Spearhead Taylor Walker has kicked five goals to inspire unfancied Adelaide to a 12-point win against Geelong in the first major boilover of the AFL season.
Walker starred as last year’s wooden-spooners downed last season’s beaten grand finalists 15.13 (103) to 13.13 (91) at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
Is Dangerfield gone for this bump? Watch the incident above.
Geelong ace Patrick Dangerfield will face match review scrutiny for a collision which concussed Crow Jake Kelly in a clash of heads in the second term.
Kelly was ruled out of the match and the home side also lost their injury sub Mitch Hinge (shoulder) and halfback Luke Brown (Achilles).
Kelly and Brown were sidelined in a first half dominated by Walker, who kicked four goals and set up another as Adelaide crafted a 38-point advantage.
The Crows stretched their lead to 43 points in the 13th minute of the third term before Geelong finally clicked into top gear.
The Cats booted four unanswered goals in a nine-minute burst to reduce their deficit to 19 points at three quarter-time.
A frantic but goal-less initial 10 minutes of the last term was punctuated by a shoulder injury to Cat Sam Menengola, who was subbed out.
And after the teams traded two goals each, Geelong’s Gryan Miers reduced the deficit to 11 points with seven minutes left – but it proved the last goal of the game.
Adelaide’s Walker found scoring allies in first-gamer James Rowe, fellow small forward Ned McHenry and Billy Frampton, who kicked two goals apiece.
The forwards feasted as the Crows midfield, headed by Rory Laird (27 disposals, six tackles) Ben Keays (23 possessions, eight inside 50s), skipper Rory Sloane (20 touches) and winger Lachlan Sholl (23 touches), applied fanatical pressure on the Cats.
Geelong’s Brownlow medallist Dangerfield was a standout for his side with 26 disposals which featured eight inside 50s.
His teammate Cam Guthrie (23 touches) was industrious, ex-Hawthorn winger Isaac Smith was influential with 21 disposals and two goals and his fellow mature-aged recruit Shaun Higgins (22 possessions) was solid.
Full-forward Tom Hawkins kicked two goals from limited chances, a return matched by teammate Brandan Parfitt.