Sloane hurt as Adelaide beat Richmond

Steve Larkin |

Adelaide captain Rory Sloane will be sent for scans on a potentially serious knee injury suffered during a 19-point AFL win over Richmond.

The Crows, inspired by Taylor Walker’s five-goal heroics, triumphed 15.11 (101) to 12.10 (82) in Saturday’s Adelaide Oval fixture.

But Sloane was helped off by medicos and substituted out of the game, leaving his coach Matthew Nicks concerned.

“We don’t know yet … our fingers are crossed,” Nicks said.

Sloane played only a dozen games in 2020 and 18 last year after a string of problems including a foot injury and a detached retina in an eye.

This season, he has been subbed out in two of his past three games.

“It has been a challenging period for him … it just seems to be one thing after the other,” Nicks said.

“But he keeps fronting up … he just grinds his way through. He is exactly what we want to be as a footy team.”

Sloane’s injury took some gloss from a polished Crows performance which Nicks hailed for a new-found maturity.

Adelaide, with Walker dominating and fellow forward Elliott Himmelberg booting four goals, held a 25-point lead early in the third term.

But the Tigers, inspired by captain Trent Cotchin (24 disposals, one goal), rallied with four goals in a tick over seven minutes to hit the front.

Nicks’ young Crows then responded with five of the next seven goals to join Richmond with two wins from five games this season.

“They showed a lot of maturity under pressure and some grit,” Nicks said.

“To right the ship or fight back like they did was really pleasing. It will give them a lot of belief.

“We’re playing the brand of footy we want to play. It’s now locking in and doing that consistently.

“And tonight was a great step in the right direction.”

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick lamented his side’s sloppiness in two facets.

One, the Tigers conceded 10 goals and five behinds from stoppages.

“The reason we lost the game,” Hardwick said of that statistic.

And two, Richmond gave away 33 free kicks and received just 13.

Asked about the discrepancy, Hardwick said: “I can’t answer that. Why don’t you ask the question of someone.”

Later, he added: “The free kicks are on us – we gave away some too highs and some sloppy stuff so we have got to get that part of our game better.”

Adelaide’s Ben Keays (31 disposals), Rory Laird (26 touches, one goal) and Matt Crouch (26 possessions) were big midfield ball-winners.

And Crows defenders Brodie Smith (28 possessions) and Tom Doedee (22 disposals) were also instrumental in the victory.

Richmond’s standout was skipper Cotchin while Dion Prestia (27 touches) was also busy and forwards Jack Riewoldt, Tom Lynch, Jason Castagna and Liam Baker kicked two goals each.