Topsy-turvy Crows facing finals battle
Posted on 01/24/19 6:23 PM
Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson must be tearing his hair out.
Silly mistakes and inconsistency have cost the Crows dearly this year, putting their finals hopes on a knife edge heading into Saturday night’s crunch AFL clash with North Melbourne at Adelaide Oval.
The Crows slumped to 10th on the table following Sunday’s 40-point loss to Fremantle in Perth.
The 12.18 (90) to 7.8 (50) scoreline would have been even uglier for Adelaide had Fremantle been more accurate in front of goals.
Adelaide’s meek display came just a week after they disposed of the eighth-placed Suns.
Two weeks before that, the Crows upset top-four fancies Collingwood by 21 points.
In between those games was a shock loss to Carlton, while a defeat at the hands of Melbourne in round seven was another chapter in their topsy-turvy season.
Sanderson admits his team’s inconsistency is costing them dearly, while kicking efficiency is another worry on his plate.
“We made some really silly mistakes by foot (against Fremantle),” Sanderson said.
“We had 57 per cent kicking efficiency. It has been an issue for us.
“You don’t win many games when you kick the ball and only one out of every two kicks hits the target.
We’ve just got to keep reinforcing the principles we’re coaching. We’ve got to ensure the effort and intensity is consistent with our group for 120 minutes.”
Adelaide (5-6) are now two wins and percentage adrift of the top eight but Sanderson isn’t giving up hope of leading his team into the finals.
Brodie Smith (corked thigh), Matthew Jaensch (concussion) and Matthew Wright (concussion) will need to pass fitness tests before being cleared to play against the Kangaroos.
One positive to come out of the loss to Fremantle was the form of goalsneak Charlie Cameron, who booted three first-half goals in just his fourth AFL appearance.
Sanderson predicted 19-year-old Cameron, snared with pick No.7 in this year’s rookie draft, would have a bright future at the club.
“He’s been really electric for us,” Sanderson said.
“He’s not a high possession winner, but he pressures, tackles, chases.
“He presents a lot of headaches for the opposition’s defence. When he’s in the area, you’re normally going to get tackled.
“He’s going to be a long-term, successful player for us I’m sure.”