TAYLOR Walker has booted four goals for Adelaide to grind out a 29-point AFL win over undermanned St Kilda at Marvel Stadium.
The Saints started brightly on Saturday afternoon but lost Jack Lonie to injury in the first quarter and couldn’t stay with the Crows, who booted five goals to two in the final term for a 15.7 (97) to 10.8 (68) victory in front of 28,421 fans.
Adelaide led by 11 points at three-quarter time and kicked the first five goals of the last quarter to score their ninth win in a row over St Kilda and even their season record at three wins and three losses.
Lonie left the game late in the first quarter after his right leg buckled in a marking contest on the patch of turf that was replaced by ground staff following the controversial opening to the season.
He will undergo scans despite the club quickly allaying initial fears of an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Walker’s return to form continued, the Crows co-captain a constant threat in attack where Lachie Murphy also booted three majors while, at the other end, Alex Keath starred with 21 touches and 14 marks.
The Crouch boys, Matt and Brad, were the prime movers in the middle with 36 and 30 possessions respectively.
Shane Savage led the way for St Kilda with 30 disposals with Seb Ross, who captained the side in place of the injured Jarryn Geary, also influential with 26 touches.
Matt Parker continued to build his reputation as a livewire crowd favourite, the forward taking two superb marks and kicking three goals.
Don Pyke saw enough warning signs in St Kilda’s slick start that he relocated from the coaches’ box to the interchange bench.
The Saints were all over the sluggish visitors, but let themselves down in front of goal and only led by six points at quarter-time.
The Crows made them pay in a five-goals-to-two second term, Pyke’s men more eager to play on and take more risks on their way to a 13-point halftime lead.
The brave Saints kept themselves in it with the last two goals of the third quarter, but their challenge faded in the final term.
Both sides made late changes, Bryce Gibbs out for Adelaide with gastro and an ill Rowan Marshall missing for St Kilda. Jordan Gallucci and Billy Longer replaced them respectively.
© AAP 2019
ADELAIDE 3.0 8.1 10.6 15.7 (97)
ST KILDA 3.6 5.6 8.7 10.8 (68)
Goals: Adelaide: T Walker 4 L Murphy 3 E Betts 2 E Himmelberg 2 H Greenwood J Gallucci R Knight T Lynch. St Kilda: M Parker 3 T Membrey 2 B Long B Paton D Kent J Gresham J Steven.
Official Crowd: 28,421 at Marvel Stadium.