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Backs will rebound: Talia

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media  September 1, 2016 12:42 PM

Adelaide 2016 - Ray Titus, Rd 17

Daniel Talia says the Crows' under-rated backline can stand up under the pressure of finals football

You can't go into your shell after a game like that, you've got to back yourself in,

STAR Adelaide defender Daniel Talia says the Crows' under-rated backline can stand up under the pressure of finals football.

The Crows had no answer for a potent West Coast forward line in their 29-point loss at Adelaide Oval last Friday night.

In an exclusive interview with AFL.com.au, Talia said it would be foolish to write off the Crows' backline given how well they had played this season.

"I wouldn't be jumping at shadows about one game," Talia said.

"Our whole team was toweled up against West Coast, it was just a bit of an off-night.

"We're pretty reliant on how the ball comes in at times and on Friday night it was certainly coming down with some steam and with some good delivery.

"You can't go into your shell after a game like that, you've got to back yourself in and we've played pretty good footy down there as a group.

"We've had the same six or seven guys play as a unit and we feel that we've played some really good footy and we'll keep backing ourselves in."

The Crows have conceded the sixth-most points this season (81.59 points per game) of teams in the top eight, ahead of Hawthorn (81.82) and North Melbourne (84.5).

Talia had his colours lowered for one of the few times this season as Josh Kennedy sealed consecutive Coleman Medals with a five-goal haul.

"I was beaten on the weekend against Josh, but he's a really good player and that's going to happen at times," Talia said.

"My game's been evolving.

"I feel that I've played some good footy, I just need to continue to back myself in and keep reading the ball better than my opponent."

Talia has had a sensational season in restricting the game's premier key forwards every week.

The 2014 All Australian is one of two Crows defenders nominated in the 40-man All Australian squad this year along with Rory Laird.

Second-year player Jake Lever – the No.14 selection overall in the 2014 draft – has also gained plenty of plaudits.

But Kyle Hartigan, Kyle Cheney and Luke Brown have also become valuable components of a settled backline.

"Those guys (Laird and Lever) are great players and they get a lot of coverage, but I think it's the lesser lights, guys like Kyle Hartigan, Kyle Cheney and Luke Brown, who also deserve credit," Talia said.

"They have played consistent footy and played pretty much every game and played their role."

Talia expected the Crows defenders would have their hands full in their elimination final against North Melbourne at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, September 10.

He said they needed to be better in one-on-one contests to contain the likes of Ben Brown, Brent Harvey and Drew Petrie.

"Finals is all about contests and pressure and we're under no illusions we've got to lift those areas of our game," Talia said.

"When you lose contests both aerially and around the ground in one on ones, it's hard to win a game of footy."