SOUND the alarm, Adelaide is in crisis mode. Last year’s grand finalists find themselves riding a four-game losing streak and are just 6-7 on the season. Injuries have wrecked the Crows in 2018 and as a result, their spot in this year’s finals is in jeopardy. There is still enough time to turn it around though, but if they are to flip the script the time has to be now.
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THE injury list speaks for itself with the Crows suffering HARD this year. Players like the Crouch brothers, Rory Sloane, Tex Walker, Mitch McGovern, Rory Laird and Andy Otten have all missed significant time. All of them bar McGovern were present in last years Grand Final team and their loss has been a huge blow to their team. Half of them still remain sidelined and a week off couldn’t come at a better time for Adelaide.
DON Pyke believes that after the Round 14 a few popular names might be returning to the fray. Sloane, Laird, Tom Lynch and Luke Brown should be in the mix to make a comeback and Adelaide will instantly need all of them. They play host to the West Coast Eagles straight off their rest and have to clash with the Tigers and Geelong in the next fortnight. Three straight top four sides to start the second half of the season is a brutal run and the Crows could realistically find themselves languishing at 6-10.
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12 wins have been required at least to make the final eight in the last few seasons and the Crows face an uphill battle to get there. They only have themselves to blame, dropping games to the likes of Fremantle, Collingwood and Hawthorn. Against the Hawks yesterday they may have reached rock bottom, kicking the third lowest score in club history with 32 points.
THEY need their forward line to fire if they are going to run back up the ladder. After leading the league in scoring last year (109.7 points per game) winning 10 matches by 50+ points, they have faltered this season ranking 5th with 82.7 points and one 50+ point W. The loss of Charlie Cameron in the offseason hurt, but Tex, Govs and Lynch missing from the team is what really burnt them, compounded by their midfield stocks taking a hit.
LOOKING forward, the next three games could define Adelaide’s season. If they fail to defeat one and maybe two out of their next three opponents they will need a near-perfect run to make the finals. If they claim one win they sit at 7-9 before a trip to Brisbane. 8-9. Their next four games come against Melbourne, Port Adelaide, Greater Western Sydney and North Melbourne with three of them at Adelaide. 3-1 would probably be required and isn’t impossible leaving them at 11-10.
FINALLY, Round 23 sees the Blues face Adelaide and it should translate to the Crows 12th win of the season. They might need a few things to go their way as well with nine teams already chalking up seven wins this year. If somehow they can steal another game along the way then a finals place should be guaranteed, but there’s no doubt that they are in trouble right now.
I genuinely think that the Crows are in strife here and they need to hit their straps right out of the bye. Three L’s against the Eagles, Cats and Tigers pretty much ends their season and a 1-2 stretch might also finish them. Health is always one of the biggest factors in a team’s finals chances and even if Adelaide finish in the bottom 10 this season, they are still in a good position with the premiership window still open. My guess is a 12-10 finish is exactly where they’ll finish and cruelly they’ll be left sitting 9th on the outside looking in.
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