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Loss a harsh lesson, says ROB

Max Phillips  April 22, 2017 9:39 PM

Reilly O'Brien

Reilly O'Brien

We didn’t play our way today and we got the result we probably deserved in the end.

Adelaide ‘got what it deserved’ against Central District on Saturday afternoon but will learn a lot from the loss, according to young ruckman Reilly O’Brien.

The SANFL Crows suffered a disappointing 54-point defeat at the hands of the Bulldogs at My Money House Oval and were lucky to not be beaten by an even bigger margin.

Central District slammed on 3.10 in the fourth quarter alone and held Adelaide scoreless. The final margin was just one point shy of the Club’s biggest SANFL loss in the team’s four-year history.

“It was a pretty disappointing day,” O’Brien said post-match.

“We just didn’t bring enough energy at the contest, which is something we base our game on.

“We didn’t play our way today and we got the result we probably deserved in the end.”

It was a wild reversal of fortunes for the two competing teams.

Adelaide went into the match undefeated after two stirring victories over finals fancies Sturt and South Adelaide. Central District broke through for its first win of the season after back-to-back losses to Woodville-West Torrens and North Adelaide.

O’Brien expected the Bulldogs to bounce back hard after a sluggish start to the year.

“We were prepared for that before the game. We knew they’d be fired up after two tough losses,” he said.

“It’s the fundamentals that we have to keep working on. There was a lot of work around the contest that fell away today and our contested ball numbers were well down as a result.

“We’ve got to keep working hard and bring effort consistently for four quarters otherwise that sort of thing can happen.

“They’re the main takeaways for us to review and improve on.”

SANFL stats: Round Three v Central District

O’Brien and fellow Crows ruckman Paul Hunter fought an intriguing duel against Centrals ruck pair Darcy Fort and former Fremantle ruckman Jack Hannath.

The Bulldogs won the hit-out count 39-26 which helped them to a decisive advantage in the clearances 35-23, but O’Brien was arguably the most influential big man around the ground.

The 21-year-old collected 13 possessions, laid three tackles and took five marks – including a game-high three intercepts. He also floated forward to slot a career-best three goals.

O’Brien, who made his AFL debut late last year, said it was an area of his game he wants to focus on into the future.

“Rucks these days in the AFL have to be able to push forward and hit the scoreboard,” he said.

“It’s an important part of the game. If I’m going to get into the team with ‘Sauce’ (Sam Jacobs) I need to be able to play forward and spend time there.

“I love going forward and kicking a couple of goals. It was nice to get on the end of a couple today.

“It’s a part of my game I’m really trying to work on.”