Suns shatter their Crows hoodoo with big win at Carrara

The Gold Coast Suns have erased 10 years of club history with a first-ever win over the Adelaide Crows.

The Suns smashed an Adelaide side newly arrived in the Queensland hub, leading all day and completing a 12.10 (82) to 4.5 (29) victory.

Gold Coast had stunned everyone when they crushed the West Coast Eagles by 43 points last week at Carrara, but the test was whether the talented young side could back it up against the Crows.

On the other side, Adelaide faced some tough questioning after they were smashed by Port Adelaide in a showdown-record 75-point loss.

The expectation was that Matthew Nicks’s men would come out firing after flying into the Gold Coast hub.

But if one team came out with intensity it was not the Crows.

The Suns were dominant from virtually the opening bounce, although they struggled to make their advantage count early on the scoreboard.

Jarrod Witts may not have dominated the taps, but he led the Gold Coast midfield that hunted the ball and had too many numbers around the ball for Adelaide. At one point the count was 8-0 in inside 50s, and 9-0 in clearances.

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The home side — cheered on by a crowd of 2,000 at Carrara — was extremely impressive, but only Darcy McPherson and Ben King kicked goals in a score of 2.7 to no score after one term.

The Crows finally got on the board through Darcy Fogarty, but couldn’t add to that tally, and it was six goals to one at the long break.

Matt Rowell — who earned the Rising Star nomination with an incredible game against the Eagles — backed up with 14 disposals, five tackles and a left-foot goal from outside 50 in the first half alone.

The Suns had too much leg speed for Adelaide, but they were also capable of moving the ball quickly by hand and foot.

One such passage saw Wil Powell start with the ball in the Suns half and combine with Touk Miller, Nick Holman and Miller again before a perfect pass to King, who marked and goalled from 30 out.

The Suns were doing it easily from stoppages. King opened the second half with a simple overhead mark and straight kick from 40.

Then Darcy McPherson curled a ball home from deep in the right forward pocket, and Matt Rowell snapped another — and very quickly they were out to a 53-point margin.

It was looking more like a training session than an AFL game at times, in an extremely disappointing performance for the Crows.

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Adelaide tried to push players back in defence in an attempt to stop the Suns’ flow, but it made little difference.

The Crows finally got a shot at goal from Ben Keays after a trip inside 50, but he missed, and Tom Lynch failed to convert another chance.

A moment just before three-quarter time summed up the game when the Suns ripped the ball free inside forward 50 and outworked the Crows. Powell got the ball out to Connor Budarick, who steadied and kicked a goal.

That made it a four goal to none quarter, for a 58-point lead at the final change. Adelaide kicked three goals to two in the final term to make the scoreline a bit less harsh, but it was too little, too late for the visitors.

The final stats told the full story — the Suns had double the inside 50s of Adelaide, 13 more clearances, 17 more contested possessions, 49 more uncontested possessions, 31 more marks and still managed to outtackle the Crows by 18.

Witts and Hugh Greenwood finished with eight clearances each.

Ben King led the way with three goals for Gold Coast, with Rowell and McPherson booting two each. For the Crows, there were no multiple goalkickers.

Adelaide will now face Brisbane next week at the Gabba, while the Suns will face Fremantle at Carrara.