Crows lose again as Saints break Adelaide Oval drought

The Crows remain without a win this season after plunging to club-record depths with a 23-point loss to St Kilda at Adelaide Oval.

The Crows have now lost seven matches to open a season — their worst start since the club’s inception — with the Saints posting a commanding 12.6 (78) to 8.7 (55) triumph.

And the Crows are now on the club’s longest losing streak, with nine consecutive defeats across two seasons.

The Saints got their season ahead of the curve — four wins and three losses — after repelling a late surge from the Crows to record their maiden win at Adelaide Oval.

Dan Butler (three goals) and Max King (two goals) were attacking threats, while midfielders Jack Steele (26 disposals, 13 clearances) and Zak Jones (20 disposals, six clearances) were superb.

And the Saints’ defence was tight all night with youngsters Hunter Clark (14 disposals) and Ben Paton (16 touches) prominent.

Adelaide had few highlights to take away from the match, with Taylor Walker booting three goals and Shane McAdam kicking two.

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The two sides had taken the field only hours after the AFL community was rocked by the news former Richmond player Shane Tuck had died at the age of 38.

St Kilda’s Jones produced a powerhouse opening term to propel the visitors to a 3.2 to 1.2 quarter-time lead.

Jones’s 10 first-term disposals featured five clearances — three from centre bounces — and three inside 50s, the last a lace-out pass to emerging spearhead King, who converted after the siren.

Adelaide’s sole goal from the opening quarter came from a dubious shepherding free kick to ex-captain Walker.

He kicked another 15 seconds into the second term and when teammate Rory Laird, in his 150th AFL match, converted a set-shot the Crows were just six points down.

But St Kilda then accelerated with three unanswered majors to create a 26-point break.

St Kilda led by 16 points at the final change and appeared safe when 22 up after Dean Kent goaled within a minute of the final term.

The Crows then rallied with majors to McAdam and Walker reducing their deficit to nine points with 10 minutes remaining and lifting the 18,173-strong crowd.

But the Saints responded with substance and in style, scoring three goals in a five-minute span to settle the result.

AAP/ABC