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Crows look to copy Ryder with rucks

Harry Thring  July 5, 2013 1:10 PM

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Crow Josh Jenkins would play solely as a forward in an ideal world, assistant coach Mark Bickley says

ADELAIDE will look to attack West Coast's ruck combination of Nic Naitanui and Dean Cox on Saturday, just as Essendon's Patrick Ryder did in his club's win last weekend.
 
Ryder was instrumental in the victory, using his athleticism to jump into and over the Eagles' duo.
 
Adelaide assistant coach Mark Bickley said both Josh Jenkins and the recalled Shaun McKernan relied similarly on their explosiveness and described them as "jumpers" as opposed to Sam Jacobs who is more reliant on bodywork.
 
McKernan especially would look to replicate Ryder's performance last weekend.
 
"One of the really good parts of Shaun's game is his leap, he's very explosive and if you saw the way that Essendon's rucks attacked the West Coast guys last week, part of it was 'Paddy' Ryder stepping off and jumping really strongly into those guys," Bickley said.
 
"That's the way Shaun plays so we think he's pretty well suited.
 
"He's played a lot of junior footy against Nic Naitanui in particular, so it's not something totally foreign to him."
 
Bickley said the momentum of the game would determine just how the trio of talls would be used.
 
"In the perfect world, if Sam and Shaun are getting their hands on the ball and we're getting our share, you'd probably have the ability just to leave Josh forward," he said.
 
"If for whatever reason we feel as if, one, the ball's not getting to Josh or, two, our rucks aren't going how we'd like, we've always got that option of throwing Josh in the ruck as well."
 
In bringing McKernan into the side the Crows opted against replacing the injured Brent Reilly with another defender.
 
Reilly dislocated his shoulder just 30 seconds into last week's game against Greater Western Sydney and scans confirmed he'd require a reconstruction.
 
Bickley said the club had options already within the group, including the versatile Ricky Henderson.
 
With both Adelaide and West Coast sitting equal on six wins, two out of the eight, Saturday night's game is shaping as a virtual elimination final.
 
That fact is well known by the playing group, Bickley said, and it hasn't been highlighted for motivation.
 
"As a coaching group we don't raise that with the players, they're probably aware of that I would say," he said.
 
"It's neither  here nor there, I think they understand the gravity of the situation.
 
"If we get better and we win, as we win more obviously we move closer to where we want to get to."
 
Harry Thring is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Harry