Round 13 started with a tussle between a spirited Richmond and a developing Adelaide.
As expected, the Tigers eventually ran out of talent and the Crows had a comfortable win.
An early highlight was Sudanese rookie Mabior Chol – who played his previous one and only AFL game for Richmond in Round 23, 2016 – toe-poking the first goal of the match to give Richmond the early lead.
The Tigers were competitive until halfway through the third quarter when the Crows – in a trend that must be concerning to the other possible finalists – stormed home again to win by more than five goals.
For the elite Crows goal-scorers it was party time with Josh Jenkins kicking four (now on 287 goals), Taylor Walker three (now 405), and Eddie Betts two (now 299 Adelaide goals).
Betts’ two goals took him past fellow Crow Tony Modra on the AFL list and he is now level with Eagle Josh Kennedy on 589. Kennedy does not play in Round 13.
Rory Sloane also kicked two goals and that was enough for him to leapfrog Graham Johncock and sit just outside the top 20 Crows goal-scorers of all time.
Brodie Smith also kicked one goal and that took him to level with Troy Bond, and Rory Atkins’ one goal drew him equal to Ben Hart and team-mate Sam Jacobs.
For Richmond, Dustin Martin (two) now has 231 goals and Josh Caddy (one) has caught Stephen James on 78 majors. Recruited from Waverley, James kicked his 78 goals in 77 games, retiring in 1990.
Friday night’s game between Essendon and Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium also went according to script, except that Essendon won without Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti kicking a goal. This is the first time that has happened this year.
Adam Saad kicked his first goal for Essendon after 33 games, and Conor Glass booted his first goal for Hawthorn after 13 games.
Only one elite goal-kicker, Orazio Fantasia, kicked goals for Essendon and his two majors meant he left behind Gary Moorcroft, Vince Irwin and Murray Exelby and moved to outright 71st on the Bombers’ all-time top 100 goal-kickers list.
Three of Hawthorn’s elite kicked one goal each: Luke Breust, Jack Gunston and Paul Puopolo.
The third game of the round in Townsville held very little interest from a final eight point of view, but was the second meeting of the year for the Gold Coast Suns and St Kilda.
The Saints won the first encounter by one point and the two teams again put on a close contest with St Kilda winning again, this time by four points.
The Saints would have you believe that – as they are only one win away from the eight – they are a chance to play finals but even at this stage, with a terrible percentage, they would need everything to go their way to be a chance.
Tim Membrey with three goals stole the march on his goalless fellow forward Josh Bruce and now leads the club’s current goal-kicking list with 149.
Jack Billings scored two goals in a quality display and is now level with Travis Payze.