Footy fans couldn’t believe what they were seeing on Saturday night as the Gold Coast Suns shocked the West Coast Eagles, and Port Adelaide annihilated the Crows in the Showdown.
Hub life got off a to a horror start for West Coast - the Eagles’ first AFL match in their Queensland quarantine stay couldn't have gone much worse.
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A highly-experienced West Coast were expected to run all over a callow Gold Coast team without a win in over a year in Saturday's match at Metricon Stadium.
In the end, one of those boys - 18-year-old Matt Rowell - was best on ground in just his second AFL match as the Suns snapped their 19-game losing run with a stunning 14.6 (90) to 6.10 (46) upset win.
At the same time in Adelaide, Port produced a record 75-point demolition of a hapless Crows side in the traditional derby.
Young guns Xavier Duursma (three goals), Zak Butters and Connor Rozee all fired in the Power's 17.8 (110) to 5.5 (35) victory at Adelaide Oval.
The winning margin is Port's highest against their arch foe and they restricted the Crows to their lowest total in 48 clashes of the South Australian rivals.
Fans flocked to social media in shock over both results.
Gold Coast are obliterating West Coast. Confirmation 2020 is the wildest year on record #AFLSunsEagles
— Sebastian Hassett (@sebth) June 13, 2020
West Coast resentment of the hub seemingly contagious #AFLSunsEagles
— Corbin Middlemas (@CorbinMiddlemas) June 13, 2020
Crows players will be spending some time in the hall of mirrors this weekend having a look at themselves. That cannot be the standard in 2020 #AFLPowerCrows
— John Hunt (@JohnHunt1992) June 13, 2020
I can't tell whether Port are really good or Adelaide are completely terrible. #AFLPowerCrows
— Andrew Mueller (@andrew_mueller) June 13, 2020
My first born child is due in November. This is a strategic decision. By the time he/she is cognisant of what football is and aware of his/her love of the Adelaide Crows, the team should be just about ready to be competitive. #AFLPortCrows
— Joel Dry (@JoelDry7) June 13, 2020
Worst thing about this Showdown is...there’s still a quarter to go. Crows players are taking social distancing measures too far. #AFLPortCrows
— Corey Norris (@coreynorris9) June 13, 2020
Port coach lauds ruthless streak
The Crows crumbled under Port's manic pressure which Ken Hinkley labelled a highlight.
“I didn't know it was a record margin, but it's always nice to win Showdowns,” Hinkley said.
“When you win and when you big, I know the group were committed to that at three quarter-time. It was 'let's keep going'.”
Adelaide's grim night was compounded by captain Rory Sloane suffering a corked thigh and defender Jake Kelly being concussed in the first quarter.
“It's a really embarrassing performance,” Crows coach Matthew Nicks said.
“It's a disappointing day for us but hopefully one we learn from.”
Eagles adjusting to life in quarantine
Played off the park by a Gold Coast team without a win in over a year, it could be a long four weeks at least for the Eagles if they can't turn around their performance quickly.
The second leg of their Queensland road trip will be a visit to the Gabba next Saturday to face Brisbane, who claimed a narrow victory over the Eagles' Western Australian rivals Fremantle in the Dockers' first hub match.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson admits it will be a challenge to ensure his team doesn't dwell on the defeat in isolation at Royal Pines Resort throughout the week.
“There's plenty of time together this week. We've just got to be careful,” Simpson said.
“After a loss sometimes it's good to get away with your families and detach a little bit so we need to give them some space.
“We're going to review and we need to get better. Whether it's our system or whether it's ability to hunt, that needs to improve, we'll look at that.”