Adelaide have pledged to protect prime mover Scott Thompson and give Fremantle’s master tagger Ryan Crowley a torrid time in Friday night’s AFL semi-final.
Crowley twice kept Thompson to below 20 disposals this year – the only games Adelaide’s Brownlow Medal fancy had less than 20 possessions in his stand-out season.
Thompson’s midfield partner Rory Sloane says the Crows plan to target Crowley in the sudden death semi-final at AAMI Stadium.
“He is probably the best tagger going around the league at the moment,” Sloane told reporters on Tuesday.
“Scotty Thompson has had a couple of fierce battles with him, I reckon it might happen again.
“But we will have a real team focus to help him out, as we always do with whoever cops a tag.
“When you have got guys right on you, you just need blocks, you need your teammates to help you out and just take over a bit of slack.”
The Crows beat Fremantle in their two meetings this season, with Adelaide breaking the 100-point barrier in both games.
“We have got the belief there that it can be done,” Sloane said.
“It’s going to be very tough because they do play great finals footy, they do get numbers back but are able to transition the ball very quickly forward.
“Obviously it’s a big of confidence in that the style of game we play stands up against them.”
The Crows also wanted to prove they were worthy of their second spot on the minor round ladder after a club-worst 14th finish last year.
“We have excelled from where we were last year, we wouldn’t have been thought of to end up top two or top four at the end of last year,” Sloane said.
“But still, we’re here now, we deserve to be here and we have got to prove that this weekend.”