Crows keep impressing in AFL

Adelaide started this season as the AFL’s great unknowns.

Under new coach Don Pyke, they are delivering emphatic early answers.

The ongoing effects of the tragic death of coach Phil Walsh and then Patrick Dangerfield’s defection to Geelong meant it was tough to assess the Crows.

While their elimination final win over the Western Bulldogs last September was arguably the game of the season, could Adelaide keep progressing?

Their opening three weeks have ended the debate, at least for now.

After a tight loss to North Melbourne away, they dominated the Showdown and followed that up with Saturday’s easy 36-point win over Richmond.

Saturday was particularly impressive because the Tigers, after a tough week, predictably came out firing.

“After five or six minutes, she was on in there,” Pyke said of the first quarter.

“Our guys were prepared for that.

“It probably took us a little while to settle but, after that initial onslaught, we really settled in and got to work.

“I was really proud of our guys, the way from that point on they kept up with the contested stuff and the pressure around the ball.”

Adelaide also did not skip a beat after two late withdrawals – first, Brad Crouch was ruled out on Friday with hamstring soreness.

Then, key forward Tom Lynch took the early flight back to Adelaide on Saturday morning for the birth of his second child.

The Crows were particularly lethal in scoring from turnovers.

“You turn that ball over, you might as well start lining up at the centre bounce,” said Tigers coach Damien Hardwick.

“They’re that good … they’re so efficient going forward – they play at breakneck speed.”

Pyke was also pleased his team kicked 19 goals despite not having a forward in dominating form.

Richmond took the unusual step of playing Alex Rance on Eddie Betts and, while the Crows’ star had to play further up the ground, he still had a strong influence.

“We’re not going to be a footy club that relies on Eddie to get it done or Tex (Taylor Walker) to get it done,” Pyke said.

“We want all contributors and our forward line today all did their bit.”

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