New Adelaide coach Don Pyke is deflecting any kudos for a breakthrough 58-point belting of arch rivals Port Adelaide.
Pyke banked his first win as an AFL head coach on Saturday, a 22.12 (144) to 11.20 (86) pummeling of Port at Adelaide Oval.
“I’m obviously really happy,” Pyke said.
“It was a really even, consistent performance by our guys today. And that is the sort of team-first approach that we have been talking to the players about.”
Pyke’s Crows mauled Port from the start: Eddie Betts kicked the initial two goals to set a lopsided tone for Saturday’s Adelaide Oval grudge match.
Midway through the second term, Adelaide held a commanding 10-goal lead and the fixture, attended by 51,585 spectators, lost its fizz.
Betts finished with five goals, Tom Lynch snared six, while Josh Jenkins slotted four as Adelaide’s attack hit top gear against a misfiring Port.
The trio feasted on regular scoring chances offered by a dominant Crows midfield led by Scott Thompson (29 disposals) and Matt Crouch (24 touches) while utility Rory Laird (33 possessions) was outstanding.
“From the start were aggressive around the contest which allowed us to win our share of the ball,” Pyke said.
“And then our forwards were able to go to work.”
Port’s brilliant forward Chad Wingard limped from the field because of a hamstring problem on a bleak day for the Power.
“We were cautious because the game was out of reach and he had some hamstring tightness,” Port coach Ken Hinkley said of Wingard.
” … Chad wanted to go back on the ground but 10 goals down, you make a decision for the long term for the rest of the season and we did that.”
Port’s performance was highlighted by a four-goal recall from Aaron Young and prominent midfield displays by Robbie Gray (37 disposals, one goal) and Ollie Wines (two goals, 27 touches).
But Hinkley couldn’t find much to like in the heavy loss.
“I’m sure Don (Pyke) would have been really pleased with the way they played most parts of the game,” he said.
“We were equally displeased with the ways we played.
“We had a really poor day today, there is no hiding from that.”
Port host Essendon on Friday night while Adelaide meet Richmond in Melbourne next Saturday.