Image courtesy of AFL Bigpond Network
Do you hear that noise? No? That is the sound of silence that half of Adelaide makes when they have had a sock firmly shoved into their mouth as a result of the Crows’ nine point loss to the Power in Sunday’s Showdown 34. In front of over 40,000 people, Port stormed home in the second half to stamp their credentials as a team on the rise while the Crows were left facing a week of soul-searching down at West Lakes. I went down to the game and in amongst the sweet sound of thousands of Crow fans’ hearts breaking in the 3rd quarter, I was able to pick out some Studs and Spuds who left their mark on the game in some fashion.
Port’s 1st and 2nd year players – Ollie Wines and Chad Wingard will be two VERY good footballers. Wines was hitting the contest harder than a pill-fiend on the Reds dance-floor while Wingard was breaking tackles and kicking goals like an old head. On top of that, the Power’s backline showed some gusto for the first time in years with the injection of youth that is Campbell Heath, Lewis Stevenson and Jasper Pittard well and truly beating the Crows’ small forwards.
Travis Boak – You don’t win the Showdown Medal for nothing, and the skipper of Port Adelaide continued his brilliant start to the year with a bag of contested possessions, hardball gets and clearances to go with a couple of sausage rolls which lifted his team in the 3rd quarter.
Angus Monfries and Justin Westhoff – If you had told me a year ago that I would be calling either of these players studs in any game ever for the rest of their careers, I would have probably written you off as a person with less intelligence than Taylor Walker. But lo and behold, these two continue to surprise the footballing world in 2013 with their versatility and pressure. Look for the Hoff’s beard and Gus’ oiled up legs to continue their good form as the season progresses.
Tom Jonas – Any 16-game backline player that can do the job of shutting down Tex Walker in a Showdown is a Stud for sure. Went onto Tex in the 2nd quarter and kept him to just the one 2nd half goal and well and truly nullified the gunslinger’s presence. Also has a neck thicker than a Wendy’s milkshake.
Rory Sloane – Along with Scott Thompson, seemed to be the only bloke that cracked in for the Crows all day. Really like the cut of his jib; wins the footy, has pace and fitness and knows where the big sticks are. Best player for the Crows on the day and will be a star for years to come. Probably could do with a haircut though as he looks about 12 years old.
Ken Hinkley and Darren Burgess – Port looking like a different team to that of years gone by and much of it falls on the shoulders of the coach and his resident fitness guru. Studs after round three, but there is still a long way to go for the club and the Spuds farm is always looking for more potato-heads to join the group.
The blokes sitting next to us – Couple of regular northern suburbs characters from Brahma Lodge plonked themselves down next to us and provided a few hours of great banter. This is what going to the footy is all about. They were supporting the Crows, me and my mates the Power, and both sides extracted a large amount of piss from the players, coaches and each other for four quarters. Good guys providing good banter and having a beer together; definitely worthy of the Studs tag.
Matthew Jaensch + Tex Walker’s effort in front of goal – It’s the third quarter and the game is in the balance as Port has charged back into contention with a surge of goals. What better way to earn yourself the title of Spuds of the week than with two dismal efforts in front of goal. Tex is a premier forward in the comp, but failed to convert an open shot 25 metres straight out on the run. But far and away to silliest passage of play in the game goes to Matty Jaensch and Matty Wright. If you play AFL you would probably want to be confident kicking goals from a set shot 40 metres out, straight in front. Two tips I have for those who are not: 1) I hope you have a day job lined up for your inevitable delisting and 2) Don’t handball it to a bloke who has just run 150 metres from the backlines with a defender standing right behind him just because he called for it. SPUDS.
Bernie Vince – Came on as the sub (thought he was meant to be one of the Crows’ elite midfielders?) and proceeded to stink it up in crunch time. A few errant disposals coupled with the free kick and resulting 50 metre penalty to Wingard in the last quarter meant that he well and truly earned the title of Spud this week. Woodville West Torrens surely a chance to welcome him back into the yellow, blue and green this week.
Paddy Dangerfield’s structurally unsound nose – Paddy was playing well before he put his nose in the path of Ollie Wines’ left shoulder. The resulting spout of red gushing down his face (insert red Wines joke here) meant that he had to leave the field for treatment and his influence on the game was significantly less for the remainder. If Paddy’s nose was made of sterner stuff, perhaps the result may have been different for the Crows.
Graham Johncock – Earned a recall to the side after a huge effort in the SANFL the previous week, but obviously thought that he would rather try out for a spot on the Adelaide United roster for next season. If he spent half as much time practicing his goal-kicking as he did going to ground like he had been shot in the head on Sunday night, he might have been able to do something useful. Spud of the highest order who should see himself back in the SANFL next week.
Fights in the carpark – Don’t do it, you look like a cock.
Uneducated supporters – Applies to both groups of fans, if you have nothing at least half intelligent to contribute to society then probably don’t open your mouth and proclaim your idiocy to the world. My Dad always taught me (although I’m pretty sure he stole it from Mark Twain) that it is “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt,” and there are definitely a large amount of people with vocabularies seemingly limited to “white maggots” and “*insert profanities here*” that I can unequivocally categorise as fools after the weekend.
The Adelaide Crows Football Operations Department – Kurt Tippett not looking so dispensable now, is he gents…