Adelaide have returned to form with a thumping 80-point AFL victory over the hapless Brisbane Lions on Saturday night.
After shock back-to-back losses to North Melbourne and Melbourne ended their unbeaten start to the season, the Crows roared back to life at the Gabba with an emphatic 21.14 (140) to 7.18 (60) win to stay at the top of the ladder.
Dayne Zorko kicked the first two goals of the match for Brisbane, who were in the contest early but wasteful in front of goal.
As soon as the Crows switched on, however, they were completely blown away.
The Lions kicked just four goals after quarter-time to Adelaide’s 18, slumping to their eighth consecutive defeat in front of only 13,802 fans.
Former basketballer Hugh Greenwood kicked three majors on debut in the first half to help spark a run of nine goals in a row, before the Crows ruthlessly tore the hosts to shreds in a handy percentage-booster.
Greenwood, 25, played college basketball in the US and was on the cusp of an NBL deal with the Perth Wildcats when he quit the sport to pursue a career in the AFL instead, signing a rookie contract with the Crows two years ago.
Charlie Cameron booted four majors in the third quarter alone while Eddie Betts, who finished with three goals and four goal assists, produced a freakish goal-of-the-year contender in the second term.
Betts robbed Darcy Gardiner of possession but then, when the ball came loose, dribbled it along the ground with one foot like a soccer player before regathering and grubbering it home from a tight angle – all while under pressure and without much time or space to manoeuvre.
It arguably topped Tom Lynch’s spectacular first-quarter effort, splitting the posts with his right foot along the boundary from around 45m out.
Lynch kicked three in total, as did Adelaide captain Taylor Walker.
Skipper Dayne Beams was the leading possession-getter on the ground with 40 touches in his return from injury but he could not inspire his Lions teammates to reverse the tide.
Crows coach Don Pyke said it was a solid response after two lacklustre weeks.
“We lost a couple of games of footy, people were probably saying it was doom and gloom,” he said.
“Tonight was a good opportunity to come back and play the way we want to play, and there was some good signs there.”
Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said he was pleased with his side’s start but not with their second-half effort.
“I was really disappointed in the third quarter where we dropped away in contested possessions and clearances, and the whole thing dropped away,” he said.