A narrow loss is a loss nonetheless, so the three-point demise of the Adelaide Crows at the hands of the Fremantle Dockers almost certainly indicates that the Crows’ momentum from the past two seasons has abandoned them.
So recently, the team that scorched opponents with points onslaughts, the Crows could muster only 68 at Optus Stadium on Sunday and the Dockers’ 71 was all they needed for the win. The loss shunted the Crows down to 10th on the current ladder of the Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership competition and it seems almost as though someone has sprinkled salt of their tails. As they no longer seem capable of the flying that made them flag favourites ahead of the season.
It was the third consecutive loss for the Crows and sixth of the season.
“Today was disappointing – no excuses today, just beaten,” Crows Coach Don Pyke said after the match. “We’re not playing the sort of footy we’ve historically played or been capable of playing so we need to gather ourselves, be really clear which is the way forward and head down that path. We’re not going to sit and just take a ‘woe is us’ attitude … we’ve got an obstacle now which is in our way and we need to get past it.”
Wise men have said, in one form or another, that the best way to get out of a hole is to stop digging, but for the Crows, key injuries have been a constant source of trouble all season. It seems as though that issue may get worse before it gets better.
Luke Brown had to be carried off the field in the final term with a gimpy right ankle.
That is no excuse, particularly in this instance. Missing seven first choices means that seven reserves have to step up. The Dockers were missing Nat Fyfe through suspension and Aaron Sandilands due to concussion, along with others, so the match seemed almost like a procession to the casualty ward played in a half-empty stadium.