Grieving Crows thumped by Eagles in AFL

Adelaide players have burst into tears while paying tribute to slain coach Phil Walsh after a 56-point loss to West Coast at Domain Stadium.

The Crows led by 14 points at the first break in Saturday night’s encounter, sparking hopes they could mark the occasion by securing a morale-boosting win.

But those dreams were quickly snuffed out as the Eagles slammed through eight unanswered goals in the second quarter on the way to a convincing 22.15 (147) to 14.7 (91) victory.

Adelaide’s players had no hesitation putting their body on the line, with star midfielder Patrick Dangerfield among several to spill blood.

But the visitors clearly lacked polish after spending the past eight days taking stock after the demise of their coach.

A two-week break between games also left them a tad scraggly, with numerous defensive turnovers proving costly against a slick West Coast outfit.

After the game, players from both sides linked arms in the centre circle to once more honour Walsh, who was allegedly murdered by his son last week.

The Crows burst into tears during the heart-felt tribute, with their emotions still raw as they were applauded off the ground.

“I think he would have loved the game tonight. It was contested. Adelaide were spirited,” Eagles midfielder Matt Priddis said.

Despite the emotional circumstances, Eagles coach Adam Simpson had implored his side to retain their ruthless edge.

And they responded, with the likes of Andrew Gaff, Luke Shuey, Chris Masten and Luke Shuey feasting off the dominance of Nic Naitanui.

Gaff finished with three goals from 36 disposals, while Mark LeCras produced a scintillating first half to help secure the result.

The 38,133 crowd gave a polite round of applause to Adelaide as they made their way out onto the ground before the match.

Former Eagles coach John Worsfold, who accepted the role as Adelaide’s director of coaching in the wake of Walsh’s death, even received a standing ovation as he walked up the race pre-game.

But the niceties were put on hold once the ball was bounced, with the Eagles slamming through the first three goals to take an early ascendancy.

Two quick goals to youngster Charlie Cameron sparked the Crows into action.

Skipper Taylor Walker got in on the act with two of his own, with fellow big Josh Jenkins the silent hero as he set up numerous scoring opportunities.

But any thoughts of a feel-good victory were ruthlessly ended in the second quarter as West Coast ran riot.

The Eagles scored 8.7 from their 21 inside-50s, with the Crows managing just one paltry behind from their six forays forward.

Adelaide displayed more fight in the third quarter but the last term became another romp as West Coast iced the game in style.

The result kept West Coast (11-3) in second spot, while Adelaide (7-6) are in danger of slipping out of the top eight ahead of next week’s Showdown with Port Adelaide.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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