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West Coast Eagles thump Adelaide Crows as Nic Naitanui wins his battle with Reilly O’Brien — and gifts him a new phone


Nic Naitanui has had the last laugh with West Coast overpowering Adelaide in a 33-point AFL win in Brisbane to end their five-week Queensland hub stay on the up.

Crows ruckman Reilly O’Brien was forced into damage control after accidentally tweeting match notes which described Naitanui as “lazy and unfit” earlier this week — an error he put down to a broken phone.

Naitanui took the points during the game, but the highlight came after the final siren when the big Eagle produced a brand new phone as a gift to O’Brien.

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“Everyone expected me to have a go at the big fella. They sent me up a phone from Sydney, so I gave the big fella a brand new one,” Naitanui told ABC Grandstand.

“It’s a better phone than I’ve got. He’s a good fella, he was over the moon.

“I knew it came from a motivational side, not from any malice, so it was good fun … but if someone talks smack at you, you want to take it out on them.”

The Crow started with promise but it quickly turned sour for Adelaide, as the Eagles claimed a 10.7 (67) to 5.4 (34) win ahead of a return to Perth for next week’s western derby.

O’Brien quickly apologised ahead of their Saturday afternoon meeting — admitting he had no choice but to walk the walk — and fared well individually with 19 disposals and nine marks in a losing team.

Nic Naitanui and Reilly O'Brien lock up and look up at a ball (out of picture)
Both players had good games, but Naitanui took the points in the ruck.(AAP: Darren England)

The Eagles’ big man won bragging rights, though, kicking a smart snapped goal from a stoppage before pointing to his direct opponent as the ball sailed into the near-empty Gabba stands.

And his ruck craft orchestrated his side’s 29-17 domination of clearances, Tim Kelly (25 touches) the benefactor in his most-industrious game as an Eagle.

Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling helped the Eagles to four-straight goals before Chayce Jones replied for the Crows after winning a suspect holding-the-ball call.

Nic Naitanui gets a ride above a large pack of players, including Adelaide's Reilly O'Brien
The contest between the two ruckmen was keenly anticipated.(AAP: Darren England)

But the Eagles were red hot in the third quarter, Jack Redden streaking free to goal from 45m, before Darling’s accurate snap was desperately assisted by Liam Ryan, who lunged to knock back in play what looked a certain behind.

That quickfire sequence broke the game open before Brayden Ainsworth kicked his first goal for the Eagles since 2018 to create a 34-point buffer.

The Eagles’ second-straight win took them to 3-3, ensuring a promising end to a Gold Coast hub stay which began ominously with three-successive losses.

Winless this season, Adelaide had spent the week in South Australia but will end a month-long absence from their home stadium next weekend when they host St Kilda.

ABC/AAP



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