Adelaide’s belief soared following a standout performance inspired by Rory Sloane’s farewell, as the Crows clinched a hard-fought victory against local rivals Port Adelaide in Thursday night’s Showdown.

Despite Port’s opportunities, particularly in front of goal, and the setback of losing captain Connor Rozee to a hamstring injury in the third quarter, Adelaide impressed with their resilience, drawing praise from coach Matthew Nicks for their mature display.

While the win may not have been aesthetically pleasing to all observers, Nicks emphasized its significance in rejuvenating the team’s season, now standing at a 3-5 record and marking their third consecutive triumph over Port.

“Though it may have seemed scrappy to some, from our perspective, it was near perfect,” remarked Nicks.

“We came out strong, setting the tone early, and maintained control throughout, presenting challenges for our opponents. It turned into a gritty affair, but our ability to persevere and secure the win was extremely satisfying.”

Nicks highlighted the maturity displayed by his players, emphasizing the importance of tangible results in reinforcing self-belief.

“Belief is crucial, but when you see the fruits of your labor manifest in victories, it strengthens that belief even further,” he explained.

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