Sport AFL AFL finals 2017: Unstoppable Crows give Cats a footy lesson
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AFL finals 2017: Unstoppable Crows give Cats a footy lesson

NRL finals 2017 Adelaide Crows thump Geelong Cats
Charlie Cameron had a blinder for the Crows. Photo: AAP
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In a near flawless display of football prowess, the Adelaide Crows romped to a berth in the 2017 AFL Grand Final after dismantling Geelong in a one-sided preliminary final at Adelaide Oval.

With a week’s rest behind them and the tag of favourites on their shoulders, the Crows burst out of the blocks in a six-goal-to-one opening term that paved the way for the 21.10 (136) to 10.15 (75) win

Next week’s big game will be the club’s first grand final appearance since 1998.

Adelaide’s pressure was remarkably fierce from the outset, and on more than one occasion it looked as if Geelong would be utterly blown away — a fate only avoided due to the work of Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield and Steven Motlop.

For the second straight final, the Crouch brothers were immense in the heart of Adelaide’s midfield. The returning Rory Sloane added more steel and Sam Jacobs offered pristine service all night.

And, as usual, the Crows’ forward options were more than a handful. Josh Jenkins and Eddie Betts, who kicked four and two goals each respectively, was forced to take a backseat as Charlie Cameron kicked five in a performance that will have Adelaide’s grand final opponent on red alert.

Cameron was electric, running off the back of the square to force clearances, sticking tackles, taking hangers and converting from all corners. On a night of fantastic Adelaide performances, Cameron’s might have been the best.

The Cats were gallant in their refusal to let the game completely move out of sight, staying within striking distance for most of the match without ever really looking likely to complete a comeback.

Like last week, Dangerfield started forward but, unlike last week, the Cats couldn’t win enough of the ball to make use of the star’s talents in front of goal — he quickly moved back to the middle, and had an influence.

Dangerfield kicked a couple of goals, but his most telling involvement may have been in receiving a thumping hit from Sloane — one that may draw some attention from the MRP, but surely won’t give Sloane too many sleepless grand final week nights.

Despite Geelong’s lingering, the game was put to bed as a contest pretty early in the last quarter, at which point the record Adelaide Oval crowd of 53,817 begun its celebrations and started thinking ahead to somehow finding a grand final ticket.

There were no real injury concerns for Adelaide to take from the game, with the only question mark now surrounding Mitch McGovern, and how quickly he can recover from the hamstring twinge that ruled him out of the prelim.

The Tigers or the Giants await, but regardless of who wins Saturday’s clash, the Crows ought to be favourites come grand final day.

– with ABC and AAP

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