Adelaide crush Fremantle in AFL mismatch

Adelaide coach Don Pyke insists he won’t be seduced by the lure of percentage as the race for top-two spots in the AFL heats up.

The Crows retained third spot on the ladder with a crushing 72-point win over Fremantle at Domain Stadium on Sunday.

Eddie Betts booted six goals and Josh Jenkins kicked five in the 21.16 (142) to 11.4 (70) rout.

The result left Adelaide just three percentage points adrift of second-placed Sydney.

Geelong are also equal on points with Adelaide and Sydney, but are 11.5 per cent behind the Swans.

Adelaide will start favourites against Port Adelaide and West Coast (home) in the final two rounds.

The Swans will also start favourites in their last two games – against North Melbourne (away) and Richmond (home).

And if ladder leaders Hawthorn drop one of their last two games, then first spot will also be up for grabs.

It means the difference percentage could end up making or breaking a team’s top-two hopes.

Adelaide have posted a series of big wins in recent weeks to significantly boost their percentage.

But Pyke insists it hasn’t been a focus, and it will continue to be a by-product of the team’s performance.

“The reality is the scoreboard will reflect how you play and how you go about playing,” Pyke said.

“So if you start focusing on scoring either for or against and what percentage looks like, I think we can get distracted from the real issues, and that is we want to play good footy.

“And if we play good footy, that will give us the result.

“And if that result is four points – great. If it can give us some percentage – happy as well.”

Fremantle remain in 16th spot with a 3-17 record.

The Dockers were dealt another blow when ruckman Aaron Sandilands failed to play out the match after his glute tightened up.

Sandilands is unlikely to front up against Greater Western Sydney at Spotless Stadium on Saturday and Matthew Pavlich will be rested for the match in preparation of his round 23 farewell game against the Bulldogs.

The Dockers were blown off the park by Adelaide’s free-wheeling display, but Michael Walters was a rare shining light with five goals.

Pavlich booted two goals to take his career tally to 699.

Crows speedster Charlie Cameron provided the highlight of the match in the fourth quarter when he took four bounces and burned off Connor Blakely to set up Jenkins’ fifth goal.

“We would have liked to have been a bit better, but we didn’t stack the back line,” Dockers coach Ross Lyon said.

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