Crows look to continue their purple patch against inconsistent Blues
By Thomas McLean

After three consecutive home games and week-long breaks, Adelaide return to Metricon Stadium, off a five day break, to tackle Carlton in their penultimate match for 2020. The Crows will enter the game full of confidence after back to back wins, firstly against a struggling Hawthorn, but more impressively their 12 point win on Tuesday night over GWS.

All of Adelaide’s eight goals came in the first and third quarters while kicking towards the scoreboard end of Adelaide Oval. GWS clawed their way back in the second term, and attempted to do likewise in the final quarter but the Crows five third quarter goals proved too much of a task. The Crouch brothers were amongst the Adelaide’s best, as Brad (31 disposals, 4 clearances) and Matt (27, one goal, 12 tackles) not only got plenty of the Sherrin, but also used it well with plenty of entries inside forward 50.

Former Kenilworth junior Rory Laird was outstanding as an inside midfielder, racking up a match-high 11 clearances and 18 contested possessions. Elliott Himmelberg and Shane McAdam, who have emerged as shining lights in what has been a dark season for Adelaide, kicked two goals apiece. Skipper Rory Sloane showed his selflessness with seven score involvements as well as kicking a key goal – though replays indicate it may have been touched off the boot.

Carlton were slow out of the blocks in their win over Sydney, with the Swans kicking the first seven goals of the match. Carlton’s first goal didn’t come until halfway through the second quarter, however Sydney could only manage one more major from that time, to enable Carlton sneak over the line. Sam Walsh was dominant in the midfield for Carlton with 25 disposals and a game-high 584 metres gained. Patrick Cripps was instrumental in the Blues’ fightback with seven disposals, two clearances and a goal in the second quarter to keep Carlton in the match.

Carlton have no players on their list who were recruited from SA, though Eddie Betts was born in Port Lincoln and played junior footy at Mallee Park. He and Mitch McGovern are both former Crows who will suit up for Carlton.

Aside from the season-ending injuries to Tom Doedee (hamstring), Jordan Gallucci (achilles) and Wayne Milera (foot), Adelaide will go into the match with their shortest injury list for the season. Carlton will be without big man Matthew Kruezer, Charlie Curnow and the Silvagni brothers.

Adelaide’s confidence and belief should be at their peak for season 2020, while frustration may be setting in for Carlton as finals, though mathematically possible, look to be beyond their grasp.

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