Rory Laird handballs during Adelaide's clash against Geelong in round two, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

ADELAIDE'S ability to find a target inside 50 will again be tested on Friday night in a crucial game against Fremantle, with the Crows the least efficient side going forward so far this season.

The Crows are ranked equal first in the League for inside 50s (60 per game) but are ranked last for both marks inside 50 (6.5 per game) and scores per inside 50 (3.33).

Footage unearthed on's The Round So Far during the loss to Geelong in round two showed the Crows regularly ignoring simple, short targets inside 50 in favour of deeper entries that led to a turnover.

While the likes of Matt Crouch and Rory Laird picked up plenty of the ball on Friday night, Port Adelaide champion Kane Cornes believes the club lacks classy ball users going forward.

"My concern on Adelaide is have they drafted too many of the same midfielders?" Cornes said on The Round So Far.

"(Sam) Berry, (Jake) Soligo, (Ned) McHenry, Crouch, Laird ... they're all similar players where they're really tough and contested. But when it comes time to hit an easy kick, that is a real weakness in their game."


After Gold Coast defenders Charlie Ballard and Will Powell collected 23 intercepts between them in round one, albeit on a wet night that made pinpoint kicking difficult for both sides, the Crows were thwarted by Tom Stewart in round two, with the Cats star having 15 intercepts on his own, 10 of them marks.

And the Crows will need to navigate their way past Dockers defenders Luke Ryan and Alex Pearce on Friday night, with the pair picking up 29 intercepts between them in the opening two rounds.


Cornes says the Crows didn't do enough to quell Stewart's influence last Friday night.

"We'll question the coaching tactics of Matthew Nicks, who's sitting in the box with a bird's eye of Stewart taking six intercept marks to half-time, and they allowed him to do it all night and not one person went near him," Cornes said.

"I could not believe that he could let Tom Stewart stand there and mark the footy like that all alone ... and I think the Adelaide coaches need to have a really good look at themselves this week."