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Absent Sloane spells danger for Adelaide

Rory Sloane leaves training after failing to prove his fitness for the Giants clash - AFL,Rory Sloane,Adelaide Crows
Rory Sloane leaves training after failing to prove his fitness for the Giants clash

THE LAST time gun Adelaide midfielder Rory Sloane missed a game the Crows lost to West Coast and crashed out of the top four.

That was in round 23, 2016, when suspension ruled him out and the Crows' premiership chances took a nose-dive.

On Thursday night, the Crows will once again go into a massive game without the star as he needs more time to recover from surgery to remove his appendix.

And his importance should not be underestimated.

Finally, the ins and outs of injuries

Since 2013, the year Sloane won his first of his two best and fairest awards, he has missed seven games and the Crows have won just two.

The most recent time it won without Sloane was in the emotional Showdown in 2015 just weeks after coach Phil Walsh's death, when the brave Crows defeated Port Adelaide by three points.

Since he played the second game of his career in round one, 2010 (after making his debut in round 20, 2009) Sloane has missed 20 games, with the Crows winning six and losing 14.

It's worth noting that six of those losses came in 2010 when Sloane was hardly the difference, but his importance has been a constant theme of 2017, with stopping Sloane appearing to be the secret to beating the Crows. 

Adelaide fought through that patch and they won three and drew one of the past four times he was kept below 25 disposals, after losing four of the first six games this season in which he was restricted to a disposal count below 25.

However, with the Crows relying on playing the territory game (it's second in the AFL for time in forward half) they will miss his pressure around the ball, the most critical determinant of the result.

Sloane would also have kept occupied the Giants' premier stopper, Stephen Coniglio, which would free up other midfielders such as the Crouch brothers, Matt and Brad.

CROWS' RECORD WITHOUT SLOANE

2016   0 wins 1 loss
2015  2 wins  3 losses 
2014 Did Not Miss  
2013 0 wins   1 loss
2012  1 win  0 losses 
2011 1 win 3 losses 
2010 2 wins 6 losses  

 

RORY SLOANE'S AVERAGES FROM 2013-17

IN A WIN IN A LOSS 
Disposals 24.9 22.5
Tackles 6.4 6.3
Contested Possessions   12.6 12.3
Clearances  5.0 4.5