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Crows need to address four-quarter effort

Bryce Gibbs Post-Match: R12 Bryce Gibbs speaks to AFC Media after a disappointing loss at Optus Stadium.
A four-quarter effort wasn’t there for us today, and we need to address it
Bryce Gibbs

Adelaide’s season hangs in the balance after Sunday’s loss to Fremantle, with the Club sitting outside the top-eight with a 6-6 record. 

The narrow loss represents a missed opportunity for the Crows to get their season back on track, with two key areas proving costly against the Dockers; a slow start and the side’s ability to string together a consistent four-quarter effort.

Adelaide trailed Fremantle by 22 points at quarter-time, the third time this season they have faced a quarter-time deficit exceeding 20 points. 

The others came in the heavy defeats to Collingwood (25-point quarter-time deficit) and Melbourne (24-point quarter-time deficit), while lapses have also proved costly in the team’s other losses to Essendon (fourth quarter), Port Adelaide (third quarter) and Greater Western Sydney (second quarter). 

Midfielder Bryce Gibbs admits it’s an issue for the Crows, and one that needs to be addressed.

“Our starts the last couple of weeks have been an issue for us,” he said.

“To give up four or five goals head start makes it hard to come back from that. A four-quarter effort wasn’t there for us today, and we need to address it.

“(After quarter time) our numbers through the midfield lifted in terms of our contested work, our tackles, our pressure; and from that, you get field position on the back of that too.

“To their credit, they put the pressure back on us and got the job done. You can’t win games of footy only playing one quarter of footy like that.”

Inaccuracy also contributed to the defeat, with the Crows having several scoring opportunities kicking with the breeze in the final quarter.

Ultimately, they couldn’t seize enough of them, booting 2.5 to 1.3 to fall three points short.

“We did get a lot of looks in the last quarter, we just didn’t take the opportunity,” Gibbs said. 

“The guys will have to reassess their game and maybe look closely if they were in positions to handball it to guys in better positions, and vice versa. We did get looks in the last quarter; we just didn’t capitalise on them.”

Adelaide faces another week on the road, travelling to Melbourne off a six-day break to tackle Hawthorn at the MCG.

The clash is a critical one as the Crows look to move back to a positive win-loss ledger and stay in touch with the top eight ahead of the Club’s mid-season bye in Round 14.

“Our backs are against the wall. We’ll probably cop a bit of media attention over the week, no doubt off the back of this performance, but that’s alright,” Gibbs said.

“We’ll have to review it hard and just move forward to the challenge ahead. We get on the MCG next week, which will be great. Travel again, a chance to get away as a team, and look to respond next week against the Hawks.”