Crows storm home to beat Saints in AFLW

Adelaide have defeated St Kilda by 13 points in their AFLW clash at Richmond Oval to get their title defence back on track.

ERIN PHILLIPS at Ikon Park in Melbourne, Australia.
ERIN PHILLIPS  at Ikon Park in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images

Reigning premiers Adelaide are back in business after storming from nowhere to snatch a remarkable 13-point win against unlucky St Kilda at Richmond Oval.

The Crows didn't score until almost midway through Sunday's second quarter but showed the characteristics of a champion side to snatch a victory to keep their premiership defence on track.

They did not lead until the last four minutes of the game, when Madison Newman steered through a goal from an angle.

First-gamer Caitlin Gould had levelled the scores moments earlier when she clung on to a huge pack mark and kicked her first AFLW goal. Forward Eloise Jones sealed the 6.4 (40) to 4.3 (27) win in front of 6433 fans with a goal on the siren.

Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard were outstanding, while Courtney Gum showed her class in the second half to help turn the game.

The loss was tough on the Saints, who for much of their second game had looked on target to claim a historic first win.

Georgia Patrikios showed a bright future with 18 effective touches, while Tilly Lucas-Rodd, Tarni White and Nat Exon all had their moments.

The Saints, beaten convincingly in round one by the Western Bulldogs, weren't helped when Clara Fitzpatrick was forced off on a stretcher in the last quarter with concussion after a courageous marking attempt.

St Kilda coach Peta Searle was disappointed but proud.

"Last week, I was disappointed and flat. I knew we were a better side than what we produced.

"I said to the girls they had to raise the bar after last week and they certainly did that. We showed when we play our way, we are a hard team to defend."

Crows premiership coach Matthew Clarke paid tribute to St Kilda.

"I thought the Saints dictated the game in the first half and it was probably more credit to them than us doing anything particularly wrong ... the pleasing thing is we were able to respond."

Adelaide's 2019 premiership flag was unfurled before the game but, in the first quarter, it looked like it was the Crows' game which was unfurling.

Without superstar co-captains Erin Phillips and Chelsea Randall, they looked fumbly and wasted plenty of the ball.

Phillips is on the comeback from the torn anterior cruciate ligament, while Randall is out for the year after tearing her ACL in pre-season training.

The Crows, who failed to score in the first quarter of their opening-round loss to Brisbane, also didn't get on the scoreboard in the opening term against St Kilda.

But, as Clarke said, "in the end, we got away with one".


AAP