Adelaide coach Scott Camporeale says this time will be different.
This time, his Crows players won’t be in mourning; this time, they are well-prepared to meet West Coast.
The last time Adelaide played the Eagles was eight days after Crows coach Phil Walsh was allegedly stabbed to death by his son.
Crows players openly wept after copping a 55-point loss to West Coast in their first game since Walsh’s death – a match which was Camporeale’s debut as caretaker coach.
While the Eagles remain a powerhouse and are set for a top-two finish, Camporeale is proud of how his Crows have responded to their unprecedented crisis.
“We are obviously in a bit better shape and we are back playing some decent footy,” Camporeale said.
“It has probably gone full circle really in terms of where we’re at, the position we find ourselves in.
“It’s an opportunity for us to play against a top-four side and really get a good measure of how we’re going.”
The Crows have won five of seven games under Camporeale and will contest the finals if they can claim one more win – either against the Eagles on Sunday or Geelong next weekend.
“We don’t want to just limp over the line, we actually want to make sure we really earn the right to play finals,” he said.
Adelaide’s quest could hinge on one decisive duel on Sunday: reigning Crows club champion Daniel Talia against Eagles forward Josh Kennedy, who is on track to win the Coleman medal for the competition’s leading goalkicker.
“It’s huge,” Camporeale said of the battle.
“Obviously Josh has been outstanding all year. He’s a great forward but he gets really good supply.
“So it will be a team defence approach for us which we as a club have really bought into and we need to do it again this week.
“It wont be just Tals – if we don’t defend through the middle of the ground that will put pressure on our backline and it might be a long day for Tals.”