Crows beat Collingwood by 27 points in AFL

Adelaide maintained their hold on top spot of the AFL ladder with a rollicking 27-point win over Collingwood on Saturday at Etihad Stadium.

For the second week in a row, the Crows were irrepressible and gave every indication they would make a prompt return to finals under new coach Phil Walsh.

The only sour point for the visitors was a nasty concussion to Brodie Smith, whose head collided with Travis Varcoe’s leg in a fourth-quarter tackle.

The Crows’ inaccuracy and four meaningless late goals to the Magpies were the only factors that stopped the margin blowing out.

From the outset of the 12.18 (90) to 9.9 (63) triumph, the visitors overwhelmed and outclassed their opposition.

They hunted in numbers, stuck tackles, hit packs with reckless abandon and created turnovers all over the park with relentless pressure.

The Crows seemed to always have a glut of options with the ball in hand due to their restless running and confidence to play on and take the game on.

As was the case against North Melbourne in round one, Smith, Patrick Dangerfield, Rory Sloane and Richard Douglas were some of Adelaide’s prime movers.

Sloane and Dangerfield tallied 30 possessions each, while Dangerfield finished with two goals and eight clearances.

Last week, skipper Taylor Walker booted six goals and was best on ground.

This time around, the Crows had already built a 32-point lead in the second term when Walker kicked the first of his two goals.

Collingwood’s plight wasn’t helped by a hamstring injury to Ben Sinclair, with substitute Paul Seedsman called into action shortly before quarter-time.

At times, it looked like a training drill but, before that, both sides started scrappily and the first goal didn’t come until the 13th minute.

It was worth the wait.

Eddie Betts plucked the ball off Alan Toovey, found space near the boundary line and converted from an acute angle.

The Magpies trailed by 22 points at the first break.

Never before had the Crows held Collingwood goalless in an opening term.

Jarryd Blair kicked the opening goal of the second quarter to reduce the gap to 19 points.

The hosts never managed to get closer or looked like getting close.

The Crows next face Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs and are shaping up well to be 4-0 when they face Port Adelaide in round five.

Captain Scott Pendlebury was a standout for the hosts with 32 touches, while fourth-gamer Adam Oxley impressed on the half-back flank.

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