ADELAIDE coach Don Pyke has lamented his side's inability to finish off games after getting overrun in the second half again.

A fortnight after conceding nine goals to one in a 57-point Showdown shellacking at the hands of Port Adelaide, the Crows had 12 of the final 15 goals kicked against them on their way to a 21-point defeat to Essendon at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

The Crows (eighth, 9-8) held a five-goal advantage late in the second quarter before the wheels fell off. 

Pyke was frustrated with how the Crows had struggled to capitalise on their advantage against good sides.

"It's been a bit of a trend," Pyke said.

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"Unfortunately, the second half was poor.

"We accept in the modern game there's going to be ebbs and flows, but when the flow goes against us, we have to arrest it quicker and turn that around and get ourselves back in a position to win games of footy.

"At the moment, we haven't been able to do."

The Bombers took the Crows apart with their speed and ability to transition the ball from one end of the ground to the other.

"We weren't able to sustain pressure in front half," Pyke said.

"Of their 15 goals, they kicked 13 from our back half, either by clearance or transition.

"That's way too high a number.

"We'll review that and we'll see what exactly the breakdown is and what we have to do to rectify that, because it's not sustainable to play that way and try and win games of footy."

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Pyke said the Crows would keep working on the balance of the group after introducing Brodie Smith, Wayne Milera and Riley Knight into the midfield mix to add more leg speed.

"Our ability to execute some of our fundamentals were nowhere near the level," Pyke said.

Co-captain Taylor Walker sprained his elbow in the first quarter before finishing the game, while defender Alex Keath took a knock to his knee.

Both are expected to be right to face Carlton at the MCG next Saturday in a match the Crows simply must win.

"Our footy's good enough, but our consistency and our ability to do it for longer against good opposition is not at the level, which is why we sit where we sit," Pyke said.

"We sit where we are on the ladder on the basis of we haven't been able to consistently do that against good opposition.

"We've got some work to do."

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