He hasn’t hit it, but Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson is leaning on the panic button after copping another AFL shellacking.
Sydney, with Lance Franklin finding form, trounced Sanderson’s Crows by 63 points to bank their first victory of the season on Saturday at Adelaide Oval.
Franklin booted four goals, gathered 21 disposals and took six marks in a 21.8 (134) to 9.17 (71) triumph which leaves the Crows winless.
“We’re not hitting the panic button yet. But we’re certainly starting to lean on it a little bit,” Sanderson said.
“We can’t keep capitulating like we have, that’s three weeks in a row.”
The Crows have conceded a whopping 380 points in three defeats by heavy margins – 38, 55 and 63 points – and Sanderson can’t hide his alarm.
“We will see what our group is made of. We will see what I’m made of,” he said of Adelaide’s response to their predicament.
“We’re coming from a long way back now. We can’t let the competition get too much further in front of us.”
The latest loss followed the pattern of the others: the Crows get jumped by the opposition, fight back, then get blown away.
Sydney were 29 points up early in the second term but the Crows clawed back to trail by two points midway through the third quarter.
The Swans then steamrolled Adelaide, kicking 12 of the last 13 goals, including seven unanswered majors in the final term.
Boom recruit Franklin was in sparkling touch, roaming far and wide in his best performance in Sydney colours.
But Franklin was pipped for best-afield honours by his teammate Luke Parker, who also slotted four goals and collected 26 disposals and had nine clearances.
Parker’s midfield mate Josh Kennedy (28 possessions, eight clearances) was also dominant but co-captain Jarrad McVeigh’s influential 21-disposal game was marred by his report for rough conduct for collecting Adelaide’s Matthew Jaensch head-high in the first term.
Jaensch was among the best for Adelaide, who lost Scott Thompson to a corked thigh – the club champion was substituted in the second quarter.
Thompson’s absence placed the midfield burden on Richard Douglas (25 disposals) and Patrick Dangerfield (23 touches), but they were overwhelmed by what Sydney coach John Longmire hailed as a “really strong performance” by his players.
“At least we’re off the mark now,” Longmire said.
“But we have got a bit of work to do to get back where we want to be … we took another important step forward today, but it doesn’t mean that more steps don’t need to be taken.”
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