at quarter time.
Port Adelaide began to take control of the game in the second quarter, running out to a game-high 15-point lead halfway through the quarter.
The Power was able to quickly transition the ball out of defence and off turnovers, which resulted in deep penetrating entries that the Crows were helpless to stop.
Jared Polec and Dan Houston began to dominate on the outside, consistently linking up to surge the Power forward.
The second-half was heavily impacted by the smattering of rain that covered the Adelaide Oval. The ball became incredibly slippery, and ball-skills quickly deteriorated.
An arm-wrestle emerged, and Ollie Wines, Tom Rockliff, Matt Crouch, and Rory Sloane fought out an incredible battle for midfield supremacy.
The final quarter was poised to produce another classic Showdown contest. Port Adelaide quickly added to their one-point lead, kicking the first two goals and building what appeared to be an insurmountable lead.
The Crows fought back admirably, and when Brad Crouch kicked a long-range goal at the 14-minute mark, Adelaide had hit the front.
Port expectedly responded quickly as Robbie Gray kicked and then set up two goals in the space of two minutes.
Port appeared to have set up an impenetrable wall before Eddie Betts put together a nostalgic piece of skill and guile to put the Crows back in the contest.
Following a throw-in on the wing, the Crows launched forward, and Josh Jenkins found himself out the back, where he snapped through the winning goal.
A score review was taken and inconclusive, and will no doubt be a controversial talking point for the week – but it returned to the umpire’s decision and gave Adelaide the win.
The Showdown rarely disappoints, and this edition was no exception.
Adelaide Crows 13.18.96
Port Adelaide Power 14.9.93