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Rory responds in typical fashion

Katrina Gill  August 19, 2017 12:19 PM

Rory Sloane Post-Match: R22 Rory Sloane speaks after a disappointing 3 point loss to the Swans.
It was very much a finals-like game. That’s probably why it’s so disappointing to lose by three points because if (you lost) a final like that, you’d be absolutely shattered

Six days after ‘tweaking’ his knee, Crows vice-captain Rory Sloane put in a lion-hearted performance to will his team back into the contest against Sydney on Friday night.

The notoriously fast-starting Swans kicked four consecutive goals before young forward Mitch McGovern steadied with Adelaide’s first major at the 20-minute mark of the opening term.

A Sloane goal from the 50m arc cut the deficit to 17 points at quarter-time.

“We just didn’t handle the heat well enough early,” Sloane said.

“We overused the ball at times … just made simple errors.

“Sydney’s pressure was really good and they were able to keep the ball in their forward half.

“Once we started getting our fair share of it, we started to look pretty strong.”

The Swans stretched their lead to 29 points early in the second term.

But led by Sloane, McGovern, Brad Crouch and Matt Crouch, the Crows dug in.

Overcoming close checking from emerging star Isaac Heeney, who gave away four free kicks in his endeavours, Sloane powered his way to 11 possessions, seven tackles, three clearances and two inside 50ms for the quarter.

The Crouch brothers combined for 24 possessions and a goal for the term, while McGovern plucked a couple of marks and kicked his second goal to help reduce the margin to eight points at half time.

Adelaide gained even more ascendancy in the third quarter, but couldn’t capitalise and trailed by 11 points at the final change.

A fourth goal to McGovern and a classy finish by captain Taylor Walker put the Crows in front in the fourth quarter. 

However, the home team couldn’t put Sydney away and the efficient visitors kicked the last two goals of the game to record a famous three-point win.

“It was very much a finals-like game. That’s probably why it’s so disappointing to lose by three points because if (you lost) a final like that, you’d be absolutely shattered,” Sloane said after the match.

“Our ability to finish (in front of goal) at times wasn’t up to the level.

“A couple of turnovers hurt us as well … and obviously our start. In saying that, the second, third and most of the fourth quarter were really solid footy and that’s how we want to play.

“There were some good signs coming out of that game, but we’re a bit angry still.”

Sloane finished with 29 possessions (20 contested), 14 tackles, nine clearances, five inside 50ms and a goal to be one of the most influential players on the ground.

The 28-year-old said his knee was feeling good.

“If I was still sore, I probably wouldn’t have played,” he said.

“It pulled up really well towards the latter end of the week.

“I spent plenty of time with the ice bag throughout the week. Poor (wife) Belinda didn’t get much time next to me because the ice bag was a bit cold!

“There were a few trips to the servo (service station) as well.”  

In laying 14 tackles against the Swans, Sloane broke his own record for most tackles by a Crow in a season.

He leads the League in tackling with 167 – four more than his previous best effort (163) in 2016.

Sloane said he genuinely enjoyed that physical aspect of the game.

“That’s when you’re at your best, I think, when you stay in the game defensively,” he said.

“You’re around the ball most of the time then. I do enjoy it and you’ve got to do it at times as well. Lucky, we’ve got a really good midfield that enjoys that part of the game.

“That’s the way we want to play.”

A crowd of 51,466 turned out on Friday night to witness one of the games of the season.

It was the biggest-ever attendance for a match between Adelaide and Sydney, and the second-highest crowd for a Crows home game this season.

“I’m biased, but we’ve got the best supporters going around,” Sloane said.

“The turnout was huge tonight and some of the noise they made in the last quarter was outstanding.

“I’m just a bit shattered we couldn’t finish it off for them.”

Adelaide will enjoy a nine-day break before heading to Perth to play West Coast in the final game of the home and away season. Sloane said it was important his team responded in the west.

“You want to carry good form going into finals. We’ll carry some form out of tonight,” he said.

“It’s always a tough trip. We’ve got to make sure we make the most of that and really get a good build into finals.”