ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 21: Reilly O’Brien of the Crows clashes with Jarrod Witts of the Suns during the 2019 AFL round 05 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Gold Coast Suns at the Adelaide Oval on April 21, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos)
The Crows will take on the Suns this Saturday night at Metricon Stadium.
Adelaide is yet to lose to Gold Coast since they joined the competition in 2011.
Ahead of this weekend’s match, we’ve identified five things to look out for:
ROB v Witts
Crows bigman Reilly O’Brien continues to enjoy a breakout season – averaging 34.6 hit-outs per game.
O’Brien was called-up to replace an injured Sam Jacobs and has worked hard to make the ruck position his own.
Against the Suns on Saturday night, the 23-year-old will face one of his biggest challenges yet in Jarrod Witts.
The Gold Coast ruck leads the league for hit-outs per game (45.3), ahead of Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy (42) and Melbourne’s Max Gawn (40.6).
With Jacobs performing well in the SANFL, O’Brien will be looking for another chance to showcase his credentials.
Record on the Gold Coast
Adelaide’s strong record on the Gold Coast extends far beyond its match-ups with the Suns.
The Crows have played 10 games at Carrara Stadium – six wins against the Suns and the following:
- Round 21, 1992 vs Brisbane Bears, won 110-77
- Round Three, 2006 vs Melbourne, won 102-97
- Round 12, 2007 vs North Melbourne, won 100-54
- Round 14, 2009 vs Richmond, won 102-85
If Adelaide wins on Saturday night, it will be tied with North Melbourne for most wins at Carrara Stadium (11).
The Crows have also never scored fewer than 100 points on the Gold Coast.
The Rory Trio
Sloane is at number one (29.7 disposals, 8.7 tackles and 4.3 marks), followed closely by Laird (31.7 touches, 7.3 marks).
Atkins isn’t far behind in fifth with 26.3 possessions and 4.5 marks.
The injury list
Veteran Andy Otten will be on standby to replace either of the tall defenders and could play his first senior game of 2019.
INJURY UPDATE: Three Crows facing tests
Jordan Gallucci suffered a concussion against Port Adelaide and will need to pass protocols to have his name in the mix.
The bounce back
Adelaide was dealt a heavy 57-point defeat by the Power last Saturday and will be keen to move on quickly.
Crows coach Don Pyke and co-captains Taylor Walker and Sloane have both admitted the performance wasn’t nearly good enough.
Earlier this season, the Crows were handed a similarly disappointing loss against North Melbourne in Round Four.
Although the margin wasn’t nearly as severe (12 points), questions were still asked of the side.
Adelaide bounced back in the following match against the Suns in Round Five, claiming a comfortable 73-point win at Adelaide Oval.
The win sparked a run of four consecutive wins and saw the Crows rise to third on the ladder.
The team will be hoping for a similar chain of events, starting with Saturday.