'It's a disgrace': AFL world erupts over 'embarrassing' farce

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Rory Laird and Rory Sloane, pictured here after Adelaide's loss to Essendon.
Rory Laird and Rory Sloane look on after Adelaide's loss to Essendon. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

AFL fans and commentators were fuming on Friday night when the Adelaide-Essendon clash failed to live up to the standards of the popular time-slot.

The Crows posted the lowest score in the club's 30-year history in a 63-point hiding from Essendon.

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The listless Crows were belted 61-31 in the inside-50 count and managed just one goal in each half of the 11.18 (84) to 2.9 (21) defeat at Marvel Stadium.

The pitiful tally was three points shy of Adelaide's previous worst score and was also the lowest-ever total by any team in 971 AFL games at the Docklands venue.

Fans and commentators derided the fact that the clash between 12th and 15th was scheduled for Friday night, a time-slot that is traditionally reserved for a more high-profile match.

Herald Sun journalist Jon Ralph revealed on Fox Footy that the AFL Players Association blocked a push for the Western Bulldogs-Sydney game to be played instead.

"The AFL came to the Western Bulldogs and said we‘re desperate for you to play this game on Friday night,” Ralph said.

“It would’ve been their second five-day break, but they were thrilled.

“They went to the AFLPA, the AFLPA kiboshed it, they said we’re already concerned about injuries, we’ve already warned you about not going to 75 interchange.”

Luke Pedlar, pictured here handballing during the Adelaide Crows' clash with Essendon Bombers.
Luke Pedlar handballs during the Adelaide Crows' clash with Essendon Bombers. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

The decision left St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt filthy.

“It’s a disgrace that they’re (Dogs and Swans) not (playing Friday night). I’ve spoken to some Western Bulldogs players, the players were desperate to play on a Friday night,” he said.

“There are a lot of stakeholders involved in the game that are seeking value at the moment, the players want to maximise value, they want to be on the big stage, the club the Bulldogs they missed out on fans in Round 1 on Friday night so don’t tell me they wouldn’t love the big stage.

“The broadcasters, they invested a little bit into the game. They want value on the big stage.

“This to me just looks like a situation where the PA want to bang the desk and seem relevant.”

Fans and pundits flocked to social media to slam the 'embarrassing' fixture farce.

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Crows coach at a loss to explain woeful display

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks was at a loss to explain his side's woeful performance.

"It goes against the body of work that we've put together for the year," Nicks said.

"It's one out of the box that I can't explain why the performance was at the level it was at.

"The effort wasn't at the level it needs to be to play AFL footy.

"Unfortunately we, as a young group that have been so proud of what they've put out there so far this season, we embarrassed ourselves tonight on a big stage."

In a further blow, the Crows lost Tom Doedee to concussion after the star defender ran back with the flight of the ball and collided with leading Essendon forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti during the first quarter.

The Bombers lost Kyle Langford to a hamstring injury and were wasteful in front of goal, but were far too strong in a win that kept them firmly in the finals hunt.

with AAP

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