Make Or Break Time For Crows

Picture: Anthony Reginato/dailytelegraph.com.au
Josh Kennedy was instrumental in Sydney's win over Essendon last week. Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au/Anthony Reginato
Last Meeting

Qualifying Final, 2012 – Sydney 71 d Adelaide 42 at AAMI Stadium
Round 6, 2012 – Adelaide 99 d Sydney 94 at SCG
Round 15, 2011 – Adelaide 57 d Sydney 50 at AAMI Stadium
Round 2, 2010 – Sydney 118 d Adelaide 75 at AAMI Stadium
Round 13, 2009 Adelaide 85 d Sydney 69 at AAMI Stadium


Form

     Rd 6       Rd 7       Rd 8       Rd 9       Rd 10 
Adelaide   L  W  W  W  L
Sydney   W  L  D  W  W

As if it wasn’t hard enough for Adelaide
to take on Fremantle last weekend, the Crows now have to back up against another team with a tough as teak backline and a big-bodied midfield in Sydney . After leading at quarter time, the Crows could never quite get their noses in front again a Freo side which is proving to be incredibly tough to score against. The 66-59 defeat was in stark contrast to the shootout the week before when Adelaide hauled in the Kangaroos in a stunning final quarter burst.

Sydney just keeps on keeping on. Adam Goodes and the Swans put the racism saga behind them to clinically dispose of the Bombers by 44 points in the wet at the SCG. That was a big test for the Swans and they passed it with flying colours, with the season-ending hamstring sustained by Irishman Tommy Walsh the only disappointment. First-gamer Tom Mitchell showed why the wraps on him are so big picking up 18 disposals and a goal in a quality performance.

Adelaide has included Shaun McKernan, Ricky Henderson and Brad Crouch. Sydney will be without lightning quick forward Lewis Jetta due to shin soreness, with Jesse White and Brandon Jack, the brother of gun midfielder Kieren Jack , set to make his debut.


Key Men

(Crows) Sam Jacobs – A lot of the blame for Adelaide’s indifferent form this season seems to have fallen on the shoulders of ruckman Sam Jacobs. ‘Sauce’ certainly hasn’t reached the lofty heights he managed last season, but he responded in brilliant fashion against Fremantle, dominating the ruck contests to finish with 50 hit-outs. He has the vastly improved Mike Pyke and Shane Mumford to deal with this week, and with Josh Jenkins spending the vast majority of his time in the forward line, he’ll more than likely be playing a lone hand.

(Swans) Josh Kennedy – The wet weather meant there was a ridiculous number of stoppages in the Swans vs Bombers match last Saturday, and that’s just the way Josh Kennedy likes it. He is the king of clearances in the AFL, and he simply dominated the ‘Dons finishing with 37 disposals, including eight clearances. In a slugfest against Adelaide in the first week of the finals last year he was a force, picking up 35 touches as he and Ryan O’Keefe found the Sherrin with monotonous regularity. His work with the Swans’ ruck duo is the main reason they’re ranked first in the competition for clearances.


Prediction

The Swans were very, very good against the Bombers last week, but that was an energy-sapping contest in the wet. The Crows have won eight of the last ten contests between these teams, but both of the Swans’ victories have come at AAMI Stadium, including the 29-point victory in last season’s qualifying final. The Swans are every bit as tough and stingy as the Dockers, but probably have even more weapons across the ground. The Crows are yet to beat a top eight team this season, which is probably a good reason why they currently sit in ninth place on the table. It’s a shame Kurt Tippett’s suspension didn’t end in time for him to make an appearance in front of the Adelaide faithful. Swans by 15 points

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