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A tale of two Lance Franklins

Football

Adelaide coach Don Pyke is plotting to stop two Lance Franklins.

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The first Franklin version is the Sydney star forward who roams far and wide. The other is the one who stays close to goal.

Pyke isn’t sure which style Franklin will bring when Adelaide meet the Swans in Saturday night’s semi-final at the SCG.

“He has been playing a little bit further up the ground,” Pyke said of Franklin.

“Whether they stay with him playing higher up the ground this week or they bring him back more inside 50, time will tell.

“We will probably prepare for both, knowing that he’s one of their keys and he’s one of their guys they target regularly going forward.”

Franklin will be shadowed by Adelaide defender Daniel Talia but Pyke was mindful of the challenges presented not only by Sydney’s trumpcard but also by the tighter confines of the SCG.

Pyke trained the Crows yesterday by marking out the dimensions of the SCG, where the Crows have played just once in four seasons, noting it was vital to control the centre corridor at the ground.

“Given it’s such a short ground, if you can get control of the ball in that area, it allows you to attack goal pretty directly,” he said.

“So the ground itself has a component … but fundamentally the way we play won’t change.

“There will probably be some focus areas and some areas you just need to adapt to both the ground and the opposition – that is what happens week to week.”

Adelaide key forward Josh Jenkins has overcome an ankle injury and will play. Jenkins hurt an ankle in Adelaide’s elimination final win last weekend, but convinced Pyke of his fitness at training.

“He did what he needed to do so he’ll be fine,” Pyke told reporters.

Jenkins was Adelaide’s sole injury concern entering the away final against the Swans at the SCG.

Pyke said he had noted a mature response by his players to Saturday’s elimination final triumph against North Melbourne.

The Crows also won an elimination final last season before falling to a heavy semi-final defeat to eventual premiers Hawthorn.

“It’s fair to say last year after the first final win, the feeling I got talking to some of the coaches and players, was there was this euphoric state about a great win,” said Pyke, who joined the Crows this season as head coach.

“And that probably didn’t help them get ready for the second week of the finals.

“But I think this year, we have been far more measured in terms of we moved on pretty quickly. I thought their response post-game was pretty mature, to be honest.

“They recognised it was a good win, but it’s a win that gets you to week two of the finals. And that was the sort of response I was expecting of them.

“It wasn’t one of euphoria … it’s like we have won it, we move on and now we’re getting ready clearly for Sydney.”

Pyke expected to confront a charged-up Swans, who lost their qualifying final against Greater Western Sydney, but said he would be disappointed if Adelaide couldn’t match Sydney’s ferocity.

“I spoke to our players this morning about that,” he said.

“I would be really disappointed if we weren’t able to match their intensity and effort based on them coming off a loss and us coming off a win.

“We have got as much to play for as Sydney do. We played some good footy last week and have played good footy all year so our responsibility is to bring the same attitude and effort as we brought last week.”

-AAP

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