Adelaide’s attack is in tip top shape, and Sydney coach John Longmire knows it.
Which is why he’s stressed to his players the importance of keeping Eddie Betts and company at bay when the Swans sit their first real AFL test on the road on Saturday.
The Crows are the competition’s highest-scoring team after three rounds thanks to a cohesive and efficient forward line that ripped apart Richmond and and Port Adelaide in the last two weeks.
The Swans also pose an undeniable threat, with three wins from the first three rounds, an experienced backline and a midfield brimming with in-form players including Luke Parker.
They’ll be needed, Longmire said, against the likes of Betts, skipper Taylor Walker, Josh Jenkins and set-to-return new dad Tom Lynch.
“It’s not just our defenders versus their forwards,” Longmire said.
“It’s an all-over-ground defensive mechanism that we must put in place, because they’re able to transfer the ball between their defensive 50 and their forward 50 really easily and kick goals.
“We know that once it gets into their forward line they have got some real options there.
“They’ve got a good mix of small and tall-type players.
“That makes them really dangerous if they get too much supply.
“So our objective this week particularly is to try and restrict that type of supply.”
Longmire anticipated Nick Smith would pick up Betts, arguably the best small forward in the league who last season scored a career-high haul of 63 goals.
“There’s no doubt he’ll play a fair bit of time on him, Nick Smith’s played on Eddie a fair bit,” he said.
“Whether it’s Nick or Dane Rampe, or others at different times.
“But we know Nick looks forward to those challenges.
“He quite often gets the opposition’s best small forward every week.
“It’s a pretty tough job he has, and I’m sure he’ll be having a tough one this week with Eddie.”