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Tippett torment fuels fire, says Sando

Harry Thring  June 5, 2013 2:02 PM

AFL 2012 2nd Qualifying Final - Adelaide v Sydney

Brenton Sanderson is happy Kurt Tippett isn't playing this week but wishes he was still in a Crows jumper

I'd still like him (Tippett) playing in our team but obviously he's not, that ship's sailed
KURT Tippett won't line up for the Sydney Swans against his old club this weekend, but his departure from West Lakes still adds extra bite to Saturday's clash says Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson.

Tippett abandoned the Crows in acrimonious fashion late last year, when he chose the Swans as his new club over the option of a move home to Queensland.

Doubled with the significant fallout from his infamous third-party deal at the Crows, Tippett spent the summer as Adelaide's public enemy number one.

Sanderson admitted the episode added to this weekend's match, but he insisted there was more to the club's "freshest rivalry", namely last year's 29-point qualifying final loss to the Swans.

"There probably is [extra feeling], to be honest," Sanderson said of Tippett's crossing.

"You come up against teams and there's been a rivalry built up over time and this is probably the freshest rivalry for us.

"Not just because of the Kurt Tippett situation, but because they beat us in a final."

Tippett has one week left on his suspension for his involvement in the salary cap scandal that saw Adelaide banned from the first two rounds of the upcoming NAB AFL Draft.

Although fans and Adelaide's commercial staff would no doubt like Tippett to play this weekend, Sanderson was understandably pleased the 26-year-old would remain sidelined.

"I'm happy that he's not playing because he's such a good player, he can obviously ruck and he's a danger for them up forward," he said.

"I'd still like him playing in our team but obviously he's not, that ship's sailed.

"I'm happy that the AFL suspension is for one more week – it's good, worked out well."

Precariously placed at 5-5 and a game out of the eight as their bye approaches, Saturday is almost do or die for the Crows.

Anything other than consecutive wins over the Swans and Richmond before the break would see last year's preliminary finalists fighting an uphill battle to make the finals.

Consecutive losses would be a disaster.

"We won't build this game up as anything else other than a must-win game for our footy club, regardless of what happened at the end of last season [with Tippett]," Sanderson said.

"It's a home game we have to win…we're five and five and outside of the eight – there's no easy games.

"The game on the weekend could have gone either way against Fremantle, to be honest we just didn't do enough right when it mattered.

"I'd love to go to the break 7-5, s that means we have to beat Sydney and Richmond."

No "razzle, dazzle" was needed to beat the Swans, Sanderson said, just physical, contested football.

He'll also have to contend with a player he said nobody could single handedly stop: Adam Goodes.

The Swans legend has been in super form of late and the coach admitted it would take several of his chargers to minimise his output.

The Crows will also hope injury clouds over midfield pair Scott Thompson (corked thigh) and David Mackay (corked hip) lift by Saturday morning.

The duo will be picked, but given until the last minute to prove their fitness.

Harry Thring is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Harry.