Crow Call – Round 8 (v Melbourne) 

The Team –

FF Otten Walker Betts
HF Lynch, Jenkins, Milera
C Smith, Douglas, Sloane
HB Laird, Hartigan, Mackay
FB Kelly, Talia, Brown
Jacobs, Atkins, M Crouch

Interchange – Hampton, B Crouch, Cameron, Menzel

Emergency – Greenwood, Gallucci, O’Brien

In – Milera, Menzel

Out – Knight (glute), Lever (hamstring)

The horror show in Hobart. That’s the best way to describe sitting in the stands at Bellerive Oval last weekend and watching as dominant a quarter of footy as you will ever see.

Getting ahead of yourself is sometimes not a voluntary response. It’s human nature. Was this a response that Adelaide’s players were faced with in that now infamous first quarter last Saturday? Perhaps. The major concern though was that even after being down six goals to zip, nothing was noticeably done to stop North Melbourne’s run. Had Adelaide gone into quarter time, 7 goals to zip down, the Crows win that game. After quarter time they were relatively reasonable. Something though had to be done midway through that first quarter to change the flow of the game. Momentum is a very hard thing to stop, but if you are going to be a premiership winning side, you have to be able to execute a Plan B.

In the scheme of things, the loss does not impact Adelaide in the short term. They remain top of the AFL table. The odd results of last weekend mean nothing was majorly lost apart from a bit of pride perhaps. Having said that, there would want to be a big response on Saturday night though. While one performance like that is tolerable, another and Adelaide’s flag aspirations take a huge nose dive south.

On the team sheets this week, Jake Lever misses with what the Club says is hamstring tightness. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen. Riley Knight misses again with another niggle. Troy Menzel and Wayne Milera get another shot at AFL level.

Charlie Cameron was lucky his punch to the gut of his North Melbourne opponent was only given a fine by the MRP. Cameron needs to watch his discipline. It’s crept in a couple of times so far this season.

Melbourne are one of the teams Adelaide plays twice this year. They are an unpredictable side, even more so without their main ruckman in Max Gawn. Adelaide Oval holds very little fears for the Demons who beat Adelaide there a few years ago, when Bernie Vince rattled the cages of a few of his former teammates. North Melbourne used this tactic with great success last weekend by tagging Rory Sloane and getting up in the grill of Adelaide’s forward line. You would expect Melbourne to attempt to do the same. Geelong and Sydney mastered this counter- tactic last year against the Crows with a fair amount of success. It also happens to be Vince’s 200th game, just in case the Dees needed any more motivation. Sloane will have to learn to deal with tags, but it is then up to Brad Crouch to take control of proceedings. He needs to have a game that he really rips apart for his confidence sake.

Another lacklustre SANFL performance saw the same names pushing for selection. Hugh Greenwood is upgraded from the rookie list this week and his chance may not be far away. Harrison Wigg will debut before the year is out on current form, while Scott Thompson remains as back up for the midfield. Troy Menzel is now likely to find he will have to bide his time until an injury strikes Adelaide’s forward line. The first SANFL bye awaits the Crows this weekend, which means those who do not get picked for AFL selection will have the week off.

You would expect a response of epic proportions this week from Adelaide back in front of a home crowd at the Adelaide Oval. If last week is the loss they had to have, we will know by quarter time on Saturday Night.

Tip – Adelaide by 34 points

Weather – Partly Cloudy. 20.

Game Info – 
Adelaide v Melbourne
Saturday May 13 -7.10pm (local time) Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

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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