Adelaide vice-captain Rory Sloane will have a nervous start to AFL grand final week after he laid out Geelong Patrick Dangerfield with a bump.
Dangerfield was motionless on the ground for a few seconds after Sloane’s front-on bump near the end of the second term of their Friday night preliminary final.
The match review panel is certain to look at the clash, but Sloane is unlikely to have a case to answer.
It was a straightforward collision immediately after Dangerfield had handballed.
Sloane was back in the Adelaide side after missing their qualifying final win over Greater Western Sydney because he needed his appendix removed.
The bump collected Dangerfield high and he lay motionless for a few seconds, before returning to his feet and groggily running to the interchange bench.
But he showed no ill effects at the start of the third quarter.
Dangerfield, who left the Crows for Geelong two years ago, had lifted in the second quarter after a quiet start.
After only three disposals in the first quarter, the star on-baller had 12 in the second as Geelong desperately tried to peg back the Crows.
Dangerfield was the single biggest talking point heading into Friday night’s match, given his best-afield performance last week in their upset semi-final win over Sydney.
Coach Chris Scott played Dangerfield one-out in the goal square and he kicked four first-half goals.
The question ahead of the preliminary final was whether the Cats would try the same tactic again or start Dangerfield in the middle, his usual role.
As Dangerfield ran to full-forward for the opening bounce, the Crows fans booing him all the way, Adelaide captain Taylor Walker and the Crouch brothers made a point of bashing into him.
Whereas he kicked Geelong’s first two goals last week, Dangerfield’s first scoring shot was a behind at four minutes.
With Adelaide on top from the start, he was moved into the midfield at 14 minutes.
The Crows broke out to a 48-point lead early in the second term, before Dangerfield kicked his first goal at eight minutes.
He was prominent as the Cats pegged back the deficit to 35, before Sloane’s big hit briefly put him out of action.
Dangerfield was one of Geelong’s few good players with two goals and 24 disposals.
But in the last quarter he missed an easy shot at goal from only a few metres out — it was one of those nights for him and the Cats.