The game in 2020 has changed with players interacting more and more both before and after the final siren.
But not everyone is on board with the happy interactions between opposing playing groups with Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks putting his players on notice.
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Ahead of Adelaide’s contest against Carlton on Sunday at Metricon Stadium, several Crows players shared a laugh and hug with their former teammate who returned to Carlton this off-season in Eddie Betts.
Crows star Brodie Smith revealed Nicks wasn’t overjoyed seeing his players lower their guard and made a point to mention it in his final address before the game.
“We probably got a bit too friendly (with Betts) before the game in the first warm up, and Nicksy actually mentioned it in our meeting that it was time to put all that aside and focus on getting the job done,” Smith said on the Lowdown Podcast.
“Everyone knows how much everyone in the world loves Eddie but how much we love him so it was great to see him and have a good chat and there was plenty of banter on the field.
“Potentially it (the game) has got a bit more friendly among opposition (teams this year), clearly when the game is on the white line fever kicks in, but I don’t know if it’s because we’ve all come together to get the season done and we’re all doing these restrictions and sacrificing a bit.
“I know there is always a chat after the game to see how the guys are going up in the hub and how their families are.
“It has become a bit more friendly … even in Showdowns clearly we want to beat the Power and the white line fever kicks in but everyone seems to be a bit more friendly towards each other which I don’t mind.
“I still think there’s time for it but when the ball is there to be won it’s there to be won.”
After the final siren sounded the two teams once again came together as they farewelled Bryce Gibbs who’s career began at Carlton before wrapping up at the Crows.
Gibbs was chaired from the field by former teammates in Marc Murphy and Kade Simpson, an act slammed by Caroline Wilson and Kane Cornes.
“I’m sorry, call me old-fashioned but I found it extraordinary to see two Carlton footballers — albeit two of his closest mates — carry Bryce Gibbs off the ground,” Wilson said on Footy Classified.
Port Adelaide’s Tom Rockliff, co-host on The Lowdown Podcast, said he was a fan of the move from the Blues to chair Gibbs off.
“I thought it was a pretty special moment, he spent so much of his career at Carlton and a lot of people said it would have been nice if there was one Crows and one Carlton player,” Rockliff said.
“But I think it was a nice touch, those two (Simpson and Murphy) were in his bridal party or really close mates and it’s no disrespect to the Adelaide Footy Club, they did a guard of honour and a nice touch in what’s been a difficult year for so many and a pretty special moment for Bryce and both footy clubs.”