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Crows will rally around injured defender

Lee Gaskin  September 8, 2017 7:28 AM

Knee injury ends Smith's game Adelaide's Brodie Smith is helped from the field after hurting his knee in a tackling attempt
AFL 2017 First Qualifying Final - Adelaide v GWS Giants

Charlie Cameron and Hugh Greenwood console Brodie Smith

ADELAIDE will rally around injured defender Brodie Smith after seeing a finals campaign, and possibly a premiership, cruelly taken away from him.

Smith suffered a suspected torn ACL in the Crows' 36-point win against Greater Western Sydney in the first qualifying final at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

Full match coverage and stats

That victory puts the Crows into their first preliminary final since 2012 – a five-point loss to Hawthorn that Daniel Talia had to watch from the sidelines after he broke his arm two weeks earlier in the qualifying final with Sydney.

"I was in the same situation in 2012 where I broke my arm in the final and missed the last two games," Talia told AFL.com.au.

"Brodie is going to have to take some time for himself to get his head right and see where he's at and get around the group and just try and be as positive as he can.

"It's a really tough experience.

"You work all year, for a couple of years now, to get in this position.

"To potentially miss out as one of the leaders of the backline, he's been around a long time now and been an All Australian, would be shattering for him.

"The boys will get around him, he knows that, we'll support him the next couple of days and hopefully it's not as bad as it seems."

Five things we learned from Adelaide v GWS

Smith has played a critical role for the Crows, not just this year, but in the past few seasons, with his run and carry off half-back, along with his booming kick.

Midfielder David Mackay looms as the likely replacement down back after filling in for Smith after he left the ground in the first quarter.

"We pride ourselves on being flexible and we've had a lot of guys roll through there in different times," Talia said.

"Everyone has missed a game back there and we've got guys who can come in and play a role.

"We might shift a guy back from the wing, or bring in another half-back, so we've got plenty of options.

"We've got guys like Andy Otten and Tom Doedee, who have been playing well in the SANFL all year, along with Alex Keath.

"If it is worst case, we'll have someone who can come in."

Talia will be better for the run after he missed the round 23 loss to West Coast with an ankle injury.

"I struggled to get through the four quarters, it feels like I haven't played for a month," he said.

"I thought I started a bit slow and it probably took me five minutes to get that pace of the game back in my movement.

"I was probably lucky it was wet conditions and it was a contest night, which suited me."

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