Adelaide and Brisbane finish level in AFL thriller

Steve Larkin |

The Crows and the Lions have fought out a tense draw at the Adelaide Oval.
The Crows and the Lions have fought out a tense draw at the Adelaide Oval.

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks and his Brisbane counterpart Chris Fagan say their draw leaves them with a weird feeling.

But after the Crows and Lions tied at 13.12 (90) apiece at Adelaide Oval on Sunday, both coaches came down against introducing extra-time to prevent ties.

In a frenetic and fluctuating finale, the Lions skipped to a game-high 18-point lead midway through the last quarter.

The Crows rallied with four consecutive goals to steal a six-point advantage with five minutes remaining before Brisbane’s Callum Ah Chee slotted his fourth goal with three and a half minutes left to level scores.

Lion Harry Sharp scored a behind to put the visitors one point ahead before Adelaide captain Jordan Dawson narrowly missed a 35-metre shot on the run with 96 seconds left.

That was the last score of the match, leaving the coaches in a puzzle of emotion.

Izak Rankine.
Izak Rankine (C) was a constant threat for the Crows, with three goals and 24 possessions. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Nicks: “It’s one we couldn’t put our finger on, even in the rooms just chatting through the game as a group – a sort of empty hollow feeling but an unusual one.”

Fagan: “This is my 27th or 28th year in AFL footy. I can’t remember ever having been involved in a draw so it is a weird feeling.”

Extra-time isn’t used to decide home-and-away games – the added time clause is only adopted in finals – and the Crows and Lions bosses aren’t advocating for change.

“It was interesting standing on the ground with Fages (Fagan) afterwards,” Nicks said.

“Both of us could have done with a win at the moment. Is it a positive that we ended up with two points each?

“It would be an exciting thing to watch if it went to extra time or golden goal.

“But the game is a good game. We don’t need to change the rules. We change too many rules.”

Josh Dunkley.
Josh Dunkley’s late goal had Brisbane poised to win until Adelaide roared back. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Fagan said he was content to earn two premiership points rather than none.

“I’m happy with the way that it is,” he said.

“We wouldn’t have had many petrol tickets left anyway given that last week we played a game when we’re down to two blokes on the bench five minutes into the second quarter.

“My blokes wouldn’t have had much left, so I’m pretty happy we didn’t have to play extra time.”

Adelaide and Brisbane have three wins, five losses and a draw this season and are slipping off the finals pace. They’re both two wins behind eighth-placed Collingwood.

The Lions held a three-point lead at quarter-time. Adelaide were up by two at halftime and by one at three quarter-time.

Hugh McCluggage.
Hugh McCluggage was a star for the Lions with 31 disposals. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Ah Chee’s scoring was pivotal for the Lions while stalwarts Hugh McCluggage (31 disposals, one goal), Jarrod Berry (30, one goal) and Dayne Zorko (26 touches) were standouts.

Adelaide livewire Izak Rankine was superb with three goals and 24 possessions, attacker Darcy Fogarty kicked four goals and Dawson was influential with his 27 touches including 11 inside 50s.

Adelaide defender Josh Worrell’s breakout season was halted by a suspected broken left wrist.

The 26-gamer was injured seven minutes into the third quarter – after Adelaide substituted fellow backman Dan Curtin at halftime.

Curtin had endured a horror second AFL game with Lions opponents kicking four goals on him.