Van Berlo out as Crows face Saints - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Van Berlo out as Crows face Saints

By Daniel Brettig 18/07/2009 04:31:57 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide have been shorn of two of their most reliable performers in the build-up to Sunday's battle against AFL pacesetters St Kilda.

Having already lost veteran Tyson Edwards (hamstring strain) after pulling up lame at training on Thursday, the Crows flew to Melbourne on Saturday minus midfielder-defender and future captaincy candidate Nathan van Berlo, who has succumbed to the flu.

Richard Douglas replaced van Berlo in the Adelaide 22, leaving the match committee with some adjustments to be made to their planning for arguably the most anticipated fixture of the weekend.

The Saints have made changes themselves, omitting Luke Ball following a recent turn-down in form, though it is difficult to imagine him staying out for long.

Ruckman Steven King has returned after suspension, meaning he will join Michael Gardiner in taking on Adelaide's "developing" ruck duo of Ivan Maric and James Sellar.

Sellar's fierce attitude around the ruck contests has impressed coach Neil Craig, but even he acknowledged the size of the task on Sunday.

Maric and Sellar are pivotal to Adelaide's plans for their persistence would allow Kurt Tippett, arguably the most accomplished ruckman at the Crows, to stay parked in the forward line where his marking and athleticism make him a nasty match-up for any side.

"We'll have to be at our best in that area, and give those guys as much support on the ground as we possibly can, but we won't change too much there," Craig said.

"We think the set-up we've got caters for when we win and when we don't win the ruck tap, so we don't have to make major changes there.

"But it'll go a long way to deciding the game, the stoppage work, who can get on top in that area."

Adelaide did not have swing-man Scott Stevens when they played St Kilda in round two, and his versatility may also prove valuable.

Both sides have excelled in defence this year, the Saints all season and the Crows over the past seven weeks, leading to the prospect of a low-scoring game despite the fast, clean, indoor conditions at Etihad Stadium.

"If you look at the last 5-7 weeks, the number of inside 50m entries against both sides have been relatively low," Craig said.

"So you could argue it's going to be a low-scoring game and so when your chance does arise, you're going to need to take it, and we've been guilty in the past of probably not doing that.

"So that'll be really good information for us.

"You're going to need persistence as well because it could be a low-scoring game - if you go in there with a mindset that it's going to be 15-15 or 20 goals and it doesn't happen, it can get to you."

Within the wider battle between Adelaide and St Kilda is one between Craig and Ross Lyon, who has not lost to the Crows coach in their three meetings.

"Unless you keep really detailed notes, it's very hard to compare apples with apples, but what I do know is St Kilda under Ross you've actually got to beat them, they don't beat themselves, for want of a better word," Craig said.

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