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Crow Call with Tom Staggard

Crow Call: Adelaide v Richmond

The good guys from West Lakes made it three wins on the trot after defeating a heavily undermanned Richmond side at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

As has become a normal feeling for this team, it wasn’t always pretty but the senior players stood up and finished strong for the second week in a row.

With a temporary top four place locked up before the bye round, lets take a look at some of the interesting story lines which caught my eye.

The Good

The engine room

I did want to single out any of these guys because the entire unit of Reilly O’Brien, the Crouch Brothers, Cam Ellis-Yolmen and Rory Sloane were all incredible.

O’Brien’s dominance in the ruck shouldn’t be overstated as simply feasting on a young and inexperienced opponent.

While the midfield unit racked up possessions, smashed the Tigers in the clearances and gave the Adelaide forward line every opportunity to hit the scoreboard.

Tex Walker

The skipper turned co-captain was incredible on Thursday night for arguably the first time all season.

He stood up tall, man-handled his opponents, took strong marks and if he had his kicking boots on could have walked away with a bag of goals and BoG.

Walker is such a vital cog in the success of this Adelaide side and its good to see him starting to hit some form.

He’ll inevitably have his quiet week’s but there isn’t a Crows fan around who isn’t buoyed by a bit of output from the big Texan.

Sydney Stack and Eddie Betts’ exchange

I cannot believe anyone would be so much of an imbecile to question the fantastic display of sportsmanship between Richmond young gun Sydney Stack and Crows superstar Eddie Betts.

The little master did it again with yet another screamer from ‘Eddie’s pocket’ and with the game completely dead, Stack went over to congratulate him.
Betts revealed to Channel 7 after the game that it was the final curtain call for some ongoing banter between the two throughout the game.

When did we all become so pussy-footed that these players can do literally anything but be robots hell bent on the destruction of the other side?

How anyone can blame the 19-year-old Stack for being in awe of Betts’ unique goal scoring ability is completely beyond me.

The same crowd ragging on Stack for applauding Eddie would be labelling him disrespectful if he got in his face in an aggressive manner.

The Bad

Josh Jenkins’ injury

Look I fully understand it could have been a lot worse.

What made Jenkins’ brutal looking hyperextension of his knee worse was just how late in the game it came.

The Crows were flying and it completely put a dampener on the victory as he was carted off with 45,000 people fearing the worst.

I said to someone following the incident that, despite Paul Seedsman’s escape from a serious knee injury earlier in the year, lightning doesn’t strike twice and I’d conceded Jenkins would be lost for the season.

Fortunately, it seems he’ll miss some time without putting a line through him for the year.

Jenkins had one of his best games in a long time and will be sorely missed in the Adelaide line up.

The other injuries

Just when this side has started to hit a nice run of form the injury bug has caught up with us.

Lachie Murphy was lost very early due to some friendly fire, while the aforementioned Jenkins joined defenders Jake Kelly and Daniel Talia on the sidelines.

I think Kelly gets a lot of stick from Crows fans but has held down the Tom Doedee role serviceably this season.

While Daniel Talia is the club’s best defender.

The good news is that all three will have the bye week to rest up and hopefully be ready to travel to the Cattery to face Geelong.

Dustin Martin

This doesn’t have anything to do with Dusty himself per se, but more about the fact that I’m starting to get a bit nervous about opposition gun midfielders getting off the chain.

In just the past few weeks we’ve seen Lachie Neale, Clayton Oliver, Andrew Gaff, Josh Kelly and now Dustin Martin all have pretty big individual games against the Crows.

Granted, these are some of the absolute best in the business but it is a bit concerning that when a gun midfielder gets on top, Adelaide don’t really have an answer.

Riley Knight is an obvious tagging option and the man we’ve all been talking about Bryce Gibbs did do a great job to slow Oliver down in the second half of the Melbourne game.

With Patrick Dangerfield and Tim Kelly coming up in two weeks time, it’s something Don and his team will need to start thinking about and trying to address.

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Tom grew up in Adelaide’s northern suburbs and is our resident North American sports expert. Tom has experience as a working journalist and has a keen interest in basketball, ice hockey and American football, as well as cricket, soccer and football. He spent his junior cricket career at East Torrens District and has played for a number of football clubs across Adelaide’s north.