Sustained intensity the key for Crows - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sustained intensity the key for Crows

By Steve Larkin 30/04/2010 09:26:25 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide's ability to sustain their intensity will determine if they avoid their worst start to an AFL season, coach Neil Craig says.

Craig says sustainability is the winless Crows' top priority as they seek a breakthrough victory against arch rivals Port Adelaide on Saturday.

The Crows have never lost six straight to start a season since they joined the AFL in 1991.

And Adelaide enter Saturday's showdown as rank outsiders to topple a Port side sitting outside the top eight by percentage only.

"We need a sustained effort ... that is our number one priority," Craig said on Friday.

"We need to play with really high intensity for really long periods of time.

"You have got to be up on the speed of the game and you have got to have the capacity to maintain it, and that will be our challenge."

Craig has lost key duo Patrick Dangerfield (hand) and Chris Knights (foot) to injury but recalled defender Nathan Bock from a hamstring injury.

Utility Scott Stevens also returns to AFL ranks for the first time since being concussed in round one, while Matthew Jaensch will become Adelaide's sixth debutant in as many games.

While Adelaide's season teeters on the brink of collapse, and the derby always carries parochial bragging rights, Craig prefers to keep the game in context.

"It's four (premiership) points on the end of it, I'm not trying to be a smart alec there," he said.

"It's a very important game for us, where we sit at the moment.

"It has probably come at an opportune time but it's not worth more than four (points) because that is all that is on the table."

Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams said he was not being lulled by the Crows' stagnant start.

"We are not expecting anything but their best, we have looked at the best of the Crows," Williams said.

"We don't play in front of these big crowds very often so it's pretty exciting for our guys.

"We are very mindful of the fact we need to bring our best game to the table."

Port has replaced Nathan Krakouer with novice ruckman Matthew Lobbe from the side named Thursday.

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