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Lethal's last word: Crowley plus Lyon spells danger for Crows

Leigh Matthews and Jack Haley  May 31, 2013 11:15 AM

AFL 2013 Rd 05 - Fremantle v Richmond

Ryan Crowley will make Patrick Dangerfield's life difficult on Saturday afternoon, Leigh Matthews says

Adelaide v Fremantle

The key indicator
Fremantle's defensive pressure

The Dockers 'backline and defensive whole-ground pressure has been huge, with Melbourne the latest victim last weekend. The Dockers force their opponents into an average of 50.9 clangers per game, which is first in the league. They are also third in the league in tackles per game and keep their opponents to 69.6 per cent effective disposal efficiency (fifth lowest in the league). If they can continue to produce this kind of pressure the Crows will struggle to kick a winning score, especially with their forward-line finding its feet after the loss of Taylor Walker.

Leigh says: "Often we look for a key player, but at the moment I think the key thing in this game is the coach. What Ross Lyon is able to get his team doing in regards to defensive pressure is just brilliant. Even with a lot of good players unavailable they’ve still been producing at a really high level. They force their opposition into a whole lot of clangers, they tackle really well and they keep their opponents to a pretty low effectiveness with their disposals. It’s fantastic, and you kind of have to give the coach credit for that I think. It’s not about individuals; it’s a whole team pressure that they’re generating. They’ve had just as many good players missing as anyone but they continue to bring the pressure anyway."

The key match-ups
Patrick Dangerfield v Ryan Crowley
Dangerfield has become one of the elite players in the competition, and somebody who can turn a match on his own. He is averaging 23.8 disposals, 5.2 clearances and 1.4 goals this season. With the Crows in need of forward help, they’ll be hoping he can not only win disposal in the centre but also have an impact on the scoreboard. The Dockers will likely identify him as the opposition’s most important player and that means he’ll receive the attention of tagger Ryan Crowley.

Leigh says: "Adelaide rely more on getting good performances out of their star players than Fremantle, and if Patrick Dangerfield is getting a lot of the ball out in space for them then he's outstanding.
I think that Ryan Crowley does such a good job that he's going to make life really difficult for Dangerfield, who is such a key driver for the Crows around the middle of the ground. It’d take a big effort from Dangerfield to have a really blistering game with Crowley on his tail."

The last word

Fremantle to win

Leigh says: "I don't like tipping against the Crows at home, but I just think the way that the Fremantle team operates is outstanding"

Round 10 tips
Brisbane Lions vs. COLLINGWOOD
CARLTON vs. Greater Western Sydney
Adelaide vs. FREMANTLE
SYDNEY SWANS vs. Essendon
GEELONG vs. Gold Coast
Western Bulldogs vs. PORT ADELAIDE
Melbourne vs. HAWTHORN
WEST COAST vs. Richmond

*Winner in capitals