MATTHEW Nicks has lauded Adelaide's "amazing group of players" for putting a tumultuous week behind them to come within a whisker of upsetting Port Adelaide.
Although describing the four-point loss to Port as "bitter", the Crows coach was proud of his team's resilience.
Adelaide was thumped by the Western Bulldogs last weekend, and then on Friday suspended former captain Taylor Walker for six matches and fined him $20,000 for a racial slur.
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Despite the drama, the Crows were terrific, leading at every change until their rivals kicked three goals to one in the final term.
"They're an amazing group of players," Nicks said.
"I had no doubt they'd come out and perform the way they did.
"It was about clarity for them around gameplan and getting back to what they did well.
"It has been a really challenging week, a challenging 48 hours for our entire organisation, but I knew they'd come out today (and play well) and I'm really proud of the fact they did that."
Nicks said the Crows got back to their "DNA" in hunting the opposition and applying a ton of pressure.
They had to play the final quarter one player down after Brodie Smith and Will Hamill copped heavy head knocks either side of the final change.
Hamill's was particularly sickening as he collided with teammate Nick Murray, but Nicks said both men were doing well.
"Will is up and about in the rooms," he said.
"I'm pretty sure he'll go through the protocol now from a concussion point of view.
"He was moving really well in the rooms … smiling and feeling pretty good. That's a great sign for him.
"Brodie was moving well, quite a substantial cut really. He was feeling pretty good."
Port coach Ken Hinkley was relieved to get the four premiership points, describing the win as hard fought and scrappy.
He said after the slow first half it was a simple case of working harder from contest to contest and outnumbering Crows to turn the tide.
"We were struggling to find our best, Adelaide were making it a tough night for us," Hinkley said.
"Showdowns are like that, we all know that.
"We went plus-21 in the second half for contested possession, that's how we won.
"We won just through sheer grit, we found a way to win, which in the scheme of our season is really important."
Port will finish the round two wins clear of fifth place and can wrap up the all-important double finals chance with a win over Carlton next weekend, which was as far as Hinkley wanted to look.
The veteran coach was glowing in his praise of Showdown Medal winner Aliir Aliir, who gathered 16 intercepts from his 21 disposals.
"In the scheme of our season he hasn't played bigger than he played tonight," he said.
"Sometimes you get to the end of the Showdown and you're not sure who's going to win the medal, but there was absolutely no doubt he was going to win the medal tonight
"He was such an influential player. He rebounded enough on his own to keep us going.
"His season has been remarkable."