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I feel sorry for Tippett, says Talia

Football

Daniel Talia is a rarity among the Adelaide Crows: he feels sorry for Kurt Tippett.

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Sydney ruck-forward Tippett will miss Saturday night’s AFL semi-final against the Crows after suffering a fractured jaw.

Tippett remains a polarising figure at Adelaide, the club he left in controversial circumstances at the end of 2012.

Tippett’s acrimonious split led to him being suspended for 11 games and the Crows being fined $300,000 and losing draft picks for breaking AFL draft and salary cap laws. Three Adelaide officials were also banned for various periods.

While most Crows still hold a grudge towards Tippett, Talia feels for his former teammate in the wake of his injury.

And the Adelaide backman also sympathises with Swan Callum Mills, this year’s AFL Rising Star who also will miss the semi-final because of a hamstring strain.

Talia himself won the award in 2012, then broke an arm in his first final.

“(Tippett) is a great player, and we knew that when he was here,” Talia told reporters yesterday.

“So that is a big loss for them, as is Callum Mills.

“You feel for anyone who gets injured at this time of year.

“That happened to me after I won the Rising Star as well – broke my arm and got injured.

“Footy can be cruel at times.”

But Talia doesn’t subscribe to a theory that it’s a good time for Adelaide to play the banged-up Swans.

“I don’t really buy into that,” he said.

“They are a great team, like us they have got a lot of depth. And they have shown over the years they are a proven finals team.”

Talia says he’ll need a little help from his friends to quell Sydney ace Lance Franklin, who he describes as a “freak”.

“I will just compete like I do every week and it will be a team job,” Talia said.

He took note of how Greater Western Sydney and their co-captain Phil Davis kept Franklin goal-less in Sydney’s qualifying final loss.

“As a team they played him really well. It wasn’t just Phil that stopped him, the whole team was getting into him,” Talia said.

“I will spend the majority of time on him and I will just compete and hope the ball is coming in high and long and then I can go to work.

“The key to any final is pressure on the ball and winning the contest and you saw on the weekend Greater Western Sydney did that.

“He (Franklin) is a great player and can do all sorts of things, so we’re going to rely on a team effort … it’s a team aspect to every game.”

Adelaide enter the semi-final buoyed by a 62-point elimination final victory against North Melbourne.

But Talia was mindful the Crows also won an elimination final last season before losing a semi-final, to eventual premier Hawthorn.

“We have last year as a learning experience,” he said.

“It’s a bit about attitude and not getting ahead of yourself.

“And we’re under no illusions…we have only made the last six.

“You want to win the whole thing, so we haven’t achieved what we want to yet.”

The Crows will be bolstered by the availability of key defender Kyle Hartigan, who yesterday escaped with a $1500 fine for tripping North Melbourne’s Lindsay Thomas.

-AAP

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