Adelaide Crows' decision not to link arms for the Australian national anthem has been hailed a masterstroke.
The Crows elected to leave some distance between themselves and strike an imposing figure across to their Greater Western Sydney counterparts, who all linked arms during the singing of the anthem, per normal.
But it may have had some bearing on the result, with the Crows comfortably sealing their spot in the preliminary final with a 36-point win.
Former AFL star and now commentator Dermott Brereton said it may have been done to give off the appearance there were more Adelaide players than GWS on the pitch.
“I don’t know if they were trying for a visual illusion,” Brereton told Fox Footy.
“If you have a half a metre between each one of them compared to a team that are linking arms, you spread the line from the boundary to the centre square with the way they line up.
“Perhaps they want the optical illusion that, ‘There are so many of us out here’.
“It’s the old Muhammad Ali, ‘I’m hitting him from everywhere and he’s going to think he’s surrounded’. It’s a little game, but I tell you what, it’s working at the moment.”
However, Adelaide midfielder Richard Douglas said it was not a tactic planned in advance.
“(It was) just a bit of gamesmanship,” he told ABC radio.
“It was a bit spontaneous, just the way it panned out. I’m not sure if we’ll do it next time, I think it worked... the crowd enjoyed it.”