Adelaide AFL stoush to raise tackle talk - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Adelaide AFL stoush to raise tackle talk

By Adam Cooper and Daniel Brettig 06/04/2008 09:41:25 PM Comments (0)

The debates over interchange restrictions and laws governing fair tackles are sure to be given added life by Adelaide's physically crunching AFL victory over Port Adelaide to round off the rivalry round.

The Crows staggered off AAMI Stadium as six-point winners, 12.13 (85) to 11.13 (79), following a second half in which they were only able to complete 17 interchange rotations as opposed to Port Adelaide's more routine 39.

Injuries to Nathan Bassett (concussion), Luke Jericho (heavy knock), Kris Massie (hamstring) and Jason Porplyzia (shoulder) left the Crows with as few as 19 fit players, and coach Neil Craig described his team's effort as "enormous".

"What the supporters saw from our footy club was enormous, enormous effort from our playing group," he said.

"In a day and age of rotations before halftime we were down to 19 men and we had a total of 17 rotations in the second half or something like that.

"Yet we had plus 17 for contested ball in the second half, to our advantage, so they (supporters) should be proud of our playing group, proud of our club and proud of themselves for coming."

The Power responded in no uncertain terms to allegations they had a soft centre, and at times it seemed every physical clash would result in a Crows player lying prostrate on the ground.

Matt Thomas was reported for a fierce tackle that threw a helpless Bassett face first into the turf, an incident uncannily similar to that in round four of 2007 when then Melbourne player Byron Pickett left Kane Cornes dazed.

Pickett was deemed to have no case to answer, but Thomas' case will be a test of what the AFL deems dangerous conduct in a game that moves ever faster.

The Demons took some honour in defeat, as the massacre many expected was averted despite the Demons not being good enough to match Geelong at Skilled Stadium.

The Cats posted a comfortable 30-point win on the day they unfurled their 2007 premiership flag, despite only producing glimpses of the play that took them to last year's triumph.

Tom Hawkins booted five goals in the Cats' 16.16 (112) to 12.10 (82) victory, and Joel Corey, Gary Ablett, Jimmy Bartel and Paul Chapman all had an over-abundance of the ball yet never quite used it sharply.

Melbourne booted the first three goals of the game and got within five points in the third quarter, but just as pigs were beginning to grow wings, the Cats pulled away.

Collingwood also posted a comfortable win, as they set up a 44-point victory of Richmond with a dominant first-half performance at the MCG.

The Magpies led by as many as 56 points in the first half before they won 18.14 (122) to 11.12 (78), with Anthony Rocca, Dale Thomas and Paul Medhurst all booting three goals.

Melbourne could again blame some atrocious skills and an inability to get the basics right for their third successive defeat, but coming after losses of 104 points to Hawthorn and 95 to the Western Bulldogs, this one was not too hard to swallow.

Geelong are one of three sides unbeaten after round three.

The Hawks topped the ladder for the third successive week after coming from behind to beat North Melbourne 15.12 (102) to 13.8 (86) at Telstra Dome, with Lance Franklin booting five goals and Jarryd Roughead four.

The Bulldogs are the other unbeaten side, having charged over the top of St Kilda on Friday night, winning 19.11 (125) to 13.9 (87) after trailing by 37 points early in the game.

Fremantle posted their first win of the season, after downing West Coast 12.15 (87) to 10.13 (73) at Subiaco Oval.

Sydney continued their good form in beating the Brisbane Lions 13.10 (88) to 10.11 (71) at the Gabba despite Lion Daniel Bradshaw's five goals.

Essendon outgunned Carlton 23.12 (150) to 21.8 (134) at the MCG, which condemned their old foe to a 14th successive defeat.

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