Crow Call – Round 7 (v North Melbourne)

The Team –

FF Cameron, Jenkins, Betts
HF Mackay, Walker, Lynch
C Smith, Douglas, Sloane
HB Laird, Talia, Kelly
FB Brown, Hartigan, Lever
Jacobs, B Crouch, M Crouch

Interchange – Hampton, Atkins, Otten, Milera

Emergency – Riley O’Brien, Troy Menzel, Riley Knight

In –

Out –

Six rounds into the 2017 AFL season and Adelaide are an unbeatable football side who are guaranteed to win the flag. These are the sorts of sentiments that have been bandied around this week. A sense of calm needs to be installed across the media and certain supporters. It is Round Seven, which means there is an extraordinary amount of water to go under the bridge before this season is done. You only need to look at North Melbourne, who last year won their first nine games of the season, but crumbled easily in the Elimination Final as a prime example of finals not being played in April or May.

All in all though, Adelaide are playing some amazing football. They need six more wins to play finals and that must be the first goal. This column has said it before, but Adelaide’s ability to go into a break, listen to what the coaches have to say and then execute and reset has been second to none this year. It happened again against the Tigers , where after a poor start, Adelaide reset at quarter time and went on to win by 11 goals. It is a trait not seen in Crows teams for a long, long time.

Selection would have been a tough gig this week, because for the first time in 2017, no injuries were reported at AFL level. Riley Knight is really stiff to miss out, but there was no obvious players to drop. There has been some talk about Wayne Milera, but his second half last weekend was great and he has shown enough to keep his place. The more AFL games Adelaide can get into him in 2017, the better. He will get a spell at some stage though you feel.

Charlie Cameron has not looked 100% over the last two weeks. He seems to have spent less time in the midfield as a result. This is hopefully only temporary, because his run must continue to be used throughout 2017. He is virtually unable to be tackled once he gets and goes.

Josh Jenkins was good without being great in his comeback from a rib injury. He will be better for the run. Daniel Talia’s miraculous recovery is still hard to believe. With Knight only missing the one game and Talia none, after they both looked in big trouble on the Gold Coast was a great result for Adelaide.

Jake Lever played a great game against Richmond. Although, any chance he could hold a mark?! He must be signed as soon as practically possible. He is leadership material and his combination with Talia has to be something locked in for the years to come. Jake Kelly is going from strength the strength and Luke Brown is one of the most underrated players in the league. Adelaide’s defence is fast becoming elite. They looked too tall in the first quarter against the Tigers, but were helped by the reset at quarter time.

North Melbourne have been solid, without recording wins. On paper, this is a game Adelaide should win and by a big margin. However, if you look a little deeper, North may only have one win from the opening six games of the season, but have challenged the Western Bulldogs and Geelong, which is no mean feat. Adelaide’s task is also made a little harder with the game being played in Hobart, which is a ground very few Adelaide players would be overly familiar with. North can pinch this if they are still in it in the second half, so a fast start is very much required from the Crows. Given Richmond’s efforts after quarter time on Sunday, this game could prove to be a harder task than the beating the previously unbeaten Tigers. There is also rain forecast from late morning, which could hurt Adelaide’s array of tall players.

At SANFL level, Adelaide were in the match for the first quarter, but after that it was pretty slim pickings. Hugh Greenwood, Troy Menzel and Harrison Wigg did enough to remain in selection calculations and Scott Thompson was solid. The SANFL team is struggling to deal with having no AFL listed defensive player out there and as such Port Adelaide’s forward line ran amok. Alex Keath and Kyle Cheney should return after the Crows SANFL bye in a couple of weeks time, while Tom Doedee is back this week. Perhaps. There has not been much said about his shoulder injury, so we cannot be entirely sure. This is likely to be another fairly lopsided game against the Eagles this weekend. The SANFL game is being played at the same time as the Crows AFL side, which is farcical.

Adelaide should get past the Roos, but will need to continue the momentum they have built over the first six weeks of the season. Putting the game away early and not giving North any sense of a sniff will be important come Saturday afternoon.

Tip – Adelaide by 28 points

Weather – Rain. 18.

Game Info – 
North Melbourne v Adelaide
Saturday May 6 – 1.45pm (local time) Blundstone Arena, Hobart

The Crow Call will be published every Thursday during the AFL Season. Join in the conversation with me on all things Crows on Twitter @liamthompson1.

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