The one stat that frustrated Pyke the most
Saturday, September 30, 2017 - 11:09 PM

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OUT of everything that went wrong for Adelaide on what was a Grand Final nightmare, one statistic frustrated coach Don Pyke the most. 

Winning the footy at the contest, a barometer of his side's intent and desire all season, was an area which the more committed, the hungrier Richmond outfit exposed the Crows.

The Tigers had 29 more contested possessions than the Crows in the second half, and 30 more for the game, on their way to a comprehensive 48-point victory at the MCG on Saturday. 

Pyke said it was difficult to make moves from the coaching box when the Crows were getting smashed at the contest. 

"One of the things that is very hard from a coaching viewpoint is to provide effort," Pyke said. 

"The players are responsible for effort.

"We try and encourage that, we try and demand that.

"We tried to do some structural things, but you're trying to put a patch on what's a fair wound, and when you're talking minus 25 in the third quarter, which is why we value it as a stat, and in fairness, a stat we've been very good at all year, that's probably the most disappointing part.

"It's an area of our game that we felt coming in we were strong and we didn’t deliver today." 

The Crows only kicked four goals in the last three quarters and eight goals for the game – a disappointing return for the highest-scoring side in the competition.

"I think if you ask our players individually, they'd be some who say they produced one of their poorer performances on what is a big day," Pyke said. 

The Crows were the benchmark for the season having claimed their first minor premiership since 2005. 

They appeared on track to claim the ultimate prize for the first time since going back to back in 1997 and 1998, but were totally unclassed apart from a 10-minute burst at the start of the game. 

"The players are devastated, they put a lot of energy into that and they come away with nothing," Pyke said.

"The true test is accepting there are some things we've got to keep working on and get back to work. 

"Sometimes losses can be a great driver. 

"I've been part of clubs that lost Grand Finals and came back and won after that, but you've got to learn the lessons. 

"It's too raw right now, but we'll reflect and we'll have those conversations. 

"We'll dust off and we'll go ready to go again next year knowing it's a long road back, but that's the challenge of footy."

Pyke said it was too early to say what the Crows needed to do with their list during the NAB AFL Trade Period, and brushed aside speculation about the future of out-of-contract defender Jake Lever, who has been linked to Melbourne. 

But he confirmed midfielder Hugh Greenwood finished the game with a calf injury after he entered the Grand Final under a fitness cloud.

The Crows will now have to regroup to ensure they remain firmly in the premiership hunt and don't slip back down the ladder.

"We sit here now with a style that has got us to this point," Pyke said. 

"Is that going to sustain us next year? I don't know.

"All I know as a coaching group is we have to ask those questions and have to follow our hunch around our list in terms of what we think is the best to play our best footy and to the way we play, because if we stand still, others will go past us."

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