Izak Rankine celebrates a goal during round 16, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

ADELAIDE isn't shying away from the prospect of playing finals, but is aware it faces a tough few weeks between now and September.

The Crows rose up to sixth on the ladder after Saturday's 66-point shellacking of North Melbourne, with coach Matthew Nicks saying the side isn't afraid to look towards finals.

"We're not going to hide from it and not talk about it," Crows coach Matthew Nicks said of the prospect of finals.

"We have got a really tough run, as far as what we need to win from the remaining games.

"But if we get ahead of ourselves and start thinking about that, then we're not concentrating on Essendon (next week) which is where our mindset is right now."


The 2-13 Roos showed glimpses during the match but were overwhelmed by the Crows' polish. 

"I'm sick of being competitive, I'm sick of being around the mark or getting close ... competitive should be the norm," caretaker coach Brett Ratten said.

"We let ourselves down in the first half, our organisation behind the ball and at some stoppages was really poor and we gave up some cheap goals.

"Really, halftime should have been a bit closer than what it was.

"But the second half was chalk and cheese."


Ratten expects Alastair Clarkson to resume as North Melbourne's head coach within weeks.

But Ratten isn't exactly certain when Clarkson, who will return to the club in a reduced capacity next week, will take complete charge again.

Clarkson, citing his mental wellbeing amid being involved in the Hawthorn racism controversy, stepped away in mid-May.

He will return to North's football department next week without initially featuring on match days.

Ratten is unclear when Clarkson will return to the coaching box.


"We are going to work through that," Ratten said.

"Al will come back and be part of the footy program in some capacity.

"But I think the coaching part will stay with me for a little bit and then there'll be a transition period.

"So that will be after a couple of weeks, let him get back in ... we're not putting on 'it's going to happen right here today and that's when we hand the keys over'.

"It will be a bit of a transition period so we'll work through that."