Crow onslaught has scribes reaching for record books
This game always had potential to see a cricket score kicked. And so it was, as Adelaide’s powerful attack made a mess of the listless Lions. The Crows warmed up in the opening half with 14 majors as their forwards queued up against a Lions midfield unwilling, or unable, to help its outclassed defence. As bad as the visitors were, Adelaide’s foot skills, ball movement and talent up forward was simply awesome, and they banged through eight third-term goals. With 22.13 on the board at three-quarter time, their club record score of 30.8 (188) against Essendon in 2006 was under threat. They narrowly missed that score, and the final margin of 138 points came within a behind of a club-record winning margin, achieved in that same win over the Dons.
Crows' depth might be too good
As recently as a month ago, Adelaide had used just 27 players this season. Its charmed run with injuries meant spots in the side were at a premium. In the past few weeks the Crows have suffered some minor injuries, and copped another on Saturday when Paul Seedsman corked his buttock. They also rested Scott Thompson in this match, opening up some opportunities for other. Cam Ellis-Yolmen looked too good to be playing SANFL as he made his season debut and finished with 18 disposals, and two goals from five shots. Mitch Grigg, Sam Shaw, Curtly Hampton, Troy Menzel and Dean Gore are all playing good footy in the twos at present. It raises the question of whether Adelaide will be targeted by opposition clubs putting out the lure of opportunity to players, over the off-season.
Are contract talks getting to Taylor?
One touch in a quarter isn’t going to get Lewis Taylor any closer to a reported $550,000 asking price for his signature at the Lions. Taylor's manager Scott Lucas refutes the claim but the uncertainty over his future can't be helping the 2014 NAB AFL Rising Star winner regain his best form. He finished with just 10 touches and a goal, making it the latest of several flat games the Lion has produced this season. The former Geelong Falcon needs to regain his focus on his footy or his market value will drop rapidly.
Lions' problems stretch beyond talent
The Lions' decision to persist with youth in the second half of this season has affected their disastrous results. But the structural holes in Justin Leppitsch’s game plan were again exposed by a rampant Adelaide intent on a scoring rampage. John Worsfold has been criticised for coaching to minimise the damage at Essendon this year but the opposite criticism could be fired at Leppitsch. The Lions midfield seemingly had no interest in helping their defence as Adelaide piled on goal after goal, and Leppitsch allowed his undermanned backs to go one-on-one with a star-studded Adelaide forward line. Leppitsch's men appear to be trying to implement a game style beyond their collective ability, and players are losing confidence and belief.
Sauce bottle's almost empty
Daniel Merrett has been a popular and loyal member of the Lions outfit through a largely unsuccessful decade. At his best he was a reliable and strong key defender with the ability to pinch-hit up forward. But the physical decline of the Lions big man has been obvious for all to see this season. He was again hobbling around on Saturday night, opposed to a fresh Taylor Walker. A torrent of ball was delivered into Adelaide’s forward line and Merrett received almost no help from up the field. It exposed the battered defender who is surely coming to the end of an honest career.