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Contested footy propels Crows to victory

Kieron Turner  May 21, 2017 12:56 PM

Rory Sloane Post-Match: R9 Rory Sloane speaks to AFC Media post his 150th AFL game.
That’s what our good footy stems off. When we’re playing well, it’s our contested footy, our tackling and then our defence and we know our ball movement comes off that.

After trailing at quarter-time in Saturday night’s clash with Brisbane at The Gabba, Adelaide’s intent after the first change was evident, booting 18 goals to four to record a comprehensive 80-point win over the Lions.

The Crows dominated the contested footy (+20 after quarter time), led by vice-captain Rory Sloane who responded in fine fashion after having his impact curbed by taggers over the past fortnight. 

Celebrating his 150th AFL game, Sloane finished with 31 disposals (19 contested) despite heavy attention from Lion Nick Robertson from the opening bounce. 

“We didn’t play the same way we played in that first six rounds as we did the last two weeks, so it was good to get back to that same form,” Sloane told afc.com.au post-game.

“We started winning more contests, putting a bit more pressure on and it was much better footy from us.

“That’s what our good footy stems off. When we’re playing well, it’s our contested footy, our tackling and then our defence and we know our ball movement comes off that.”

During the week, Sloane resolved to go back to basics to rediscover his early season form, with a focus on attacking the Sherrin with more vigour any time it was in dispute.

13 groundball gets and six hardball gets suggested the approach worked for the courageous midfielder.

“We just knew we needed to go harder at the footy really. Probably first half of that first quarter I don’t think we were up to the standard but then we fought our way back into it,” he said.

“We started winning our own footy. It’s a lot easier when we’re winning a bit more ball ourselves as well, you can get your running going and that kind of thing.”

When asked about the 150-game milestone, the 2016 Club Champion downplayed it, shifting the focus onto 100-gamer Luke Brown and debutants Hugh Greenwood and Jordan Gallucci.

“I reckon it’s just one of those in-between ones. Someone gave me the analogy of cricket, you make a ton it’s a pretty big thing, the 150’s just a little raise of the bat but if you make 200 that’s a cracking effort,” Sloane said.

“We’ll definitely celebrate with the first gamers and just make sure they enjoy their night. Lukey Brown as well and then we’ll get back into recovery, get back into Adelaide and prepare for Fremantle next week.”