Crows out to put their stamp on Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows out to put their stamp on Bulldogs

By Daniel Brettig 06/05/2009 04:55:22 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide have labelled their AFL battle against the Western Bulldogs at AAMI Stadium on Sunday as a "statement game" following the ignominy of a comprehensive defeat by Port Adelaide.

The Crows' midfield and ruck divisions, and their overall game plan, were called into question in the course of the 26-point loss, which coach Neil Craig described as the club's worst effort of the season.

It slipped Adelaide to 3-3 for the season, miring them in mid-table alongside the Bulldogs, who have been up and down themselves.

Crows wingman Brent Reilly, about to play his 100th game, said Sunday was going to be all about proving to the league in general and the Bulldogs in particular that Adelaide are not a team of midfield lightweights.

"We know we can do it and we can go out there against the Bulldogs and show the Bulldogs and the AFL how good we are," Reilly said on Wednesday.

"When you get beaten 22-42 in the stoppages it doesn't reflect too well on the midfield group, but it's an area we're working pretty hard on this week and we've had our review on Monday, gone through it all and we've got to get better at."

Port's dominance of the Crows' youthful centre square rotations resulted in veterans Tyson Edwards and Simon Goodwin being thrown in late in the game, but Reilly believed there was no need to resort to this fall-back on a regular basis.

"At times you've got to put Tyson and Goody in there to maybe show the way, show the young fellas how to do it, but you don't want to fall back on them all the time," he said.

"When those blokes go through there it's not as if they're in for the whole game, they're in for patches, and they're in there because they're leaders of our footy club and they set the standard, they set the tone for the young blokes. The young blokes always look up to them.

"We need to get Bernie (Vince) and Danger (Patrick Dangerfield) to go through that for themselves and through the tough passages when an opponent gets three or four stoppages in a row, tell them to work it out, work it out, see whether they can review it themselves."

Drafted in 2002, Reilly admitted he was still not a fixture in the Crows line-up 100 games later and said his was a group - alongside Scott Thompson, Nathan van Berlo and Chris Knights - that had to do more.

"We're that next group coming through, when Tyson and Simon end up retiring that's our next group through there," he said.

"So we need to step up as a group but the development really comes from the young blokes coming up."

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