Round 12 – Adelaide v St Kilda: More Questions Than Answers For the Crows?


ADELAIDE 5.6 8.9 11.11 16.15 (111)
ST KILDA 1.1 2.4 3.10 7.12 (54)


Adelaide: Lynch 3, Jenkins 3, Walker 3, Betts 2, Sloane, Otten, Milera, Smith, Beech
St Kilda: Bruce 4, Stevens, Billings, McCartin


Adelaide: Jacobs, Lynch, Laird, Lever, Douglas, Talia, Atkins, Smith
St Kilda: Ross, Bruce, Stevens, Newnes, Geary


Adelaide: Nil
St Kilda: Weller (ankle), Carlisle (thigh), Brown (hamstring)


Umpires: Rosebury, Hosking, Schmitt, Mollison


Official crowd:
46,082, at Adelaide Oval


Malarkey Medal Votes: S.Jacobs(Ad)3, T.Lynch(Ad)2, R.Laird (Ad) 1.


1. Did we leave Adelaide Oval with more questions than answers re Rory Sloane, why is he seemingly so taggable? Do his team mates help him enough? How important were Sloane’s unselfish acts in Adelaide’s comprehensive win? Will the Crows midfield stand up against the top teams when it counts? Will Brad Crouch in particular,with his lack of pace be found out in September? Does Brad Crouch step up when the team is struggling (yes I am far from sold on Brad Crouch)?


2. Hugh Greenwood again showed plenty of promise with his propensity for the physical contest. 16 contested possessions, his lightning reflexes with his quick hands in a pack, not only distributing the Tommy Sherrin but also getting a hand in and deflecting a opposition handball. His skills gleaned from basketball are proving to be a huge asset for the Adelaide FC.


3. Jono Beech at the age of 26 making his debut. The senior recruit from West Adelaide was excellent, the joy and respect that Jono is held in was shown with the extraordinary team celebration when he kicked his first AFL goal (note Brian Taylor: NOT his first goal in senior footy you moron, he has kicked plenty in SANFL league footy!). Now to the AFL, unless you get your head out of your backside and provide a hell of a lot more financial support (geez just a fraction of the money re GWS and Gold Coast will do the trick) to state leagues we will NEVER see a senior player from those leagues like Jono Beech, Nic Duigan, Paul Paupolo or Lee Spurr etc. given another chance, and that would be a travesty. There are SANFL clubs in an absolute crisis position re their very existence and ability to be solvent and functioning in 2018. The lack of mainstream media publicity to the situation and even just bothering to delve in to what is going on is incompetent in my opinion, a proud 140 year competition in the SANFL is struggling big time, hey AFL what are you going to do??? Yes I am downright filthy!


4. Sauce Jacobs responded after being beaten by Zac Smith last week. To give Billy Longer a pants down job, absolutely toweling him up. The All-Australian ruck role must be line ball at this stage between, Jacobs, Paddy Ryder and Brodie Grundy. Well, Sauce has set a bloody high standard re round 12 for the other 2 to try and match. Overall Jacobs has been very good in 2017 with his ability to play as an extra midfielder vital for the Crows. His link play vital, he is blowing the old chestnut theory ‘never handball to a ruckman’ away big time! Can Adelaide get Sauce through so his body is ok in September? Can he make an impact then unlike the last 2 finals campaigns? Will the Crows rest Sauce at stages during the rest of the minor round?


5. Jake Lever’s ability to float across and intercept is just so important, he continues to add zeros to his contract, to say it is vital he adds his signature and stays a Crow is a huge understatement. How long before the Snake is regarded as the best defender in the game? I will go 2 years. Personally I think he is more than good enough to play anywhere and would love Don Pyke to be more creative at times, what would have been wrong last week with the Crows in trouble to throw him in to the midfield? A real worry for me last week seemed to be we were watching a reincarnation of Neil Craig in the coaching box.


6. Saints wise, what in the hell has happened? A list on paper which is more than good enough to make the top 8 and challenge re top 4. They were brilliant against GWS a few weeks ago but have been listless and lacking the manic desperation for the footy. They have been appalling in general the last 3 weeks. Seb Ross continued his bona fide arrival as a very very good AFL footballer. Koby Stevens did a very good disciplined tagging job on Rory Sloane, mind you he should have been penalised several more times for scragging but overall he was one of the few ticks for the Saints on the night. Josh Bruce responded very well after being dropped, with his work rate and 4 goals a feature. Jarryn Geary stuck at it and did a reasonable job on the mercurial Eddie Betts, although Betts defensive pressure and unselfishness was a lesson for any small forward past and present. Jack Newnes was ok but they needed far more from Jack’s Stevens, Billings and Steele. In reality a huge lift overall needed, their season is fast slipping away. The Saints have several winnable games coming up but unless they respond from next week against the Roos it will be another failed year in general.


7. The word around the traps re Mitch McGovern is it’s not just the go home factor and that several Vic clubs, in particular the Blues, are offering huge coin. Will the Crows end up regretting paying overs to keep Josh Jenkins? Would you change employers for a extra 250 plus thousand?


8. Any mid-season All-Australian side to not include Rory Laird is lazy and poor journalism, and not following the game overall and yes Dermie this was aimed at you.


9. Is Tom Lynch the hardest working player in the game? His gut running destroys opponents, “The Connector” put on yet another clinic. I detect it is always with immense satisfaction against the club which rejected him, he is elite in the role he plays.


10. Did the best negating defender in the game, Daniel Talia, in demolishing Tim Membrey take a significant step forward last night?


11. Hey I know you’re not going on Crows Facebook sites in general for footy intellect and any rationality (some folk are fine), but geez this week, pointing out if Matt Crouch had put any more mayo on his clash with Hawkins last week he could have opened up his own factory, and that he was very lucky no action was taken re his staging has seen me being accused of not being a Crows supporter,another clown rating his journalistic ability and editing as better than JTH (yep obviously fine to have a crack at my grammar, but JTH, hilarious!). Trying to explain that it was a correct decision re a Paddy Dangerfield hand pass last week not being called a throw and that if a player is penalised for a throw when he has handballed it is an error in law, but if you miss a throw it is a mistake as a maggot was way too complex, and to take the cake last night, trying to explain that Jono Beech was drafted due to his success at West Adelaide not from the bloody Crows reserve side (yes I can hear the replies back, hey Rulebook, what else did you expect!).


So the Crows head in to their mid season break at 9 wins and 3 losses, and sit a likely 2nd with plenty of unanswered questions, while the Saints have a vital game to stay alive versus the Roos.



  1. Troy Hancox says

    Well written !!
    Only tuned in on the game mid second quarter.
    Game was already over

    Saint kilda looked like a deer in the head lights
    Looked lathargic – players weren’t doing the hard yards to break the zones

    Couldn’t watch any more than 10 minutes
    Ended up tuning into SBS “Chicago”
    Had a better script

  2. Willow Wilson says

    Some thought provoking material as always Book.
    Who is more important to the Crows future, McGovern or Lever? The obvious answer is both but who is priority number 1? Lever probably has more runs on the board but does McGovern have more upside?
    Maybe Sydney would like Josh Jenkins, and they can offload Tippett? Was interested to see he got dropped by Sydney this week. Who has more footy nous Jenkins or Tippett?
    In relation to AFL support of SANFL, I think they only care about the SANFL for the Under 18 competition as that is a feeder comp for the draft. It would be interesting to see the proportion of the SA U/18 team that are playing SANFL U/18s. If it is all of them the AFL will want to protect that comp.
    I think the comparison between Pyke and Neil Craig is harsh on Pyke. One of the Crows strengths in the first 6 weeks of the season was adapting their game plan during the game (GWS, Hawthorn, Power all come to mind). I hope that he showed faith in the structure against Geelong to highlight to the leaders that they need to take some responsibility during the game as well.
    What do you believe is the missing ingredient for the Crows when they are challenged on contested ball and Sloane is kept quiet? Is it another tough mid stepping up? If so, in time Greenwood looks like he could be that guy.

  3. Campbell says

    Sloane is tagged week in week out now and its causing his impact to be less important than it should be. Need other players to go rough up the tagger and cause them some problems. Good article again

  4. great read.. now what i see is that our 3 best players in Walker, Betts and Rory are all way down on form yet we still found a way to win by 10 goals, am i happy the anseer is no, what we did when we played the power puffs earlier this year was outstanding so we know we can do do it and do it well, the big question for me is why cant we do it again, are we playing fox or is there some issue within the club or dont they really care, well in a few weeks time it starts to get serious, lets see how they go when it counts when it counts

  5. Jill Tathra says

    I wish the other players would help my “boyfriend” more, Sloaney is going to be tagged as hes such a great player so c`mon boys its a team game.

    We have a great mix of “old” and “new” players at the moment so the future looks bright and lets hope this 25th year is another one that ends the same way.

    Congrats to the “boys” from the 25th squad hope you all had a great time.

  6. steve bland says

    No Armitage and Riewold – no St.Kilda.
    They lacked leadership and having your captain playing in the back pocket doesn’t help.
    They were too defensive in the first quarter.
    They were hell bent on playing deep and stopping Adelaide from going over the top but couldn’t score themselves. The game was over at quarter time.
    Adelaide will continue to play well at home and thrash the lower sides.
    Unfortunately they will continue to struggle against sides with A+ talent because most of Adelaide’s midfielders are B graders at this level. They fumble and miss too many targets by hand and foot.
    Opposition sides that shut down Sloan, nullify Laird and Smith on the half back line, play man on man and tackle well will punish the Crows.
    I also noticed a couple of ‘one hand in’ efforts and marks dropped in anticipation of contact.
    There is no Joel Selwood in this lot but Lever is on track. He’s a keeper at any price.
    Pyke needs a plan B abd C if his team is to be successful in the finals.

  7. I think Sloane looks a bit frustrated. Wouldn’t be surprised if he gets suspended before to long.

    The guys tagging him simply hold onto him all game so if I was him I’d learn some dirty tactics like throwing elbows around etc

  8. Mark munday says

    Tagging slaone effectively makes it a 17 on 17 man game. Our 17 have to be better than the opposition its that simple in my opinion. Richard Douglas seemed to have a good game but at least half a dozen unnecessary turn overs with poor disposal under no pressure, in fact this is quite often is the case and I’ve been puzzled as to why he is in the side over the past 2 years Maybe he creates play that I don’t see on TV. Thanks for the read malcolm.

  9. Lever is a jet …. I agree he can play anywhere and we will need all of the remaining money in our cap to keep him as he will get a major offer from Interstate – he has a huge engine and will only get better so you can play him at either end – imo he will become one of the top 5 we have had in a crows jumper.
    Greenwood … if this is what we are seeing in the very early stages of his career then he destined to become one of our elite players. His work in a confined space is a lesson to all of our guys.
    Crouches are still in the early stages of their career(Brad has missed a fair bit of footy) – I am confident Brad can keep improving although he has disappointed(with approach) before his injury but I think we now have a player but I do agree he needs to be more consistent and Matt is showing why the Vince trade made very good sense for Adelaide.
    I thought the coaching box got it right – selfless work from Sloane as per usual and last night Adelaide began to use the Sloane tag to their advantage as they dragged players from the contest .
    Neil Craig’s work at Adelaide was outstanding .. Understandably Roo/Danger/Macka speak so highly of a man who had a huge impact in their lives- he was one kick and an injury to Rhett Biglands away from taking Adelaide to 2 Grand Finals.
    I could not give 2 hoots if Pyke is like him … he was an outstanding coach .. I just choose not to read or listen to some of commentary in this city. It is interesting that ever since he left Adelaide he has been chased for his knowledge and skills by Victorian clubs.
    Having the testacles to stick to what you believe is an absolute quality in my view .
    Neil did so much for so many young people in this city both at SANFL and AFL level – the organisations who he worked for were the beneficiaries of the work of a man of great quality.

  10. Theo Ellenbroek says

    Best read I ‘ve had for a long time – very considered and fair I think, with good, smart opinions presented.
    Well done all.

  11. Instead of the AFL treating the state leagues as some training exercise for their reserves maybe they could invest and strengthen them so that we have the best second tier leagues where for whatever reason guys who don’t get picked up as kids can still have an avenue to the AFL like Beech. But that would make too much sense

  12. Mark Duffett says

    My eye is nowhere near as acute as yours, Rulebook, but even I picked up last night that B. Crouch is not very quick. Not just in the running sense, either – once or twice he was found wanting in speed of decision-making, reflexes and disposal.

  13. Love the SANFL comments and agree with the need to hang on to the Glove.
    This is a most peculiar season and difficult to predict where any team will be next week let alone at the business end

  14. Bryan Haines says

    We need to keep both Lever and McGovern even if it means trading away some good players. They will be elite.
    I think Sloane needs to play on the outside a bit more and break the tag with his gut running. That is his strength.
    Hopefully there will be enough improvement in the midfield with the likes of Greenwood, Milera and the Crouches to make a strong finals run. Hopefully.

  15. I was going to read your review but when i saw Jacobs best on ground and Talia in best players i wouldn’t bother. Talia struggling to get an effective disposal

  16. Good write up as ever. I’m more confident about keeping Lever than McGovern, but they are both critical due to their versatility in playing tall or small as needed.

    How did you think Tex played? I thought he worked back into some decent form. Smith has been less brilliantly attacking than he can be, but some of his defensive work has been superb.

  17. G’day Rulebook,

    Thanks for your insight on the mighty Saints.

    Sadly we have been playing so bad after the great week win over GWS. Watching the game against the Bulldogs, I sensed my boys wasted the opportunities scoring goals and then gave away the space to opponents.

    I have to admit injuries affect my club much. Armitage’s absence is so big as he touches and kicks well in the midfield. Tom Hickey’s good ruck can’t be covers by Billy Longer. Josh Bruce could have filled in but he had been ruled out due to bad kicking. Then much respected and influencing Riewoldt has been out. He touches and kicks well as well as his classic marks. We have to develop young players as he would end his playing career (I wish it doesn’t happen) sometime in a few years.

    Unlike the Western Bulldogs last year, we don’t have any player who plays well as our regular players. We seem to need Plan B.



  18. Good report ‘book. A somewhat enigmatic win in that we’re none the wiser.

    I agree with you on the SANFL situation. I think of how my club Glenelg is struggling, and while I do what I can there’s only so many schnitzels I can buy on Friday nights. Where is the AFL on this? The self-appointed custodian? If they distributed a fraction of what they spend on their media department…Imagine if Meatloaf’s tortured warblings hadn’t happened, and instead, his fee was put to social good.

  19. Jeff Milton says

    So much in one article. Sadly I think there are too many people in Victoria who want to see the SANFL fail. And what a tragedy that would be.
    Great to see Greenwood adding some real hardness to the midfield. The key to getting Sloane more space is for the rest of the Crows midfield to do more damage while opposition teams are so focussed on Sloane. Jacobs not being worn out by August is crucial to this. Must hold onto Lever long term. Would be great to keep McGovern but this could get very difficult with the salary cap and lesser teams having money to spend. The current Crows team can better cover the loss of a forward than a defender if it ever came to a choice.

  20. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Troy yes not a game for the ages.Willow it’s a hard one,McGovern did some things against us yest just to remind every one how special he is we had a conversation re that same point in the inner sanctum re the
    Norwood change rooms after the game his upside is still huge when asked that same question originally my first thought was McGovern both will be elite players of the game just wish we hadn’t been so stupid and paid,Jenkins overs.Jenkins v Tippett neither are blessed with huge footy smarts may be JJ in a photo finish.Correct the Afl only care about the under 18s not the SANFL it truly disgusts me.Afair point re Pyke v Craig.Greenwood is important in reality the missing ingredient is Rangerfielc alas they don’t grow on trees.Campbell the days of evening up re the tagger are gone the Crows certainly need to improve re blocks for Sloane.Dennis we don’t no re carrying injuries,Sloaaney will work thru this not the 1st player to struggle with being tagged as for Betts it is a reminder re how freakish he has been for us he is playing in a bloody hard position still contributing big time re unselfish acts.Walker responded v well excellent on fri night.Jill yes the other players have to help,Sloane more ( 20 years) .Bill Lever is a jet as I say above both he and McGovern will be elite.Greenwood is showing fantastic signs a player who has come from a basketball background who embraces the physicality of the game is rare.Ironically we could have kept,Vince lost Henderson and still got Matt Crouch,Brad not only lack of pace decision making at times is poor a area which isn’t easy to improve.Neil Craig did a HUGE amount of things right as a coach unfortunately his weakness was in the coaches box during the game his stubbornness and not listening a large part of the prelim final loss to West Coast at footy park.I totally agree he is a man of quality in general but game time lacked nous.Theo thank you greatly appreciated.MD I agree with every letter let alone word you have written.

  21. Melina Mueller says

    Sauce stepped up, which is what we need from him, and it was great to see. Lever is fast becoming one of my favourite players to watch, his footy instincts are just beautiful in a young fella. What a career he’s got ahead of him, I find myself praying to the footy gods every week that his career will be in the red, gold & blue. Laird – well how can he NOT be AA?? That’s justAtrocious.

    For one of the very first times, I found myself bored watching that game on Friday night. Even with bigger wins, I’ve never been properly bored. Jono Beech’s goal – what a goal!! What a celebration!! Fantastic to see – was one of the few non-boring parts of the game.
    It’s a weird season – we are first but will most likely see out the round in second position. Best percentage in the league. And yet there’s still a vague unease. Have we been burnt too many times in the past by our boys falling off in the latter part of the year? Is there a lack of convincing wins? At least this round we actually won all 4 quarters.
    Even still, we can’t be too unhappy with where we are. Bring on the second half of the season!!

  22. Citrus Bob says

    How come Travis Head did not get a mention Malcolm?
    Just realised the “Friends of Cricket Australia” had not taken the field yet.
    Good reporting as usual and I think you are right about No 2 . He will find playing at the G a bit too much for him.
    Crows have not been good at keeping players for long, long terms will have to work very, very hard to keep McGovern the Younger. Why don’t they do a counter attack for McGovern the Older?

  23. Tony Cove says

    1. St. Kilda arrived at Adelaide Oval intent on CONTAINMENT, not on victory. It made for an ugly spectacle, & while a number of Adelaide players were no better than average, they were never going to lose. How could they when for 90% of the night, the Saints had most of their blokes clogging up the defence, & when going forward all they found was a defensive Crows wall containing Lever, Laird, Hartigan, Talia & Smith etc.
    2. Agree on Greenwood, let’s leave this man IN and see what he can do vs better opposition in weeks to come. Inevitably he will have a poor game or 2 at some stage but in a club devoid of mobile big-bodied midfielders, we have no choice but to nurture his development. He ain’t gonna get any better by playing SANFL. Agree also on Jono Beech. He is a great mark for his size, top set shot for goals (can’t have too many of them!) and very versatile. Good addition to Crows’ AFL ranks.
    3. Quiet players: Eddie looks tired, & is always surrounded by defensive flooding. He needs the week’s rest, as does Andy Otten who lacked spark in this game. Jenkins & Tex a bit better, but both can be better still after the much-needed break. Tom Lynch 10 out of 10 for his game.
    4. Brad Crouch is CAPABLE but at this stage, not damaging enough. Does not possess breakaway speed, he knows how to find the footy BUT is not that clean with decision making/disposal either. It is that area where he must improve.
    5. Re the comments on SANFL, yes, ALL the clubs are struggling & while there is inter-club rivalry to a large extent all SANFL clubs are in the same struggling boat. If one folds, it could see a domino effect. Is one option to LOWER the gate charge from a strange, inflated $14 to a more sensible $10 in the hope of seeing more bodies thru the gates? Some grounds resemble an empty country footy oval during matches. Been to Noarlunga or Elizabeth lately?

  24. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Mark totally agree,Brad Crouch decision making at times is bizarre I do wonder if he let the Dangerfield replacement crap get to him he is in danger of ending up a could have been the Crows need far more.
    Thanks Steve and yes v hard to predict,I thought,Tex was v good he worked pretty hard.Smith we need him to make every attempt to get on the end of a play and use his kicking ability as much as possible his defensive work has been a fraction better.Yoshi Armitage is vital while Riewoldt is still important depth is indeed a big question mark.Mickey spot on the Afl is indeed the games overall custodian how it can not see that is incompetent imo keep supporting the bays! ironic isn’t we all remember bloody,Meatloaf.
    Milts agree totally re the lack of interest by the vics big time.Greenwood imp agree totally re McGovern geez he has some special talents.Milts and Melina yes vital,Sauce isn’t cooked by finals time.Melina agree it was boring at times.Citrus yes apologies for not giving,Travis a mention what I enjoy re Greenwood is his willingness to tackle to harass.Not sure we have enough salary cap manouvering to get brother of.
    Tony agree with every point very well put and yes agree with the 10 dollar part as well thanks folks

  25. Michael Aish says

    The SANFL is where my loyalties lies and I am sure most past players feel the same. I am not convinced and I could be way off the mark that the AFL really care about the state of this great game other than their play ground. I guess the SANFL clubs are possibly fighting a loosing battle to stay solvent . The generosity of many loyal supporters are the life blood of all the clubs . Although we sometimes well probably most times will do anything we can to win we need to be diligent as football clubs to survive. We need to put away our rivalry and stand together.

  26. Point 9. Is about to inherit the mantle from N Riewoldt as best gut running fwd in AFL. Mancrush levels through the roof! Was good v Geelong too, when others struggled.

    Not getting Gibbs, retaining Thommo were seen as damaging in pre season. It put an enormous amount of pressure on Sloane if Crows to be a legit contender. Others were able to raise their games in the first 6 rounds which was magnificent. Now the $6M question re Sloane being tagged is finally in the blowtorch as we knew it would at some stage. Better to learn now than in finals. Will be good to see how he works through it, and how his fellow tier 2 mids go when their spiritual leader is not at his best. Hopefully 2 ticks, but sideplots like this are what keep us glued to this great game!

    And please lay off B Crouch & let him get some playing continuity. He knows his leg speed limitations, and that he must be a human cannonball to survive at AFL level. He can flourish if given the chance. I’m backing him in!

  27. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Michael thank you ! When 1 of the all time greats of the game makes the point we can only hope the afl actually bother to tale some notice ! Jamesey v good point re Tom Lynch totally agree.we have to wait and see if the rest of the midfield can lift and far from convinced that Brad Crouch knows his limitations again hope I am wrong. thank you

  28. Robert Bryson says

    Well said Michael it is disgusting. The AFL are happy to draft our players that they have done nothing to support in their junior & league careers. They use our Upgraded Adelaide oval to play on but have not supported SANFL & our clubs financially.

  29. Michael you have summed it up well.
    From the time I wore an Aish badge on my duffle coat to today I have been a Norwood supporter.
    While in the AFL I barrack for the crows, I don’t feel a loss , as I do when the legs loose .

    The SANFL and it’s clubs need to be supported . The next generation needs to be promoted .

    For me it is about memories of good times as a kid. My daughter and me attend games. I hope she will be able to take her kids.

    The health of the game relies on these clubs being strong and developing players beyond the recruiting fodder.

    While I may not see those magic runs down the wing like in 1984 , I still love the SANFL footy. It has its thrills and spills .

  30. Great write up, re the sanfl situation… so sad to see it’s turned from a competition where all teams strived week in week out for the club they loved. Now we see the best end up at an afl club to play against the clubs they gave their all to get a crack at the afl. The likes of Jono beech, Brett eddy are very talented but what benifit do they give to the competition that gave them their break. They are now part of the problem with the plumbers v professional standard only likely to be greater. Having a team with a salary cap at $330000 and being part time footballers playing a team of full time professional players at a minimum of $64000 per game. In laymons terms it takes 5.1 rookie contracted players to cover the sanfl salary. This without taking into account players of the calibre of Scott Thompson, Mitch McGovern, David McKay or on the port side of Angus monfries, Aaron young, Matt white, Matthew lobbe and Nathan Krakouer. What this enevitably will lead to is a defunct system that has not only lost club members but the very fabric that helped create the afl has now even stalled the ability of the next tier to give the afl reserves a decent game ie port v west Adelaide or even in the neafl with Sydney v gws. More and more players are being lost to country football all because they can make a better living than playing in the sanfl. If there was ever a chance to implement an afl reserves national competition it seriously needs to be done now.

  31. Martin Rumsby says

    Whilst the formula for beating the Crows is well known, the ability of opposing sides to fully apply the formula is quite variable. I would also suggest that a very similar formula could be applied to beating any side in the AFL. The ability of the second and third tier player to step up and fill the void when the effectiveness of Sloane, Smith and Laird is reduced is the key to a successful season for the tri-colours.

  32. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Looks like we need to make sure that we get a home prelim. Capt Obvious, I know, but as today’s game shows (and last night), it’s hard to win away if you aren’t 110% on.

    How different would we have been this year if we’d snagged Gibbs?

    It seemed like Lever had the (sorry for the terminology) quarterback role even more on Friday night – there seemed to be a concerted effort to get the ball into his hands as often as possible. The flipside of that is that if the opposition target him, is it just a matter of flipping that role over to Laird?

    A few tricky ones coming up after the bye. At least I’ll start seeing them a bit more in the next month or so, including the Dogs game at AO.

  33. Lorraine Munday says

    I thought the Crows had a hardness about them that hasn’t been there before , like Charlie forcing his way through two tackles , pushing and shoving harder than before , they did try to help Rory Sloane more than usual , but even though the Saints were being penalised for the rough treatment they handed out on Sloane, it didn’t stop them , which really played into the Crows hands , I’m surprised that their coach didn’t call off the rough stuff and just concentrate on playing footy, they may have got a better result.

  34. Interesting comments regarding the SANFL. The whisper in Melbourne is there will be no VFL Reserves in 2018. Stand alone clubs such as Willianstown, Coburg, Port Melbourne will field a list of around 40, those that aren’t selected will go back to their local clubs.
    Not sure which league is struggling the most at the moment?
    SANFL and WAFL have Colts, Reserves that seems the obvious pathway to League Football. These days a player can play local football and make more money than they get training 3x week from November with a league club. Plus league football appears to have lost the prestige it once had.

  35. Good article Malcolm
    It was tremendous to see JJ and Tex show some form this week. They along with Lynch
    have been tremendous for the crows over the last 3 seasons or so and hardly deserved
    some of the heavy criticism because of the 3 losses we suffered..its a team game and win or lose
    they are all in it together.

  36. Steve wood says

    RB, the crows can’t afford to lose lever or McGovern. Your midfield is great against some of the average sides, but to me struggles against the stronger units. I’ll happily stand corrected if you beat geelong in s few weeks time.
    Extremely happy for jono beech for his perservance and for what it meant to him personally. I totally get that .
    Totally agree with Michael Aish, there is scant regard to the SANFL as a serious comp.
    I was at the parade yesterday and the level of support for the crows was negligible.
    There are very similar traits between pyke and craig, not sure if that’s a strength given how craig ended up.
    Plan B??

  37. Dean Bogisch says

    To get SANFL back , I.e. no Alf teams, drastic action is needed. SANFL Supporters boycott matches featuring the cows and pap smears, I know that will hurt our clubs but no pain no gain. Next stage, if required, forfeit to them ! If that doesn’t succeed in getting them out a more conventional method should be tried.I may be escorted away by the men in white coats, but something has to be done get our footy back. If Norwood introduces a match ticket that excludes the afl reserve games, I will buy.

  38. Supercoach of the SCUM says

    Love the way Lever is going about it at the moment but I really think the game that Kelly is currently playing is allowing Lever to be the quarterback! Doing this also allow Lairdy and smith to be involved in the linkup play. by the way, I would love to see Smith running in a straight line when kicking instead of kicking around the corner all the time! One of my pet hates though…. Also as much as it was an improved game from Jenkins, his attack on the contest was still a bit soft, he dropped several easy marks, and his work in the ruck was second rate.
    Loving the work of greenwood, great hands and very hard at it. Brad Crouch is improving every week, yea he looks slow but some of his in close work with his hands is sensational and his vision in tight is elite. Matty Crouch still needs to learn to settle a bit when kicking if possible as he tends to waste too many kicks.
    a good write up Ruley, especially on the importance of the SANFL to the fabric of football. Hopefully everything is sorted at the Blacks and we will see you out with the SCUM this week.

  39. Dan Hansen says

    I’ve got one out of six so far this round so if it wasn’t for the Crows it could well be a pants down round for me.

    Anyone could beat anyone at any time and anywhere. With the weeks rest after round 23 the home state advantage is negated a bit.

    Any one of Adelaide, Geelong, GWS, Western Bulldogs, Port Adelaide, West Coast, Richmond, Essendon and Sydney could win it if they have a near full squad in form come September.

    Don’t rule out Collingwood and Melbourne giving the competition a shake in teh second half of the season either.

  40. Mark Ducker says

    Brad Crouch – 24 disposals ( 13 contested – no 2 on day ), 8 tackles ( no 1 on day) , 7 clearances( no 1 on day) 4 inside 50’s( no 5 on day) and I agree RB he just had an average day!!
    Matt Crouch – 29d ( 10), 2 t, 1 c, 3 in 50,
    I reckon Macca would be BOG with Brad’s stats above.
    He’s only done 2/3s of ONE preseason due to numerous serious injuries & played a meagre 49 matches!
    If gets a run with injuries, add 50 consequetuve matches & 3 preseasons and we are going to have one hell of a player close to All Australian level ! His pace is not elite but not slow either but will never be a line breaker ( just like Macca) – but his elite inside work is his game. Don’t see him get caught from pace issues because of his quick hands. Besides Dangerfield & maybe Sloane at his best I struggle to think of many who are elite at both.
    My criticism of Brad is he doesn’t yet have an elite leg( unlike Macca). If he gets this better, we will have an A+ midfielder around 100 games.
    Matt Crouch is an accumulator . Ok on inside . Ok on outside with efficiency issues still. Has had good run with injuries. Will play 200 games & be only a B+ mid.
    Pykey vs Neil Craig game day – can’t agree .Dont underestimate Don Pyke – another level to NC.
    Those that talk about game plan B & C – which team has this? They have all 1 game plan with tweaks on the day. It’s naive if you think at qtr time ANY coach says ” now boys we are not using A today anymore & going in the 2nd qtr to B” The best teams do their game plan better than the others. Everyone knows how all teams play. There are minor changes on a day or tweaks not another game plan. Could anyone show me any team with 2 or 3 different game plans they can pull out & change anytime? I haven’t seen it in any era of footy.

  41. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Robert no where near enough financially.Farmboy I am exactly the same yep I like writing and analysing but not the same emotional investment.Rayser I agree with every letter let alone word incompetent management that the afl can not see it and act appropriately.Martin spot on.Swish agreed and impossible to judge re Gibbs we don’t no what we would have lost.Lever a gun geez a reminder against the legs just how good,McGovern is in traffic in a confined space as Bruce would say he was special.
    Lorraine physically,Charlie especially some slightly encouraging signs,St Kilda just to defensive.Lachlan same whisper here re res sides another step to ruining the whole club fabric but in a lot of regards that has already happened with the loss of prestige to the overall comp and so many chasing money for a fraction of the work elsewhere.Dave they both took a step forward I admit,Jenkins re his lack of physicality has never won me over completely.Steve totally agree( Wish McGovern had been another week grrr lack of support re Crows yep disgraceful the lack of buy in by the Adelaide FC towards the SANFL words can’t describe my disgust the lack of promotion and anything pro active by then is pathetic to say the least)Aishy nailed it and we will have to wait and see,Pyke v Craig but yes some frightening similarities in the Cats game.Dean love your passion and I understand where you are coming from completely.Supercoach,Kelly defensively has been v good and is fitting in well he is important to our balance,Greenwood v impressive,B Crouch just hasn’t got the balance right re inside v outside I admit I am being hard on him but he frustrates me big time.I just feel so strongly re SANFL and wait and see hopefully.Danny yep v v v open and the bombers best on a dry deck may we’ll be as good or better than any one else’s there pace and ball movement was incredible,injuries are vital in the end thanks folks

  42. Was just thinking about this very thing yesterday. I’m an Adelaide guy who has played in SANFL, SAFA, SAAFL, NTFL & VAFL & live in Tasmania. Since the AFL, I have seen the increased demise of local footy clubs that have been around forever with the ovals in a lot of instances being taken over by soccer & with participation in footy clearly declining. At the same time the number of people on the AFL gravy train goes through the roof. It is incredible the number of people being paid at AFL clubs. AFL clubs are not interested in developing juniors as they have no control on where those players go. Unless there is strong interest & involvement & funding at grass roots level the game will decline. Interestingly the solution could lay in women playing footy in increasing numbers & hence bringing local clubs to life & increasing participation. Aishy is right. The SANFl needs firstly to get integrity into the local competition by booting the Crows & Powaaaa . Efforts should be made to focus on participation & fun rather than just elite pathway to AFL.

  43. Good win especially with the Giants losing. Jury still out in a very even Comp

  44. To sensible people, it is obvious if you want a healthy future for the game, you need vibrant and financial state league competitions. Unfortunately, the AFL are neither sensible nor the least bit interested in the health and welfare of the game. The AFL are doing a wonderful job of conning people into believing the game has never been better, that players are more skilful, etc, and people eat this bullshit like popcorn.

  45. Thought-provoking as always.

  46. Malcolm Ashwood says

    DM and Grizz extremely well put I could not agree more,Raj yes very open,TC gold as always
    Paul Di Lulio ( Norwood President ) goes Malcolm I have a challenge for you go and sell
    raffle tickets to all the Crows players
    I reply challenge accepted Tex from experience goes get your wallets out he won’t go away till you have all bought
    Eddie asks what’s the prize I reply no prize ( old line )
    I tell Sloane as he pays I won’t tag you
    They all bought I yell out to Paul D mission accomplished
    Good work Malcolm ( from Paul ) some bemused looks resulted I reckon I got more money out of the players than the Crows supporters)

  47. Thanks Book.
    Points 5 & 8….
    I hope Lever doesn’t become a Leaver!
    Was good to see JJ take some contested marks and throw his big frame around a bit.
    Thought we covered the loss of Brown pretty well.
    Would think that was just about the best game I have seen Dougie play in a very long time.
    Totally agree in relation to Greenwood, love watching him getting into the groove, such good hands in close.

  48. Homemaker says

    SANFL have supporters that want to attend games but don’t , there’s players that want to play SANFL but don’t , instead they play SAAFL or country for cash rather than train more and get same or less cash at a SANFL club.
    The product of SANFL isn’t as good as it used to be for many reasons.
    Sponsors used to have an attachment to their local SANFL club, but now they are more attached to the AFL clubs. They will get better value from the AFL than they do from SANFL.
    SAAFL and country leagues are way more professional now in how they are run, compared to 25 years ago, clubs are seducing players that previously would have been 200 gamers at SANFL level.
    Crows & Port in SANFL is irrelevant to the problems of the SANFL, blaming them for the SANFL in decline is looking for the easy answer rather than the true root cause.
    If the Crows took their $450k per year and invested that into airfares & hotels and played VFL next year would the SANFL see a resurgence? -of course not, but it would probably make life a lot harder for those SANFL clubs already struggling.
    Get grass roots fixed, enforce salary caps and player transfers at country and SAAFL levels and get the good players wanting to play league SANFL again.

  49. …and a *lot* more questions for St Kikda. Another great wrap, Rulebook.

  50. I’m in agreement with all points raised in your article Rulebook- especially your observations around the brillance of Jake Lever and Rory Laird. Like many other fans, I can’t help but conclude that the Crows true litmus test comes with the tough draw after the Hawthorn game. Should be interesting to watch.

  51. I must admit I am perplexed Rulebook. To have Jacobs as BOG was extremely generous on your part as although he played OK, he was hardly best on ground with many of his taps being sharked by the opposition. I would love to know the clearance numbers but I’m pretty sure St Kilda had their fair share from the centre bounces and more than likely outshone us in that area. Jacobs really needs to improve his direction of his tap work to try and ensure they fall into his own players arms rather than the oppositions.
    Being at the game on Friday night was quite a disappointement as there was virtually no atmosphere with the Saints being woeful from the start and the Crows doing enough to get the job done but no more. The crowd were restless as a result and it was really quite a let down at the end of the night despite winning by almost 6 goals! Not a great advertisement for AFL football that one.

  52. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Chris well played re the Lever line.JJ better jury out till physical and perform against the better sides.
    Dougie is imp need him to have big second half of the year.Greenwooc adds a different dimension.Homemaker well put the afl sides are not the root of the problem but are a bloody large part of it.your last two lines are the most important and are vital for the good of the game.Litza couldn’t agree more they have been bitterly disappointing the last 3 games to say the least they seem to have stagnated.Paul spot on.Big Jim agree re Sauce ruck work e palming needs to be better but in this game his field play re linking as the big mid fielder was exemplary be interesting to see how the crows internally scored this game re the b and f.It was a v average game in which it was the same in seasons past just that now each game is examined and analyzed more plus I reckon we have selective memory we remember the most recent and the good from the past and block out the poor from the past thanks folks

  53. Ben Larsen-Smith says

    Thanks for the round up and insights Book. I too was very interested in how Rory Sloane can be so comprehensively shut out of having an impact on the game when tagged also. Overall it was a very one sided game and I would have loved to see St. Kilda put up more of a fight. Also loved the no look handball from Tex to Eddy, beautiful to watch.

  54. Caz Phillips says

    Another great article Malcolm ,you’re on the money on all of the points discussed .
    It was great to see the Crows bounce back after a disappointing game against the Cats .The game was set up in the first quarter with tight defence and the intensity and tackling was of a high standard .
    When the Crows play like they did in the first quarter it’s great to watch ,not sure if we played all for quarters with the same intensity and think the Saints played better in the second half .
    Jono Beech look really good and showed some great signs ,he brought tears to my eyes when he kicked his first goal and the way the guys got around him shows just how popular this young man is .
    Richy Douglas had a great game and is winding back the clock with his best footy shining through .Lever was outstanding in all aspects and hopefully he will sign soon .
    Overall all the players contributed as one and hopefully we can keep playing good consistent footy after the bye ,

  55. Tag a tagger that’s what I say. Free sloany up by getting the tagger roughed out if it. It’s drummed into us about speed speed speed, but to be a great player you need the skills. I believe skills go missing when intense speed is required. A player has to have footy smarts but right through the younger age groups I see speed reducing the ability to use basic skills. Footy shouldn’t just be about speed it’s a game using 18 players with strategy to get the ball down to forwards to get a goal. It’s seems the game is just based on midfielders racking up 40 possessions but not actually doing anything with it. forwards and backmen don’t get enough credit. The game and the umpiring have become too complicated. There’s a lot of great players out there but SANFL and AFL need to work together to stop things falling apart. Keep working hard crows

  56. Adelaide need to sign young Jake Lever asap, he is a massive influence on our game, ansd has really matured as an elite footballer this year, probably one of our most consistent players..sign up already..?….McGovern I believe will go, and as far as the Sloane issue is very eveident something Daisy ( cant think of her surname but she plays for Melbourne) from Game Day said Sunday, ” while teams are focusing on shutting Rory down, they are forgetting to shut down the Crows other midfielders and forward line, because shutting down one player makes other players get more ball time”, I thought she had a good point. Anyway a win is a win, but wasnt a brilliant game in mybeyes and that last quarter was a bit dull, Saints bought nothing much to the game. Great going into the break with a good % and even though we are currently 1st we will probably fall to 2nd place be weekends end, look9forward to the Hawks game next Thursday.

  57. Cameron Glenn says

    The Crows finally break their Friday night hoodoo giving the Saints a belting. A 4 qtr effort but with some sloppy skills. They were not in it at Geelong and completely turned it around against the Saints. St Kilda left Adelaide with their 10th consecutive loss in SA with another trip here in about 6 weeks to play Port. How the Saints can play twice a year in Adelaide practically every year beats me when the Blues with more fans here have not played the Crows in Adelaide since 2010 and played only twice at AO. The AO staff were fantastic to get the ground ready after the Socceroos game the night before and you would have no idea they had that game on. The other grounds have struggled to get their pitch perfect (Allianz Stadium is one that rings a bell).

  58. Daryl Harper says

    So Brian Taylor is not a favourite of yours Malcolm of Highbury. During Indigenous Round, I heard him on radio claiming that Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls had been Governor of Victoria. Those Vics will claim anything that excels. Turns out the good pastor had been Victorian Father of the Year once and also King of Moomba. Nothing like spoiling a good yarn with the truth.

    Can I also express my opinion that our wonderful game has been bastardised by this weird impulse to change interpretations every season & often on a weekly basis. No one now has a head and no one has a back. The ‘scrum’ now rolls along until someone tries to take possession…silly idea…holding the ball. If the home team shouts loud enough, an umpire will reward the home team because he is also undecided about which interpretation is being applied this week. I’m afraid the changes have gone to far. I’m not a rugby fan but the way our game is heading, we’ll be playing against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in ten years. Can anyone save our great game?
    Please don’t mention deliberate out of bounds or I’ll get upset again.

  59. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Ben yes in a game with few highlights,Tex handball was certainly one of them.Debbie Sloane to the opposition best mid imo I agree re speed the ability to balance and steady with out doubt is Cameron’s weakness.Spot on re midfield not enough importance put on other spots at times yep game to complicated for its own good and umpiring diabolical re instructions and interpretations.KDE Lever and McGovern both vital and both will be elite players in the game overall don’t fancy our chances of keeping both I have no doubt the Crows will try and use Sloane in that role it will be interesting.Saints went in to damage control very early to limit the margin of the loss boring.Cameron geez the Saints record at Ad oval is terrible and yes bizarre re the blues not playing us at home james st crazy.
    Harps BT number of errors s a farce and you nailed it re the game and umpiring just pay the 1st obvious free kick and pay the in the back even your mate,Dhoni can see that.( all the best re heath ! ) thank you

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