Jason Porplyzia, v Sydney at SCG, July 26 2008
When Jason Porplyzia’s dodgy right shoulder popped out against Collingwood at the MCG in round 15, his season appeared over. A fortnight later he helped revive Adelaide’s faltering season with one of the bravest performances in the Club’s history. The Crows had lost five in a row to tumble out of the top eight before the round 17 trip to Sydney to face the Swans. Porplyzia, clearly restricted, returned to the forward line but the gamble appeared to fail when his shoulder popped out again early in the second term on a wet night at the SCG. He returned to the field, however, and then kicked three second-term goals as Adelaide broke the game open to lead by 23 points at half-time. Porplyzia kicked two more goals in the final term to help protect the premiership points. His final contribution was 5.2 (including a poster) in a team score of 11.11. “There was no guarantee it would not go out again but I was prepared to take that risk,” Porplyzia said post-match. ”He was virtually playing one-handed a lot of the time,” said Adelaide fitness coach Stephen Schwerdt. “It was one of the most unbelievable efforts I’ve seen.” The coach was also impressed. “It says something for him that he has the courage to do that and also his feeling for the playing group,” Craig said. This is the fifth nomination in a 19-part series to find the greatest individual performances by Crows footballers. Previous nominations: Peter Vardy’s six-goal effort in the 1998 second semi-final; Darren Jarman’s 1997 grand final; Tony Modra’s 13 goals against Carlton in the opening round of 1994; Mark Ricciuto for Showdown VII in 2000.