Crows Search For Form

Picture: Wayne Ludbey/News Limited
Adelaide needs more from the likes of Patrick Dangerfield. Image courtesy of Wayne Ludbey/News Ltd
Last Five Meetings

Round 2, 2012 – Adelaide Crows 82 d Western Bulldogs 64
Round 13, 2011 – Western Bulldogs 100 d Adelaide Crows 70
Round 19, 2010 – Western Bulldogs 61 d Adelaide Crows 53
Round 5, 2010 – Western Bulldogs 121 d Adelaide Crows 72
Round 7, 2009 – Western Bulldogs 118 d Adelaide Crows 86


Form

     Rd 1       Rd 2       Rd 3   
Adelaide 

 L

 W

 L

Western Bulldogs 

 W

 L

 L


What a difference an off-season can make. Adelaide was king of the contested ball last year and came within a kick of making the grand final. In losing two of their three games so far this season, Essendon and Port Adelaide have exposed the Crows with harder running and a greater level of desperation. Last season they only lost two games all season at AAMI Stadium, including the qualifying final defeat at the hands of eventual premier Sydney, but they have already reached that mark in 2013.

One of the big reasons has been a lack of dominance in the middle. With an on-ball brigade featuring the likes of Scott Thompson , Patrick Dangerfield and Rory Sloane , among others, the Crows should be tearing teams apart at stoppages. One of the top tap ruckmen in the competition last year, Jacobs’ stats around the ground are well down on his 2012 numbers. Sanderson has also lost patience with Bernie Vince dropping him to the SANFL, while Nathan van Berlo is out with a knee injury.

After a very promising win over the Lions in round one, the Bulldogs have dropped their past two. Tom Liberatore started the season on fire but was completely shut out in the 67-point loss to Richmond. The likes of ‘Libba’ Jnr and Mitch Wallis will get some help this week with inspirational skipper Matthew Boyd returning from a calf injury. The bad news is silky-skilled Shaun Higgins will miss the rest of the year with a foot injury, while Easton Wood (hamstring) and Tory Dickson (ankle) are also out.


Key Men

(Crows) Rory Sloane – With his new status in the game, Patrick Dangerfield is finding life a little tougher being a marked man with his production well down on his 2012 numbers. The rest of Adelaide’s midfield needs to stand up, including another young gun in Rory Sloane. He was outstanding in the win over Brisbane and solid against Port Adelaide, but until they can get Dangerfield more involved the Crows need Sloane to be at his best every week so Scott Thompson isn’t a one-man band in the middle.

(Bulldogs) Daniel Giansiracusa – The Bulldogs’ round one caning of Brisbane was courtesy of many things, but one of the standout features was the number of goals kicked by their small forwards and midfielders. Since then, the ‘Dogs have struggled to create scoreboard pressure. Veteran Daniel Giansiracusa kicked three in the season opener but has registered just one major since then. After appearing to be on the decline in 2012, his performance against the Lions gave hope of resurgence this year. Judging by the past two games, he might struggle to surpass the 28 goals he kicked last campaign.


Prediction

While this isn’t a gimme game, especially with Adelaide yet to hit its straps, it is certainly one the Crows should win comfortably. The Bulldogs have won four of the past five clashes between the teams, the Crows’ rise up the table last season was almost matched by the Doggies’ freefall. After exploding with 19 goals against the Lions in round one, the same old problems of a lack of goalkicking options has reared its head the past two weeks. Crows by 36 points  

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