Should we believe in the Adelaide Crows in 2018?

Justin Ahrns Roar Pro

By Justin Ahrns, Justin Ahrns is a Roar Pro

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    The Adelaide Crows’ 2018 season came to a close in a similar, all-too-familiar manner to that of years gone past; a promising home-and-away season led to a disappointing, abrupt end to the year in the finals, and controversy followed as highly-regarded players fled for other clubs.

    The Crows, though, were as good as any team for the majority of last season. They fell at the final hurdle. Richmond dominated the finals series, and have proven it to be no fluke, starting the 2018 season 6-1.

    However, Adelaide made terrific strides in their midfield, which was previously questioned, and solidified their defence, while their forward line remained as good as any.

    Yet, they are without many key components of the 2017 team, and at times have looked vulnerable against quality teams such as Collingwood. Brodie Smith, who is recovering from a torn ACL, could potentially return with 2-3 rounds remaining in the season, and be ready for a finals tilt.

    Brad Crouch continues to rehab from groin soreness, which has yet again interrupted his season before it ever got going. Rory Sloane appears to have overcome a nagging foot injury, while the club is confident that they have got to the bottom of the hamstring crisis that saw several players miss weeks with hamstring injuries.

    We know of the controversial exit of intercept defender Jake Lever, but perhaps the biggest loss for the Crows is that of Charlie Cameron. The live-wire forward has excelled in Brisbane, playing mostly up forward.

    The Crows pressure was terrific last season in large part due to the prolific speed of Cameron, and their ability to retain the ball inside their forward line served them well. But, seven weeks into the new season and that strength has turned into a glaring weakness.

    It is common knowledge that the Crows have a tall forward line, but questions have arisen as to whether they are too tall. In their Round 4 loss to Collingwood, they played five tall forwards, and lacked any real forward pressure. The recent addition of young Jordan Galluci into the forward line has inserted some pace, but in the heat of the finals, they may still be lacking in that area, especially if they have players carrying injuries, as they have in the past two seasons.

    In the grand final loss, the Crows midfield was hammered, and although their forward line was rightly criticised, the game was won in the midfield. The addition of Bryce Gibbs, as well as the health of the physical Cam Ellis-Yolmen, could rectify this to an extent.

    Matt Crouch

    (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

    The biggest concern could be the defence. Third year defender Tom Doedee has mostly filled the void left by Jake Lever, while the Crows have used a combination of Paul Seedsman, David Mackay and Wayne Milera more recently to cover the loss of Brodie Smith. But the return of Smith is huge; he provides a good marking presence for his size, great speed and the best user by foot in the team.

    The backline, which has plenty of taller and slower players such as Daniel Talia, Jake Kelly and Kyle Hartigan, looked vulnerable against the Tigers, and a smaller forward line could again cause them trouble.

    That said, most defences have struggled to contend with Richmond’s mosquito fleet, and the Crows don’t really have any alternatives, aside from potentially throwing Mitch McGovern behind the ball as an extra to control the air, which Adelaide has experimented with this year.

    Overall, Adelaide need to control the game in the centre, and allow their high marking forward to dominate. They have been less effective at catching teams on the slingshot this season, and the majority of their goals have come in a more conventional manner.

    But this team is building; they are slowly getting healthy, and they are right up there with the likes of Geelong, GWS and Sydney in premiership contention. Richmond, though, are at another level, and beating them at the MCG could prove one hurdle too far.

    The State of Origin teams for Game 1 of the 2018 series have both been revealed! Check out our expert reaction and analysis to the NSW Blues squad and the Queensland Maroons line-up.

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    The Crowd Says (81)

    • Roar Pro

      May 8th 2018 @ 3:24am
      anon said | May 8th 2018 @ 3:24am | ! Report

      They had a couple of unexpected losses, but the Swans win away was unexpected (especially given the Crows injury list) and they beat the premiers comprehensively by 6 goals.

      They’ve been lucky in the sense that their injury crisis has coincided with the easiest part of their draw.

      If they get their big names back in the next few weeks they’ll still be on track to get 15 or more wins.

      Richmond is almost a lock for the minor premiership.

      If the Crows did finish second after the home and away, and if they did make the Grand Final, no matter how good their form they would still have the insurmountable task of beating Richmond on their home ground Grand Final day.

      What’s it now, 16 of their last 18 Richmond have won at the MCG?

      No shame in losing to Richmond on their home ground — just like no shame in Richmond getting beaten by 6 goals on Adelaide’s home ground.

      But the critics will make an issue of it. The Crows will be chokers, can’t get it done when it matters most, Tex Walker’s captaincy will questioned.

      The fact is it’s very hard to beat an MCG tenant on Grand Final day if you’re an interstate team. AFL needs to do something to level the playing field. Maybe automatic home preliminary finals for interstate teams if they are previously forced to play a Grand Final at the MCG despite being seeded higher.

      Food for thought.

      • Roar Guru

        May 8th 2018 @ 9:38am
        JamesH said | May 8th 2018 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        The Crows’ biggest obstacle is the fact that they only play two games at the MCG – round 13 vs Hawthorn and Round 16 vs Richmond. That is the litmus test – if they can be competitive in both of those games then we can call them a real chance at the flag.

        If I was part of the Crows’ brains trust I’d be begging the AFL for more MCG games in 2019. The ‘G has seven home (or shared-home) tenants in Hawthorn, Richmond, Collingwood, Melbourne, Geelong, Essendon and Carlton. They probably wouldn’t get away games there against the Cats or the Blues but the AFL should be able to work out at least three MCG games from that list of opponents, if not four.

      • Roar Guru

        May 8th 2018 @ 11:06am
        Paul D said | May 8th 2018 @ 11:06am | ! Report

        It certainly is food for thought – just like McDonalds, the same menu for years and years

        Anyways in answer to the original question – no.

      • May 8th 2018 @ 12:24pm
        Danny said | May 8th 2018 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

        What people often forget is that Richmond’s premiership was to a large extent set up by the inequity in the qualifying final against Geelong. Their away game was played on their home ground with perhaps 70% home crowd support. The snowball then gathered speed as they had two more home games against interstate teams. They were certainly a worthy premier and my team Adelaide were poor on the big day, but that first final set the tone and gave a winning edge.

        I would like to hear how many people think Richmond would have won the same game at the cattery?

        • May 8th 2018 @ 1:24pm
          Neil from Warrandyte said | May 8th 2018 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

          Totally irrelevant argument that it should have been played in Geelong. Only happened once in the history of the AFL/VFL. The AFL doctrine states that the higher ranked team plays in its HOME state, not ground. That’s why Bulldogs, St.Kilda, North Melbourne have all played finals at the MCG, as well as other teams (like Geelong)- Essendon and Carlton who play a share of home games at the G.

          • May 8th 2018 @ 1:31pm
            Danny said | May 8th 2018 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

            you have stated the rule correctly but that doesn’t make it fair
            how is it irrelevant when the higher ranked team had a disadvantage instead of advantage?

          • Roar Guru

            May 8th 2018 @ 1:33pm
            Cat said | May 8th 2018 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

            It is the rule, but the rule is WRONG! The AFL has no intention of moving GWS finals to the SCG. The AFL will also not move the Suns final (if they ever host any) to the Gabba. Both stadium are in the same states respectively and hold bigger crowds.

            Geelong gets screwed during the season (why should Geelong play Richmond ‘home’ at Richmond’s home? And during the finals.

            • May 8th 2018 @ 1:46pm
              Neil from Warrandyte said | May 8th 2018 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

              If GWS has a membership of over 90,000, do you think they’d still be playing finals at Spotless?

              • May 8th 2018 @ 1:52pm
                Danny said | May 8th 2018 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

                perhaps not Neil, but that doesn’t make it fair
                do you think the rule is fair?
                I don’t think Geelong has 90000 members…more like 50000 so most could get a seat at KP. Richmond do but they were the lower ranked side. I would personally place the team advantage ahead of accommodating supporters of the lower ranked side.

              • Roar Guru

                May 8th 2018 @ 1:59pm
                Cat said | May 8th 2018 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

                How many memberships is a dumb metric to use. First off members counts are next to worthless with all the non access and 3 game ones. Second, why should it matter how many members the away team has? The away team didn’t earn the right to have seats. The home team did.

              • May 8th 2018 @ 2:06pm
                Neil from Warrandyte said | May 8th 2018 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

                You said the AFL has no intention of moving a GWS final to the SCG. I simply put it to you that they would if GWS had a much bigger supporter base.
                Also why do you support the grand final being played at the MCG if it’s not about supporter access?

              • Roar Guru

                May 9th 2018 @ 1:35pm
                Cat said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

                The GF is allocated equally to each supporter base. Other finals are not.

              • May 9th 2018 @ 1:45pm
                RichieTiger said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

                Cat, pretty sure you are wrong on allocation of finals tickets (ignoring anything like MCC reserve).
                Finals tickets are sold to members of competing clubs at the same time. Perhaps more get set aside for the home state but I think that would only be as limited numbers will travel.

              • Roar Guru

                May 9th 2018 @ 1:57pm
                Cat said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

                Finals (not GF) is first come first serve. Sure members get first crack – they did for H&A seats too – but if Richmond fans manage to get through the crappy tickmaster process before Geelong fans do then they get the tickets. There is no cap on how many tickets a supporter base can get (other than ground capacity).

                The Grand Final is allocated. Doesn’t matter who rings up first each clubs supporters has access to the same limited number of tickets.

              • May 9th 2018 @ 5:19pm
                Neil from Warrandyte said | May 9th 2018 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

                So what you’re saying Cat is that tigers fans are more adept at navigating the Ticketek website then cats fans- wow that’s remarkable.

        • Roar Pro

          May 8th 2018 @ 3:52pm
          anon said | May 8th 2018 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

          Very true.

          Richmond have won 16 of 18 at the MCG.

          They’ve won 3 of their last 9 away from the MCG.

          Richmond fans and VFL sycophants will try to tell you the MCG doesn’t provide an advantage to MCG based teams.

          Richmond were gifted home field advantage and their opponents were punished with a away field disadvantage in 2/3 finals last year including the most important game of the year.

          • May 8th 2018 @ 11:12pm
            RichieTiger said | May 8th 2018 @ 11:12pm | ! Report

            Yes the MCG does provide an advantage, but it is not why Richmond won the Premiership. The advantage is less significant on average than Adelaide’s advantage when they play at home, or Geelong playing in Geelong. I think it is likely that this is the only reason those teams finished above Richmond last year in the H&A season, but that is debatable of course.
            WA got it right when they built their new ground to be the same size as the MCG, perhaps SA should have fixed up the narrow Adelaide Oval with the redevelopment.

          • May 9th 2018 @ 5:57am
            Kurt said | May 9th 2018 @ 5:57am | ! Report

            The funny thing about this Richmond at the MCG super power is for some reason it didn’t work for about 35 years. Kind of like if Tony Stark wandered around like a normal guy for decades before finally finding the on switch for his suit.

        • May 8th 2018 @ 6:13pm
          Alchemist said | May 8th 2018 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

          It’s just coincidental that cats fans have only jumped on this home geelong final in recent years. Not a peep was heard between 07 and 11. The AFL even gave you a home final in geelong and you lost that.

          The AFL should relent and let you play every home game at Kardinya Park, including finals, then all we’d hear is the cats don’t get enough games at the MCG to prepare for the GF.

          • May 9th 2018 @ 6:00am
            Kurt said | May 9th 2018 @ 6:00am | ! Report

            “…then all we’d hear is the cats don’t get enough games at the MCG to prepare for the GF.”

            Some of the truest words ever spoken on this site, well put. Geelong have an absolutely brilliant deal, well done to them for putting it in place. But to complain about it beggars belief.

            • Roar Guru

              May 9th 2018 @ 1:43pm
              Cat said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

              Rubbish. Take away the two MCG ‘home games’ and Geelong would still be playing 5 games at the ‘G this year. Plenty. Besides, this whole ‘need experience’ thing is hugely blown out of proportion. Do you think guys like Selwood, Hawkins, Taylor, Ablett and the other experienced players still need to learn how to play there? How many games does it take for a player to learn how to play a ground? Is that knowledge reset every offseason and start from a zero base?

          • Roar Guru

            May 9th 2018 @ 1:40pm
            Cat said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

            Wow, 0-1 in finals in Geelong in 150+ years. A sample size too small to say anything.

            Cats play seven games at the MCG this year. Two are ‘home games’. I don’t see where this ‘not enough experience’ is going to happen even if the Cats got to rightfully play 11 home games in Geelong.

            How about this compromise – If the AFL require the Cats to play home games in Melbourne the AFL compensate Geelong for the millions of dollars of lost revenue. Other teams all get paid to move agree to move home games, why not Geelong?

            • May 9th 2018 @ 1:51pm
              RichieTiger said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

              Cat, so you think the ‘need experience’ thing is overrated and think Geelong should get compensated for playing home games at the MCG.
              So it sounds to me that your only motive here is how much money Geelong make out of home games. So lets go back to having suburban grounds with small capacities where they can jack up the ticket prices and still sell out. Then everyone makes more money but of course it turns in to a TV sport because the majority can’t afford to go or just can’t get in.
              I would rather bigger stadiums where more people can go.
              BTW Geelong will make plenty of money playing Richmond at the MCG. It is Etihad where they lost money.

              • Roar Guru

                May 9th 2018 @ 2:07pm
                Cat said | May 9th 2018 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

                You are wrong again. If the game vs Richmond is ~85k Geelong will net approximately $500,000. Any game in Geelong with ~30k nets approx $850k.

                Any way you cut it it’s a loss. If like a few years ago where the weather was bad and so were the Tigers and the crowd dips below 50k then the Cats actually get $0 from the game, which is a net loss of $850k per game.

                For Geelong only crowds 50k or larger sees them get money from the game. No crowd size will ever net as much as a game in Geelong.

                And no it isn’t ‘only’ about money. I have contended for years that the largest contributor to ‘home ground advantage’ is crowd noise. A game is Geelong is always going to be 90% in favor of Geelong. A game at the MCG against Richmond is more like 30-35% in favor of Geelong which is not advantageous at all.

            • May 9th 2018 @ 2:27pm
              RichieTiger said | May 9th 2018 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

              Wrong again? I am not sure where I was wrong the first time.
              Your are playing with words if you say a 500k profit is a loss. Sure it is not as big and it is significant as 850k, but if you claim Geelong make a loss at the MCG it sounds like something else.

              • Roar Guru

                May 9th 2018 @ 3:25pm
                Cat said | May 9th 2018 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

                It is a loss when you compare it to where it should be played. It isn’t MCG or nothing. If the game is AT KP the Cats make ~$850k by moving the game to the MCG the Cats make only $500k maximum. That is a loss of $350k. If the crows i below 50k Geelong loss money. They write a check to the MCG.

                This from 2011 show the differences:

                ”Home” clubs at the MCG, Richmond and Melbourne, get only 41 per cent of match revenue. At Etihad it falls to 36 per cent for the likes of St Kilda, North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Western Bulldogs.

                Geelong, by contrast, trousers 90 per cent of the gate at its home ground and, at what used to be known as Subiaco Oval but is now Perth-based stockbroker Patersons’ stadium, West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers pocket 77 per cent of the takings. In Adelaide’s AAMI Stadium, local clubs get 51 per cent of the takings.

                41% vs. 90% and that was written back when KP held 20k. It holds 36k now.

                From 2013:

                GEELONG is inviting the Western Bulldogs to play home games at Simonds Stadium next year with the lure of a $750,000 cheque for crowds of just over 20,000.

                “We are very willing for that to happen. They would make very good money. Our capacity crowd was 22,000 last year and we made about $750,000 profit per game.” said Brian Cook.

        • May 8th 2018 @ 10:49pm
          RichieTiger said | May 8th 2018 @ 10:49pm | ! Report

          No, Richmond’s Premiership was set up by finishing top 4 and being the form side going in to the finals. They smashed everyone in their last few games and smashed everyone in the finals. They way they played they would have beaten Geelong in Geelong or Adelaide in Adelaide for that matter. Bulldogs proved the year before that you can win away from home if you are the best.
          Adelaide went in to the finals having lost their last 2 H&A games. Either they were not in their best form for the year or they took it easy as they didn’t need to win. Either way, it was not ideal.
          It is pretty tiring to read the constant rubbish from Adelaide supporters about the flag being somehow tainted and now Geelong supporters have joined the bandwagon because they think they might have won in Geelong.
          As for Richmond having 70% crowd support against Geelong, it is hardly their fault. It is not like Geelong supporters couldn’t have bought a ticket and travelled down the road.

          • May 9th 2018 @ 12:53pm
            Rex said | May 9th 2018 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

            what complete rubbish richie – by your logic the tigers, with the form they are in currently would have won every game so far this year – but they havent becuase just once they had to travel away from the security blanket of Melb – and they got belted by 6 goals.
            Adelaide would have completely smashed richmond in the GF last year if played at AO – exactly where it should have been played considering the Crows finishing position after H&A.

            Another arm chair ride for richmond again this season – travel out of Melb just 4 times for the season – what an absolute joke from the VFL!

            • May 9th 2018 @ 1:30pm
              RichieTiger said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

              No my logic doesn’t say that.
              You mention the form they are in right now. Well that form doesn’t translate back in time to the start of the year. They did not play that well in round 1 so losing the next week to Adelaide was hardly a surprise. Regardless no team wins every week.
              Adelaide (and their coach) fell to pieces in the GF last year and Richmond were relentless. That is what counted, not the ground. If they played like that at AO then it would not have been any different. I suspect the club has realised this and will be better prepared next time. It is time the supporters realised it as well.

      • May 8th 2018 @ 2:01pm
        me too said | May 8th 2018 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

        No team should have the G as their home ground. Can you imagine the outcry if the English premiership was decided by finals all played at Wembley and the big four London teams all had Wembley as their home ground. Wouldn’t happen and there’s a lot more money riding on that comp.

        The Melbourne clubs should all have Etihad as their designated home, and be allocated the same amount of games at the G as each other. Non Melbourne clubs should be allocated half of all their games in Melbourne at the G.
        We can still keep a few blockbuster games at the G within this system. It’s time the AFL worked on the equity of the compeition instead of deliberating maintaining inequity for the short term cash reward.

        • Roar Guru

          May 8th 2018 @ 2:08pm
          Cat said | May 8th 2018 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

          If non-Melbourne teams want more games at the MCG they can sell some of their home games there. Away teams shouldn’t get to dictate where they play.

          • May 8th 2018 @ 5:36pm
            Neil from Warrandyte said | May 8th 2018 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

            Geelong have been happily selling their home games to play at the MCG for as long as I can remember yet complain when they have to play finals there. Yeah that makes perfect sense.

            • Roar Guru

              May 9th 2018 @ 10:11am
              Cat said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:11am | ! Report

              Incorrect. Geelong does not sell home games to the MCG or Etihad. Geelong is forced by the AFL to play home games outside Geelong. Geelong would love to have 11 home games in Geelong. Every game played ‘home’ in Melbourne is a financial loss.

              Hawthorn and NM sell home games to Tassie and get paid handsomely to do it.
              The Bulldogs sell games to Ballarat and are making bank doing it.
              Melbourne has sold games to Cairns and made money doing it.

              Not Geelong. They don’t sell. They LOSE and not by choice.

        • May 8th 2018 @ 11:27pm
          RichieTiger said | May 8th 2018 @ 11:27pm | ! Report

          me too, Tottenham Hotspur does play at Wembley (or are they not big 4?) but why would there be an outcry? Others should play there too and then more people could actually go watch a match.
          Though on this forum a lot of people seem to think Geelong should host Richmond in a final in front of 32000 people LOL

          • Roar Rookie

            May 9th 2018 @ 10:00am
            Pedro The Fisherman said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:00am | ! Report

            Tottenham is currently playing at Wembley UNTIL their new stadium is completed. They will then NOT play at Wembley (and no – Tottenham is not Big 4).

          • Roar Guru

            May 9th 2018 @ 10:09am
            Cat said | May 9th 2018 @ 10:09am | ! Report

            Tell me why the AWAY team should have any rights to seats for their members? You want seats for your members EARN the right to host the game. Is there any other major professional sporting competition that moves games just to increase the average crowd size metric? I do not know of any.

      • May 9th 2018 @ 12:33am
        Kurt said | May 9th 2018 @ 12:33am | ! Report

        Adelaide have played in 3 grand finals against 3 different Melbourne based teams and won 2 of them. More food for thought.

    • May 8th 2018 @ 6:11am
      Jon Kau said | May 8th 2018 @ 6:11am | ! Report

      I believed in them last year, but this year I struggle to see them return to the GF. The players lost can be covered (Lever, imo, is overhyped) and plenty of young players showing improvements.

      But they lack something…something I cannot put my finger on as to why they will not succeed. Consistency is part of it, but I feel there’s something else.

      • May 8th 2018 @ 6:57am
        Basil 1 of 2 said | May 8th 2018 @ 6:57am | ! Report

        They lack continuity. Every week another player drops out with injury. Once/If they can get them back they will get there flow. We have to keep in mind, that with constant disruptions they still sit 3rd, and beat last years premiers. Although it could be said that Richmond were a little disoriented as they were not familiar with playing at a ground that wasn’t the MCG.

        • May 8th 2018 @ 12:27pm
          Danny said | May 8th 2018 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

          I actually see this as possible advantage compared to last year when they used less players than any other team. Doing get me wrong injuries aren’t great but its so important to add experience and depth with second tier players which they are now doing. Collingwood has also shown that injuries van give untold players the opportunity which they may grab and perform above expectations.

          As a Crows supporter I fee they have the skill and players but still question whether they have that mental edge and inner belief that is required too win the big one.

      • May 8th 2018 @ 9:05am
        Rex said | May 8th 2018 @ 9:05am | ! Report

        Yeah – its called Walker, Sloane, B Crouch, B Smith – all the while they have been quietly accumulating points to sit 5-2. Havent played near their best and have knocked off the premiers (only side to do so) and Sydney away.
        Id say they are building just nicely!

        • Roar Guru

          May 8th 2018 @ 2:10pm
          Cat said | May 8th 2018 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

          Only decent side to have had a chance.

    • May 8th 2018 @ 7:10am
      Slane said | May 8th 2018 @ 7:10am | ! Report

      The play a brand of footy that can beat the Tigers. Crows fans should absolutely believe.

    • May 8th 2018 @ 7:48am
      truetigerfan said | May 8th 2018 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      Why believe? Their supporters on this forum obviously don’t. Constantly giving them a Get Out of Jail Free card because the Big Dance is held at the G. If they’re good enough they’ll win, if they’re not they’ll whine.

      • May 8th 2018 @ 1:14pm
        Mattyb said | May 8th 2018 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

        I think many of their fans make good points TTF,you just don’t agree and obviously struggle with this concept and therefore consider alternate points of view to your own ‘whining’.
        I think the season is going along nicely and the possibility of Adelaide winning a backs to the wall premiership,or Richmond managing to finish higher on the ladder and winning a legitimate premiership,are at this stage both possibilities.

        • Roar Guru

          May 8th 2018 @ 2:24pm
          Peter the Scribe said | May 8th 2018 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

          Will be interesting to see how the Tigers go Mattyb if they happen to get an away final against the Crows or Eagles?

      • Roar Rookie

        May 8th 2018 @ 2:05pm
        Mattician6x6 said | May 8th 2018 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

        TTF they continue to miss fact Adelaide should of held a good lead heading into time on is second, they kicked poorly and eroded their own confidence, Richmond capitalized.
        Same as Sydney fans don’t highlight Franklin rolling his ankle badly as the reason they dropped the gf to the bullies
        These are more telling than the ground its played at.
        Do I blame the MCG in 2015? No we played a hawks team that new it was possibly the last big chance they had.

      • May 8th 2018 @ 5:36pm
        Tim said | May 8th 2018 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

        The only problem is that Richmond won’t make the grand final.

    • May 8th 2018 @ 8:06am
      Tim said | May 8th 2018 @ 8:06am | ! Report

      Looked at Richmond’s draw and my jaw dropped. You would think they had come 12th last year. Heavily advantaged for a gf winner.

      • May 8th 2018 @ 8:30am
        Neil from Warrandyte said | May 8th 2018 @ 8:30am | ! Report

        WTF- they play 2 of last year’s top 4 twice and another that finished top 8 twice, along with an improved Collingwood. Champion data rated their draw as 2nd hardest before the start of the season.
        Perhaps Richmond’s dominance makes their draw look easy?

        • Roar Guru

          May 8th 2018 @ 2:16pm
          Cat said | May 8th 2018 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

          Preseason rankings of fixtures are worthless. They have no way of taking into account all the changes teams make in the off-season. Some bad teams get better, some good teams drop. Go back and look at the preseason and after the season fixture rankings for last year and you’ll see how much these ‘predictions’ go askew.

          These fixture difficulty projections also fail to take into account when a team plays another. For instance last year a team playing Sydney in the first 6 rounds would have been a lot better off than one playing them later in the year after they got their crap together. Yet both games would have been rated the same difficulty.

          • May 9th 2018 @ 8:45am
            Jack T said | May 9th 2018 @ 8:45am | ! Report

            So richmonds draw is irrelevant then?

            • Roar Guru

              May 9th 2018 @ 8:59am
              Cat said | May 9th 2018 @ 8:59am | ! Report

              Did you read what I wrote? You certainly didn’t comprehend it if you did. Fixtures matter but preseason rankings of fixtures? No, they are flawed and always change. What looked easy before the season began isn’t always easy now (and vice versa).

        • May 9th 2018 @ 1:03pm
          Rex said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

          for all of richmonds “dominance” the moment they have to play outside of Melbourne they lose!
          Must be wonderful getting an armchair ride from the VFL like richmond!

      • Roar Guru

        May 8th 2018 @ 8:30am
        Wayne said | May 8th 2018 @ 8:30am | ! Report

        Round 12 – 17 isn’t exactly easy for them.

        And a soft finish to season may see them slightly underdone heading into finals; rather than being battle hardened.

        • May 8th 2018 @ 12:31pm
          Danny said | May 8th 2018 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

          their draw isn’t soft when looked at over 22 rounds
          its the start to the season which is soft…the number of lower ranked teams and MCG games
          surely getting off to an easy start is better than having lots of away games against higher ranked opponents
          in the first third of the season

      • May 8th 2018 @ 8:40am
        Jack T said | May 8th 2018 @ 8:40am | ! Report

        Play Adelaide (2017 runners up) twice, geelong twice (2017 3rd), Collingwood twice (probably this years most improved), Essendon twice (2017 finalist), and stkilda twice (who stink, but weren’t supposed to) – Champion data ranks it as the second hardest draw. We still have to play all the other teams in the comp at least once, and at the moment a lot of them are too easy for us. Should we just have to play 4 week blocks alternating between Adelaide, Sydney, geelong and gws? Maybe throw west coast in and not play the other team because its unfair?

        • May 8th 2018 @ 12:42pm
          Pope Paul VII said | May 8th 2018 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

          How nice is Ess and St K twice looking now? Champion Data’s inability to gauge chaos is always entertaining.

          • May 9th 2018 @ 8:48am
            Jack T said | May 9th 2018 @ 8:48am | ! Report

            Pretty handy points haha

        • May 9th 2018 @ 1:07pm
          Rex said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

          I have an idea – how about travelling outside of Melb more than four times for the season?! Even against the likes of Port, Dockers, west coast – richmond wouldnt beat any of them in SA & WA respectively!

          • Roar Guru

            May 9th 2018 @ 1:19pm
            Cat said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

            Until and unless teams relocate out of Melbourne, it is what it is. There is no feasible way to make a side side travel more. Melbourne sides still get 11 homes games. They still have to play the other 8 Melbourne sides.
            The only thing that could and should change is no team should be immune to having to travel to Tassie to play Hawthorn or North Melbourne. This won’t significantly change anything though. Sixteen teams having to play away in Tassie on rotation might mean one additional game every second or third year outside Melbourne for Melbourne teams.

    • May 8th 2018 @ 9:06am
      AD said | May 8th 2018 @ 9:06am | ! Report

      Hard to get a read on where they sit compared to last year at this point. 5-2 is a decent record, but only 2 of those wins have been against genuine contenders (Richmond and Sydney, and even beating Sydney in Sydney doesn’t look all that impressive considering they’ve also lost to Port and North there), while the wins have been in games that they’d be expected to win comfortably (St Kilda, Gold Coast, Carlton).

      The loss to Collingwood was disastrous in pretty much every aspect, but there were a few like that last year as well (North and Melbourne, in particular) that ended up not making any difference in the end as they still finished top. The major issue is that they’re prone to those occasional games when they just don’t turn up to play, and get a result like the Collingwood game. They just can’t afford to serve that up in a final like they did on grand final day last year.

      If they can get the important players fit again (B Crouch, Hartigan, Walker, Sloane, possibly even get Smith back) and keep them fit then their best is as good as anybody in the comp. Fortunately, the injuries so far have mostly been to players where there is sufficient backup to cover for them. But there is a lack of depth in a couple of positions. E.g. if Jacobs or Talia miss any kind of significant time with injury then it may well derail the entire season.

      • May 8th 2018 @ 9:28am
        GJ said | May 8th 2018 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        Hartigan is currently being covered by Andy Otten, who most don’t believe is best 22 with a fit list. Alex Keath is expected back from an ankle in 1-2 weeks along with Hartigan who has been out with a hamstring.

        Jacobs going down would be damaging. You’d expect his back up Riley O’Brien will miss this week due to concussion from his last game in the SANFL.

        I find it hard to get a handle on and directly compare the Collingwood game this year and the North game last year. The circumstances of the losses are entirely different.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 8th 2018 @ 12:28pm
          Darrin Lia said | May 8th 2018 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

          No SANFL games this weekend anyway due to interstate game against WAFL, so that gives O’Brien the week break he needs to recover.

      • May 9th 2018 @ 1:16pm
        Rex said | May 9th 2018 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

        how do you think richmond would go if Riewoldt and Rance went down for any significant amount of time?? Any and every club has some players they would struggle to cover without impacting performance!
        The Crows have cover in ruck and CHB, just not with players you would know because you dont follow them or their SANFL side. (O’Brien in ruck, Keath, Hartigan at CHB)
        The cries from the East when Leaver left were that he was irreplaceable however T Doedee has come in and replaced him absolutely seamlessly – in fact the stats would suggest TD is the better player.
        If the Crows can continue to bank points and get quality players back, fit and firing toward Sept then they are as good a chance as any to have a big crack come finals.
        Need to get there first!

        • May 9th 2018 @ 3:00pm
          AD said | May 9th 2018 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

          “The Crows have cover in ruck and CHB, just not with players you would know because you dont follow them or their SANFL side”

          Yeah, I’ve been a Crows season ticket holder since round 1, 1991 (and was at the first ever game – the trial against Essendon – prior to that), so I’ve seen a bit of them.

          Thanks for playing, though – you can have the Roar home board game as a consolation prize.

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