Many would recall the Sydney-West Coast rivalry of 2005/2006, however it was Adelaide who claimed top spot on the ladder in 2005 after fighting for first with West Coast throughout the season.
Adelaide started with a slow burn to be 4-4 with an early 68-point Showdown win bringing extra confidence. After 12 games, though, the Crows were just 7-5. What followed turned the season on its head as Adelaide moved from fourth to first and erased a 16-point ladder deficit on the Eagles.
A Club-record 10-game streak started with a 70-point drubbing of Richmond and while there were nervous moments – six games decided by 13 points or less – Adelaide was surging towards West Coast. After 21 games the season was perfectly poised with West Coast on 68 points and Adelaide 64 with the two teams facing off in Round 22 in Perth. The Crows led throughout the game and the minor premiership was Adelaide’s with an eight-point win.
Undeniably the in-form team, a shock loss to St Kilda in the qualifying final sent the Crows into what is still the only finals Showdown. Port Adelaide was rarely in the game, dispatched by 83 points in front of 50,521 fans. Adelaide returned to Perth where the Eagles again waited. This time, West Coast won by 16 points.
Ben ‘Truck’ Rutten, Mark Ricciuto and Simon Goodwin were All-Australian selections with Ricciuto named captain of the squad for the second year in a row. Goodwin, meanwhile, won Adelaide’s Club Champion Award.