Adam Simpsons has hailed the Crows’ efforts at Optus Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Adelaide went down by 10 points despite a surge late in the fourth quarter after trailing by 27 points midway through the third term.
Speaking at the post-match conference, Simpson said the Eagles expected a tough fight from a finals contender.
“It felt like a final today, it really did,” Simpson said.
“I thought what Adelaide brought, we weren’t surprised at all.
“A very mature side, a lot on the line. They strategise well, they’re coached well.
“Adelaide were playing for a spot in the finals so we knew exactly what was coming.
“They played with tremendous spirit and threw the absolute kitchen sink at us.”
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Defensively, Adelaide played a sound game as West Coast maintained an attacking presence through the full four quarters.
West Coast led the inside-50 count 63-41 and 63 per cent of the game was played in the Eagle’s forward half.
However, only one point separated the teams at half-time and Simpson conceded the Crows denied his side the freedom to score.
“I don’t think in my time we’ve had that much supply - some of the numbers we showed our players were really good - and not get rewarded for it,” Simpson said.
“I think it’s credit to Adelaide’s defence and the way they set-up.”
He acknowledged Rory Sloane’s third-quarter injury helped them regain control ahead of a decisive four-goal burst.
“Second quarter we got beaten around the ball, we had a good discussion at half-time about what to do with that,” Simpson said.
“Losing Sloane was important to them.”