ADELAIDE has bounced back from last week's shock loss with a comfortable 40-point win over Greater Western Sydney at Henson Park on Saturday afternoon.
But the win might have come at a cost, with superstar Erin Phillips pulling up sore halfway through the fourth quarter after a marking contest. She did not play any further part in the game with an apparent leg injury.
The Crows were wasteful in front of goal, unnecessarily rushing and playing on at times, but ultimately outclassed the Giants 5.15 (45) to 0.5 (5) due to their dominance around the field and clean play.
The Giants' general play wasn't quite as bad as five points suggest – they attempted to switch lanes and spread the Crows – but their delivery inside 50 was very poor, constantly picking out Adelaide's spare defender.
GWS has now kicked just 1.6 in its last two matches, playing against powerhouses Melbourne and Adelaide and coming off a COVID-19 outbreak that swept through two-thirds of the squad. Saturday's result was the Giants' lowest ever score.
GIANTS v CROWS Full match coverage and stats
Ebony Marinoff (22 disposals, 16 tackles) became the first AFLW player to record a career total of 1000 disposals, Eloise Jones' intercept marking and smart kicking was crucial on the wing, and Anne Hatchard (24, six marks) controlled the play around the ground.
Alyce Parker (22, nine tackles) put in a Herculean solo effort against a deep, A-grade midfield, Tait Mackrill looked dangerous in attack with limited opportunities, while Alicia Eva (16, six marks) tried hard all day on the wing in the spot usually occupied by Chloe Dalton (calf).
1000 and counting
For a player who spent her first two seasons known almost purely as a tackling machine, Ebony Marinoff has quickly been making up for lost time. The two-time premiership Crow became the first AFLW player to reach 1000 disposals against the Giants, averaging 21 disposals and 8.5 tackles across her 48 games.
The one that got away
Lisa Whiteley struggled to crack into GWS' side, playing two matches over 2019 and 2020 before returning home to South Australia and Adelaide. She lined up primarily as a defender last year, but her work this year as a forward has been her best. Before this round, she was equal-third for average score involvements, and reminded the Giants of her power with a strong contested mark and goal when scoring was tough early in the game.
Where will GWS' improvement come from?
Incredibly, despite losing by 40 points, the Giants won the clearances 18-13, but it was their work around the ground and going into attack that hurt badly. They had 14 more turnovers than the Crows, lost the inside-50 count by 17 and took just two marks inside their own 50.
GWS has the opportunity to get back on the winners list with a Wednesday night clash against St Kilda at Blacktown, while Adelaide has a mouth-watering battle against Fremantle on Saturday at Fremantle Oval.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 0.0 0.2 0.3 0.5 (5)
ADELAIDE 0.4 2.6 3.11 5.15 (45)
Greater Western Sydney: Nil
Adelaide: Woodland 2, Whiteley, Hatchard, Marinoff
Greater Western Sydney: Parker, Eva, Randall, Mackrill
Adelaide: Marinoff, Jones, Hatchard, Ponter, Charlton, McKinnon
Greater Western Sydbney: Nil
Adelaide: Phillips (leg)
Greater Western Sydney: Nil
Adelaide: Stevie-Lee Thompson (hamstring tightness) replaced in the selected side by Ailish Considine
Did you head to the footy over the weekend? Tell us your thoughts! Take the survey now