Risk for reward as Crows attack Cats - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Risk for reward as Crows attack Cats

By Daniel Brettig 03/07/2008 04:22:58 PM Comments (0)

There will be errors and there may be failure.

But Adelaide are compelled to risk sizeable defeat by employing an attacking game plan and mindset against AFL benchmark Geelong at AAMI Stadium on Friday night.

In short, Crows coach Neil Craig realises defence alone won't beat the all-conquering Cats.

Having tried a deliberate, restrictive plan against Hawthorn and lost, the Crows struggled to find their former run against Brisbane, and lost again.

So using Collingwood's round nine win over the Cats as their blueprint, Adelaide will seek to harry, tackle and pressure, but run feverishly when they win possession.

On Wednesday night at the club's main training session, Neil Craig put his players on the clock, giving them three seconds to dispose of the ball following a mark.

Geared at eradicating the stop-start "kicking football" used against Brisbane a fortnight ago, it resulted in more than a few rushed and errant kicks before gradually, some fluency emerged.

"The umpire gives you seven or eight seconds, but we said you have got three seconds and you saw the errors that evolved from that," Craig said.

"That was just trying to get a bit of a mindset and, if you look at Geelong, they normally play to a one second rule."

The drill encapsulated the Crows' attitude to Geelong this week - get the ball on quickly, attack and run, though never forgetting the defensive responsibility central to Craig's philosophy.

"We need to attack," Craig said.

"(In terms of) getting at people quickly and putting defensive pressure on, I think we're in pretty good shape in that area.

"We'll continue to try and improve it, but I think it's at a really good standard for us.

"The other area, in terms of putting attack against them, if you look at our recent form, you would say no.

"That is our challenge, to be able to add that into our game really quickly on a big stage ...to add that real aggressive mindset in terms of attack.

"That means there will be some errors when you do it, as there normally is, which means guys have got to have a huge amount of courage to do it.

"We need to run the risk because we're still a developing team and if you look to the future in terms of how you want to look and play, develop it rather than stagnate and just try and shut down people."

There will, of course, be some efforts at Cat catching.

In midfield Adelaide will have Robert Shirley tagging one of past and future Brownlow medallists Jimmy Bartel and Gary Ablett, while Nathan van Berlo is likely to spend time on similar duties.

Also needing to negate as well as kick a score will be the Crows' forward line, given they guard the zone where Geelong set-up attack after attack through the likes of Matthew Scarlett.

"They are number one for rebounds from half-back going inside their forward 50m," Craig said.

"So our first line of defence will be our forwards ability to put some pressure on across our half-forward."

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