Adelaide will be hoping to replicate its epic win over Brisbane earlier this year and flip the script on its horror road form when it travels to the Gabba to face the Lions.
The Lions (14-6, 124.2%) are locked in a tight race for second spot with Port Adelaide and Melbourne, but must beat the Crows on Saturday ahead of their crunch clash with Collingwood in Round 23.
The Crows (10-10, 117.1%) have the best chance of any team outside the top 10 of playing finals, but have a terrible record away from Adelaide Oval this season, winning just one of their eight games.
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This match gets underway at 4.35pm AEST from The Gabba.
Watch it live on Fox Footy (Channel 504) from 4.30pm AEST.
QUARTER-BY-QUARTER MATCH REPORT
There were no late changes for either side with Josh Rachele given a reprieve as the sub for Adelaide, while father-son Jaspa Fletcher is the sub for the Lions.
It was a patient start by the Crows as they opted to chip the footy to make metres and do all the attacking early.
And when Darcy Willmot held onto Ben Keays too long in the tackle, it was the Crows with the first goal of the night.
Shane McAdam dribbled through his first for the match moments later as Adelaide were up and about early.
“You can feel the energy with the Adelaide Crows,” Fox Footy’s Alastair Lynch said.
“Brisbane just look flat at the moment. They can’t move the ball.”
Some beautiful transition from their back half ended with Jordan Dawson hitting McAdam for second goal in minutes.
“Alarming is the lack of pressure here from Brisbane,” David King said.
“The Crows are just walking the ball down the field.”
Taylor Walker brought up career goal 600 with a brilliant set ruck piece.
Two goals to Hugh McCluggage kept the Lions in it before a “ridiculously good” pass from Keays found Walker.
Luckily for the Lions, Walker hit the post from 30m out directly in front.
When Deven Robertson got himself front and square, he converted to bring Brisbane back to within six points.
Ill-discipline cost the Crows as Brisbane got repeat free exits from their back half.
“They are just giving away the softest of free kicks,” King lamented.
When backman Harris Andrews kicked his first goal since 2021 – and just his second in five years, scores were suddenly level.
Late misses ensured Brisbane took a slender 28-25 lead into the first change but there was bad news for the Crows as Mitch Hinge hobbled off in the dying seconds.
Hinge appeared to hyperextend his right knee on landing and instantly grabbed at it.
“Let’s just hope he’s ok,” King said.
It took just a minute for the Crows to reclaim the lead in the second but the Lions had the reply.
A huge contest win by Jarrod Berry at half back allowed the Lions more territory – as he beat three tacklers to find a teammate.
Charlie Cameron went down to the rooms early in the second but was able to return while Crow Hinge also came back out with his knee heavily strapped.
A harsh free kick against James Borlase for making contact with Lion Joe Daniher below the knees saw Brisbane open up a seven-point advantage.
“Seen plenty of those let go,” commentator Jonathan Brown said.
Oscar McInerney crashed heavily to the turf in a big contest in the middle of the ground as the Crows blew a few opportunities in front of goal.
When Max Michalanney tried to take the game on and got caught, Eric Hipwood misses his set shot.
And the Crows made them pay on the rebound as Walker goaled from the square.
The Lions then lost Jack Gunston after his leg got caught up in an awkward tackle.
The veteran was able to walk from the ground but sub Jaspa Fletcher was up and warming up on the bench.
When Luke Pedlar put his head over the ball and won a free kick, he was then walked to the goal line to level scores when Jarrod Berry didn’t give the ball back correctly.
“Coach won’t be happy with that,” King said.
“It was sloppy,” Brown added.
“Close game of footy…. from one of his leaders.”
At half time, it was Adelaide leading 49-48.
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