Brenton Sanderson has hailed a 22-man performance in Adelaide’s 86-point demolition job of St Kilda.
After three losses, the Crows belatedly kick-started their AFL season, winning every quarter and key match-up across the ground in the 20.16 (136) to 7.8 (50) victory.
After the tough opening three weeks, coach Brenton Sanderson declared the Crows’ out-of-body experience was over.
“It felt like that was us again playing today,” he said.
“We did the basics really well, we executed the fundamentals how we planned, we turned the ball over a lot less, but most importantly ran the game out.
“We didn’t have to rely on six or seven guys playing well. We had 22 players play their role and at times it looked very exciting.
“But it’s one win in a very long season.”
While loath to pick out individuals, Sanderson said it was the best game he’d seen from David Mackay, and Brodie Smith “keeps getting better and better”.
Off-season pick-ups Eddie Betts and James Podsiadly had their best game in Crows colours, Josh Jenkins kicked four goals and Rory Sloane and Scott Thompson were destructive in the midfield.
Throw in the shut-down jobs Daniel Talia and Sam Kerridge did on Nick Riewoldt (two goals) and Leigh Montagna (17 disposals), respectively, and it’s easy to see why Sanderson is so glowing of his side’s performance.
While the 14-goal loss was the worst of Alan Richardson’s short coaching tenure, he signalled no alarm bells were ringing at St Kilda.
“This is a journey we’re on as a team and as a club and we were taught a lesson today,” he said.
“The lesson was that if you don’t turn up and give great effort, you’re a chance to get badly beaten.”
Remarkably, the Saints had just four fewer inside-50s than Adelaide but were far less potent.
After two early wins, St Kilda still has money in the bank with their fan base, and it’s clear Richardson is playing a long game.
He was most upset with an unfortunate injury to Nathan Wright, who might have broken his lower leg in a clash with teammate Jarryn Geary.
The young defender was thrown in a moon boot and Richardson speculated a 10-12 week layoff was possible.
Richardson revealed David Armitage would be 50-50 for next week’s clash with Essendon after suffering knee lacerations, though there was no structural damage.