Crows off to a flyer as they sting the Suns in opening round

The Crows have got off to the perfect start for the 2021 season, beating the Northern Suns by 41 points in round 1 of the AFLNZ Premiership at North Harbour Stadium.

Both sides fielded a number of new players in 2021 and it was hard to tell who might take the honours in the opening game of the Premiership.

The Crows were hot early as Alastair Maisey slotted the first goal of the competition with a brilliant running effort.

Crows full forward, Kris Wilder added to their tally soon after before the Suns got themselves in the game through Reed Catchart.

With the wind at their backs in the second term, the Suns worked hard through the midfield but were unable to capitalise on the scoresheet as they found themselves trailing by 3 goals at half time. Captain Ben Hick had a strong half along with Ahku King.

The Crows found hit their straps in the third quarter as they opened up the game and surged ahead to kick 4 goals to nothing. 2019 competition Best and Fairest, Jay Green was superb while Ronan Morling continues to develop in the midfield.

In the final quarter, the Crows were strong on defence and held the Suns to only 2 goals.

A late goal to Alastair Maisey secured a 41 point victory for the 2 time champs as they prepare to meet arch rivals, the Southern Saints in round 2.

The hero:

Will Dickinson was superb for the Crows in his debut game for the club. The former Sun dominated his old side around the contest and even managed a goal in the third quarter.

The support cast:

Kris Wilder was a strong target up front and had plenty of contested marks. He finished with 2 goals for the game.

Declan Crann returned to Premiership footy for the first time since 2019 and looked the goods in the midfield. His hard running and hunger for the ball will put him in good stead for the remainder of the season.

The consolation effort:

Vandyn Hartman and Reed Cathcart gave it their all for the Suns in the midfield. The speedy midfielders were all over the ground for the full 80 minutes. Hartman was named their best by coach, Adem Manderovic, while Catchcart finished with 2 goals.

Say what?

“It was a very pleasing win today, but the Suns played extremely well and let us off the hook at times during the game. All in all, a good win.” Crows coach, Adam Clarke.

“A lot of positive signs from the side today. We were hard at the contest and showed glimpses of brilliance throughout the game. Bring on next week.” Suns Coach, Adem Manderovic.

Goal Scorers:

Western Crows: Kris Wilder 2, Ronan Morling 2, Alastair Maisey 2, Will Dickinson 1, Jay Green 1, Robert Harris 1

Northern Suns: Reed Cathcart 2, Ahku King 1, Trigger Benjamin 1

Best on ground:

Western Crows: Will Dickinson

Northern Suns: Vandyn Hartman