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Adaptable Crows can cover fallen teammates

Pyke: 'I'll back my guys in' Don Pyke defends his high performance team after losing another player to a hamstring injury
The win was a fitting tribute for Richard Douglas' 200th game - ${keywords}
The win was a fitting tribute for Richard Douglas' 200th game
It's hard to look through and find players who didn't contribute in some way
Don Pyke

ADAPTABILITY is one of the keys to Adelaide's best ever start to a season.

It is the first time the Crows have been undefeated after five rounds. They currently sit in first position with a percentage of 152.4.

After the loss of key defender Daniel Talia to a hamstring injury in the opening minute of the Crows' comprehensive 67-point win against Gold Coast, coach Don Pyke heralded the ability of his team to adapt.

"We were able to re-structure things a bit there," Pyke said.

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"Richie Douglas went back, having started in the midfield, so some of the things we worked on in the pre-season around our flexibility … we were able to adjust around that.

"With Jake Kelly not out there, David Mackay went back as well. Again that's part of evolving and having that flexibility."

It was a free-flowing affair at Metricon Stadium and Pyke was pleased at how the Crows dealt with the continuous transitions in play.

"I thought our position and structure in the first half allowed us to defend really well and get the ball back, given how Gold Coast wanted to play.

"That's just how the game presented tonight, our guys were able to adapt again, find a way to score which gave us the result."

Brad Crouch made a stellar return to football, having missed the first month and much of the pre-season with a hamstring complaint.

The midfielder finished with 33 disposals and eight tackles.

WATCH Don Pyke's full media conference

"Brad Crouch came in, he was another plus for us. We know the quality of the player, and for him to play the way he did, (there are) some good signs from here," Pyke said.

Rory Atkins – with a new bleached blonde hairstyle – caught the eye, and Pyke said he was another to show promise.

"He took a while to come along, and he found his feet a bit last year, had a really good pre-season and has continued to build as a player.

"He has some areas he's still working on, but he showed some signs again tonight of the sort of player he will become."

The Crows had an impressive 13 individual goal-kickers, an ominous sign for the rest of the competition.

"Our midfielders hit the scoreboard as well as our forwards," Pyke said.

"We want to have a nice even contribution that we did tonight.

“It's hard to look through and find players who didn't contribute in some way or capacity and that's how we want to play our footy."