Hi all, and welcome to my live coverage of tonight's game between the West Coast Eagles and the Adelaide Crows at Domain Stadium.
For those of you that are returning to my blog for my thoughts, you would have noticed that I've been away for a couple of weeks. Life has been busy, and I've had very little time to watch a game, let alone jump onto Fans Unite and write an article about it. Hopefully I'll have more time in the coming weeks!
If you haven't seen my live articles before, prepare for a long night. I will be going from first bounce to final siren, providing live updates on the game, stats, photos and videos from Twitter (where available).
This promises to be a very emotionally charged game, with both teams having the services of the late Phil Walsh. Both teams will want to run out and give it their all, but remember, a footy game is as much mental as it is physical, so there will be times where players will need to keep their cool, and that's what I believe will win this game. I'm betting on West Coast by 10-19 points.
Here's the Adelaide boys warming up before heading out to the ground:
The game will start with a minute's silence, out of respect to Phil Walsh. Except for maybe one crying baby, that was perfectly observed.
Adelaide Crows have won the toss.
-West Coast with both the first clearance, and the first inside 50 for the night, but the Crows are able to lock it in.
-LeCras goes for a soccer towards goal, but it floats across and hits the behind post.
-A poor clearance outside defensive 50 from Adelaide leads to a re-entry and a mark straight onto LeCras' chest.
-GOAL: LeCras lines up his shot, and thought it hangs in the air near the goal line, it makes it over by a metre before being touched.
-GOAL: A rebound 50 from West Coast leads to a marking contest for Darling, who taps down to Yeo at ground level, and he slots it home.
-GOAL: West Coast win the ball inside their own 50 after turning it over, and there's way too many Eagles free, Priddis receives and kicks the goal. WCE 18, Adl 0.
-West Coast leading the clearance count early, 6-2, and it shows with how much time they're spending in their half of the ground.
-GOAL: The Eagles turn the ball over trying to get out of defensive 50, but it comes back at them as Charlie Cameron marks 15 metres out from goal. He kicks through the ball and the Crows get their first.
-GOAL: The Crows bring it back from their defensive 50 straight through the corridor, and West Coast are left lacking defenders. Charlie Cameron snaps on his right for his second. WCE 18, Adl 12.
-Cameron rushes a snap on his left to get his third in a few minutes, but it's touched and goes out for a throw-in.
-BEHIND: The ball falls out of a pack to Mackay, he snaps but it's only a minor.
-GOAL: Darling takes a good contested mark a few metres inside the 50 metre paint. He goes back and makes no mistake as it flies through for a goal.
-GOAL: A kick while being bumped inside 50 from Cameron ends up in a mark for Jenkins and two Eagles on the floor, he does the unselfish thing and handballs off to to captain, and Walker gets his first.
-The Crows are winning a lot more possession now after barely touching the ball in the first ten minutes.
-GOAL: Crows push forward hard, Betts takes the mark deep in he pocket, trusts his instincts, runs around, snaps, and it's a trademark Betts goal! Adelaide are ahead for the first time in the game. WCE 24, Adl 25.
-GOAL: West Coast are left without players at the back again, as Lynch pops the ball in front of Walker, who has space to let the ball bounce, collect, straighten up and kick his second.
-A big bomb from Dangerfield on the wing has hit Jenkins about 20 metres out from goal This is for 4 in a row.
-GOAL: Jenkins takes his time, puts it on the boot, and it is 4 in a row to the Crows. Can't count out West Coast at Domain though. It's only early. WCE 24, Adl 37.
-BEHIND: Lynch has space in the forward 50, does the team thing and passes to Wright a lot closer to goal. It's a tight angle though, and his drop punt misses on the near side.
-Not much time for West Coast to get it out, it's quarter time and the Crows lead. WCE 24, Adl 38.
Adelaide quarter time stats:
-BEHIND: Josh Kennedy takes a chest mark inside 50 in front of his defender. He stutters to the kick, it looks good but it hits the post.
-GOAL: Adelaide can't get it out of defensive 50, it results in a snapped goal from Gaff in a contest.
-Looks like Dangerfield might have lost a tooth, a lot of blood streaming from his mouth.
-GOAL: Yeo takes an uncontested mark on the edge of the centre square, holds up play while team-mates flood the forward 50. He goes for Kennedy, but LeCras intercepts, has some space, and runs into the open goal. WCE 37, Adl 38.
-BEHIND: An attempt at a big grab Naitanui from results in LeCras picking up the ball at ground level, but he fires wide.
-BEHIND: A turnover on the wing leads to an inside 50 for West Coast, which ends up on Hill's chest with his defender about 5 metres away. He goes back but can't fire straight.
-GOAL: A missed handball after the kick-in gets to LeCras, who hands off to Yeo and he snaps it through. WCE 45, Adl 38.
-Dangerfield has come out of the rooms and is back on the field. No word yet on if it is a knocked out tooth.
-GOAL: Darling kicks a goal after he wins a 50 metre penalty on the wing. Took a clear mark, then Laird slung him to the ground. The Eagles have come out firing in this second term.
-BEHIND: Naitanui gets a clean hit from the ruck, doesn't take long to get into Cripps' hands, but he can't shoot straight.
-A head clash ends up in Lever having blood flowing from his head. Off he goes with the blood rule.
-Cripps gets the ball again inside 50, this time when he takes the shot, he puts it across the face and out on the full.
-West Coast win a free kick just outside their attacking 50, Kennedy has acres of space ahead of him, and his lead is rewarded with a mark.
-GOAL: Kennedy gets it right, and that's 5 in a row to the Eagles. WCE 58, Adl 38.-BEHIND: Kennedy's mark is rewarded again, but this time he can't produce the goods, shooting across the face.
-GOAL: A turnover from the kick-in (again) winds up with Selwood, who bombs it home from 45 metres out. WCE 65, Adl 38.
-The inside 50 count for this quarter so far is WCE 16, Adl 3. No wonder Adelaide haven't scored if all they're doing is defending.
-RUSHED BEHIND: Priddis gets possession just outside 50, bombs it to the top of the square, but it just gets slapped through in the end.
-GOAL: Another intercept possession from a kick-in to the Eagles, Wellingham picks it up, has a look, and kicks the goal from 50. WCE 72, Adl 38.
-GOAL: A long ball from the centre square goes into the Eagle's forward 50 over everyone's head, Hill wins the foot race and dribbles into an empty goal.
-BEHIND: Adelaide's first scored for the quarter is a snapped behind from Douglas.
-Dangerfield with a good spoil on the wing to stop West Coast pushing forward any further on the counter attack.
-BEHIND: LeCras goes for goal, but it dribbles into the post.
-The half-time siren goes, and I'm sure the Crows players were wishing it would have gone 10 minutes ago. The Eagles dominated that quarter, 55 points to 1. WCE 79, Adl 39.
What do you think of the game so far? Leave a comment below and keep the conversation going!
-GOAL: Early extra advantage to the Eagles, as Shuey snaps from out of the pack to kick the first goal of the second half.
-GOAL: Wright gathers the ball on the wing, has about 40 metres of space, steadies, and kicks the Crows' first goal since the first quarter.
-GOAL: After a horts shot at goal from outside 50, the Eagles keep it from going too far, and bring it back onto Gaff's chest. He finishes a good period of play for the Eagles with a goal. WCE 91, Adl 45.
-GOAL: Lucky result for the Crows. Jenkins marks on the 50, but doesn't turn around to see Wright in the goal square on his own. He goes to Lynch instead, and he makes to play not look as bad as it could have been.
-BEHIND: Shepard gathers in the Eagles' forward pocket, snaps at goal, but it hits the post.
-Dangerfield is playing well in the Crows' defensive 50, clean hands and mostly effective possessions.
-2-on-1 in the Crows' favour inside their forward 50, but Schofield does well to cause the boundary throw-in.
-Hill with a wasted disposal, putting it out on the full on the wing.
-GOAL: A bit of pack work and not giving up ends up in a sweeping handball over a pack, ends up with captain Walker, and he kicks his third goal in an empty goal square. WCE 92, Adl 57.
-West Coast have had the ball in their forward 50 for the last few minutes, but Adelaide's defense has been stronger than it has been for the rest of the night.
-BEHIND: Cameron passes to Betts, who uses his body well to take a mark against Schofield. The kick leaves something to be desired though.
-RUSHED BEHIND: West Coast turn it over from the kick in, a long kick goes to the goal square, but it's fumbled over the line.
-RUSHED BEHIND: Selwood takes a shot from outside 50 that looks to be going out, but it falls short, off hands and through for a behind.
-GOAL: Gaff in the beneficiary from a few handballs around the pack, takes the shot on his left and it's good. WCE 99, Adl 59.
-GOAL: A bit of quick thinking from Lynch in Adelaide's forward pocket, gives it to Smith on a better angle but further out. Smith's kick is good, and the margin is 34.
-GOAL: Adelaide get it quickly out of the middle, a few good handballs out of the middle, and young Knight kicks his first AFL goal, and Adelaide's second within a minute!
-Adelaide have activated their sub:
-BEHIND: Cripps receives the ball around the 50 metre mark, doesn't think too much about it and slaps it on the boot. It's straight, but some last second defending saves the Crows another goal against.
-It's three-quarter-time, and the Crows would be breathing a sigh of relief, as they were defending hard only 20 metres out from West Coast's goal as the siren blew. WCE 100, Adl 71.
-GOAL: Eagles win the centre clearance, go inside 50, Crows get it out but it comes straight back. The ball winds up with Yeo, who dribbles one through from virtually the behind post.
-GOAL: Two quick ones as Nic Nat dominates in the centre again, Shuey has some space inside the square, runs to 50 and slams it home.
-Other than the back end of the first quarter, Adelaide have found it hard to score, and this game could be out of their reach.
-BEHIND: Hurn gathers the ball around 50, takes a long shot, and it looks good, but it floats across the face. WCE 113, Adl 71.
-GOAL: West Coast have it near 50 on the boundary, and no-one picks up Sheed straight in front at about 40 metres out. He lines up and kicks the Eagles' third for the quarter inside 4 minutes on the clock.
-GOAL: Mostly pretty, almost sloppy at the end, but West Coast is afforded too much space inside 50, and it ends in a goal for Marsten. WCE 125, Adl 71.
-Commentators just brought up a neat stat. West Coast have now taken more intercept marks inside their forward 50 than any other team in the league this year.
-West Coast have activated their sub:
-BEHIND: Hill has a bit of space and men free around him, takes the shot on himself, but hooks it through for a behind.
-GOAL: Knight is the last man in the chain heading down the wing for the Crows, he takes the mark, and kicks his second of the night on debut.
-GOAL: Kennedy takes a mark at the back of a pack in the Eagles' forward 50 pocket. He plays on quickly, snaps, and kicks his 50th goal for the season. WCE 132, Adl 77.
-GOAL: A ball inside 50 goes over everyone's heads, it looks good for a goal, but Cripps gets a boot onto it right at the goal-line with a defender hot on him.
-Apart from 10-15 minutes in the first quarter, this game has belonged to the Eagles. No way back for Adelaide, and the question is, will the coach/players claim that Phil Walsh was on their minds, or will they know they just didn't defend well enough?
-BEHIND: Selwood wins a free kick in a good spot inside 50. His kick seems to come off the outside of the boot as he misses to the near side.
-GOAL: Eddie Betts smashes a left-footed torpedo from outside 50, it bounces kindly, and goes through. Had to go to video review after an Eagles defender got a hand on it over the line.
-BEHIND: A quick break from the middle ends in a mark for Jenkins about 25 metres out. His shot misses on the near side.
-BEHIND: A few loose touches inside forward 50 gives Sinclair a shot at goal, but he misses.
-BEHIND: Adelaide completely muffed up bringing the ball back into play, gives Sheed a shot on goal, but his shot is wide also.
-GOAL: West Coast control the ball around their 50, and it's put inside to Hill on is chest. He lines up and makes no mistake as the margin is out over 10 goals. WCE 147, Adl 84.
-BEHIND: A quick break again out the middle for Adelaide has Dangerfield enter 50 to Eddie Betts. Betts takes the set shot but hooks it to the left.
-GOAL: Jenkins takes a good contested mark inside 50, and he gets it right. Just a consolation goal now.
-LeCras gets on a loose ball deep in the pocket, takes a shot on the outside of the boot, but puts it across the face and out on the full.
-Hill gets a shot from outside 50 after the final siren, he tries the torp, but it drops well short. Eagles have run out massive, deserving winners, the final score being WCE 147 to Adl 91.
My Man of the Match: Mark LeCras
Summary: An unfortunate game for Adelaide, they would have loved to come out tonight and run all over West Coast at Domain Stadium. As I'm writing this, both teams are heading towards the centre circle, arm in arm, to pay their respects to Phil Walsh. You can see the tears start to flow on Dangerfield's face, and you have to wonder if it just regular grieving, or if he feels the team let Walshy down tonight. Now as the Crows walk off, you see a lot of them in tears.
Back to my summary. Adelaide were sloppy at the back nearly all night, the only time they're defense didn't look leaky, was when they were playing hard, attacking football towards the end of the first quarter. The fairytale would have been for Adelaide to walk out winners, but it wasn't to be, and West Coast, who also had Phil Walsh's influence, would also be overjoyed to win this in his name.
Thank you for sticking with me throughout the game, some great scenes as both teams walk off the ground. I'll catch you next time.