Round 14 – Adelaide v Hawthorn: A lack of mongrel

1. Hawthorn were good but the Crows were pathetic. Inside the footy world it is considered they lack mongrel; how they would kill for a Viney, Selwood or Hodge (that type).

2. Is Don Pyke a clone of Neil Craig? Must stick to structure and game plan. For goodness sake, allowing Luke Hodge to be the plus one was incompetent; to allow Hodge to coach and direct traffic arguably the last player you would want to leave free in the game; he HAD to be made accountable. If it was good enough for the Messiah to play a seven or even eight man forward line by manning up, its good enough for any one. Did this coaching move (or lack of) cost the Crows the game? Arguably. Was it at the very least a huge factor? YES.

3. A lack of grunt to even have a crack at taking a pack mark, McGovern had to play.
Jenkins in particular just wants way too much easy ball out the back. He could take a lesson from Greenwood well and truly ffs have a fair dinkum crack!

4. Ben Cox, you are 100 per cent spot on; tackling is a huge problem. Is it intent re want and desire or method (a combination of all) no where near enough, Crows stick a tackle.

5. Crows lack the ability to win ugly: such a gap between so many players good or bad
Brodie Smith may be the worst in the league in that regard (overall he never really seems to have recovered from his concussion issues).

6. Let’s get one thing correct, Ryan Burton not being drafted by the Crows had NOTHING to do with Tom Doedee. The ONLY reason the Crows, along with the majority of clubs, didn’t pick him was due to his injury. The decision had to be made at the time. Yes, realistically the Crows, along with every one else, would love their choice again; the kid is a very good player now and will be elite.

7. The Crows again showed how much sport is played above the ears; they took the
Hawks lightly and paid the price.

8. Can the Crows recover? I realistically doubt it, geez I hope I am wrong.

9. Every time I have read a comment that the Crows are a better side without
Paddy Dangerfield I have for goodness sake (ok I have thought of a different word than that) thought what a load of garbage and stupidity. How we would kill to still have the best player in the game at Crowland. We will never know but we may be going for back to back and yes he is that good.

10 Congrats to Simon Goodwin for his elevation to the Australian Football Hall of Fame rapt for the Goodwin family (hopefully article to come).

Other thoughts

11. The AFL were pathetic re Tom Hawkins. when if Matt Crouch had put any more mayo on that incident he could have opened up a factory. Then staging reached a new level with
Alex Rance (any one would have thought Troy Chaplin was his mentor) and now Clayton Oliver last night and for goodness sake, how bad was the umpiring to report Will Schofield?

12. We have seen elite leadership so far this round from Luke Hodge and Jack Viney while  Brendon Goddard put in a disgraceful effort. The footy karma bus came through and went kapok; it was a terrible error and complete lack of vision and awareness.

13. How can we have a multi-million business and yet can’t have clubs being organised enough to let players know EXACTLY how many seconds there are to go? It’s not that hard to time keep themselves as well and have set plays.

14. The round has delivered some incredible finishes; to say the Roos seemed to draw the raw pineapple is an understatement to say the least.

THANK YOU.

 

For more analysis of this game, read Ben Footner’s and other pieces here:
https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/category/2017/round-14-142017/adel-v-haw-142017/

Comments

  1. aussie80s says:

    As a Hawks fan I was pleasantly surprised by the result considering the garbage we served up just a few weeks back at the same venue.
    Just a few observations from the outside regarding Adelaide. The Crows are a serious premiership chance this year and just need to make a couple of line up changes I would think.
    If Sloane gets tagged out of the game each week now there is not enough back up support in the middle for the Crouch boys and the rising Greenwood.
    Thompson is racking up possessions at will in the SANFL (another 33 on the weekend) and as an inside ballwinner needs to be put in the middle as well (he is a better option than Douglas) to counteract the tagging and I would think that if McGovern is fit again that there should be a spot for him, possibly replacing Otten who has been quiet for about a month now. If McGovern goes forward this would free up Betts more.
    If I were a crows fan I wouldn’t be stressing yet when you are 2nd on the ladder, I would gladly swap that with our 16th and only a mathematical chance at finals.

  2. RB – hate to say it but the Crows are looking soft. Point 5 says it all. Teams cannot be at their best every week, but they need to find a way sometimes.

    I’ve had a look at the free kick against the Roos in the dying seconds of the game, when big Brown had taken a grab. The free was definitely there. A Dogs defender was blocked badly at the contest. The issue is not the free kick itself, the issue is that many of these are missed. Or ignored.

    Rubbing out Tom Hawkins for his hit (read “tap”) a few weeks back will be more and more laughable as the season goes on. Blokes will definitely miss finals games for tickling their opponents. We may as well introduce an obstruction rule. Jack Dyer must be pissing himself in footy heaven.

  3. Dave Brown says:

    A lot of fair points, Rulebook (after two Crows pieces on this loss, waiting on PB’s Eagles piece ;-)). Felt Pyke was outcoached on Thursday night but nothing fatal that can’t be fixed with some better selection and player application. Very worthwhile noting Hawthorn have knocked off Sydney and Melbourne and they present a different challenge to any other team. 1000% agree on the Burton call, the Crows had just taken a gamble on Lever (which looks to be genius) but just imagine if they’d taken Burton and then he and Lever had not come good. Can understand them balancing risk without two years’ hindsight.

    ps. reckon Crows fans should stop bagging Craig – it is an expression of our underlying insecurities that leads us to catastrophise losses and unnecessarily forecast disaster which impacts on the environment in which the team functions. An ounce of luck and he would be remembered as a genius. Loses his captain for the first final in 2005 (shall we play a game where we take the captain out of every team in the AFL in a final and see how well they go? Geelong could barely beat Freo without Selwood) leading to a prelim in Perth. The following year losing his ruckman midgame in a prelim against one of the best ruckmen ever at a time when the Crows had control. A loyal and for the most part successful servant of the club and Crows fans can only hang crap on him. That can get in the bin.

  4. I think we also need to make some adjustments to the defence..its not as good as some supporters are making out and for the first part of the season got an easy ride because of the superb form of our attack and also our mids, yes its not a typo, our mids were superb and only when the tag went on to Sloan did they start to look second rate…Now that must be sorted out asap….Getting back to our defence..now they have to deal with some pressure, they cant cope and are leaking soft goals galore…indivdually.Talia is out of form, Hartigan is hopeless, and Smith is a shadow of the player he was two years ago…Laird and Lever are having outstanding seasons but two quality defenders wont get us into a grand final…Hartigan out and Ottens back to defence…Smith to forward line, he will kick goals and lets be really adventurous like Blighty was and bring in Keath or Doedee into defence..really can they do worse , we will never know if we dont try.

  5. Raj Singh says:

    Time to make a few changes need some grunt around the ball. Thompson to come in.

    This is a very unpredictable season so just need to be there is Sept and anything can happen

  6. Barry Adams says:

    Even Jake Lever lost the plot kept trying to mark everything while his partners in crime were jumping with him trying to spoil evrything leaving no one down. It cost us a few goals. Adding insult to injury we were bombing the ball into our forwsards with the ball coming out twice as fast because Ottens Tex were too slow and unable to get any where near the opposition to tackle. Charlies best and worst is miles apart and after the first quarter needed somebody to lend him a Navman so he could find the ball. You are spot on with the mongrel non existent. We have gone handball mad. In our first six games our handball was creating forward attacking moves. Now our handball is going backwards creating more pressure on our players forcing hurried kiks forward. Tou can have all the talent in the world but if there is nothing between the ears its pointless

  7. Brenton says:

    Crows tackling execution has gone backwards recently, I don’t know who is doing the planning there but they need to get it sorted. Kicking from midfield was terrible and they are lacking offensive run from there. McGovern had to play, lack of ground speed and movement in forward area is glaring – too easy to expose Crows on exit from forward half and then to leave Hodge to play out the back just makes them look incompetent- that will always happen when opposition put pressure on the way out and decision making is poor – so improve your use (not that hard really) wasn’t an issue earlier in season when kicking execution/decision making was good . Agree about Danger but move on ffs!! Lack of physical intimidation is a glaring problem for Adelaide- similar to Cats without one of the greatest contested ball players we have seen(Selwood)
    Selection pressure would be helpful – play Doedee please!! All so middle class Adelaide – Greenwood’s ability to work in confined space makes most look stupid – going nowhere without better use / tackling/physical intimidation and at least 1 short in midfield with Atkins reverting to absolutely appalling use!! Jenkins – give some of that money to the people who need it like the homeless – you need to have a good look at yourself mate!!

  8. Hey Rulebook some very salient points made in the article.
    The intent and desire for the contest that Adelaide had in the first 6 rounds seems to have evaporated in the wake of the loss to the Roos.
    (Even the first quarter the week before against Shitmond was poor and we were lucky not to be more than 9 points down.)
    I’d like to think that Pyke is not a clone of Neil Craig but recent evidence has me doubting these thoughts. (His refusal to man up Hodge in that 3rd quarter was diabolical and smacked off amateurism. His inability or refusal to try something different against Melbourne spoke volumes.)
    I’d like to see Sloane moved out onto a wing as it’s harder for someone to scrag him when you’re one on one in open play. (It’ll enable him to use his gut running which is a feature of his game, plus he might get his confidence back which has dropped away recently.)
    Not sure why Charlie hasn’t spent more time on the ball, he was used there earlier in the year to good effect. Provides some speed from a contest which we have lacked recently.
    I think Knight may come back into the side, maybe for Milera, Riley is stronger in the contest than Wayne.
    I think the inclusion of McGovern this week will take place, despite him being quieter stats wise against Centrals, by all accounts they had 2 players on him most of the time however his defensive pressure was good.
    It’ll be interesting to see how Adelaide fares this week against the Blues, who are being well coached and structured by Brendan Bolton. Will not be surprised to see them target Sloane again if he is in the middle. The response from his team mates will be telling.
    Cheers, Steve.

  9. Citrus Bob says:

    you have done it again RB. Oh for a Gunston, Lyons, Vince and even Tippett in the line up forgetting about he who shall remain nameless.
    When was the last time the Crows had a “mongrel” player to assist the classy ball players like Sloane?
    Must say though this was the most fantastic round I have ever seen or witnessed.
    Citrus

  10. Jill Tathra says:

    Most dissappointing game Crows. I agree we have a clone coach who doesn’t seem to want to move from a plan or change players around. Why can’t the Crows use the tagging on Sloane by using the fact one whole team is worried about only one player. If the worse comes move him to another position and see what happens, gotta do something rather than what’s going on now.

  11. Riverboy says:

    Crows players should harden up and get the ball rather than standing around watching it, they should try and play more like the Bombers! Walker not leeding by example, coach with no plan 2.
    Fantasia presented with some goal kicking opportunities he failed to capitilise on with the Mighty Bombers going down by 1pt. Crows fans unless theres some major changes over the next 7 weeks bring yr towels to Edihad. its bath time!!!
    BAHAHA!!!!

  12. Straight to the point Book….
    1/. Crows have NFI how to grind out a win.
    2/. Jenkins needs to hit packs – something he will never do I’m afraid
    3/. Smith just not the same player since concussion
    4/. Out-coached again me thinks.
    5/. Time for some changes/ INS – Thommo, Shooter and Feta, OUTS – Milera(I do rate buts needs a rest), Beech & the injured Brown
    6/. My wild card is Keath – he has some natural ability and some mongrel
    On to the Blues who structure up well – game on, let’s hope we respond on the big stage.

  13. Book, agree 100% with everything you say. And I particularly enjoyed the Troy Chaplin reference. Well played!

  14. Peter Coleman says:

    Very Good summary Book
    Are the Crows the Graeme Hick of the AFL, flat track bullies ? September not looking promising.

  15. steve bland says:

    Crows will struggle to make the eight.
    They are a bunch of ‘B’ graders.
    They have been totally exposed as pretenders.
    Soft as butter – weak as water.
    Drop the Crouch brothers – their disposal is woeful – just plain dumb centreing a ball to a contest or hand-balling to a teammate that is about to be tackled.
    Drop Jenkins – looks like Tarzan plays like Jane. Anyone can kick goals from 1 metre out.
    Leave Tex at full forward.
    Rest Milera, Atkins and Ottens.
    Tell Cameron to stop flying for marks and to crumb on the ground – front and centre.
    Bring back Thompson, Knight and McGovern and anyone else that can tie up their shoelaces.

  16. Big Jim says:

    Great to see your article for a Crows loss Rulebook.
    I agree completely with you about Jenkins. He was listless all night and didn’t appear to want to be there unless receiving a soft ball with no opposition around. Eddie was also subdued all night with the whole forward line being ineffectual. Not a single winner there all night.
    As mentioned by others before, Jono Beech, Otten out for Thommo & Knight as it appears we have been too top heavy of late but I think Milera is worth persisiting with as I reckon I saw some signs in the match of him finally undersatanding what it takes to play at this level. Cameron has to stand up and provide the run we so desperately need from him while I thought Talia looked completely out of sorts and needs to get his act together if he’s to not put his position in the team at risk! This was unthinkable just 4 weeks ago.

  17. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    aussie80s,McGovern should have played and having seen,Thommo play twice live and twice re tv I am a no while we desp need mongrel unless it is pouring he would be way way to slow.Dipx re the roos I meant overall hey Schofield I don’t mind if he gets a game for stupidity but for the actual incident absolutely pathetic the afl supporting staging pure incompetence.Dave yep re Burton and while I agree with every word re your examples re Craig I always felt he struggled game day re that prelim starting,Matt Bode on the pine after half time despite he was bog as it was the plan before the game..
    Dave totally agree def time to try Doedee or Keath( or both) Raj while as I say above I have misgivings re Thommo if he is not selected this week why was he kept on the list.?Barry yes lack of cohesion and understanding,Kelly should have been zoning off re 1 of those cost us a imp goal.Cameron lack of time
    on ball is mystifying spot on re gap between his good and bad also totally agree re handball and footy
    brain lack of.Brenton tackling re intent want and desire diabolical they also seem to lose confidence v easily.Otten,Jenkins and Walker together terrible defensively another reason why,McGovern is a must.
    Spot on re Atkins and love your comment re Jenkins thanks folks

  18. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Steve re Hodge that was that bad you could be excused for accusing,Pyke of match fixing. like your idea re Sloane and for goodness sake it’s not working at the moment.Knight never should have been dropped.Citrus Bob besides,Dangerfield being the best player in the game his will to win and his mongrel is vastly underrated.Roo had mongrel.Jill totally agree and some things are far more important than footy all the best.Riverboy I thought of you sat night hey if you had shot,Goddard do you reckon a decent judge would have given you a reward ? Chris relevance in every word if Milera toughens up he will be a v good player lots of questions yet.Jenkins just so bloody frustrating.Thanks TC.PC v good analogy re Graeme Hick( Crows got there angles wrong) Blandy I have never been sold re Brad Crouch geez he struggles when the Crows do front runner.Big Jim in general,Talia is still doing the job defensively is not linking up enough offensively are the Crows gone ? Realistically yes geez hope I am wrong thank you

  19. Pete Cheno says:

    So I was at this one Rulebook.
    Hawthorn were very (very) good and all credit to them.
    As for a dissection of what happened. The way I see it – Hawthorn got close earlier in the year and Sloane, Cameron and Walker all played well. This time those 3 were held, Eddie missed more than he kicked and it’s a different result. Ladder position aside these two sides might just be a good matchup with nothing more to read into it than that.
    Yes they were certainly out coached on the night and seem to lack midfield depth when Sloane is kept quiet. Combine that with a quiet Betts and Tex and the Crows are in trouble typically ( per North Melbourne and Melbourne games )
    As for what’s next – Cows will recover and finish top 2 almost certainly but Finals success with semi-regular inconsistency in your top 5 it 6 best players and no one picking up the slack is always going to be a toss of a coin.

  20. Malcolm your obviously a very passionate crowd supporter – would love to know what your thoughts were on Hugh Greenwood starting the last quarter on the bench

  21. Mariusz Danielak says:

    Crows are totally lacking hard gut runners. The biggest mongrels in footy are players that run their guts out and run in straight lines
    Sloan should get on his bike and run more instead of waisting his energy at pushing and wrestling his tagger. Tackling was really good at start of season now dropped off but its a marathon not sprint as long as ur primed at finals time not june

  22. Rick Kane says:

    Hey Rulebook take a chill pill or three and just enjoy a great win (champagne footy) by a great team in their last days as the team of this era. And thank you for Burton.

    Cheers

  23. Dan Hansen says:

    Hawthorn are suffering from old champions syndrome. They play one or two good games a month and one or two shockers per month. The Crows just happened to cop them during one of their good games.

  24. Peter T says:

    Spot on Malcolm.
    The Crows are pretenders. Yes they played good footy for 6 games. But have they developed the thing they have lacked for so long – mongrel, hardness, etc. NO. So they are no closer to winning finals than they were when we wasted that qual final against St K at Footy Park. So we really haven’t progressed.

    I have said it before and I’ll say it again. I would prefer the Crows to recruit the best SA boys rather than boys from other states. In the long run I think it would give us better results. I accept your point about Burton’s injury. But don’t forget Lever had a massive knee injury and yet the Crows were prepared to recruit him. So why not Burton?

    If Pyke continues imitate Craig I think I’m going to have go back to following my old VFL side the Bombers!!!

  25. Tony Cove says:

    1. Crucial moments turn games. One that stands out is Jono Beech’s ridiculous blind handball back into play when standing facing the boundary line between centre & halfback, early in the 3rd term. Gifted Hawks a goal & started the rot.
    2. Too big a gap between best & worst for several of our blokes including Brodie S., Rat, Wayne Milera etc ALL are capable of excellent play at that level, they need to dig deep & bring back what they are capable of.
    3. Tex & Eddie look tired & out of sorts. Both are overdue for big games.
    4. Sam Jacobs had his colours lowered for about the 1st time this year.
    5. A distinct lack of on-field leadership was evident in the 2nd half.
    6. Hugh Greenwood a breath of fresh air.
    7. Scott Thomson MUST come in for the Carlton match at the G.
    8. Poster Rick Kane a gloating low-class hawthorn arsehole, get off this forum

  26. Mark Mc says:

    The Hawks showed the entire football world what the crows really are, they’re piss weak!!!

    Sadly like many of the supporters the crows are happy to simply finish in the finals.

    As for Greenwood starting on the bench that’s what happens I guess and you need to take your chances when you get a run.

  27. Peter T says:

    Brad Crouch nowhere near as good as he was supposed to be. Matt showing him how to do it.
    How can Crows allow that happen against a side that kicked three points in a half of footy against Power at same ground not long ago.
    When you’ve been worked out, and the other team responds with negating changes, then we stubbornly refuse to change – that sounds like it would fall under the definition of stupidity.
    I hate the way the Power and Sydney mould themselves to play tough, never say die footy – it’s in their DNA. Yet we continue, as we have years, to not learn to change and become tougher. We remain the Chardonney Crows, where playing pretty footy is more important than winning at all costs. We need the Sydney bloods attitude.

  28. Peter T says:

    So frustrating, nothing really changes.

  29. On the gloating arse hole meter Tony, I’d strongly advise you don’t put the relative location of you and Rick Kane (Trucker Slim) to a vote. However, your comment may have been a clumsy attempt at humour – so at our welcoming site we’re happy to give you the benefit of the doubt.

  30. Daniel Flesch says:

    Thanks for that , JTH. I was wondering how that most unAlmanackish insult got through unmoderated.

  31. Correct, Malcolm, the Roos did get the raw end of the pineapple.

    At the Almanac Lunch last Friday we had a bit of a discussion, pondering whether or not Rulebook would pen an article. Glad to see you did, and that you stuck it to your Crows. Sometimes you must be cruel to be kind.

  32. There is no shame in being out-coached by possibly the greatest coach of all.

  33. Mac Hawk says:

    While some of the points raised about the Crows have currency I think in this season one can never overlook the fact that no side is that good that a loss can mean so much other than they were simply outplayed and out coached by a better team on the day. and Hawthorn didn’t simply win because they had a master coach, they won because on the day, their players rose to the occasion and implemented the plan to near perfection. Give credit where credit is due and heap a bit of praise on a defense full of no-names , little collective experience and low draft picks who simply outplayed the hottest forward line in the comp.
    Adelaide can still win the flag. But they have to understand that talent alone is not going to win it for them without a fanatical attack on ball and man.

  34. Jamie Mason says:

    Graeme Hick always struggled on green tops.

  35. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Pete certainly agree no where near enough sharing the work load or enough from the top end talent but to allow Hodge to run around like a unregulated dog in that 3rd q was the key totally incompetent by the coaching box.i honestly don’t think we will recover.CF this medical science and work load wah wah was the reason,Greenwood started on the pine for goodness sake just had the 3q break he had to be on the ground.Pole re above I like the idea of trying,Sloane on a wing and yep tackling vital.Atkins insipid effort in the 3rd q was the classic example bloody soft.Rick I have absolutely spat the dummy twice re the draft not picking,Pavlich ( not the head of recruiting at the times fault mind you ) and then Burton while I no why we didn’t pick,Ryan it is going to turn out just as big a blunder.Danny agreed but really poor by the coaching box a huge part of this loss.Tony agree with a lot of what you say ( not the ridiculous line about,Rick )Brodie S,Atkins and Milera have to toughen up mentally as well as there attack on the sherrin.
    yes re lack of leadership big time,Greenwood has been fantastic,no re Thommo unless he is allowed to play with a motor bike he is gone re afl level.Mark Mc yes it was piss weak.Peter T I have never been sold re Brad Crouch unfortunately I seem to be correct and also regrettably I agree with every other word you have written a huge lack of a kamikaze approach to getting the footy way to pretty want it out the back the easy option and don’t get down and dirty enough.thanks,JTH well said as always.Smkie I had calmed down a fraction by Sunday enough to write a article agree in general no shame what so ever in being outcoached by Clarko but to allow,Hodge to not be picked up so he was unaccountable and could coach and direct wow lucky they haven’t been accused of match fixing.Mac Hawk,Birchall was along with,Hodge vital inclusions yep the Hawks were good but the Crows were big headed and arrogant and got ahead of themselves it was a totally unacceptable performance thanks folks

  36. I took notice of how the Hawks set up at the start of play and expected extra numbers in our forward 50. Nearly fell out of my seat when I saw they had 4 extra. So 8 hawks against 4 crow forwards at every centre bounce for the whole game.
    No wonder we had trouble scoring.

  37. Ben Larsen-Smith says:

    Very disappointed I missed this game, would have loved to have seen the game, especially if the scores were reveresed.

  38. Ben Footner says:

    To be honest Malcolm – and let me preface this by saying it is not a direct comment on you but more a general observation – I think it’s the Adelaide fan base that need to harden up.

    Every loss is treated like an absolute crisis with supporters suffering brain explosions all over the place. I can’t even participate in most online forums because of it, and live at games boy oh boy do some people stick the boot in when the game is not flowing Adelaide’s way.

    The last time I checked this game is played by 2 teams, and you know what? Sometimes the other one is just better on the day/night. To focus all of the post game rhetoric around what Adelaide didn’t do or aren’t or wasn’t really is a sign of disrespect to the opposition IMO.

    The Crouch boys and Greenwood in particular worked their arses off in that game, and stood up well to the Hawthorn aggression. Don Pyke is an excellent coach who has his team at 2nd on the ladder and positioned for a decent tilt at the flag for the second year in a row. Jenkins is an excellent forward when the front half is structured up correctly and his confidence is up.

    Take a deep breath and enjoy watching this young Adelaide side (yes, they are still for the most part very young) develop and become what on current evidence looks like it might be a formidable unit for some time to come, regardless of what happens in 2017.

    Finally I would just like to state that IMO Adelaide are not soft in the slightest. In the last 5 years they have overcome star players leaving (including the biggest), harsh draft penalties, and the unexpected brutal death of a coach. Add to that most of the starting 22 have sub 100 games under the belt. They have overcome all of this to sit at the pointy end of the competition. No, no they are soft. They are one of the hardest, most resilient teams in the competition, and I am very proud to be a supporter.

  39. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Cooks for mine it was totally bizarre and incompetent.BLS Hawks were good,Crows were diabolical.
    Ben while I partially agree with your sentiments in general in this case no the club got ahead of themselves it was a game lost above the ears and let’s be blatantly honest re allowing,Hodge to play unaccountable footy was bizarre and the equilavent re bat and ball results in match fixing accusations.
    Yes the Crows have been remarkably resilient facing not only losing the best player in the game
    ( space 2nd ) but a unfathomable tradgedy bur are there players who are soft both physically and mentally yes that can not be denied Disagree completely re Brad Crouch and Jenkins,MUST contribute far more when the game is not on his terms I desperately hope I am wrong but this season has a eerie similarity to the Roos last year thank you

  40. I agree with most of your analysis Rulebook. The Crows look soft, especially around the stoppages where their first instinct is to fire out a handball, rather than try to take the game on. Adelaide’s spare man in defence did not work; the Crows look out-of-sorts trying to move the ball forward. Conversely, Hawthorn’s spare man approach worked beautifully. The Crows also aren’t getting enough output from players like Smith, Atkins, Milera, Brad Crouch, Jenkins and Douglas- to name a few.

    As Rulebook pointed oput, the fact that the Crows appear to be ‘robotic’ given their style of footy and refusal to break up the Sloane tag has me fearful that this is now a defining time for both the players and Pyke himself. Most would agree that the Crows appeared flag favourites up until the North Melbourne game. Now, they appear set to play a pedestrian role in this year’s finals series. If that were to happen again next year, or they miss the finals completely, several players would be on the chopping block- and Pyke could possibly join them.

  41. I have seen S Thompson at Alberton this year in the SANFL and agree with Malcolm, he is slow with a capital “S”. Strong indeed and smart, but not sure he has any AFL level future. Extraordinary number of empty seats visible in last quarter when game was in the balance.

  42. Timmy A says:

    Attended the match. Left disappointed, embarrassed and angry.

  43. Malcolm as usual you nailed it and you had Ben Hart and Kane Cornes eating out of the palm of your hand on the radio tonight.Ben positing out how much easier it was to organise and direct traffic by not having a man to stand was interesting and allowing Hodge to be his own boss I am still stunned,totally agree poor caching a huge part f the loss

  44. Stainless says:

    If you wanted confirmation that the SA footy world is a fishbowl the weekly “reactions to Rulebook” prove it. The lurching between sycophantic praise and virulent criticism of the Crows, the team, individual players and the coach, would be great comedy were it not for the glaring absence of any fact, insight, balance or empathy for the unfortunate targets of this bile.

    (Ben F ootner – your remarks above are a notable and hugely refreshing exception. Well said, sir!)

    From my perspective as a neutral observer, the key takeout from Thursday is that this was a typical mid-season upset in which a top side just switched off a bit against a mid-ranking side that returned to the scene of a recent humiliation with a point to prove. It was one instance when the hugely over-used term “leadership” came to the fore. Luke Hodge and Shaun Burgoyne, take a bow.

    The result will do little to alter Adelaide’s status as a leading contender this year, provided they treat it as the wake-up call they need. I have not seen a better team performance this year than Adelaide’s demolition of Richmond. If they recapture’ even 80% of that form, and don’t return to their “serial under-performer in finals” status, they should win the Flag easily. I’m sure it would help if they didn’t have to listen to the ravings of that “most loyal” fan base every day.

  45. Round 14 – Adelaide V Hawthorn, Adelaide M.Ashwood 3 votes.

    Points for displaying “grunt” and having “a fair dinkum crack”. Journo Phillip Adams would love your efforts to keep classic Aussie expressions in constant use via your weekly reports. Stay passionate and keep “playing it above the ears”!

  46. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Paul spot on bizarre by the Crows and pig headed to say the least and not acknowledge the Hawks plus 1 or 2 were effective and ours weren’t for goodness sake change it ! Bucko yes all this call for Scott Thompson fact is he is marginally quicker than me he will get exposed big time.Timmy A likewise couldn’t agree more.Bonza thank you yes it was pleasing re Ben in particular reiterating every thing I have said.
    Stainless I find your comment a tad bizarre as well fact is the Crows have lost 4 out of the last 7 have been worked out gee tag Sloane and now what do we do ? The fact that Hodge was allowed to do what he liked being the on field coach and not having to be accountable what so ever ( arguably the least player you would want to be left free to do his own thing to in the game ) if that’s not fact re the so called bile I don’t no what is.Thanks Gordo glad you enjoyed like umpiring young kids footy at PAC I wait till the ball is nearly out of bounds close to the parents and call out as all the little kids are surrounding the footy cmon back in position your just like females won’t leave me alone on a Sat night always gets a laugh
    thanks folks

  47. What has become clearly evident is that following the Crows great start to the year, the gameplan has been worked out. The savvy coaches have employed the necessary strategies to clamp the Crows run, stop Sloane, numbers in defence, and it has worked repeatedly. Great coaches like Clarkson have the ability to effectively combat sides on a week to week basis, provided they get a full buy-in from the players. Certainly this represented the biggest upset for the season, and great signs for the Hawks future. I ask why Pyke did not make changes during the 3rd qtr when the game had turned in Hawthorn’s favour? Unfortunately, there are too many coaches without a plan B these days. If Pyke cannot find another way the Crows are at risk of just making up the numbers in the finals. Big games coming up against Port and Cats will really test how good the Crows are.
    I wonder how many think the asking price for Gibbs was too high now……I think he is the one player who would have made a significant difference given his form for Carlton this season.

  48. Ive taken all week to think about last weeks game because I’m actually lost for words. So bitterly disappointed in that piss poor effort, one good quarter doesnt win games, that was a winnable game that we let slide and now we could be watching the rest of the season slide away, I hope not but not convinced we are good enough to play deep into finals, and it kills me to see Port playing better than us. Carlton are very capable of beating us Saturday. Rory Sloane needs to be looked after a bit better by team mates, and our boys need to find some aggression and anger in the game. It frustrates me knowing Tex is an aggressive player but seems to not be using himeslf more in that way…but on the up side what a loyal passionate player he is to our club with him signing.

  49. Bryan Haines says:

    Some very good points Book. The tackling is a big thing. Earlier in the year the Crows were stopping the ball getting out and getting free themselves. Now it’s the opposite, with the same personnel. Disappointed with the selections this week. They don’t address the problems at all.

  50. Luke Reynolds says:

    As others have said Malcolm, interesting to read your thoughts on a Crows loss.
    Thrilled the Chaplin was back, always a highlight.
    Hope you get the chance to write a Goodwin article given how well you know him.

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