Karmichael Hunt comes back from a hamstring injury against the Suns. Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au/Herald Sun
Last Four Matches
Round 23, 2012 – Adelaide 153 d Gold Coast 62 at AAMI Stadium
Round 1, 2012 – Adelaide 137 d Gold Coast 68 at Metricon Stadium
Round 22, 2011 – Adelaide 125 d Gold Coast 64 at Metricon Stadium
Round 8, 2011 – Adelaide 130 d Gold Coast 73 at AAMI Stadium
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The bye came at exactly the right time for Gold Coast . It had been an immense six weeks prior to that where the team finished with a 3-3 win-loss figure, and they came out of that period with admirable losses to Geelong and Hawthorn. In the 43-point loss to Essendon, though, there were signs that injuries and fatigue were starting to take their toll on the young side, so a week off will have done them no harm at all.
The loss of key forward Tom Lynch to a serious knee injury is a massive blow. He is a strong mark, provides a contest and works hard around the ground. The improving Steven May comes in to play across half-forward, while Karmichael Hunt also returns along with experienced defender Greg Broughton.
Adelaide’s season is on tenterhooks after three straight losses to Fremantle, Sydney and Richmond. In the last two matches the Crows provided little opposition. The absence of the injured Taylor Walker and departed Kurt Tippett is starting to bite; Adelaide averaged just 60 points per game in that losing run, and they’ve cracked the 100-mark just three times in 12 starts this season.
(Suns) Campbell Brown – After missing the early part of the season due to suspension, aggressive forward Campbell Brown has been a surprise packet since coming back in to the team. He has kicked 12 goals in six matches and provided the Suns with a lead-up target and strong body in the forward 50. You certainly can’t criticise his appetite for a contest or his work ethic. With another hard-worker, Tom Lynch, out for the next couple of months, Brown’s work up forward becomes even more important.
(Crows) Scott Thompson – A couple of seasons back, Scott Thompson picked up an almost comical 51 possessions against the Suns. He’s not finding things so easy this year, though. In 2012, Adelaide’s midfield depth was a key to its success, but few players, including Thompson, are anywhere near the level they were last year. He averages a touch under 40 disposals per game against the Suns, so perhaps the thought of taking on a team he has towelled up previously will inspire the Crows’ leader.
The Crows form away from home hasn’t been an issue this season. Wins over Brisbane, GWS and North Melbourne have kept them in the finals hunt, although those teams have hardly set the world on fire. The Suns also beat North recently, producing a cracking effort to come back from five goals down early in the second quarter to win by 15 . The inclusions for the Suns will be of great benefit, but the loss of Tom Lynch (the Gold Coast, not Adelaide version) will probably hit harder than most people realise. Gary Ablett Jnr has worked himself to a standstill this season, and as always, he is the biggest threat to sides visiting the Glitter Strip. Both teams still have slim hopes of making the finals, although the Crows are probably the more realistic proposition, given what they managed last September. A desire to stay in the hunt for finals footy should see them home….just. Adelaide by 11 points
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