The Bob Murphy-inspired Western Bulldogs handed Adelaide a surprise 57-point thumping in the AFL clash at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Murphy was outstanding across half-back as the slick Dogs ran the Crows to a standstill, with Jake Stringer booting six goals in the 18.17 (125) to 10.8 (68) win.
The Crows were unbeaten after three rounds and the Dogs were coming off a 70-point hiding at the hands of Hawthorn, but Phil Walsh has plenty of food for thought after his side crumbled in the face of the high-speed Bulldogs’ blitz.
Adelaide ruckman Sam Jacobs finished with 43 hitouts matched against Ayce Cordy, who was preferred to Will Minson, but the Bulldogs’ midfield made a mockery of the 48-29 hitout imbalance.
Matthew Boyd (28 possessions), Luke Dahlhaus (28) and Liam Picken (29) were key contributors on the ball, while Michael Talia kept Taylor Walker to just one goal.
Patrick Dangerfield, who didn’t receive a hard tag similar to the one applied by Melbourne, kicked Adelaide’s only goal of the first quarter five minutes in, but it was one-way traffic the other way from there.
The disciplined Dogs hunted in packs and their superior pressure forced the Crows into skill errors and poor decisions with the ball in hand.
Luke Beveridge’s men out-worked Adelaide in a blistering opening term with Stringer adding two of his side’s six goals as they bounced out to a 34-point quarter-time lead.
The Crows briefly wrested the momentum early in the second term, but the Bulldogs didn’t flinch and pushed their lead out to 47 points before Adelaide kicked two goals in the shadows of halftime to cut the deficit to 35 points at the main break.
But any flickering hope of a comeback were quickly snuffed out with Stringer slamming through another three goals to push the margin out to 75 points at three-quarter time.
One of the few disappointments for the Dogs was that Stringer was unable to add to his tally after he was subbed out with a hip complaint.
Scott Thompson had 38 touches and Eddie Betts kicked four goals for Adelaide, but they had few winners on the day, despite winning the final term.