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Dear hunts consistency

Max Phillips  July 2, 2016 9:52 PM

SANFL Highlights: Dear's Day Out See all six of Harry Dear's haul against North Adelaide
It was good to get a bit of reward today.

Six-goal hero Harry Dear says he’s already focused on backing up his career-best performance next weekend.

Dear’s half-dozen proved the difference in Saturday’s stirring come-from-behind win over North Adelaide at Prospect Oval. The promising forward slotted three crucial goals in the third term as the SANFL Crows turned a 21-point deficit into a memorable 15-point victory.

The 197cm, 98kg teenager was the barometer all afternoon for Adelaide and showed great aggression at the ball and man. He finished with 15 possessions, eight marks (three contested) and four tackles in his most complete performance as a Crow.

Dear said the standard was now set for what he and the Club expected from him every game.

“I’ve been a bit inconsistent through the year, so the main focus for me is now already on to performing next week,” Dear told after Saturday’s win over the Roosters.

“I had a few meetings prior to the game about how to best use my work rate with ‘Tex’. Mainly about how to push up and then work back hard towards goal and really outdo your opponent. I feel like I’ve got the engine, so I’ve got to try and make good use of it.

“Props to all the mids for their good ball use today and spotting me up. It was good to get a bit of reward today.

“Now I’ve got to back it up. Hopefully, we can work hard as a team and get the job done again next week.”

SANFL Stats: Round 14 v North Adelaide

Continuity has been Dear’s biggest challenge since joining the Club via pick No.58 in the 2014 National Draft. A serious shoulder injury ruined his maiden season with Adelaide, although he managed four games late in the year and hit the scoreboard in every outing.

The Sandringham Dragons product has played every game for the SANFL Crows this season, including a four-goal display in the opening round against reigning premiers West Adelaide, but has struggled to string together meaningful performances.

Crows SANFL coach Heath Younie said Dear remained a work in progress, but Saturday’s match-winning effort against the Roosters was proof of his raw talent.

“Harry’s been working tirelessly behind the scenes. We’re doing a lot of work with him,” Younie said.

“He’s only a 19-year-old kid and key-position players take time. Hopefully today it clicked for him and he can work out why he played like that. Once he understands why, it’s easier to hopefully replicate and get some consistency.

“It’s good reward for effort for Harry.”

Dear has now drawn level with Luke Lowden on 18 goals to be Adelaide’s leading SANFL goalkicker this season. No other player in the SANFL bettered Dear’s six-goal bag in Round 14.

It’s opportune timing for the promising forward to find form. The SANFL Crows are closing in on what would be their maiden finals appearance, with Saturday’s victory moving Adelaide three wins clear inside the top five.

“Today’s win will definitely will give us some confidence going forward,” Dear said.

“We’re not looking too far ahead. It was just good to get the job done out there today.

“Hopefully we can continue that in the final rounds of the season and we’ll see where that takes us.”