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Opportunity lost, laments Laird

Rory Laird Post-Match Round 23 Defender Rory Laird speaks to Channel Crow following a disappointing loss to our Home & Away season.
It’ll be very frustrating over the next week or two,
Rory Laird

Defender Rory Laird says the Crows face a “frustrating” fortnight before getting an opportunity to respond to a bitterly disappointing loss to West Coast on Friday night.

Adelaide had a chance to secure a likely top-two finish at the end of the minor round. Instead, a 29-point loss to the impressive Eagles leaves the Club’s final four chances in the hands of other teams.

The Crows could finish anywhere between second and fifth-place on the AFL ladder, pending results.

Laird said the Club was aware of the potential repercussions of the defeat.

“We had a good opportunity tonight to lock up home finals but we didn’t take advantage of that, which is very disappointing,” Laird said after the game.

“Now, we’ve got our fate in other teams’ hands and you never want that.

“Fingers crossed, a couple of things go our way.”

For the first time, a ‘bye’ week separates Round 23 and the start of finals.

Laird said the players had mixed feelings about the weekend off.

“They boys are wanting a bit of a break, but at the same time you never want to come off a loss like that,” he said.

“It’ll be very frustrating over the next week or two.”

The flat Crows never really got going on Friday night.

Despite Adelaide trailing by only 11 points at half time, West Coast was in control for the most part.

The Eagles scored 10.11 (71) – their opponent’s entire score – in turnovers as the Crows missed targets by foot and hand.

“Skill execution was a big thing,” Laird said.

“They scored a lot of goals off our turnovers and just their spread away from the contest tonight was a bit better than ours.

“They seemed to get forward of the ball really well and, credit to them, they used the ball well going inside 50m and capitalised.

“It was a disappointing day.”

The loss was only Adelaide’s sixth for the season and second in 14 starts.

Coach Don Pyke said there was plenty to be positive about leading into the Club’s second straight finals campaign.

“We’re still sitting here with 16 wins and playing finals. Depending on results, we may still sneak into the top four, so there’s light at the end of the tunnel here. It’s a bad night and we accept that,” he said.

“We’ve played some good, strong, positive football and I think we’re capable of doing that coming into the finals. I’ve got real belief and trust in this group.

“We believe we’re a good footy team and we intend to prove that come finals time.”

A crowd of 50,785 packed into Adelaide Oval to watch the clash with West Coast.

The turnout was enough to rank the Crows No.1 in home game attendance this season. More than 500,000 people have filed through the Adelaide Oval turnstiles to see the Crows play in 2016.

“They (our fans) are unbelievable,” Laird said.

“Another 50,700 tonight, I saw on the screens as we were walking off. It’s a credit to them coming out each and every week and supporting us.

“They’re the best fans in the League by far.”