Walker stars in AFL as Crows down North

New captain Taylor Walker kicked six goals as Adelaide ushered in their new AFL era with a 77-point pounding of North Melbourne on Sunday.

Walker ran amok as the Crows gave new coach Phil Walsh a first-up win, 21.14 (140) to 9.9 (63) at Adelaide Oval.

The key forward took 15 marks and kicked 6.5 in a commanding display – by late in the second term, he’d plucked a dozen marks and the Crows led by 69 points.

The Kangaroos rallied briefly in the third term with four consecutive goals but it was a grim day for last year’s beaten preliminary finalists.

The Crows dominated the midfield, with Richard Douglas (31 touches), Patrick Dangerfield (25 disposals), Rory Sloane (26 possessions) and Eddie Betts (four goals, 21 disposals) all influential.

Their feats helped Adelaide suffocate the Roos, despite a four-goal haul by ex-Western Bulldog Shaun Higgins on debut for his new club.

Higgins and the likes of Ben Cunnington (27 disposals) and Andrew Swallow (22 possessions) battled gamely but the Roos were swamped by tide after tide of Adelaide attack.

The Crows recorded 10 centre clearances to North’s three in a devastating opening half of football under their new boss.

Adelaide potted six majors in each term – three each to Walker and Betts – for a defining 12.10 to 3.1 halftime scoreline and the contest was effectively over.

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