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The Five: Round 16

Kym Morgan, AFL Media  July 8, 2017 12:00 AM

Team song: Adelaide Watch the Crows celebrate their round 16 win
AFL 2017 Round 16 - Adelaide v Western Bulldogs

Rory Atkins celebrates a goal

1. Johannisen meets post as woes continue
Jason Johannisen's dirty season continued on Friday night when he again struggled to make a major impact across half-back, but it was his clash with Taylor Walker – and subsequently a goal post – during the third term, which sparked loungeroom debate and got Twitter cranking. Walker appeared to try to shepherd through a goal from Rory Atkins by bumping JJ, who collided with the post and was slow to get up. The concerned Adelaide skipper was the first to check on his wellbeing. The incident evoked memories of a bump by Hawthorn's Luke Hodge on Port Adelaide's Chad Wingard in Round 21, 2015, for which Hodge received a two-game ban. However, Walker's shove on Johannisen seems far less likely to attract the attention of the MRP, not least because it appeared to be a genuine accident.

2. Crows prove there's more than one way to tame a Dog
The Bulldogs followed the template for beating Adelaide by dominating the contested ball in the first half, particularly around the clearances, and would have been in front at the long break but for their inaccuracy. The Crows have been criticised for shying away from a dog fight in 2017 and folding when the game isn't played on their term. But they responded emphatically in the second half, booting the first 10 goals after half-time to crush the Dogs' resistance. Adelaide's midfield stepped up and was clean in the wet conditions. The win is a massive step towards a vital top-four berth ahead of a tricky run of matches for the Crows, including Melbourne (away, in Darwin), Geelong (home), Collingwood (away) and a Showdown against Port Adelaide.

Match report: Crows v Bulldogs

3. Dogs' flag defence in tatters
It seemed inconceivable seven rounds into this season that the Dogs would be one win and a hefty amount of percentage outside the top eight come Round 16, but that's the reality. The weight of numbers is now against the Dogs but as the Swans have shown, that's not necessarily a big worry if form isn't an issue as well. However, the Dogs have now won just two of their past eight and are suffering from a genuine premiership hangover that could see them become the first team since the Hawks in 2009 to go from a flag to missing the top eight. The Dogs competed well for a half but deserve to have their resolve questioned after appearing to clock out early in this one. Their inability to score is another massive issue - they are the second worst in the competition for both scoring accuracy and efficiency.

4. Friday nights in the Doghouse
It's been 20 years since the Bulldogs won a Friday night match interstate (v West Coast at the WACA in 1997). They are now 0-5 on the road in 2017 and have averaged just 59 points interstate. Those aren't stats the Dogs would enjoy but their woes are about more than just numbers. The Bulldogs showed good signs early on Friday. They played to the slippery conditions better but with key personnel out at either end of the ground, they are in a hole. Down forward they are thin without Travis Cloke and Tom Boyd, and the absence of Bob Murphy and Shane Biggs is being felt down back.

5. Walker, Jenkins prove size matters
Don Pyke and Luke Beveridge took different approaches at the selection table and Pyke won out. Pyke went tall despite the wet conditions, while Bevo went very small. Up one end Jack Redpath was the Dogs' only genuine tall. At the other the Crows went with two talls and a hybrid tall in Mitch McGovern. The Dogs' nimble fleet helped them win the contested statistics but Adelaide dominated the most telling number - contested marks. To three-quarter time the Crows took 15 contested marks to the Dogs' two. Taylor Walker and Josh Jenkins both had their way with an undersized defence. Walker had 11kg on Dale Morris and dominated the match. He and Jenkins kicked seven goals and 18 marks between them and were a major difference in the contest. At the other end, Jake Lever continued his brilliant season with 11 marks, continually cutting off the Bulldogs' attacks.