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Grading every player in Adelaide's upset win over the Blues


Adelaide has won their first game of the season in the biggest upset of 2024, narrowly edging out the formally unbeaten Carlton 16.4 (100) to 14.14 (98) at Marvel Stadium.

It was a strong start for Adelaide, defending the ground well and transitioning forward with ease.

Led by Ben Keays and Taylor Walker, the Crows began the quarter with four goals from their first seven inside 50s despite the Blues’ dominating the uncontested ball, but it was still the Blues leading the game across the first two breaks.

Neither side wanted to miss with a combined fifteen goals and just four behinds at half time. A genuine shootout at Marvel.

The contest did not cool down heading into the second half, with both teams going blow for blow throughout the final half. Sam Walsh was a difference maker for the Blues on return, claiming so much of the footy and driving Carlton forward on numerous occasions.

Carlton came out firing and took a strong lead in the final term but it was the Crows who came out on top, refusing to give up, taking the lead with just over a minute to go through Sam Berry and holding out to secure their first four points of the year.

We graded every player in the tight contest under the roof.


Sam Walsh: A+ Superhuman ability to recover. Did not look a step off the pace in his return. Dominated the game with 34 disposals, led the game in clearances with seven.

Jacob Weitering: A The rock in Carlton’s back half. Saved a few certain goals and had plenty of touch in the first half.

Patrick Cripps: A The contested bull did as the contested bull does. Played a crucial role in the final term, kicked a massive goal.

George Hewett: B+ Another great game from an underrated player.

Harry McKay: B+ Had a really great start. Competed well up the ground and was dangerous as he has been all year.

Charlie Curnow: B Quiet by his standards but always pops up when called upon. Had a poor start, couldn’t seem to find the ball early but competed really well, came up huge late and managed to kick four.

Zac Williams: B So much of the ball off the flank. Needed to step up with Saad out early, had some interesting usage but mostly good. Over 400 metres gained.

Matthew Kennedy: B Had to take extra load with Cerra a late out and held up really well.

Oliver Hollands: B- Runs all day. Picked up a few important touches in defence.

Jordan Boyd: B- A cool head, always hitting targets.

Brodie Kemp: B- A few huge intercept marks and spoils.

Marc Pittonet: C+ Good on return.

Elijah Hollands: C+

Blake Acres: C+ Not his best game but very calm in the late game situation. Kicked an important goal.

Tom De Konig: C+ Struggled in the hit-outs but covered the ground better than O'Brien.

Corey Durdin: C+ Kicked a fantastic goal and had some strong moments through the forward half. Plenty of pressure.

Nic Newman: C+ A heap of metres gained, always moving the ball forward.

Matthew Owies: C+ Kicked a nice goal, crumbed well.

Mitch McGovern: C A few mistakes and not a lot of impact.

Matthew Cottrell: C

Orazio Fantasia: C Playing as the deepest forward in the third is an interesting call from Voss.

Jack Carroll: C- Started as the sub, came on in the second quarter and barely touched the ball.

Adam Saad: N/A Had a strong start but was subbed out in the second quarter with a hamstring issue.


Izak Rankine: A+ So dangerous all game. Ran a muck all over the ground for the Crows. Three goals, 400+ metres gained to go with 23 touches. Almost won the Crows the game with a narrow miss late, but it didn't matter.

Taylor Walker: A+ Phenomenal first half, certainly his best game this year. Was Adelaide's most important player. 10 marks for four goals, led the Crows in score involvements. Looked back to 2023 form.

Ben Keays: A His best game of 2024. Hot start early, playing deeper down the ground while still pushing forward for three first half goals. So much run, three goals and 20 disposals.

Jake Soligo: A So good in the centre. Led the Crows in the centre clearances to go with his 27 touches.

Josh Rachele: B+ Very strong game from the youngster. Great across the ground.

Josh Worrell: B+ Took some strong marks and had a few really important intercept touches. Great game.

Sam Berry: B+ Subbed on at 3QT and was brilliant. Kicked a late goal to give the Crows the lead.

Mark Keane: B Somewhat held up Charlie Curnow, which is no easy feat.

Matt Crouch: B Not a whole lot of influence initially but did well all up. 27 disposals and six clearances.

Rory Laird: B

Mitchell Hinge: B Really strong on the wing, particularly with his defensive running.

Luke Nankervis: B- Found himself in some great spots around the ground.

Will Hamill: B- Looked good in the backline, provided good use. You would expect him to hold his place going into next week.

Reilly O’Brien: B- Had a huge role as a solo ruckman and did well. Dominated the hit-outs but struggled around the ground against the more athletic De Konig.

Max Michelanney: C+

Brayden Cook: C+ Some good moments.

Brodie Smith: C+ Cleaned up well.

Jordan Dawson: C No involvement whatsoever in the first half. Lifted as you'd expect, but not a whole lot.

Jordan Butts: C Didn't manage to hamper McKay very well. Then again, not many have this year.

Chayce Jones: C

Lachlan Gollant: C Subbed out at 3QT.

Darcy Fogarty: C- Didn't do much.

Ned McHenry: D+ Unable to use the ball well. Some poor decision making.

Carlton will need to bounce back next week as they take on the unbeaten GWS Giants, while the Crows will look to carry their win into a clash against a hot Essendon side in Adelaide.

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