Crows To Heap Misery On Melbourne

Image courtesy of adelaidenow.com.au/Wayne Ludbey/Herald Sun
Jack Watts went goalless against Fremantle. Image courtesy of adelaidenow.com.au/Wayne Ludbey/Herald Sun
Last Five Matches

Round 22, 2012 – Adelaide 150 d Melbourne 81 at MCG
Round 7, 2011 – Melbourne 149 d Adelaide 53 at MCG
Round 13, 2010 – Adelaide 117 d Melbourne 73 at AAMI Stadium
Round 3, 2010 – Melbourne 57 d Adelaide 41 at MCG
Round 5, 2009 – Adelaide 51 d Melbourne 34 at MCG


Form

     Rd 17       Rd 18       Rd 19       Rd 20       Rd 21   
Adelaide   W  L  L  W  L
Melbourne    L  L  L  L  L

Adelaide’s ordinary form in the second half of the season continued on Sunday when the Crows were overrun by a more enthusiastic Bulldogs outfit at Etihad Stadium. It was the club’s eighth loss in its last 11 outings, although two of those victories have come against second-place Geelong and in-form North Melbourne.

After an encouraging 13-point loss to Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium in round 21, Melbourne resumed regular service last weekend with an embarrassing 95-point drubbing at the hands of Fremantle at the MCG. The Demons mustered just five goals against Freo’s watertight defence. Three times during the current losing run, Neil Craig’s side has been held to five goals or less. Pathetic!

Crows defender Sam Shaw will miss the club’s last game at AAMI Stadium due to a hamstring problem. Youngsters Mitch Grigg and Kyle Hartigan have been included. Melbourne has made five changes with the likes of James Frawley, Chris Dawes and David Rodan coming in. Shannon Byrnes is out with a foot injury while impressive young big man Jack Fitzpatrick will miss a week due to a concussion.


Key Men

(Crows) Rory Sloane – Prior to the weekend’s loss to the Western Bulldogs, Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson described Rory Sloane as his team’s Pied Piper: “When he plays his flute, everyone follows,” Sanderson said. He was outstanding in the second half in round 21 against North Melbourne, leading his team to a nine-point victory. Against the ‘Dogs, however, his production was down somewhat, finishing with just 17 touches and two goals, with the Crows failing to fire late in the game against the upstarts.

(Demons) Dean Terlich – In hindsight, at least, Melbourne has made plenty of errors on draft day over the past decade. One they seem to have gotten right is the selection of mature-age defender Dean Terlich with the club’s final pick in last year’s draft. After some impressive efforts for Norwood in the SANFL, Terlich has made himself a mainstay in the Dees’ defence this year. The ball was coming in with monotonous regularity against Freo last weekend but Terlich stood tall, finishing with 26 disposals and 11 marks.


Prediction

It’s hard to believe that just two years ago, Melbourne pumped the Crows by 96 points at the MCG. The Demons’ record in Adelaide is poor, though, and they haven’t come away from AAMI Stadium with the points against the Crows since 2001. That’s seven straight losses and given the way they’re going from bad to worse at the moment, it’s hard to see how that streak will end on Saturday. Adelaide has knocked over Geelong and North Melbourne at home in recent times and almost upset the finals-bound Power in the Showdown in round 19. They’ll be looking to leave their long-time home in style prior to the shift to the Adelaide Oval. Adelaide by 52 points

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