Crow Call – Round 23

Ins – Ellis-Yolmen, Henderson

Outs – Sloane, Smith

Well, well, well. Here we are. It feels like only yesterday that I was boarding the plane to Melbourne for the opening round of the season between Adelaide and North Melbourne.

Round 23 has arrived and it should be a good one. Several games will ultimately decide who finishes where in the top eight.

Adelaide can still finish fifth. We don’t want that. They must win and win well against the Eagles tomorrow night.

The Showdown was a missed opportunity for mine. Had Adelaide kicked straight, the game would have been over at half time and a healthy percentage boost would have prevailed. Now though, Geelong are close enough to do some damage if Adelaide don’t win or win well.

The loss of Nic Naitanui is sad for footy, but for mine it dents West Coast’s premiership chances completely. I didn’t think they could win it with him there and I most certainly don’t think they can win it without him now.

Brodie Smith’s concussion is not good news either. There was no way he was going to be risked this week given a six day break and the week off next weekend. He should be right for round one of finals, all being well.

I’ve been vocal on Rory Sloane’s ban this week. We won’t go back into the biggest injustice in South Australian footy ever, but please fix this mess AFL. It’s a joke. Cam Ellis-Yolmen owes Rory a beer though. Great to see him back.

Paul Seedsman seems to still be bleeding from that buttock, which isn’t great for him given he won’t qualify for SANFL finals and probably can’t come straight back into the side. Ricky Henderson gets another shot at AFL level.

Goal kicking is an issue for Adelaide. I wonder whether the ease in which some of their goals this year have been scored from the goal square has lead to a lack of practice under pressure situations. Taylor Walker has to be better than a 2.4 player in finals. Tom Lynch had an off night in front of the sticks and players like David Mackay have to be able to kick more accurately than they have in 2016.

It has been pleasing to see responses from Adelaide within games this year. As expected Port Adelaide rattled the Crows early on in the Showdown. Adelaide were not quite as hard at the ball and it showed. The shift in attitude after quarter time though was great to see. The Adelaide of a couple of years ago wouldn’t have done that.

West Coast won’t be easy. I’m glad this one is in Adelaide though. Their road form has been poor and wasn’t all that great at Spotless a few weeks ago, despite the fact they got the win in the dying stages.

Another game to be won in the midfield. Aren’t they all. With powerful forward lines, scoring won’t be an issue for either side. As it was in round 12, the team who can capitalise and get it inside 50 more will win. Accuracy will be vital.

A sold out crowd for the last home game of the home and away season. Should be a cracker of a Friday night. Win this and win it reasonably well and the possibilities over the next six or so weeks could be anything. But first – West Coast.

And well done Crows fans, a big crowd tomorrow night will ensure Adelaide tops the highest average home attendance figures this year. That’s brilliant.

Adelaide by 36 points.

In the SANFL, South Adelaide and redemption are on the menu this weekend. Last time these two sides met, the Panthers came from the clouds in the final term to storm home for the win. The Crows are an even stronger team since then.

I expect a close game, with both sides having one eye on the finals, which kick of next week. The SANFL have a lot of thinking to do over the next few weeks as they plan for 2017. If somehow the Magpies end up making the finals, they would have the advantage of having had a week off going in. That is absolutely ludicrous and something that cannot be allowed to happen again.

It was a strong performance up at Berri for the Crows last week. An absolutely terrible scheduled game. On Showdown weekend? Really?

Mitch Grigg won’t be in Crows colours in 2017. He would be in the best 22 at almost any other club at the moment. Harrison Wigg and Dean Gore could be finals smokeys too. For mine though Riley Knight is showing some 2015 form in only his second game back from injury. He could add something to he AFL side at the pointy end.

No injuries and a competitive hit out for those on the cusp would be ideal this weekend.

Adelaide by 13 points.

 

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