Ins – Laird, Brown
Outs – Seedsman, Mackay
The Verdict –
Good, but not great. That is how I would describe Adelaide’s win over Collingwood on Saturday night.
Poor, but pathetic. That is how I would describe Collingwood’s decision to not applaud Scott Thompson off the ground in his 300th game. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised though. Their president, Eddie McGuire came out during the week, some three years after his racial abuse of Adam Goodes and blamed prescription drugs for his comments. Please. Grow up.
It was a game of very few highlights, but lots of positives. Luke Brown and Rory Laird return this week. I stand by my theory they would have played over the last couple of games if they were really required.
Speaking of which, that magical 12 wins barrier that gets you into finals has now been achieved. It is time to reassess the goals. Adelaide have moved to second on the table, but it means little at Round 17. The equation is simple for the Crows. They just have to keep winning. If certain ducks line up in row, there is a scenario that sees Adelaide play Port Adelaide in an elimination final Showdown. We don’t want that!
Again, no standouts on the weekend. Pretty much everyone is executing their role. There are a couple of players however who need to tidy up their skills if they want to be there come the end of the year.
Paul Seedsman’s disposal is terrible. He loses his place this week. His run and dash is brilliant, but he needs to use the ball better. Turnovers will be punished against the better sides and in a final that could be critical. Mitch McGovern too needs to gain a bit more confidence. He has the skills to take the big marks and the pace to get to the contest. We just need to see more of it. I’m sure it will come, but at times he is damn frustrating.
Turning the attention to Saturday night’s game against the Cats. Geelong are vulnerable. They are there to be beaten. They don’t often get done at Simonds Stadium, but Adelaide don’t often get done at the Adelaide Oval. Geelong beat them there earlier this year and as such, it is time to make amends.
If Daniel Talia can keep Tom Hawkins quiet and the rest of the defence can stand up, Adelaide are half way home. Each week the backline seem to be able to cope with more and more pressure.
Patrick Dangerfield will get a stack of touches, but if Geelong’s scoring can be restricted Dangerfield’s impact can be negated.
Brad Crouch is on the improve and could challenge Dangerfield in the middle this weekend.
In the round 8 clash between these two sides, the Crows were kept to just 72 points. Their lowest score for season 2016. If that can be reversed and Adelaide can find a way to score, Geelong will be in trouble. Jarryd Lyons needs to continue to kick his one or two goals a game, Charlie Cameron needs to better execute and Rory Sloane should be put forward again if he finds himself shut down in the middle.
It will be cold night at Geelong (the thermals are packed), but I think Adelaide are in the better form and really should knock of the Cats.
Win this and the season really starts to open up for Adelaide, lose it and it is back in the fighting pack. Biggest game of the year to date.
Adelaide by 19 points.
In the SANFL, well disappointing. Glenelg have been plucky in 2016 and their ladder position doesn’t accurately reflect the form they’ve been in. Still, it was probably the most disappointing game of the season from Adelaide. There was a lack of pace and a real inability to get the ball past half way.
Having said that though, there were a few positives. Mitch Grigg is next in for mine now. His voice and leadership were brilliant. He bagged three goals and tried to single handedly drag the Crows over the line. Curtly Hampton was also impressive. His ability run off half back is beginning to show and he got enough of the ball to show he isn’t too far off the pack. Riley O’Brien also had a stand out game, which is good news given he is next up if the unthinkable happens and Sam Jacobs goes down. He was today upgraded off the rookie list onto the senior list. Expect him to get an AFL game before the year is out.
Sam Shaw, Troy Menzel and Luke Lowden will be handy additions to the SANFL side over the next few weeks.
A tough match against the Eagles awaits on Saturday. The Eagles got beaten by the Port Magpies in another upset last weekend and will be out to atone. I think they will be too strong for Adelaide in another hard game.
Eagles by 16 points.