Main content

Rory rejects one-man band tag

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Rory Sloane of the Crows celebrates a goal during the 2017 AFL round 06 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Richmond Tigers at Adelaide Oval on April 30, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by AFL Media)
Rory Sloane
The times I've played well in previous years when I've had tags is just going out there and playing my style of footy
Rory Sloane

Rory Sloane rejects the assertion that if you stop him, you stop the Adelaide Crows.

The Crows were on top of the ladder and undefeated going into Round Seven, but have suffered losses to North Melbourne and Melbourne in the past fortnight, when Sloane's attacking influence was nullified.

After averaging 29 disposals and kicking eight goals in the opening six rounds of the season, the 2016 All Australian has had just 29 total possessions and failed to hit the scoreboard in losing sides thanks to hard tags from Kangaroo Sam Gibson and Demon Bernie Vince.

Ahead of Saturday night's clash with the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba, Sloane told radio station SEN that the Crows are more than just a one-man team.

"I think (that mindset) is the most ridiculous thing going around," Sloane said.

"I think the thing I've learned from the last few weeks is that I've definitely over-thought it.

"The times I've played well in previous years when I've had tags is just going out there and playing my style of footy, which should hold up winning some ball inside and then spread away (from the contest).

"I'm not sure who will come to (tag) me, but I'm just going to get back to playing my way… and make sure my footy does the talking."

Two to debut for Crows

Another star Crow down on form is key forward Josh Jenkins, whose limited output this season has cost him his spot in the senior side.

After booting 62 goals in 2016, Jenkins has managed to slot just six majors in five games this season.

With torrential rain forecast for Brisbane on Saturday night, Sloane believes a dry track back in Adelaide will give Jenkins the best chance to work on his deficiencies in the SANFL.

"Josh is really clear what he needs to do and he's the first one to admit he hasn't been playing his standards," Sloane said.

"He's very keen to play in some dry conditions down here in Adelaide, and really put his case forward to get back into the team as quick as possibly.

"Hopefully he's only there for one week."

With the Crows needing a win against the last-placed Lions to get their season back on track, Club great and board member Mark Ricciuto has suggested the best way out of the rut is for Adelaide to play with a more physical approach.

"That's a pretty old-school way of looking at it. That's just a Mark Ricciuto way I suppose, because that's the way he played his footy," Sloane said.

"I think (Mark) would be talking about attack over the footy; the stuff that happens off the ball, happens off the ball.

"We want our players to go in hard and when it's their time to go, go in hard to win their own footy.

"We haven't had a good two weeks as a footy club, and we've just started to drift away from what has made us so good for the first six weeks.

"(We've dropped off on) the contest, our contested ball work, in the air as well and our defensive pressure on opposition teams."

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs