Finals standard was set against Bulldogs, says Knights
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Adelaide’s required intensity for the AFL finals series was set during their narrow victory over the Western Bulldogs, according to young midfielder Chris Knights.
The Crows rode their luck to sneak over the line against the Bulldogs, most obviously when Jason Akermanis’ goal-line punch was incorrectly ruled a major to Jason Porplyzia.
They were also fortunate that a wet, heavy day restricted scoring so the Bulldogs were unable to convert their decided advantages in contested ball (+18) and possessions (+76) into sustained run and goals.
Knights, though, said that in difficult circumstances the Crows had found the sort of intensity required to excel in September, starting with a home elimination final against Collingwood on Saturday.
“It was tough conditions and I think we were pretty happy with how we performed over the four quarters,” Knights said today when asked if there was anything lacking.
“The Bulldogs are a good team, they needed to respond and they’re going to be looking forward to a big finals campaign as well, but if we can continue the sort of form we had against the Bulldogs this week against Collingwood, we’ll be pretty happy with that.”
Countless Adelaide supporters were left kicking their television sets last night when Essendon’s surrender to St Kilda left the Crows little more than a percentage point short of fourth spot and a double chance.
Many had already booked flights to Melbourne in anticipation of a week one finals match-up against Geelong at the MCG.
Adelaide’s players did not watch the Saints v Bombers match together, and Knights said their mental preparation would have been identical regardless of who or where they were playing.
“We would have liked the result of last night’s game to be a little different, but that’s the way footy goes,” Knights said.
“We were planning at the start of last week to try and obtain a home final and we got it in the end.
“(Supporters) would be a little annoyed because they probably won’t get their flights back, but the credit to that is they get to stay here and get a home final.
“We were prepared to play anyone in a final, if it had’ve been Geelong in Melbourne the mentality still has to stay the same.”
That said, Knights was happy to admit the Crows will be more confident facing a somewhat off-colour Collingwood at home instead of the runaway premiership favourites Geelong in Melbourne.
“I think we’d have to walk (more confident) into the game here playing a home game against Collingwood, purely for the fact it’s a home game and we love playing here,” Knights said.© AAP 2013