Crisis-hit Crows look for answers in AFL

Jason Phelan
Crows coach Don Pyke admits his team's performance against Hawthorn was 'not good enough'

Where did it all go so wrong?

Injuries have clearly been a factor, but Adelaide coach Don Pyke has some deep thinking to do and his players are in need of some soul-searching during their bye week.

The Crows' season is in freefall after Hawthorn celebrated Shaun Burgoyne's 350th AFL game with a 56-point thumping on Saturday night.

In their first visit to the MCG since losing last year's grand final, they turned in a dispirited performance to slump to a 6-7 record with their fourth loss in a row.

Pyke's system and his players' willingness or ability to execute his plans were exposed in a dire seven-goals-to-nil third quarter.

The Hawks led the dour contest by four points at halftime, but then swept aside Pyke's meek men in a 12.16 (88) to 4.8 (32) mauling in front of 26,693 fans.

It was the third-lowest score kicked by Adelaide since they entered the competition in 1991.

The Crows went scoreless in a quarter for just the seventh time in their 28-season history.

"The break has come at a good time and for guys to reflect on the season and us as coaches to think about where to go from here," Pyke said.

"At halftime we were in the game clearly, it wasn't pretty to watch, but in the third quarter we got blown away from the clearance and contest.

"We lost the field position, put pressure on our backs, didn't move it all efficiently and turned the ball over.

"It's just not good enough."

Perhaps worst of all was an embarrassing 18-1 smashing in clearances in the third quarter for a team that supposedly prides itself on its work at the coalface.

"That's a genuine touch-up, to be honest," Pyke said.

"We pride ourselves on being a strong contested-possession team and when you hand over that sort of advantage to a side like Hawthorn ... it just gave them field position, gave them confidence and then they hit the scoreboard."

The Crows face an uphill battle to qualify for the finals, with West Coast, Richmond and Geelong their next three opponents after the bye.

But they should at least get some soldiers back with Rory Sloane, Rory Laird, Luke Brown and Tom Lynch all in the frame to play the Eagles.