abc– A stellar performance from Taylor Walker has led the Crows to a thrilling 10-point win over Gold Coast at Adelaide Oval.
Earlier, the Western Bulldogs maintained their perfect start to the 2021 season with an incredible 128-point victory over the Kangaroos at Docklands Stadium.
Follow the scores, stats and results below.
Walker stars as Crows down Suns in AFL
Adelaide stalwart Taylor Walker has bagged another six-goal haul to inspire Adelaide to a 10-point AFL win over a gallant Gold Coast.
Walker’s heroics propelled the Crows to a nerve-jangling 14.11 (95) to 12.13 (85) triumph at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.
The former Adelaide skipper followed his returns of five and six goals in the opening two games with another half-dozen majors — he booted 6.3.
Walker dominated as the Crows, last year’s wooden-spooners, banked a second win from three games this season.
His teammates Brodie Smith (26 disposals) and captain Rory Sloane (35 touches, 11 clearances) were superb while Rory Laird (28 possessions), Ben Keays (26 disposals) and Paul Seedsman (27 touches) were influential.
Gold Coast spearhead Ben King kicked a career-high four goals, emerging star Noah Anderson gathered 26 disposals, Brandon Ellis (25 touches, one goal) was prominent and ex-Crow Hugh Greenwood collected 23 touches including 10 clearances.
But the Suns now have two losses in three games and concern over ruckman Jarrod Witts, who was substituted in the third term because of a left knee injury.
The Suns were over-run after a fast start: they controlled all aspects of the first quarter bar one — Adelaide’s Walker.
Gold Coast raced to 3.2 to nothing before the ball even entered Walker’s territory — and when it did, the former Crows skipper continued his sparkling form with three goals for the quarter.
The Suns led 5.6 to 5.0 at quarter-time before scoring dried up in the second term.
There wasn’t a goal until the 19th minute when Crow Harry Schoenberg converted a set- shot from a tight angle, but the Crows scored another two in the next two minutes to create an 11-point halftime buffer.
Adelaide’s lead rapidly disappeared in the third stanza as the Suns scored three consecutive goals in a tick over nine minutes, including two more to the imposing King.
But the Suns soon lost Witts to injury and Walker again inspired an Adelaide rally.
The Crows spearhead booted two more goals and McAdam followed with another as the home side crept seven points ahead at three quarter-time.
The Suns kicked two quick goals in the last quarter to hit the front only for the heroic Walker to slot his sixth goal with about eight minutes remaining.
That strike gave the Crows the lead, which they clung to in a frantic finale.
Bulldogs batter North by 128 points
Josh Bruce’s career-best 10 goals has powered the Western Bulldogs to a record-breaking 128-point AFL demolition of North Melbourne.
The Bulldogs slammed home 20 of the last 22 goals to obliterate the Kangaroos under the roof at Docklands Stadium, running out winners 25.17 (167) to 5.9 (39).
It was the Bulldogs’ greatest-ever score and winning margin over North, eclipsing respective marks set in 1984 and 1971.
Determined to put in a competitive showing after the club’s place in the Good Friday timeslot was questioned during the week, the Kangaroos’ intensity barely lasted a quarter.
Maligned forward Bruce shot to form, becoming the first AFL player to kick 10 goals in a game since Ben Brown for the Kangaroos against Port Adelaide in 2019.
It was the third-straight time Bruce has booted at least six goals against North in what was a timely performance as number one draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan pushes his case to debut in the Bulldogs’ forward line.
North forward Nick Larkey appeared to have cut the margin to five points midway through the second term, but a video review disallowed the goal.
The Bulldogs, led by Bruce and a scintillating performance from star recruit Adam Treloar (three goals and 27 touches), then piled on the next 12 goals to completely crush North’s spirits.
The Kangaroos’ next goal did not come until the eight-minute mark of the last quarter when young gun Charlie Lazzaro nailed one on the run.
Not even in their drought-breaking premiership year of 2016 did the Bulldogs open the season with a trio of victories, with confidence continuing to build at the Whitten Oval.
The Bulldogs’ only concern is a shoulder injury to Ryan Gardner, with the defender subbed out in the opening stages.
Jared Polec (hamstring) and experienced midfielder Jed Anderson were both hurt for the Kangaroos.
The Bulldogs will host the resurgent Brisbane Lions in Ballarat next Saturday, while North are back at Docklands on Sunday for a rare winnable match against last year’s wooden spooners Adelaide.