Adelaide coach Don Pyke came away from Friday’s thrilling three-point loss to Sydney confident he side’s best will stand up to the pressure of finals football.
But Pyke said the Crows walked away disappointed they weren’t able to close out a match that looked theirs when they led by 10 points 27 minutes into the third term.
“We did a lot right but we didn’t get the result,” Pyke said.
“What we learned tonight is that we are more than capable of matching it with a side like Sydney and pushing them right to the end.
“We can see it from the numbers, we can see it from how we played.
“We can see it from how we responded after a poor start.
“That’s what high-pressure, finals-type footy is all about. It’s an arm-wrestle and you’ve just got to stay in the arm-wrestle long enough to get your opportunity, and I thought our guys showed some resilience tonight.”
The Swans jumped the Crows, kicking seven of the first nine goals of the contest in a start which was not too dissimilar to last season’s Semi-Final at the SCG.
Adelaide was able to claw its way back and gain control of the match, but Pyke conceded it was disappointing to again be jumped by Sydney.
“At the start we were not at the level,’ he said.
“I didn’t think we were strong enough in the contest early.”
The Crows were on the right end of the umpiring throughout the match with the final free kick count 28 – 14.
But they were on the wrong end of a controversial 50m-penalty to Callum Mills 26 minutes into the final term which led to a Sam Reid goal.
Pyke refused to be drawn into commenting on the incident, replying “that’s footy” when questioned.
Adelaide remains in the box seat to snare the minor premiership despite the loss, guaranteeing a home qualifying final.
But despite having a top-two spot assured, Pyke said he won’t be resting any players for next Sunday’s clash against West Coast in Perth.
The Crows confirmed Daniel Talia rolled an ankle, but was able to play the game out with strapping.
Talia will be one of a number of Crows assessed in the coming days, but any Adelaide player who doesn’t face the Eagles will not play a match for more than 20 days because of the pre-finals bye.
Source: Adelaide Crows website