Daniel Talia has encouraged his teammates to be controlled with their aggression ahead of Saturday’s Showdown XL clash at Adelaide Oval.
The Crows battled North Melbourne in a fierce and fast-paced contest at Etihad Stadium in Round One. Both teams refused to take a backwards step all evening, with several melees ensuing and a number of off-the-ball free kicks paid against both sides.
Despite leading for the majority of the night, the Kangaroos eventually ran out 10-point winners in Don Pyke’s first game as Crows coach.
The heat will be on again come Saturday afternoon when Adelaide hosts its first home game of the season against cross-town rivals Port Adelaide.
Talia expects another bruising encounter in front of a packed house at Adelaide Oval.
“You know what Showdowns are going to be like,” he said.
“They’re always physical, they’re always close and tough contests. We expect no different this week.
“That can be a fine line whether you give away a free kick or whether you’re showing that physicality. There’ll be plenty of those this week, so we’ve got to find that fine line in a big game in the Showdown.
“I think it’s just about every individual recognising the moment and controlling your own emotion and being really hard at the ball but not doing anything undisciplined.”
Talia confirmed captain Taylor Walker would be right to play this weekend against the Power. The key forward was spotted in a moon boot following Saturday night’s clash with the Kangaroos.
The 2014 Club Champion also said there were plenty of positives to take out of the loss, including Don Pyke’s leadership in the rooms post-match.
“There was some real positive signs about the way we moved the ball and at times the way we stood up as well,” Talia said.
“I was really impressed with the way Pykey handled his first game. Even after the game, we were all hurting from the lost, but he was really composed and really clear about what happened and why we lost.
“He’s been around the game a long time with successful clubs, and that showed in his first game as coach.
“He’s a really positive guy, so we’ll take that into this week. Although we lost, we’ve got a ripping game to look forward to.”
Talia is set to play his 100th AFL game in Saturday’s Showdown clash.
The 196cm defender has become one of Adelaide’s most important players, often nullifying some of the competition’s most dangerous forwards. He earned his first All Australian blazer in 2014 and has played 99 of a possible 102 games to become Adelaide’s anchor at full-back over the past four seasons.
“It’s exciting to play 100 games for the one club,” Talia said.
“Every game that you’re out there is a blessing. What better way to do it than in a Showdown?”