Dejected Adelaide Crows after their loss to the Sydney Swans in last season's semi-final
Dejected Adelaide Crows after their loss to the Sydney Swans in last season's semi-final DEAN LEWINS

Crows have Swans in their sights

A TOP-TWO finish is now guaranteed but Adelaide is not taking Friday's night's clash with Sydney lightly having waited nearly 12 months for a crack at last year's finals conqueror.

The Crows have not played the Swans since last year's semi-final thrashing at the SCG and assistant coach Scott Camporeale said it was an important test leading into this year's finals.

"It's a pretty important game Friday night I would have thought, after what Sydney did to us in the final," Camporeale said.

"I don't think it will be a motivator but we learnt some valuable lessons out of that game.

"We like to think we've improved since that final but Sydney is a great test, they're probably the form team of the competition so it's always a tough, hard game against them.

"It's always great to potentially play against teams that you may face (in finals), and Sydney play a real finals brand of footy so it will be something that we'll look forward to.

 

Adelaide ruckman Sam Jacobs feels the pain of defeat.
Adelaide ruckman Sam Jacobs feels the pain of defeat. DEAN LEWINS

"But as I said I think our whole round game has improved, I think our contest work has improved and guys have gone to another level in that space.

"We're still moving the ball as good as what we have been and collectively our team defence has improved as well."

Camporeale said both Taylor Walker and Rory Sloane would be looked at by medical staff on Monday and the club was hopeful they would be cleared to play.

Sloane aggravated a knee injury he'd been carrying for a few weeks in Saturday night's win over Essendon while Walker hurt his foot in a marking contest.

Andy Otten last week rolled his ankle at training which Camporeale said was a "decent one" and he would hopefully be okay for finals while Kyle Hartigan is close to returning from a hamstring strain.

 

Taylor Walker and Eddie Betts after their win over Essendon
Taylor Walker and Eddie Betts after their win over Essendon TRACEY NEARMY

Camporeale reiterated senior coach Don Pyke's stance that players would not be rested from the last two games and if fit to play, they would take their place in the side.

"We had a little discussion in match committee this morning because potentially you play this week and next, then there's a week off, first final if you win that what does that look like?" Camporeale said.

"Without getting too far ahead of ourselves we've got to make sure we plan correctly and the guys are getting enough game time and training intensity to make sure they're at the level continually."

Camporeale also added to the growing praise for young midfielder Matt Crouch who sits second in the competition for disposals this season.

"He's certainly not under-rated in my opinion, I think he's been our best if not then close with Rory (Sloane) our best two mids in the last 18 months," he said.

"If you look at his last two seasons he's been as consistent as anyone in the competition. He wants to get better, he's got himself super-fit, he's a real professional off the field and wants to learn.

"His consistency has been outstanding, if you look at his numbers he's right up there in the competition so he's having an All-Australian year no doubt."

News Corp Australia


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