Injured stars not to blame for Crows' loss: Pyke
Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 2:05 PM

  - from afl.com.au

ADELAIDE coach Don Pyke has confirmed star midfielder Rory Sloane is battling a foot injury that he's been carrying for a couple weeks.

Sloane had a quiet game by his lofty standards in the Crows' 48-point loss to Collingwood at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

The two-time Adelaide best and fairest winner had 17 possessions, 13 of those contested, three clearances and remarkably didn't lay a single tackle a rarity after he led the League in tackles with 186 last season.

"Rory's had a little bit of a foot (injury) coming out of the Richmond game (in round two) that he's had for a couple weeks," Pyke said.

"That's progressed and getting better, but he was part of a midfield that got badly beaten tonight.

"That's the reality.

"He's one piece of that midfield group.

"Did he have the influence he would've liked? No, but he had a few mates."

The Crows were smashed 198-165 in the contested possession count and well beaten by a quality Magpies midfield.

Skipper Taylor Walker also looked less than 100 per cent as he builds back up after a disrupted pre-season with a foot injury.

To make matters worse, All Australian small forward Eddie Betts spent the majority of the last quarter on the bench with hamstring tightness.

The 31-year-old will have scans next week to determine the severity of the injury ahead of next Friday night's clash with Sydney at the SCG.

"From what I've been told from the doctors, it's just precautionary," Pyke said.

"He just felt a bit of tightness.

"At that point, there was no real point of risking him, so we just iced that up and we'll get that assessed next week."

The Crows rolled the dice at selection, going with five forwards over 190cm in wet conditions.

Pyke conceded it's something they will have to revisit, but didn't think it was the major difference in the result.

"We had some choices at selection and that's the way we chose to go," he said.

"It's one piece of the jigsaw.

"I think there's a lot of other areas that were more influential in the result of the game than how we went down forward, but that's something we'll look at."

Forward Riley Knight and midfielder Curtly Hampton will play in the SANFL on Saturday to press their claims for a senior recall.

It will be the second game back from injury for both players.

The Crows couldn't hit targets by foot when they had the ball and gave the Magpies plenty of opportunity to hit them on the counter attack.

"When we did win it, we turned it over, which is very unlike us," Pyke said.

"The execution of our skills tonight was at times almost as bad as I've seen, and that meant we gave the ball back to Collingwood when we did win it.

"We tried a few things, but ultimately nothing worked on the night and it was a poor night."


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