• Round 2 Sydney vs Crows Preview

    I should be fond of AAMI. Many of my best formative experiences happened there. The 1976 grand final. The Alice Cooper and Bob Dylan concerts. My first taste of a beer that wasn?t Southwark.

    And yet I don?t like it. The Crows, who abandoned it to the Power last year, don?t like it. The AFL and the state government, who are tipping $450 million into Adelaide Oval, don?t like it.

    And neither do the Swans. We routinely knock off Port there, but we can beat the Power anywhere. We haven?t beaten the Crows at AAMI since 2001 when a young Ryan O?Keefe got just four touches. (?Drop him!? says RWO.)

    We?ve won once in the last 11 outings. Roos in his usual obscurantist way can?t explain why. It?s just one of those AFL oddities, like Kevin Sheedy, or our record against Collingwood.

    But there?s no underestimating the importance of this game: the Swans win, and our new-look outfit is on track. Lose, and they look like the 2009 version. If the Crows lose, Craig?s talk about making the four looks embarrassing.

    The Swans are getting a surprising amount of support from the pundits in the lead-in to the game, although Adelaide is the punters? favourite.

    The Swans had an outstanding preseason and ran last year?s grand finalist to the wire I round 1. The Crows? off-season was marred by injuries, and they?re coming off a shocker against Freo, where they got smacked by 56 points.

    I took a look at the first quarter of the match and the first thing I noticed was: Freo are good!

    The second thing was that the Crows should have been up at least 3 goals at quarter time. They really butchered the ball up forward in the first 15 minutes. After that Freo ran over the top of them. The Crows rely on moving the ball very quickly through the middle and on key ball carriers like McLeod, but Freo shut the supply and applied their own quick forward movement.

    The Crows have a much more formidable forward line this week with the return of Porplyzia - their biggest goalkicker last year ? and Burton alongside Tippet and Walker. In normal circumstances our defence can match them ? ?normal? meaning they don?t leak easy goals like last week - but as usual it gets down to the midfield.

    Last time Sydney played Adelaide we ran out to a 25-point lead in the second quarter, with Hall kicking 3. That was the game that Hall put in his application form to the Western Bulldogs when he clocked Rutten. We lost it by 16 points in the end.

    More astonishing than a Hall brainsnap was the inside-50 count. Adelaide went in 50 times, the Swans just 29 times. A pretty respectable scoreline for a game where we were clearly beaten in the midfield.

    But there's no reason why the Swans can do as the Dockers did and nullify the usual suspects like McLeod, Goodwin and Vince. We have the stoppage smarts and, this year, the rebound to give our forwards a chance.

    OK, so no-one, least of all our forwards coach, knows how the front six are going to perform, but goalkicking wasn?t our biggest problem last week. And the last time Daniel Bradshaw played the Crows, he kicked 5 goals (admittedly, on Stevens, who?s injured).

    To get the Crows view of this I went looking for their supporters? website. I couldn?t find one, so I emailed my brother, who knows all the words to ?Pride of South Australia? and is still lamenting the loss of Martin Mattner.

    Why were the Crows so pathetic last week?
    Were a bit underdone after a poor pre-season marred by spate of injuries. Smashed in the centre and ruck. Made too many errors. Are starting their season this week.

    What do they need to do to win?
    Go in harder and win the contested ball. Get some players back (like Porplyzia).

    Who do the Swans need to shut down?

    There you have it. Both teams will be smarting after last week. After one win in eight seasons, the ?it?s time? factor might count for the Swans, but not as much as the fact that we?re ahead of the Crows at this stage of the season.

    The rundown
    Head to head: Adelaide 20 wins, Sydney Swans nine wins, no draws

    Last time they played
    Round 13 2009
    Adelaide 1.3 3.4 9.7 12.13 (85)
    Sydney 2.3 6.5 8.6 10.9 (69)

    Mattner 30 disposals, Shaw 29, Goodes 25. Hall 4 goals.
    Vince 29, Doughty 22, Thompson 22. Porplyzia 4 goals

    Last week
    St Kilda 5.0 9.0 13.4 15.6 (96)
    Sydney Swans 3.3 7.5 9.8 13.10 (88)

    O?Keefe 33 disposals, McVeigh 29, Kennelly 28. Goode 3 goals.

    Fremantle 2.5 9.9 12.11 17.16 (118)
    Adelaide 2.3 4.3 9.4 9.8 (62)

    Goodwin 21 disposals, Thompson 23, Vince 22. Walker 4 goals.

    Betfair: Adelaide $1.67 Sydney $2.48
    Sportsbet: Adelaide $1.50 Sydney $2.50

    Gerard Healey ? Swans
    The Adjudicator ? Swans by 14
    Rohan Connolly ? Crows
    Shock of Hair ? Swans by 9

    The teams
    Sydney Swans
    B: Craig Bolton, Lewis Roberts-Thomson, Rhyce Shaw
    HB: Martin Mattner, Heath Grundy, Nick Malceski
    C: Jarrad McVeigh, Brett Kirk, Kieran Jack
    HF: Ryan O?Keefe, Adam Goodes, Lewis Jetta
    F: Jesse White, Daniel Bradshaw, Jarrad Moore
    Foll: Mark Seaby, Jude Bolton, Ben McGlynn
    I/C: Josh Kennedy, Tadhg Kennelly, Dan Hannebery, Shane Mumford,
    Emg: Paul Bevan, Ted Richards, Nick Smith
    In: Hannebery
    Out: Richards

    Adelaide Crows
    B: Jared Petrenko, Ben Rutten, Brent Reilly
    HB: Michael Doughty, Nathan Bock, Simon Goodwin
    C: Myke Cook, Bernie Vince, David Mackay
    HF: Patrick Dangerfield, Taylor Walker, Richard Douglas
    F: Trent Hentschel, Kurt Tippett, Jason Porplyzia
    Foll: Ivan Maric, Andrew McLeod, Nathan van Berlo
    I/C: Scott Thompson, Tyson Edwards, Brett Burton, James Sellar
    Emg: Jonathon Griffin, Tony Armstrong, Will Young
    In: Burton, Maric, Porplyzia, Sellar
    Out: Scott Stevens (concussion), Rory Sloane (ankle), Griffin, Armstrong
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. ScottH's Avatar
      ScottH -
      Love all the "experts", SOH!!!

      Remember the last game well. The crows just kept bombing it in, in the first half to no avail.

      Nice Preview!!!
    1. liz's Avatar
      liz -
      Great work SOH. Has me feeling confident and bullish. But then I've often felt confident and bullish ahead of a Crows game. It usually doesn't last much beyond quarter time.
    1. Mike_B's Avatar
      Mike_B -
      Good read SOH - let's hope your score prediction is as spot on as the rest of your analysis!
    1. ShockOfHair's Avatar
      ShockOfHair -
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottH View Post
      Love all the "experts", SOH!!!

      Remember the last game well. The crows just kept bombing it in, in the first half to no avail.

      Nice Preview!!!

      Yeah, thought I'd give Rohan Connolly a boost and put him in with the big boys.
    1. Triple B's Avatar
      Triple B -
      Actually not a bad read. Well done.
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