Tiger trouble: Crows heap on the pain, but at a cost
Depleted Richmond gave Adelaide a massive scare but their against-the-odds bravery wasnt enough to stop the Crows from running away with a 33-point victory, although one which came at a massive cost.
Adelaide endured injuries to small forward Lachlan Murphy (teeth) in the opening term, full-back Daniel Talia (quad) in the third and defender Jake Kelly (calf) in the last.
Then inside the last minute, four-goal hero Josh Jenkins sustained a suspected serious knee injury, dampening the Crows mood significantly.
Eroded for manpower with 13 players sidelined, the Tigers were clearly desperate to avoid a third successive defeat after being thumped by Geelong last Friday night and shocked by North Melbourne a week earlier.
But when the Crows, wasteful early, finally found their radar with a withering third-term challenge and fourth-quarter flourish, Richmond suddenly found themselves off the pace – and possibly out of the premiership race.
The Tigers sliced the gap to four points midway through the term before co-captain Rory Sloane goaled after a towering mark.
Josh Jenkins nailed two in a row and Eddie Betts produced a trademark miracle from his scoreboard pocket.
The Tigers had been humming early, slotting the first three goals before Josh Jenkins 55-metre bomb reduced the visitors quarter-time lead to 12 points.
Matt Crouch had 24 first-half disposals and Adelaide had a 17-5 second-quarter advantage in inside-50s at one stage but their waywardness denied them what should have been a handy half-time buffer.
Jenkins – who snared a fine pack mark before shanking the set-shot sitter – and Taylor Walker were the main culprits, before Eddie Betts got on the board to give the Crows the lead, only for Richmond to steal the momentum and the half-time lead with a couple of late goals to Dan Butler and Dan Rioli.
A fortnight ago, giant-slaying Adelaide ruckman Reilly OBrien more than held his own against Melbourne giant Max Gawn in Darwin, then last Saturday took GWS man mountain Shane Mumford to the cleaners.
Richmonds inexperienced combination of Noah Balta and Mabior Chol wouldnt have provided as many sleepless nights for OBrien, who did what was expected and dominated the taps.
Long-time ruck understudy OBriens outstanding form has been a key to Adelaides impressive recent form and has ensured Sam Jacobs will continue to cool his heels in the SANFL as the new No.2.
Lachlan Murphy is probably too short to embark on a future modelling career but his prospects werent helped when he copped some friendly fire early in the match. The 176cm, 76kg Murphy came off the park after having three teeth significantly loosened following an accidental collision with 193cm, 100kg team-mate Taylor Walker.
Murphy was sent from the stadium to undergo dental work and took no further part in the match.
TIGER CUBS SHOW SOME PLUCK
Two months ago to the day, the second-string Tigers arrived at Adelaide Oval without their big four – Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin, Jack Riewoldt and Alex Rance – for the first time since Round 3, 2008.
On that occasion, Jack Ross pieced togetRead More – Source