Adelaide coach Phil Walsh has lamented his side’s inability to stop Greater Western Sydney’s intense speed and pressure.
The Crows suffered their first ever loss to the Giants on Saturday, going down by 24 points at Spotless Stadium.
The home side took advantage of a blinding start in which they notched five goals in the first 14 minutes for a 34-point lead and logged 12 inside 50s to zero.
A frustrated Walsh spoke after the game of how his team had invested time during the week making small changes in order to get off to a fast start, only for their opposition to do exactly that.
“I wanted to win the ground ball, win the tackle early on,” he said.
“Although our ground ball was OK, we just couldn’t get at them to tackle them.”
The Crows finished the match with 41 tackles, lagging far behind the Giants’ tackle count of 68.
“Their speed and surge, we couldn’t slow it down,” Walsh said.
“I thought we hesitated when we should have pressed and once you do that you just get leapfrogged and they were able to get us out the back.”
Walsh said the Giants’ forward pressure from a staunch midfield led by Tom Scully and Dylan Shiel forced the Crows to panic and handball when they should have been kicking, which tormented the players.
“If we had a speed running race, GWS would beat us,” he said.
“But that doesn’t count for anything because it’s the speed the ball moves.
“So what we had to do was kick the ball. But due to their pressure or our unwillingness to do that, we played into their hands.
“I’m asking them to go for kicks, (but) they’re not coming off.
“Guess what I’m saying, `Suck it up guys’. If we want to be the team that we all want us to be we’ve all got to hit those targets.
“I’m not going to shy away from it. It’s easier just to bail out and kick long down the line, but I don’t think that’s going to get you goals in that competition.”
Despite the loss, Walsh credited his squad for clawing back from a 46-point deficit at three-quarter time to decrease the margin to 24 points.