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Crows join Power, Saints with a win

By Chris Pike
17 February 2013 09:19PM EST

ADELAIDE has beaten Port Adelaide in the final match of the AAMI Stadium NAB Cup triple-header on Sunday meaning the Crows, Power and Saints all had a win each.

St Kilda started off in scorching conditions in Adelaide well beating the Crows 0.8.2 (50) to 0.3.6 (24) before Port Adelaide came out and thrashed the Saints, winning 1.9.2 (65) to 0.2.3 (15).

Adelaide then came back out refreshed to beat Port Adelaide 0.6.7 (43) to 0.4.3 (27) in the first Showdown for 2013.

It is Port Adelaide who is best placed to still make a run to the NAB Cup grand final currently having the best percentage of all the teams with one win out of the opening weekend – Essendon, West Coast, Fremantle, Adelaide, Geelong and St Kilda.

Collinwood is the only team to have recorded two wins after beating the Bulldogs and Essendon on Friday night, with the Bulldogs the only winless team.

The Crows were disappointing in the first hit out against the Saints and came out a rejuvenated outfit in the third game to beat the Power by 16 points despite still being without the likes of Brent Reilly, Scott Thompson, Nathan van Berlo, Taylor Walker, Ben Rutten and Jared Petrenko.

Despite kicking all of Adelaide's three goals against St Kilda, veteran Graham Johncock sat out against the Power as did Matthew Jaensch and Daniel Talia with ruckman Angus Graham the main inclusion in his first hit out for the Crows since crossing over from Richmond.

Adelaide controlled the contest against Port Adelaide with big man Josh Jenkins outstanding with two goals from eight possessions and five marks as he made a strong start to his quest to replace Kurt Tippett throughout 2013.

Aidan Riley continued on his form from the first game with another 11 possessions, Richard Tambling had 10, Jarryd Lyons nine, Richard Douglas eight, David Mackay eight and Matthew Wright eight.

The only downside for the Crows in the third match was a collarbone injury to Brodie Smith.

Port Adelaide left Brett and Brad Ebert, Travis Boak and Chad Wingard in the sheds to face the Crows, but there were still positives for the Power.

Essendon recruit Angus Monfries was good with 11 possessions with last year's Sandover Medallist in the WAFL with Claremont Kane Mitchell also looking good with 11 disposals. Kane Cornes, Nathan Blee and Matt Thomas also found plenty of the ball for the Power.

Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson said Smith's injury would be confirmed by an X-ray on Monday, with a likely result of six to eight weeks on the sidelines.

Sanderson said Adelaide were soft around the contest in their initial loss to St Kilda, before lifting their intensity against Port.

The Power lost Monfries to a hamstring strain in their win against St Kilda.

"It will keep him out for a couple of weeks," Power coach Ken Hinkley said.

Hinkley said he was pleased overall with Port's output.

"We got some good stuff, we got some bad stuff, and we got plenty to improve on," he said.

"But overall, as the day went, we achieved some fairly good things."

Meanwhile, St Kilda coach Scott Watters wants a review of the AFL's heat policy after his team's medical staff was on high alert during the 38-degree heat.

"You have to have a close look at the heat policy - that was pretty hot. Those players were under a fair bit of pressure in the second half. We tried our best to rotate them but playing in that sort of heat, it's testing, particularly for younger players," Watters said.

"We ask them to cope with it, we ask them to prepare, and they are fit - but that was pretty tough. We were trying to get mileage into those players today in trying conditions because we're going to have no flexibility at all. You have to be really cautious of exposing your players to a game where there's only 80 rotations."

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