x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Adelaide hit form at just right time

How about this result for your forward line? Jason Porplyzia: four goals. Chris Knights: four goals. Kurt Tippett: four goals.

How about this result for your forward line? Jason Porplyzia: four goals. Chris Knights: four goals. Kurt Tippett: four goals. Then throw in Brett "Birdman" Burton, the man who took the mark of the year in the same match and booted two, and midfielder Bernie Vince who kicked three. That is what Carlton had to put up with last Saturday, when Adelaide gave their fellow finalist a 12-goal bashing in the last round of the year, leading to the two swapping fifth and sixth spots on the ladder.

All told, 13 players kicked goals for the Crows, seven of them two or more. It meant Adelaide won the right to host a home elimination final against Essendon today, while the Blues have to travel to Brisbane tomorrow for the second elimination. The Bombers will be without star forward Matty Lloyd, ruckman Paddy Ryder and Sam Lonergan, all of whom were suspended after last weekend's do-or-die win against Hawthorn. It is hard to see them advancing to the next weekend. Adelaide, on the other hand, are hitting form at the right time.

Saturday's trouncing followed a similar performance against West Coast with the Crows victorious by 74 points. Although it is a pretty hard ask to win the grand final from fifth, there is a lot of expectation of the Crows taking their third flag this year. In the other knock-out match, Carlton have brought their three wayward sons, omitted for arriving late to a recovery session, back into the fold.

Brisbane have a sorrier tale, having lost the second of their twin towering forwards in Daniel Bradshaw, and sturdy defender Daniel Merrett. Throw in what promises to be a cracker when the Western Bulldogs and Geelong meet in the second qualifying final tomorrow, and Sunday's meeting between St Kilda and Collingwood, and that should keep you busy for the weekend. pstafford@thenational.ae