It’s easy to throw the baby out with the bath water anytime you incur an 86 point loss – whether you’re challenging or you’re a minnow. In reality, this decimation just came one week later than most of us thought it would.
That’s not to say it was fun at all, or that I’m completely accepting of it. I scoffed down a block of Lindt chocolate quick smart on the quiet tram ride home from the Dome.
And I’m sure the conversation of whether the team signed off on “the trademark” was a rather brief one post-game.
This was the type of loss where when you’re a good team, one with ambitions, you potentially scrap the Monday review and move straight onto next week without looking back at all. After quarter time the result was never in doubt and to be fair, the Saints were lucky to be in it scoreboard-wise for that long.
When it’s all said and done though, win, lose or draw yesterday the Saints are still in rebuild mode. And when you’re consigned to that, you expect there to be days like these where, as a fan, you just have to suck it up to a degree. Granted, that’s much more easily done when visibly there seems to be some pieces of the puzzle falling into place already.
Right out of the gate though, the Saints were dead flat. Scott Thompson had a picnic in the middle; he and Sam Jacobs had their own game going in the center square all day long. Tommy Curren did a nice job in curtailing Paddy Dangerifield (19 disposals) for the afternoon, but aside from him the Saints didn’t have any winners through the midfield. Lenny Hayes toiled very hard, Josh Saunders bobbed up here and there but it was a cakewalk for the Crows otherwise. If it wasn’t David Mackay bursting into space unhindered, then it was Brodie Smith, or Matthew Jaensch, or Kyle Hartigan or RWB Favourite Rory Sloane. Those 5 had 93 uncontested possessions between them.
And uncontested possessions were really the damning area of the game for the Saints – the Crows had 56 more than their counterparts by half time. Most of the bog-standard statistics were relatively even, but the Adelaide did what they pleased in that regard. I guess the most damning part about it is that it’s no secret the Crows thrive on run-and-carry football, particular through the corridor where it felt like the Saints had laid out a red carpet for them at times.
One of the few game notes that I jotted down from my vantage point on the Saints members wing, was Roo’s big set shot major at the 9 minute mark of the second term. This goal brought the margin back to five goals. That was effectively the last glimmer of a comeback for the Saints. It was quickly snuffed out soon of course.