Tigers know level of threat ram­pant Crows pose

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT -

ADE­LAIDE coach Don Pyke and his Rich­mond coun­ter­part Damien Hard­wick agree.

To­day’s clash be­tween their un­beaten AFL clubs will hinge mostly on one thing: Rich­mond’s de­fence.

Can the Tigers, boast­ing the stingi­est de­fence in the league, con­tain the Crows, the com­pe­ti­tion’s high­est scor­ers?

“De­fen­sively we have to be on our game,” Hard­wick said.

“That is where it will be won or lost. And they’re prob­a­bly think­ing the same thing.”

Pyke is, not­ing how the Tigers de­fend dif­fer­ently than other AFL out­fits.

“We have got to be ready to adapt ... de­pend­ing on what gets pre­sented,” he said.

“They have a very strong de­fen­sive mech­a­nism in place.”

Many ex­pect the fix­ture to pro­vide a gen­uine mea­sure as to Rich­mond’s im­prove­ment: are they the real deal?

“You only have to look at the way Ade­laide are play­ing,” Hard­wick said.

“They are in­cred­i­bly im­pres­sive ... it’s go­ing to be a sig­nif­i­cant task but our boys are up for it. We give our­selves ev­ery chance.”

Hard­wick finds it hard to pin­point any Crows weak­ness.

“You have got to have the abil­ity to win the ball in­side, be­cause they’re very good at it,” he said.

“But you also have to spread that to an out­side game, which they’re also very good at.

“We have to make sure we get enough num­bers around the con­test but then de­fen­sively have a good bal­ance around the con­test as well.

“If you al­low them to play with speed, they’re go­ing to hurt you, so we have to slow them down as much as we can.

“In the­ory it seems like a rel­a­tively sim­ple con­cept.”

Damien Hard­wick

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