After a sluggish start to the year the Crows are up and about and wit three wins on the trot under their belt before the bye, the Crows will look to continue to push towards the top four by season’s end. Currently perched in fourth place, the Crows will likely slide to fifth by the week’s end with the Eagles having a game in hand, but for all Adelaide’s inconsistencies, they’re well placed after 13 matches at 8-5.
What’s Gone Right?
Keeping the list fit and finding the cover necessary. Last season the Crows’ had so many hamstring issues the entire club was left scratching it’s head where they were going to find more fit players. This year only 2018 Rising Star runner up Tom Doedee has been placed on the long-term injury list so far, (touch wood). But the main leadership group including Rory’s Sloane and Laird, Taylor Walker, Matt Crouch and the man made of glass himself Brad Crouch, have managed to stay fit season long. Although Sam Jacobs has missed several weeks, Riley O’Brien’s form has been astonishing and has kept the veteran out of the side. Alex Keath has held Tom Doedee’s role well, and players from the reserves have stood up and played good footy when they were needed.
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What’s Gone Wrong?
Stop dropping Bryce Gibbs. Between Gibbs and Jenkins there has been enough selection controversy at Adelaide to last all season long. Gibbs is in the club’s best 22 there’s no doubting that, so the club needs to stick with him. There’s no point dropping a quality player like Gibbs over and over again, never allowing him to string a few decent games together. As soon as Josh Jenkins retook his place in the side, he found some form, and his game against the Tigers was his best for a long time. Unfortunately, it came to an end when he hyperextended his knee, and so will miss a month or so of footy.
Stand Out Player
It’s hard to go past the forgotten son, Brad Crouch. Crouch missed the entirety of the 2018 season with injury, so seeing him back in the tricolours in such a big way is a massive deal for Crows fans. Crouch has long been under rated when compared to his younger brother Matt, also a midfielding star, but this year, Brad has returned to prove he might just be the better Crouch brother. Racking up 43 touches in last week’s win against the Tigers, Brad looks dangerous with ball in hand, with good ball use and great tackling technique when he’s without the Sherrin. For me, he’s currently in the All Australian team, but there’s plenty of stiff competition if he wants to stay there.
Honourable mentions to Alex Keath and Riley O’Brien too however who have made big splashes this year as they look to cement their places in the side.
With nine games remaining there are some the Crows should definitely lock in. Consecutive matches against Gold Coast, Essendon, Carlton and St. Kilda should all be wins, but with three tough matches still remaining against flag fancies Geelong, West Coast and Collingwood, the Crows will need to capitalise on the not as tough stuff.
Round 14: Bye
Round 15: Geelong @ (GMHBA)
Round 16: Port Adelaide @ (AO)
Round 17: Gold Coast @ (MS)
Round 18: Essendon @ (AO)
Round 19: Carlton @ (MCG)
Round 20: St Kilda @ (AO)
Round 21: West Coast @ (OS)
Round 22: Collingwood @ (AO)
Round 23: Western Bulldogs @ (MARS)
A season that started beyond poorly has turned for the better as we head for the home straight. If the Crows can win six of their remaining nine matches, they’d finish around fifth, and that’s probably what they deserve. It’s been good so far, but it could certainly be better with this list.
Overall Grade: B