K rock Football

Crows hold off Giants to stay top

A TOUGH-tackling Adelaide has mustered up every ounce of determination to overcome Greater Western Sydney by 32 points in their AFLW clash.

Hosting the Giants in the first AFLW match played at Adelaide’s Unley Oval, the Crows were tested for the duration of the up-tempo contest but maintained their trademark toughness and skill to win 9.5 (59) to 4.3 (27).

The Giants did not ease off in the Sunday hit-out, but the Crows smothered their playmakers and simply had too many stars of their own.

As usual, the class of Crows skipper Erin Phillips (24 disposals) plus the no-nonsense approach of Ebony Marinoff (24), co-captain Chelsea Randall (16) and defender Deni Varnhagen proved decisive.

The Giants scored just one behind after half-time, while the rampaging Crows banged on four goals and a behind in the final term.

Crows mentor Matthew Clarke said GWS had a level of energy that challenged his troops, who were forced to find “a little extra” in the final term.

“Fortunately we were able to match them in that space and we obviously ran out the game pretty well,” Clarke said.

GWS, who debuted South Adelaide SANFLW premiership utility Lisa Whiteley trailed from late in the opening term and their defence suffered when Jacinda Barclay (collarbone) and Nicola Barr (hamstring) retired hurt.

Despite their competitive approach, Giants coach Alan McConnell admitted the Crows had better ball skills and more luck with injuries.

“We were overrun. I thought the Crows had the better moments in the first three quarters,” former Footscray defender McConnell said.

“We didn’t generate enough inside-50s … In the end, the weight of numbers and the lack of rotation on the bench catches up with you.”

Adelaide will next head to Melbourne for a clash with the Demons on Saturday, while GWS will host Geelong on Friday.

© AAP 2019

ADELAIDE CROWS 3.0 5.3 5.4 9.5 (59)

GWS GIANTS 2.1 4.2 4.2 4.3 (27)

Goals: Adelaide Crows: S Thompson 3 D Ponter 2 A Hatchard C Scheer E Jones E Phillips. GWSGiants: C Bernardi C Staunton J Hicks Y Bonner.

Best: Adelaide Crows: E Phillips E Marinoff A Foley C Randall S Thompson D Varnhagen. GWS Giants: A Eva A Parker E McKinnon C Staunton C Gum E Brush.

Injuries: Adelaide Crows: Nil. Greater Western Sydney Giants: A Parker (whiplash) J Barclay (collarbone) N Barr (hamstring).

Reports: Nil.

Umpires: Gabby Simmonds, Jamie Broadbent, Giles Lewis.

Official Crowd: 7,735 at Peter Motley Oval.