Adelaide are bracing to protect game-breaking goalsneak Eddie Betts from another Hawthorn assault in Friday night’s AFL match.
Crows coach Don Pyke says he’ll chat about Hawthorn’s recent tactics against Betts – ruffling him up physically – with the in-form forward.
“We will probably discuss it with him,” Pyke told reporters on Wednesday.
“It’s not a primary focus. We think he’s in really good form. He’s in a good positive frame of mind.
“He’ll be aware of that (tactic). But hopefully it’s not going to be a dictating factor on the game.”
Betts enters the MCG fixture in fine form with 14 goals this season, helping the free-scoring Crows to a three-one win-loss record.
Pyke said Adelaide’s attacking mantra won’t change despite the magnitude of the challenge of playing the reigning premier on home turf.
“We will go over there with a clear direction of how we want to play,” he said.
“We will adapt and we’ll be flexible to how Hawthorn play and we’ll recognise where they are strong. And we’ll bring our game.
” … We want to play a well-rounded game and we want to play positive footy and we have been able to do that.”
While many consider Friday night a test of Adelaide’s credentials, the first-year coach downplayed the significance of the duel against the Hawks.
Asked if Adelaide could make a statement to the competition, Pyke replied: “No. For us it’s a game.
“We have recovered, we prepare, we’ll get ready to play, and play, and measure our performance after that.”
The Crows lose first-year midfielder Wayne Milera to a thigh injury with Charlie Cameron or Riley Knight the favoured replacement.