With eight wins and five losses, Adelaide were in the top four as they headed for their mid-season bye. We look at what’s gone right, and what’s gone wrong, for the Crows.
After the Annus Horribilis of 2018, a year marked by the fallout of the infamous Collective Mind camp, a horrible run with injuries and a tumble down the ladder, Adelaide’s 2019 has gone considerably better. It’s been a rocky road at times, and things looked grim when the Crows lost to North Melbourne in round four, leaving Don Pyke’s side with a 1-3 record, but Adelaide have turned things around well, and are well in the hunt for a double chance come September. If they can achieve that, a second grand final in three years isn’t out of the question. Adelaide were still very much at the crossroads heading into round 11, and trailing Melbourne by 31 points in the third quarter, the pressure on Pyke was rapidly rising. But the Crows came from behind to win that game in Darwin, and haven’t looked back since, recording wins over Greater Western Sydney and Richmond inside a week at Adelaide Oval, meaning the Crows headed to the bye full of pep. When Adelaide were at their pomp in 2017, their array of attacking options blew opponents away. This year though it’s been defence the Crows have relied on. They’ve conceded an average of less than 72 points per game. That’s no mean feat given Adelaide lost Jake Lever to Melbourne at the end of 2017, and then replacement key defender Tom Doedee to a season-ending knee injury in round one. But former cricketer Alex Keath has stepped up, moving into All-Australian contention on the back of an outstanding campaign in defence. The return of star midfielder Brad Crouch shouldn’t be underestimated either. Crouch didn’t play at all in 2018 because of injury, but hasn’t missed a game so far this season, averaging just under 32 disposals per match.