Adelaide coach Don Pyke admits the Crows’ AFL issues are wide-ranging after his side copped a midfield annihilation from North Melbourne.
Saturday night’s 9.17 (71) to 8.11 (59) final margin at Marvel Stadium flattered a Crows outfit that was comprehensively beaten around the ball as they slumped to their third loss from four games.
North’s inaccuracy in front of goal was all that kept alive a game defined by the Crows losing the inside-50 count 57-36.
With star midfield recruit Bryce Gibbs stunningly demoted to the SANFL, the Crows were out-hunted at the contests and lacked the nerve to move the ball at speed.
Axed in favour of Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Gibbs gathered 28 disposals in Adelaide’s SANFL win over Woodville-West Torrens. Fellow midfielder Hugh Greenwood – also surprisingly overlooked – had 33 touches, 10 clearances and two goals.
Pyke spoke at length with his players after Saturday night’s loss but conceded there was no easy fix to his side’s problems.
“We’re losing contests … we’re clearly not efficient with the ball, we’re making skill errors,” he said.
“We just had a conversation around what that actually looks like and what’s causing that. We’ve got some things to fix, there’s no question.
“It’s probably (lack of) confidence into (lack of) competency in terms of our execution. That makes it hard because you get no flow and you can’t gain field position.
“Today we got to three-quarter time and we were five points down but we’d had 25 inside-50s. You’re not going to win games of footy with 25 inside-50s.”
Both Gibbs and Greenwood appear certain to come into selection calculations for next Sunday’s home game against Gold Coast, although Pyke declared the Crows’ latest defeat wouldn’t prompt them to make wholesale changes.
“We’ve got to roll up our sleeves and go to work. There’s no easy way out of this,” Pyke said.
“I don’t think (lack of passion) is the issue. There’s a level of effort which is there but at the moment, we’re just making too many fundamental errors.”