Harden up, Craig tells Crows - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harden up, Craig tells Crows

By Daniel Brettig and Roger Vaughan 11/07/2008 06:51:08 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide coach Neil Craig wants the AFL lesson from Geelong last weekend to harden, rather than scar his team.

The Crows are in big trouble going into Saturday afternoon's MCG match against Collingwood at the MCG.

They have lost their last three and are sixth, level on points with the Magpies and Brisbane.

Adelaide talked it up ahead of last Friday night's appointment with Geelong at AAMI Stadium, but the Cats walked the walk and belted the Crows by 68 points.

"The most important thing from a coach's perspective is that players have not just seen it or read about it, they've actually felt a level of skill, competition and fierceness," Craig said of the Geelong game.

"The rest of the year will tell that by the way they go about their work, I'm very confident that we'll be challenged by the standard, that's how I feel.

"We've got to be better than being scarred, if you're going to stay in this competition you're going to get hurt a lot of times, individually, teamwise, on-field, off-field, there's a lot of situations where you've got to face adversity.

"To be battle-hardened and not scarred is so important."

While the `Pies will start favourites, the match is also a major challenge for them after Saturday's impressive 29-point win over Sydney.

That meant fifth-placed Collingwood, Adelaide and Brisbane (seventh) are one-and-a-half games behind the fourth-placed Swans.

Collingwood have posted some impressive wins this year, most particularly against the Cats in round nine, but the Sydney game had followed two successive losses.

"It's an interesting one, if you look at the ladder at the moment, we're sitting fifth and we've won two and lost two against the top-four sides," said assistant coach Blake Caracella.

"We've won six and lost four against the bottom sides, so we're around the mark.

"We've got quite a young team and the consistency can be a bit of a problem.

"It's a big game against the Crows, hopefully we can take what we did last week into this week as well."

Caracella had little doubt that Adelaide would bounce back, but added Collingwood would be ready.

"Three losses in a row doesn't do the confidence much good, but they've been a fantastic team, well coached for the three or four or five years," he said.

"They play a very similar game to Geelong's, so hopefully the tactics we used then, we can use against the Crows as well."

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