Crows insist hardness is not an issue

Adelaide skipper Taylor Walker insists his side doesn’t need to get harder to regain their winning mojo – just cleaner.

The Crows’ unbeaten start to the season came to a crashing halt last week when they suffered a shock 57-point loss to the Bulldogs.

Another big challenge looms for Adelaide this Sunday when they take on arch rivals Port Adelaide in the Showdown.

Crows coach Phil Walsh ordered his team to take a 5am beach swim on Monday as punishment for their inept ground-ball display against the Bulldogs.

It remains to be seen whether the chilly affair will spark Adelaide into action.

Walker believes it was his team’s sloppy skills rather than a lack of hardness that was the main reason behind the heavy defeat.

“As a club we’re very disappointed in what we dished up on the weekend,” Walker told reporters in Adelaide on Tuesday.

“We pride ourselves in ground balls. It’s a big area of the game for us.

“I don’t think it’s an issue of getting harder. We were fumbly on the weekend.

“If you don’t take the ball clean, you can’t make good decisions.

“We’ll just do a lot of touch this week and hopefully it will show on the weekend.”

Port Adelaide are hopeful star midfielder Robbie Gray will be able to recover from his corked calf in time to play the Crows.

Gray, who was a late withdrawal from last week’s win over Hawthorn, will undergo a fitness test on Thursday to determine his availability.

“I spoke to him today and he said he’s feeling a lot better,” Power skipper Travis Boak said.

“Obviously, at this stage he’s still touch and go, and we’ll wait and see.

“He’ll probably train Thursday and see how it feels. He can’t really do too much until then.”

The news appears better for Jared Polec, who is expected to play despite spending the early part of the week in a moon boot in a bid to manage the foot injury he’s carried over the past fortnight.

Adelaide are expected to recall defender Kyle Cheney, who has recovered from a hamstring injury.

The Crows leaked 125 points in last week’s 57-point loss to the Bulldogs, and they can’t afford to put in a similar display against a Power outfit boasting proven goalscorers Jay Schulz, Justin Westhoff, Paddy Ryder and Chad Wingard.

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