An injury depleted Gold Coast may not be the best form gauge but Adelaide coach Don Pyke still liked what he saw in the Crows’ 75-point AFL win on Saturday.
Adelaide were never threatened by a plucky but outclassed Suns as Taylor Walker kicked five majors, topping the Crows’ list of 13 different goal kickers.
The result seemed inevitable after Adelaide went into the Metricon Stadium clash as unbackable $1.04 favourites against a Suns outfit with just five AFL-listed players available for reserves duty.
Yet Pyke still ran the rule over the Crows on Saturday after disappointing back-to-back losses against Western Bulldogs and Geelong.
Adelaide could not put the Suns away despite the hosts adding to their horror injury list, losing Darcy Macpherson (knee) and Callum Ah Chee (concussion) by the second term.
Pyke still walked away from the 22.17 (149) to 11.8 (74) win in front of 11,692 believing Adelaide were back on track.
“It was a game where we needed a bit of a response from how we played the last couple of weeks – I thought as a group that they did that,” he said.
“We appreciate the Gold Coast situation at the moment is difficult.
“(But) we saw some positive signs today.”
Wayne Milera and Mitch McGovern both bagged three goals as Adelaide shared around the majors but resisted the temptation to break their structure and queue up for them against a gutsy Suns.
“That’s been one of our key strengths this year. When we’ve won we’ve generally had a really even contribution,” Pyke said.
“That stood out again today.
“We had guys who had an impact on the game at various stages.”
Unfortunately for Adelaide, a goal-less Eddie Betts was not one of them.
“We’ve always relied on that even contribution,” Pyke said.
“Eddie will have his days when he kicks three or four, other days Josh Jenkins does – today Tex (Walker) did.
“Today we had a nice even spread – that’s when we play our best footy.”
Ruckman Sam Jacobs (29 hitouts), Tom Lynch (22 touches, 10 marks, two goals) and Daniel Talia (23 touches, one goal) also impressed for Adelaide.
The Crows dominated inside 50s (71-35) to ensure they maintained a perfect 9-0 record against the Suns.
It was the Gold Coast’s sixth straight loss.
The Suns’ Peter Wright (15 touches, nine marks, three goals) tried hard in an outclassed side.