Adelaide stun Geelong in first AFL upset

·2-min read

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks says his AFL players have delivered a healthy dose of belief with a shock 12-point win against Geelong.

In the first boilover of the season, last year's wooden-spooners stunned last year's beaten grand finalists with a 15.13 (103) to 13.13 (91) win at Adelaide Oval.

Spearhead Taylor Walker kicked five goals to inspire the unfancied Crows, who lost three players to injury.

"We had a few soldiers down early," Nicks said.

"For the boys to hang on and grit it out, I thought their intensity was the best I have seen.

"(But) we have got to be really careful. We have won round one, a great start for us.

"And it's going to give our players belief, our staff belief, our supporters and our members belief - and that is great.

"Now, we need to do it again."

Adelaide backman Jake Kelly was concussed in a collision with Geelong ace Patrick Dangerfield.

The pair, both at full throttle, clashed heads with Dangerfield certain to attract match review scrutiny.

"Sometimes players run into each other and there's a head clash," Cats coach Chris Scott said.

"To my eye, it looked like he (Dangerfield) was doing everything he could to protect himself and the other player."

Kelly's injury substitute Mitch Hinge then dislocated his right shoulder twice and the Crows also lost half-back Luke Brown to an Achilles injury.

Kelly and Brown were sidelined in a first half dominated by Walker, who kicked four goals and set up another as Adelaide crafted a 38-point advantage.

The Crows stretched their lead to a game-high 43 points in the 13th minute of the third term before Geelong finally clicked into gear with four unanswered goals in nine minutes.

But the Cats, 19 points down at three quarter-time, were then unable to make much headway and lost utility Sam Menegola to a shoulder injury.

Adelaide's Walker found scoring allies in first-gamer James Rowe, Ned McHenry and Billy Frampton, who each kicked two goals.

And the Crows midfield, headed by Rory Laird (27 disposals, six tackles), Ben Keays (23 possessions, eight inside 50s), and skipper Rory Sloane (20 touches), shaded their highly-rated opponents.

Geelong's Brownlow medallist Dangerfield was a standout with 26 disposals featuring eight inside 50s while ex-Hawthorn winger Isaac Smith was influential, particularly late, with 21 disposals and two goals.

Smith's fellow mature-aged recruit Shaun Higgins (22 possessions) was solid while Tom Hawkins and Brandan Parfitt booted two goals apiece.