1. Chayce puts his hand up for Round One debut 

Tasmanian Chayce Jones was the youngest player in Crows colours on Friday night, but displayed composure well beyond his years during a purple patch in the second quarter.

The 19-year-old showed exactly why he was a top 10 draft selection, setting up Adelaide’s first goal of the second term with a precision pass to Rory Sloane – taking his time to properly assess all available options before spotting up the Crows co-captain.

Jones then hit the scoreboard himself after hunting big-bodied Giant Adam Tomlinson in the goalsquare, forcing the ball to spill and ultimately create an easy finish from close range. 

Minutes later, he popped up again at the other end of the field using his impressive closing speed to effect a goal-saving tackle on Giant Stephen Coniglio. 

At half-time, Jones only had four disposals to his name. But he made them count, going at 100 per cent efficiency whilst recording two inside 50s, a goal and a goal assist.

The Launceston product also had five tackles to his name in the half, an eye-catching stat for a first-year player with only Sloane ahead of him with six.

Jones finished with nine disposals, two inside 50s and two goals, and continued to present himself and showcase a strong footy IQ to put him well and truly in the frame for an early season debut.

2. Lock him in, Junior

Many Crows fans watching from their living rooms were left bemused by the commentary team in Canberra discussing whether Wayne Milera Junior was a lock for Round One. 

The 21-year-old enjoyed a breakout season in 2018 after shifting to half-back, averaging nearly 20 disposals per game and proving near impossible for opposition players to tackle. 

Milera has enjoyed a strong pre-season over the summer, finishing first and equal-first in the Club’s 2km time trials either side of Christmas, his fitness levels suggesting he was ready to take his game to even greater levels.

If there was even a hint of conjecture around Milera’s spot in Don Pyke’s 22 in Round One, surely that has been dispelled with his emphatic performance against the Giants.

‘Junior’ finished with 29 disposals at a perfect 100 per cent efficiency. He also had eight marks, eight intercept possessions and kicked a goal.

He’s a lock. You can throw away the key, too.

3. Crows treat clash as full Round One dress rehearsal

Although 26 Crows boarded Thursday’s flight to the nation’s capital, senior assistant Scott Camporeale indicated a preference to get minutes into the legs of 22-23 players and treat the JLT2 clash as a ‘full dress rehearsal’ for Round One. 

His statement came to fruition, with 23 players all registering 80 minutes of game time or more.

This left midfielder Cam Ellis-Yolmen, emerging forward Darcy Fogarty and ruckman Reilly O’Brien to bide their time on the interchange bench.

Fox Footy’s cameras caught Ellis-Yolmen entertaining himself on the sidelines during the second quarter, using a Gatorade towel to provide O’Brien with a new fashion accessory.

It wasn’t all laughs, with Ellis-Yolmen and Fogarty both taking the field in the final quarter, for 18 and 20 minutes respectively, as the Crows defeated the Giants by 18 points. 

The trio then had to stay on Manuka Oval to complete stride throughs as the rest of the team headed inside the rooms. 

4. The Crouch brothers continue to accumulate

In Adelaide’s first JLT game against the Power, Matt and Brad Crouch were the top two disposal getters on the field with 61 between them (Matt 32, Brad 29).

Against the Giants, they had even more of the football with 69 disposals between them (Matt 38, Brad 31). Even more impressive is that both went above 80 per cent disposal efficiency.

The Beaufort ball magnets set an AFL-VFL record in 2017 for most disposals in a season between two brothers when they shared 1,201 between them. 

With both firing on all cylinders again after Brad missed the entirety of last season, Crows fans are licking their lips at the prospect of unleashing a full-strength midfield group in the season opener against Hawthorn in a fortnight and throughout 2019.

Don’t forget about Brodie Smith either, with the rebounding defender in fine form tallying another 27 disposals and a game-high 656 metres gained againt the Giants.

5. Another slow start. Another impressive response.

In last weekend’s JLT Community Series opener, Adelaide allowed Port Adelaide to kick four of the first five goals to open up a 19-point lead in the opening quarter.

The Crows then lifted a gear with eight of the next 11 goals to turn the deficit into a 22-point lead at half-time in Port Pirie.

On Friday night, Adelaide allowed the home side to get the jump with three of the first four goals despite having over 80 per cent time in forward half in the opening 10 minutes.

While they weren’t able to turn territorial dominance into scoreboard impact, the Crows would eventually hit the mark and respond emphatically with the next eight goals to open up a 38-point lead at three-quarter time.

The Crows can perhaps be excused for taking the foot off the pedal in both final quarters of the JLT Series, but have showed an ability to control the tempo of the game when required and turn defence into attack with six of Adelaide’s 10 goals against the Giants launched from the back half.

From the fans…






The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs