Crows stun Blues to launch Gather Round

Matthew Nicks was equal parts proud AFL coach and star-struck fan boy after Adelaide opened Gather Round with a stunning 56-point upset win over Carlton.

Apr 14, 2023, updated Apr 14, 2023
Young Crow Josh Rachele celebrates a goal during Adelaide's dominant win over Carlton. Photo: AAP/Matt Turner

Young Crow Josh Rachele celebrates a goal during Adelaide's dominant win over Carlton. Photo: AAP/Matt Turner

He is encouraging his players to ride the wave after they performed so well in such a big game.

Adding to Nicks’ big Thursday night at Adelaide Oval, singer Guy Sebastian was in the rooms post-match.

“Even I lost my composure for five or 10 minutes – photos and autographs. I do love him,” Nicks said after the 18.10 (118) to 9.8 (62) win.

“But our players just remained focused and smiled their way through.”

It was their third win in a row and ended Carlton’s unbeaten start to the season.

Significantly, Adelaide’s scintillating first quarter was their best football since the 2017 preliminary final win over Geelong.

The Crows have not made the top eight since.

“Our squad is so strong at the moment and I don’t want our guys to hide from that – I want them to enjoy and embrace form,” Nicks said.

“Form is fickle and we know it can disappear really quickly. We want our group to remain really confident and believe in themselves – that’s what you saw (against Carlton).

“They just put it together. That’s our challenge, to do it again.”

Adelaide mauled Carlton in the first quarter with eight goals, but Nicks was more proud of how his team handled the rest of the game.

The Blues were always going to respond and they were only 24 points behind early in the last term.

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But the Crows first held them off and then killed Carlton’s challenge later in the final quarter.

“This is a great step for us, to be able to play a big stage and get it done,” Nicks said.

“We haven’t done it since I’ve been at the footy club.”

While Adelaide kicked more than 100 points, they were happier that they restricted Carlton to only 62.

It is the lowest score kicked against the Crows this season.

That earned the team next Wednesday off, thanks to a deal that was struck on the night between the players and coaches.

“I can tell you, there are a few happy boys in that room … that the number was 62.

“That number is a lot more important than the number (score) we put up.”


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