Finals Week 2 – Sydney v Adelaide: Crows terrible, Swans sensational



All during the week I kept thinking the intensity of the other 3 finals the previous week had been a mile higher than ours and that the Swans intensity around the ball and actually playing at the SCG would prove to be way to big a hurdle.


Unfortunately I was 100 per cent correct.


The AFL hypocrisy and double standards of where finals have been scheduled during this finals series has yet again been a farce might as well play the GWS v Dogs prelim in my back yard then. How is it home ground advantage at some time and not at others ???


I wish to congratulate the huge travelling number of Crows supporters, we have easily the most loyal supporters in the country.


How in the hell can the airline companies treble their fares at a drop of a hat? How is that legal?


I headed to the Alma to watch the game with Robert Mill and Craig Hissey, to watch the game with supporters from Crows’ face book groups, good to finally meet you !


The game commenced and in reality was over very quickly. I hate to write this but the Swans were too tough and hard at the contest. Kennedy, Hanneberry, Jack and Mitchell were just to good, Alir Alir has in a lot of ways been the revelation of this season, his reading of the game and decision making is incredible from someone who hasn’t played that much footy, yet the sky is the limit.


Yet again in 2016, small forwards torched the Crows, this time Papley and McGlynn. The Crows were down by 25 pts at quarter time.


Several times during the rest of the game we got on top re general field play but missed the shot at goal or a bad turn over in which the Swans capitalised, never gave us a chance to threaten and put any score board pressure on the opposition.


I have always had the theory re NSW being a rugby state and some of the players growing up with it and then passing on their skills to the others re tackling is an advantage the Swans quite rightly take advantage of. Clearly it was the case Saturday night. (Kieran Jack etc)


Crows positives, Charlie Cameron his desperation and ferocity I wish a lot of the other players had followed his example.


Matt Crouch and Sloane worked hard, Lever was excellent until injured, Talia showed character to battle on when clearly struggling with his groin injury, Dmac at least provided some carry and outside run (he is the crows whipping boy on social media, gee there is some crap written). Hartigan and Cheney at least tried hard and stood up to some extent under extreme pressure. Mitch McGovern provided an aerial contest, he has huge potential and for the Crows to become a serious contender he is a vital player.


Negatives: There are some players who can not carry a cold let alone an injury, Josh Jenkins is one of those and never should have played.


Small forwards destroying Adelaide, I am a Luke Brown fan but his last 6 or so weeks have been disappointing, he is under the blowtorch in 2017. While Rory Laird in particular has been sensational re his run, rebound, courage and ball use there are times when both he and Brodie Smith must improve defensively.


The Crows ball use re turnovers and decision making was terrible with Rory Atkins, who in general had a good year, didn’t stand up in a final, he isn’t the 1st and won’t be the last.


How much of the game is played above the shoulders? Is there enough time and resources put in to the mental side of the game ??? (M Rucci put the Rat in our best players, wow).


Did Sauce Jacobs jag his ankle again against the Roos or early in the game, as fair dinkum I reckon I could have jumped higher in the ruck contests. Scott Thompson has been a warrior and fantastic competitor for the Adelaide FC but if the Crows are going to really have a tilt at the holy grail, he is cooked just gets exposed re pace and defensively.


Ironic in that so many Crows supporters have said basically all year we’re better off without Dangerfield were the 1st ones saying we need a explosive midfielder! (the amount of garbage written about Danger on social media I reckon if Citrus Bob had come down and done some culling of crows supporters a decent judge would have let him off).


My other serious whack of the Crows is the pathetic display it dished up in the SANFL preliminary final yesterday. I reckon PAC under 10s are more desperate than that. I was disgusted by the lack of care factor, it was as if the final siren on Saturday night ended the season and the fact the players weren’t competing for a spot in AFL prelim final, therefor the game meant nothing. Mind you if the umpiring which was dished up yesterday had of been in a AFL final I reckon there would have been a crowd invasion with Ambrose Ronson, James Peter, Sally Bangla Dickson and Lynda Loades leading the charge (join in add your name in the comments section) it was truly disgraceful and that comes from a fellow maggot and someone who has well and truly made their thoughts known where our reserves should be playing


It is hardly like I was watching as a biased Crows SANFL supporter!


So did the Crows improve this year ?


Yes re the number of young players who made the all Australian under 22 squad of 40 with seven being the highest of any club, several other players in Hartigan and Lynch in particular improved but we need to add to our list re midfield in particular and need Knight, Milera, Wigg,  Hampton, Gore and others stepping up and some good trading to take the next step.


The Swans were excellent and move on to face the Cats (the Cats were the real winner of the night re injuries). So the Crows season is over its final game was as disappointing and mediocre as Troy Chaplin’s career over and out


Sydney 18-10-118 def Adelaide 12-10-82


Sydney Goals: Franklin, Papley 4, McGlynn 3, Richards 2, Hannebery, Heeney, Mitchell, Parker, Rohan

Adelaide: Betts 3, MCGovern, Cameron, Lynch, Walker 2, Thompson


Crowd: 38,136


Best Players

Sydney: Kennedy, Hanneberry, Heeney, Smith, Papley, McGlynn, Mitchell, Alir, Franklin,J ack

Adelaide: M Crouch, Sloane, Cameron, McGovern, MacKay




  1. I have to admit I was disappointed we didn`t play better but then we can only play as well as the other team lets us. I guess I got carried away during the year and thought we`d do well in the finals too.

    I also was very disappointed in the airlines putting the prices up so much. Yes maybe a lot did want to go but surely they could have made just as much money by keeping the price at the regular rate and maybe putting on an extra plane each way. Congratulations to those who got to Sydney one way or another.

    As for home ground why, with so many ovals, cant finals be played on an independent ground, even the Grand Final?

  2. Some good points in here old mate.

    What is intensity? Why do teams bring it one week, then not the next? I reckon every bloke on the ground tries their guts out (usually), but intensity can still be missing. If the Cats miss it this week the Swans will give them a good lathering (like the previous two times this season). But finals are different.

    Saying the Crows were better without Dangerfield was like saying the Cats were better when Gary junior left. Total nonsense.

    BTW – the Cats have by far the most loyal supporters.

  3. Phil and I would of been there yesterday but I ran in the City to Bay. We were screaming at the T.V. Best wishes Nathan Van Berlo on becoming a Dad

  4. Yep, thoroughly outplayed by a harder team as many of us feared. Absolutely this has been a positive season. First year of a coach and not forgetting it was two years to the day since the coach before the coach before Pyke was sacked – incredible that the Crows have finished 6th in both subsequent seasons.

    Heaps of room for improvement in consolidation of game plan, further development of young players and hopefully we can attract a seasoned midfielder to the club. Plenty of quality in the twos as you have outlined, although most of it is outside. Greenwood has shown glimpses in the SANFL this year as having potential as a big bodied midfielder.

    We’ll definitely improve again. Question will be whether we can keep pace with GWS and the Bulldogs without their draft riches.

  5. Malcolm,

    Interesting and passionate as always. Where does Taylor Walker sit, as he doesn’t get a brickbat from you? He, in my opinion, often misses the easy 30 metre out set shot that would give the Crows momentum but just can’t nail it. Seen him do it a bit in the games I watch.

    But one comment, I couldn’t let go is this one, “we have easily the most loyal supporters in the country” – what team do you support in the SANFL?

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Spot on Book.

    I see no mention of the (current) captain. It’s time for Pyke to be his own man and appoint someone that can be relied upon to lead consistently (some of those Tex attempted lookaway handballs were just dumb).

    Charlie’s best game I reckon, he thrived on the pressure, unlike the others that you have mentioned.

    What was with some of those 7 metre dinky kicks?

    Not enough games were put into players 25 to 30 on the list, how do we know if they are any good? Were we forced to play unfit blokes because the alternatives were untried?

    16-6 was very misleading, much like North’s first 9 games.

  7. “Adelaide were out coached ” – D Hardwick
    “Adelaide lack leadership in tough contests”. – T Cotchin
    “Adelaide believe the sychophants in the local press” – C Wilson
    “List needs some work” – N Balme
    “THANK YOU FOOTY GOD” – T Chaplain
    “The first twenty years of no GF action are the hardest” – all RFC supporters who have aver read a Rulebook analysis

  8. Good write up again mate, the crows finished above where I thought they would finish this year with the loss of Danger, he may just of been the difference on Saturday night I recon.
    Some poor decision making and lack of finishing was game changing and sapping for me as a Crows supporter for one night. The inability to kick goals from relatively easy angles and distances is key to the all over player motivation.
    Maybe some hard decisions to be made in the pre season.
    Go the Bombers!

  9. Next Friday effectively the GF? Crows need to bulk up with bigger bodies next year in the midfield

  10. Troy Chaplin (maybe?) says

    The Crows played like they had 18 Malcolm Ashwoods out there

  11. Well its done and dusted now,the season, now as many are saying comes the long wait. But the coach said ,changes must be made on field and off field. Interesting that we drafted so many proven players this year but none other than seedsman played a game, And i know injury played a part in that but??. Would their presence on the field Sat made a difference?.We need a taller big bodied defence person, their big player killed us on Saturday.Our guys though tall looked like midgets next to him.Im talking about the big African American guy,if thats what he is ,from America, But i recorded the games and will watch them over summer to settle the “missing” of AFL footy, and i can relive the excitement of Eddie, What pleasure he and some of the others gave us, Brodie Smith with his ling raking kick, ect ect, The team gave us some real special moments. and excitment. So lets all wait for next season and expect more of what we had this year.

  12. The irony is that Tory Chaplin has played in more consecutive finals wins (1) that the Crows have in almost 20 years!

  13. Onya Rulebook. Didn’t you get on Sturt to win yesterday? The Crows magoos didn’t want to miss out on joining in with the seniors mad monday. One day the real Troy Chaplin will read your stories…

  14. Commiserations Rulebook. Plenty to work with there for next year though, you have avery dangerous side. Agree with the baffling ‘home ground’ scheduling from the AFL. Farce.

  15. Agree mate

  16. Piss weak the lot of them.

  17. Interesting how both the AFL and SANFL Crows got smashed in the midfield during their finals game over the weekend and lost. When evaluating the Swans’ side, Kennedy was brilliant with 42 disposals, Kieran Jack, Hannebury, and co all got plenty of the footy- and in particular, they smashed the Crows with their intensity around the ball in general play.

    The same thing happened yesterday at the Adelaide Oval too- where people like Kirkwood suffocated the Crows around the stoppages.

    I can’t help but feel that midfielders such as the Crouch brothers aren’t the blueprint Adelaide needs to win a premiership next year. With Thompson on the way out too, perhaps now is the best time for the Crows to test the footy market and see what trades, draft picks it could secure in replacing these guys.

    At both ends of the ground, I feel that the Crows have some pretty decent personnel. But, as with in the West Coast game in Round 23, Sydney showed that the midfield we have now is not capable of going all the way in September.

    Sloane is in desperate need of building a midfield team around him that can bring Adelaide its’ 3rd flag.

  18. lots to ponder over the coming months ‘Book. Close but no cigar once more.

    In the end, there will be only one winner and everyone will be bagging the lists, coaches, training regime, game plan and supporters of the ‘losers’. Such is footy.

    I for one have enjoyed the style of Crows footy played over the course of the year and the consistent performance put in compared to previous seasons when we were definitely a flakey outfit. time for Thommo, Hendo and a couple of others to find greener pastures and for some genuine ruck back up for Sauce to be elevated.

    As for the Crows B grade, if your main reason to exist is to play AFL, its hard to get 100% motivated when that opportunity is gone. I think they have done the SANFL a real service by tanking this game & making sure they are 100% ready for Mad Monday.

    Kudos to the Double Blues and the Eagles – lets hope its a showcase of footy as we used to know it!!

    Go Blacks!

  19. Love these Crows’ post-mortems. Knives out. Reckon Mase is spot on. You’re a bit tough on Atkins Malcolm. I thought he was good. Hadn’t really noticed him previously but he stood out on the weekend as one of the few who actually didn’t look over-awed / cooked. Some very average performances. Your observation about the SANFL Crows is noteworthy in the context of last week’s discussion.

  20. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Fair assessment, Book.
    Thought you were a big chance if you could break even in the middle and get it down quickly to Tex, Jenkins and Eddie. Swans dominated in the centre. Danger was very conspicuous by his absence in this one. Good luck in 2017.

  21. Jacobs must have been carrying an injury as Naismith mauled him. Both sides got injuries, but yours to key defenders hurt more. Midfielders are replaceable.
    Walker, Jenkins and Lynch all grossly disappointing. From the Port game onwards your midfield has been exposed, except against North who couldn’t run out of sight in the middle of the night. Sloane is a one man band.
    I am not one for sacking/trading players unless you know you can get something better in return. Better to give the existing list some hard truths and continue to develop them. I reckon Beveridge gets it right dropping Stringer for an inferior player and risk losing a few games to get the message across. Too many Crows and Eagles got games because of a lack of better replacements, but I think good coaches take a long term perspective.
    Interesting that the Crows “sure things” in the SANFL sooked it like East Perth Eagles have done in the last two GF’s in the WAFL. Certainly affects the integrity of the comp, but they are teams of individuals – and hardly a threat to the established sides when they build a good culture – a la Subiaco and Norwood in recent years.
    Well played RB. Have you officially hung up Chaplin’s jumper now?

  22. Was our last chance before the Giants take over.

  23. Mase has said it all, so I won’t say anything about the game or season. The Crows premiership draught is now heading towards the end of its second decade…

    Airlines are using concepts straight from Economics 101 and if you want assurance then run the free enterprise market system past Chokka on Super Sunday. So unless you can grow wings yourself , that is the price to fly (as one).

  24. The Crows had been blessed with very few injuries all year. It caught up with them on the weekend. With Jacobs and Jenkins entering the game with niggles, Talia tweeking a groin and Lever doing his knee the odds were stacked against them. That’s too many key players not at 100%.

    Not that the odds weren’t stacked against them to start with. In recent years travelling teams have performed better in finals but have still only managed to win less than 30% of their games. Winning three consecutive finals on the road is less than a 3% chance.

    That said the Swans are a real chance next week of making it an all NSW Grand Final. It’ll be just like the mid 90s. You’ll be able to get a ticket to a Swan’s game with every Whopper purchased at the George Street Hungry Jack’s.

  25. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Jill a disappointing result and disgraceful by the airlines.Dipx intensity and attitude at the elite level and in general a intriguing topic in itself may be just in reality this time the swans were just way to good
    Dangerfield a absolute freak and I reckon we would still be alive if he was still with us.Cricket your passion and compassion for the crows in general is sensational. and best wishes for VB for the future..Dave spot on as always,Greenwooc has huge upside.Swish and Duncs Tex obviously is respected enormously by his peers but geez there are some weaknesses there with at times brilliant decision making and at times shockers and his kicking for goal is not good enough.Duncs Afl and SANFL are separate competitions and to have the average highest home crowds with out playing in the biggest stadium says it all.Swish those dinky little kicks were as bizarre as the crows disgraceful lack of effort yesterday.Gold Mase.Riverboy agree yes the crows finished higher than I thought we would also those missed goals and poor decision making were so fustratinng.Raj I give all 4 teams a chance we must not forget the swans should have finished 2 or 3 games clear on top.and we need a game breaker in the midfield.Troy apologies I never became a expert at standing the mark like yourself.Lynda what we gave up to get,Menzel he was a huge disappointment yes he was unlucky re injuries but not fronting up to pre season in the best possible condition was not good enough..Mike yeah he made up the numbers.Raf I just couldn’t believe yesterday it was a fantastic advertisement for the SANFL to kick the Afl reserves sides out and having a competition with integrity.and I do wonder whether,Troy has read or knows about all his glorious mentions in so many articles.

  26. Ambrose Ronson says

    Thanks for the shoutout, Malcolm. As a Sturt fan even I’ll say that umpiring was shocking. As for the Crows Re the list I believe it is time for an overhaul. A lot of players need to move along and the future needs to play. Hampton, Milera, Knight, Doedee and others need to be considered ahead of the older players.

    I would’ve liked to hear your opinion on Pykes’ first season also. Maybe a separate article?

  27. Well I’m just relieved, Book!


  28. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Joe yes a fair bit to work with and disgraceful by the afl thanks,James.Mark we were average.Paul I feel,Brad Crouch has lost a vital yard of pace hopefully a full pre season and he can become the key midfielder he has threatened to become.and agree we need strengthening in that area.didigital agree re the style of footy but some tweaking is needed hopefully the SANFL gf is a sensational game( good luck Evo ! ) PB agree with every thing you have written,Bevridge is a breath of fresh air and doesn’t accept poor effort no matter who it is re the sanfl it is ok to lose at any level providing you give 100 per cent effort yesterday the reserves did not read in to that how ever you wish.Wes spot on the GWS dynasty is not far away may be the giants v dogs may become the next super battle of clubs.Jags I love the Chocka plug.Danny injures did catch up, with poor selection also in that regard and superb re hungry jacks thanks folks

  29. Good to finally see a post on a losing Crows’ performance, RB:)
    And good on you for identifying their shortcomings so honestly. But I have to agree with the others who’ve called you out for not mentioning your captain. OK, he wasn’t alone on Saturday, but this is two years running in which he’s been MIA in semi-finals and both times his team’s been blown away in the first 15 minutes.
    Why I particularly single out Tex is that for some bizarre reason the AFLPA named him as their captain of the year. Ahead of Mitchell. Ahead of Selwood. Ahead of Jack. Seriously? There were plenty of examples of leadership on Saturday (e.g. Nick Smith keeping Eddie stats free in the first quarter) but I’m afraid Tex wasn’t one of them.
    Oh, and when the Crows attract 900,000 fans in a season as pathetic as Richmond’s this year (following the previous 35 pathetic seasons), come and talk to me about loyal fans. Easy to follow a side when it’s up and about.

  30. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Ambrose I don’t no what shocked me more yesterday the umpiring or the crows cough cough effort, there is young depth on the list just wish they had bothered to show it yesterday and I am not denigrating the blues who were good but wow and what a pathetic way to send,VB out.( yes I recon there is a article in that topic will wait a while ) Arson if the shoe was on the other foot I would feel likewise.
    Stainless fair whack re Walker I do no with in the footy industry he is held in awe re leadership with last years happenings and his on field voice and direction is held in similar esteem but it was a poor oversight on my behalf not to have been critical of his game against the swans his finals record seems to be feast or famine never just a ok game he mixes up good footy with being way to cute as far as the tigers are concerned amazingly loyal re membership not so much attending games the crows overall have been incredible in that regard and clearly number 1 it would be interesting to see how many spectators the crows would pull if playing at a stadium with the same capacity as as the g

  31. Thanks Book, as usual, your comments hit the mark.
    Swans simply were the better team. Harder at the contest and cleaner disposal.
    We desperately needed big games from Tex, Sauce, Douglas, Thompson & all the mids!
    It’s the bitter sweet time of year. Who’s leaving the club & the anticipation of what the ins can bring.
    I agree with your summation of Brown unfortunately as I am a big fan.
    I now look forward to the pink ball at the Oval.

  32. On ya, Rulebook. So much to chew over in the one piece. You ripper.
    Disagree on Aril. Great reader of the ball, terrible decision maker. Worthy, exciting, given more game time will iron that part of his game out.
    Love the fact you watch the game with the facebook crew, yet find so many facebook comments maddening. Me too. Good on ya for standing to tides, calling it as you see it, not the crowd. You should do a piece on facebook fans, full stop. Would be a ripper.
    Where as I don’t always agree with everything you say, I love reading your well thought insights, and your obvious passion for
    Adelaide FC
    South Australian footy
    The fans. You are so right about the fucking airlines.
    And Aussie Rules.

    More the power to ya.

  33. Patricia Horne says

    Disappointed and frustrated, as soon as we lost to wcoast i thought we looked tired and lost. I commented i cant see them winning a grand final missing easy goals. I think we need 5 new players out there but what would i know? But nobody expected us to do that well so i guess i can live off that till next season;-)

  34. Vinietta David Major says

    As i’m living in the uk now its good to read an article that says how it is.Thankyou Malcolm Ashwood.

  35. The Round 23 loss to West Coast was costly to the Crows, two finals at home would have almost assured them a GF berth. The pattern of winning one final only needs to broken quickly.

    A wise old man once told me: “Finals are 75% mental, 25% physical.
    Oh, so true.

  36. The People's Elbow says

    As I said in the piece I wrote on the game, Rulebook, Sydney ended Adelaide’s season with all the ceremony of bin night. The only Crow who seemed to have a sense of the occasion was Charlie Cameron.

  37. bernard whimpress says

    According to one psychological study I’ve read, people who passionately support a sports team – good or bad – are more likely to live longer than those who have a neutral perspective and merely follow the game itself. It seems you have a long life ahead.

  38. Sean O'Dwyer says

    Don’t have much to say about the game been talking about it too much lately
    But good year for the Crows but that isn’t enough to be the best and need to keep improving.
    Great year by you Rulebook thanks for all the articles they’ve been great to read.


  39. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Chris and unfortunately I agree with Chis McDermott in today’s paper it should have been times up re Thommo.Old dog we will agree to differ ew Alir,Old dg that is not a bad idea re the face book fans.thank you.Patricia in reality the Swans could and should have finished three games clear as minor premier it was a game we had to take our chances and didn’t,thank you,Vinietta greatly appreciated.
    Lachlan the hawks game and round 23 cost us big time and I agree with,The People’s Elbow Cameron was the one who really came to play wish some of the others had been so ferocious..Bernard thank you I will gladly take that.thanks folks

  40. Unfortunately didn’t get to see the game, but listened whilst travelling – dismayed by the continual points and shanked shots at goal being called – plenty at fault here and should be better. Agree unfortunately that Thommo may be on the way out – has been a great warrior for many years and will be sorry to see him go. Congrats to VB for his persistence to get back after such a tragic accident. Also agree that we need some help for Sloaney.
    Thanks for your stories during the year – most entertaining.

  41. Bye Bye Blackbird

  42. steven bland says

    ADELAIDE FLOOD WARNING as Crows supporters shed tears.

    A harder, more desperate side versus a mediocre, lack lustre, tired side can only have one outcome.
    Adelaide’s team of largely “B-graders” was given a finals football lesson by a side that were desperate and committed to a common cause. Pretty, free flowing football in front of 50 000 fans at Adelaide Oval is great in the home and away but it won’t win finals.

    I certainly couldn’t have Matt Crouch in the best players for Adelaide Rulebook. He may be a ball magnet but what is the point if he constantly coughs it up to the opposition? He couldn’t hit a supermarket with a shopping trolley. For a left footer he has serious kicking deficiencies. He has a strange grip on the ball, drops it from too high and he doesn’t look where he is kicking. He handballs to teammates under pressure and usually to their feet. He should watch some Caleb Daniel’s tapes to improve his composure and decision making under pressure.
    Charlie Cameron was by far Adelaide’s standout best player.
    He brought the required final’s intensity and was great at both ends of the ground. A real turning point for Charlie. Perhaps Adelaide could get some rugby influence in to give them some grunt around the contest.
    Jenkins shouldn’t have been selected. You do not take injured players into finals.
    Jacobs looked cooked . Adelaide needs to play two ruckmen.

    Breaking news : Port Adelaide has just paid up to the next 5 years for the City to Bay Fun Run. Management thought it prudent to keep the players active in September.

  43. Onya Malcolm.

  44. Well Malcolm
    The wagon has ground to a halt. The mid field was smashed but that was always going to be the Crows Achilles. The Giants did you no favors by waking up the angry bear. Still a better year than most pundents predicted and while a disappointing it is better to be playing footy in September than being in Bali.

  45. Barb Jamieson says

    Hi Malcolm
    Thank you for making me feel like i was not an idiot , which I have been told I I am , I was beginning to almost believe it, but not quite
    Blind Freddy could have seen that JJ has been carrying an injury for at least the last few weeks, and who in their right mind selects an injured player for a FINALS game ?
    I’m not going to whinge about losing the game , clearly Sydney had the intensity. , and the players , along with the style of football that’s played today strongly in their game , and clearly we don’t
    I know I’ve told you before that I am no longer in love with this half football/ half rugby style of game ( call me a dinosaur if you like) But it’s here to stay, and clearly Adelaide has to join the other teams , and learn how to play it that way too if we want to be the team to win a Grand Final
    I know I’ve been in two minds on Charlie , but all this guy lacks is experience , and he will emerge as Macca reborn , and if ever we showed how we are lacking a couple of strong experienced mid fielders , it was on Saturday night
    I do believe we have a good basis to work on with a lot of our players , and it’s time for Milera and a few more of our SANfl guys to move up , and we have to adapt to the style of fame that’s played now , and just maybe, we will come back a better side next year
    And don’t get me started on the SANFL fiasco , it’s going to end in tears , hypothetically speaking , clearly they’re not welcome in the comp , and clearly we should have a reserve side , and whilst I’m not well informed on the politics or monetary side of the issue, it’s a bit like a standoff at the IK Corral
    Thanks for all your great reports on the game. , and hopefully , we will have a happier end of year report next year

  46. My observation of the match is that the Crows hadn’t learnt the lesson from last year when they were also smashed by the Hawks in the first term of that semi-final to the tune of 7 goals. If they manage to get the oppportunity next year to play in a final again they absolutely must bring intensity right from the outset rather than allow themselves to be blown away and then play catch up football for the rest of the game.
    I’m also starting to seriously consider that Sauce Jacobs may not be the answer in ruck any more since there are a number of sides who are profiting in the centre more from lithe, fleet of foot style ruckman rather than the lumbering crash in style. These athletic style ruckmen such as Blicavs are not only able to compete in the air but also compete at ground level as almost another centre player and if they get into the open, are able to run with the ball at speed. This is the exact opposite of Jacobs.

  47. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Droop thank you and I am in awe of VB to get back to jogging let alone playing footy at the top level
    having seen his Achilles about 3 months afterwards I gave him chance of playing again just wish his team mates had shown some respect for him and the competition by giving,100 per cent .I can’t believe,Thommo has been given another year a lack of ruthlessness by the Ad FC.Neags and Mitch far more importantly well done re the city-bay raising ,2 grand for the disability sector.Blandy a tad rough I found it hard to pick best players and agree,Matt Crouch has serious issues re his and ball drop of the footy( poor junior coaching) and Charlie was the player who rose most to the occasion in general.Caleb Daniel is a GUB I reckon most players can watch and learn off him,idiotic that Jenkins played.thankx,Peter.Tony couldn’t agree more.Barb you are correct the game style the swans have mastered re playing at the SCG and at times it is bloody ugly geez I would have given any thing for the ex number,32 to still have been playing..On Sunday the crows res effort and the umpiring both putrid.
    Big Jim the crows turnovers in the 1st q killed them and Sydney’s big bodied mid fielders as I have said above the swans should have been clear minor premiers and just way to good.Jacobs if fit so he can still jump and act as the link man is ok but his form fluctuated way to much in 2016,ankles are a bloody hard injury to carry in to a game as a ruckman to have both him and JJ in the same boat was lunacy and incompetent at the selection table,that big midfielder like a Blicavs or the Bont to go 3rd man up is vital in today’s footy and a area of weakness for the crows thanks folks

  48. King of Passion says

    The Crows had a very good year and at their best were unstoppable. One on one they have the best forward line in the comp. They had an amazing run with injuries only playing 27 players for the year. This leaves their depth untested and underdeveloped. Will be a challenge to maintain same standard in 2017.

  49. Fair set of observations Malcolm.

    Given that Adelaide’s last tough and genuinely searching hit-out was the losing game in Geelong nearly two months ago in July it’s little wonder that when we came up against Sydney we were found out. This is not to apportion blame, just a thought.

    Overall, a successful season, but we need some consistent hard-nuts in the middle to support Rory.

    Slow starts continue to be a worry. Surely Cameron now plays on the wing or even across half-back so his run can be utilised?

  50. Willow Wilson says

    Nice way to wrap up the Crows season book.
    Sydney’s midfield was always going to bounce back, too good all year to have two shockers in a row. Kennedy, Parker, Jack, Hanneberry, if we are honest as Crows fan only Sloane gets anywhere near those guys. Most disappointing part of the first quarter, inability to win the ball, but then on the few occasions that we did we continued to try and run and gun, desperately needed to slow the game down and hold on to the footy for a while. Probably out-coached on the night, Sydney’s match ups were good, no Crows run from Laird, Smith or Brown. Lynch was well held.
    I am bullish on the Crouch brothers, Matt has developed really well this year, gets the ball and distributes by hand well, can work on foot skills. Brad, with a decent pre-season I think he will be good.
    Other positives from the year – Hartigan has proven himself to be capable at the back, thought he did OK on buddy when Talia got hurt. Charlie Cameron – tacking pressure and intensity up the ground were excellent, his second half of the game probably his best work for the season. Although Atkins had a stinker his year has been good, likewise for Jenkins, clearly wasnt fit, but had a good year. Eddie, OK in the second half but a brilliant year, with goals kicked (75+) and assists he would be close to the ton. Lever – another quality footballer who will keep getting better.
    Mid field definitely needs some work, would like to see Ellis-Yolmen and Wigg get pushed up.

  51. Malcolm Ashwood says

    KOP the Crows had a amazing run with injuries just like your good self with the fairer sex when you won the medal the crows do have some depth but agree it should have been used more during the season.
    Mickey there were several games where the crows were found wanting against the better opposition and yet we well and truly had a chance to finish too 4 and have two home finals.Sloane needs more support well and truly, Cameron on a wing and must be used where the action is.Willow spot on yep some dumb footy early very poor decisions made and yes we should have slowed it down does not have to be fast play all the time,Brad Crouch just worried he has lost his pace,Matt Crouch kicking needs plenty of work
    Hartigan a strong case for most improved and agree with your other observations on those players hope,Atkins can recover mentally with Thommo surprisingly getting another year,CEY will not be at West Lakes in 2017 thank you

  52. Was worried too about the SCG before the game and it came true. Crows had their glimpses in the second quarter but it was pretty much over by the end of the first quarter. Not many were at their best on Saturday night.

  53. Caz Phillips says

    Great article Malcolm ,I was thinking to myself all week that our intensity isn’t as good as it should be and we can’t cope under pressure very well .which meant to me that we were always going to struggle against Swans in Sydney especially after them losing in week 1 of the finals .
    Jenkins should not have played he couldn’t compete properly and Sauce hasn’t looked fit for most of the games since he cane back from his ankle injury he just can’t jump and take marks around the ground like he usually does .Our guys need to crack in like there’s no tomorrow we were on the back foot and chasing Guernseys straight away .
    After the 1st quarter we up the tempo and matched the swans more but still along way behind from our very poor opening start .
    The whole game I kept thinking if only we could get it back to 12 points we’d be in it but every time we scored so did Swans .
    I just want to say I thought Charlie Cameron was Very good he showed guts and maturity above his shoulders and put his body on the line the whole game ,we needed more guys like him out there he was a shining light and has a very bright future with the AFC .
    I actually felt lost after the game but surprisingly I think my thoughts during the weeks are the reason I wasn’t gutted like I was in round 23 .
    Lastly ,congrats to our supporters ,they need to be commended on making the trip over and for all the support throughout the complete season ,crowd numbers have been outstanding and it shows how much passion us Crows fans have .
    I’m looking forward to the trade season etc ,think some tough decisions need to happen to strengthen our team and I’m sure we will get deeper into finals and keep up the top of the ladder

  54. Luke Reynolds says

    I found Adelaide the most enjoyable team to watch in 2016 and am disappointed their season is over. But how good is the Swans midfield, competition best in my opinion.
    Surely the SANFL Crows team read your National Reserves competition article and were in total agreeance! My VFL Pies put in a shocker too in their Preliminary Final, though I took it as poor skills and defensive set up more than lack of effort.
    I think the Crows have been amazing coming off such a traumatic event last year. I’m sure many are still affected. Pyke has done a great job and now has the chance to truly stamp the job as his own.
    Thanks for your fantastic Adelaide reports in 2016. Will Chaplin get a gig in your cricket reports?!!!

  55. G’day Malcolm I enjoyed the article but not the game. I think your observations about the game are accurate and to the point.
    I have a few of my own regarding the night and the year.

    1.Wish the selectors would look at precedents that have been set in previous years: don’t play injured players. Sauce and JJ were both obviously nowhere near 100% so effectively we played with 2 short before Lever and Talia got injured.

    2. Coaching staff didn’t seem to make too many unforced changes during the game. (Heeney playing loose in our forward lines when we had some momentum and no one made him accountable.)

    3. Message needed to be sent out early in the first quarter to slow play down a bit and slow the tempo down a bit.

    4. The selection committee needed to be more ruthless during the year and really put pressure on players to keep their spots. We apparently had heaps of players knocking down the door in the SANFL, but too few of these players replaced poor performing players in the AFL side. (Example is CEY, played very well in the SANFL, only 2 AFL games this year. Last year he looked like having a breakout year before Walshy passed away and he never got another chance at AFL level. Maybe Campo has marked his card and won’t pick him. His last game this year he played most of the game at half forward.)

    5. Thommo getting another year smacks of a return to the Neil Craig years re trade period. (ie: we didn’t do anything because Neil Craig didn’t like the ‘meat market’ aspect of trading players.) I’m hoping this is not the case.
    Think you’re right and CEY may be heading elsewhere, Lyons too.

    6. We need to change the idea of playing one recognised ruckman and Jenkins as a pinch hitter. Sauce looked cooked by the end of the year and the development of younger ruckmen stagnates. Plus JJ is worse than useless as a ruckman as he doesn’t compete at centre bounces, preferring to watch the opposing ruckman tap the ball. (Getting him to take more marks out on the lead and crashing packs where necessary would be awesome.)

    7. Hopefully we can tweak the midfield and add some more pace and contested possessions there, we got smashed in most games we lost this year.

    That’s all Malcolm, I look forward to reading more of your articles.

    Cheers, Steve.

  56. Some great points mate.

    The crows reserves proved on Sunday there is no love for the jumper. No pride. Pride of South Australia? Not after that display. Not enough negative adjectives.

    Sydney really gave Adelaide a lesson on Saturday in two areas…
    1. Adelaide needs to trade some quality into its midfield real quick. Time is ticking.
    2. Want and desire count for plenty. You don’t turn up ready to play, you’re gonna get found out real quick.

  57. Rulebok, it often seems it takes longer to read the comments on your pieces than the piece. :) You should run a few seminars on social media for the rest of us.

    As for the piece, reads pretty much like the game I watched. Round 23 and this game showed where the Crows are still lacking. But only against the best teams. If they can beef up the midfield, they’ll be right in the mix next season.


    PS: still managed to fit a Chaplin whack in. Hilarious.

  58. IMHO the Crows need to do a North Melbourne-esque clean out. De-list Thompson, McKay and Douglas. Trade Lyons and Henderson and get whatever you can for them. The idea of giving Thompson a farewell season is ludicrous!

  59. Dennis gammaray says

    To say that im utterly shattered is a understatement, yes we had a great year in the home and away season but in the finals we lack that class and toughness to succeed, the last game of the home and away season destroyed our season there and then, too many times (and not just this season) the Crows dont come to play when it matters most, on Saturday night we were blown away by a side that really wanted to be apart of the finals more than we did, the upside is we have some real class to come into our side next year in Hampton and Knight, the Crouch boys we will get better and if any of the rumours are true we have some class in the middle, lets hope that the boys truly do learn their lesson next year and perform when it counts (fingers crossed)….
    Really enjoyed you views this year Malcolm Ashwood we had a rocky start but as the year has gone by i truly do enjoy your knowledge of our great game, im looking forward to next year and your great articles.
    Ah now for the cricket football is finished for me this year and i dont care who wins

  60. Interesting piece Rulebook. Some good points.
    Here are my two bob’s worth, for what they’re worth:
    # Sydney were intense early, and the first quarter reminded me of Rd 23 v West Coast, when the Crows did not come to play at all.
    # No mention of Nick Smith – his job on Eddie was huge.
    # Talia was finally penalised for scragging and tugging the jumper: Hallelujah! (R Tarrant doesn’t need to resort to those tactics).
    # Tex isn’t the answer as skipper.

  61. Given that a lot of people had the Crows not even in the top 8 and the tough draw early on it was Overall a much better than expected season. However, with the lack of injuries and having got themselves into a position to finish top two, to not at least make a prelim final was very disappointing in the end.

    Crows need some of their young guys to come through and push McKay, Douglas and Thommo out of regular spots in the team, and to trade in a quality midfielder. Pace and more pace to compliment the hardness of the Crouch boys. Of course I think I am stating the obvious.

    Missing the footy already and looking forward to your articles next year and hopefully a few more Redleg wins next season.

  62. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Campbell v true,Caz yep the folly of carrying inj players really dumb when it was both your ruckman ! I was exactly the same re the lead the reality is we are not at that level yet and yes we stuffed up the year in round,23 grrrr.the trade season is going to be v imp.thanks,Lukev well the crows res played like they were in totall agreeance to my article bizarre,agree what the crows have been thru it is impossible to imagine re impact etc and my mail has been,Tex has been amazing and is quite rightly held in awe with in the footy industry for his actions and I am sure it is not the last time my mate,Troy will be mentioned.
    Steve I basically agree with all your points well and truly the two ruckman rather than,Jenkins as a pitch hitter and one less runner is the only debatld one the others well and truly spot on.Brad want and desire definitely missing,Sunday against the swans they were too good I thought it was more a case re our skills.Thanks JB I feel it is a privilege to write on the footy almanac so there for we as writers should chase up hits and comments I feel v strongly on that point and agree re your thoughts on the game mind you,Chaplin is a easy and obvious target.Timmy Aci am in total agreeance re Thommo a amazing decision to give him another year,Douglas I am in 2 minds about,Dmac had a reasonable year and Hendo we could have got a 1st round draft choice from Shitmond three years ago wish we had taken it.Dennis thank you I still don’t think it was attitude we have to remember they have a elite mid field we don’t and it was our skills and poor decision making especially re fast or slow play ( choosing the correct option) let us down and poor goal kicking re Tex it is ridiculous that we all would prefer him to have the ball 50 meters out than 39 kick thru it every bloody time,totally agree re Knight he can seriously play hopefully we trade in a key mid.Smokie agree and I should have mentioned,Nick Smith more and it was a unusual and poor error by Talia,Tarrant might be good enough to polish his boots, I reckon it is hard to judge from the outside re Tex and he has had to be skipper thru thank goodness a unprecedented occurrence in sporting history he is regarded v highly with in the crows and footy industry my knock on him S missing easy goals and being too cute on occasions and not having a crack at the pack Mark instead trying to outbody his opponent to much.Thanks Milts and couldn’t agree more overall thank you folks

  63. Nice write up Malcolm – although I think you along with many Adelaide fans are being a bit harsh in your judgement in some areas on the back of the negative emotion that comes with losing and having another season ended.

    Don’t get me wrong, there is a part of me that is frustrated at what feels a little bit like a wasted year again – but now the dust has settled my rational thinking has kicked in again and when I assess the year that was, the list as it stands, and the people we have in charge (Fagan, Chapman, Pike, Walker, Ricciuto on the side), I am confident we have the makings to go from good to great as Pike articulated after the game.

    We have some serious talent on this list that will improve significantly again, and we have the best list managers in the land that will be aggressive at the draft and trade tables again. The team dynamic is a tight as I’ve ever seen it and the culture for success looks like it’ there IMO.

    Of course we’ve had false dawns before and perhaps this is another one – but I have the faith that our current regime, with a clear run and some stability to build on, will ensure we continue our upwards trend.

  64. Richard Gray says


    Glad you wrote this game up. I was wondering how you’d write up a losing game (your first?) and you haven’t disappointed. So many valid points. You’re right on the money! I don’t know why the Crows are going to offer Thompson another year. He’s no Boomer Harvey so let him take that Melbourne playing/coach gig that was rumoured. Might get a surprising trade out of it. Away from Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde most of the team were completely found out against the Swans. Only Charlie Cameron earned his pay. Angry, gutsy effort!

    I’m hoping that Sydney and Geelong knock each other senseless and that the Bullies roll GWS. Despite a coach that I loathe I admire the Bullies. Would be good to see them get a flag.

    Finally, 3 things that I think about Buddy Franklin; thug, sook, opportunistic good kick for goal. Discuss?

  65. enjoyed your report Malcolm…..for me i think we should take many positives from the season and put this loss behind us, we are still a work in progress. We are a fair to good side but will not win a flag until we can improve our 22 put out on the park….the way i see it we have 12 very good players +4 or 5 elite, but then our quality falls away from 16 to 22. This should improve next season with the expected inclusions of Milera , R.Knight and possibly Doedee…but we still need to be very aggressive at the trading table this yr..a midfield general with some mongrel in him to boss the opposition would be nice and a tall defender..i acknowledge Hartigan has improved but still for me he is only a useful squad member as a back up to cover injuries….anyway we have come a long way in two seasons and i feel our future is bright…thanks for all your input this yr Malcolm it has been a pleasure to follow your reports.

  66. Martin Rumsby says

    A brutal way to finish a good season. However, any good organisation learns from its failures, so the games against Sydney, West Coast and Geelong (x2) should provide excellent pointers for recruiting and modification of game plan for 2017.

  67. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Dave interesting re your thoughts re our depth I think we bat a bit deeper than that,Hartigan is interesting in that originally I thought he wasn’t good enough but he has improved dramatically and last week did a pretty good job on Buddy it depends how much further improvement there is.Brown fell way and Cheney to me is a classic in like Henderson you never no what you are going to get to many bad moments in the crunch for my liking.Knight I think is a key player for the future and hopefully,Milera,Wigg etc.The fact yes injuries hurt but we didn’t get a game out of,Menzel and Hampton hurt,lack of foresight at the selection table hurt as well.Martin yes we must learn from our failures ! Thank you

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