Welcome to the fifth episode of Rosco's Rivalries - thanks to Hungry Jack's.
Our inaugural club captain relives some of our classic clashes with Adelaide.
Watch the video, read the article about some of our great clashes with the Crows and take the quiz below!
Round 2, 1994
The resilience of the West Coast Eagles – in what was ultimately a premiership year – was under early scrutiny when the Adelaide Crows arrived for this round two encounter at Subiaco Oval.
After and entertaining first quarter, at the end of which the Eagles held a five-point advantage, Adelaide had the better of the contest and led by 20 points at three quarter.
At that point, the collective class of the Eagles responded, and steered the club to an important 19-point win – the club’s first batch of points after falling by three points to Essendon in the season-opener.
Brett Heady was exceptional against the Crows, kicking five goals, while Glen Jakovich was brilliant at centre-half-back, the young colossus raking in 14 marks. Skipper John Worsfold was typically gritty, with 17 possessions and six jarring tackles.
Dean Kemp, Don Pyke and Peter Matera were key influencers through the midfield, while ruckman Ryan Turnbull capped off his game with two goals and Peter Sumich also posted a couple of important majors.
2006 Preliminary Final
Grand final performances aside, this victory over Adelaide in the 2006 preliminary final at Football Park rates in the top five victories in the last 33 years.
Stating the obvious, had it not been for the resolve of the Eagles in this game, there would be just three cups perched in the foyer at Mineral Resources Park.
Half-time on September 23 and only the true believers would have maintained faith that the Eagles could find a way out of a serious predicament.
It wasn’t so much that the Eagles trailed by 22 points, or even the fact that the first half had yielded just two goals. It was more about the way the minor premier was playing.
The Eagles struggled to get their running game into vogue. Couldn’t find time or space and its gun players were struggling to have an impact against a dour Adelaide outfit.
As the case had been so often during the season, West Coast regrouped, found a way to reverse the trend of the game and then surged with an inspired second half which saw it earn a second successive Grand Final appearance.
At the long break the West Coast players knew they could do more. “Dig Deep” had been one of the club’s catch cries for a couple of years and veteran Michael Braun urged his teammates to live up to it in the second half.
The enthusiasm bubbled and the commitment was palpable.
The urgency with which the players attacked the ball was obvious. And the goals came. Chris Judd, Ben Cousins and Daniel Kerr combined with Dean Cox to dominate the stoppages. Adam Hunter continued to shine up forward, with assistance coming from Quinten Lynch.
Braun was outstanding on a wing, shutting down the dangerous Andrew McLeod, Adam Selwood stuck to his task against Brett Burton, the two Crows stars, who had returned from long injury lay-offs, were effectively shut down.
Andrew Embley produced a second-up gem and Ashley Hansen took 11 marks up forward to provide vitality across half-forward.
By three-quarter time the margin had been cut to just eight points. It took only seven or eight minutes of the final stanza for the Eagles to hit the front for the first time. Soon it was out to three goals and victory appeared assured.
As it transpired that proved to be the case, the Crows never wresting back the ascendancy. But it was far from a coast to the line.
Adelaide nudged to within four points with 15 seconds on the clock and Simon Goodwin had the ball and was charging forward at the subsequent bounce before the shrill of the umpire’s whistle stopped him in his tracks.
Tyson Edwards had infringed against Tyson Stenglein in the centre square. He kicked it to his good mate, Chad Fletcher at half-forward, who in turn relayed it to Hansen. The flame haired forward was sizing up the goals when the siren reverberated around the stadium.
West Coast had won. Just to make sure, Hansen went back and slotted it through to bump the margin out to 10 points. And West Coast was off to the MCG again.
Round 15, 2013
It is possible to analyse an AFL game these days to the most finite of detail. But forget the data on this one – the reason for victory was sheer heart.
Whether it was Matt Priddis, Chris Masten or Brad Dalziell pushing their bodies to over-ride a mind telling them there was nothing left in the tank; Eric Mackenzie driving himself to get another spoiling fist on the ball when the Crows were in prime position to mark, or Josh Kennedy surging up the ground and then back again to see whether his opponent really wanted to run with him, there were examples everywhere.
Brad Sheppard’s capacity to deal with pain, after collecting a reckless elbow to the jaw from Shaun McKernan, Andrew Embley’s determination to have an impact as a substitute, the entire team commitment to deliver under adversity.
While victory can only ever be achieved by focusing on the players in the team, rather than those who are not, it was difficult to ignore the absence of Scott Selwood, Luke Shuey, Daniel Kerr, Shannon Hurn and Sharrod Wellingham.
In their absence the midfield was particularly decimated, but Masten, Priddis, Dalziel and Mark Hutchings all accepted their responsibility and stepped up. Masten had 39 possessions, including 13 in the last term, and provided so much of the midfield impetus to achieve a significant victory.
Trailing by a couple of goals entering time on, the Eagles needed something special on a cold, wintry, slippery evening in Adelaide.
It came when Embley and Dalziell produced clutch goals in the run home in the final term. Then Kennedy kicked the winning goal with a minute to play. The indefatigable forward gathered just outside 50, wheeled onto his left foot and slotted a terrific snap which dissected the major opening.
Round 19, 2014
West Coast’s first sojourn to the Adelaide Oval was always going to be interesting.
With football’s premier venue in the State moving from West Lakes to the inner city’s traditional home of cricket, there was a level of curiosity.
The venue had been a big winner with fans of the two SA clubs, they enjoyed the location and were flocking in big numbers to all games. Around 50,000 was the norm. And so it was for this clash with the Crows.
About five minutes into the contest, the unique setting on the River Torrens was about all there was to enjoy. Adelaide exploded out of the blocks. Kicked the first four goals. The Eagles couldn’t get their hands on the ball.
But West Coast then settled into those foreign climes. Began to get a share of the footy and slowly edged back into the contest. So much so that by quarter time, they trailed by only a point and had racked up 10 shots at goal, opposed to the Crows’ six.
The Crows resumed after half time with renewed vitality, regained the ascendancy and the lead – two points – by three quarter-time.
It was then a question of how West Coast responded. And as it transpired, it was with the club’s best win of the season.
Adelaide had lost Daniel Talia to an errant and accidental knee to the head from opponent Josh Kennedy and he failed the concussion test, so sat out the second half.
In his absence the Eagles forwards took charge. Kennedy, Darling and Mark LeCras were constantly dangerous and, largely through their contributions, the Eagles took 17 marks inside the attacking 50.
That statistic was assisted by the brilliant midfield contributions of Chris Masten, Andrew Gaff, who also pushed forward to kick three goals, Luke Shuey and Mr Consistent, Matt Priddis.
The Crows also made the tactical error of failing to shut down rebounding half-back Shannon Hurn, who was devastating with time and space rebounding out of the defensive half.
Ruckman Nic Naitanui gave those players first use of the ball and also in defence Will Schofield and Mitch Brown were solid.
West Coast Eagles v Adelaide
Highest score: 29.13 (187) – round 4, 2000
Lowest score: 4.7 (31) – round 14, 1997
Greatest winning margin: 135 points – round 19, 1995
Greatest losing margin: 86 points – round 23, 2013
Longest winning sequence: 5 games – preliminary final 2005 to round 13, 2007