Crows' Belief At 'Another Level' After Downing Lions

(MENAFN- Colombo Gazette)

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks claims his side's belief has gone to“another level” after knocking off premiership contenders Brisbane by 17 points at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

The Crows improved their record to 6-5 and moved up to seventh spot on the ladder with the hard-fought victory, which comes after losses over the past month to premiers Geelong, ladder leaders Collingwood and the sixth-placed Western Bulldogs.

The Lions were sitting second and had been on a seven-game winning streak coming into the contest where they dominated inside 50s 66-47 yet were unable to capitalise, with Adelaide resolute in defence under wave after wave of pressure.

Adelaide had already beaten Port Adelaide earlier this season, along with top-eight hopefuls Fremantle, Carlton and St Kilda, but Nicks felt there was something special about Sunday's win.

“We know we can fight with the best teams in the competition,” Nicks said.“But when you come off a win like that, the belief goes to another level.

“Sometimes it's individual belief. The way we went about it gives us more belief, because it wasn't all on our terms.

“We want to challenge the best. They are one of the best teams in the competition. Seven in a row coming in, they were sitting second, they're a genuine premiership chance.”

Nicks cited his side's ability to weather the storm, keeping Brisbane to one goal in the third quarter despite a domination underlined by 19 inside 50s, before late majors from Ned McHenry and Josh Rachele opened up a 15-point lead at the final change.

“As a coach you talk about momentum in games and they had a lot of momentum in this game,” he said.

“We knew we'd have moments we were under pressure. Probably a little more than we'd like tonight, but we held in. We showed grit, we showed resilience.

“We had 30 D50 stoppages and we were 1.3 against. That shows the group just hung in which is pleasing as a coach because that's what we believe gets it done in finals footy.

“In the same breath, when we had our momentum, we were able to convert. We showed some real composure and some polish. That, in the end, got us the win.”

Nicks pointed to the polish of livewire forwards Rachele and Izak Rankine, who both booted Goal of the Year contenders from difficult angles. He also hailed Rachele for his team-first focus, setting up Jake Soligo's settling fourth-quarter goal when he may have taken a shot himself.

“We love that,” Nicks said.“That's even more pleasing than the snap on goal. For a young kid to learn so quickly that it's about team. He loves the team. He loves to celebrate. Both him and Izak have really worked on that part of their game to bring others in.”

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan struggled to come up with answers for his side's inability to convert its dominance, simply pointing to inaccuracy in front of goal, booting 1.9 in the third.

“You haven't got momentum for the whole game, you've got to be able to get the score on the board when you have,” Fagan said.“We failed to do that. Adelaide made us pay.

“You look at all the statistics, 32 forward-half turnovers to 16, you probably should win when you do that. Sixty-six inside 50s to 47, it's the same. There were so many statistics. If you watch one of our games, (when) we get those sorts of numbers, we usually win.”

Brisbane has its mid-season bye next weekend, with the side sitting third on the ladder with an 8-3 record.

“If you said to me after 11, we'd be 8-3 and in the top four, you'd take that at the start of the year,” Fagan said.

“Physically we're good. It's always good to have a break as the bumps and bruises mount up. I think we've gone into the bye in good shape, we didn't get any injuries tonight. We've got a healthy group at the moment to start the second half of the year.” (Courtesy AFL)


Colombo Gazette

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