Adelaide’s high scoring season secured a second minor premiership, with the first in 2005. A third Grand Final also followed for the Crows, with goals of adding to the 1997 and 1998 success stories. Up against Richmond, who were riding a wave of momentum, it was always going to be a tough battle.
The Crows started 6-0 and picked up some crucial victories over the likes of Hawthorn, GWS, Port Adelaide and Richmond. With several of the contenders knocked down, Adelaide was the pace setter.
GWS proved to be the biggest challenge as they swapped top spot with the Crows on a regular basis up until Round 15. The tables turned during a seven-game unbeaten run, which included a spirited comeback draw against Collingwood and an 84-point win over Port Adelaide. Remarkably, while Adelaide lost the last two games of the season – and with the top four separated by just two points – they held on to first ahead of a surging Geelong on percentage.
Home ground advantage spurred a blistering finals run, a 36-point qualifying final win over GWS and a 61-point preliminary final win over Geelong.
The 2017 Grand Final proved to be one of the biggest ever as 100,021 fans packed the MCG, the most to attend an AFL game since 1986. It was Richmond’s first Grand Final since the 1982 season.
Adelaide entered as warm favourites and led by 11 points after the first term. Riding what many called the Tiger Train, Richmond stormed back to stifle the Crows. The Tigers claimed a 48-point win as a third Crows premiership proved to be out of reach.
Young gun Matt Crouch won the Malcolm Blight Medal as a 22-year-old after putting together one of the best seasons by a Crow. He led the AFL in disposals and was fourth for contested possessions. Alongside Rory Laird and Eddie Betts, he was named All-Australian.
Club veteran Scott Thompson retired after 269 games for Adelaide and 308 AFL games in total. He’s a two-time Club Champion, All-Australian and AFL Life Member.