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Adelaide pulls off stunning comeback to sink Saints in Cairns

Adelaide has clawed its way back from a 0-36 start to beat St Kilda by a goal, after Fremantle comfortably beat the Suns in Perth.

Look back at the results and stats from both of Saturday’s games below.

Crows stage major comeback win over St Kilda after first-half drubbing

Emerging Adelaide forward Riley Thilthorpe was the hero as the Crows reeled in a 36-point deficit to pinch a stunning six-point victory over the Saints.

The Crows kicked the final seven goals on Saturday night as Thilthorpe’s kick over his head from 10 metres out put them in front for the first time in the game with a minute to go.

Adelaide went scoreless until midway through the second quarter but came good when it mattered to win 9.12 (66) to 8.12 (60) in Cairns.

Thilthorpe had a chance to kick his third goal and put Adelaide in front only minutes earlier but his tough set shot went out on the full.

But the Crows kept charging to break St Kilda hearts and all but end the Saints’ chances of playing finals for the second-straight year.

Thilthorpe’s second goal came in controversial circumstances with the umpire handing him a free kick for contact against St Kilda defender Dougal Howard only metres out from goal.

The early roles were reversed in the second half as Adelaide kicked 7.6 to 1.6, with the Saints’ last goal coming two minutes into the third term.

After being dominated in the middle during the first quarter-and-a-half, Adelaide’s on-field brigade got on top with Ben Keays, Paul Seedsman and captain Rory Sloane playing crucial roles.

Adelaide collected last year’s wooden spoon but can now add a rousing comeback win to giant upsets over premiership contenders Geelong and Melbourne this season.

St Kilda utility Hunter Clark’s game ended early after being on the wrong end of a strong collision with Adelaide veteran David Mackay during the second quarter.

Clark, who was subbed off for Jack Bytel, was left with a broken jaw, while a dazed Mackay was able to gather himself and play out the game.

Both sides have the bye next weekend before St Kilda face Richmond at the MCG and the Crows travel to tackle Carlton in round 15.

Dockers come good in second half to down wayward Suns

Fremantle's Andrew Brayshaw holds a Sherrin as he runs away from Gold Coast's Sam Flanders during an AFL game.
The Dockers were the best of a bad pair in the first half, but the quality improved after the long break.(

AAP: Gary Day

)

Alex Pearce has upstaged Matt Rowell in the battle of the comebacks to lead Fremantle to a 27-point AFL win over Gold Coast in front of 27,318 fans at Perth Stadium.

Star Suns midfielder Rowell, playing his first game since injuring his knee in round one, was quiet with just 14 disposals and three clearances in the 11.10 (76) to 6.13 (49) loss on Saturday.

Pearce had also been sidelined since round one because of a knee injury and made sure his comeback game was one to relish.

The 26-year-old kept Suns forward Ben King goalless from seven disposals.

Pearce, who tallied 16 disposals, seven marks, and five rebound 50s, also saved several other goals by putting his body on the line to shut down Gold Coast’s forays forward.

King’s confidence was so shot by the end of the match that he dropped a simple mark in the dying minutes and then missed from 15 metres out when an open goal beckoned.

The result improved Fremantle’s record to 6-7, while Gold Coast’s finals hopes are all but over after slipping to 4-8.

Dockers veteran David Mundy was influential with 20 disposals, six clearances and two goals, while Rory Lobb booted two goals and snared four contested marks.

Suns midfielder Touk Miller battled hard for 31 disposals, seven clearances and a goal.

Rowell endured a moment of embarrassment when he did not realise he was meant to be on the field for the opening bounce.

The 19-year-old had made his way to the bench before being advised to rush back out on the field — with the trainer even showing him the magnetic whiteboard to prove they were correct.

Bright sunshine and perfect conditions greeted players for the match, but the opening half proved to be one of the ugliest displays of football seen this season.

Both sides were guilty of committing basic handling errors and costly turnovers, with Gold Coast’s kicking on goal during the second term particularly embarrassing.

The Suns went to half-time with 1.8 to their name, with forward Burgess and Sam Flanders both booting two behinds during the second term.

The game finally found some spark in the third term as the goals rained down.

Dockers forward Josh Treacy showcased his potential with two long-range goals, while Gold Coast star Izak Rankine also booted two.

Michael Walters nailed a tough set shot after the siren to give his side a 22-point buffer at three-quarter time, and the Dockers controlled play in the final term to cruise to victory.

Ladder

Source: AFL NEWS ABC