- from afl.com.au
“BEWARE the early crow."
Those were the first words from Phil Walsh after Adelaide’s incredible opening-round win demolition of North Melbourne.
However, it wasn't a bold statement to the rest of the competition, but a warning to his own team that one outstanding win doesn't make a season.
"To perform like that in round one in front of a very good crowd on Easter Sunday was very satisfying, but we all know it's a long season ahead of us," Walsh said.
Adelaide was powerful from the outset on Sunday, getting first hands on the footy and by half-time the Crows had a 63-point lead thanks to a dominance in contested possession and tackles.
"Win the ground ball, win the tackle (count) … we did that well today," Walsh stated.
Apart from North Melbourne's blistering start to the third quarter, it was never in the game. Adelaide's hunger for the contest, pressure around the ball and exquisite transition from defence made a huge statement to the rest of the competition, especially against a preliminary finalist from last year.
"(The win) gives us great confidence, albeit it's a very small sample size," Walsh remarked.
"When I walked into this club, they had an appetite for hard work, an appetite for getting into structure.
"We know we'll have our tests though and it is round one - we all need to have a cold shower."
New skipper Taylor Walker was outstanding with a best on ground performance against the Roos. He kicked six goals, pulled down 15 marks and was almost unstoppable.
Walker had great support from Eddie Betts (four goals) and Charlie Cameron up forward, while Patrick Dangerfield, Rory Sloane and Richard Douglas were strong in the midfield.
Another strength of the Crows on Sunday was their ability to use their players in a variety of roles.
“(He had) 11 shots, played team footy - (it was a) great captain’s game from ‘Tex’ first-up," Walsh said of Walker.
"I think that's where the game’s going, you only have to look at Hawthorn - they can swing their guys anywhere and it makes it really hard for opposition coaches."
A 77-point win over a highly touted Kangaroos outfit was the perfect debut for Walsh as senior coach. But typical of his style, he was already looking ahead to Collingwood at Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
"It was actually another day at the office, I know how coaches' boxes should work and how a senior coach should perform," Walsh revealed.
"If you bathe in the glory for too long, you'll end up down the shower the next week, I've seen it so many times."
Walsh was happy with the work of his back six too, which means veteran James Podsiadly won't get a look in next week against the Pies. Scott Thompson and Matt Crouch were excellent in the Crows reserves team but Walsh is unlikely to change his side too much after such a dominant performance.