Round 21 – Essendon v Adelaide: Is Matt Crouch the New Garry McIntosh?

 


ESSENDON 2.2 5.4 9.7 12.8 (80)
ADELAIDE 5.3 10.6 14.9 18.15 (123)

 

GOALS
Essendon: Hooker 4, Daniher 3, Stewart 2, McKenna, Watson, Colyer
Adelaide: Jenkins 3, McGovern 3, Douglas 2, Walker 2, Smith 2, Greenwood, Lynch, Knight, Atkins, Mackay, B.Crouch

 

BEST
Essendon: McGrath , Zaharakis , Hooker ,Daniher, Leuenberger, Hurley
Adelaide: M Crouch,Smith,Atkins,Douglas, Sloane, Laird, Jenkins, Brown

 

INJURIES
Essendon: Daniher (finger)
Adelaide: Walker (ankle), Sloane (left leg)

 

Umpires: Dalgleish, Williamson, Pannell

 

Official crowd: 38,487 at Etihad Stadium

 

Malarkey Medal Votes: M Crouch (Ad) 3, B Smith (Ad) 2, A McGrath (Ad) 1.

 

Adelaide sowed up a top 2 finish and 2 home finals with a comprehensive 43 point win over Essendon and moving ahead 15-14 in clashes overall against the bombers.

(a stat which is really a lot more enjoyable being now in front of Port Pirie Power!)

 

1. Matt Crouch, who well and truly has claims to being the most consistent in the game in 2017 and surely must be a lock for All-Australian honours, was truly magnificent with

35 touches, of which 20 were contested and he went at 89 per cent efficiency. His ability in close re handball vision and awareness, has similarities to the great Garry McIntosh http://www.footyalmanac.com.au/macca-mr-loyalty-a-tribute-to-garry-mcintosh/

While he doesn’t have the power and length of leg of Macca, his disposal by foot has improved dramatically, simply that I can see a like between the two is massive praise for

Matt Crouch (your thoughts?).

 

2. Red time goals, the Crows kicked 7 goals v none by the bombers from the 25 minute mark of each quarter. The ability to finish off quarters full of running and hitting the scoreboard compared to the bombers was vital and arguably the difference between the 2 sides. Maybe the opposition lacked pep in their step?

 

3. Again the Crows multi dimensional forward line is just so difficult to counter with the goals shared around, ending up with 11 individual goalkickers (amazingly Sir Edward Betts not one of them) not only the forwards but the mids and B Smith chiming in.

 

4. Brodie Smith. If there is a player in the game who is suited to playing at Etihad where the ball seems to carry that bit further it is B Smith, he’s always a chance to chime in with goals and he duly obliged with 2 sausage rolls and along with Tex Walker and Rory Atkins, that trios field kicking split the bombers open time and time again.

 

5. Richard Douglas has had a very good year, just when it looked like a move into defence was going to occur through necessity, the midfield berth still beckoned early in the season he has delivered on a consistent week to week basis.

 

6. Luke Brown again performed his role to perfection, keeping Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti goalless (geez wonder what the odds were of AMT and Betts being held goalless? Maybe even longer than Troy Chaplin making a blunder in the 1st 30 seconds of a final, ok sorry no need for me to be ridiculous (you called for it, he’s back!). Brown is such an important player for Adelaide keeping the opposition main small forward under control.

 

7. Turnover scores, which has been important for the Crows, was again decisive. Their forward and overall pressure resulting in the final stat of scores from turnovers 14-12-96 to Essendon’s 7-5-47, again just so vital in deciding the game, the Crows overall class and batting deeper in its 22 players delivered the chocolates.

 

8. For Essendon, Andrew McGrath was brilliant beating Eddie Betts, while personally I would still have him behind Ryan Burton in the rising star award he enhanced his claims considerably.

 

9. The Bomber twin towers in Cale Hooker and Joe Daniher were a constant threat to the Crows defence with Essendon cleverly blocking Daniel Talia’s run and attempt to spoil on several occasions. Josh Green was involved it seemed to be a set play and was very clever tactically by the Bombers. Joe Daniher is as exciting as any player in the game and is the bombers key player for the next decade.

 

10. Hey media, how about bothering to do some research, the idiotic criticism Daniher copped re supposedly not showing Rory Atkins respect, turns out they have been best mates since under 11s, heaven forbid any one actually having fun playing AFL footy, isn’t that allowed?

 

11. Michael Hurley provided a lot of run and rebound for the bombers BUT he was opposed to Josh Jenkins at times and he gave him too much latitude and freedom with Jenkins kicking 3 goals and having a hand in several others. It seems to be forgotten that a defenders main job is to beat his opponent and when some of the defenders in the game, yes Alex Rance quickly comes to mind, have to actually defend and not just have the luxury of being the plus 1 they struggle.

 

12. While I respect Jobe Watson enormously as a player for his leadership during the whole saga I will never understand why Watson and the senior players did not question far more and say NO. Having spent time with Alison Peek, the Aussie Hockeyroo Sydney gold medalist, who was ruthless in checking every thing which went in to her own body. I was in awe of her thorough professionalism, it is every athletes own responsibility to check what goes in to their own body, the Bombers just should have been far more questioning and stood up as a whole group and said no way Jose.

 

13. I am in agreeance with Neil Balme re the whole players retirement bit, overall it seems a bit like the farewell Steve Waugh Test tour, more than a tad over the top.

 

14. The MRP lottery result comes out every Monday, Ben Howlett MUST be sanctioned but because luckily Luke Brown wasn’t concussed may not be despite it being a blatant sling tackle. Imagine the AFL being in charge of road rules, go through a red light and we will only charge you of an offence if an accident occurs? It is pure STUPIDITY.
Toby Greene, under the guidelines of the head being sacrosanct and the fact an injury occurred, didn’t display due care towards Luke Dahihaus (ok yes it wasn’t concussion),
but he was bleeding and had to be replaced does that mean games ? Again re MRP, we never know, mind you this case is so unique and bizarre I think everyqone is bewildered by it, your thoughts and predictions?

 

So on to next week, where we have a blockbuster Friday night game against the Swans at Adelaide Oval, where the Crows can sow up the minor premiership, while the Bombers take on the Suns to try and keep their finals chances alive.

 

Do you see the similarities between Macca and Matt Crouch? (Ducks?)

 

Am I being too hard on Jobe Watson and players retiring? Your overall thoughts? Thank you.

Comments

  1. No comparison.

    There will only be one Macca . I could not see him in a Jumper other than red and blue

  2. Jill Tathra says:

    It was a great game for the Crows as Essendon kept coming back at the. With the finals so close it showed they can pull away If it comes to that in Sept. Still a little slow to start with though which is a little scary.

    As for the Daniher incident even if they have known one another for years didn`t look good.

  3. Caz Phillips says:

    I always enjoy reading this article and reading different opinions .
    Matt Crouch has really stepoed up this season as had Brad and Hugh is doing a great job too .
    As an avid Redlegs fan when I lived in Adelaide I went to many of Norwoods games and watched Macca play and yes I do see many similarities with him and Matt .
    Our midfielders are doing a great job and its on Sloaneys shoulders as much which is why we have more versatility in our team .
    Yesterdays game was pretty fast and both teams took it on through the corridors everytime it was available.
    Our run and carry and breaking the lines was important yesterday ,Dmac ,Rat ,Dougy and Brodie Smith were very good and stood up when it counted .
    I thought Tex was goid but looked a tad sore as did Rory S but both tried there guts out .Eddie too may have been a bit sore after what hes bern through but credit must go to McGrath on keeping Eddie pretty quiet even tho he still popped up now and then .
    Mitch McG was really good and I hope the hell he signs real soon love this bloke and what he has to offer.Thought Lever looked like his mind was elsewhere butt he played ok Im sure yhis young bloke has alot on his mind even tho he says he doesn’t.
    The chief was pretty good too and worked hard and linked up over the ground as usual but missed an easy shot running into goal .
    The back 6 stood tall all game and has been a key to.our success all year as has our efficiency and willing to take the game on.
    Now that we have 2 home finals all but sown up there will be some big decisions for Pykey and others to make ,if the players are fit they should play but if they dont come up.its the next man up but I cant see Tex and Rory not wanting to play .
    Maybe if the Eagles get beaten and are outg of the finals and with the week off it might be a goodx idea to rest a sore body or two but do you.muddle with good form ,not sure .
    Next weeks game wont be easy but if we bring our pressure and intent we can beat the Swans too .
    Exciting times bring it on GO THE CROWS just loving it

  4. Ben Larsen-Smith says:

    Crows looking very dangerous with the two home finals! Didn’t get a chance to watch the game but thanks for providing summary and highlights, very interested to hear Eddy Betts goal-less. Very much agree on the confusion surrounding match review panel decisions

  5. Extremely important win for the crows marching into September. Top 2 locked up should mean only one more visit to Melbourne this year for the big dance.
    The standard composure shown by our inexperienced players is remarkable. Lever, Knight, Kelly feel the game like seasoned 150 gamers.
    I’ll hold my hand up and admit I called for Keath to be dropped after last week but I’ve gotta say he kept his composure and backed himself in at some critical times.
    I’m loving the way Greenwood is playing.

  6. I hadn’t thought of the Mcintosh comparison, but I think it’s a good one. Junior Crouch has a little bit of mongrel in him too. Just needs to work on the hair.

    Good pick up of the blocking tactics. There was some pretty significant off the ball holding that largely went unchecked.

    I wonder about these soccer style pre-meditated celebrations in footy. Essendon finished the third term strongly and an early goal in the 4th could have made it interesting. In a funny way the predetermined clapping at 4 minutes for Jobe took the crowd out of the game

  7. Barry Adams says:

    Next Fridays game is huge. This will determine not only how they handle the Swans physicality but whether we can exert some of our own. We need to lift another level and show teams we are capable of this. Win this and we deserve to be classified a real premiership threat

  8. Jeff Milton says:

    Matty Crouch is developing into a great player, but still only 1 Macca. He should be an All Australian this year but probably won’t be. Ask again when M Crouch has played 300 games for the club. There are a lot of Crows displaying Macca like courage in their attack on the ball. If they can hold it together and avoid injury at the wrong time this team can go all the way. Not bad for a side that lacks top 10 draft picks. Every player playing their role

  9. Not at all too hard on Jobe Watson.
    If he was a 15yo Chinese swimmer, we’d have no compunction about coming down on him like a ton of bricks.
    I’m sure he’s a great bloke (well, I’ve no idea, actually, but his public persona seems very affable) but this is not what this is all about.
    As an aside, I was struck by the irony of him likening his changed relationship with the game since the supplements palaver to the feeling of getting back with a partner after having been cheated on.

  10. Mark Ducker says:

    Good article again RB. You asked me about M Crouch c/w Macca.

    I think M Crouch has exceeded all expectations as 2nd round draft pick for the Tippett mess / Vince unfortunate resultant loss. He’s had a sensational year and will likely win Crows B&F deservedly and should be in the All Australian team ( best & most consistent Crows midfielder 2017 in the top team in the comp. must be a lock!! But we all know he unlikely will be in there esp. as Tredrea is the SA rep. in the selection committee and the Vic selectors probably never heard of him, let alone care!!!!) Excuse my sarcasm. He has an uncanny knack finding the ball and glad he plays for the Crows. And he will get better as only played 65-70 games. And his disposal efficiency is improving.

    That said, I would like to see him improve his tacking, pressure acts and his kicking ( though improving) not poor but not top notch either – Sloane and his brother tackle and pressure opponents much better generally.

    Macca – elite tackler ( best I’ve seen) and elite with pressure acts and intimidation and elite by hand and foot. You acknowledged this RB including length of Macca’s leg. Always hard comparing eras though – this era leaves Macca’s era for dead comparatively with all aspects EXCEPT set goal kicking which I can’t understand.

    So for these reasons I don’t see the similarity RB – I see his brother’s inside work similar to Macca. Macca wouldn’t have accumulated consistently the possessions MC does, but most of Macca’s possessions hurt the opposition, but many of MC’s often don’t.

    But I’m comparing Macca at his best to MC NOW, and to be fair to him he hasn’t reached his best yet – wait until he’s played 150 games. He may improve by then his tackling, pressure acts, kicking and physicality.

    But MC is continually improving and will feature two years in a row in the top 10 B&F at Crows – likely no 1 this year. I gradually appreciating more what he can do, but as I keep saying, his brother is and will be a jet though had an ordinary day yesterday. I still remember BC’s 2nd half 2014 season as a kid – not many do. I heard Scott Camporeale talk on the radio with Mark Bickley on Friday ( both assistant coaches of the day) and SC remembered 2014 as well – said he would have won the Crows’ B&F on his 2nd half of year performance after injury. Do you remember RB?

  11. Tony Cove says:

    Good comments, Rulebook. The Crouch M. / McIntosh comparison interesting. I am a Sturt fanatic so maybe shouldn’t comment, BUT they are both left-footed ball magnets so a fair comparison I guess.
    Good signs from the Essendon match, in no particular order: 1. Brodie Smith has the most devastating right foot in the AFL when he is on song 2. Good to see Rat back in the sort of form that he displayed back in April. 3. Still gotta nail more of those set shots & shots on the run 4. We won comfortably without much of an Eddie influence 5. Plenty of big contested marks up forward augurs well for the finals. 6. Richard Douglas much underrated by opposition coaches/supporters; hope that continues! His efficiency & cool head in heavy traffic is very damaging 6. Crouch brothers continue to gather momentum & a mountain of possessions.7. Each time Essendon threatened, Crows steadied. Maybe in previous seasons, panic & self-doubt may have allowed an Essendon come-back. 8. 2 more wins needed, then the REAL season begins! Are we a different proposition this year? Time will tell……

  12. Matt Crouch has been absolutely fantastic for the Crows this year, always doing exactly what is needed of him and he’s really stepped it up.

  13. Crows faced stong test as essendon play ethihad well and got belted
    The serious test comes this week and if they win that then theres no stopping them

  14. We need another stat’ one that measures “team first’ decisions/acts. The Crows would be well ahead, Sydney found it after 6 games and Geelong has it occasionally. The player rating that has m crouch, t walker and s.jacobs on 56, 57 and 59 respectively is obviously flawed and can go.
    As for Jobe Watson, he has carried himself and his team in an exemplary manner, his treatment by the suits has been poor, those suits may see his legacy as tarnished, I think most lovers of football and ‘team first’ see him as a great person and leader.

  15. Dons supporters are a weird bunch. Stuck with some sore losers at the match last night.

    Matt Crouch very good to watch & McGrath too.

    Nervous for the swans still next week!!

  16. Mark Duffett says:

    The red light/report-MRP analogy is an excellent one, spot on. The act is the primary offence – sure it can be compounded if there are serious consequences, but the latter are down to chance. The former is what should be judged on.

  17. Love point 6 – you never miss him!

  18. Definitely some similarity without the intimidation although Matt is very competitive

    Clean ball handling and handball in traffic mostly , Matt seems to have a very good temperament and there isn’t much gap between his best and worst

    The trade of Vince for a 2nd round pick was a very non crows thing to do so they can be glad they’ve been rewarded for their courage on that one , also begs the question of whether this sort of trade should be engineered more often ? Thoughts ?

  19. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Hi Fsrmboy only comparing re playing style.Jill thank you agree to disagree re Daniher and Atkins just good mates having fun and you can bet with the Rat involved there would have been previous banter.Thankd Caz love your passion and agree with you completely.thanks,Ben and good luck.Adrian I am a huge,Kelly fan he is a astute footballer and the upside re Keath is enormous just hope he can play the rest of the season.Steve L thank you and I agree re entirely the soccer celebration did seem to take the wind out of there sails.Barry with the position we are now in we won’t take any risks re players which probably reduces the importance of Fri night.Milts only comparing re style not where,M Crouch is with in the game agree completely re abscence of top 10 picks outstanding effort by the Crows to be where we are.Belly I agree with every letter let alone each word you have written.Ducks where I see the most comparison is re in close and not fumbling making up for the lack of pace with the vision to pick the right option agree entirely re the tackling it is a area Matt has to improve on and yes there was only one Macca.I heard that on the radio on Friday and immediately thought of you I was half expecting a message and while Brad Crouch was outstanding then all the opposition focus was on Dangerfield and Sloane he was allowed to run around like a unregistered dog so that went down slightly re my marking not disagreeing that he wasn’t outstanding tho thank you

  20. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Tong agree tre B Smith leg it is unique in the power he generates,Atkins imp player hopefully mentally he is ok in the finals.Douglas cool head good point as was the composure shown.Campbell M Crouch has had a phenomenal year,Ross don’t think the Crows especially will show there full card this week.C James agree entirely re 1st decisions and player ratings and wish Watson had displayed leadership at the start of the whole saga and it wouldn’t have happened.Tess interesting and bizarre footy supporters re each club and while it’s a big game this week we won’t show all of our cards.Mark thank you and it is just something I feel so strongly about poor governance of the game overall.Thanks TC.Urbs agree your last point I will think about more and come back to thanks folks

  21. Hate comparing players across different area’s given how much change occurs in the game (both on and off the field). Macca was a champion who would have been a top player at any level. Crouch is a good young kid, and I like the way he plays – but has a LONG way to go before he can be mentioned in the same breath as our glorious 14.

  22. Crouch would not carry Macca’s bags to training.
    2 home finals in front of a parochial Adelaide crowd, it’s hard to see the Crows not making the GF.
    Sydney looms as the possible danger.

  23. Ben Footner says:

    Adelaide perfectly primed and hitting peak form at exactly the right time of year for a change. Trying hard to keep a lid on things but this is starting to prove difficult!

    Particularly impressed by the way Adelaide soaked up Essendon’s multiple surges with cool heads. They never looked phased despite Essendon throwing everything they had at them.

    They no longer just hope they are good enough, they now genuinely believe they are.

  24. Rulebook, I have Burton *and* McGrath behind Charlie Curnow…

  25. Good writeup RB. The game this Friday night is going to tell us a lot

  26. Dave Brown says:

    The comparison is not unreasonable, Rulebook, noting Crouch is three years into his career. For someone who came into the season with a massive knock on his disposal he has improved out of sight this year. As well as the things mentioned above he lacks the long distance handpass as attacking weapon, but then again I’ve never seen someone better at that than Macca.

    It was weird watching Friday and Saturday nights’ games. Bruce was rabbitting on about the Bulldogs’ handpasses on Friday night but the Crows and much of the rest of the comp have gone far past them in that regard this year. Wonder how many people talking Hurley up were watching the stats sheet instead of the game. His opponent, a key forward, had 20 touches and three goals. No amount of cheapies out the back can make up for that in a (at times) close contest.

    As for Greene, if I was running the MRP (I’d be as popular as sardine tim tams) that would be careless, medium impact, high contact (the footage has confused a lot of people because it does not show that it was a handball receive, not a marking contest). Normally two games down to one but because he has a bad record three games down to two. Have sympathy for your position that the tribunal guidelines place far too much emphasis on the outcome rather than the action. Believe that the rules should be seen through to the end of the season and then reviewed.

  27. Good call right through Rulebook. I’ve had The Pride of South Australia on the top line of my board since they gave The Tiges a Football lesson back in Round VI. The Striped Marvels aren’t playing all that badly this season, and apart from a lapse of concentration against TheFeeling Faints, have been in every match they played this season. (Thye lost three of those through lapses of concentration, too Wrap – Ed) The Crows tore them apart, and even scarier, they’ve only got better as the Season has progressed. The Swans’ match will be a bottler, but based on both sides’ effort against Struggletown, my money’s on The Carbonated Charddies. .

    But the real force behind the rise & rise of The Mighty Adelaide Crows is Don Pyke. I saw him interviewed on Footy Classified last year and his people skills were eminently obvious. With the Torrens as its moat, The Picturesque Adelaide Oval will become The Crows’ Fortress for years to come.

    I called that last year at the Pooncarrie Pub Christmas breakup, and now I’m calling another upwardly mobile outfit: Essendon. Joey D’s going to be an absolute star, and he’s got plenty of teammates of an equal calibre to support The Bombers Fly Up. Hating The Northern Scum is one of the fibres that binds Our Great Game so dear to our hearts.

    I’m with you on Jobe too Rulebook. He was the Captain; he should have called The Boys together and asked them how comfortable they were with what, to any professional sportsperson, was quite plainly a reckless step in their preparation. And that’s putting the performance enhancing program at Melrose Drive in the best possible light. Of course, we’ll never know if he did, and was howled down, or even told from above to pull his head in. The bottom line is that David Zaharakis didn’t participate in the injection program; Jobe Watson did. And we all know at what cost.

    As for his farewell performance — and I wouldn’t bring it up if it wasn’t for his cavalier approach and the unkempt five day shadow he sported — it wasn’t The Game that cheated on you Jobe. You cheated on The Game. Anyway, you’ve made a new career for yourself with this you-beaut brunch bar feeding the grazing herd over on Manhattan Island, so you don’t really need us anymore. We’re so glad you made that clear in your ungracious farewell presser.

  28. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Smith being on song adds yet another dimension.

    I wonder what Watson’s perspective will be in five years time?

    Can anyone explain to me how some teams are far better at punishing turnovers than others? What is it that they do to achieve this?

  29. Nice work RB. My one observation from the game was the amount of booing from the Essendon crowd. According to the Vic media aren’t the AFC supporters supposed to be the only supporters to boo at a footy match?

  30. Crows far too polished in the end.
    Hows a bloke supposed to get rid of a ball that’s being held to him!
    These 5 holding the ball decisions against Essendon early in the first quarter were puzzling even to the cows supporters that were sitting in the same pub.
    It’s your flag to lose, apparently lmfao.
    I’d be more concerned about being a long term force rather than year 2017, looks like a lot of $$$ coming for yr young champs. Loyalty will be tested.

  31. Greg Briggs says:

    Sorry Malcolm but don’t see the Macca in Matt Crouch yet, but he has improved to the point where I reckon he is the dark horse for the Brownlow given his sheer number of touches ( if Pridis can win, he can ). Re comments on Brown, without doubt the unsung hero of the Crows, rarely gets beaten.

  32. I saw the second half only, due to AUFC Ladies Day. It was a half of genuine momentum swings, the Crows would get a 7 goal lead, the Bombers would peg it back to 3, and so on until the final siren. In September’s pressure cooker, I believe they will need to be better at stemming the oppositions momentum from the best teams in the comp in order to advance. Conceding 4-5 in a row is tough to deal with, as the Hawks found out in the 2012 GF. Against an up & about Bomber unit on their deck, overall a very pleasing result. Big tick.

    R Douglas is matching his B&F year, and surrounded by better players.

    Skills and accumulation wise, I can see similarities with M Crouch to Macca. For kamikaze attack on the prune, tackling, pressure acts & 1%ers, I see more similarities with B Crouch (including leg speed, without trying to be at all critical). I believe both Crouch boys will be rippers in the years to come, lots to look forward to.

    The retirement class of 2017 is simply a phenomenal list. We absolutely should be celebrating their magnificent careers, I don’t think it’s detracting one iota from the footy focus and standard… so disagree with you & Balmy!

    OUT!!!

  33. P.S. No issue with Joe Daniher with a bloke he’s known since age 11. He’s a legit entertainer of the competition, in an era where the ‘system’ get criticised for turning players into boring robots.

  34. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    JK agree yep long way to go to reach the heights re num 14 just some similarities re style.Lachy I reckon he would as Macca would ask nicely,Sydney a huge chance.Ben yes the composure re believing in there game was encouraging.Litza Curnow potential is just obscene but over the whole season a long way behind,Burton and McGrath imo.thanks,Raj may depend on sides selected this week wet weather may help the Crows.Dave yes re attacking handball,Macca was king yes agree totally re commentating and Hurleys game was extremely over rated re Greene MRP just put it in the two hard basket.Wrap agree,D Pyke communication is a big asset
    I rang Andrew Aish to see how James and SA were going re teal cup a few years ago and Andrew who doesn’t make big statements predicted that,Daniher will be the best player in the game I reckon that is going to be a fair call and yep agree re every word Jobe Watson.Swish Smith leg such a weapon yes be interesting re Watson with time to ponder he may end up with a different perspective ( I hope so ) no idea re the turnover question.Tim yes the booing is a interesting point.Riverboy just a tad salty ? Greg I will admit I was happy to get a message re a person who played against,Macca and is high up at a Afl club agreed entirely with the comparison,Brown the bp quiet achiever.Magical as I have said above I was really happy with the way the Crows coped with the momentum changes.Personally I only can see Macca in Matt not Brad.Douglas v good especially in 2nd half of the season yes class of 2017 v v good just a tad over the top imo and dribble by the media re Daniher and Atkins a mountain made out of a molehill thanks folks

  35. Adam Sheridan says:

    On the money Malcolm.

    Matt Crouch needs a goatie

  36. Mal, I am a Crouch fan and he will only get better, but he is still nowhere near as damaging by hand and foot as the great No 14. I hope he does get there cos it will be great to watch if he does.
    Don’t get too bullish on the Crows this week. Last year we lost to WCE after successive 6 day breaks and we were tired. This week has similarities with that, especially with our two guns under a cloud. Maybe you could do an analysis of teams with 2 six day breaks and travel…..tipping the results are not conducive to playing well! Week off before finals will be ideal for us!

  37. Luke Reynolds says:

    Thorough analysis as usual Rulebook.
    The MRP has become even more of a lottery going by today’s happenings.
    Totally agreed on retiring players. Only announce it if it has immediate effect. Otherwise wait until seasons end, or at very least ahead of your last game.

  38. Great game, was even better being there. Was in Melbourne for 4 days and leading up to the game every cocky Vic told us the Dons were going to “smash” us. Matty Crouch just such a great asset to the club, and being a Norwood supporter I think I may have been a bit young to notice Maccas style….anyway for me Brodie Smith was a standout, I honestly dont usually notice him much, but he was everywhere on Saturday, and i agree Dougie is having the best year of his career. Something very special is unfolding and its hard not to start thinking of the bigger picture, but we need to beat the Swans to really make a big statement. I believe Rory and Tex will play, I honestly could not see Tex wanting to miss this game and he will do everything he needs to do to be there Friday night. Pyke wont rest players which I think is the best idea for the team, you dont mess with whats working. Last home game and I cant wait to get there…On a sad note, I have to work on Grand Final day, there is no way out of it..so, so upset…

  39. Eleven goal scorers and E. Betts not among them? Given that he’ll bounce back, this is an excellent sign of our potency. B. Smith a chance for AA, surely.

  40. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Adam love it,Fav yep obviously a long long way to go re M Crouch and if he can end up half as good as Macca that would be sensational re as above only pointing out sililarities re playing styles and agree re the week always a chance at home tho.Lulke MRP mind boggling the governance of the game is a huge concern.KDE love your passion I think the Crows will look at the big picture I won’t be surprised if several rest fri night.
    Mickey I reckon,B Smith probably started the season a bit slowly it will be interesting to see how many,Crows make the all aust original squad of 40 Laird,Walker,Jacobs,Betts,Sloane,M Crouvh,Talia,Lynch all should with
    Lever and B Smith outside chances imo other people’s thoughts ? Thank you

  41. Malcolm, well played as always.
    Matt Crouch is definitely a lock for A-A. Alas I didn’t see enough of G McIntosh to make a comparison but will trust your instincts. I do know that North Melb did have Macca signed on a “Form 4” at one stage.
    The entire report/MRP/tribunal system is a farce.

  42. Martin Rumsby says:

    The comparison of Matt Crouch with Macca wasn’t one that sprang immediately to my mind, Rulebook. However, Matt is developing nicely and perhaps has benefitted from opposition teams’ focus on Sloane this year. I’m sure a tag will come his way soon especially if Sloaney’s knee injury keeps him sidelined for a week or two. With a top two position secured it will be interesting to see how the team approached the next two weeks. Just a thought for a feature article in the future, Malcolm – now that Neil Craig has announced his retirement from footy I would be interested in your reflections. Craigy’s history as a Norwood player and coach and a Crows coach would make him an appropriate subject for you.

  43. Actually I see similarities more with Sam Mitchell. They both get (got) a lot of the ball, swing onto the left boot and almost always find someone. Must admit that area has surprised me, Matty was more bomb it long last year, rare to see that much improvement in one pre-season. The similarities continue, the way they are happy to turn onto either foot and go from being under the pump to suddenly in space, despite both being slow movers by AFL standards. The more I see and make the connection the more I’m convinced of the similarities.

    Macca c.f. Matty? Crouch has as much length, but Macca’s kicks were often long, low and spearing. Matty does smash in the same way either. Love your work Rulebook but I think your subconscious was looking for another excuse to mention Norwood. :)

    Whereas I will be shameless in my segway. A massive deviation here but my adrenalin is still pumping from the footy climax I’ve just seen. I hope some of the Almanaccers watched the AFL stream on youtube of the end of the International Cup round 4 between Ireland and New Zealand. High drama. Both undefeated so far, the loser would go through to the Grand FInal at the MCG, but the loser would be level on 3 wins 1 loss with PNG and USA and it would all come down to percentage. With 30 seconds to play Ireland lead by 2 pts and had the ball in their forward line, but with 5 secs left NZ had run it out and a long kick forward hit the goalsquare… controversial free kick to NZ, siren sounds. Player goes back, goals. NZ through to GF at the G, Ireland players sink to the ground, they fall from 1st on the “live ladder” to 4th and out of contention. PNG supporters in the background jump for joy as they squeeze in on % having thrashed South Africa earlier in the day (something not right in South Africa who were once powerful, but that’s another story). As amazing climax to a tournament you could hope to see, tragically hidden away mostly out of sight.

  44. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Smokie Matt Crouch outstanding and it is part of Norwood folklore Macca telling,Wally Miller that a Doug Dale wouldn’t leave him alone of course after much soul seaschg yes it was John Dougdale.Martin yes the next 2 weeks both interesting in not only results but the way in which the Crows approach the games will have a think about the other part.Goat respectively I couldn’t disagree more re comparison to Sam Mitchell as
    Mitchell far more both foot while,Matt is very left sided it is in close with the sure hands and not fumbling and then evade and give with good decisions which is Macca all over and yes while of course he is no where near,Macca yet and if he ends up half as good as Macca it would be great for the Crows.Goat love your passion for the international side of the game thank you

  45. The Crows were pretty sharp against Essendon. As pointed out in Rulebook’s article, I was impressed with the Crows’ ability to finish off each quarter was crucial to the win- especially with the two goals late in the third quarter. Can’t wait for Friday night’s game.

  46. Have to agree to disagree re Sam Mitchell. It was a few months ago that it suddenly crystalised for me that Matt was playing very similar to him. Is prolific, is slowish, is quite upright (how to describe it, solid hips and kind of hold themselves with their weight to the back), often appears to be about to be tackled then wheels onto either foot, always picking the right option, and suddenly the tackler is 3m away and he has time to dispose of it nicely. On the wrong foot Crouch tends to go for a neat shorter pass whereas Mitchell has the option to go longer. I can’t recall seeing such an improvement in disposal quality my player over an off season – most barely improve at all, Crouch has become elite – not in terms of super damaging but in terms of maintaining possession to advantage rather than the long dump down the line as he tended to do last year. Dunno if he’s all Australian but he’s damn good.

  47. Willow Wilson says:

    Nice work as always Book, It is an interesting comparison between McIntosh and M Crouch, very early into Crouch’s career but if he can be 50% of what Macca was the Crows will be stoked. M Crouch has been a big improver this year, always been a ball magnet but is now also hitting targets regularly by lowering his eyes and shortening his kicks.
    Not sure of the exact stat, but kicking efficiency was very good all night, including a couple of long range rippers from Tex to B Smith and Lynch.
    B Smith had a really influential game, great to see him back in top form. Atkins and Douglas both very good.
    Keath is growing in confidence each week, will be an interesting one if Hartigan is fit for finals, will Hartigan replace Keath?
    Looking forward to Friday night!

  48. Low to the ground and balanced – I’ll give him that – great to get the consistency he has this year – like Thommo when he had great years

  49. Interesting comments about the match Rulebook. I am not an aficionado of Norwood so cannot comment with any authority on the comparison between Matt Crouch and ‘Macca’ but I am also of the opinion the comparison should be between Matt and Mitchell.
    With regards to the match, I was pleasantly surprised to see how effective (and often) our own ‘Macca’ (MacKay) tackled against Essendon, not being easily brushed off as has occurred in the past. It appears he’s done some work on this front and his all round usefulness to the club has risen even further. Kudos to him.

  50. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Goat I agree re massive improvement from Matt Crouch disagree re Mitchell.Willow couldn’t agree more if Matt Crouch can remotely approach,Macca it would be huge and yes disposal by foot was v v good in general on the night.Keath may be going straight past,Hartigan.TK his consistency has been remarkable.Big Jim D Mac while he had a slight middle of the year slump has had a good year and his tackling was a highlight against the bombers thank you

  51. Cameron Glenn says:

    Big win by the Crows in Melbourne against a side that can be dangerous (good enough to smash Port n Eagles) but can be poor as well (Brisbane at Etihad). If they keep this form going, anything is possible. Great game to watch on TV.

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