On a night the Sydney Swans were expected to win, and win comfortably, a surprisingly poor performance from their midfield brigade left them chasing the game.
With their first-half major ball winners being their defenders, especially Rampe, Lloyd, Smith and Mills, there was significant room for improvement.
Despite an improved third quarter, four consecutive goals to the Crows put an end to the Swans spirited comeback, the margin too great to overcome.
Defender Jarrad McVeigh, speaking with SwansTV, acknowledged that the Swans were well beaten around the ball.
“I think around the ball we were comprehensively beaten, which is disappointing,” McVeigh said.
“It's something that we really pride ourselves on being around the footy, playing it hard and we just got beaten in those areas tonight unfortunately.
“The Crows were too good for us in the end.”
Despite the Swans’ inside 50 dominance in the second half - 36-to-16 inside 50s, Adelaide’s pressure forced the Swans into sloppy kicks inside 50, frequently turning the ball over.
But even when the Swans had their chances, they failed to convert it into scoreboard pressure, kicking 2.6 (18) in the final quarter, 4.9 (33) for the half.
“They caused a lot of turnovers throughout the night, but when you get those opportunities, you have to nail the goal,” McVeigh said.
“We've been really good in our conversion this year, but unfortunately tonight it wasn't to be.
“We still had a chance, not playing great footy, but that's the way AFL is, you've got to come to compete every single week and be ready to go.
“We always try to find a way back into the game, try a few different things, and get some scores on the board, which we needed.
“Unfortunately, at the start of the last quarter, they kicked a couple of goals which made it an even harder task for us, but we still had chances, which is a good thing, but we didn't capitalize on those.”
Isaac Heeney’s performance was one of the positives on the night for the Swans, raking in 8 marks, 4 of them contested.
He finished the night with 1.2 and one goal assist but had a chance to put the Swans within touching distance in the last quarter, kicking two behinds from gettable chances.
His ability to play midfield and forward has been important for the Swans, especially when they have been down on midfield and forward line contributors.
“He’s had a great season so far for us and moving into the midfields something that he’s added to his game, which is fantastic,” McVeigh said.
“We always knew he was a midfielder, but his marking ability is fantastic as well and he's always an option up there for us”
Zak Jones was back to his best on Friday night, picking up 27 disposals, 5 marks and 7 inside 50s, kicking a goal in the first quarter.
Former captain McVeigh said that it is good to see him back, and all he needs now is continuity.
“It’s good to see him back,” McVeigh said. “He just needs a bit of continuity now, get some training under his belt, and try to string a few months of good footy together.
“He's been in and out with a few different things, but the signs are all pointing in the right direction for him tonight.”
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