Melbourne players pictured after their loss to Adelaide in round six, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

MELBOURNE'S loss to Adelaide was its first since round four last season against Brisbane, and coach Mick Stinear said there were similar lessons to be learned from the two games.

The Demons made all the early running before the Crows took charge, pushing out to a 25-point lead, only for the home side to close the final margin to 10 points.

DEMONS v CROWS Full match coverage and stats

"Last year, out here in round four, Brisbane taught us some good lessons from a game style point of view, and I felt like we've got that again today with Adelaide," Stinear said.

"That's what you want, you want to be playing games like this, and hopefully it was a good spectacle to watch. We definitely want to be on the right end of it, but we'll learn a lot from today."


Adelaide now sits a game clear in first position, the three-time premier having reasserted its dominance over the competition after losing a preliminary final last season.

The Crows were scoreless in the first term but controlled the middle of the game, with Stinear saying his side simply struggled to get the ball in its own half.

"Second quarter, they had a lot of time in their forward half, and we struggled to exit the ball out of our defensive 50, their pressure definitely spiked. It felt like we had momentum in the first quarter, and Adelaide quickly wrestled that back," Stinear said.


"Just the volume of time in their forward half, they eventually got some goals and we weren't quite organised enough to exit that ball out and give ourselves some opportunity in the forward half.

"Third quarter, they continued their contest work and really kept the ball from us, I think they had plus-40 possessions in the third and really owned the ground. 

"We were a little bit rattled in that quarter, but really pleased with the way the team finished the game, the group's got a lot of belief, and we put ourselves in a position to win the game. Too much work to do in the last quarter. Adelaide is a great side, they're in good form, and they taught us some good lessons today."


Melbourne's last four matches of the season include games against fellow top-four sides North Melbourne (Ikon Park) and Brisbane (Brighton Homes Arena).

"We want to be playing finals, we want to be finishing top four, and you want to be playing those teams to find out really where you're at and how you rate against some of the best teams in the comp at the moment," Stinear said.

"Everyone's in for it at the moment, whether teams are fighting to play finals or to get their first win, there's no easy games. West Coast next week, Freo, Brisbane and North still to come, I think we're going to get a good handle on where we're at heading into finals."