Daw wins on AFL return as Roos smash Crows

North Melbourne's Majak Daw has enjoyed a winning return to the AFL, with the Kangaroos thrashing winless Adelaide by 69 points at Metricon Stadium.

TAYLOR WALKER.
TAYLOR WALKER. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The inspirational return of Majak Daw to the AFL has punctuated a thumping victory for North Melbourne over ailing Adelaide.

Daw, playing his first match since suffering serious hip and pelvic injuries in a fall from Melbourne's Bolte Bridge in December 2018, sparked huge celebrations on Saturday when he kicked a fourth-quarter goal in North's 19.5 (119) to 7.8 (50) victory at Metricon Stadium.

Every Kangaroos player on the field swarmed to the 29-year-old to celebrate his goal as he ended a 700-plus day absence from the competition in style.

"There's no better feeling than winning," Daw told Fox Footy.

"Over the past two years, the battles I've gone through, it's worth it, winning with your teammates.

"Nothing beats playing AFL footy."

Daw, playing in placed of axed spearhead Ben Brown, provided a target in North's forward line throughout the match and ended the game with eight disposals, four marks and his goal.

His return provided a much-needed lift for a Kangaroos team which snapped a six-game losing run in devastating fashion, leaving the winless Crows marooned on the bottom of the ladder.

North coach Rhyce Shaw was caught on camera celebrating with coaching staff when Daw's goal was kicked and he couldn't have been happier with the return.

"I think we did it the right way. We were patient with him too, we made him work for it but he put the work in and he got the result that he deserved and it's just fantastic to see," Shaw said.

"As a coach and as a coaching staff when you see Maj kick the goal, all the boys get around him, that's genuine. That's what we're about as a footy club and I was really proud of everyone, and I'm really proud of Maj today.

"He did a fantastic job and he well and truly repaid us today."

Cameron Zurhaar kicked three goals for the Kangaroos while Jack Mahony, Aaron Hall, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Nick Larkey, Jasper Pittard and Shaun Higgins had two majors each.

Luke McDonald finished with a game-high 35 disposals and Jed Anderson (28 disposals, eight tackles) and Todd Goldstein (19 hitouts, 19 disposals) were hugely influential.

The defeat is the Crows' 12th in a row and means when they step out to face Melbourne at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday it will be more than a year since the club's last AFL win.

Crows coach Matthew Nicks, who's still waiting for his first win as an AFL head coach, apologised to fans for his team's performance.

"I love our people. I love our players, our staff, our coaching group but we took a big step backwards today, as a group, unfortunately," Nicks said.

"We're really disappointed with what we put out there ... I'm sorry to our supporters for the performance we bought it wasn't at the level. It was nowhere near the level."

While Adelaide face Melbourne next week, North Melbourne's next match is against Geelong on Wednesday.


AAP