Port Set To Knock Crows Off Their Perch

Source: News Limited/foxsports.com.au
The Crows won't have Sam Jacobs or the retired Michael Doughty around in the NAB Cup. Image courtesy of foxsports.com.au/News Ltd
Adelaide won last year’s NAB Cup, but to do so again in 2013 will require a substantial contribution from the club’s young guns after coach Brenton Sanderson named a very inexperienced squad for the Crows’ opening two matches in the pre-season. Watching on from the sidelines is a veritable’s who’s who of Crows stars, including Scott Thompson, Patrick Dangerfield, Taylor Walker, Nathan van Berlo, Rory Sloane and Sam Jacobs.

There are plenty of new faces in Port Adelaide’s squad, as well, although Angus Monfries in the only one who has played significantly at AFL level. Plenty of eyes will be on No. 7 draft pick Oliver Wines, who was a prodigious winner of the football at under-18 level and was a standout in Port’s intra-club match. Kane Mitchell is a rookie-listed player in the squad who could see senior footy early on after winning last year’s Sandover Medal.

St Kilda coach Scott Watters is taking the necessary precautions with his senior players, leaving out Lenny Hayes, Nick Riewoldt, Sam Fisher and All-Australian defender Sean Dempster for the trip to Adelaide. It will be the Saints’ first appearance without defensive playmaker Brendon Goddard, so the games present an opportunity for the likes of Arryn Siposs to push for a permanent spot in the back half. St Kilda won the NAB Cup in 2010 and was a semi-finalist in 2011, but couldn’t reach the same heights in 2012.

In the corresponding match last season, Adelaide got the jump on its cross-town rival the Power with a hard-fought 18-17 win after both teams had defeated Carlton in their first match. The Crows have beaten St Kilda on its last three visits to the City of Churches, although the margin was just four points in round 12 last season. AAMI Stadium wasn’t a happy hunting ground for the Saints in 2012, as they also lost their opening round clash with Port by just four points.

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