Adelaide cruised to a commanding 62-point win against Port Adelaide in an historic Hostplus SANFL League Showdown at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.
Michael Godden’s men, fresh off a 63-point triumph against the Magpies a week earlier, were almost able to repeat the dose to ensure their first meeting against the Magpies in a season opener would be a memorable one.
Adelaide captain Matthew Wright kicked the opening two goals of the game en route to a match-high haul of five as Shane McAdam and Riley Thilthorpe booted three majors each.
There were plenty of highlights for Crows fans who arrived early to witness the curtain-raiser to the AFL clash, none better than McAdam’s massive leap to mark over the top of Magpie Tom Corcoran in the final term.
First-year draftee Luke Nankervis managed to snare an eye-catching mark in the third term while Jake Soligo finished off nicely to extend the margin to 43 points with the opening goal of the fourth quarter.
Last year’s The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year ruckman Kieran Strachan started the game strongly, getting the ball moving for the likes of development player Jay Boyle (29 disposals, seven clearances and a goal) and Sam Berry (28 disposals, nine clearances and 12 tackles).
Wright finished with 19 disposals and 10 marks to go with his five goals while fellow SANFL-contracted veterans Louis Sharrad, Chris Hall and Jacob Templeton all had an influence on the result.
Thilthorpe was constructive further up the ground while getting involved in scoring chains before finishing with 16 disposals and six marks to go with his three goals while Soligo finished with 21 disposals.
Port Adelaide’s inaccuracy didn’t help it to stay in touch with the fast-starting Crows, before fading late in the contest with Xavier Duursma off the ground with what appeared to be a shoulder concern.
The Magpies welcome the return of Anthony Wilson to SANFL ranks, with the Norwood premiership player booting three of his team’s eight goals, two of them worthy of landing on the highlight reel.
Wilson’s first came from a snap after initially being smothered on his first attempt, his third coming after a failed attempt to take a screamer, while lying on his back on the goalline.
But the veteran’s heroics weren’t enough to drag his side back into the contest despite the best efforts of Jase Burgoyne, who found 22 disposals playing chiefly across half-back.
Hardnut midfielder Miles Bergman and skipper Cam Sutcliffe battled hard for 21 disposals each while Luke Surman showed promising signs in the first half playing in a new role at half-back.
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