Adelaide knows it can kick a winning score against Port Adelaide, but backman Luke Brown believes the key to Showdown victory this weekend lies in defence.
Round One saw scores soar across the competition as clubs had their first real taste of life under the AFL’s new interchange cap. An increased 10m zone around the mark and a harsher interpretation on deliberate out of bounds also encouraged free-flowing, high-scoring football.
Nine teams scored over 100 points in what was the second-highest scoring opening round in more than a decade.
The Crows ranked third in points scored last season, behind only Grand Finalists West Coast and Hawthorn, but Brown said Adelaide’s team defence remained a work in progress.
“Our attack speaks for itself, last year and this year it’s been really good,” Brown said on Tuesday.
“If you’re able to lock it in your forward half and give your forwards more opportunities, you’ve got a great opportunity to win. I think throughout the games on the weekend, if you did that, you won the game.
“Our attack was fantastic (against North Melbourne). Josh Jenkins really stood up for us and they always provide a contest. I’m sure if we get it in the forward 50 no one is going to stop them.
“We’ve just got to tighten our defence. Hopefully we can do that this week.
“Port has a great attacking team and their forward line is really dangerous, so if we can keep them to a limited amount of opportunities at goal, then that would be fantastic for us.”
Adelaide led for most of its Round One clash against the Kangaroos before being overrun in a frenetic final term.
Despite the disappointing result, Brown said coach Don Pyke remained positive with the players heading into Saturday night’s big Showdown clash.
“We’re just trying to control what we can,” Brown said.
“We played well for say, three quarters, but we had lapses in the game where we need to improve things. We’re really looking forward to trying to put four quarters together and playing a good team performance.”
Scott Thompson won the Phillip Walsh Medal as best afield in Showdown XXXIX in Round 16 last season. The award will revert back to its original title as the Showdown Medal after consultation between the two competing clubs.
“Whatever decision has been made by both clubs, I’m sure it’s in the best interests of everyone,” Brown said.
“It was a great one-off last year and a great way to remember him by. It was a fantastic game for all supporters to watch.
“I think the one-off game was pretty special for everyone. I have good memories of that game.”
The Crows were victorious by three points in the latest meeting between the two sides. The incredible contest was the closest finish in Showdown history.
Brown said there was already a buzz around the Club in anticipation of the next chapter in South Australia’s biggest sporting rivalry.
“Showdowns are always special games where anything can happen,” he said.
It doesn’t really matter where you are on the ladder. It could be top versus bottom and it would still be a good game.
“We’re really looking forward to the challenge this week. They’re a good team. The buildup will be big this week. The whole town is into it.”