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Pyke says AFL rule changes have backfired

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11th May, 2019
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Adelaide coach Don Pyke says AFL rule changes have resulted in heightened defence, not more scoring.

The AFL rule changes have backfired, says Adelaide coach Don Pyke.

Instead of creating higher scoring and free-flowing beauty, Pyke says the law tweaks have created a defensive, contested beast.

Pyke’s Crows climbed into the top four with a gritty 20-point triumph against arch rivals Port Adelaide on Saturday night – their fourth win on the trot.

But Adelaide have cracked the 100-point barrier in just one game, mirroring a league-wide trend where scoring has become harder.

“There’s always a ripple for every rule change,” he said after Adelaide’s 1310 (88) to 9.14 (68) win over Port.

“Sometimes you can predict it and sometimes you can’t.

“That (lower scoring) is just what the game is throwing up at the moment. I don’t know what the AFL is going to do about it.”

Pyke said his Crows had to cast aside their reputation as an attacking powerhouse to become more miserly defensively – in eight games this season, they’re conceding an average of just 67 points.

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“The game has changed … there’s not many scores over 100 (points),” he said.

“Sides’ defensive actions have become really strong and scoring is difficult, that is the reality of the game we’re playing in.”

Pyke said Adelaide simply had to adapt to the new trend and cast aside their reputation, forged in their losing grand final year of 2017, for attack before defence.

“The other thing is our contested ball numbers were really strong (in 2017) and that was what really to me epitomised us as a team back then,” he said.

“And those numbers are returning to levels we want to get.”

But Pyke said there was no danger of the Crows getting carried away with their four-game winning streak ahead of a trip to Brisbane to meet the Lions next Saturday.

“We have had a good solid month of footy … we have played some good footy and obviously got the results,” he said.

“I don’t get carried away with the ladder. I will worry about the ladder at the end of the year.”

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