Ins – Thompson, Mackay
Outs – Milera, Henderson
The battle of the big birds this weekend as Adelaide head west to tackle West Coast. Forget birds, this is the battle of the high powering forward lines in Round 12. Whoever wins that battle will win the game. Accuracy will be super important this week. The inaccurate kicking frustrated the life out of me on Sunday night and it cannot become a trend. Period.
I’d suggest that Scott Thompson should have been rested until after the bye, but nonetheless he returns this week at the expense of Wayne Milera who loses his spot.
So Thompson for Milera and David Mackay for Ricky Henderson. Pretty tough on Milera. I thought that should have continued to blood him and reassess his form after the bye. Needs exposure at AFL level. The Mackay for Henderson swap is a good one. Henderson’s skills just haven’t been up to scratch to the point that Andy Otten should be in front of him for that spot if it were to ever open up again.
This won’t be popular opinion, but the time has come to do a bit of future planning. There is no doubt that Scott Thompson needs to hang up the boots at the end of the year. Not now. But at seasons end. Matt Crouch and Brad Crouch are the future and they need to be given as much game time as they can. I don’t think you can play Matt Crouch and Thompson in the same side and over the last three weeks, we’ve seen that prove to be true.
Matt more than proved his worth last week. I mean 17 touches in the opening term when the game was on the line is brilliant. There is no point having Brad in the SANFL anymore either. Richard Douglas would have to be under some huge pressure to hold his spot at the moment. Brad Crouch for Douglas after the bye if he can’t find some form in Perth.
I’ve been critical of Paul Seedsman in recent blogs, but he proved last week, why he is in the side with his run off half back and ability to kick goals from outside 50m. I’m not sure about the sleeves though Paul!
Brodie Smith is getting better with every game. His kicking hasn’t been the same since those nasty concussions last year. Concussion is a worry too for Sam Shaw who is about to enter his third month on the sidelines after copping a heavy knock. That is a worry. The Crows SANFL side has really missed his presence down back in recent weeks.
Speaking of defence, the AFL side’s defensive unit is growing very nicely at the moment. They are a young brigade back there and I’m sure there will be games where things don’t quite work out, but the balance is now right. Daniel Talia is back to his best. Jake Lever is that intercept marker Adelaide have been missing and the two Kyle’s are growing in confidence as well.
At SANFL level, along with Brad Crouch, Harrison Wigg is banging down the door for AFL selection. This kid can play. In fact if it weren’t for the current good run of injuries, he’d be in the 22 at the moment. Great signs from the 19 year old.
It is a very hard side to break into at the moment. Make the most of that though. St Kilda had no injuries a couple of weeks ago. In the game against Adelaide last weekend, they were savaged with injury. Things can change very quickly in this great game.
Before we get into Saturday night’s game, I pose this question to you Crows fans. Where is the forward line going to be in five years time? Who isn’t in the side now that is going to be Adelaide’s next key full forward? At SANFL level, there is no one that stands out. Troy Menzel is improving, but he isn’t going to play front and centre. I think the time has come to think about that. If not this draft, certainly the 2018 draft Adelaide need to look at trying to grab another young full forward. This point also makes the decision to re-contract Josh Jenkins a no brainer too. Get it done.
I can see this game going either way on Saturday night. In what shapes to be a pretty close game of footy, both forward lines will be powerful. It is going to come down who can get it in there more and take their chances. Simple in theory I know, but if Adelaide can get on top in the clearances again, they will be a huge chance in this one. I’d love to see Eddie Betts dominate interstate. He seems to more often than not have quieter games away from Adelaide Oval and he is due for a bag on the road. The Crows have been so close a few times on the road this year and Eddie might be that x-factor they need to get the four points come Saturday evening.
A win here means top four is a big chance, a loss will give Port Adelaide a little sniff. Big game this one.
Adelaide by 11 points.