Crows fight 'weakest link' perception - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows fight 'weakest link' perception

By Daniel Brettig 04/06/2008 05:21:02 PM Comments (0)

When Adelaide take to the MCG on Saturday they won't only be fighting Richmond.

The Crows will also be up against the creeping suspicion around the AFL that they are the weakest link, the side most likely to fall away as the season nears its pointy end.

Adding weight to the theory is the fact a favourable draw has worked to conceal the true value of a side currently nestled inside the league's top four.

So far Adelaide have won seven of 10 games, but beaten only one side currently placed in the top eight, North Melbourne.

They lost a tight contest against the Western Bulldogs in their season-opener, were trounced in Launceston by Hawthorn, and over the past two weeks have struggled in both defeat and victory against lowly West Coast and Essendon.

With their draw about to get noticeably tougher - featuring matches against five of the top eight sides, plus the Tigers and Port Adelaide who are just outside it over the next seven rounds - the Crows are about to find out just how good, or otherwise, they are in 2008.

"There are some good teams coming up, you can only beat who you're playing, so we'll worry about Richmond this week and the rest later," veteran Tyson Edwards said.

"You've still got to win those games, the month we've just had, but yeah we'll get a good guide to how we're going the next six weeks or so."

Many have pointed to Adelaide's battling win over a struggling Essendon as proof the youngish Crows side is running out of steam, but Edwards begged to differ, describing the Friday night contest as "finals-type".

"I'm pretty confident, I think we're playing some pretty good footy, West Coast was disappointing, but last week's game although it wasn't pretty to watch was a pretty high intensity type game and finals-type game so we were happy to win," he said.

"I don't think you ever think about where you're positioned, we think we're a good team, but you don't really know, you can't really judge yourself until the end of the year and see where you finish up.

"That's where you get your judging from - we'll keep carrying on and see where it takes us."

One looming positive is the return of key forward option Trent Hentschel from 18 months of knee injury rehabilitation.

Hentschel has been spoken of as an outside chance of being named this week to replace suspended marking target Brett Burton, though the more realistic scenario would see Luke Jericho or Nick Gill drafted in.

"Trent's been training fine, in some good nick now so hopefully it'd be great to see him out there soon ... we'll see what the selectors do," Edwards said.

"It'd be great for everyone, great for the supporters, more importantly good for him to get out there again.

"Hopefully it's not too far away."

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