Was it the Brisbane Lions and the West Coast Suns on the Adelaide Oval for the first qualifying final in the Toyota 2017 AFL Premiership competition?
The 84 – 48 final score would seem to indicate a game of a very different nature from the one the Crows typically produce. They alone scored more than the 132 total in Round 1, when they trounced the Giants 147 – 91. They also scored above 132 in Rounds, four, five, six, nine and 10, so it is possible that they left their boots on the Eagles’ ground in the final game of the home-and-away season.
Nonetheless, a win is a win and the Crows now move on to the first preliminary final to await either the Swans, Bombers, Cats or Tigers. It would appear that the Crows have switched their focus to defense, as they held the giants to six goals and 12 behinds.
The Giants, meanwhile, will play semifinal one against the winner of the game between the Port Adelaide Power and the West Coast Eagles. The Giants will need to find some offence, as they could score only 11 points in the first half.
The Crows – Giants match, statistically speaking, was much closer than the score seems to indicate. All the important stats were relatively even, with the one glaring exception being kicking efficiency, where the Crows held a 65 to 59 percent advantage.
South Australians may want to know that there were only about 700 unfilled seats at the Adelaide Oval.
Perhaps the Crows can find those 700 for their first home preliminary final and the road to the first Grand Final in 19 years. If they can go all the way, they will earn their third premiership since going back-to-back in 1997 – 98. The Crows last made the preliminary finals back in 2012, where they lost to the Hawthorn Hawks.
The Crows may have to play on without attacking half-back flanker Brodie Smith. Smith suffered a knee injury and the suspicion is that he has a torn ACL, which would call time on the rest of the season.
Forward Eddie Betts continued his propensity to torment the Giants, kicking three goals and setting up a couple for his teammates.